SSBA Newsletter, December 2012
Volume 7, Issue 12
The South Sound Blues Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the blues as an American art form on behalf of its performers and fans through education, community and performance. SSBA NEWS FLASH !! NOLAN GARRETT will now be representing the South Sound Blues Association in Memphis at the IBC in 2013 in the solo/duo act category. House of Bourbon (Son Jack Jr. and Michael Wilde) graciously decided to drop out of the competition and hand the torch to young Nolan who had finished second at the SSBA competition in June. Besides being great musicians, these two guys are a couple of very special people to have offered this talented youngster the opportunity for exposure to the international blues community on Beale Street in Memphis!! Please plan on attending a fundraiser for Nolan scheduled for Sunday, Nolan's reaction when told by Son Jack Jr. and January 20, 2013 at The Michael Wilde on stage at Jazzbones that he would be replacing them at the IBC. Swiss. Please see www.southsoundblues.com in the next few weeks for more details.
The SSBA is an Active Affiliate of
CONGRATULATIONS to the Mt. Baker Rhythm and Blues Festival for winning the Keeping The Blues Alive award from the Blues Foundation in the category of Best National Festival. Lloyd Peterson had produced this festival for 18 years, bringing to the Northwest some of the world’s great blues musicians at the outstanding Deming Log Show Grounds venue just east of Bellingham. Anyone who has ever attended this festival will agree that this award is more than well deserved. If you haven’t been, 2013 is the year to make your inaugural visit. You won’t be sorry, and as always the lineup is awesome. “It’s a tribute to nearly two decades of tireless work by a multitude of dedicated folks. Our musicians, volunteers, stage technicians and loyal fans make this festival worthy of this award. The vibe of the Mount Baker R&B Festival is what makes us worthy. The life of this event is rooted in the many heartbeats of all of those who’ve touched the festival, and this is a reflection on each and every one of them. A special thanks to Stephen Peringer, my dear friend and world-class illustrator; his artwork (see backpage) has set the visual tone for over a decade. I guess in this case...what you see is what you get! See you in August!”
The next SSBA Board Meeting will be held Dec. 4th at 6:30PM at Uncle Thurm’s BBQ, 3709 South G Street. All members are welcome to attend the meeting, but must inform Gary ahead of time if they wish to speak so they may be placed on the agenda. Minutes of the board meetings will be made available upon request.
Gary and the gang
Lloyd Peterson/Producer 1
The Prez says ...
Hey, Blues Fans! Wondering why you should join the SSBA? For a $20 yearly individual membership fee, you will receive:
’is the season for good tidings and joyful celebrations! If you haven’t heard yet, we are planning our annual SSBA holiday party on Thursday, December 20th at The Harmon Brewery in downtown Tacoma, starting at 6:00 PM. We will be providing live blues along with hors d’oeuvres and raffles. Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and join the fun. Please welcome our newest board member Jho Blenis, who has been performing in the NW for over forty years and brings a wealth of knowledge about blues to our organization. Welcome aboard, Jho! I look forward to doing an interview with you in an upcoming newsletter. By now most of you know that Nolan Garrett will be competing in the solo/duo act competition in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge in January. House of Bourbon (Son Jack Jr. and Michael Wilde), who finished first in this year’s competition, decided to give the opportunity to Nolan Garrett, who was the runner-up. Please mark your calendars for Sunday, January 20, 2013 when we will be helping Nolan raise money for his trip to Memphis. The event will begin at 4 PM and end at around 10 PM. Check our website in a couple of weeks for the complete line-up and details. I would like to encourage all of you to consider making the trip to the International Blues Challenge presented by the Blues Foundation in Memphis, TN in January. This is an event that a true blues fan doesn’t want to miss. There is still plenty of time to book your rooms and flights for this five-day extravaganza. Here are some of the particulars: The 29th International Blues Challenge will begin Tuesday night (Jan. 29) with the FedEx International Showcase; Wednesday and Thursday nights (Jan. 30/31) Quarter-Finals will be conducted; Youth Showcase and Semi-Finals will be held Friday night (Feb. 1); Saturday (Feb. 2) the IBC will conclude with the Finals in the historic Orpheum Theater. The 2013 International Blues Challenge will be the 29th year of blues musicians from around the world competing for cash, prizes, and industry recognition. The world’s largest gathering of blues acts represents an international search by The Blues Foundation and its affiliated organizations for the Blues Band and Solo/Duo Blues performers ready to take their act to the international stage. In 2012, 119 bands and 86 solo/ duo acts entered, filling the clubs up and down Beale Street throughout the week. At least that number of acts are expected
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A regularly produced copy of this newsletter Monthly calendar of South Sound blues events The opportunity to submit articles & music reviews Special event email blasts Event and merchandise discounts A vote on important association matters The satisfaction of knowing you're a part of the South Sound Blues community AND MORE!
