WE ARE BACK!!! - Corona krijgt Duvelblues niet klein. Na een genoodzaakt sabbatjaar staat het hele team van het meest sympathieke festival van roots, blues en soulmuziek te popelen om er op een veilige manier in te vliegen. Ons openluchtpodium maakt op zaterdag 29 mei plaats voor Tiny Legs Tim & The Elsewhere Bound Orchestra, Bai Kamara Jr. & The Voodoo Sniffers, Irish Coffee en Paris texas, vier spetterende live-acts van eigen bodem.
Plaats van gebeuren van de 19de(!) editie van Duvelblues is het festivalterrein in de Kaardijkstraat in Ruisbroek-Puurs. Het verloop van de dag wordt de komende maanden vastgelegd. Afhankelijk van de situatie zal bekeken worden op welke manier het festival veilig kan verlopen én het festivalgevoel behouden kan blijven.
Tickets zijn voorlopig nog niet beschikbaar, hierop is het nog even wachten. Afhankelijk van de situatie zal op het juiste moment het juiste aantal tickets beschikbaar gesteld worden. Dat gaat dus nog even spannend afwachten worden. Trotse bezitters van een Early-Bird ticket van Duvelblues 2020 krijgen dit automatisch terugbetaald. Om deze vroege vogels te belonen voor hun trouw zullen zij als eerste nieuwe tickets voor Duvelblues 2021 kunnen aankopen.
Het zijn spannende tijden voor ons allemaal maar met het hele Duvelblues team geloven we dat het goed komt! Tot snel, we missen jullie!
De line-up van Duvelblues 2021
Threestyle - the Euro Smooth Jazz band that‘s hit #1 on Billboard are known and loved for their original, stylish, soulful, exotic and sophisticated music. Their new single ‘Steppin‘ Up’ is fresh, up-to-the-moment, and superbly produced and arranged.
Written by Robert Fertl and Magdalena Chovancová.
Credits: Magdalena Chovancová on saxophone, flute, clavi; Robert Fertl on guitar, percussion; Gabriela Chovancová on drums; James L. Manning on bass and Lew Laing on keyboards. Production, mix & mastering by Robert Fertl. Music label: Welovemusic Records.
Just months after getting a fresh grasp at life, reggae songstress Yvonne Sterling has died on January 18, 2021, at the Kingston Public Hospital due to complications associated with a stroke. She had been hospitalized for two weeks.
The singer who is well recognized for her songs “Oh Jah”, and “If you love me". In the past, her home was damaged by the effects of Hurricane Eta, and since then the singer decided that she would return to music after years of absence. The most recent song she recorded was “Thank you Lord”, which was done in collaboration with Richie Stephens at Pot of Gold records. Sterling even did a music video for the track but sadly she will not be alive to reap the benefits of the song.
New nine-part Sunday Brunch series with special guests debuts January 24th
Faced with travel restrictions, venue closures and other limitations due to the global pandemic, blues artist Harpdog Brown has been displaced from his touring life and is temporarily riding out the pandemic in Alberta.
Harpdog and his team had planned to film more music videos for the 2019 release For Love & Money. Unfortunately, those plans were thwarted along with all the tour cancellations. Thankfully FACTOR allowed us to rethink our plans and come up with a solution that still met the funding criteria.
Through reconnecting with former bandmates from his former band The Bloodhounds (1990s) they were able to safely congregate at DanLyn Studios in Sherwood Park Alberta, just outside of Edmonton. It was a magical reunion that led to some outstanding musical performances.
"Many years ago I had a radio show on CJSR, broadcasting from an old bank vault in the basement of the University of Alberta campus. It was a fun project and a great vehicle to share music and a forum to delve into the blues” said Harpdog Brown. “Then my manager and I got to talking about that TV show 'Daryl’s House' that Daryl Hall used to host. And we thought, hey wouldn’t it be fun and entertaining to do something like that?”
"The rest fell into place. The band is fantastic. These guys are top-shelf. Some of the best blues players in Alberta. DanLyn Studios was the perfect location. It’s a beautiful studio and plenty of room to ensure all safety protocols would be followed. We lit it like a stage to give a live performance feel. They even have their own pub so that became the Dog House Pub where we shot all the interview segments. The only thing missing was a live audience."
To tie it all together, each episode features the new band doing a remake of a song from the 2019 release For Love and Money.
In The Dog House Episodes
#1 JAN 24, 2021 - Bill Bourne
#2 JAN 31, 2021 - Peter North
#3 FEB 7, 2021 - Jack de Keyzer
#4 FEB 14, 2021 - Cam Hayden
#5 FEB 21, 2021 - Aki Kumar
#6 FEB 28, 2021 - Kid Andersen
#7 MAR 7, 2021 - John Nemeth
#8 MAR 14, 2021 - Holger Petersen
#9 MAR 21, 2021 - Tim Williams
About Harpdog Brown
Harpdog Brown has grown a reputation as a real-deal purveyor of classic electric blues true to the sound of the old Chess Records and Sun Records of the late ’40s and early ‘50s. Until recently, he’s been touring as Harpdog Brown & the Uptown Blues Band - a vintage New Orleans Blues sound that is piano-driven and at any given show could feature slide trombone, sax, clarinet, trumpet and more. Still a vintage vibe, just a different vintage! They perform mostly originals yet they often include great songs of the masters from that era. Think Louis Jordan, Satchmo, Sonny Boy Williamson, Wynonie Harris, even Duke Ellington.
He’s been called a Blues Evangelist, and that’s a very fitting moniker. "I speak the blues like it's the truth, and it is”, he was recently quoted. "I do feel like I'm a servant of the people. A missionary if you will. Music can heal people if they pay attention to the messages in these songs.” He delivers those messages with a vintage sound. "Blues is a beautiful celebration of our perfectly flawed lives. We help people forget about their issues of the moment and when they realize that we all have our issues, it's OK."
Follow Harpdog Brown
Listen/Buy For Love & Money from your favorite retailer: https://smarturl.it/HarpdogBrown
Not a YouTuber? All episodes can be watched on his website at https://www.HarpdogBrown.com/in-the-dog-house
APQ (An Pierlé Quartet) brengt debuutalbum Wiga Waga uit via WERF Records. Releaseconcert op 10/02 in Handelsbeurs (via Livestream).
'Wiga Waga', het debuut van het "An Pierle Quartet"
uit op 29/01 via WERF Records.
Album releaseconcert 10 Februari via livestream vanuit Handelsbeurs Gent
Niet lang na de concerten ter gelegenheid van de 20ste verjaardag van haar debuutalbum Mud Stories, keert An Pierlé terug met een kersvers Quartet-album dat bewijst dat terugkijken geen retro-oefening was. Samen met muzikale- en levenspartner Koen Gisen en jazz youngsters Hendrik Lasure & Casper Van De Velde (schntzl, Warm Bad, Woolvs, Bombataz,...) stelt ze Wiga Waga voor, een avontuurlijk album dat speelsheid en experimenteerdrift in balans houdt.
Album Wiga Waga
De songs dragen duidelijk de stempel van Pierlé, maar verkennen minder vertrouwd terrein. Geïnspireerd door dit gedeelde enthousiasme en een nieuwsgierige spirit creëerden de muzikanten een nieuwe lading songs die bekende thema’s en sferen bezoeken, maar ze in een fascinerend en eclectisch jasje steken. Als een echte band zocht en vond het kwartet een unieke, collectieve identiteit. Het resultaat is geen klassieke jazz, maar het bevat de charmerende verbeelding, vrijheid en vernieuwingsdrift die dat genre altijd bepaald heeft.
'Wiga Waga' verschijnt 29/01/'21 via W.E.R.F. Records / Kaap.
