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Connecticut Blues Society Quarterly newsletter

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Blues Society Newsletter

  1. 1. State of the BLUES The official publication of the Connecticut Blues Society SUMMER 2006 Connecticut Blues Society Hear Connecticut’s Best Blues Bands at Challenge Final A non-profit organization P.O. Box 651 Higganum, CT 06441 MISSION STATEMENT The Connecticut Blues Society is by Kent Kirkland 2:45 – 3:15 p.m. The Mike Crandall Band T dedicated to the promotion and took the third night and will entertain preservation of the Blues as a he West Hartford Hannon-Hatch unique music form in the State from 3:30 – 4 p.m. The Johnny Boots VFW post will host the 2006 CT of Connecticut. Founded in 1993, Band, as winner of the fourth night, will CTBS is a non-profit organiza- Blues Society Challenge Final be on stage from 4:15 – 4:45 p.m. Ryan tion and an affiliated member Saturday September 9 from 2 to 7 p.m. of the Blues Foundation, a Hartt & The Blue Hearts, who took Don’t miss a fun afternoon that provides worldwide network of 50 Blues the 5th preliminary, will play from 5 Societies with an international local bands with the opportunity to hit – 5:30 p.m., and the winner of the sixth membership in 12 countries. the big time. One band will be selected to (The Foundation produces the preliminary evening, The Mojomatics, represent Connecticut at the International annual W.C. Handy Awards, the will take the stage from 5:45 – 6:15 p.m. Lifetime Achievement Award, Blues Challenge (IBC), in Memphis, TN in Just as in the preliminaries, blues- the International Blues Talent February. The list of blues greats that have Competition, and the nationally knowledgeable judges will use IBC competed in and come out of the IBC over syndicated Blues radio show, guidelines to rank each band, using Beale Street Caravan). the years is impressive indeed including blues content, talent, originality, and CTBS is a great way to cultivate Slick Ballinger, Michael Burks, Tommy one’s love for the Blues and stage presence as criteria. Tom Retano, Castro, Albert Cummings, Delta Moon, make friends that share this entertainment chairman of the Berlin interest. Members receive State Larry Garner, and Susan Tedeschi. Blues Festival, will continue the engaging of the Blues, our newsletter, Over 30 blues bands from all over the which provides information on Master of Ceremonies services he state signed up for this year’s Challenge, the local and national Blues provided throughout the preliminaries. scene, along with reviews of CDs necessitating an expansion from the Retano also organized impromptu jams and other Blues products. traditional five-week preliminary process. of attending musicians at the end of each Each Thursday night for six weeks preliminary to keep excitement high while throughout June and half of July five bands the judges’ votes were tallied. rocked crowds at Black-eyed Sally’s. With The Final winner will be awarded a a number of high quality acts each night, slot in the 2007 Berlin Blues Festival, judges had difficulty narrowing the 30 a number of other quality gigs around preliminary bands down to six finalists. Connecticut, and a cash prize to offset Participating musicians deserve kudos. travel expenses for the Memphis trip. Of course they wanted to win but especially Last year’s winner, Jr. Krauss & The this year, bands supported each other with Shakes, won $1,500. The IBC winner in a high level of camaraderie. Ten bands were Memphis will win $1,000 of studio time, new to the Challenge; two of the new bands, an appearance on the Legendary Blues one from Waterbury and the other from Cruise, and an opportunity to open for Fairfield, won slots in the Final. the Blues Awards, and the King Biscuit The band that won the first night’s Festival. preliminary, Fade to Blue, will open Sat.’s The Hannon-Hatch VFW is located Final, playing from 2 — 2:30 p.m. Eran at 83 South St., West Hartford, CT. Troy Danner & Hot Dallas, which got the Admission is $5. Coolers are not most points from the judges on the second night of preliminaries, will perform from Continued on Page 10 BSaugust2006.indd 1 8/11/06 4:23:40 PM
