21 December 2006

Paul Butterfield (December 17, 1942 – May 4, 1987)

Paul Butterfield would have been 64 on 17 Dec 2006.
Above is a pic of him jamming with Norton Buffalo and James Cotton.
His music lives on and you could do everybody a favor by
putting a record or CD of his on and turning it up.

16 December 2006

The (1st) Jam at Biddy Mulligans - 14 Dec 2006

Well for only two weeks of organising I say we pulled off a fairly OK blues jam - thats right in just two weeks!

I had great support from John Bissett, Bryon Steenson and Bill Uruamo of the Hamilton Blues Society - they allowed us to use the PA gear. I approached the owner of Biddy Mulligans, Gordon, who was only too happy for us to jam there - he even gave away free beer on tap! Its interesting how this came about, Gordon's son was listening in to my Blues radio show and heard me mention we needed a venue, he told his father and Gordon called me. Now that's cool! (Hmmm, maybe I should mention on air that I need a larger house and a pay rise)

I drew up a poster and emailed it to friends who in turn forwarded it on. I asked those mentioned above, who form the 'River Rockers Blues Band', to come sit in and be the back line (drums, bass and guitar). I also asked a trio, John-guitar+v, Simon-double bass and Eric-drums, who form the band 'Johnny Stash', a rockabilly, blues/rock/ska/swing band to come sit in too. We kicked things off at about 8.30pm. I was late and found the RiverRockers had set up all the PA gear - opps, won't do that again.

As the night progressed we must have seen about 80 or so people turn up and stay till around 10.30 by which time people starting leaving. Performers included a guy on trombone, a male vocalist, a young drummer of only 17yrs, and yours truly on harp sitting in with the RiverRockers and Johnny Stash. The last song was performed at about 11pm with two guys still drinking who sang and played harmonica - "Shake Your Money Maker." Not bad for two weeks prep and emailing.

My observations about the Jam:
a) Atmosphere. It was pretty relaxed, which was a good thing, especially for the first jam. When more people show who want to perform then time frames may have to be regulated more.

b) Sound levels. This needs to be regulated so the softer performers get heard and the louder ones don't bring the second story down on top of us.

c) Ending long jams. I don't have all the answers but if you know how to end a long jam it would be good to know. You know how some jam songs can go on and on.

d) Jam Rules. I made up a list that had way too many rules. Should these be read out publicly or just left for people to read either on a paper or up on the wall? Basic rules I'd like for next time are: Blues Music; 3 songs or no longer than 20 minutes; Sound levels may be regulated; Jam as a band or join the house band.

e) The MC. Having an MC is good. Being the MC was hard case. I need to remember performers' names in future. The MC can inform the audience where things are heading, a valuable part of the jam that wasn't there so much in pervious years. The MC role can be shared around.

f) Music playing between sets. This was great, a little CD played hooked into the PA and CDs playing during sets, kept the crowd happy.

(If you were there and have any feedback for me as the MC or about any part of the jam then please forward it to me. The learning curve I'm on great! These are my opinions/observations - you don't have to agree with them.)

13 December 2006

Got my Mojo working: Muddy Waters Band with my favorite harmonica player Jerry Portnoy

Sharing harmonicas!!! I've always been told this is a No No.
I don't share my own harps, even with better players than me,
but then I'm not Jerry Portnoy or Junior Wells am I.

I could be misreading what I've just watched on this YouTube clip
but I swear Jerry is setting up a harmonica and mic for Junior Wells. Could it be one of Jerry's harps or maybe a brand spanking new harp! (yeah right!)

The scene is right at the end (sorry, don't know how to make clips

Try watching at about 6.06 (time wise), you'll see Junior
reintroducing Muddy Waters, asking him to return to the stage BUT take
special note of Jerry in the background, I'm sure he flicks a harp
from his back pocket, sets it up on the mic and right at the end of
the clip hands it out for Junior to take. I don't know if I'm seeing
this right but my question is: If Junior took the harp and mic from
Jerry did Junior know where the harp had just come from?