South Sound Blues Association Membership Application Name(s) __________________________________________ Address __________________________________________ City, State ____________________________ Zip _________ Phone: Home/Work/Cell _____________________________ Email ____________________________________________ NOTE: If you want to receive your newsletter and special events information by email, the SSBA does not give out email or membership information. _____ Student/Senior Membership $10/year _____ Individual Membership $20/year (Email News) _____ Individual Membership $30/year (Snail Mail News)** _____ Family Membership $30/year _____ Band Membership $50/year _____ Lifetime Individual Membership $200 (one-time fee) _____ Lifetime Family Membership $300 (one-time fee) _____ Corporate Membership $TBD/year _____ Venue Membership $TBD/year _____ Additional Donation Occupation _______________________________________ Volunteer Skills ____________________________________ Musicians — Instrument(s) ___________________________ Interested in a Committee Position? ____________________ Please make checks payable to: South Sound Blues Association P.O. Box 26303, Federal Way, WA 98093-3303 Have questions? Call Gary at (253) 230-6851, or visit our Website: www.southsoundblues.com ** The additional $10 charge for Individual Snail Mail Memberships is required to cover the costs of providing hard-copy printing and delivery of the Association Newsletter and the monthly Calendar of Events.
SSBA Newsletter Advertising Rates
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on drums. (Reservations are recommended. Call Jazzbones, at 253-396-9169.) Ring in the New Year at The Lakewood Elks for a grand celebration of dinner, dancing and toasting on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31st, starting at 6pm. Tickets are available in advance by calling the Elks at 253-588-2388. Have a swingin’ holiday season!
Jeff Hayes It’s not my usual policy to post personal items on my monthly DRUMMERBOY Newsletter. Generally speaking, I confine my posts to music, Muddy Sons & DRUMMERBOY-related topics. But something has happened that overlaps and overwhelms all aspects of my life. On December 17, I will be relocating to Southern California for two months while I accompany a member of my immediate family who is being treated for a serious illness. My good friend Billy Stoops will be holding down my first Wed. of the month nights @ The Highway 99 Blues Club until my return and my association with Madman Sam in The Muddy Sons remains intact and strong. In fact, I will be returning to the PNW temporarily in the latter part of January to do rehearsals for the IBC. Thanks so much to my lovely and loving daughter Cierra Hayes who will be holding down the fort at my house in Seattle in my absence. I have already made contact with the President of the Southern California Blues Society and plan to spread the DRUMMERBOY & PNW blues gospel at every opportunity. I hope to make BOTH the WBS Holiday party on Dec. 9 & the CBA Holiday party on Dec. 12 to say a proper goodbye before I leave on the 13th. I regret that I’ll miss the SSBA holiday event on the 20th.
Maia Santell and the boys in the band! www.MaiaSantell.com
Son Jack, Jr. We’re incredibly grateful to the South Sound Blues Association for all of your amazing support over the years and especially for the honor of representing you at the 2009 IBC. If you were at the IBC 2013 fundraiser on Nov 4th then you’ll know that Michael Wilde and I are delighted to pass our IBC solo/duo spot to Nolan Garrett. This was an easy decision as Nolan was a very close 2nd in the scoring in the qualifying competition and is working his tail off. We both think he is thoroughly deserving and hope you will join us in wishing him the very best in Memphis next year! In many ways, this brings me personally full circle on a journey that started seven years ago. By way of background, I started out on the blues trail around 2005, and back then I ran a series of seminars on the History of American music at the Kirkland Teen Union Center. During the events I would play videos and recordings from the turn of the 20th century all the way up to current times (basically going from field hollers to Public Enemy) to kids aged 13-18. It was because of these events, that I got connected with Roy Brown (then Education Director of the WBS) and Curley Cooke (then Executive Director of Pacific Northwest Blues in the Schools), and both of these guys were the driving force behind me picking up a guitar after a 20+ year lay-off. In his unique and direct way, during a break in one of the sessions, Curley looked at me and said “why the **** don’t you just play