24 December 2007

The Rough Guide to the Blues

From the hardship suffered by black sharecroppers in the Mississippi Delta nearly a hundred years ago, the blues, a deep soulful music full of passion and rhythm, was born. Featuring a collection of legendary blues heroes recorded throughout the twentieth century, The Rough Guide to the Blues tells the story of how the blues began, developed and eventually became the roots of rock ’n’ roll.

Released in conjunction with the Rough Guide book of the same name and compiled by Nigel Williamson – author of the book and highly esteemed music journalist and biographer - The Rough Guide to the Blues is a strikingly comprehensive overview of this pivotal musical genre. From the early recordings of the Mississippi Delta to the dynamic rhythms of ‘50s Chicago blues and beyond, the album is an exhaustive ‘who’s who’ of the most significant names to have emerged from this heritage industry.

Starting in the 1920s with the earliest recorded blues artists, the album unfolds chronologically, opening with Mamie Smith – the first of the red-hot blues mamas – and ending with the supremely talented African bluesman, Ali Farka TourĂ© and a track from his 2006 album Savane, recorded just before he died and widely revered as his greatest masterpiece.

Artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton, Memphis Minnie and Blind Willie McTell represent the harsh earthy sound of the Delta, not forgetting the momentous influence of Robert Johnson, expressed here in his track ‘Crossroad Blues’.

Moving on from the plantations of the south and the early sounds of the bottleneck guitar, the recording heads north to Chicago, where a more urban style of blues popularized. Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf let rip with the blistering electric guitar sounds of 1950s’ Chicago, while T-Bone Walker represents the West Coast blues, based on an after-hours sound where singers crooned rather than shouted.

The foothold that blues gained in Europe is represented here by artists such as Elmore James, a hugely influential figure on the British blues boom of the 1960s and Sonny Boy Williamson, who moved to Britain in the 1960s to ensconce himself in the adulation that a new generation of fans was ready to bestow on its blues heroes. Furthermore, the album would not have been complete without tracks from blues giants John Lee Hooker, B.B. King and Buddy Guy and their acute influence cannot be stressed enough. In fact, Eric Clapton always maintained that the success he had with Cream owed largely to the music of Buddy Guy.

The evolution of rock n’ roll and its debt to blues is perhaps best represented by Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup’s track ‘That’s All Right’. This song was recorded by Elvis Presley on his first session for Sun Records in Memphis in 1954.

The final track on the album is Ali Farka TourĂ©’s ‘Erdi’, an acknowledgement that the blues can be traced back to Africa. Nowhere can this be heard more clearly than in the music of our late, great Malian guitarist. A reflective and poignant close to this extensive anthology.

4 November 2007

Doc Span tours New Zealand with Darcy Perry Band

Thurs, 22nd November. Lifeboat Tavern, Eastbourne, Lower Hutt. Wellington.
With Thomas Oliver Band.
Friday 23rd November. Good Morning Show, Avalon Studios. Wellington.
With Thomas Oliver Band.
Friday 23rd November. Harbour Light, Lyttelton, Christchurch.
With Theresa Nolan.
Sun, 25th November. The Crest, K’RD, Auckland.
Thurs, 29th November. Colosseum, Tauranga.
With Regan Perry & Joel Shadbolt.
Friday, 30th November. Biddy Mulligan’s, Hamilton.
With Mike Garner & Nate Taiapa.
Saturday, 1st December. Blues by the Beach - Waiomu Domain, Coromandel.
With Regan Perry.
Saturday, 1st December. Star & Garter, Coromandel Town.
With Regan Perry.

Early bird tickets at venues! Don't miss out.

For Hamilton Tickets email me!

22 October 2007

The Best of British Blues in Hamilton

This tribute to the best of British Blues will be one of the best you've seen or heard so don't miss it!

Featuring music by:
Eric Clapton
John Mayall
Fleetwood Mac
Gary Moore
Savoy Brown
The Animals
and much much more

Saturday 24th Nov, 8:30pm
Gables Tavern, Bryant Road, Hamilton

$10 Tickets from the Venue.

For your chance to WIN a FREE ticket tune into The Blues Room on Community Radio Hamilton (AM1206 or FM106.7) or online at www.communityradio.co.nz each Wednesday from 9pm until the event.

