Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blues at the library

Jimmy Alter (photo by Mike Klewicki)
There are plenty of young, talented blues musicians in Detroit, and you can see several as Jimmy Alter & Friends perform at the Southfield Public Library’s Jazz & Blues series program at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The band includes four of Detroit’s top young blues guitarists – Jimmy Alter, Jason “J-Bone” Bone, Carlton Washington and Brendon Linsley, a guitar whiz only in his mid-teens.  All four are good friends – between them they play in many different bands and musical ventures, sometime together, sometimes separately. They’ll be backed by veterans Chris Rumel on bass and Dave Watson on drums.
General admission is $5, $3 for Friends of the Southfield Public Library members. There is no charge for children under 12.

The Southfield Public Library is in the Southfield Municipal Complex, 26300 Evergreen Road. For more information, call the Guest Services Desk at 248-796-4224.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Alberta Adams is still Detroit's' Queen of the Blues

Alberta Adams
Singer Alberta Adams, known as Detroit's Queen of the Blues, is featured in an interesting article by Metro Times music writer Brett Callwood, who recently sat down with Alberta and her manager, RJ Spangler, at her Detroit home.
Click here to read Callwood's article.
I have seen Alberta perform several times, most recently in 2011 at the Southfield Public Library. Although she was in her 90s and in a wheelchair, she put on a very entertaining show, exhibiting the vibrancy of a much younger person. My favorite moment from the evening was when she was performing an uptempo tune. She obviously thought people should be dancing, so she pointed to two people in the front of the audience and said "dance!". They most certainly did. Who could turn down a request from the queen?
Alberta Adams
Alberta was honored this spring at the Detroit Pub Music Room’s Sunday Steak & Blues Series. It was titled “To Alberta With Love.”
If you want to show her some love yourself, check out one of her fine albums recorded when she was in her 80s. She recorded two CDs for the now defunct Cannonball Records label and then moved to Detroit-based Eastlawn Records. Her third record with Eastlawn, "Detroit Is My Home" (2008), features collaborations with pianists Mark "Mr. B" Braun, Al Hill and the late Ann Rabson (Saffire). Thornetta Davis also appeared on the CD. Years earlier, Alberta also recorded for the Chess, Savoy and Thelma (Gordy) labels.   

To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com




Monday, December 8, 2014

Laura Rain and the Caesars perform smokin' hot show at Boo's

Laura Rain and George Friend
A near capacity crowd thoroughly enjoyed what I describe as two “must sees” on Saturday night as Laura Rain and the Caesars performed a smokin’ hot show at the new Boo’s club inside Mr. B’s Pub in downtown Royal Oak.
Rain, singer and frontwoman for the group, is a dynamic performer best described as a force of nature. She boasts a powerful voice that is reminiscent of Aretha with a touch of Esther Phillips. And she delivers her vocals with a ferocity that reminded a companion of Janis Joplin. Rain, introduced as the “Cleopatra of the Blues,” was resplendent in a shimmery vintage gown. She has a great stage presence, oodles of sex appeal, boundless energy, and is a “must see” if you haven’t caught the group’s powerful mix of blues, R&B, funk and “modern, retro soul.”
Mark "Paz Man"  Pasman
Matching Rain in quality was guitarist George Friend, a talented and versatile axman who excels in both backup and solo roles. His playing can be subtle and tasteful, but he can rock out just as well.
Bassist Gwenyth Hayes and drummer Scott Veenstra provide a solid rhythm section.
Friend looked like he was having a blast on Saturday, not only when he was interacting with Rain, but also when Boo’s musical host, guitarist Mark “Paz Man” Pasman, joined the group for a half dozen selections.
Hearing these two fine guitarists trading licks was a treat indeed.
Boo’s, an intimate upscale blues club inside Mr. B’s in Royal Oak, is also a “must see.” The club has a cool vibe and lots of ambient energy, courtesy of the crowd inside Mr. B’s as well as the individuals who walk by on Main Street past the bank of windows behind the stage. The group’s dynamic sound produced lots of curious looks by those passing by.
Check out Laura Rain and the Caesars and their new CD, “Closer,” at laurarain.net. Be sure to catch a live performance before they head out on tour again. Click here to see a photo gallery from Saturday's show.
Laura Rain and the Caesars
At Boo’s, you can order food from the menu that received an overhaul when former auto-executive-turned-chef Johnny Prep purchased Mr. B’s and renovated the business this summer.
Boo’s has an excellent sound system that is not overwhelming loud, despite the relatively small size of the club. Unlike many blues clubs, a reservation holds a table for you, so there’s no hassle finding a seat. The club does have a cover charge (usually $10) on the weekends, but it’s worth it to see top Detroit blues performers in such an intimate setting.
Boo’s has only been open since Nov. 15, but has already hosted many talented performers including Bobby Murray, longtime guitarist for Etta James; and singer Thornetta Davis, a Detroit favorite.
You can count on Boo’s always hosting the cream of the Detroit blues crop, since Pasman does the booking. He knows the Detroit scene as well as anyone, not only as a musician, but as the former host of the “Motor City Blues Project” radio show for over 25 years. It helps that the club owner is a fan of the music too.
This week, Robert Noll performs as part of the Thursday Front Porch series, Howard Glazer celebrates the release of his new recording “Looking in the Mirror” with a live show on Friday, and The Alligators come in Saturday.
Downtown Royal Oak has not had a venue for the blues since Memphis Smoke closed. Boo’s presents a new opportunity to enjoy the best of the Detroit blues scene in a safe, downtown environment.

