Texas Art-Country Legend Terry Allen Announces New Album

2019 Beth Hart wide

The iconic and iconoclastic Texan songwriter and visual artist Terry Allen announces his heartbreaking, hilarious new album Just Like Moby Dick — a spiritual successor to his 1979 masterstroke Lubbock (on everything) — out January 24 on Paradise of Bachelors. His first set of new songs since 2013’s Bottom of the World, the album features the full Panhandle Mystery Band, including co-producer Charlie Sexton (Dylan, Bowie) and stunning vocal turns from Shannon McNally, as well as co-writes with Joe Ely and Dave Alvin.

Just Like Moby Dick is the most collaborative album in Allen’s catalog, and features the adventurous, formidable current iteration of the full Panhandle Mystery Band. Terry shares keyboard duties with his son Bukka Allen, who also plays accordion and piano. Pedal steel master and de facto Panhandle bandleader Lloyd Maines contributes slide guitar and dobro, while Richard Bowden brings his characteristically kinetic and lyrical fiddle; both musicians have appeared on every Allen album since Lubbock (on everything). The brilliant Charlie Sexton, plays guitar, sings and co-produced the record with Terry at Austin’s Arlyn Studios. Drummer Davis McLarty, a Mystery Band mainstay since Human Remains (1996) is joined by more recent rhythm section additions Glenn Fukunaga (bass) and Brian Standefer (cello). Terry’s other son Bale Allen sits in on djembe on “Abandonitis.”

While the connection to Melville’s literary masterpiece are hard to pin down, Just Like Moby Dick shares its namesake’s epic scope and its commentary on the specter of memory and the folly of human existence. Just Like Moby Dick casts its net wide for wild stories, depicting, among other monstrous things, Houdini in existential crisis, the death of the last stripper in town, bloodthirsty pirates (in a pseudo-sequel to Brechtand Weill’s “Pirate Jenny”), the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (in the “American Childhood” suite), a vampire-infested circus, mudslides and burning mobile homes, and all manner of tragicomic disasters, abandonments, betrayals, bad memories, failures, and fare-thee-wells.

Allen is an internationally recognized visual artist and songwriter who occupies an utterly unique position straddling the disparate, and usually distant, worlds of conceptual art and country music. Raised in Lubbock, Texas, he graduated from Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and has worked as an artist and musician since 1966.

Allen has released sixteen albums of original music, including the influential classics Juarez (1975) and Lubbock (on everything) (1979), both reissued in 2016 on the Paradise of Bachelors label. His most recent and highly acclaimed Paradise of Bachelors reissue of Allen’s theater and radio work is Pedal Steal (2019). His new album Just Like Moby Dick will be released January 2020, also on Paradise of Bachelors. Allen has collaborated with David Byrne, Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Joe Ely, Don Everly, Butch Hancock, Bruce Nuaman, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Lucinda Williams, and his songs have been covered and championed by the likes of Bobby Bare, Ryan Bingham, Richard Buckner, Jason Isbell, Little Feat, Sturgill Simpson, and Kurt Vile. Terry Allen lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife, actor and writer Jo Harvey Allen.

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Terry Allen

Tinsley Ellis Serves ‘Ice Cream In Hell’ on January 31, 2020

2019 Beth Hart wide

World-renowned Atlanta-based blues-rock guitar virtuoso, soulful singer and prolific songwriter Tinsley Ellis will release his highly-anticipated new Alligator Records album, Ice Cream In Hell, on Friday, January 31.

Filled with blazing, every-note-matters guitar playing over the course of 11 instantly memorable original songs, Ice Cream In Hell is, according to Ellis, the most raw-sounding, guitar-drenched album of his career. Throughout the album, Ellis’ deeply emotional, lyrical guitar solos perfectly match his fervent vocals.

Recorded in Nashville and produced by Ellis and his longtime co-producer Kevin McKendree (John Hiatt, Delbert McClinton), Ice Cream In Hell is a cathartic blast of blues-rock power. Though inspired by all three Kings (B.B., Albert and Freddie), as well by Carlos Santana, Hound Dog Taylor and others, Ice Cream In Hell is pure, unadulterated Tinsley Ellis. The songs range from the nod to Stax-era Albert King, “Last One To Know,” to the Peter Green-flavored “Everything And Everyone,” to the Hound Dog Taylor-esqe romp “Sit Tight Mama,” before ending with the hair-raising, slow-burning ballad “Your Love’s Like Heroin.”