Proudly brought to you by WHITESTAR MANAGEMENT and Ian McCook.
For more info ask Ian: gatman51@yahoo.com.au

2 September 2007



The international headline acts from the Great Southern Blues & Rockabilly Festival in NAROOMA NSW, Australia are joining forces with our own NZ Blues Legends for a weekend of traditional and funky blues music for everyone.

Announcing the 2007 Official line up

From the USA

From NZ

NEWS FLASH - BILLY TK Jnr is no longer performing at this Festival.

A fantastic blend of international, national and local artists performing over the one weekend.

September 21-22-23

Friday 21st, 8.00 pm
Darcy Perry Blues Band
The Darcy Perry Blues Band has established themselves on the underground blues scene as a force to be reckoned with. Their award winning album (Don't Hold Back) has garnered righteous acclaim from critics and roots music fans alike. With a loyal following from their travels, fans can look forward to the next CD which the band will be recording in October at Revolver.

ROD PIAZZA & The Mighty Flyers
A California-based blues band leader, harmonica player, and singer, Rod Piazza's stratospheric harmonica wailings owe a heavy debt to both Little Walter and George "Harmonica" Smith. Piazza began his professional career as a member of the Dirty Blues Band in the mid-'60s. The Dirty Blues Band recorded two albums for ABC/Bluesway -- an eponymous debut in 1967 and 1968's Stone Dirty. Piazza left the band after the release of Stone Dirty, choosing to hit the road with his idol George "Harmonica" Smith instead.

Over the next decade and a half, Piazza and Smith performed together frequently under the name Bacon Fat; they also recorded the occasional album. In 1969, Bacon Fat released their eponymous debut album on Blue Horizon. While he was performing with Smith, Smith's health began to decline in the early '80s, Piazza assembled the Mighty Flyers -- with his wife Honey Alexander ..boards -- which began playing clubs in 1980.

Between 1981 and 1985, the Mighty Flyers released three albums: Radioactive Material (1981), File Under Rock (1984), and From the Start to the Finish (1985). During the early '80s, Piazza became a session musician, working with artists as diverse as Pee Wee Crayton and Michelle Shocked.

In the mid-'80s, he began a full-fledged solo career, releasing Harpburn on Murray Brothers in 1986 and So Glad to Have the Blues in 1988. Piazza and the Mighty Flyers signed a contract with Black Top Records in 1991; the label later re-released the group's albums on CD. Throughout the '90s, Piazza continued to record and perform with the Mighty Flyers, releasing the occasional solo album, like 1999's Here and Now. Beyond the Source appeared in 2001. Three years later the Mighty Fliers returned with keepin' it Real on the Blind Pig label featuring two new members, Paul Fasulo on drums and guitarist Henry Carvajal. ~ Cub Koda & Stephen Thomas Erlewine.

Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers

Saturday 22nd, 8.00 pm

Midge Marsden and Bullfrog Rata although Stars in their own right remain the number one Rhythm and Blues duo artist in NZ today. A combination of red-hot musicians and unbridled energy combine to guarantee a rage every show. Performing at the festival after their sell-out national tour with Charlie Musselwhite.

At least once in every man's life everything seems to come together magically. When the road leading to such times is long and grueling, the zenith becomes exponentially more rewarding. Bill Homans a.k.a. Watermelon Slim is the extraordinary wheel man behind this redemption story road trip.

In December 2006 Watermelon Slim garnered six 2007 Blues Music Award nominations for Artist, Entertainer, Album, Band, Song, and Traditional Album of the Year. Only the likes of B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Robert Cray have ever landed six. His self-titled release was ranked #1 in MOJO Magazine's 2006 Top 10 Blues CDs, won the 2006 Independent Music Award for Blues Album of the Year, hit #1 on the Living Blues Radio Chart, debuted at #13 on the Billboard Blues Radio Chart and won the Blues Critic Award for 2006 Album of the Year.

While laid up in a Vietnam hospital bed he taught himself upside-down left-handed slide guitar on a $5 balsa wood model using a triangle pick cut from a rusty coffee can top and his Army issued Zippo lighter as the slide. Watermelon Slim was inducted into the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame on May 27, 2007.