Single "Slippery Fish' kan je horen op Radio 1, op 15/01 is er 'Imaginary Summer' een nieuwe single
Releaseconcert 10 Februari / JazzLab tour uitgesteld
Jazzlab zegt hierover:
Er is nog geen perspectief voor échte concerten, maar... we blijven vooruit denken. Samen met het An Pierlé Quartet (dat deze maand door Vlaanderen zou trekken) en onze partners. Intussen nadert de release van Wiga Waga, het debuutalbum van het An Pierlé Quartet, dat later deze maand verschijnt via WERF Records. Het is een speels en pittig album geworden, waarin Pierlé de handen in elkaar slaat met de jongens van SCHNTZL - Hendrik Lasure en Casper Van De Velde - en Koen Gisen.
De Gentse Handelsbeurs zal op 10/2 een uniek releaseconcert van het An Pierlé Quartet streamen. Koop je een ticket, dan krijg je meteen ook €5 reductie op het album! Met je ticket kan je het concert bovendien tot twee dagen erna (her)bekijken.
10/02 Handelsbeurs Albumrelease Livestream
Wiga Waga releaseconcert link
Wat vooraf ging
Pierlé maakte haar entree via de Humo’s Rock Rally editie van 1996. Het zou drie jaar duren voor haar debuutalbum klaar was, maar zowel pers en publiek hadden meteen door dat er een belangrijk nieuw talent was opgestaan. In de twee decennia die er op volgden ontwikkelde Pierlé een gevarieerd en gelauwerd oeuvre dat haar een status bezorgde van een van onze meest gerespecteerde singer-songwriters.
Een sleutelmoment arriveerde toen Pierlé een residentie had in het lokale S.M.A.K., waar ze o.m. werkte rond improvisatie. De volgende schakel was serendipiteit: terwijl zij in de weer was in het museum, werkten Hendrik Lasure en Casper Van De Velde aan hun debuutalbum in Koen Gisens studio. De twee zouden vervolgens uitgroeien tot twee van de jonge sleutelspelers van de onstuitbare Belgische muziekscene, actief binnen diverse stijlen met een verfrissende en avontuurlijke aanpak. De vier vonden elkaar bij gedeelde maaltijden en smeedden plannen om ooit eens samen te werken.
Die kans kwam sneller dan verwacht, want het kwartet werd gevraagd om de muziek bij te dragen aan Sylvia, een musical opera van het Thêatre National. Sylvia was een beschouwing over het leven van dichter en feministe Sylvia Plath en een multidisciplinaire onderneming die theater, film en muziek bij elkaar bracht. Zelfs binnen die strakke structuur vonden de artiesten gemeenschappelijke grond en konden ze werken aan een nieuwe taal, voor deze 'soundtrack' die werd vastgelegd op een gelimiteerde lp (gatefold vinyl).
Die lp laat z’n sporen na op Wiga Waga, maar dit album is een nieuw statement dat de meer theatrale sound van Sylvia opgeeft voor een coherent verhaal dat aanvoelt als een balanceeroefening tussen experimentele pop en jazz-getinte excursies. In de vertrouwde omgeving van Studio La Patrie werkten de vier muzikanten aan een album dat Pierlé’s troeven intact hield en ze in een nieuwe context plaatste. Je hebt hier te maken met een hechte band die songs verder vormgeeft en verfijnt op het podium, of start bij geïmproviseerde ideeën.
Als “Saturn” het album start met onheilspellende klanken die oprijzen uit het laagste register van de piano, dan laat Wiga Waga daarna ook veel licht toe. Je vindt het in de excentrieke arrangementen, de plagerig-speelse bijdragen van Lasure, de vrije inkleuringen van Van De Velde en de opvallende blaaspartijen van Gisen, die het midden houden tussen boeiende herhalingen, bijna-delirische extase en momenten van zachtaardige dissonantie.
De composites dreigen soms te ontsporen, maar doen dat nooit. Kloppende pulsen, onweerstaanbaar catchy ideeën (“Slippery Fish”!) en speelse kleuren bewaken dat dit muzikale spiegelpaleis zijn dromerige karakter bewaart. Soms voelt het alsof je rondwaart in een parallelle wereld, of een onderwaterrijk, waar het etherische “Slow Down”, het oog van een intense storm “Fingerspitz” en de intense bezwering van “Go On” naast elkaar bestaan in een groter verhaal.
Het resultaat is niet zozeer een wedergeboorte voor Pierlé, als het verschijnen van een nieuwe band met een volstrekt eigen sound. Pierlé, Gisen, Lasure en Van De Velde creëerden een album dat even uitdagend als prikkelend is, zowel voor het publiek als voor zichzelf. “Would you walk my way?” vraagt Pierlé in “Unreal”. Waarom zou je dit willen missen?
De lp-versie eindigt met de nieuwe versie van “Imaginary Summer”. De cd-versie doet er nog 2 tracks bovenop (“Unreal 2” en “Lantern”).
It suddenly occurred to me that I have not wished you a happy new year and it's Jan 19th already! Well a little late to the table but a heartfelt Happy New Year nonetheless!
And with that I am very excited to let you know that I have a brand new single just gone to radio this week called Whatever She Wants from my 'Real Life' album. This song is kind of funky, but pretty dreamy all at the same time. Is this possible? Well I suppose so. Anyway, I made a cool video for the song this week and I'd really love you to see it. It features some amazingly graceful ballet dancing. Not by me you understand. Believe me that wouldn't be so graceful. No, these girls are just amazing. I hope you like it.
I would love you to share it on your social media and help spread the word. Here's the link:
Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan (March 3, 1931 – January 17, 2021) was born in Badayun, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, British India (present-day Uttar Pradesh, India. He lived in Mumbai, Maharashtra along with his family. Khan had suffered a brain stroke in 2019 and the left side of his body was paralyzed. He died of complications from the brain stroke at 89.
Khan was married to Amina Begum who is a granddaughter of Padma Bhushan Mushtaq Hussain Khan. They had four sons: Murtuza Mustafa, Qadir Mustafa, Rabbani Mustafa, and Hasan Mustafa. He was guru and maternal uncle of classical vocalist Rashid Khan. His grandsons Faiz and Aamir are also receiving their taalim from him. In Coke Studio, composer A. R. Rahman shares the stage with his 82-year-old guru, also featuring his four sons- Murtuza, Qadir, Rabbani, and Hasan- and his 12-year-old grandson, Faiz. All five vocalists and Rahman collaborated on two numbers as a part of Khan's 3 generation performance.
His mother was the daughter of the great Ustad Inayat Hussain Khan and music was the legacy of his family. Inayat Hussain Khan was also the court musician during the reign of king Wajid Ali Shah and also the son-in-law of the pioneer of Gwalior Gharana Haddu Khan. Khan's cousin brother in law, Hafeez Ahmed Khan was the Deputy Chief Producer with All India Radio. Since both Khan's parents wanted him to be a singer, his training in music started very young at a time when he could remember the tune but could not understand the words. After his father, he was trained by Ustaad Fida Hussain Khan who was the court singer at the Baroda's royal durbar and then from Nissar Hussain Khan.
The traditional styles of Rampur, Gwalior, and Sahaswan gharanas are therefore part of his performance. At the time, every city had a Victoria Garden and it was the custom that on Janmashtami, the first public performance of those interested in music be performed as a debut. Ali Maqsood, the Chairman of the Municipality, organized the Janmashtami function every year and asked Khan to perform when he was 8 years old.
Khan was an Indian classical musician in the Hindustani classical music tradition, belonging to the Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1991, followed by Padma Bhushan in 2006 and Padma Vibhushan in 2018. In 2003 he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the highest Indian recognition given to practicing artists by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance, and Drama.
The first film he sang for was in Marathi, ‘Chand Pretticha’. From 1957, he started singing playback for Marathi and Gujarati films. He started with Mrinal Sen’s ‘Bhuvan Shome’ and sang ‘Sajanaa kahe nahi aaye...’ for ‘Badnaam Basti’ under the same music director, Vijay Raghav Rao. He played the role of Baiju Bawra in a German Documentary "Rain Maker" shot in Jaipur, besides being a playback singer in the same film. He has given his voice to more than 70 documentary films made by the Films Division, many of them receiving international & National Awards. He has performed across India and European countries.