Wasn't/Isn't Jerry a smoker? Yuck!

6 November 2006

Rotorua BOP Blues Jam

Well worth going to imo!!!!! Heres the Harp Attack set. From left to right: Unknown Sax player from Rotorua, Peri Grant from Rotorua (Blue Smoke Band), Nate Taiapa from Hamilton, Unknown Harp Player from USA, Craig Bracken from Auckland (Darcy Perry Blues Band).

13 September 2006

Happy Birthday King BB

In preparing for radio show tonight I'm listening to BB King and am
being reminded exactly why he's called "King of the Blues". He has a
guitar playing style that soars above many others.

I wonder what a legendary Blues guitar player turning 81
will do on his birthday (16 September)?

I read somewhere that BB King can't sing and play Lucille at the same
time? Listening to his album "80" has me convinced otherwise.

31 August 2006

"Where the Coolest get their Coolness"


They are your one stop shop for rockabilly & swing clothes, bowling shirts, lounge wear, club wear, 50's styled retro clothes and nostalgia items inspired by the 1950's! Go take a look at Cool Clothes.

Click Daddy-O's

I had a pair of shoes like this once and loved wearing them. My shcool friends thought I was a little diferent, ahh heck, what would they know aye?!!

Diggers Acoustic Jam Night

Just heard that every first Tuesday night at
Diggers Cafe and Bar in Hood Street, Hamilton there is an acoustic jam night.
It starts at 8.30pm and a back up band will be present.
Sounds groovy. I'm sure the blues will surface there in due time.
Click here for the Diggers website.

I'm learning as I go...

I just made contact with Frank Black who has been doing blues radio for over 20 years...WOW!!! Check his website out here. I'm sure theres many others who have been around for a long time doing what they love, playing blues and hosting radio programmes. As a new DJ starting out I've reminded that it's all good - the mistakes and all! One thing I've learnt already is not to appologize for every slip up - heck listeners don't need to know what they don't know, he he. Like this week in the blues room I went to play my promo for the BOP Blues club I have on audio cd and to my horror it didn't work - total silence, ha HA! Hmmmm, yes a very long pause (sigh) So I played something else instead, luckily I had something near by, ready and available. I want to get to the skill level where I can prepare a prograamme in advance on my computer and have the studio computer play it without me present. That way I can relax at home and hear mty own show!!! When all is said and done (and yes I know alot more is said than done, my Dad keeps reminding me in his email footer!) I do enjoy being up in the studio doing a live show. I need more live acts people ... so what are you doing next wednesday night from 9pm, wanna join me in the blues room?

11 August 2006

Pink Champagne in the Blues Room

Click here to hear Steve and Cheryl's station call.
On their way up to the Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival(11-13 August), Cheryl and Steve O'Connor stopped in at Community Radio Hamilton to chat, play and sing awhile. And what a wonderful visit it was. Even though I had a lousy head cold, and still do, I enjoyed every minute and was so intrigued by the stories they shared. We managed to get an interview recorded which I'll play on air once I edit it, its peppered with them breaking out in songs that feature on their two released cds.

They told of how they met, began their musical careers and what influenced them. Gee, this kinda of interview needs to happen for every blues muso because I bet everyone has an interesting story to tell. As a matter of fact, it was John Lee Hooker that said "the blues is story."

The origins of Pink Champagne can be traced to the Sahara Desert in Libya back in 1977, where they performed to an expatriate social group who got together regularly to play music and put on performances for other expatriates. Steve had played in various blues and rock-oriented bands in the UK and when they came to New Plymouth, New Zealand in 1994, they formed a duo called Two's Blues. The name change to Pink Champagne came about after they were invited to take the ingredients for the drink "Pink Champagne" to a party, it was there that a friend suggested the name be suitable for their band. They thought so and adopted the name- it stuck - they are now composing and perfortheirthier own material, as well as covers of tfavoriteurite songs.