  2. 2. State of the BLUES The official publication of the Connecticut Blues Society An Interview with Annie Raines by Lauren Davis Shea It allowed me to make a sound that I’d felt but I couldn’t produce. And the sound of a harmonica is similar to that LS: You’ve been described as, “The best female blues of a woman who sings in the alto range. harmonica player, ever.” And, “One of the best harp LS: What does your mother think, now ? players around, period.” Which do you like better? AR: She hopes I’ll be able to make a living at it someday. AR: I’d rather be described as a top player—really there Paul (Rishell) and I have been raising a daughter for the are no women I could compare myself to in terms of last ten years since her mother died and haven’t been able wanting to grow as a harmonica player. to get ahead financially. LS: W “James Cotton, Jr.?” LS: Didn’t your partnership with Paul begin in ’92 at his AR: Oh, I love that! It’s one of the coolest things. I had wife’s suggestion? the pleasure of playing with him on several occasions. AR: Paul’s wife, Leslie, was his manager as well. She LS: Your blues influences included Muddy Waters, was adamant that we play together and she did everything Howlin’ Wolf, and Big Walter Horton. Where did you she could to help the partnership grow, from booking get the ambition to make it not only in a man’s world but gigs and making travel arrangements to haranguing club playing a man’s instrument? owners to pay us what we were owed. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in ’94 and died in ’96. Their daughter was nine. LS: How horrible. AR: We had to keep the most important things first, the family and the music, and the career would fall where it will. She’s 18 now, and has turned out so well. LS: You recorded on Paul’s Swear to Tell the Truth CD in ’93. You’d been playing harmonica at that point since you were 17, for eight years. Have you found your musical soulmate? AR: He’s my only living musical soulmate—there are several soulmates who died before I was born; Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter. They’re my inspiration—I feel very close to them. “Soulmate” is a Pollyanna concept; however I can say Paul and I share so many unspoken values that come out through our music. We listen and respond to each other. LS: What made you decide not to stick to singing, a far more traditional field for women musicians? Photo by Alan Orling AR: I felt very insecure about singing; didn’t consider Paul Rishell and Annie Raines have played together for 13 that an option. I never sang publicly until ’95, when I years and have been described as “the best blues duo in the sang a song I wrote called Got to Fly. world.” LS: How did your initial experiences playing with Blues AR: My mother was part of the feminist movement of by Butch influence you? the late ’60s. She decided to become an artist when I was AR: Butch McClendon was an intense person and great born, to inspire me to do what I wanted to do by setting teacher. I had a great rapport with him from the time I an example. She gave me an alternate set of life tools joined his band in 1988. He died in 1992 at the age of 39, to work with, teaching me not to worry about fitting in and I started freelancing. I realized how rare it is to find with the mainstream. The harmonica gave me a voice. such a connection with another musician. When I started Continued on Page 8 2 State of the Blues — Summer 2006 BSaugust2006.indd 2 8/11/06 4:23:41 PM
  3. 3. State of the BLUES 2006 Blues Challenge Preliminaries The 2006 Challenge Judges: 2005 Challenge Winner Jr. Krauss & Shakes band members Shawn Leonard, Bob Bequillard, Ben Boylan, Doug “Jr.” Krauss, and Andy McDonald; Blues Music Writers & Artists Mary Lou Sullivan, Lauren Shea, and Fran Drew; “Super Fans” Sue Meeker and Ed Stack; Blues DJs Ben Shaiken, Doug MacNeil, and “Ramblin’ Bert Rand (WHUS), “River City Slim” Peter Rost (WWUH); Blues musicians “XY Eli” Williams and Tony Lupia; and CD Producer Glenn Holley. The Participating Bands: Walter Lewis Blues Band, Don’t Tell Muddy, The Bluesmeisters, Ironwood, Fade to Blue, Blues Deluxe, Bryan James Gatten Band, Ms. Marci & The Lovesick Other: Hounds, Eran Troy Danner & Hot Dallas, Cobalt CTBS Director Ed Stack assisted in balloting and Rhythm Kings, Bluzberry Pi, The Mike Crandall in staffing the CTBS table; CTBS President Dave Band, Steve Polezonis & Free Chicken & Beer, D. O’Neil staffed the CTBS table; CTBS Director Zeke Smith Blues Band, Wanted, Basically Blues Band, EZ Ster was the first in and last out, delivering, setting Street, Gene Donaldson & The Stingrays, The Johnny up, and breaking down the drum kit and bass; Terri Boots Band, Tinted Blue, Pete Scheips Band, Drew Jones handled timekeeping; Ray Meeker tabulated Blood Blues Band, Ryan Hartt & The Blue Hearts, ballots; and Kent Kirkland, CTBS Director, was The Pawnbrokers, Troy T. Blues Band, Bad Boys Blues photographer and Event Coordinator. Blue Moon Band, Blues on the Side, ED & The Bluepills, The Ale co-sponsored the preliminary process along with Known Unknowns, Mojomatics. Black-eyed Sally’s. $$ 1,000 DOLLARS $$ State of the Blues Summer • 2006 That’s what it costs the Connecticut Blues Society to produce, print and mail this summer edition of the newsletter. We mail an edition out Connecticut Blues Society Board of Directors every quarter, so that’s $4,000 every year that we spend to keep you DAVE O’NEIL–president informed about the Blues in and around Connecticut. It is your member- SARAH SANDERS–treasurer ship dues that we rely on to help defray