Archive for Blues

Columbia Theatre Longview Washington Blues Show

Posted in Blues Music, Karen Lovely, Lisa Mann, Lloyd Jones, Longview Washington, Louis Pain, Portland Oregon with tags , , , , , , on February 22, 2015 by damngoodtunes

By Bruce J Maier – damngoodtunes founder

 

On February 21st I attended a concert in the city of Longview Washington which lies just west of Interstate 5, about forty miles from Portland Oregon. The show was presented by the historic Columbia Theatre and co-produced by drummer Willis Moss and Gian Paul Morrelli, the Theatre Director.  There was an incredible lineup of talent including three of the top Portland Oregon area Blues and R and B artists, the first being Mr. Lloyd Jones. Jones has become synonymous with the Blues who’s – who of the entire region for many years, and is always writing new material and releasing CDs when he’s not traveling the seas for a Blues Cruise or touring Europe.  Lloyd Jones is an outstanding guitarist and singer but it’s his personality on stage that I’ve always liked the most. Over the past few years I’ve been to about a half-dozen of his performances and have enjoyed each and every one. Once I was in a very small club and yet when Jones grabbed his guitar and stepped up to the mic, it was as though he was playing a stadium with fifteen thousand fans. Makes no difference, Lloyd Jones gives his one hundred ten per cent at any venue. If you get a chance to see him at a festival on a sunny day he makes everybody dance, even the little children and their grandmas. He’s a real “peoples “entertainer! Always two thumbs up way high for Lloyd Jones!Lloyd Jones plays

On Bass and also starring the incredible Lisa Mann, who proved to be everything that the press has been saying about her all over the net. She is a talented musician and a rhythmic Bass player who danced around the stage in a classy evening dress with leopard-pattered high heel shoes while delivering soulful, bluesy vocals on top of her Bass lines, something that not all Bassists are able to do. Though my first time seeing her in person it will not be my last – this young woman has something to show and offer to the world in the line of sublime talent and a charismatic  though gentle command of the stage. The way she interacts with the others shows experience and craftsmanship without a hint of over-indulging ego. In my estimation would be a great candidate on my personal bucket list to perform with or even work in the studio for the respectful attitude with which she displays to the other musicians. I doubt there is a style of music she could not play or a suggestion she would make that would not completely enhance anyone’s musical project. Of course, with several CD’s and numerous awards to her credit, the rest of the world already knows this Lady is on a great course with her music career without me to tell them. I could see her music making a rare cross-over into mainstream Blues-edged Pop as easily as the success came to the now legendary Bonnie Raitt.

Lisa Plays Bass

 

The third superpower of the evening was the very electric and powerful soul-singing, rocking and jumping Karen Lovely! Again I was at a bit of disadvantage and felt badly that I had personally never heard Karen before and, living so close to Portland Oregon I fail to see how I missed her. That said, by the time Lovely came onto the stage to join the crew, there were large shoes to fill and man…she filled them up, grabbed the audience right out of their seats and took control of the theater!  Karen Lovely has been talked about, written about across the country and into Europe, where she is scheduled to tour again in early June 2015. She has recorded multiple CD’s and received many awards for her songs and shows. Karen has this beautiful smile and warmth when you meet her, and I can immediately see how things get to be real fun on stage when she starts this high-jump dance that she does in time with the music which just fuels the already “on-fire “musicians at her side. I love to see real energy like this where it’s not contrived, just a natural pulse reaction to the feeling within, which some artists, and certainly the three here being mentioned are all blessed with.  During the Intermission I got to spend a few minutes with Karen in the green room and I immediately was put at ease, as though I’d just met up again with a long lost friend. She’s just that way and I cannot wait to see her perform again in the near future.

Karen Lovely sings

Rounding out this terrific band of friends this evening were Keyboardist Louis Pain and Willis Moss on drums and vocals. Louis Pain is affectionately known as King Louis as well as Portland’s Best Kept Secret of the Northwest. Well schooled in the vanishing art of the Hammond B-3 and the modern-tech NORD keyboard systems, Louis and his authentic “ Leslie “ speaker system talk, I mean sing to the band in a tone and texture that you really either know, or have to experience for yourself or you’ll be clueless to my reference. The B3 sound has been around since the nineteen-forties, decades before Louis Pains’ time, but thanks heaven he took a path in music that is void of the millions of players, like we (dime-a-dozen lol!) guitar slingers! A person who understands the B3 can make up a wall of sound all on their own with precise control of volume, dynamic key articulation and variance of the rotation in the Leslie. It’s a superb sound and addition to any music but lends itself well to Blues, Jazz and of course Gospel music. Louis is a fine player and my observation is that he, like each of the players in this lineup was equal on all levels.