The pioneer is best known as the co-writer of “The Message,” a song by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. He was 69 and died on Wednesday January 13th.
Bootee, nee Edward Fletcher, died of heart failure his home in Savannah, Georgia, according to reports.
Duke Bootee conceptualized “The Message” in a demo called “The Jungle,” which was eventually re-worked with rapper Melle Mel. Mel added lyrics that he wrote at the behest of Sugar Hill Records mastermind Sylvia Robinson. Robinson brought together Duke Bootee, who worked in the Sugar Hill Records house band, was paired with Melle Mel, largely considered the best rapper of that era.
Grandmaster Flash and the crew were not enthused about recording “The Message,” because it did not have a danceable vibe like contemporary song such as “Rapper’s Delight.’ The song dropped on July 1, 1982 and single-handedly jump-started social consciousness in Hip-Hop.
Duke Bootee, a New Jersey native, played with Doug Wimbish, Skip Alexander, and Jiggs Chase for Sugar Hill Records.
“The Message” was among the first 50 songs entered into the National Recording Registry in 2003, an act of Congress. This year, The Grammys will honor Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five and others like Salt-N-Pepa.
Groundbreaking young blues visionary Selwyn Birchwood will release his highly anticipated third Alligator album, LIVING IN A BURNING HOUSE, on Friday, January 29. The rising guitar and lap steel player calls his original music “electric swamp funkin’ blues,” defined by raw and soulful musicianship played with fire-and-brimstone fervor. His gritty, unvarnished vocals draw his audience deep inside his unforgettable tales of love, passion, pain and pleasure. No other band on the current blues scene is built quite like Birchwood’s. In addition to Selwyn’s electrifying guitar and lap steel playing, the other featured instrument is Regi Oliver’s driving baritone sax. The group is rounded out by bass, drums and, for the first time, keyboards.
Produced by Grammy winner Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Susan Tedeschi), LIVING IN A BURNING HOUSE is a master class in distinctive, contemporary roots music and positively brimming with instantly catchy lyrics, undeniable grooves and some of the most exhilarating guitar playing in any genre. Thirteen compelling originals include horn-fueled declarations of love, rocking reflections on modern life and low and slow ballads, all bound by Selwyn’s raw, urgent vocals.
The title track, Living In A Burning House, was released as a single in June 2020. Click here to watch and share the video now.
Phil Spector, the music producer responsible for some of the biggest hits in music and the architect of The Wall of Sound has died.
We're told he died from COVID-related complications, after being transferred from his prison cell to a hospital. We're told he was diagnosed 4 weeks ago and went to the hospital but recovered well enough to return to prison, where he was serving a 19-to-life sentence for the murder of Lana Clarkson.
Our sources say he relapsed, had trouble breathing and was rushed back to the hospital, where he died Saturday.
Spector began his career early ... when he was still in high school, he produced his first big hit, "To Know Him is To Love Him," by the Teddy Bears.
And then, the floodgates opened. He produced a flurry of hits ... from The Righteous Brothers "You Lost that Lovin' Feeling," "Unchained Melody," "You're My Soul and Inspiration," The Ronettes' "Be My Baby," The Crystals' "He's a Rebel," and on and on.
Spector had a deep association with The Beatles, and produced their final album, "Let It Be." Among the songs, "The Long and Winding Road," "Get Back," and the title track. He also produced John Lennon's solo work, including "Instant Karma," and "Imagine."
Phil's reach was far and wide. He also produced Ike & Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High."
When Phil produced The Ronettes, he went on to marry their lead singer, Ronnie in 1968, and had a tumultuous relationship. She accused him of tormenting her during their 4 years together by telling her she was nothing -- personally or professionally -- without him, forbidding her to leave their mansion alone, and pulling guns on her.
She eventually fled barefoot from him in 1972.
Spector's "Wall of Sound" was a technique he discovered in a tunnel near Hollywood Blvd. The sound created a roaring effect, which Spector called the "Wagnerian approach to rock 'n' roll" -- it involved overdubbing scores of musicians in an orchestral style to make a fuller sound.
The technique was mimicked by the Beach Boys and Bruce Springsteen.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
Spector ended up in prison for the second-degree murder of Clarkson, an actress he'd met in 2003 while she was working at the House of Blues in WeHo. They went back to his mansion, and he shot her ... although he'd claimed it was an accidental suicide.
His first trial, in 2007, was declared a mistrial, due to a hung jury, but he was convicted in a 2009 retrial.
In March 2013, Al Pacino played Spector in the movie "Phil Spector."
Spector was 81.
Foto Martin & Garp © Ruud Baan, 2020
De Nederlandse muzikant en producer Phil Martin heeft altijd al een voorliefde gehad voor Westcoast muziek en typische eind jaren 70-klanken. Raar is dat niet, want hij groeide op met artiesten als Steely Dan, Hall & Oates, The Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac en The Eagles. Toch liggen de roots van Phil meer in de Jazz & Soul hoek. U zou hem al kunnen kennen van succesvolle (inter)nationale acts als The Jazzinvaders, The Soul Snatchers en Laura Vane & The Vipertones.
Na samengewerkt te hebben met zanger Lo van Gorp (Garp) kwam Phil tot de conclusie dat Lo de perfecte vocalen zou kunnen verzorgen voor het Westcoast album waar Phil aan werkte. Samen met verschillende songwriters als Joel Sarakula en Laura Vane stortte Phil zich op het schrijven en produceren van de liedjes.
Lo van Gorp weet ook wel van de hoed en de rand, want in Nederland is hij een bekende backingvocalist/saxofonist. Hij werkt al jaren met (inter)nationale artiesten als Marco Borsato, Paul Carrack, Roger Hodgson, Chaka Khan, Trijntje Oosterhuis en Al Jarreau, om er zo maar eens een paar te noemen.
Het geluid van Martin & Garp kan het beste omschreven worden als feelgood radiovriendelijke romantische melodieën tegen een achtergrond van het Californische landschap eind jaren 70. Catchy gitaarlicks, herkenbare synthesizerlijntjes en dat alles aangevuld met rijke (vocale) harmonieën maken dat de zoektocht naar een zonnig optimisme doorklinkt bij het beluisteren van dit debuutalbum. Of, zoals Martin & Garp het zelf omschrijven: stel je die ene feelgood plaat voor die hard uit de speakers van je cabrio klinkt, opgenomen door een stel supermuzikanten met ouderwetse analoge apparatuur. En dat alles terwijl je langs de kust rijdt van de ene naar de andere schaduw van de palmbomen die wuiven aan de kant van de weg: precies dat is ‘Sentimental Fools’.
Warmest new year greetings! I sincerely hope that 2021 is off to a wonderful start for you, and that you’re keeping that positive attitude going strong as we make our way through these complicated times.
After almost a full year now without live music, I'm praying we can all look forward to enjoying our favorite artists in concert sooner than later…God-willing with vaccines becoming more and more available, we might even see live shows return this Summer!
But, with all of us currently still in a holding pattern, I've contacted some dear friends of mine to come together to bring some live music into YOUR HOME…and just in time for a very romantic holiday coming up!
Joining me on Saturday, February 13 at 5:00pm PST/ 8:00pm EST will be none other than R&B superstar crooner BRIAN MCKNIGHT and the powerhouse vocalist Sheléa. Brian, Sheléa, our smoking-hot band and I are so excited to provide the romantic soundtrack to your Valentine’s weekend celebration at home with this one-night only live concert special, “A Romantic Night In”! Pour a glass of wine, dip some strawberries in chocolate...and leave it to us to provide the musical magic. Hear all the hits right from your couch while canoodling with your special someone for a Valentine's Eve you’ll never forget! Even if you're single, this is a great opportunity to treat yourself to a beautiful evening of music.