this cost, as well as, the cost of DOM FORCELLA–past president our website, our event postcards, sending the Blues Challenge winners TOM SANDERS–past president VINNY CERVONI–director to Memphis and running the regular Blues events throughout the year. ED STACK–director None of the volunteers in this organization are paid for their efforts, but ZEKE STER–director we do need a steady stream of income to keep you informed about Blues DAVE JONES–webmaster in Connecticut and help promote this genre of music we love so much. KENT KIRKLAND–director Please take a moment after reading this newsletter to look at your mail- LAUREN DAVIS SHEA–editor ing address. It should contain the Expiration Date of your Blues Society KENT KIRKLAND, ART TIPALDI, ART SIMAS membership. If your membership has expired, please renew and help us MARK ZARETSKY, PETE DOYLE, TOM SANDERS–writers continue to promote the Blues. Thank you for your continued support! FRANCES DREW–newsletter design State of the Blues — Summer 2006 3 BSaugust2006.indd 3 8/11/06 4:23:42 PM
  4. 4. State of the BLUES The official publication of the Connecticut Blues Society Jammin’ in Chicago asked if a solid, not-so-famous harp player might sit in. He said Saturday was a “harp jam” and could work. On Friday, I met my four old friends at the fest. When I said I might play Saturday, my friend Dan— By Mark Zaretsky the guy who introduced me to Muddy Waters—said, I ’ve been going to the Chicago Blues Festival for 20 “Whattaya mean play tomorrow? We’re here today! years as an expatriate Chicagoan, returning home to draw from the well. Generally when people ask who’s playing I tell them, “It doesn’t matter; it’s about being there,”— in ‘the Home of the Blues,’ surrounded by 100,000 blues-lovin’ friends. OK, so this year I was wrong. That’s because this year there was a new performer debuting on the Mississippi Juke Joint Stage. Me. That guy sitting in with Dave Specter and Aron Burton, bassist for Albert Collins’ Icebreakers – with four of my junior high buddies in the audience – was me; living out one of my longest-running blues fantasies. I’ve played blues harp for more than 20 years now and have fronted Connecticut blues band The Cobalt Rhythm Kings for 10. But my experience playing in Chicago generally was limited to appearances at Headliner Bettye Lavette performs on the main stage. relatives’ weddings and a few jams at Kingston Mines, As Specter got ready to go on I told him my crew a well- known Chicago blues was there and THEY wanted to know if I could club. play. “Catch my eye about an hour into the set,” So when I heard Spector replied. Just a few minutes after I did that— this year that immediately after an appearance by former Muddy organizers Waters bassist Calvin “Fuzz” Jones—Spector called booked me up to join the band. a “house We played two songs, “Kiddio” and “Everyday I band” led by Have the Blues,” both songs I do with my own band. Specter, who When Burton gave me “the look” and I took my first happens to be a solo on “Kiddio” a couple of thousand people cheered, friend, and Burton, to including my buddies. Actually, it was more like a run a “Jam Station” roar. Inside, so did I. each evening, I e- The next day, I ran into another old blues buddy, mailed Specter. He told Tony Mangiullo from Rosa’s Lounge, one of me to touch base when Chicago’s top blues joints. I told him about the I arrived. previous evening’s excitement. “You never told me On opening day you played the blues!” Mangiullo said. Didn’t I? I stopped by to talk He invited me to sit in at Rosa’s – with Lurrie Bell before his show and no less, one of my favorite Chicago guitarists and son of one of my harp heroes, Carey Bell. The next Mark Zaretsky, of CT’s Cobalt night there I was, playing “Messin’ With The Kid” Rhythm Kings, solos while with Lurrie – with Super Chikan’s bassist sitting in sitting in on the Mississippi on guitar and Mangiullo himself on drums, piling one Juke Joint Stage. day’s fantasies-come-true on top of another. 4 State of the Blues — Summer 2006 BSaugust2006.indd 4 8/11/06 4:23:43 PM
  5. 5. State of the BLUES Bluzin’ in Chicago By Pete Doyle A ll enthusiasts who want a genuine experience in Blues music, culture, and history need to go to the great Chicago Blues Festival. Four full days of music with six different stages, all with different themes, keep music fans on the move. The Gibson Guitar Crossroads stage-where guitars were always jamming, and the Mississippi Juke Joint stage-with a more acoustic Delta sound, are at the ends of two Headliner Elvin Bishop is joined by his mentor, “Little streets. The Main Stage/Petrillo Music Shell starts Smokey” Smothers on the main stage. at 5 each night, and runs to 9:30 p.m. sharp. No one complains about the lack of encores because, hey the jazzy, good-time band had things jumping. His piano whole festival is free admission! playing, party atmosphere