these on a guitar instead of running video’s and CD”s???” Well, back then I didn’t play blues and so there started my long (and ongoing) learning process. Both Michael Wilde and I were lucky to work with Curley on various PNBIS programs, my last being at the Echo Glen juvenile correctional facility in 2007, and I will never forget the impact that lyric-writing and music had on those kids. My contribution was frankly, negligible, as Curley and his pro crew did the real work, but it was awe inspiring to be a part of it. I know the SSBA is no stranger to keeping the blues alive, with Jumpin’ Josh and Felicia representing you last year. I also remember a very late night/early morning with John and Josh in the Memphis Denny’s in 2009 but we won’t go into that here. Without wanting to preach to the converted, the “call to arms” here is a request for us all to redouble efforts to keep the blues alive with our younger brethren. Just about every kid on the planet is exposed to music in some form, and here in the US we’re lucky to have unparalleled access to resources so let’s use them wisely. I’ll bet that if you spent just 15 minutes thinking about how you could bring the blues to life for your own kids or even just kids that you know, you’d come up with ten great
Peace, Jeff the DRUMMERBOY & proud Muddy Son Jeff the DRUMMERBOY “A REVOLUTION in ROOTS Music” http://www.drummer-boy.org http://www.muddysons.com 206-909-6366 [email protected]
Maia Santell and House Blend: House Blend Holiday Cheer! This has been a great performance year for us, with a variety of venues and special events. December is an extra special month for me, as I enjoy singing my favorite bluesy and jazzy holiday tunes like “Please Come Home For Christmas,” “Santa Baby,” “Merry Christmas Baby,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?,” to name just a few. This month includes our usual holiday party gigs, including The Queen City Yacht Club in Seattle and The Harbor Club in Bellevue, and we also look forward to performing at one of our favorite Seattle venues, Sonny Newman’s Dance Hall, on December 7th. I’m happy to announce our annual Maia Santell and House Blend Holiday Jazz and Blues Show at Jazzbones on Wednesday, Dec. 12th, starting at 7:30pm. It’s an all-ages show, and the cover charge is only $8. House Blend instrumentalists include Al Alto on guitar, John Beach on tenor sax, Ted Enderle on bass and Russ Kammerer
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Musician’s Profile: Mark Riley Lead Guitarist, Blues Redemption
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ideas. My hope is that the IBC will, over time, become the premier showcase for brand new young blues talent. I’ll close with a James Weldon Johnson quote with which I started my 2005 lectures: “It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives its most distinctive characteristics.”
At what age did you start playing? I started playing music at the age of nine in elementary school in Burbank California. I started with the school band in the Renton school district in 4th grade playing drums up until high school, and performed in drum & bugle corps. I picked up the guitar when I was 12 years old and never stopped. What musician(s) inspired/ influenced you? I was first inspired by country music. Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb, Johnny Cash, etc. Then the babysitter brought over some Beatles records, and I got hooked on all of the British music in the early 60’s. When I heard the Yardbirds, it was all over. I had to do those songs, and I loved the way they made the guitar sound. As I got better at it, I listened to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Peter Green. Those artists led me back into American Blues and Rock & Roll.
Son Jack Jr.
The Malcolm Clark Band I just wanted to pass this info along about a Blues jam I am hosting in Port Orchard at the Slaughter County Brewing Company, 1307 Bay Street, Port Orchard, (360) 329-2340 Mondays from 6-9pm Thank you, Malcolm Clark The Malcolm Clark Band http://malcolmclarkband.com
Tell us a little about yourself; where were you born, family, likes/dislikes, career--other than music? I was born in Renton, Washington into a family of two brothers and my parents. Dad worked as an inspector on the flight line at Boeing in Renton, and as a consultant part time for Lockheed in California. I attended high school in Renton, and then studied at the Cornish School of the Arts. I have worked as a salesman, in horticulture and also in a machine shop. A car accident in 1991 set me back on the music track exclusively, and I have been just doing music since then, as well as teaching music and making instruments.