We are gonna pull out all the stops to deliver a warm, loving and fun Valentine's Show...cus if there was ever a time that we all ’needed a little love’, it truly is NOW!
Click HERE to get your ticket and join me, Brian McKnight and Sheléa for "A Romantic Night In"! You will also receive a musical Valentine’s Day gift included in the ticket price.
I want to thank you for your incredible ongoing support over all these years…it’s meant everything to me! Please continue to take good care of yourself and I look so forward to sharing the ‘LOVE' with you on February 13th!
With love and gratitude, always, Dave Koz.
Hun recente album “Mutiny Ballads & Fishguarding Songs”, werd bijzonder goed onthaald. Singles “They Drive by Night “ en “Humans Sense” waren veelvuldig te horen op Radio 1.
Ondertussen heeft Handkerchief niet stilgezeten. Een nieuwe plaat is in de maak met als tipje van de sluier de nieuwe single “Never get used to this town” die op 15/1 verschijnt.
Een nummer waar de lockdown sterk in doorschemert. De tekst tracht enerzijds de eenzaamheid te schetsen. De strofes mijmeren over betere tijden terwijl er stilaan een dreiging van een nieuwe onbekende doorschemert. Anderzijds valt er troost te vinden in de refreinen: “a stone gathers heat when layn among the coals and there ain’t no way around” geeft aan dat er door samen te blijven en elkaar vast te houden nog warmte te vinden is.
Het Beeld van de singlehoes is geschilderd door de Antwerpse artiest Tjébbe Van Damme en toont een nachtelijk beeld van een verlaten straat in Antwerpen.
Voor de videoclip werd dan weer samengewerkt met de Nederlandse ilustrator/ fotograaf Swen Blikman die zijn interpretatie van het nummer in deze barre tijden wonderlijk verbeeldt.
“Never get used to this town” toont weerom aan dat Handkerchief niet voor één gat te vangen is en blijft verrassen. Van deze Antwerpse band hebben we duidelijk het laatste nog niet gehoord.
Christof Annaert, zanger/songschrijver van dit muzikale collectief, stelt zichzelf steevast de vraag: 'Hoe zou rock 'n roll geklonken hebben, moest Elvis een zeeman geweest zijn?'
Het woeste zeemansbestaan, op een gammele boot in verre wateren, is één van de terugkerende thema's in de muziek van Handkerchief. We horen de havens van zeven zeeën in een onweerstaanbare mengeling van Europese rootsmuziek, rock ‘n roll, ska, gypsy, surf, calypso en rumba. In hun onmiskenbare zeemansblues volgen ze telkens weer de lokroep van de oceaan.
Hun debuut ’Dancing Bones’ (2015) werd meteen enthousiast onthaald in De Roma, en dubbel-lp ‘Sea Rain River (2017) bracht de koers ook op tournee door Nederland. Datzelfde jaar schreven ze ook de soundtrack voor de bekroonde graphic novel Red Rider (Lectrr & Stedho). Na de vorige jaar verschenen Record Store Day 10” EP ‘Mutiny Ballads’ wordt de bemanning nog steeds aangevoerd door de, schijnbaar al eeuwen tegen de wind in bulderende, stem van kapitein Christof Annaert en werd het nieuwe full album ‘Mutiny Ballads & Fishguarding Songs’ dat nog meer naar zeewier smaakt uitgebracht op 23 oktober.
De band speelde met vele tientallen shows in Nederland en België een ijzersterke live reputatie bij elkaar wat leidde tot o.m. een fel opgemerkte support-tour met C.W.Stoneking.
Voortgestuwd door drie blazers en een aanstekelijke beat slaagt Handkerchief erin elk publiek aan het dansen of in ontroering te brengen.
Handkerchief bestaat uit:
Christof Annaert (gitaar en zang), Nele Paelinck (viool, accordeon), Simon Beeckaert (contrabas), Tijs Bonner (toetsen, gitaar en zang), Floris De Smet (bassax), Tom De Wilde (drums en percussie) Sebastian Fischer (baritonsax), Reinout Reggers (tenorsax), Lies Vandeburie (trompet, zang)
"Sweet Home Chicago -- An Online Blues Celebration" To Feature Blues Stars Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues, Shemekia Copeland, Lil’ Ed Williams, Toronzo Cannon In Concert At University’s Center For Performing Arts
Governors State University (GSU) Center for Performing Arts (the Center) will celebrate Chicago blues and Chicago-based Alligator Records’ 50th anniversary by presenting an online streaming video concert starring four of the label’s most popular artists. “Sweet Home Chicago – An Online Blues Celebration” will feature a performance by legendary harmonica player Billy Branch with his all-star band, The Sons Of Blues, with three special guests — Grammy-nominated vocalist Shemekia Copeland, slide guitar master Lil’ Ed Williams and beloved Chicago blues guitarist and songwriter Toronzo Cannon. Alligator Records founder and president Bruce Iglauer will serve as emcee.
The once-in-a-lifetime event will be recorded on the Center’s stage to its empty 1171 seat house. This concert is part of the Center’s 25th anniversary celebration. The show will debut as a ticketed streaming event at 7:00PM Central time on March 13, 2021, and will be available to watch on demand through April 11. The event will stream on the Center’s YouTube channel.
Alligator Records, founded in 1971 by Bruce Iglauer, is home to some of the world’s foremost blues and roots rock talent and is regarded by fans and the media alike as the top contemporary blues record label in the world. From classic Windy City artists like Hound Dog Taylor and “Queen Of The Blues” Koko Taylor, to next generation legends Lil’ Ed Williams and Billy Branch to contemporary stars including Toronzo Cannon and Shemekia Copeland, Alligator’s discography reads like a who’s who in modern blues history. Legendary artists including Lonnie Brooks, Luther Allison, Johnny Winter, Albert Collins, James Cotton, Rick Estrin, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Michael “Iron Man” Burks, The Holmes Brothers, Mavis Staples, Marcia Ball and rising stars Selwyn Birchwood and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram are just some of the blues immortals who have recorded groundbreaking music for the label. Now, at 50 years old, Alligator is still committed to discovering great new talent, proving that the passion, soul and redemptive power of blues and roots music is alive and well.
Blues giant Billy Branch is hailed internationally as one of today’s greatest harmonica players. The New York Times says, “Branch has a warm, open vocal style and a full command of the blues harp, from wailing notes to chugging rhythms.” With his inventive, deeply rooted playing and gritty, soulful vocals, Branch carries on the Chicago blues tradition that he learned first-hand from icons including Big Walter Horton, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Carey Bell, Willie Dixon and many others. With his instantly recognizable sound and his band, The Sons of Blues, Branch has traveled the world, delivering his signature brand of Chicago blues for over four decades. Branch’s latest album is 2019’s Roots & Branches: The Songs of Little Walter. The album finds Branch and his band boldly reimagining the renowned songs of Little Walter Jacobs. Jacobs was one of the principal architects of the Chicago blues sound and one of the most influential blues harmonica players who ever lived. Living Blues says, “Billy Branch has cemented his place among the kings. Chugging, incessant blues and R&B…greasy, funky, howlin’ harp attack that really burns. Wonderful, bold and surprising.” This concert marks Branch’s third appearance at the Center.