Louis Pain plays B3

Now, for my dear friend Willis Moss; as I mentioned last week in the promotion for this show, Mr. Moss is one of the rare ones who has walked through the fires of life and came out a new and reinvented soul. Plagued by diabetes and related ill-health for a lifetime, Willis received both a donor pancreas and a kidney and has been doing very well for going on ten years now. He appreciates life and has dedicated himself to promotion of music and the artists who play with passion. Moss surrounds himself with the best of the best as evidenced here in this show with the great Lloyd Jones, Mann, Lovely and Pain. Willis is a very talented drummer who is right there in the pocket, solid but never getting in the way of the music, rather driving it forward just as a great drummer should do. On top of that, he’s one of the best Blues singers in the business, looks good in a hat and is just a damn fine human being who is relentless at promoting regional music events and encouraging everyone around him to live life to the fullest.

Willis-Moss-drums-in-desert

This review would not be complete without a mention of the man at the helm of the Columbia Theatre, Gian Paul Morrelli, without whose help and love for music and the arts none of this would have happened in a place called Longview Washington. I spoke with Mr. Morrelli in his office prior to the show starting and came away convinced that this is a man with great ideas who just wants to bring good music and entertainment to the people with no agendas of his own. In the coming months there will be many more great shows at the Historic Columbia Theatre which Gian will be producing with a full lighting and amazing sound system in place. The building itself is warm, comfortable and a work of architecture and pure Art. A bar is available for your favorite beverages during the intermissions and there is plenty of safe, well-lighted parking adjacent to the theatre.  Watch for the updates and upcoming shows all about the Columbia Theatre right here in DGT!

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Ventura County Blues Festival

Posted in Blues Festival, Johnny Rivers, Mickey Jones, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2013 by damngoodtunes

Mickey Jones - Johnny Rivers

Mickey Jones – Johnny Rivers


This year’s Ventura County Blues Festival was held at the Moorpark College grounds in Moorpark California on April 27th. This event, formally known as the Simi Valley Blues Festival is now in it’s eighth year and without a doubt festival founder Michael John went all out on this one!

Each Year Michael has produced one of these events to support the American Diabetes Association. This year’s event started out with Musician, Actor and all around great guy Mickey Jones, who introduced the acts and kept the party rolling. Featured artists included opening act Michael John and The Bottom Line followed by Preston Smith and The Crocodiles, Donna Oxford and internationally known artists such as Savoy Brown, Johnny Rivers and Kenny Neal. The festival held once a year attracts artists who feel the cause is right. Consequently the music is nothing short of great!

The music started around eleven a.m. and went to around seven thirty in the evening with a birds-eye guess of an attendance in excess of four thousand spectators and music aficionados. A family friendly event with many vendors and plenty of great food available, the audience was treated to a special appearance by none other than George Thorogood, who wound up doing a few tunes with Johnny Rivers to set the stage on fire and cap off a perfect day of Blues and amazing performances! At the conclusion there was a silent auction for a guitar signed by all of the acts.

In my opinion it doesn’t get any better than this. I drove all the way from Washington State to be there among the fans and to hang with my good friend Mickey Jones. I will be more than happy to make a return visit to the 2014 Ventura County Blues Festival. See you there!

For more information please go to our main website:
http://www.damngoodtunes.com/Blues_Festival.html

By Tony Lacey

THE HARMONICA KING – JON GINDICK

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 25, 2012 by damngoodtunes

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Bruce J Maier

When I first heard about Jon Gindick last Winter, I really thought I had found the prize – that I now had learned something very few others knew. How I couldn’t wait to tell people about my discovery. Then, when I started getting the raised eyebrows and the ” where have you been ” stare, I realized I must have been living in a dark closet for Jon Gindick is the author of over a dozen instructional books about the Harmonica. Man was that humbling!

Back in the day when I was playing a lot of one man shows, especially solo-acoustic, I wore a harmonica holder and probably owned a total of three harps which were just there to provide some kind of extra interlude and passages in the folk tunes I was performing. But I never really ” got ” it, meaning that I didn’t fully appreciate the depth of character the instrument was capable of. Sure, I’d heard a few good Blues players along the way banging out a handful of riffs with their favorite local rock band in a tavern and I’d also heard a lot of Dylan, Neil Young and Country music’s Charlie McCoy. One of my favorite Harmonica players was actually John Lennon but now I am pretty sure that Mr. Lennon never came close to having mastered the Harmonica although it really added something to some of those early Beatles numbers! So for myself, the Harmonica was a step above an ornament unfortunately and that’s probably what the audience thought as I stumbled around aimlessly trying to accompany myself. I thought it was cool and everyone seemed to agree but in time I just took it out of the act and my poor little harps probably rotted into the ground somewhere near Seattle, abandoned by their clueless owner.

Jon Gindick discovered the harmonica back in the nineteen-sixties and although it was a popular, affordable and highly portable device that nearly anyone could learn to play a basic song with, few would realize the potential that the great men of Blues like Sonny Terry, Little Walter, Paul Butterfield and an elite few others had done. Gindick said that he played the Harmonica for a couple of years and it was cool and everything but then he had an epihamy which would change his life forever; cross-harp technique!