Watermelon Slim and the Workers

Sunday 24th
Gospel Blues
Heaven Bent Choir
Calvary Gospel Choir

8.00 pm
Gamble's powerful stage presence swiftly drew career-altering attention. Chris Hillman, a former member of legendary American band The Byrds, caught a Street Talk performance during a visit to New Zealand and. He's played support, at major concerts, to the likes of The Eagles, Joe Cocker, Talking Heads, Bonnie Raitt, Fleetwood Mac and Tina Turner. And he spent a period in America, on the brink of a major recording deal that never happened but he is a powerful reminder of the undiminished talent of one of our rock and blues music greats.

The Holmes Brothers will bring their Rockin' gospel to the Festival with a supercharged set. If you've not heard them, they are a not-to-be-missed trio who never fail to wreck the church/club The spine-tingling harmonies, boundless energy and telepathic musicianship of The Holmes Brothers (bassist/vocalist Sherman Holmes, guitarist/pianist/ vocalist Wendell Holmes, drummer/vocalist Popsy Dixon) mix Saturday night's roadhouse rock with the gospel fervor and harmonies of Sunday's church service. As Wendell says about their blend of the secular and the sacred, "Jesus turned water into wine, not wine into water."

USA Today calls The Holmes Brothers' vision of American roots music "masterful and convincing." Entertainment Weekly says, "The Holmes Brothers are juke-joint vets with a brazenly borderless view of American music." Their chilling harmonies resonate with a passion and conviction matched only by their inspired musicianship and their ability to perform sanctified gospel, low-down roadhouse blues, deep soul, Americana/country and pure pop—all in one set. They've recorded with Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel, Odetta, Phoebe Snow, Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash, Levon Helm and Joan Osborne, and have gigged all over the world—even performing for President Clinton.

The Holmes Brothers

Concert Dates – SkyCITY Theatre Auckland

Friday 21 September 2007, 8.00 PM

Saturday 22 September 2007
2.00 PM
NEWS FLASH - Billy TK Jnr is NO longer performing at this Festival.

8.00 PM

23 September 2007
12.00 PM

8.00 PM
For tickets
Ph 0800-ticketek



Proudly brought to you by
Brian Richards
Managing Director

PO Box 100277
NSMC Auckland 0745
New Zealand

tel:+ 64 9 479 2217
fax:+ 64 9 479 2817
mobile:+ 021 293 9724

23 August 2007

Blues Revue - The World's Blues Magazine

For a long time I've had my eye on this magazine and now I finally get to read it -at home and not just from the book stand.

Yip, I splashed out $20NZ and bought the Aug/Sept copy. Boy am I glad I did! I'm so happy with this magazine that I went online and subscribed for a year.

Features include:
  • Columns from top blues people such as Bob Margolin and Doug McLeod (hey, thats the same Doug that's been here to NZ!)
  • Guitar instruction
  • Harmonica instruction
  • New and Reviews
  • Concert reviews
  • CD reviews (stacks of em)
  • Feature articles - Aug/Sep highlight: Johnny Winter, James Blood Ulmer, Deanna Bogart, Matt Schofield and the 2007 Blues Music Awards
And much much more. I had to add the much much more because there is much much more like colour photos & classifieds, links to websites and stuffs a blues lover would love.

18 July 2007

M Y S P A C E . C O M - Is it really my space?

OK, so it took me a while to cotton on to what all the hype was about regarding this MySpace thang. To be honest I wasn't interested. I had no time for MySpace, I was trying to work out to use this Blogger site!

So I finally joined and now I'm converted. I dig MySpace for what it offers me FREE of charge. However, I'm not so sure it's altogether 'my space' entirely. I guess I was a little naive to think I would have a place on the web where I get to control of what happens. Well to a large extent I can control my profile, I have the power to edit as I please, but I don't have control over who decides to SPAM me! And once spam arrives it then become MySpam!

Some 17year old Thug Rapper from India inviting me to subscribe to his blog of which there was none. An artist, well-intentioned I'm sure, wanting me to view her work (which I don't fancy in the least) and some then theres the folk who want to send you every minute on the minute a floral e-card with some deep and meaning quote like: Soar with the Eagles - Reach your Potential.