Ever since he first hit the road 40 years ago, Ellis has traveled enough miles, he says, “to get to the moon and back six times.” He’s released 17 previous solo albums, and has earned his place at the top of the blues-rock world one performance at a time. His imaginative songs tell stories of common, shared experiences in uncommon ways, all fueled by his high-octane, infectious, hard-rocking guitar playing. Live, Ellis has captivated and amazed fans in all 50 United States, as well as in Canada, throughout Europe, Australia and South America.

Born in Atlanta in 1957, Ellis was raised in southern Florida. He acquired his first guitar at age seven, soon after seeing The Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. He took to it instantly, developing and sharpening his skills as he grew up. Ellis discovered the blues through the back door of British Invasion bands like The Yardbirds, The Animals, Cream and The Rolling Stones as well as Southern rockers like The Allman Brothers.

On the advice of a friend’s older brother in 1974, Tinsley and his pals went to see B.B. King live, sitting transfixed in the front row. When B.B. broke a string on his guitar Lucille, he changed it without missing a beat, and handed the broken string to Ellis. After the show, B.B. came out and talked with fans, mesmerizing Tinsley with his warmth and kindness. Tinsley’s fate was sealed; he had to become a blues guitarist. And to this day, he still has the string.

Now, with Ice Cream In Hell, Tinsley Ellis will again hit the highway, bringing his roof-raising, road-tested music to fans wherever they may be. “A musician never got famous staying home,” says Ellis, who continues to perform over 150 nights a year. “I’ve seen it all,” the Atlanta native says of his four decades on the road. “And a lot of my audience has been along for the entire time. It’s not always easy. But the payoff is the music. That’s the ice cream.”

Tinsley Ellis

Hot Online Poker

Hot Online Poker

Poker Play World

With World Poker Tour becoming such a hit Poker Play World was built as a refuge for adults seeking the hottest gambling and adult entertainment the web has to offer. The

Over a year ago while sitting in front of the computer surfing the web for Adult entertainment when the idea was born to create a true one stop site just for adults only, after seeing how cheesy some of the sites looked. Gambling and adult entertainment exists and at Poker Play World is tastefully shown. There would be only the most reputable and big money games available.

The creator of Poker Play World being a Woodstock baby from the era of Jimi Hendrix,the Rolling Stones (when they were really raw! ), Janis Joplin etc. as well as being an avid poker player, had a broader vision. Create an environment where gambling and adult entertainment being intertwined tastefully. The perfect example would be the great success of Las Vegas entertainment and gambling for adults. With this in mind he decided to build entertainment sites for adults only with a unique model.

Only the hottest companies would be placed under one site. The idea was to create a place where not having money wasn’t always an option .The theme of the site is to have fun, therefore there are plenty of free galleries,free adult games, free adult chat,free dating,free movies,etc. for adults to have fun. There is a astrology and meditation section,golf section,advice section,for adult entertainment. The creator of the site stated, “We don’t advertise to kids, and make it a point to focus on adults only” ! So far there are over 7000 top adult entertainment and gambling sites like Poker .com, Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, Adult friend finder, Girls Gone Wild, Poker Room, Full Tilt, etc. This is indeed a true one stop for adults !

World Premiere Video: Eric Schenkman “Agent Orange Blues”

2019 Shaun Murphy 2

You may have seen Eric Schenkman, on stages before thousands of fans worldwide with the Spin Doctors. He is one of the band’s not-so-secret weapons — a vital songwriter and a virtuoso guitarist who crafted the ‘90s band and co-wrote all five of their Top 100 hits. He also worked with Chico HamiltonCarly SimonNatalie MerchantNoel ReddingPhoebe Snow and Corky Laing, among many other notable musicians.

His self-produced third solo album, WHO SHOT JOHN? showcases the many sides of Schenkman from raw, rockin’ blues to funk/soul/pop. With its elemental lineup of guitar, bass and drums, and songs that seldom stray beyond three chords it’s radio-friendly and familiar enough to draw listeners in. After that, the complexities reveal themselves. The proof is in the beats, in the intimacy of those late nights onstage and through every moment of WHO SHOT JOHN? Every track digs in deep and doesn’t let go, thanks to Schenkman’s voice, commanding guitar and powerfully emotional lyrics.

WHO SHOT JOHN? is both classic and immediate. And, as Schenkman would likely admit, it’s overdue. “I’ve been playing the Ontario blues circuit for about a decade,” he explains. “I have this long history as a guitarist in relationship to the blues up here in Canada. And I’ve been writing songs in a couple of different idioms. So WHO SHOT JOHN? comes from a convergence of my three worlds — vocals, guitar and songwriting. It’s about my life. Where I’m at now.”

