Posted in blues, Celebrity musicians, Music

Gregg Allman RIP

The news about Gregg Alman floored me.

I didn’t expect it to. I knew his health had been bad for years and that he had canceled all his tours for the rest of the year.  I had heard the rumors of hospice.

Yet it floored me.

greggallman

Part of it is that I am always shocked when someone dies of natural causes before the age of 70. Somehow, no matter what they’ve done to their bodies beforehand, I expect them to make it to that magic 70 and so for Gregg to die at  69 just seems wrong, like the universe cheated.

And part  of it is that I just can’t imagine a world without Gregg Allman in it.

My fist visual memory of Gregg was sometime in the early 70s.  It was an outdoor concert somewhere in South Carolina or Georgia. We had been there all day and I fell asleep on the ground with music still going. I woke up around midnight and the Allman Brothers were onstage.  Gregg was at the piano, the lights making his hair gleam as it flowed down his back. I don’t remember the music that night.  I just remember thinking he looked like a god.

Ever since then, Gregg and the other Allman Brothers were a part of my life. But we lost Duane and Butch early and others since then. For me, it has been Gregg who held the tradition together, with the group or solo. And now he is gone.

But of course, the tradition goes on. And we don’t live in a world without Gregg and the other Allmans .  Any time a musician anywhere plays “Whipping Post” or Midnight Rider: they are alive. Whenever we hear any of the familiar songs  and that distinctive voice, Gregg is with us.

Ride on,Midnight Rider.

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Posted in Jazz, Music

Chaz Lipp and The Groove Tripp- ‘Good Merlin’

Chaz Lipp is a saxophone teacher who occasionally gigs around Washington state. Lipp has honed his skill for years and now, luckily for us, he is ready to share it with the larger world. To do so, he has put together “The Chaz Lipp Groove Tripp” and created a debut album, Good Merlin.

The group consists of Lipp on alto saxophone, Charlie Hiestand on piano, Trevor Pelletier on upright bass, and Chris Patin on drums. They are all excellent musicians who obviously love the music and are having a good time, which is always a good sign. But the real magic happens when Lipp’s sax is joined on seven of the 10 songs by Sanjaya Malakar, a former finalist on American Idol who has a voice made for jazz.

There are three original instrumental tunes here (“Good Merlin,” “Groovy Green Eyes,” and “Fly by Night”) and they are swinging numbers that let the band have some fun and show their stuff. But the body of the album is the good, old classics, here sounding new and fresh. This is thanks to the remarkable way Lipp’s sax and Malakar’s incredible, flexible voice blend and complement each other.

These are timeless songs for a reason, and when done well and with joy and love as they ae here, they capture the best essence of jazz. My favorite rendition here is “Fever.” What a perfect, sultry and slightly sassy version of that song! “Take the A Train,” too, will catch you up and send you on your own musical trip. “Summertime” has a lovely, warm vocal and some truly remarkable, soaring sax from Lipp.

The other songs, “Nature Boy,” “Watermelon Man,” “Georgia on My Mind,” and “God Bless the Child” are all rendered with sensitivity, grace and innovation, staying close enough to the originals to be satisfying and flying far enough in their own direction to sound fresh.

Lipp is an amazing musician who has smartly surrounded himself with excellent musicians and found the vocalist who is his perfect match. I believe good jazz requires an underlying sense of joy, and this album has that in abundance. Good Merlin is, indeed, good magic and a groove trip(p)!

This articlewas originally publihed in Blogcritics Magazine

Posted in Uncategorized

Winners! 38th Annual Blues Music Awards

Memphis, TN  – Here are your winners for the 38th Blues Music Awards. Winners are in bold blue type.

bluesawards

38th Blues Music Award Winners

Acoustic Album
Eric Bibb – The Happiest Man in the World
Fiona Boyes – Professin’ the Blues
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes – Live at Briggs Farm
John Long – Stand Your Ground
Luther Dickinson – Blues and Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook) Vol I and II

Acoustic Artist
Doug MacLeod
Eric Bibb
Fiona Boyes
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
Luther Dickinson

Album
Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat
Kenny Neal – Bloodline
Nick Moss Band – From the Root to the Fruit
Sugar Ray & the Bluetones – Seeing is Believing
Toronzo Cannon – The Chicago Way
William Bell – This Is Where I Live

Band
Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials
Nick Moss Band
Sugar Ray and the Bluetones
Tedeschi Trucks Band