Anyways, if you're reading this you yourself might be wondering just what am I doing by writing this? Point taken, heres my likes and dislikes about MySpace(MS) so far, they might change next month.

  • Networking -MS has put me in contact with so many people from around the globe that I would not have met otherwise. Varied people of all ages, cultures and creeds with interests both similar and otherwise.
  • It FREE - Yay!
  • Music - MS is growing in terms of band and musician profiles plus many of them have samples of their music and FREE mp3s for downloading.
  • SPAM - theres a feature once you join whereby all the people you accept as your friends can post you (and all their friends) a bulletin. These bulletins don't show up on your profile which is great. And then what comments do show up on your profile can be deleted if they aren't to your liking.
  • Cumbersome - to start with it was a nightmare! But once I found my way around it was fine. I learnt quickly that if theres something I see that I like by someone else I just need to ask them how they did it. I've made two great friends this way - they are now invaluable.
  • SPAM
Check out my M Y S P A C E . C O M profile

9 July 2007

KOKOMO - Music with attitude, blues and beyond

KOKOMO have been a steady arm of NZ blues and on their latest album, Kokomo - a gogo, recorded LIVE during two concerts at Baycourt Theatre, NZ you get to see why. Although the only new song is "Home Of The Blues" a song about the hurricanes and flooding in New Orleans which happened a couple of months before the concert, nearly all the other songs are considerable rearrangements of - and improvements on - their original version. The band all agree that this is their best album so far.

Hear their new album here http://www.kokomo.co.nz/html/kokomo_a_gogo.html

And hear Derek Jacombs LIVE in the Blues Room on air with me this Wednesday, from 9pm.

2 July 2007

Bay of Islands Jazz & Blues Festival, Northland, NZ - 2007

AUGUST 10, 11 &12

Every year jazz and blues musicians gather from all over New Zealand and overseas for the annual Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival. The many venues in Paihia, Waitangi and Haruru Falls host over 150 hours of quality jazz and blues during the three-day event.

There are more than 50 acts featured.

Street performances, in Kawakawa - Jazz on the Steam Train, Paihia and Russell each morning add to the atmosphere of the festival. Street performances in the towns of Kawakawa, Paihia and Russell each morning add to the flavour of the festival.

Admission into the venues will be by badge only unless stated, they can be purchased at all Venues, B.O.I. ‘I’ Site in Paihia 0800 363 463 and Wards Music Shop in Whangarei 09 438 9063 or online www.jazz-blues.co.nz

Badges cost $40 which includes a programme, access to all venues during the weekend and shuttle buses between the venues at Paihia, Waitangi and Haruru Falls.

The 2007 programme will be available closer to the festival dates - August 10, 11 and 12.

Your chance to WIN free festival packages!
!! Badges, transport, accomodation and Dolphin cruises !!
Tune in to The Blues Room on Wednesdays from 9pm up until August for your chance to WIN.
Community Radio Hamilton
AM1206 & FM106.7
Or online www.communityradio.co.nz

For more information on the Bay of Islands Jazz & Blues Festival programme, contact: Shirley May,
phone 09 404-1063
email maysplace@actrix.co.nz

30 June 2007

Sugar Blue

Click above image to hear samples of CODE BLUE

I first heard Sugar Blue for the first time back in the 80s.
I knew then that he was onto something.
The track that first introduced me to his talent and skill
was the LIVE cut, 'Another Man Done Gone'
on the1982 Montreux Jazz Festival album.

This song still remains one of my all time favorites!

Beeble Music is proud to announce the long awaited new release from Sugar Blue, one of the blues world’s most distinctive and acclaimed harmonica virtuosos!

The new material is phenomenal!

Sugar Blue, backed by the talents of Rico McFarland, James Knowles and Jesse Cross laid the new tracks in Sweet Home Chicago. Additional work has been recorded and mixed in Paris and Milan and the result is a very diverse, soulful, mature and powerful work.

Some songs are pure Sugar Blue, harmonica raging like a lion
and cutting like a razor!

Sensuous sounds and simmering melodies rock solid rhythms
to groove you to the bone!