Schenkman nailed the grooves with long time pals, drummers Van Romaine (Enrique Iglesias) and Cody Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) and co-producer/bassist Shawn Kellerman (Lucky Peterson), working in studios in Newark, NJ, Kitchener, NY and Memphis, TN. Each track crackles with the live energy he has cultivated for the last 30+ years on stage. Schenkman attributes this both to his choice of songs and to the caliber of his fellow musicians.  “All of us are live players. These guys love to play live. You can feel that throughout the album.”

As for “Agent Orange Blues,” in the Relix Sessions Schenkman introduced it thus, “Yeah, this song’s called ‘Agent Orange Blues.’ Why? Cuz that’s why.”

The video is a hectic blend of live footage overlain by 80s style animation of the band. It serves well the frenetic rockin’ message that is “Agent Orange Blues.” We’re proud to bring it to you first.

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Eric Schenkman

Keeping the Blues Alive Awards 2020 Winners Announced

2019 Shaun Murphy 2

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Since The Blues Foundation was founded in 1980, it has held the mission of preserving and promoting blues around the world, and this year’s Keeping the Blues Alive Award honorees demonstrate just how successful the organization has been over the past four decades. The nine individuals and organizations receiving KBAs in 2020 don’t just hail from the blues’ traditional territory of the American South but from such far-reaching blues outposts as Denmark, Poland, and Colombia.

The KBA Awards, chosen annually by a select panel of blues professionals, salutes those who have played crucial roles in advancing the art and commerce of blues. This year’s esteemed honorees will be recognized for their achievements at the Keeping the Blues Alive Awards brunch, taking place on Friday, January 31, 2020, 10:30 a.m., in the Holiday Inn Memphis-Downtown Ballroom.

The KBA ceremony represents just one part of The Blues Foundation’s 36th Annual International Blues Challenge. The IBC Week kicks off Tuesday, January 28, 2020 with International Showcase performances on historic Beale Street, and concludes with the finals at Memphis’ Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, February 1 at 12 noon. More than 800 musicians will arrive in Memphis from all across the globe to battle for glory — along with prizes and bookings — in the International Blues Challenge, the world’s largest and most renowned blues music competition. Showcases, jams, panels, workshops, and master classes will occur daily up and down Beale Street, with the music jamming on into the wee hours after the IBC challenger performances conclude each evening.

To purchase an International Blues Challenge Pass and final seating upgrades, along with tickets to the Keeping the Blues Alive Awards Brunch and Ceremony, please visit this link: IBC and KBA Tickets

The 2020 Keeping the Blues Alive Awards recipients are:


Well known to thousands of musicians in Europe and the United States, Peter Astrup has dedicated his life to establishing, and expanding, the blues music scene in his native Denmark and throughout Europe. After two decades of producing and promoting blues events in Europe, he founded the Frederikshavn Blues Festival in that northern Danish port city in 2006. Recently renamed the Blues Heaven Festival, this premier blues event now attracts audiences from 17 countries to enjoy performances by 15 blues, soul, and gospel bands over two full days. In 2018, Astrup launched a second festival, Blues Paradise, that is held the same weekend as the Frederikshavn event. His dedication to blues music has been widely recognized and he has been honored with many awards and accolades, including the French website ZicaZic’s International Festival of the Year in 2018 and the 2018 Danish Music Award as Hoochie Coochie Man of the Year for being a pioneer of blues music in Denmark.


Dr. Rob Bowman, associate professor of music at Toronto’s York University, is an accomplished blues educator lauded for his scholarship as well as for his support of Toronto’s blues music community and his involvement in Canada’s prestigious Juno Awards. A six-time Grammy nominee, Dr. Bowman received the 1996 Best Album Notes Grammy® for his 47,000-word monograph in the 10-CD box set The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 3: 1972-1975. In 1998, he won the prestigious ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thompson Award for his book Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records, which was inducted into The Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame in 2013. Dr. Bowman has written liner notes for more than 88 blues releases, has been published in distinguished academic journals, and has produced compilations by Isaac Hayes, Carla Thomas, Lou Reed, Otis Redding, and Booker T. & the MG’s. Besides teaching the blues in university classrooms, as he has since 1978, he also currently mentors and manages the award-winning Toronto blues band Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar.