Sheriff’s Bulletin: Blues County Sheriff Fun was had at The Royal the night before Thanksgiving. The legendary Alice Stuart jammed with The Blues County Sheriff. We did some of Alice’s tunes and some of mine. Smiles everywhere! Thanks to Alice for joining the rotation at KAOS Blues Night at The Royal. The Wednesday blues rotation is now: 1st Wednesday - Fishtrap 2nd Wednesday – John “Scooch” Cugno and the 88s 3rd Wednesday – Blues County Sheriff 4th Wednesday – Alice Stuart The dates for December are: 12/05 - The Royal Lounge, Olympia - Fishtrap at 7:30 pm 12/12 - The Royal Lounge, Olympia - John “Scooch” Cugno and the 88’s at 7:30 pm 12/19 - The Royal Lounge, Olympia – Blues County Sheriff at 7:30 pm 12/26 - The Royal Lounge, Olympia – Alice Stuart at 7:30 pm
Blues Redemption will be heading to Memphis in January to compete in the International Blues Challenge. What does this trip mean personally to you? I am very excited about going to Memphis with a fun bunch of guys practicing the craft of music. I have been in Memphis before, but that was back in 1971 when I was in a country-rock band named “Blue Jug.” I look forward to all of the activities, the jams, and networking with industry professionals as well as all of the musicians and fans. I’m looking forward to seeing my friend Brandon Santini as well. Other than music, what career do you think you would have been good at, but have never pursued? I have always aspired towards music from a very young age, but I did want to go into automobile design when I was in high school. I still love exotic and innovative automobiles. I was accepted to a prestigious school, the California School of Design, but unfortunately could not attend due to financial issues. That’s when I decided to go to Cornish, and go to the music.
KAOS Blues Night at The Royal Lounge is presented by listener-supported, volunteer operated radio-station K-A-O-S in Olympia.
The Sheriff BluesCounty.com (206) 979-0666
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Zac recently coined a term “progressive Blues” that casts an interesting perspective on the age-old traditions of early Blues songs.
Featured Blues Interview: Zac Harmon The list of great Mississippi Bluesmen reads like a Who’s Who. In the early days there was Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Lead Belly, Pinetop Perkins, Son House, Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf. The list is endless.
“By progressive Blues I’m just trying to say it’s Blues that doesn’t follow traditional Blues patterns. There’s a place for it all and it’s still whatever makes you feel good.” It doesn’t have to revolve around the drinking and hard-living format of the early artists to fit his definition of progressive Blues, Zac says. “I’m totally concerned about the music dying,” he says. “Not because nobody’s playing it. It’s because of the argument about what constitutes “real” Blues. You hear ‘There’s not enough fans.’ That’s not true. There’s not enough fans who know they like Blues because they haven’t been exposed to it. Lots of kids are Blues fans but they just don’t know they’re listening to the Blues.
Jackson, Miss. native Zac Harmon can now add his name to this roster. “I was born and raised in Mississippi,” Zac said in a recent interview. “I didn’t even know it was called Blues, we just played that music. We didn’t say we going to play the Blues. Other people called it the Blues. Even if I wanted to get away from it, if I wanted to change the Blues in me, I couldn’t ‘cause it’s part of my DNA. If you put me in a pot and boiled me down, all that would be left is the Blues.”
“Ask them if they know who Robert Randolph is? Derek Trucks? Susan Tedeschi? John Meyer? Most likely they’ll tell you ‘Yes,’ but they’re not aware that these are Blues players. Everything has become so bottom-line oriented that the (record) labels have labeled the Blues away from us. They don’t advertise that these people are the next generation of Blues players and that’s a shame. It’s also causing there to be fewer and fewer places for good Blues players to play.”
Like any Mississippi Bluesman worth his salt, Zac had his heroes and mentors as a young man learning his craft. “Musically Sam Meyers was my biggest teacher,” Harmon says. “He was a strict disciplinarian and a great player. He taught me a lot. Mel Brown is another one I learned from. (Jackson guitarist) Jesse Robinson was another big influence. These guys played around Jackson when I was a kid and I couldn’t help but learn from them.
As a young man Harmon played guitar for Z.Z. Hill, Dorothy Moore and Sam Myers among others. After settling in Los Angeles in the early ‘80s, Zac worked as a studio sideman and then branched out into writing and producing. During that time he wrote songs for the O’Jays, Whispers, Karyn White, Alexander O'Neal and Black Uhuru, his bio information states.
“Nationally it was Howlin’ Wolf,” he said. “I adored him. He was such a man’s man. He was very smart and way ahead of his time. How many band leaders thought about insurance and union pay for his players? He was one of the first to do that for his guys. He always believed in working for what was his. No hand outs.
After a while he got the itch to return to his first love, the Blues, and recorded his first project in 2002. “Live at Babe & Ricky’s Inn” was his tribute to Mississippi Blues and garnered him enough attention to be included in the “next generation of Blues” category.
“He rubbed off on me,” Zac says. “He didn’t believe in spending his money lavishly. Instead he bought land in Mississippi where he could hunt and fish. He was a country boy at heart and never became a city boy. I’m the same way today. Even after living in LA for 26 years I’m still a country boy. As long as I’ve got a pickup truck I’m good to go.”