Check it out as soon as you can.

To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Boo's club brings blues to Royal Oak

Mark Pasman
The blues are coming to Royal Oak.
Boo’s, a new blues club inside Mr. B’s on Main Street in downtown Royal Oak, has a new performance space that will be hosted by a familiar face: blues musician and radio personality Mark "Pazman" Pasman. who hosted the “Motor City Blues Project” on WCSX-FM for 26 years before the station canceled the show in February.
Pazman will serve as Boo’s host and musical director, booking the acts for the 100-person capacity room. Pazman kicks things off Saturday, Nov. 15 with a free Pazman's Supersession show. 
Click here to see music writer Gary Graff's story about the new club.

LADY SUNSHINE AND THE X BAND

The Southfield Public Library will feature Lady Sunshine and The X Band at the next Jazz & Blues @ Your Library performance at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19.
The band is a two-time winner of the Detroit Blues Challenge; finished second at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn., in 2005; made it to the IBC semifinals in 2013; and has twice been named best blues band in Washtenaw County by Current magazine.
General admission is $5 and there is no admission charge for children under 12.

MARCIA BALL CELEBRATES NEW RELEASE
Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist/vocalist/songwriter Marcia Ball celebrates the release of her new Alligator Records CD, "The Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man," with a live performance on Nov. 22 at Callahan's Music Hall in Auburn Hills.
"The Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man" is her sixth release for the label.  Four of her previous five releases received Grammy Award nominations. 
Ball received the 2012 Blues Music Award for the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Of The Year. She has received 42 BMA nominations and has nine wins. She received a 2014 Living Blues Readers' Poll Award for Most
Outstanding Musician (keyboard) and has seven Living Blues Awards in all.

For info, click atcallahans.com.

To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com




Thursday, November 6, 2014

Busy weekend for Jim McCarty

It is going to be a busy weekend for Jim McCarty.
The rock and blues guitarist and singer well known internationally for his work with groups such as Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Cactus, and The Rockets, will host the Detroit Blues Society jam on Saturday at Shelly Kelly’s in Fraser; and then will be part of a Johnny Winter tribute on Sunday at Callahan’s Music Hall in Auburn Hills.
Jim McCarty
On Saturday, he’ll perform with his band Mystery Train, which includes his son Dylan McCarty on drums and bassist Marvin Conrad. Singer-guitarist Emmanuel Garza completes the lineup. He joined the band after the death of McCarty’s longtime musical partner Rick Stel in April.
McCarty’s roots with Garza are deep as well, going back to their days together in the Detroit Blues Band. That made the transition to a new lineup following Stel’s death a little easier.
“We’re a little more hardcore blues with Emmanuel, but the energy has stayed the same, which is the most important thing,” McCarty said. “Me and E know each other like the back of our hands. We work well together and have a lot of fun.”
McCarty has played Shelly Kelly’s before, years ago when it was the Erin Pub.
“It should be fun,” he said. “(Singer) Nikki James is going to be there and we’ll get her up on stage. It’s always a good time.”
McCarty and harmonica player-singer Jason Ricci will join Johnny Winter’s backup band for the tribute performance on Sunday.
“It’s going to be nice to see Jason,” McCarty said. “He was on my ‘McCarty and Friends’ CD, but I haven’t seen him in a few years.”
McCarty knew Johnny Winter for years.
“We had a few stories from the old days, some things you can’t put in print,” he said with a laugh. “In the old days, Johnny was a guitar slinger. He could fire it up.”
In late July, only two weeks after Winter’s death, McCarty went to see his Cactus bandmate, drummer Carmine Appice, perform with Vanilla Fudge in the Rock ‘n’ Blues Fest – A Tribute to Johnny Winter show at  DTE Energy Music Theatre. Also on the bill was the Edgar Winter Group, fronted by Johnny Winter’s younger brother Edgar.
“I joined them for a tribute to his brother at the end of the night,” McCarty said. “We did ‘Highway 61,’ ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Hootchie Coo’ and couple of other things.
“John is somebody I respected, so I have no problem paying my respects to a guy who was a great guitar player.”
Can’t make it to either show this weekend? McCarty will be back at Callahan’s on Nov. 29 with his friend, blues guitarist Sonny Moorman.
“Our first set is acoustic with my harp player, Kenny Welk,” McCarty said.  “People love it. Then, in our second set, we whip it.”