The Cali Blues & Folk Festival is a signature event of the Centro Cultural Colombo Americano in Cali, Colombia. Founded in 1954, this nonprofit binational center is dedicated to enhancing the friendship between Colombia and the United States through an array of arts, cultural, and English language education programs. In 2007, the Centro began the Cali Blues & Folk Festival, which presents blues artists from the USA, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, and Colombia. Its substantial education and community outreach initiatives include the formation of the Colombian Blues Society in 2014. U.S. blues artists such as Michael “Hawkeye” Herman, Rich DelGrosso, J.P. Soars, and Jon Del Toro Richardson have co-led blues education master classes and educational workshops with local artists that annually attract 500-plus youths (from elementary schools through universities) in eight cities during the festival. Sustained by partnerships with the Mayor’s Office and the Secretary of Culture and Tourism, the Valle del Cauca Promotion of Cultural Programs, the Colombia Ministry of Culture, and the U.S. Embassy, the Cali Blues & Folk Festival has networked with other Colombian festivals to expand performing opportunities for their nation’s blues musicians.


Operating out of the circa-1923 GM&O freight depot building in downtown Jackson, Mississippi, Hal & Mal’s USA Blues Club was founded in 1985 by brothers Hal White (now deceased) and Malcolm White, current director of the Mississippi Arts Commission. While Hal & Mal’s has presented all types of music, the main focus has been blues and R&B. The club, in fact, was one of the first white-owned venues in central Mississippi to book black bands. Albert King was their first act, and B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Little Milton, Mose Allison, James Brown, Charlie Musselwhite, Buckwheat Zydeco, Johnny Winter, R.L. Burnside, Pinetop Perkins, and Bobby Rush performed there over the years. For the past 13 years, Hal & Mal’s has partnered with the Central Mississippi Blues Society to host Blue Monday, a show/jam featuring local blues talent as well as visiting musicians who come to play with the Blue Monday Band. With more than three decades of blues music history, the venue has been identified by scholars as deserving of a Mississippi Blues Trail marker from the Mississippi Blues Commission; installation of the marker currently awaiting funding.


In 1994, the father-and-son team of Benedykt Kunicki and Oskar Kunicki founded the Jimiway Blues Festival in Ostrów Wielkopolski, Poland. Named in tribute to Jimi Hendrix, this nonprofit initiative is rooted in the mission of presenting a broad spectrum of blues music styles. Music enthusiasts travel from far and wide to attend this two-day event, which is held annually on the third weekend of October. The festival contains a diverse lineup of live concerts, jam sessions, and exhibits of music photos. Internationally renowned blues artists including Sugaray Rayford, Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, Kenny Neal, Joe Louis Walker, John Németh, Curtis Salgado, Nick Moss, Coco Montoya, Tommy Castro, Toronzo Cannon, Mr. Sipp, Lucky Peterson, and Albert Cummings have performed at Jimiway. Its organizers also are devoted to showcasing Polish blues stars and promising young blues acts as a way to bring together multiple generations of musicians and fans.


Dr. Janice Johnston has been an advocate for blues musician health since becoming involved with The Blues Foundation in 2013. As the chairperson of The Blues Foundation’s HART Fund, Dr. Johnston has worked tirelessly to expand the offerings of this fund, which was established to ensure that blues musicians can get the resources needed to secure healthcare for both acute and chronic conditions. She spearheads the free health screenings originally held as part of the International Blues Challenge and Blues Music Awards and that now have expanded to other music festivals and conferences. Dr. Johnston regularly negotiates on behalf of musicians to lower their costs for services, and seeks outpatient assistance programs so that musicians can independently continue their care. She also helped develop teams of volunteers in Memphis, Nashville, Las Vegas, and other cities, along with coordinating the hiring of registered nurses to support the program where volunteers were not available. Blues musicians the world over continue to benefit from her ongoing health advocacy on their behalf.


Established in 1995, this Georgia-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization was founded “to preserve blues heritage through cultural arts by nurturing the soul of the blues with historical blues education programming.” Jus’ Blues has promoted that education to youths and performing artists in communities nationwide and around the world. The foundation acknowledges the originators of the blues by archiving and preserving the legacy of those artists, and also honors those under-the-radar musicians who are still performing in the blues and soul traditions. The foundation has expanded its goals by recognizing the best in blues and soul music artistry through the annual Jus’ Blues Music Awards and Conference, while also establishing itself as a prominent leading blues and soul music advocacy and outreach organization.


Located in Louisville, Kentucky, the Kentuckiana Blues Society was founded in 1988 with the goal to preserve, promote, and perpetuate the blues tradition in all its forms. Through extensive research and documentation, the KBS has made major inroads in authenticating the history of the blues in Louisville. Their work has resulted in the discovery of valuable rare photos and interviews, as well as the locations of many early blues-related sites. From its inception, the KBS also has played an active role in the local blues scene. Albert Collins, Pinetop Perkins, Henry Townsend and other blues greats were all able to appear in Louisville under the auspices of the KBS. Since 1988, the KBS has been involved with, and supportive of, multiple local events including the Garvin Gate Blues Festival, the Germantown-Schnitzelburg Blues Festival, and the Louisville Blues & Barbecue Festival. Through its historical work and present day community involvement, KBS reveals a strong commitment to keep blues tradition flourishing so that generations to come will be able to know and appreciate this style of music.