See that Dobro guitar of Steve's - 5000 bucks worth!!!! Wow, you wouldn't want to leave that lying around at the festival Steve!!

And thanks to Steve and Cheryl for that cool tee-shirt I'm wearing, how did they know I'd fit an XL??! The pizza supplied by the staff at Community Radio Hamilton was much appreciated and so necessary for my robusted figure, yummo!

Read more about this great blues duo and listen to samples from their CDs here.

The Latest Album: Stick To Yer Guns
Track Listing:
1 - Come On In (Stonebridge/McGunniess/Jones)
2 - Give It Up Or Let Me Go (B. Raitt)
3 - Do Your Duty (Wilson)
4 - Live Now, Pay Later (C. & S. O'Connor)
5 - Sometimes (C. O'Connor)
6 - Women Be Wise (Sippi Wallace)
7 - You Can Get A Steak At Home (C. & S. O'Connor)

Debut Album: Strike Me Pink
Track Listing:
1 - Pink Champagne (Liggins)
2 - You Can Love Yourself (K. Moore)
3 - Another Rainy Day in Taranaki (C. & S. O'Connor)
4 - Nothin' Clickin' Chicken (Lonnie Johnson)
5 - Five O'Clock Snoring Blues (C. & S. O'Connor)
6 - That's How Much I Love You Baby (more or less) (Edwards/Michaels/Cavallari)
7 - Tall Poppy (C. & S. O'Connor)
8 - God Bless the Child (Holliday and Herzog)
9 - Wild About That Things (Williams)
10 - The Devil Talks To Me Everyday (C. O'Connor)
11 - These Foolish Things (Marvell/Stachey/Link)
12 - Blue Room Blues (Johnson-Dunn)

1 August 2006

Community Radio Hamilton

Win Tickets To Charlie Musselwhite's NZ tour

01/08/2006 XtraMSN
Charlie Musslewhite is a howlin' blues legend who's still invigorated by a youthful spirit. His new album Delta Hardware is full of raw, passionate music that walks the line between rock and electric country blues. Having played with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker and Ben Harper and with six Grammy nominations to his name, Charlie is firmly entrenched in musical history.

Charlie is on his way to New Zealand in September to promote Delta Hardware and will be joined by fellow blues icons Midge Marsden and Bullfrog Rata.
The Delta Hardware Tour dates
Sept 08 - Invercargill, Civic Theatre
Sept 09 - Dunedin, Regent Theatre
Sept 11 - Christchurch, James Hay Theatre
Sept 13 - Greymouth, Regent Theatre
Sept 14 - Nelson, Nelson College
Sept 16 - Wellington, Opera House
Sept 17 - Palmerston North, Regent Theatre
Sept 18 - New Plymouth, Theatre Royal
Sept 20 - Napier, Municipal Theatre
Sept 22 - Tauranga, Bay Court Theatre
Sept 23 - Hamilton, Community Theatre
Sept 24 - Auckland, Sky City Theatre

XtraMSN has five fantastic Charlie Musslewhite prize packs - each containing two tickets to the show of the winner's choice from the New Zealand tour schedule as well as a copy of his latest album Delta Hardware - to give away.

To enter the Charlie Musslewhite competition simply email us at competitions@xtramsn.co.nz your name, address and phone number and the answer to the following question:
What is the name of Charlie Musslewhite's latest album?

Entries close midnight on Sunday, 27 August 2006 Terms & conditions. Conditions apply, see: http://xtramsn.co.nz/music/0,,13580-5928882,00.html

31 July 2006

Pic of Darcy Perry Blues Band

Here I am with the best Blues Band in the Land - New Zealand that is! The Darcy Perry Blues Band. February 2006 at the Hamilton Summer Festival, Hamilton Gardens. The band was launching their new CD "Heavy Rain", see more at: http://www.darcyperry.co.nz/ Also pictured, second from left, is Mike Butler, Blues DJ in Tauranga, NZ.