When Shemekia Copeland first broke on the scene with her groundbreaking Alligator Records debut CD Turn the Heat Up in 1998, she instantly became a blues and R&B force to be reckoned with. The Chicago Tribune says, “Shemekia Copeland is the greatest female blues singer working today.” News outlets from The New York Times to CNN have praised Copeland’s talent, larger-than-life personality, dynamic, authoritative voice and true star power. Shemekia has earned three Grammy Award nominations, 12 Blues Music Awards and a host of Living Blues Awards, including being named the 2020 Female Blues Artist of the Year. With her recent albums, Shemekia broadened her musical vision, melding blues with more rootsy, Americana sounds. Her new album, the soulful and uncompromising Uncivil War, tackles the problems of contemporary American life head on, with nuance, understanding, and a demand for change. It also brings Copeland’s fierce, sultry R&B fire to songs more personal than political. NPR’s All Things Considered says, “Copeland embodies the blues with her powerful vocal chops and fearless look at social issues.” No Depression declares, “Copeland pierces your soul. This is how you do it, and nobody does it better than Shemekia Copeland.”
Slide guitar-playing blues master Lil’ Ed Williams, leader of Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, comes to the blues naturally. His uncle, Chicago slide guitar king and master songwriter J.B. Hutto, taught him how to feel, not just play the blues. Living Blues says, “Lil’ Ed plays rough and ready blues with unmitigated intensity…swirling, snarling, riveting slide…scorching and soulful, joyous and stomping.” With nine albums and thousands of performances under his belt, Lil’ Ed is now universally hailed as a giant of the genre. The Associated Press says, “Williams fills Chicago’s biggest shoes with more life and heat than anyone on stage today.” With his latest album, 2016’s The Big Sound Of Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Lil’ Ed continues to bring his blistering Chicago blues to fans new and old. His infectious energy, joyful showmanship and masterful playing have been honed to a razor’s edge. The Chicago Tribune says, “Electrifying, raucous, pure Chicago blues….Lil’ Ed is a guitarist extraordinaire…slashing slide and flamboyant stage persona.”
Upon release of his Alligator Records debut, The Chicago Way in 2016, Toronzo Cannon burst onto the international stage as one of the most electrifying bluesmen to emerge from Chicago in decades. The Chicago Reader said, “Bluesman Toronzo Cannon is one of Chicago’s finest string-bending storytellers.” He has played major cities all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including stops in the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Poland and Japan, delighting and surprising audiences with one unforgettable gig after another. He has played the Chicago Blues Festival on ten separate occasions. UK tastemaker music magazine MOJO named his latest album, 2019’s The Preacher, The Politician Or The Pimp, the #2 Best Blues Album Of 2019. Chicago’s Newcity and Reader both named Cannon among the city’s greatest musicians. Blues Music Magazine says, “Cannon has all the fire and spontaneity of the Chicago legends. His songwriting is a timely and original look at the world, and his assertive voice is the perfect vehicle to deliver the message.”
Throughout its 25-year history, many blues artists have graced the Center for Performing Arts’ stage: Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Eddie Clearwater, Jimmy Burn, Eddie Shaw, Zora Young, Demetria Taylor, Jamiah Rogers, Tail Dragger, Billy Branch, Howard Levy, Sugar Blue, Corky Sigel, Melody Angel, Lurrie Bell, Chicago Ladies Sing the Blues collective, and more.
The seed of “Sweet Home Chicago – An Online Blues Celebration” sprouted pre-COVID at an Andersonville diner in Chicago, when the Center’s Director Lana Rogachevskaya and Iglauer explored how to celebrate their upcoming institutional birthdays and share their passion for the blues with a larger Chicago community. This conversation reemerged in 2020 with an additional goal of employing Chicago artists, while serving blues fans from all over the globe.
Rogachevskaya says, “Blues is a feeling. A musical genre with origins in American slavery and Jim Crow, its continued popularity is in its universal appeal. Communally held and lived through, blues uplifts, nourishes, and sustains the human soul. Sweet Home Chicago Blues participants will feel the healing power of blues sounds and stories while being together.”
According to Iglauer, “Chicago Blues is the famous musical signature of the city. This exhilarating music — music that grew up on the city’s South and West Sides — has become Chicago’s most vibrant and honored cultural export, reaching a worldwide audience. This concert will be a celebration of the city’s heritage, featuring some of the most talented and exciting blues artists in the world.”
For tickets and more information, click here.
"Er is met de festivalsector afgesproken dat er uiterlijk midden maart beslist wordt over de organisatie van de zomerfestivals". Dat heeft Vlaams minister van Cultuur Jan Jambon in het Vlaams Parlement geantwoord op een vraag van Open Vld-parlementslid Stephanie D'Hose.
Door het coronavirus konden er vorig jaar geen grote zomerfestivals plaatsvinden. Maar wat met de zomerfestivals voor dit jaar? Hoe groot is de kans bijvoorbeeld dat er begin juli duizenden mensen op de wei van Werchter 'Alive' kunnen meezingen met Pearl Jam?
Volgens Vlaams minister-president en minister van Cultuur Jan Jambon is er met de festivalsector afgesproken dat er uiterlijk midden maart een beslissing komt. Volgens Jambon moet er dan ook meer duidelijkheid zijn over de vaccinaties. "Ik hoop uit de grond van mijn hart dat er voor de festivals opnieuw dingen mogelijk worden die vorig jaar niet mogelijk waren. Maar het is nu nog wat te pril om daar veel over te zeggen. We hebben met de sector afgesproken dat we midden maart kijken wat mogelijk is."
Tim Bogert, bassist en medeoprichter van Vanilla Fudge, Cactus en de supergroep Beck, Bogert & Appice is gisteren op 76-jarige leeftijd overleden. Zijn langdurige muzikale metgezel Carmine Appice deelde het trieste nieuws op Facebook, waarin hij zijn meer dan 50 jaar durende vriendschap met Bogert aanstipte. Bogert werd in 1944 in New York City geboren en groeide op met het bespelen van diverse instrumenten. Nadat hij naar New Jersey verhuist was, speelde hij saxofoon in de plaatselijke band The Belltones, die overging in The Chessmen. Door de populariteit van surfmuziek schakelde Bogert over op de elektrische basgitaar. In 1965 was hij de medeoprichter van de band The Pigeons met zanger en toetsenist Mark Stein, gitarist Vince Martell en drummer Joey Brennan. Uit deze band ontstond Vanilla Fudge. Een platencontract met Atlantic Records volgde en de band had succes met covers van 'Ticket To Ride' (The Beatles), 'People Get Ready' (Curtis Mayfield) en vooral 'You Keep Me Hangin' On' (The Supremes). Het kwartet bracht vijf studio-albums uit in de jaren zestig, waaronder 'Vanilla Fudge', 'The Beat Goes On', 'Renaissance', 'Near The Beginning' en 'Rock & Roll'. Er kwam een einde aan Vanilla Fudge na een afscheidstournee in 1970. Bogert en Appice formeerden de hardrock act Cactus. Na Cactus kreeg de supergroep Beck, Bogert & Appice in 1972 gestalte, met gitarist Jeff Beck. Daarna droeg Bogert zijn muzikale steentje bij aan diverse projecten en tournees. Hij maakte ook deel uit van reünies van Vanilla Fudge en Cactus. In 2010 koos hij voor een rustiger leven, nadat hij betrokken was geraakt bij een verkeersongeluk. Tim Bogert ruste in vrede!
Met dank aan Leo Weijers.
Never underestimate the power of a woman with her back to the wall. In March 2020, as Covid blew across the planet, the shutters came down on live venues and recording studios, and the music scene fell suddenly silent, Ghalia Volt faced the same dilemma as every other artist. What now?
The answer was One Woman Band.
Having joined with the cream of the US roots scene for two acclaimed albums, 2017’s Let The Demons Out and 2019’s Mississppi Blend, Volt’s rebirth as a solo performer wasn’t a decision made lightly. But if an apprenticeship busking in her native Brussels taught Volt anything, it’s that she already had everything she needed to make magic. “In March, I started playing on a real drum set,” she recalls. “Playing a kick, snare and hi-hat plus a tambourine with my two feet, while playing slide/guitar and singing at the same time.”
After road-testing the new format at shows across Mississippi, Volt realised that one was the magic number. In August, she committed to the project, embarking on a month-long Amtrak train trip that became an intensive writing session, the shifting landscapes beyond the window inspiring her pen to scratch as never before.