One of the world’s preeminent blues DJs, Kathleen Lawton has hosted the radio show Crazy ’Bout the Blueson San Mateo-based KCSM-FM since 1988. It can be heard live on terrestrial radio at 91.1 FM, and streaming via the Internet, every Friday from 9 p.m. until midnight Pacific time. The program has also aired on Radio Free America for the past several years. As a result, Lawton’s listenership extends beyond the Bay Area to blues fans worldwide, from Montevideo to Mumbai and Miami. Lawton received the Blues DJ of the Year Award in 2004 from the Bay Area Blues Society. While jazz is KCSM’s core music, Lawton’s mission has been to show listeners how the roots of jazz, and so much modern music, lie in the blues, from Son House and Hop Wilson right up to the Cash Box Kings and Howell Devine. Above all, she aims to entertain and delight all during her three-hour Friday-night show with the passion, wit, wildness, and diversity of the blues — plus gospel, zydeco, and soul music —and make her listeners become “crazy ’bout the blues.”

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In addition to the KBA Awards brunch and the multitude of IBC performances leading up to the February 1 finals, The Blues Foundation also has programmed a variety of seminars, showcases, master classes, film screenings, book signings, exhibits, networking events, and receptions that musicians, blues professionals and fans can attend. On Wednesday, January 29, The Blues Foundation hosts a noontime book signing by Janiva Magness for her recently published autobiography Weeds Like Us. Wednesday also features the Blues Society workshop “How to Write a Successful Grant,” while IBC Musician Workshop “Managing Your Career, Insights from Bobby Rush” will take place on January 30.

The IBC’s Keynote Panel, Friday, January 31, 2:30 p.m. at Alfred’s on Beale, will address “Blues Women — Creators, Connectors, Catalysts.” Author Dr. Marie Trout (The Blues: Why It Still Hurts So Good) will serve as moderator with panelists including the BMA-winning blues musician/educator/activist Gaye Adegbalola, award-winning media consultant and founder of the African American Public Relations Collective, Gwendolyn Quinn, and Grammy-winning producer and co-founder of Omnivore Recordings, Cheryl Pawelski.

The Blues Foundation will again host health screenings for diabetes, cholesterol, PSA, Hepatitis C and other conditions free of charge to IBC musicians and attendees. This year, for the first time, onsite behavioral health consultations with psychiatrist, Dr Rebecca Dulit will be available for those desiring evaluation. MusiCares will be on site too as a partner to provide custom ear molds to those who qualify. Sponsored by The Blues Foundation’s HART (Handy Artist Relief Trust) Fund, these screenings will be provided on Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30 from noon-2:30 p.m. on the second floor of Club 152 (152 Beale Street).

The Blues Foundation

Dreaming Of Playing Blues Guitar Chords Like A Pro?

Dreaming Of Playing Blues Guitar Chords Like A Pro?

You know what they say: ”If you’ve got the blues, you’ve got the juice.” Indeed, blues guitar music is the Mecca of all guitar music. After all, you can’t get any better than that head bobbing and feet tapping rhythm that courses through your very soul like a fine wine or a hot cup of coffee.

Blues guitar chords and guitar lessons, anyone?

There are several reliable blues guitar chords and guitar lessons online and offline. These are all managed by experienced and schooled guitarists. Online sites can have you playing the blues faster than ordinary lessons. Once you sign up for instructions, you will be regularly provided with progressive guitar coaching. There are also sites that offer 200 lessons for exclusive members.

If you want to learn speed guitar playing with your blues guitar chords, the Internet is a minefield for sites that hasten your accomplishments with the trickier aspects of guitar playing – fingering, phrasing, and picking, useful techniques if you dream of playing like the greats, such as BB King, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and blues rocker Anna Popovic.

The homepages of several sites have a list of lessons for beginners, intermediate, advanced, and legendary. Each category is marked by a number of guitars graphic. Two to three guitars indicate the difficulty level of the lesson, so start with the appropriate tutorial. And no, skipping levels won’t help you. You’re only fooling yourself.

Learning blues guitar chords

Learning blues guitar chords online affords you flexibility of time. You can schedule the hour for your training according to your free time. Learning or slacking, it’s your call. Take note, however, that you have to be consistent with your lessons. A daily dose of guitar instruction will have you playing like a pro in no time.