There are chromatic harp solos and stark new concepts that reflect
his renewed creative fire and continued commitment to cutting edge creativity.
His vocals mellow yet ferocious have grown. His lyrics are profound, introspective
and outward looking at the same time.

CODE BLUE brings on the resurgence of one of harmonica great masters!

CODE BLUE comes from the heart of tradition and the soul of an innovator!!

Listen to the tracks on www.sugar-blue.com/codeblue.html

18 June 2007

Mr Superharp - James Cotton

James CottonMy Babe

Cotton is truly a living blues legend, with a career spanning 63 years. Some of his many accomplishments include: A Grammy in 1996 (and nominated for 3 other's); 7 WC Handy Awards/Blues Music Awards; induction into the Smithsonian Institution and the Blues Hall of Fame; The Blues Foundation's Howlin' Wolf Award; Honorary and Lifetime member of the Sonny Boy Blues Society; and the Premier Harmonica Player Awards for 1999 and 2000 awarded by the Memphis Chapter of the National Academy of Record Arts and Sciences.

"Superharp", as he has been known, had his first radio show in 1952 and has recorded more than 20 of his own albums/cd's, in addition to countless others in which he has appeared.

He played and toured with his surrogate father, Sonny Boy Williamson, was Muddy Waters' harp player from 1954 through 1966, and also played with Howlin' Wolf. His live shows are legendary, to this day.

Now all I need is for him to come to New Zealand, before it's TOO LATE!

13 June 2007

GrOoVin wiTh dELta GrOOvE PrODucTiONs

Delta Groove Productions have always been a great source of good blues since I found out about them a few years back.

Check out the great reviews of new releases here.

I think you'll be satisfied like me.

I even see they have put my feedback up on their site, man I love that! Here I am, little ole' skankin' mojo man in the heart of the Waikato doing a blues radio show and yet, because of the internet, what I have to say can be heard way over on the other side of the world.

On that note, it must be way cool to have your music listened to and appreciated by people all over the world. Oh to be that influential!

I'll be playing so me of the Delta Groove Productions I have in my collection tonight on the Blues Room.

Al Blake ~ Randy Chorkoff ~ John Long


As well, I'm going to try and get in contact with Simen Taylor, one of the best Boogie Woogie pianists I know of in New Zealand, the other is Jan Preston, although I don't think she's residing in New Zealand (Australia I think).


10 June 2007

"It's not right! ...Mom!" says Paris Hilton

The Negro tenant farmer is the descendant of the slave. For generations, he has lived in mortal fear of the white boss in the cotton country. He has seen his women violated and his children humiliated. He himself has been discriminated against, cheated, whipped, and held forcibly in an inferior position. Every white face he sees is a reminder of his brother's mutilation, burning, and death at the stake. He has no recourse at law, because he is denied the right of trial by his peers. The Negro tenant farmer on a plantation is still a slave (Caldwell 11). Source link

According to a recent Justice Department report on America's jail population, women make up about 10 percent of the America's inmates. There are now more women than ever serving time, and black women make up a disproportionate number of those women. They are twice more likely than Hispanic, and over three times more likely than white women, to be jailed. In fact, black women have almost single-handedly expanded the women's prison-industrial complex.

Female prisoners face the added peril of rape, and insensitive treatment during pregnancy. A United Nations report in 1997 found that more than two dozen states permitted pregnant women to be shackled while being transported to hospitals for treatment. Source Link

Paris Hilton was ordered back to jail Friday.

"It's not right! ...Mom!"—Paris Hilton, after a judge ordered her to be returned to jail to complete her term for probation violation.

Many have cried Paris, many have cried.

And what, are we supposed to feel sorry for Paris now that
shes seen here crying in public and on her way to the clinker.

I think jail will be good for Perez.


Least she gets a break from her busy
schedule and some down time!!!

She is a white privileged woman who gets to leave
prison alive and return to her wealthy empire.

And whats more, I loath people who drink and drive.
Their choice to do so puts me, my family and others' safety in jeopardy.

Nuff said on that one.

Go watch the Paris Jail Song, just havin' a dig!