was a true Bourbon Street A quick rundown of some shows: • Elvin Bishop show. • ’Lil Ray from Baton Rouge had great guitar and his old blues teacher, Smokey Smothers. They work and two pianos. The six-man band jammed real played an hour later than the scheduled time but no hard for the very friendly crowd. • Catherine Russell one cared. • Super Chikan from Clarksdale, Miss., from New York, clearly influenced by her bandleader and his all-female, high-energy band drew a huge father, gave a very good performance within a wide crowd. He played guitars made from a ceiling fan, range of musical styles. • Henry Butler played piano a gas can, and a cigar box! His adult-rated nursery and sang like Ray Charles. He and Vasti Jackson rhymes had everyone more than amused. He ended played smokin’ Chicago blues. • Eddie Shaw and the every song with the phrase “somebody shoot that Wolfgang played many classic Wolf tunes with three thang!” Presumably the chicken! • Duwayne Burnside side performers from the early days of Howlin’ Wolf. and The Mississippi Mafia tore things up with hard- Real good stuff. • Zora Young has a powerful gospel- driving, down and dirty blues. Great music and I like voice and a solid band. Her guest, Koko Taylor, thought a good name for a band. • Eddie Bo and his sang ‘Wang Dang Doodle.’ • The great Sam Lay sat in on the drums with the Siegel-Schwall Blues Band, and later received a lifetime achievement award. His contributions to blues through playing, writing, producing and the number of bands he helped start is truly amazing. Look him up. • Walter “Wolfman” Washington showcased his tight jazz fusion type band. • Bobby Blue Bland did his usual thing, although now confined to a wheelchair. Thinking of going next year? Southwest flies from Bradley to Midway Airport direct. The Best Western and Congress Plaza Hotel are good /better places to stay. Take the Orange Line train to Grant Park for $2, where the festival is held. All you need to know is Michigan Ave., and two streets running parallel: Wabash and State. Buddy Guys’ Legends club is on Wabash. You can’t go wrong with Miller’s Pub. Closer Bobby “Blue” Bland performs on the main stage. Everything you need is within walking distance. State of the Blues — Summer 2006 5 BSaugust2006.indd 5 8/11/06 4:23:44 PM
  6. 6. State of the BLUES The official publication of the Connecticut Blues Society REVIEWS By Art Tipaldi Little Milton, His Last watch that on the chitlin’ circuit, Milton’s style and songs Concert, Live At The North are as popular with audiences as B.B. King’s songs. Atlantic Blues Festival, Once he began to sing, it was with a distinctive voice (Camil Productions) One of that blends Beale Street soul and Mississippi Delta real- the most devastating tragedies ism in the stories he told. From there, he reprised another last year was the untimely classic, “Annie Mae’s Cafe,” which transported these death of Little Milton waterfront Maine blues fans back South to a backwoods Campbell. Milton was the Mississippi Bar-B-Q joint. His pictures and descriptions picture of health and energy. were so vivid that fans here were probably wantin’ some Every performance was a white lightnin’ with their lobster rolls. Follow that with class act. Then, in August “Walking The Backstreets Crying” and “A Possum In My 2005, we suddenly lost him. His final performance was at Tree” and it’s easy to see why Little Milton connected so the North Atlantic Blues Festival on July 9th and thank- directly with his fans. His intimate storytelling augment- fully, it was filmed by festival promoter Paul Benjamin. ed by his hanging, bent notes personalized every Little Benjamin approached Milton’s widow, Pat Campbell, Milton experience. about the possibility of releasing this to grieving fans of Milton once told me about his sound. “I think my Little Milton around the world. originality is control and power. I approach songs with From the moment he took the stage singing “Still Some power or softness, letting the voice start telling the story Meat Left On The Bone,” one thing was clear. Other then and gradually building into a climax-type thing. You can B.B. King, no one is as honored in the world of blues as mimic me, but if you don’t feel it, it’s not gonna come out Little Milton. Amid the pouring rain of the day, Benjamin right.” This is evident in all the songs here. No Milton accurately captured the essence of Milton’s greatness. show would be complete without the international blues His throaty tenor is one of the most recognizable in the anthem, his world famous “Blues Is Alright.” After two blues. His eloquent single string guitar work was born mid tempo, slow blues songs, “Blues Is Alright” energeti- from growing up deep in the Mississippi Delta. Like all cally bathed blues over the Maine crowd like the sunshine the blues greats, Little Milton played and sang every song that finally peaked through