In 2004 Harmon and his band, The Mid-South Blues Revue, entered and won the International Blues Competition sponsored by the Blues Foundation every year in Memphis, Tenn. They were named “Best Unsigned Band.” Since then he has never looked back. “The IBC put me on the map,” Zac says. “I wasn’t really known outside Mississippi as anything other than a sideman. I was pretty well known in LA but only as a sideman. I played lots of kinds of music. IT (IBC) gave me a chance to make a statement worldwide. It’s the best thing going for up and coming Blues musicians.
As a modern, 21st century player in a genre that is many times dissected, misinterpreted, under-appreciated and often neglected, Zac has his own philosophy about the future of the Blues, where it came from, and where it is headed. “Real Blues is real music that makes you feel good,” he says. “It’s the most basic form of music there is. Music is medicine. If you’re feeling bad and want to feel better, you listen to the Blues. If you’re feeling good and want to feel better, you listen to the Blues.”
“Sometime you’re at a disadvantage doing your own music at IBC because they are judging the Blues of the 2000s with a 1950s format. You can’t regulate a person’s feelings. It all (Continued on page 6)
“The first thing people ask you when they find out you’re an American musician is ‘Do you play Blues?’ “ Zac says. “I was the second Blues artist to ever play in front of the Great Pyramid of Egypt. I had 5,000 Egyptians going wild and they couldn’t understand a word I said or sang. To them it’s not about the notes, it’s the feeling in the music.
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depends on the judges. It’s purely the luck of the draw. “Early programmers and music promoters understood the music because they were in many cases a creative part of it. So the music was free to grow,” Harmon says. “ Today too many of our programmers are really simply Blues enthusiasts who really love the music of the ‘50s and ‘60s and really think that they can now replace the creative spirit that has driven the evolution of the Blues with their love for a window of time.
“The music bypasses the ears, goes straight to the heart and rests in the soul. They understand that. We’re spoiled here in America. Good Blues has always been just right around the corner and we’ve taken it and marginalized it. There are the professional players and then there are so many playing who are hobbyists. It’s hard to find real Blues any more, much less a place to play.
“They pretty much control all the outlets where Blues can be found today and my fear is that what does not evolve will die. Because of this the people (fans) now get a very small rationing of anything that’s progressive in the Blues. Basically what they get is the same thing re-hashed over and over and over and over. What this has done – just by attrition – is limit the Blues fan base by refusing to let it grow. So what happens is that you got “Stormy Monday” recorded a million times and finally it ain’t so great anymore.”
“So now you got new fans coming to see the Blues and this is what they hear and they say ‘Oh my God, I don’t like that.’ That is why I ask the question “does the Blues eat it’s young?” This is a real problem. So we really have to ask ourselves the question: Do we really love this music? Do we really want the Blues to survive? That is the question. In Europe you don’t have that. If they go to the trouble of bringing you over there it’s because they truly love you and love what you’re doing.”
Although Zac has enjoyed critical and commercial acclaim with his latest CD, the aptly titled “Music is Medicine,” he says 2012 has been a difficult year for him.
Regardless of the state of the Blues, Harmon vows to keep playing until “I draw my last breath.”
“It has been a very, very difficult year,” he says. “We were down to about the last third of the CD when my father had a stroke. Then he passed away. He and I were really close. Then, my best friend (Bluesman) Michael Burks passed away. We both have had health issues and we spent time checking on each other. He’d go for some kind of treatment and I’d call and ask him how it went. I’d go for some kind of treatment and he check on me. I had just done a tour in Europe and he was just leaving for one when he passed away at the airport as he was getting ready to leave. So, it was kind of a double whammy for me. I’ve spent the last few months getting my father’s affairs in order. I just didn’t work a whole lot this year. I’m looking forward to next year. It’ll be an opportunity to let the music heal me.”
“As far as getting rich in the Blues,” he says, “you’ve got a better chance of hitting the lottery. You play it ‘cause you love it, not for the money. The love for the music is where the riches lie. It’s the unconditional love for the music. I don’t ever want it to die.” Visit Zac’s website at www.zacharmon.com. Photos by Bob Kieser © 2012 Blues Blast Magazine Interviewer Jim Crawford is a transplanted Texan and the current president of the Phoenix Blues Society. He’s a fan of lots of different types of music but keeps his head mostly planted in the Blues today. He received his first 45 rpm record, Jimmy Reed’s “Big Boss Man,” at about age 8 and it stuck. He hosted the “Blues Cruise” on KACV-FM 90 in Amarillo for many years and can be found on many nights catching a good show at the Rhythm Room, Phoenix’s Blues Mecca.