B.B. King Entertainer
Joe Bonamassa
John Nemeth
Lil’ Ed Williams
Sugar Ray Norcia
Sugaray Rayford

Best Emerging Artist Album
Corey Dennison Band – Corey Dennison Band
Guy King – Truth
Jonn Del Toro Richardson – Tengo Blues
Terrie Odabi – My Blue Soul
Thornetta Davis – Honest Woman

Contemporary Blues Album
Al Basile – Mid Century Modern
Kenny Neal – Bloodline
Nick Moss Band – From the Root to the Fruit
The Record Company – Give It Back To You
Toronzo Cannon – The Chicago Way

Contemporary Blues Female Artist
Alexis P Suter
Ana Popovic
Janiva Magness
Shemekia Copeland
Susan Tedeschi

Contemporary Blues Male Artist
Albert Castiglia
Kenny Neal
Mike Zito
Sugaray Rayford
Toronzo Cannon

Historical Album
Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, A Music Man Like Nobody Ever Saw, Bear Family Records
B.B. King, More B.B. King: Here’s One You Haven’t Heard, Ace Records
Bobby Rush, Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush, Omnivore Recordings
Doug MacLeod – Live in Europe, Under the Radar and Doug MacLeod
Michael Burks, I’m A Bluesman, Iron Man Records
Pinetop Perkins & Jimmy Rogers, Genuine Blues Legends, Elrob Records

Instrumentalist-Bass
Biscuit Miller
Bob Stroger
Michael “Mudcat” Ward
Patrick Rynn
R W Grigsby

Instrumentalist-Drums
Cedric Burnside
Jimi Bott
June Core
Tom Hambridge
Tony Braunagel

Instrumentalist-Guitar
Bob Margolin
Joe Bonamassa
Kid Andersen
Monster Mike Welch
Ronnie Earl

Instrumentalist-Harmonica
Dennis Gruenling
Jason Ricci
Kim Wilson
Mark Hummel
Sugar Ray Norcia

Instrumentalist-Horn
Al Basile
Nancy Wright
Sax Gordon Beadle
Terry Hanck
Vanessa Collier

Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female Artist)
Annika Chambers
Diunna Greenleaf
Inetta Visor
Shaun Murphy
Trudy Lynn

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player
Anthony Geraci
Barrelhouse Chuck
Henry Gray
Jim Pugh
Victor Wainwright

Rock Blues Album
Albert Castiglia – Big Dog
Mike Zito – Keep Coming Back
Moreland & Arbuckle – Promised Land or Bust
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Let Me Get By
Walter Trout – Alive in Amsterdam

Song
“Blues Immigrant” written by Matthew Skoller & Vincent Bucher and performed by Matthew Skoller on Blues Immigrant
“I Gotta Sang The Blues” written and performed by Thornetta Davis on Honest Woman
“Seeing Is Believing” written by Ray Norcia and performed by Sugar Ray & The Bluetones on Seeing Is Believing
Walk A Mile In My Blues” written by David Duncan, Curtis Salgado & Mike Finnigan and performed by Curtis Salgado on The Beautiful Lowdown
“Walk it Off” written and performed by Toronzo Cannon on The Chicago Way

Soul Blues Album
Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat
Curtis Salgado – The Beautiful Lowdown
Johnny Rawls – Tiger in a Cage
Wee Willie Walker – Live! Notodden Blues Festival
William Bell – This Is Where I Live

Soul Blues Female Artist
Bettye Lavette
Lara Price
Mavis Staples
Terrie Odabi
Vaneese Thomas

Soul Blues Male Artist
Curtis Salgado
Johnny Rawls
Wee Willie Walker
William Bell

Traditional Blues Album
Big Jon Atkinson & Bob Corritore – House Party at Big Jon’s
Bob Margolin – My Road
Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue – Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
Lurrie Bell – Can’t Shake This Feeling
Sugar Ray & the Bluetones – Seeing is Believing

Traditional Blues Male Artist
Bob Margolin
John Primer
Lil’ Ed Williams
Lurrie Bell
Sugar Ray Norcia

 

Posted in Music

LITTLE STEVEN SHARES NEW SONG “LOVE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF TOWN” AVAILABLE NOW

littlesteven

NEW ALBUM SOULFIRE OUT MAY 19TH

 

 ALBUM PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE NOW

 