on this rainy day. First Milton here with over a half century of musical history in every soloed on his Gibson, then he put the guitar down and led note. the fans in a side to side sing-a-long. On the second song, Milton talked and sang his way The CD recorded from the performance also has through the soul ballad, “Just One Moment.” Resplendent Milton’s seven minute encore “Shake, Rattle, And Roll.” in green and gold, Milton delivered his pleadin’, age old, The words of farewell from his widow, Pat Campbell tell love song of need as only he could. The third song, “I the world the kind of man Milton Campbell was through- Don’t Believe In Ghosts,” had Milton wondering about the out his life. His love of all people and music lived right strange happenings in his home, including being bitten until his final days. by his own dog. During this song, Milton put the shiny, Milton’s unique voice, guitar, and soul will be greatly wood grained Gibson over his shoulder and ripped off missed around the world. This CD and DVD are musi- some of that single string lead guitar he is known for. cal treasures every fan of honest American music should Milton began his 20 minute soul blues medley with his own. This CD is available at http://www.littlemiltonsstore. signature thick toned guitar intro. The four tunes included com. in the medley are classic Milton. On “Catch You On The All proceeds from the CD go to Milton’s widow. The Way Down,” Milton offered a guitar primer for every DVD is available at guitarist watchin’. No string was left untouched, no tone nabrecords.html and part of the proceeds from that sale unexplored by the master. Remember while you listen and will go to the Blues Foundation in Little Milton’s memory. 6 State of the Blues — Summer 2006 BSaugust2006.indd 6 8/11/06 4:23:45 PM
  7. 7. State of the BLUES REVIEWS By Art Simas Dan Stevens Road to “Sleepin’ Alone” by Toby Walker recounts the famil- Memphis (River Road iar tale of travel on the road. On this one, Stevens allows Music) Dan Stevens is one of himself some fun and cuts loose by finger dancing on the the best at playing traditional frets. Its corollary, Stevens’ original “Ramblin,’ ” moseys blues with personal passion. along without looking back because, “I’m like a dog that As he embarked on his jour- don’t remember his name.” This inevitably leads to the ney Stevens gave listeners state of “Broke Down and Hungry,” another Stevens com- a glimpse of what to expect position. While none of us want to be there, we find our- when he reached his last stop. selves in this predicament every now and then. There’s no While the geographical des- fault or blame to be handed out. We’re just here; now we tination is Memphis, Tenn., I get the sense that Stevens have to deal with it. isn’t concerned about where he ends up. It’s the journey One of the most interesting songs is the combined “It that’s most important – the meetings, discoveries, and Hurts Me Too” by Elmore James and “Come Into My Kitchen” by Robert Johnson. Stevens initially teases the friends who happen to be on the same road. listener with an all-too-short solo that captures the essence With a mix of originals, tried and true standards, and of the lament during the first song. But he recovers to a sprinkling of rusted nuggets, Stevens blends his unique make a sly midnight creep into the Johnson tune. With talents with an understated reverence for the music. On an elongated 6:36 minutes, the listener will get his or her the classic, “Drinkin’ Muddy Water,” the resonance of the full of “Kitchen.” A playful “That’s Alright” by Arthur National guitar seeps into your skin ever so slowly, like a Crudup emerges after a bit of reminiscing about a visit to man crawling, in search of himself. The gospel according Sun Studios in Memphis and the ghost of Elvis. to the Rev. Gary Davis shines on “Oh Glory,” a technical- The CD finishes with the last original by Stevens, ly difficult tune to carry, both with the fingers and vocally. “Can’t Make Me Blue,” about meeting up with someone It’s interesting that “Oh Glory” precedes a cover of who did you wrong way back when. Divorcées and driv- Memphis Minnie’s “Down in the Alley” who’s got to ers and passengers on the boulevard of broken dreams get her business “fixed all right.” As in most blues, the take heart because, “You can’t make me blue no more … interpretation and meaning is wide open to the listener, I’m done dealing with the pain I went through over you.” depending upon where you’re at in your life. Now ain’t that the truth! Jason Nocera provides all art work for The Worldʼs Most Annoying CD, available at: State of the Blues — Summer 2006 7 BSaugust2006.indd 7 8/11/06 4:23:46 PM