More and more Blues festivals are springing up all over the place in recent years and Harmon thinks they are one of the best outlets to get like-minded people together in a peaceful setting. “Blues festivals are almost like a big tent revival,” he said. “What you find is the people are really a true definition of the folks in America. I’ve played them for years and have never seen any fighting, any negativity. You find real Americans at festivals. Blues music is part of the healing process in America.” To really get a grasp of the power of the music, one needs to travel to Europe and witness first- hand the love and respect people outside the United States share with the artists. 6
THE BLUES FOUNDATION HONORS BLUES PATRONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD AT FEBRUARY AWARDS CEREMONY IN MEMPHIS Honorees Include Key Movers Memphis, TN - The Blues Foundation will honor 15individuals and organizations with its 2013 Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Awards during a recognition luncheon Friday, February 1, 2013, in Memphis, TN. Each year, The Blues Foundation presents the KBA Awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to blues music. The KBA ceremony will be held in conjunction with the 29th International Blues Challenge (IBC), which begins January 29 and features the final rounds of the world’s largest and most prestigious blues music competition, as well as seminars, showcases, and receptions for blues societies, fans, and professionals. The KBAs are awarded on the basis of merit by a select panel of blues professionals to those working to actively promote and document the music. “This year, the KBA Committee was thoroughly pleased with the quality of the nominees submitted for consideration,” notes committee chair Art Tipaldi, editor of Blues Revue. “The fifteen recipients represent an outstanding cross-section of blues boosters. We are pleased to honor these people and organizations as a tribute to the years each has given to supporting the blues.” Tickets to the KBA ceremony are available online at www.blues.org or by calling 901.527.2583. The IBC weekend, commencing Tuesday, January 29, 2013, is sponsored in significant part by ArtsMemphis, Beale Street Merchants Association, Budweiser of Memphis, FedEx, First Tennessee Foundation, Gibson Guitars, Lee Oskar Harmonicas, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tennessee Arts Commission, and VividPix & Design. Media sponsors include Beale Street Caravan, Big City Rhythm and Blues, Blues Festival Guide, Blues Revue, Downtowner, House of Blues Radio Hour, Living Blues, Memphis Flyer, Music on the Couch, and Sirius XM Satellite Radio's B.B. King’s Bluesville. The Blues Foundation is Memphis-based, but world-renowned as THE organization dedicated to preserving our blues music history, celebrating recording and performance excellence, supporting blues education, and ensuring the future of this uniquely American art form. Founded in 1980, The Blues Foundation has 4,500 individual members and 200 affiliated local blues societies representing another 50,000 fans and professionals around the world. Its signature honors and events --the Blues Music Awards, Blues Hall of Fame, International Blues Challenge, and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards--make it the international center of blues music. Its HART Fund provides the blues community with medical assistance, while its Sound Healthcare program offers musicians health insurance access. Blues in the Schools programs and Generation Blues scholarships expose new generations to blues music. Throughout the year, the Foundation staff serves the worldwide blues community with answers, contact information, and news. 7
The 2013 Keeping the Blues Alive Award recipients are: Affiliate – Colorado Blues Society The Colorado Blues Society was established in 1995. What sets this society apart is its incredibly active participation in many different programs. Its Blues in the Schools program was started in 1994 by 2012 KBA recipient Dan Treanor. Since its inception, Gary Allegretto, Billy Branch, Spencer Bohren, and Hawkeye Herman, all past KBA recipients in Education, have added their expertise and personalities to the program. To illustrate the growth, in 2009, the CBS visited 38 schools and reached approximately 7,400 students. In addition, CBS provide its members with a weekly blues update, publishes its newsletter, HOLLER, and is a partner in or sponsor for nine Colorado blues festivals, providing thousands of volunteers over the years for these activities. Art – Stan Street, Clarksdale, Mississippi One visit to Stan Street’s Hambone Art Gallery in Clarksdale and it’s obvious that he deeply loves all aspects of the blues. Though he began his art career as a schooled drummer, as he traveled the blues festivals