To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Papa Lee and the Body Shop Blues

Clyde "Papa" Lee - BluesPhotos by Don Mc Ghee
Papa Lee and the Body Shop Blues will be the featured performers at the Southfield Public Library’s Jazz & Blues program on Sept. 17.
Band leader Clyde W. “Papa” Lee Sr. began playing drums when he was in middle school in Flint and he is still at it more than 60 years later. He traveled and recorded with the Detroit Emeralds in the 1970s and played the famous Club Paradise in Idlewild, Mich.
He’s played with John Lee Hooker, Bobo Jenkins, Washboard Willie, Chicago Pete and just about every well-known Detroit blues artist during the past 50 years, including Eddie Burns, Calvin Frazier, Willie D. Warren, Mr. Bo and Little Mac Collins, Uncle Jessie White, and the Butler Twins.
"Little Arthur" Anderson
The evening will feature “Little Arthur” Anderson on harp and vocals. Also joining Papa Lee will be guitarists Joe Mitchell and Nick Tabarias, and bassist Buster Wylie.
The band will perform at 6:30 p.m. in the Meeting Room of the Southfield Public Library, 26300 Evergreen Road. General admission is $5, $3 for Friends of the Southfield Public Library members. There is no admission charge for children under age 12.
Jazz & Blues is sponsored by the Friends of the Southfield Public Library and the Detroit Blues Society.
For more information, call the Guest Services Desk at 248-796-4224 or click www.southfieldlibrary.org.


To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lady Sunshine and the X Band kick off Blues at the Elks series

The 2nd year of the Blues at the Elks series kicks off Tuesday, Sept. 9, with a performance by Lady Sunshine and the X Band.
Lady Sunshine was born on a plantation in West Helena, Ark., and grew up singing gospel music as a little girl. She moved to Ann Arbor in 1975 and began singing professionally.
The Sunshine Band came together in 1994 and made an immediate impact. The band, which has shared the stage with blues/R&B notables such as Koko Taylor, Bobby Rush, Little Milton, Roomful of Blues, War, Big Bill Morganfield, and many more, has garnered many awards.
The band is a two-time winner of the Detroit Blues Challenge; finished second at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn., in 2005; made it to the IBC semifinals in 2013; and has twice been named best blues band in Washtenaw County by Current magazine.
Janiva Magness
Lady Sunshine and the X Band will perform from 7-10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, at the Plymouth-Ann Arbor Elks Lodge, 41700 Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth, a half mile west of I-275. Admission is $5. There will also be a cash bar and pizza.  For more information, call 734-453-1780 or click
http://www.plymouthelks1780.com/.
Blues at the Elks is a co-production of the Plymouth-Ann Arbor Elks Lodge and the non-profit Detroit Blues Society.

Blues In Ann Arbor
The Ark in Ann Arbor has an impressive lineup of blues artists performing in the next eight weeks.
Standout singer Janiva Magness, a Michigan native who attended Mount Clemens High School while living with her grandparents, is the recipient of many top blues music awards. She’ll be at The Ark on Sept. 19.
Other blues artists headed to The Ark include singer-songwriter Laith Al-Saadi (Sept. 21), roots music performer George Bedard (Oct. 10), Shari Kane and Dave Steele with Brooks Williams (Oct. 16), and folk-blues singer and songwriter Chris Smither (Oct. 31).
For information, click www.theark.org.

To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com