Of course, you must have a guitar to practice on. If you don’t have one, well, go get one, otherwise you’re a sitting duck. Playing blues guitar chords are often demonstrated online to give you an idea how the chords are played. The instructor gives explanations before, during, and after the demonstration. Your background information, basic guitar skills, and understanding of the triads are essential tools for your advanced training.

If you have just started fundamental lessons or still feeling your way around guitars, learning the blues guitar chords will definitely not be a piece of cake. But fear not because frequent practice makes perfect. Set an hour or two for added lessons in blues guitar chords. Know the basics, practice and prepare, then go learn those blues guitar chords. And yes, definitely in that order.

How do I learn the tricks with blues guitar chords?

First, you need an acoustic or electric guitar. These should have steel strings and have the standard tuning of E-A-D-G-B-E. You must have the aptitude to read tablatures. A good chord book and some blues music CDs, preferably of your blues heroes, will help you along, or at least, inspire you. The last and most significant tool you need is your ability to discern the tonal quality of the guitar.

The step-by-step blues guitar tutorials will take you along the 12 chord progression, via audio examples, blues tablature, MP3 jam tracks, detailed instructions, and video demonstrations.
You will need to master the primary elements – pentatonic scale, chord structure, and the different right hand rhythm styles. As you go along, make sure you are absorbing the blues guitar chords dictionary, including visualizing chord arrangements on the guitar.

When you are ready, you will be introduced to the more complex diminished and augmented chords. Some cynics scoff at the idea of guitar scales lessons. But little do they know that the great guitarists have learned to add depth to their blues by applying their extensive knowledge and appreciation of scales. This also boils down to learning the organization of the fret board.

Playing the solo

Playing the solo starts with learning the rhythm part of the blues guitar chords. It can be compared to the blueprint that is used as a guide for solo blues artists. In solo playing, the notes are played one by one, and this is accompanied by the rhythm guitar. In contrast, the rhythm plays the note of one chord all at once or is plucked in progression.

So, with all that said, do you think you can be the next Jimi Hendrix with your blues guitar chords?

World Premiere Video: Chris ‘Bad News’ Barnes – I Drink Alone

2019 Shaun Murphy 2

Chris ‘Bad News’ Barnes is a live performer in every sense of the word. After logging over 2,000 stage shows with Chicago’s legendary Second City comedy troupe, Barnes has brought that expertise to the Blues concert stage.

Barnes specializes in Hokum Blues, a particular song type of American blues music. Hokum refers to a humorous song which uses extended analogies or euphemistic terms to make sexual innuendos. This trope goes back to early blues recordings, and ‘Bad News’ is on a mission from God, to resurrect the art form.

He started his comedic blues career at the tender age of 17, as the opening act at Terry Dunnes iconic NYC Blues Club, Tramps, where he would improvise original blues tunes based on audience suggestion, with wild harmonica riffs. Barnes opened for legendary Blues acts like Koko Taylor, Pinetop Perkins, Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith & Hound Dog Taylor. He then went on to write for Jim Belushi on Saturday Night Live, writing “Rappin Jimmy B” with Tom ‘Bones’ Malone penning the music.

Barnes then moved to Chicago to become a mainstage cast member with the Famed Second City Comedy Troupe and also wrote and recorded the satirical song “The Prez Rap” about the 1984 presidential elections which was produced by Dave Mason (TRAFFIC).

Then it was on to Hollywood were Barnes opened The Second City Santa Monica Theatre and also produced, wrote and directed The National Lampoon Lemmings II revue, performed in LA & at NYC’s Bottom Line with Chris Farley, Tim Medows, and Andy Richter, with Jimmy Vivino as Musical Director and Crispin Cioe’s Horn Arrangements.

After a successful prime time television career appearing on Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Life With Bonnie, According To Jim,and 30 Rock, Barnes has returned to his first love, the Hokum Blues.

On the Legendary.Rhythm & Blues Cruise #32, along with a crew of world-class musicians including special guest lead guitarist Gary Hoey & harmonica ace Steve Guyger,  Barnes delivered three amazing knockout shows. Grammy Award-winning producer Tony Braunagel and engineer Johnny Lee Shell of Ultratone Studios and the Phantom Blues Band, who were also on board playing with Taj Mahal, were able to record and capture the lightning energy of these shows.

We’re proud to present, along with VizzTone Label Group and BratGirlmedia, his fiery rendition of George Thorogood’s “I Drink Alone.”

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Chris ‘Bad News’ Barnes

*Feature image © John Stack Courtesy of BratGirlmedia

Rock Stars, Music Icons, Alcohol, and Drug Overdose

Rock Stars, Music Icons, Alcohol, and Drug Overdose

There is a saying that rock and roll stars live on the edge and drive in the fast lane.
Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, and Michael Hutchence of INXS did just that. They were music icons who lived on the edge. Sad to say, their fame and fortune also led to their untimely deaths. What’s more alarming is these stars die a few years after achieving fame. News of rock stars and other music icons dying young is alarming, because their deaths are associated with substance overdose.