and honky-tonks of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia, he gained a valuable artist’s perspective on the blues and its culture. For over a decade, that unique perspective has been featured as the poster artwork and T-shirt art for over 50 blues events in the U.S., Canada and Norway. His gallery features many of those blues festival posters, blues artists’ portraits, Delta art prints, and blues folk art. His artwork is owned by Morgan Freeman, Robert Plant, and nearly every other visitor to his Hambone Gallery. Street’s goal is for his art to always have a primitive feel to it with movement and life. Club – Boulder Outlook Hotel, Boulder, Colorado The Boulder Outlook Hotel is an intimate, 120-seat room, which offers the finest blues talent to its customers. Brothers Dan and Pat King attend to every detail as they provide worldclass blues. The hotel aspect makes it a place where bands can play and stay. These stopovers allow bands to use the hotel as a free headquarters as they re-group for the next leg of their tour. In recent years, the roster of talent that has played at the Outlook is a who’s who in the blues. In addition to national Blues Music Award-winning bands, it is also a venue that supports young, rising stars. Most importantly, the Outlook has held numerous fundraisers for local musicians, local food drives for the needy, and as a local base for the Blue Star Connection fundraising. Education – Nat Dove, Bakersfield, California Nat Dove has a long and successful career in music as a performer, composer, and in-demand sideman for some of the greats in music. However, in 1980, Dove also became a fulltime music educator. In those 30 years, Dove has been teaching, writing books, and lecturing on African-American music and culture. The objective he adheres to in his mission is to inspire, motivate, and encourage the pursuit of young people’s dreams. Through the sharing of his musical gifts, Dove emphasizes the importance of education, teamwork, positive work ethic, and strong study habits as elements learned through blues music and history. Most importantly, Nat Dove acts as an inspirational (Continued on page 8)
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figure to each generation he teaches. Festival – International – Festival International du Blues De Tremblant, Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada Nestled in a picturesque ski village in the Laurentian Mountains, two hours north of Montreal, this 10-day, free event features world-class blues talent mixed with Canadian musical treasures to suit every taste. Each year, over 150 shows over ten days feature the finest blues talent from Canada, the U.S. and the world. There are two main stages at opposite ends of the Tremblant resort and many smaller stages throughout the pedestrian village. What is most impressive is the amount of families who are on vacation in the village and attend the daily shows. After hours, the Festival hosts jams and smaller shows in a dozen clubs, all within walking distance of the many first class hotels. In 2013, this festival celebrates 20 years of excellence. Festival: U.S. – Mount Baker Rhythm And Blues Festival, Bellingham, Washington Since 1995, this festival has been a major stop in the northwest corner of Washington for world-class blues acts and adoring fans. For the first decade, the festival was held on a private Christmas tree farm. After ten years of growth, the festival moved to the 180 acre Deming Log Show Fairgrounds and instantly created the vibe that is still evident today. Nearly every major blues act, including Pinetop Perkins, Johnny Winter, Hubert Sumlin, Curtis Salgado, Janiva Magness, Magic Slim, Elvin Bishop and many, many others have excited these Northwest crowds. In addition to providing music to its community, the festival has also raised and donated over $70,000 to aid those in need in the community. Historical – Shelley Ritter, Clarksdale, Mississippi Shelley Ritter has been the executive director of the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale for nearly a decade. However, before that, Ms. Ritter was the first archivist with Elvis Presley Enterprises from 1990 to 1995, starting it from scratch. She also has been a volunteer with The Blues Foundation and the Center for Southern Folklore. In 1995, she moved from the Presley Enterprises to be a field services curator for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and remained there until 2003. There she was able to work with the Delta Blues Museum, the Highway 61 Blues Museum in Leland, both the Farish Street Museum and the Alamo Theater in Jackson, and the early stages of the B. B. King Museum in Indianola. Under her current leadership, the Delta Blues Museum has expanded its permanent collection as well as its physical space in 2012.