  8. 8. State of the BLUES The official publication of the Connecticut Blues Society Annie Raines cont'd from page 2 in front of so many people, especially such a hip crowd. It was such an honor to be part of his show. playing with Paul, I was in a position to appreciate it. LS: You left Antioch College your first year to pursue LS: The bantering you and Paul engaged in when I saw music fulltime. Do you think about going back? you perform is genuine, funny, and politically incorrect. AR: I’ve gone to Road U., but I always want to continue How do you manage that playfulness on stage? my musical education. I love learning new instruments AR: I’m known as a loose cannon on stage. The crowd in and new styles. Connecticut was so welcoming. We love playing listening LS: You play piano, mandolin, mandolin harp, Hammond rooms like Canton's Roaring Brook Nature Center. B-3 organ, percussion. How have you learned so many LS: More than playing at clubs? instruments? AR: We have a band that we bring with us for club dates. AR: I’ve played piano since I was a kid. Paul started These are musicians with finesse; with patience and me playing mandolin when he wanted to play guitar an ear for the idiom—there’s more to blues than three on Kansas City Blues. The mandolin has a certain chords. We also love playing festivals—blues, or folk, or resemblance to the harmonica in that it’s set up in fifths. bluegrass, or roots. I’d like to spend more time learning how to play. I’m also LS: How have you and Paul pulled off being such studying tap dance, because physicality is important in crossover artists? African and folk music. Dancing is percussive, and it will AR: Those classifications are born of convenience for influence my playing. record sellers. I’m a blues musician at heart. Some of LS: How about songwriting? How does that happen for my songs may remind others of folk or rock, but what you? people call “the blues” is really subjective anyway. Try AR: That’s really my first love; I’ll get a few words comparing Stevie Ray Vaughan with Mississippi Fred or phases and then a melody comes to mind. Paul has McDowell. Which is blues? inspired me as a songwriter. I respond to the stimulus of LS: Your CDs together have included ’96’s I Want You doing a lot of gigs. I want to do more. We played about 50 to Know, which was nominated for four Handy Awards; gigs last year and this year it looks like we’ll go back up ’99’s Moving to the Country, which won the Handy for to what we were doing before 9/11, about 100. acoustic album of the year; and ’04’s Going Home. What LS: Why do you put so much time into teaching others has winning the Handy done for your career? how to play harmonica? AR: I was surprised how much it helped, getting us more AR: Teaching is learning. It forces you to examine more press and bigger crowds. We were very gratified to win, deeply the subtlety and motivation behind the technique. as we always considered ourselves to be on the outside The secret delight is that you are communing with music looking in. when you share how to do it with another person who is LS: What’s it like playing with people like Pinetop appreciative. Perkins and Susan Tedeschi? LS: Your website creates an inviting forum for interaction AR: I’d been listening so hard for the harmonica when I with fans. Why do you make the time to write there? heard Muddy Water’s music; when I played with Pinetop, AR: It’s exercise in playing with words—dusting off an I became more appreciative of the impact of his piano unused part of my mind. Whenever you take the stage you in creating the overall sound. Susan Tedeschi hired occupy two roles, as guest and hopefully as gracious host. me in ’95 when she was just getting started playing That’s something I always work on. We want our website clubs around Boston. She, Adrienne Hayes and I had to be a reflection of that—a nice place that we host where a good energy together, but there was a lot of pressure people can hang out. to be a commercial “girl band,” playing grandstanding LS: Is there anything I haven’t asked that you’d like to rock’n’roll—we were trying to play the blues. Susan was talk about? a big inspiration to me as a singer and as a musician, but I AR: Ask me whatever it is that you were hesitant to ask already knew where my heart was musically, and that was about. in playing with Paul. LS: Are you and Paul married? LS: What is your most memorable moment on stage? AR: We’re planning to be. We went about this AR: Opening for Ray Charles. We get energized playing Continued on Page 10 8 State of the Blues — Summer 2006 BSaugust2006.indd 8 8/11/06 4:23:46 PM