A recent study conducted in Liverpool John Moores University showed that 1,050 American and European artists or so-called “icons” died earlier than average people. Of the 100 stars that died from 1956 to 2005, majority of these American “music icons” died at the age of 42 on average, while those from Europe passed away at 35 years of age. The reason? Unhealthy lifestyle, improper diet, drug addiction, and alcohol and substance abuse. In addition, part of the dilemma is living with the stress and anxiety associated with fame.

According to the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, drug and alcohol are the primary causes of many deaths of music stars, which accounted for one in every four deaths. Alcohol damages the body in many ways. It can affect the brain and can lead to poor coordination, faulty judgment, slowed reflexes, distorted vision, memory lapses, and blackouts. Alcohol can damage many organs in the body. It is absorbed directly in the bloodstream and raises the risk of acquiring life-threatening ailments like cancer. Extremely high doses of alcohol can even cause alcohol poisoning, coma, or even death.

It is a fact that many celebrities and music personalities are involved in the repeated and excessive use of drugs and substances. High doses of many illegal drugs can cause immediate life-threatening problems like heart attack, respiratory failure, and coma. The combination of drugs and alcohol are extremely dangerous. In addition, some drugs can have dangerous interactions with alcohol. The human body can only handle so many toxins at once, this is the reason why illegal drugs should not be taken with alcohol. There are times that drug can chemically interact with alcohol, when taken with alcohol it disperses faster in the bloodstream and take effect faster. These are the reasons why alcohol and drug overdose is one of the leading cause of death among music icons and many individuals.

The number of rock stars who died and are dying at a young age is cause of alarm for society because many artists are influential among children and young people. They want to be like them—the rock gods. The young people hero-worship them. They buy their albums, watch their concerts, and even try to dress like them. A lot young people want to be like rock stars. They want fame, money, and other expensive stuff. Young people of today want to be rock stars more than anything else. They want to sing loud songs, strum the guitars to produce loud music, and beat the drums real hard. The young people want to experience the euphoria that these rock icons claim they feel whenever they’re on stage. Sad to say, all the fame, fortune, and money were not able to change the fact that many rock stars and music icons died early.

Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain, and Michael Hutchence What went wrong? Were they overwhelmed by fame that they lost control of reality and turned to drugs and other banned substances? It is clear that these rock stars were not happy at all. Death in some ways make people more interesting and famous than they were still alive. However, dead rock stars are reminders of the pain and depression that may take place as side effects of fame.

Jack Mack & The Heart Attack – Live From Centennial Park, Atlanta 1996

2019 Beth Hart wide

Known and loved around the globe for being the “Hardest Working Band In Soul Business,” little did the band members of Jack Mack & The Heart Attack realize how well-earned that moniker had become.

It’s July 1996 and the band is engaged to perform at the XXVI Olympiad, the international multi-sport event being held in Atlanta, Georgia. As the band closed their set and performed their original tune, “I Walked Alone” in the early morning of 27 July, a pipe bomb exploded in very close proximity to the stage directly killing 1 person and injuring 111. The white noise aftermath of the bomb blast provides a stark backdrop to what could be the first time an act of domestic terrorism closed a live recording.

Resurrected from the ashes of that ill-fated event,the world finally gets to hear a recording of one of the greatest party bands ever to rock the house – Live From Centennial Park, Atlanta 1996 from Jack Mack & The Heart Attack. The album is released in conjunction with the new film Richard Jewell from Clint Eastwood and Warner Brothers (releasing December 13, 2019 in the USA). Playing out like the syllabus of a master class, the 11-song set details the prime elements needed to be a successful working dance band, which is precisely how they earned the moniker “the hardest working band in soul business” for 40 years. The high energy sound of five original tunes and six perfectly timed R&B and soul classics are designed to showcase each member of the band and ignite the crowd into a dancing frenzy.

In stark contrast to the unfolding tragedy, this set was recorded live for nearly 40,000 party goers to capture the energy of a high-octane band during a party extravaganza. Soulful vocals, a rock-and-soul rhythm section, and blazing horns tear up that hot and humid night in Atlanta that only an explosion could stop.  This collection of originals and classic soul covers places the listener smack in the middle of one of the world’s greatest parties that ends with a seminal and historic moment in American and Olympics history.