Little Steven shares his new song “Love On The Wrong Side Of Town,” co-written with Bruce Springsteen, from his eagerly anticipated new album, SOULFIRE (Wicked Cool/Big Machine/UMe). “Love On The Wrong Side Of Town” is the third song the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer has released from the album set to arrive everywhere on Friday, May 19th. Entertainment Weekly premiered the song last week. Pre-order SOULFIRE here: https://UMe.lnk.to/LittleStevenSoulfire

 

LISTEN TO “LOVE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF TOWN” HERE

 

People originally heard “Love On The Wrong Side Of Town” on Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes’ 1977 LP, THIS TIME IT’S FOR REAL. “Bruce had the riff and I did the rest,” says Van Zandt. “When you wrote, arranged, and produced the original versions, it’s not always easy to redo them. They become definitive. You did it that first way for a reason. I found it difficult to do much with this one, but when we got to the end of the song I found an opportunity to change it up a little bit. I changed little things here and there on all the songs on the album but it definitely took a minute.”

 

SOULFIRE is Stevie Van Zandt’s first solo album in close to two decades and without question his purest and most uniquely personal artistic statement thus far. The album sees the rock legend revisiting songs that span the length of his career as artist, performer, producer, arranger, and songwriter, focusing directly on the hugely influential “soul horns-meet-rock ‘n’ roll guitars” approach he first pioneered on Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes’ classic first three albums.

 

Each of Van Zandt’s prior five solo albums had seen him expressing his utterly personal songwriting through a changing variety of sounds and approaches, an ambitious adventurousness that has fueled much of his creative output these past two decades. He expanded his parameters, as an actor on The Sopranos and Lilyhammer, as host, historian, and rock ‘n’ roll advocate on Sirius XM’s one-and-only “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” (not to mention creator of Sirius XM’s long-running “Outlaw Country” format). Van Zandt kept his skills sharp by composing the score for all three seasons of Lilyhammer and continued to work as producer and songwriter, lending his distinctive craft to records from an array of international garage rockers, but couldn’t kick a lingering sense of unfinished business.

 

“I felt a bit guilty about having walked away from Little Steven the artist,” he says. “I left that part of myself behind and I shouldn’t have done that. I let the material down by not continuing to perform it,” he says. “I betrayed the work and I want to fix that. I didn’t give up on the material – there were a lot of other factors – but I do have a sense of wanting some redemption for it.”

 

Van Zandt – who will remain a touring and recording member of The E Street Band – is now looking forward to hitting the road with his own big band. Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul will celebrate SOULFIRE with an epic international tour schedule, with headline gigs and festival dates around the world. A full-scale North American headline tour will be announced soon – for regular updates and ticket information, please visit http://littlesteven.com/index.php/tour-dates.

 

LITTLE STEVEN

SOULFIRE

(Wicked Cool/Big Machine/UMe)

Release Date: Friday, May 19th

  1. Soulfire
  2. I’m Coming Back
  3. Blues Is My Business
  4. I Saw The Light
  5. Some Things Just Don’t Change
  6. Love On The Wrong Side Of Town
  7. The City Weeps Tonight
  8. Down And Out In New York City
  9. Standing In The Line Of Fire
  10. Saint Valentine’s Day
  11. I Don’t Want To Go Home
  12. Ride The Night Away
Posted in Music, Uncategorized

Col. Bruce Hampton 1947-2017: RIP

Col. BBruce Hampton was onstage performing an encore Monday, May 1, at his birthday concert at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta when he collapsed and died soon after. He was surrounded by members of Wtdesprea Panic, Phish, REM and other musicians and friends when he fell to the stage .He died shortly after being rushed to Emory Hospital. The beloved jam band musician was 70 years old.

colbrucehampton
Col. Bruce was deeply loved and respected on the Atlanta music scene, where recently he had been performing weekly at The Vista at Napoleon’s in Decatur. I was privileged to see Cool. Bruce several times, once in the early ’70s, again in the ’90s and in recent years as well. He was an excellent showman as well as a great musician and bandleader.

Hampton was born Gustav Berglund III. He began his career in the late ’60s with the Hampton Grease Band, which toured with The Grateful Dead. Later, he formed The Aquarium Rescue Unit, credited with influencing many of the bands and musicians represented on stage with him at the concert and so many more.

A statement from his family reads: “After collapsing on stage surrounded by his friends, family, fans and the people he loved Col. Bruce Hampton has passed away. The family is asking for respect and privacy at this difficult time.”

While one imagines Col. Bruce would appreciate the logic and poetry of such a death, it is always too soon to loose one of our musical patriarchs. May your rest be sweet, Col.