Tracked live in November at Memphis’s legendary Royal Sound Studios, One Woman Band is Volt’s most lyrically honest and groove-driven material to date. You can feel the turn of those train wheels in the addictive stomp of songs like Reap What You Sow, while the rattle-and-shiver slide guitar of Espiritu Papago evokes the scream of a locomotive whistle. “Imagine John Lee Hooker on mushrooms, lost in the desert of Arizona, on a hot summer day,” says Volt. “That’s the vibe of that song.”
The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented chapter of human history, with no clear end in sight. But Ghalia Volt has given us the soundtrack to better times ahead, and the songs we’ll still be singing when we meet on the other side. This might be a One Woman Band – but you’re always welcome to ride shotgun.
Tickets te koop via moodsbrugge.be
Het Depot, Leuven
Tickets te koop via hetdepot.be
De Roma, Antwerpen
Tickets te koop via deroma.be
Het uitverkochte concert van de New Yorkse singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega in Minard wordt uitgesteld naar 28 februari 2022. Daarbovenop voegt ze twee gloednieuwe data toe in Het Depot & De Roma. De ticketverkoop is meteen gestart.
Suzanne Vega stelt haar nieuwe album An evening of New York Songs and Stories voor, waarmee ze een hartverwarmende ode brengt aan haar geliefde thuisstad. Op An Evening of New York Songs and Stories, uitgebracht in volle coronatijd, giet Suzanne Vega vierentwintig op New York geïnspireerde nummers uit haar repertoire in een pakkende liveversie. Het album werd opgenomen in de beroemde New Yorkse bar Café Carlyle. Samen met haar vaste gitarist Gerry Leonard, bassist Jef Allen en toetsenist Jamie Edwards geeft Suzanna Vega klassiekers als 'Luka', 'Tom's Diner' en deep cuts als 'Frank and Ava' en 'Ludlow Street' een nieuw leven. Ook 'Walk on The Wild Side' van Vega's overleden vriend Lou Reed passeert de revue.
Met haar reputatie als 'meesterlijke verhalenverteller die de wereld ziet door een klinisch poëtisch oog' wordt Suzanne Vega gezien als één van de belangrijkste songschrijvers van haar generatie en als leidend figuur in de folk revival van de vroege jaren 80. Haar ijzersterke songs als 'Luka' en 'Marlene on The Wall' staan in het collectieve geheugen gegrift en met de remix van het a capella 'Tom's Diner' scoorde ze een onverwachte dance hit. Haar albums, inclusief haar debuut, de opvolger 'Standing up' en '99.9F' verkochten miljoenen exemplaren.
De ticketverkoop voor het concert op 1 maart 2022 in Het Depot en op zaterdag 5 maart 2022 in De Roma zijn meteen gestart via greenhousetalent.be.
Eerste single en clip van dit het nieuwe "ZWERM" album
Single/clip 13/01 uit via NEWS.
ZWERM - Crow in the dark
ZWERM album 'Great Expectations' met producer Rudy Trouvé
uit op 2 april
De afgelopen tien jaar heeft Zwerm zich geprofileerd als een eigenzinnig kwartet dat zich, dankzij de basisbezetting van vier elektrische gitaren en de brede muzikale interesses van de spelers, een unieke positie heeft kunnen verwerven op het grensgebied tussen hedendaags gecomponeerde muziek, experimentele rock, noise, electronica en muziek performance. Zwerm maakt producties variërend van interpretaties van Engelse renaissance muziek tot muziektheater van de Franse componist François Sarhan en deelt het podium even goed met impro-legendes als Fred Frith en Mauro Pawlowski als met de dansers van het Brusselse ECCE of de theatermakers van Post Uit Hessdalen. Zwerm stelt zich bij elk project opnieuw in vraag. Voor het nieuwe album werd de band bijgestaan door mentor / producer door Rudy Trouvé.
Maak kennis met 'Crow in the dark', een vooruitgeschoven nummer
Een microtonaal antwoord op de universele vraag: Wat is het tegenovergestelde van “glow in the dark”? Jaag je je dromen na of aanbidt je de realiteit? Laat je je door fantasie leiden, of juist door onzekerheid? Schitter je? Of ben je liever een crow in the dark? Drie snaren van de gitaren zijn een kwarttoon verhoogd. De ene helft van de gitaar houdt links, de andere helft slaat rechtsaf.
Releaseconcerten zijn in maart gepland in STUK, deSingel, Gevangenis Antwerpen & Handelsbeurs Gent
(meer info daarover binnenkort).
Album 'Great Expectations'
all music written & played by Zwerm (Johannes Westendorp, Bruno Nelissen, Kobe Van Cauwenberghe & Toon Callier) & Karen Willems and arranged by Zwerm, Karen Willems & Rudy Trouvé
all lyrics by Bruno Nelissen, except No Questions No Lies, lyrics by Charles Dickens
produced by Rudy Trouvé
recorded on tape by Mark Dedecker at Studio Finster, Antwerp, november 2020
mixed by Joris Caluwaerts
artwork by Rudy Trouvé
lay out by Thomas Noppe
mastered by Uwe Teichert
Erivo's role as Aretha Franklin marks the third season of National Geographic's anthology series. Starring with Erivo is Courtney B. Vance as Franklin's father C.L. Franklin, Malcolm Barrett as Franklin's first husband and business partner Ted White, David Cross as music producer Jerry Wexler and T.I. as Franklin's road manager and love interest Ken Cunningham. Patrice Covington and Rebecca Naomi Jones are also starring as Aretha's sisters and background singers Erma and Carolyn Franklin, with Steven Norfleet as Franklin's other brother Cecil, who became her manager after her divorce from White.
Other actors featured in Genius: Aretha include Pauletta Washington as Franklin's paternal grandmother Rachel, Omar J. Dorsey as gospel singer known as the "King of gospel music" James Cleveland, Marque Richardson as saxophonist King Curits, Kimberly Hébert Gregory as America's first Black female booking agent Ruth Bowen and Shaian Jordan in her debut as young Aretha, known then as Little Re.
Genius: Aretha is set to debut this fall.
London, United Kingdom (January 4, 2021)—Noted producer Steve Brown, who guided hits by everyone from Freddie Mercury to The Cult, has died at the age of 65 due to a fall in December.
Brown got his start in the music business thanks to seizing an unexpected opportunity—accidentally meeting Elton John when the superstar pulled into the gas station where teenaged Brown was working at the time. A brief chat with the artist soon led to Brown becoming a drum tech for John, and in time, he moved on to become a tape op.
Working his way up the ladder as a recording engineer for acts like Wizzard, Brown’s first producer credit came from a co-production with Robert “Mutt” Lange of the Boomtown Rats’ 1977 eponymous debut album. Through the turn of the Eighties, however, he mostly stayed in the engineer’s seat, recording albums by Thin Lizzy (Suicide), Graham Parker and the Rumour (Live at Marble Arch), Oingo Boingo (Only A Lad), The Romantics and others, and also recorded various projects for the Sex Pistols, Steve Forbert, Joan Armatrading, Twiggy and others.
Brown increasingly worked as a producer in the Eighties and Nineties, guiding many fledgling U.K. acts to their first hits, such as (to name only a few) ABC with “Tears Are Not Enough;” George Michael, with Wham’s first album, Fantastic; The Cult’s breakthrough collection, Love, highlighted by the Goth rock staple, “She Sells Sanctuary;” The Godfathers’ nihilistic classic “Birth School Work Death;” and The Manic Street Preachers’ debut album, Generation Terrorists, from which five tracks became UK Top-40 hits.
Over the course of his career, Brown also worked with Alison Moyet, The Alarm, Boom Crash Opera, Haysi Fantayzee, Balaam and the Angel, Nuclear Valdez and the Pogues, and additionally remixed a pair of Freddy Mercury tracks for the singer’s posthumous The Great Pretender collection.