Music and that of the Harmonica or as it was known – the French Harp, has changed a great deal since the invention was patented by a sixteen year old boy named Christian Friedrich Buschman, decades before the commercialization by the Hohner company. By 1887 over one million Harmonicas were being manufactured and sold each year! (And it was easier than packing around a Piano on your way out to the West!) The Harmonica would become the sound and the symbol of campfire and folk music the world over as the little gems multiplied and found their way into hands of people from all walks of life eager to make music anywhere, anytime.

Jon Gindick, being one of the new pioneers of Harmonica music, grew to become a large fish in a rather small pond. There weren’t many Caucasian men around who could play a Harmonica “Blues-style” with soul and conviction, stacking up amongst the greatest Blues players such as those previously mentioned but Jon learned to wield his powerful little axe, jam with Rock, Blues, Country and Jazz. It didn’t matter what the style of the music was – Jon could make it fit. And fit it did! Jon Gindick went on to become one of the most important and highly sought after soloists in the country and he has played with everybody who is anybody, including the King of the Blues, BB King! Mr. King has referred to Jon Gindick as the “foremost instructor on the Blues Harmonica”, a title that is rightfully Gindick’s by any sense of measure. Jon’s instructional books have sold over two million copies to date!

Years ago Jon began teaching Harmonica and has helped thousands of aspiring beginners and pros alike to get on the right road to Harmonica Mastery. Jon’s master class is held near Clarksdale Mississippi for several days each session and limited to about thirty students. Demand is high and space limited but if you are serious about the Harmonica, this is the next big step.

So this would have been a story good enough for Rolling Stone or any of our competitors in music journalism on the web and I would have been more than happy with the conversations I have enjoyed on the phone with Mr. Gindick…. That is, until he asked if I would listen to his CD of original music. First, I thought well it’s going to be like a bunch of Muddy Waters covers you know, like everyone in the West Coast scene seem to gravitate to, so I said ” sure Jon, send it. I’ll give it a listen “. Well Jon sends me two deluxe instructional books to go over, and a couple days later arrives this CD with the title; WHEN WE DIE WE ALL COME BACK AS MUSIC. I was drawn to it like the proverbial moth to a flame. I went for a drive and put the CD on in my car and I started shouting out some expletives unfit for even this publication! Song after song Jon Gindick laid one surprise after another on me. I have never heard anything like this music. It is so outright original and entertaining it’s hard to imagine why music like this hasn’t spread like wildfire across the planet! All the elements are there; great words, instrumentation and production – top notch. But that’s not even the kicker…it’s Jon Gindick’s soulful beautifully melodic choice of song structure – how the vocals dance through your head as a journey through an enchanted dreamscape of love, loss, pain, anger and joy like only a true legend would know how to deliver. Sometimes a crooner in the classic style, at times rough and raspy and others so subtle you can almost hear a secret you’re not supposed to know! I have not been this surprised by a record or an artist since we started this web magazine over five years ago. And this CD will become one of my most cherished – right up there with Layla and Let It Be. It’s that good!

In conclusion, it is my intention to actually study the instructional books written by Jon. Perhaps with some hard work and my ” readers ” perched upon the end of my nose for a couple of years I just might bring the Harmonica back into my own personal act and it won’t serve as a mere ornament. Who knows? I might just one day make a trip out to Mississippi to Jon Gindick’s Jam Camp!

For the rest of you, I strongly urge you to check out Jon’s websites, listen to his music and buy his album. If you are thinking about learning the Harmonica or already play well and are ready for the next level, then consider studying with the very best. Call or write to Jon Gindick today!

http://gindick.myshopify.com/

 

 

Gary Moore dead at 58

Posted in Blues Guitar, Gary Moore, Skid Row, Still Got The Blues, Thin Lizzy, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 6, 2011 by damngoodtunes

Guitarist and vocalist Gary Moore has passed in his sleep while on holiday in Spain. Though only fifty-eight years of age, Moore had accomplished much and was known the world over for his soulful playing and innovative approach to Blues and Rock music. Highly underestimated for his singing, Gary Moore had a top hit with ” Still Got The Blues ” which showed the pop community that this man had vocal skills way over the top of the norm set by contemporary Blues rockers. Our deepest sympathy goes to his children, family and friends at this time of sorrow.

James Dean Fisher

Posted in Drums, Guitars, Independent Music, Indie Music, Interviews, Journalism, News, recording, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2010 by damngoodtunes

A couple weeks back we told you about Mr Fisher joining our staff and working with Editor, Eric Normand. Today in the DGT, you can get to know James a little starting off on the Home Page ” Music City Is My Home “.Our own James Dean

James actually has resided in Nashville for over thirty years and has some pretty “darn good” workingman’s insights about life around Music City. He knows what it takes to be there and live a good life. James pulls no punches and tells it like it is. That’s what we like about him. Check him out today!