7 June 2007

He's a lot like OTIS SPANN

I'm talking bout Simen "Blues Keys" Taylor.
He states his musical influences are:

Otis Spann (the one)

Leon Russell

Johnnie Johnson

Pinetop Perkins
Buddy Guy

Little Walter

Muddy Waters

The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Willie Dixon

Memphis Slim

Sonny Boy Williamson

Darren Watson (NZ guitarist/singer)


For the harmonica fan

A collection of amazing i-mics. They are homemade mics for the harmonica player. They all work and theres some pretty amazing looking creations, go check the whole collection out. And then come back and tell me what the heck i-mic stands for : )


3 June 2007

Gig Posters

I love getting a gig poster. I'll even try to get the band/artists to sign it if I can. I remember going into a fish and chip shop once and seeing a Charlie Musselwhite poster hanging on the wall. I asked them for it and the owner said 'is that to have here or take away', ha ha, nah, they were only to happy to give it to me.

I found this great website called www.gigposters.com which has many awesome gig posters. Some of the art work is totally cool. Heres a few Blues ones I found plus a few favs of mine.

31 May 2007

Darcy Perry Blues Band - Heavy Rain Video

A new Blues find in Dunedin

Stumbled across some band websites for 'the Resonators' and 'King Leo & the Growling Dogs' Mighty fine stuff I must say coming out of Dunedin. If only I could get down there easily! Played a few tracks from these bands on my show last night.

Formed in early 2006, The Resonators feature Double Bass, Acoustic Resonator Guitar, Harmonica and Vocals. Their music is upbeat with a genuine blues feel featuring some of the authentic blues greats like Muddy Waters, Freddy King, Little Walter, and Jimmy Reed.

King Leo and the Dogs doing the big show, Octagon 2007

23 May 2007

Alligator Records - Crucial Blues!!!

May 22nd marks the release of the new Crucial Blues series from Alligator Records but you can order yours right now! Buy all three and save!!!!

Each of these budget priced releases contains at least 12 tracks of masterful blues from some of the best-known names in the genre, perfect for serious fans and newcomers alike.

As with all Crucial Blues titles, these new editions contain no repeat tracks from any previous Alligator Records collections!

Crucial Rockin' Blues

Highlights some of our rockin-est tracks from Coco Montoya, Johnny Winter, Lonnie Mack w/ Stevie Ray Vaughan, Shemekia Copeland, Roy Buchanan, Tinsley Ellis, The Holmes Brothers, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials, The Paladins, Guitar Shorty, Lee Rocker, and Dave Hole.

Order CRUCIAL ROCKIN' BLUES for the low price of $7.98 (including free U.S. shipping)!!!


More Crucial Guitar Blues

Features more electrifying guitar performances by Albert Collins, Luther Allison, Lonnie Brooks, Elvin Bishop, Son Seals, Michael Burks, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Roomful Of Blues, Lucky Peterson, Long John Hunter, Kenny Neal, and W.C. Clark.

Order MORE CRUCIAL GUITAR BLUES for the low price of $7.98 (including free U.S. shipping)!!!


Crucial Acoustic Blues

Showcases dynamic acoustic performances by Kenny Neal & Billy Branch, Koko Taylor w/ Keb' Mo', Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, Cephas & Wiggins, Lonnie Mack w/ Stevie Ray Vaughan, Sonny Terry, Johnny Winter, Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women, John Jackson, Corey Harris, Carey & Lurrie Bell, Bob Margolin w/ Nappy Brown, and Johnny Jones
Order CRUCIAL ACOUSTIC BLUES for the low price of $7.98 (including free U.S. shipping)!!!


The Crucial Blues 3-Pack

Buy all 3 and save! The Crucial Blues 3-Pack is now available for the low price of $21.98!!! Simply order the Crucial Blues 3-Pack and you'll receive Crucial Rockin' Blues, More Crucial Guitar Blues, and Crucial Acoustic Blues.

Order the CRUCIAL BLUES 3-PACK for special price of $21.98 (including free U.S. shipping)!!!


For more information on anything Alligator, go to www.alligator.com
or if you have specific questions about our online store or anything in our catalog, you can call us toll-free at 1.800.344.5609.

Bringing you the best houserockin' music for over 35 years, Alligator Records

Now you can listen to over 225 songs from the Alligator catalog on our online jukebox at www.alligator.com