In a statement to NME, Brown’s family noted, “Steve’s death came so unexpectedly and at a relatively young age. It was particularly tragic because Steve had many great projects in the pipeline including The Drive Foundation. The Drive Foundation is about promoting mental health, and Steve was the founding member. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Jacky and their two children, Max and Luke. He will be missed by the music industry, friends and family alike.”
Steve Brown • http://www.stevebrown.info
Senseless Things frontman Mark Keds, born Mark Myers, has died at the age of 50. The news was confirmed in a Facebook post by the band's lead guitarist Ben Harding. The statement said, "It is with the heaviest of hearts that we have to tell you that, sadly, Mark - our singer, friend, and main songwriter - is no longer with us. We understand that he passed away at his home during the early hours of this morning. As of yet, the cause of death is unconfirmed.
"It’s no secret that he had struggled on and off with drug abuse and a pretty chaotic lifestyle for a long while, and his health suffered substantially over the years due to this. While this had sometimes created friction within the on-off workings of Senseless Things and his other projects, we choose to remember the friend, the brother, and the talent we’ve lost today."
Senseless Things are an English pop-punk band, formed in 1986 in London. The band released four albums and achieved two UK Top 20 hit singles before splitting up in 1995. Senseless Things reformed in 2017 to play several gigs including Shepherd's Bush Empire, as well as to record and release new material. Keds very briefly became a member of The Wildhearts before forming Jolt, Trip Fontaine, The Lams, Like A Bitch, and, most recently, Deadcuts. He also has a co-writer credit on The Libertines' 2004 #2 hit "Can't Stand Me Now", which took a line from the 1998 Jolt single "Hey! Kitten".
On this day in 1959, Berry Gordy turned $800 and a dream into the legendary, globally renowned Motown Records!
The birthplace of the Motown Sound—Hitsville U.S.A.—is now home to Motown Museum, where visitors from down the street and around the world visit and experience the history behind this iconic company.
Guitarist Henry Robinett's "Jazz Standards, Vol. 2: Then Again" , Released for the First Time January 8, 2021
Guitarist, composer, bandleader, and recording engineer HENRY ROBINETT is releasing JAZZ STANDARDS, VOLUME 2: THEN AGAIN on Nefertiti Records, Robinett’s own label. The album is the follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2020 release Jazz Standards, Volume 1: Then. John Sanders of Jazz Music Archives said, “Henry’s playing is often in a rapid abstract blues bop style, somewhat similar to Joe Pass or Barney Kessel, but he has a personal voice all his own. It takes a lot from an artist to lift these standards up one more time, and Robinett and his quartet come through on every track.”
Robinett recorded both volumes 20 years ago, during a period when he was in between albums and bands. With some rare free time, he decided to bring together a few of the top artists from Northern California, including JOE GILMAN on piano, CHRIS SYMER on bass, and MICHAEL STEPHANS on drums, for an impromptu recording session at The Hangar, a Sacramento studio where he was working as an engineer and producer. Each of the musicians is a leader in his own right, with a long resume of recordings and performances with many of the top names in jazz. With Robinett calling the tunes, this group of swinging improvisers recorded enough music for both albums in just two days.
Known for his modern, eclectic sound that melds World music with electric jazz, the Jazz Standards sessions are a departure for Robinett. “I think the Jazz Standards album was just too different from my other work, which made me hesitant to release it,” says Robinett. “But after listening to it again after so many years, I like it. I think it stands up well and shows another side to my playing.”
Robinett has led his own band, The Henry Robinett Group, for many years. The band comprises an evolving cast of musicians playing straightahead jazz with elements of Latin and pop. The Henry Robinett Group has released five albums. Their first CD, the eponymous The Henry Robinett Group, received a 4-star review in DownBeat. JazzTimes Magazine said about the group’s 2016 release, I Have Known Mountains, “The dozen pieces that appear here make it plainly clear that Robinett is a man who places a high premium on clarity. His well-thought-out messages, be they focused on tragedy, love, or life's winding road(s), manage to appeal to the ear. If jazz has an accessibility problem, nobody bothered to tell Henry Robinett.”
On JAZZ STANDARDS, VOLUME 2: THEN AGAIN, Robinett’s guitar work is swinging and very accessible.
Rather than focusing on his considerable chops, he approaches a tune not unlike a vocalist, emphasizing the melody while adding colors through his phrasing and harmonic choices.
About Henry Robinett
Henry Robinett is a jazz guitarist, recording artist, composer, bandleader, and teacher. He has been playing guitar since the age of 13. His early musical influences were Jimi Hendrix and Charles Mingus, who was his father’s first cousin. Robinett lived with Mingus for three months at his apartment in New York City, where he also associated with saxophone great Sonny Rollins and rock legend Joni Mitchell.
Robinett has performed around the world with his group The Henry Robinett Quartet. He now resides in Sacramento, where he built his own recording studio and runs his record label, Nefertiti Records, producing his own records and records for other artists, as well. His most recent CD with The Henry Robinett Quartet is I Have Known Mountains, the title inspired by the Langston Hughes poem, “I’ve Known Rivers.” He is also a founding member of The Capital Jazz Project and has played with renowned musicians Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, Chico Freeman, Frank Strozier, Gary Bartz, Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman, Bobby Hutcherson, Benny Green, Geoffrey Keezer, and many others. He taught in Vienna, Austria at the American Institute of Music and was on the faculty of the University of the Pacific and Cosumnes River College.
Henry Robinett, guitar
Joe Gilman, piano
Chris Symer, bass
Michael Stephans, drums
1. Yours Is My Heart Alone (4:40)
2. Like Someone In Love (4:59)
3. I Thought About You (6:45)
4. On The Street Where You Live (5:24)
5. Milestones (original version) (6:01)
6. Body and Soul (5:51)
7. How Am I To Know (4:15)
8. Darn That Dream (5:34)
9. I Love You (6:24)
10. It Could Happen To You (4:39)
11. Monk’s Mood (6:52)
12. San Francisco Holiday (Worry Later) (5:45)
Photo courtesy of Nancy Olewine.
Renowned tuba titan and founder of original Saturday Night Live Band was a musical mainstay in New York’s jazz community for 50+ years
Muse to Charles Mingus, Gil Evans, Carla Bley, and inspiration to multiple generations of players, Howard Johnson Tuba Jazz Program Fund established at Penn State to honor the legendary musician.
Howard Johnson, veteran jazz musician, tuba innovator and founding member of the Saturday Night Live band, died at home in New York on Jan. 11, 2021, following a long illness, according to his longtime partner, Nancy Olewine.
An accomplished player, composer, arranger and raconteur, Howard gigged on tuba, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, flugelhorn, electric bass and pennywhistle. For more than 50 years he was an important fixture in multiple scenes, moving fluidly among genres. In addition to working with a litany of NEA jazz masters including Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Gil Evans, Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, Jack DeJohnette, and Randy Weston, Johnson also played with pop and rock icons such as John Lennon, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Taj Mahal, Levon Helm and scores of others.
Johnson played an important role in forming and shaping the sound of the Saturday Night Live band during the show’s first five years: 1975 to 1980. Donning an Egyptian headdress or nurses’ uniform in some of the most beloved early sketches featuring Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin, his weekly SNL appearances lent Howard visibility rare for a jazz musician or in-demand sideman. He appeared in Martin Scorsese’s 1978 documentary The Last Waltz, was featured in a Miller Lite beer commercial in 1984, and made a Sesame Street appearance with James Taylor (in the decades since, it wasn’t uncommon for excited kids to point at Howard and shout “Jelly Man Kelly!”).