  9. 9. State of the BLUES “Ask The Blues other blues musicians? I’m sure if you asked them you’d get many answers, but primarily in no particular order: • They are busy; wife, kids, business, whatever. Just Curmudgeon” can’t find the time. • They’re more interested in improving their own (Tom Sanders is the Blues playing, so they play as much as they can. Can’t make the Curmudgeon. He is a founder time. and former president of the • They’re just more interested in themselves, period. CTBS, winner of the 1996 Blues Couldn’t give a rat’s ass about supporting others. Challenge, for 15 years founder • The driving thing with the DUI laws. Young guys and bandleader of the Hornets— don’t care as much—they will take more chances. But and currently the Known Unknowns, and all around there aren’t many young people into blues, especially blues idea man. the women. Just look at the difference in the crowd at Hey Blues Curmudgeon, Hartford’s Sally’s and Pig’s Eye. With so few opportunities to hear live blues around Need I say more! So maybe the answer is, too many Connecticut, why don’t the considerable numbers of local old guys trying to hold onto a piece of their youth, still Blues musicians attend other blues bands’ gigs? into the blues, and not enough young people giving a shit. Next question. This is a great follow up to the question that I answered in the last newsletter about getting more people out to blues shows. It’s complex; I don’t claim to have the answer, but first here’s a little background on my perspective. When I first got the blues fever I would go to hear any blues band I could find. This was the late ’70’s/early ’80’s when there were very few local blues bands although some big time artists like Muddy Waters passed through now and then. I’m sure I’ll be corrected on this, but Roomful of Blues, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, Duke Robillard & The Pleasure Kings, Albert Otis, L.A. Jones, and Hash Brown are the only ones I remember playing blues locally on a regular basis. However, this was a great time to hear blues. All these guy’s were hitting it hard. Blues, Booze, BBQ The venues close to me that had blues bands were Hartford’s Rocking Horse, New Britain’s Angelico’s and and a record label too! Rosie O’Grady’s and—the most unlikely—Middletown’s Elbow Room. In the mid-’80’s, Manchester’s Hungry Check out Phil Guyʼs latest CD on Black Eyed Tiger and New London’s Bank St. Café also came on the Records. Recorded at Paranoise Studios in scene. Hartford, and mixed by Bert Teague The point I’m trying to make is that there were far at Hidden Valley Studio in Granby, CT. fewer blues musicians, so much less competition for the Now Available at gigs. Today, CT has about 60 blues bands looking for gigs every weekend. Most of these bands are average, and a few are a little better. Some are just not ready to play out and are a big part of why the crowds are not as big as they could be. Sorry, but it’s the truth. I’m not saying musicians shouldn’t keep at it; just don’t bring it out too 350 Asylum St • Hartford, CT 06103 soon. Phone: 860.278.7427 • Fax: 860.808.0149 Now, why don’t local blues musicians go out to hear State of the Blues — Summer 2006 9 BSaugust2006.indd 9 8/11/06 4:23:48 PM
  10. 10. State of the BLUES The official publication of the Connecticut Blues Society Send your classifieds to Musicians Looking For Bands I’m a “mature” bass player currently in a classic rock band, but I’m looking for a blues side project (which is the music I love). Contact 47 year old harmonica player/entertainer looking to hook up with Ray at guitar or keyboard player to form duo and play small gigs. I also sing and play a little guitar. Very profesional. Blues, roots music, show- tunes, you name it I’ll play it. Hartford–Springfield area. Call Rich at Bands Looking For Musicians 1–860 -413–9484 or e–mail : wanted ........drummer for working blues trio, must be able to play A 35 year old blues lead guitarist looking for band of like minded twice a week. Mail me at blues people. Annie Raines cont'd from page 2 and that still feels more like real life than houses and relationship backward. It started out as business with me clothes and bills. just being a hired gun. Then we were business partners. Challenge Final cont'd from page 1 Then we had a daughter to raise, and then we became a couple. After we get married we’ll have a chance to date permitted; there will be inexpensive drinks and food each other! In the last 10 years, some of the only time we available. Bring your chair and wear your hat; this event have had alone together is on stage in front of an audience features an outdoor stage and tent, with a hall in the event — we’re so into the music that we’re in our own universe, of rain. Connecticut Blues Society Membership Form ___New ___ Renewal Name________________________________________________________ Address______________________________________________________ Optional: or ow f I would like to be on the following committees T B S n t he t he C i ve Join nd rece ” CD. $2 0 a F la v o r ____Newsletter ____Events ____Membership al “ Lo c ____Mailings ____Media ____Advertising Phone_________________________ E-mail________________________ $15 for membership renewal. Please make your check payable to: The Connecticut Blues Society Mail To: P.O. Box 651, Higganum, CT 06441 10 State of the Blues — Summer 2006 BSaugust2006.indd 10 8/11/06 4:23:49 PM