Alvino Bennett kicks off the primeval funk groove of ‘(We Got) More Soul’ with bass man Tim Scott and guitarist Andrew Kastner and John Paruolo on Hammond B3 falling in behind. The mighty Heart Attack horns of Lester Lovitt on trumpet and Bill Bergman on sax join in on the East Bay soul prototype first recorded by Dyke and the Blazers in 1968. They then deliver a message of social consciousness on a rousing dance beat for the first original tune, ‘Breaking Down The Walls.’ Broadcasting the simple message “given love, every child will grow strong,” vocalist TC Moses sings the praises of the fairer sex on the steamy R&B track, ‘A Woman Thing.’

The stirring performance of the Staples Singer’s standard, ‘I’ll Take You There,’ is the first of two songs chosen to be featured in the new film. Their extended version features a call out for solos on keys, guitar and bass, before the horns build up the big ending. The ultra-funky, ‘Something About Ya,’ makes its debut in the set that was later recorded on their 1999 studio album Arrhythmia and features dramatic interplay between the drums and horns. Saxophonist Bill Bergman and guitarist Andrew Kastner each take an extended solo on the Stax Records hit ‘Respect Yourself.’

No soul party would be complete without a James Brown track, and the band complies with a faithful and fun-loving rundown of ‘Sex Machine’ somehow fitting the Olympic Theme into the mix. The guitar driven, ’Living It Up,’ from their 1990 album, Jack It Up, surely kept the crowd on its feet. They dig deep into Reverend Al Green’s anthem ‘Take Me To The River‘ before blazing through an incredible 12-minute medley of Sly and the Family Stone classics moving seamlessly through the hits including ‘Simple Song,’ ‘Stand,’ ‘I Want To Thank You,’ and ‘I Want To Take You Higher.’ The group then debuted another original song, ‘I Walked Alone,’ which will also be included in the movie. Ovations for the sweet R&B love song reminiscent of those by Bobby “Blue” Bland, are cut short by the senseless bomb blast that cuts off the recording.

Some 40,000 people attended the Olympiad party on a sultry night in July. Let us hope that they will remember the blessing of music and joy delivered by Jack Mack & The Heart Attack above and beyond the tragedy that cut short their dynamic performance.

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Jack Mack & The Heart Attack

Richard Jewell Film

A Deluxe Reissue of the Band’s Cozy Self-Titled LP (Has Surely Come)

Looking back all these years later, it’s shocking that the Band made their self-titled second LP in a Hollywood hills pool house and not a steamy log cabin in the woods. Four out of five of the Band’s members were Canadian, recording songs about struggle and strife in rural early America while eating food from a kitchen that was previously owned by Sammy Davis Jr.

Down to its sepia-toned cover emblazoned with lyrics from the 1917 standard “Darktown Strutter’s Ball,” the 50th anniversary reissue of this Americana masterpiece stays true to its roots. Robbie Robertson had reservations about the studio remix, insisting to engineer Bob Clearmountain the importance of preserving the album’s “homemade” quality. As a result, the scruffy tracks sound cleaner and sharper, like they’ve been dusted and polished. The fireside lullaby “When You Awake” sounds as sweet as ever, while the late Richard Manuel’s visceral howling on “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” feels as if he’s in the room with you.

Though “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” evokes the Civil War, it’s just as relevant to hear in the Trump era. “Nothing that I have read, from Bruce Catton to Douglas Southall Freeman, from Fletcher Pratt to Lloyd Lewis, has brought home to me the overwhelming human sense of history that this song does,” Ralph J. Gleason wrote in our original review. It’s a time we remember oh so well.

Six of the 13 outtakes are previously unreleased, the highlights being the ragtime piano introduction on the alternative version of “Rag Mama Rag,” the rollicking instrumental mix of “Look Out Cleveland” and the sparkling, intimate a cappella/stripped down version of “Rockin’ Chair.” Despite its release nearly 20 years ago on the LP’s 2000 remix, the alternate take of “Whispering Pines” is still the most stunning outtake. The subtle beauty of Manuel’s vocal is hilariously interrupted within the first 40 seconds, as we hear “Who’s squeaking around in the beginning so much? Is it your chair, Richard?” before he starts up again.

As writer Anthony DeCurtis points out in the liner notes, the Band was one of the reasons Woodstock chose to locate the 1969 festival in Upstate New York. The Band’s set that Sunday evening was recently released on the massive Woodstock box set in August, but it fits cozily into this reissue as a time capsule, where they can be heard playing rustic, pioneer age music to a sea of muddy hippies challenging the Nixon administration.

The reissue may not be a treasure trove of unheard material, but the gems that echo the sounds of the American South are comforting and familiar. And that’s not a bad thing.

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