But Howard initially turned down the SNL gig, telling musical director Howard Shore that having a too-steady job leads to complacency, resulting in bad music. Musicians in that situation “start defending their turf, they start feeling like they have something to lose, and they keep narrowing and narrowing their perspective. I don’t want to get caught up in stuff like that.” In several interviews, Johnson recalled Shore’s reply: “Well, if you feel that way about it, then you’re the man for the job. Get me a bunch of other troublemakers like you and we’ll have a great band.”
Complacency was never a possibility for Johnson. In fact, from his earliest years in New York, the breadth of his capabilities led some critics and audiences to believe there must be more than one Howard Johnson: It was just too hard to imagine that in an often highly compartmentalized music scene that the same guy could be appearing with the avant-gardist Archie Shepp, hard-swinging drummer Buddy Rich, and sitting in with bluesman B.B. King.
In fact, Johnson crossed paths with legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix at a B.B. King gig, as detailed in an April 12, 2017 blog post (hojotuba.com/blog). He and fellow tubist Bob Stewart took their instruments up to Ungano’s [an Upper West Side club] to jam with B.B. King. Just the presence of that much low brass was enough to cause a stir, and right before they went on, Jimi Hendrix arrived with a group of women. The audience was distracted, buzzing and cracking jokes, not knowing what to expect from a couple of tuba players.
Howard and Bob took to the stage, one on either side of B.B., and showed everyone they know their way around the blues. Though there were no mikes, they made themselves heard, with power to spare. Afterward, Jimi sought out Howard to congratulate him, saying, “You brothers just did the god-damnedest shit I ever heard! Ain’t nobody laughin’ now!”
Johnson appeared on hundreds of recordings spanning Gato Barbieri, McCoy Tyner, Muddy Waters, Roswell Rudd, Phoebe Snow, David Sanborn and Freddie Hubbard. He backed vocalists as diverse as Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Ella Fitzgerald, Yoko Ono and Albert King. Johnson can be heard on many movie soundtracks, especially those of Spike Lee; he spent several years with the NDR Big Band in Hamburg; and released four albums as a leader, including three with his multi-tuba brass choir Gravity.
While he played an arsenal of instruments, there was no doubt the tuba was his greatest love. “A tuba can be thunderous, it can be a rough-and-tumble instrument. People don’t think of it as anything delicate. I never thought there was anything the tuba couldn’t do, and I’ve been pretty satisfied with what I can do with a tuba,” Johnson mused in a 2019 interview for Hot House jazz magazine.
By 2006, when New York Times critic Nate Chinen declared Howard Johnson “the figure most responsible for the tuba’s current status as a full-fledged jazz voice,” the life’s work of the multi- instrumentalist had been in progress for more than four decades. Johnson burned with the fire of bass-clef innovation since well before 1963, when he took an offhand remark from Eric Dolphy as a call to action to move to New York.
As a teen, Howard had discovered that he could push the tuba’s range to previously unheard heights—more than six octaves—surpassing the trombone on the high end and edging into trumpet territory. In a 2000 interview, Johnson noted that he was motivated to excel by a pecking order among high school band members, with those who took private lessons outranking those who learned at school, and the self-taught—like Howard—at the bottom. When one of the private students asked him how high the tuba could go, “I was very embarrassed that I didn’t know,” he recalled. He began to experiment, noticing some of the highest notes were “very pretty; they sounded like they had kind of a French horn quality. So I added that new octave to my warm-ups.” He was surprised to discover that none of his bandmates could play anywhere near that high. “At that point, I’d probably been playing about six or eight weeks. I was highly motivated. I didn’t want to look like a fool,” Johnson said. “It was at that point that I decided not to let anybody tell me what the limitations were of the tuba or of the music.”
He was never a novelty act who would occasionally blast notes into the stratosphere to excite an audience. Rather, he played melody lines and solos fluidly and fluently, maintaining tonal integrity and feeling. Though there was no existing repertoire in the early 1960s for his then-groundbreaking low-brass range, once in the Big Apple Johnson caught the ear—and piqued the imagination—of Charles Mingus.
The iconic bassist/composer wrote adventurous parts for him in such a high register that “even trombonists wouldn’t welcome seeing those notes on the page,” Johnson recalled in 2017, for the liner notes of Testimony, his last release fronting his multi-tuba band Gravity.
Johnson became the muse of other composers, including Carla Bley and Gil Evans, establishing relationships lasting decades. Howard almost had a second encounter with Hendrix, in a project with the great Gil Evans, who had made plans to record with Hendrix and told Howard Johnson he wanted him in the studio, too. Unfortunately, Jimi didn’t live long enough to make the gig. But Howard eventually got to have his say on one of Jimi’s greatest tunes, “Voodoo Chile,” on Gil Evans’ recordings, and was also known to play a lovely, tender version of “Little Wing” on pennywhistle.
Every post-Johnson tuba player has been challenged by the standard he set. He believed the tuba is capable of a virtually unlimited sonic and emotional range, based on a player’s abilities. By demonstrating his skills, Howard single-handedly moved the instrument out of its traditional place in the rhythm sections of large ensembles into featured roles in small bands. Recognizing his impact on the tuba’s changing role in music, in 2008 the instrument-maker Meinl Weston released the HoJo Gravity Series tuba, designed to the player’s specifications.
He influenced musicians by expanding their ideas of the possibilities of the instrument, and demonstrated enormous generosity of spirit, mentoring tuba players, past, present and future. He influenced jazz (and pop) composers and arrangers by bringing a heretofore ignored instrument to the front line of soloists, and changed jazz overall by altering the direction of how jazz used the bass clef—no more oom-pah-pah, but pure linear bop, swing and rock phrasing that could stand on its own against any other “typical” jazz solo instrument.
At a time when jazz-rock fusion was gaining traction, Johnson opened up the music without diluting the tradition, performing with an unwavering jazz sensibility as a founding member of the Saturday Night Live band. His writing, arranging and playing captured the attention and imagination of such pop culture icons as John Lennon, Paul Simon, Levon Helm and Taj Mahal; Johnson never dumbed it down, never resorted to spoon-feeding anyone “Jazz 101” level music. He has always been “The Real Thing,” as Taj Mahal dubbed the 1971 CD that debuted Johnson’s innovative multi-tuba brass choir, Gravity.
Even as he approached his 75th birthday, Johnson declared that he still had the fire in his belly to solo, to increase awareness of the versatility of often-underutilized horns, and to continue to have his say on the definitive way to play them. After the music master no longer made a practice of hoisting the 20-plus pound instrument to his lips—his last gigs were in 2017—he continued to feel he had much to offer as a mentor and advisor.
There’s a wonderful accessibility to Howard Johnson’s artistry. Whether playing a standard from a Broadway show, taking the lead on Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile” with the Gil Evans Orchestra, or evoking early R&B beats on Don Pullen’s “Big Alice” with Gravity, his music could get under your skin and quicken your steps for days to come.
Howard’s talent, determination, and no-limits viewpoint were irreplaceable ingredients in his recipe for artistic fulfillment and professional success, and his music will continue to inspire for years to come.
Howard is survived by his longtime life partner, Nancy Olewine; his daughter, musician Nedra Johnson; and two sisters, Teri Nichols and Connie Armstrong. He was predeceased by his son, David Johnson, a musician and artist, in 2011.
A memorial service will be held in 2021.
In lieu of flowers or other tributes, it was Howard’s wish that to honor his memory and support his legacy as a master of the bass clef, memorial donations be made to benefit:
The Howard Johnson Tuba Jazz Program Fund at Penn State
Memorial donation checks in memory of Howard L. Johnson to benefit the Howard Johnson Tuba Jazz Program Fund can be made payable to The Pennsylvania State University and mailed to:
DONOR AND MEMBER SERVICES
2583 Gateway Drive
Bristol Place One, Suite 130
State College, PA 16801
Donations also can be made via credit card at: raise.psu.edu/CelebratingHowardLJohnson
The endowment will support a residency in Howard’s name, and the music that Howard held so dear.