  11. 11. State of the BLUES Blues Plate Special Weekly listings for blues on the tube . . . ADELPHIA-NORWICH COX-MANCHESTER Tuesday 9:00 PM, Ch. 14: Bozrah, Colchester, Franklin, Wednesday 9:30 PM, Ch. 15: Glastonbury, Manchester, Lisbon, Norwich, Preston, Sprague Newington, Rocky Hill, South Windsor, Wethersfield ADELPHIA-OLD LYME COX-RHODE ISLAND Tuesday 9:00 PM, Ch. 27: East Haddam, Haddam, Lyme, Sunday Midnight, Ch. 13: All of Rhode Island except Warren Old Lyme, Salem & Block Island COMCAST-BOLTON COX-WARREN, RI Wednesday 8:00 PM, Ch. 5: Andover, Bolton, Ellington, Sunday Midnight, Ch. 49: Warren Hebron, Marlborough, Tolland, Vernon EASTERN-NEW LONDON COMCAST-SIMSBURY Sunday 9:00 PM, Ch. 24: East Lyme, Griswold, Killingly, Thursday 2:00 PM & 9:00 PM, Ch. 5: Simsbury Montville, New London, Plainfield, Putnam, Sterling, CABLEVISION-NORWALK Waterford Friday 7:00 PM, Ch. 77: Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, TELE-MEDIA-SEYMOUR Norwalk, Stamford, Westport Wednesday 10:00 PM, Ch. 10: Ansonia, Beacon Falls, CABLEVISION-SOUNDVIEW Bethany, Derby, Naugatuck, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton Wednesday 11:00 PM, Ch. 34: Bridgeport, Fairfield, Milford, Orange, Woodbridge CHARTER-WINSTED Tune in to the Blues Thursday 9:00 PM, Wednesday 3:00 PM, Ch. 13: A Directory of Blues Radio Shows in Connecticut Barkhamsted, Colebrook, Harwinton, New Hartford, WNHU 88.7 Sunday 11:00 pm – 2:00 am, Dr. Bill West Hartland, Winchester, Winsted Monday 8:00 – 11:00 pm, Miss Rusty J. CHARTER-WILLIMANTIC WESU 88.1 Thursday 10:00 am – Noon, Garson Fischer Thursday 4:00 PM, Ch. 14: Ashford, Brooklyn, Canterbury, WRTC 89.3 Saturday 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Chris/Dave Chaplin, Columbia, Coventry, Eastford, Hampton, Lebanon, WPKN 89.5 Sunday 6:00 – 10:00 pm, Bill Nolan Thursday 6:00 – 10:00 pm, Bob Shapiro Mansfield, Pomfret, Scotland, Thompson, Willimantic, Willington, Windham, Woodstock WECS 90.1 Wednesday Noon – 2:00 pm, Don Denley Tuesday 8:00 11:00 pm Ramblin' Bert: Rockin the Blues COMCAST-CLINTON WCNI 91.1 Sunday 9:00 – Noon, Rocky Wagner: Sun. Morn. Blues Thursday 8:00 PM, Ch. 19: Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Monday 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Kim Scott Red Hot Smokin’ Blues Monday 6:00 am – 9:00 am, Dan Loftus: Wicked Madam Blues Review Durham, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Old Saybrook, Saturday 9:00 am – Noon, Dana Fargnoli: Out of the Blues Westbrook Saturday 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Dan Sefton: Not So Blues COMCAST-CROMWELL WWUH 91.3 Monday 3:00 – 6:00 am, River City Slim Monday 1:00 – 4:00 pm, Mike Marti: The Marti Party, Blues, R&B, Oldies Thursday 10:00 PM, Ch. 3: Cromwell, East Hampton, Monday 9:00 pm – Midnight, Bart Bozzi: Blue Monday Middlefield, Middletown, Portland Thursday 6:00 – 9:00 am, River City Slim: Pine Grove Blues Friday 1:00 – 4:00 pm, Dwight Thurston: In The Weeds COMCAST-NEW HAVEN WHUS 91.7 Sunday 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Ramblin’ Bert Rand: Bluesline Tuesday 9:00 PM, Ch. 27: Hamden, New Haven, West Haven Tuesday 5:00 – 7:00 am, Mac Thursday 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Ramblin’ Bert Rand COX-CHESHIRE Friday 2:00 – 5:00 am, Matt Talbot: Blues Before Sunrise Wednesday 9:30 PM, Ch. 15: Cheshire, Meriden, Southington Saturday 9:00 pm – Mid., Dave Carpenter: The Blues Bus COX-ENFIELD WEFX 95.9 Monday – Friday 10:00 pm, Lonesome Dave Thursday 9:30 PM, Ch. 15: East Granby, East Windsor, WCCC 106.9 Sunday 6:00 pm – Midnight, Sunday Night Blues with Beef Stew Enfield, Granby, Hartland, Somers, Stafford, Suffield, Union, WFCS 107.7 Thursday 10:00 am – Noon, The Road Hog Windsor Locks State of the Blues — Summer 2006 11 BSaugust2006.indd 11 8/11/06 4:23:50 PM
  12. 12. Connecticut Blues Society A non-profit organization P.O. Box 651 Higganum, CT 06441 Connecticut Blues Society 11th Annual Blues Challenge e Saturday, September 9th Doo Insid M u rs Ope rs, Rain m sic s n tdoo Eran Troy Danner & Hot Dallas 2p t a r t at 1 p Sh ine Ou t a r ts at s at m ic s 2 pm Mus Mike Crandall Band • Johnny Boots Band Ryan Hartt & the Blue Hearts Fade to Blue • Mojomatics Doors Open at 1:00 pm • Music starts at 2 pm • Admission $5 Bucks No coolers • Food and Drink Available Held in conjunction with West Hartford VFW Post 9929 83 South Street, W. Hartford, CT 06010 Benefits various VFW veterans’ projects, Blues4Vets, and CT Blues Society. DIRECTIONS: From I-84. Take the SOUTH MAIN STREET exit- EXIT 41- toward ELMWOOD. Turn onto CT-173/S MAIN ST towards Elmwood. Turn LEFT onto CT-173/CT-71/NEW BRITAIN AVE. Continue to follow CT-71/NEW BRITAIN AVE. Turn RIGHT onto SOUTH ST (after underpass). End at 83 South St, West Hartford, CT 06110-1922. Cannons and Flag in front. BSaugust2006.indd 12 8/11/06 4:23:52 PM