international blues magazines. He has also contributed to the huge “Encyclopedia of the Blues” by Edward Komara. In his website, La Hora del Blues there can be found about 2,400 blues CDs reviews he has written in the last eight years. The Blues Archives at the University of Mississippi has a collection of his photographs and writings. In addition, he has been instrumental in bringing leading blues artists to Spain. With a guiding hand in all things blues, Vicente Zumel is exactly who the International KBA was meant to honor. Journalism – Bob Margolin, High Point, North Carolina Bob Margolin is known around the world as Muddy Waters’ guitarist from 1973 to 1980 and as a leader of his own band. However, since 1993, Bob has been a consistent contributor to Blues Revue. His column, Steady Rollin’, which has appeared in well over 100 issues, is one of the magazine’s most popular aspects. His columns offer a musician’s perspective on all areas of life from touring to recording to road friendships to passing along the blues. In addition to his BR work, Bob has been a contributor to Blues Wax and has written numerous liner notes, most notably on all the Muddy Waters CDs released on Legacy. Most recently, Bob has written his book, Steady Rollin’ – Blues Stories, Snapshots, (International) Blues Fiction. Over the years, Bob Margolin is a person who has lived the blues and can describe them in a narrative equal to the emotion of the music itself. Literature – I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy by Bob Riesman, Chicago, Illinois This is the acclaimed biography of a towering but often overlooked figure in blues history, Big Bill Broonzy. Meticulously researched and engagingly written, Bob Riesman’s book illuminates the significant contributions Broonzy made during his 30-year career as a singer, guitarist, songwriter and creative artist willing to speak out against racial injustice in his songs, interviews and writings. I Feel So Good traces Broonzy’s ascent as one of the most prolific and popular blues stars of the 1930s and ‘40s, followed by his trailblazing tours of Europe in the 1950s, which played a crucial role in creating an international audience for the blues. By documenting Broonzy’s remarkably influential life, Riesman brings to the forefront the musician described by Eric Clapton as “a role model for me,” and the man summed up succinctly by Muddy Waters: “Mostly I try to be like him.” Manager – Marty Salzman, Chicago, Illinois Marty Salzman has a very impressive resume. He managed Buddy Guy from 1981 until 1992; he managed Junior Wells from 1981 until Wells’ death in 1998; and, along with Buddy, he opened Buddy Guy’s Legends club in 1989 and booked and managed the club for its first three years. For the past 21 years, he has managed Magic Slim and the Teardrops. As a manager and promoter, Salzman was the talent arm behind the first Brazilian Blues Festival and the Nescafe Blues Festivals which followed, bringing the blues to Brazil for over 15 years. His reputation for honest dealing, devotion to his artists, and positive energy is well known throughout the blues community.
International – Vicente Zumel, Barcelona, Spain Since Vicente Zumel discovered the blues 40 years ago, he has made it his life’s calling. He began as a performer in the early 1970s, establishing one of Spain’s first blues bands, the Ancora Blues Band. In 1981, he launched one of Spain’s first radio shows, La Hora del Blues, a weekly one-hour show. Today, it can be heard over the internet. He also brought the blues around Spain with the Harmonica Zúmel Blues Band. He was also a founding member and first president of Spain’s first blues Print Media – Blues News, Oslo, Norway Blues News was founded in 1997 as an independent publication society, the Barcelona Blues Society. As a journalist and critic, for the Norsk Blues Union. The magazine is published five Zumel’s writings have appeared in Living Blues, Big City (Continued on page 9) Blues, Il Blues, Real Blues, Blues Matters and many other 8
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times a year with a circulation of 10,000 to subscribers, stores and newsstands. Today, it is one of the largest music magazines in Norway. It is distributed to all members of the Norsk Blues Union’s 60 clubs, societies, and festivals. In addition to features about Norwegian, Danish and Swedish blues events, the magazine covers blues happenings around the world. It’s not uncommon to find stories about journeys to events like the IBC and Blues Music Awards in Memphis, the Chicago Blues Festival, the Delta, and other blues locales. You can also find a section about the activities of Norwegian blues societies and clubs around the country, and an overview listing of blues bands from Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
Most musicians have had a gig from HELL! Have you? If so, tell us about it. I have always enjoyed gigs, even if things got dicey at times. If I have to choose a gig from hell, it would be the one when I had to perform a 4-hour gig when I had a 103 degree temperature due to tonsillitis and the flu. Consequently I don’t really remember much of that night though...... ACK!!! What words of wisdom would you give to a young musician whose passion is to play blues? If I had any advice to give a young player, it would be to learn the craft and language of all music, not just one genre. Listen to everything, and learn from it. AND of course, practice, practice, PRACTICE !!
Radio: Commercial – Gil Anthony, Dothan, Alabama With a career spanning more than 40 years, Gil Anthony and his radio show Blues Power have contributed to keeping the blues alive in southern Alabama and northern Florida. In 1994, Blues Power initially aired as a two-hour program on stations in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. In 1996, Anthony moved the program to WXUS and expanded it to its present five-hour length. Today the show is hosted on WVVL and WWNT in Alabama and streamed as far away as Canada and Alaska on the internet. In addition to promoting festivals and shows, doing in-studio interviews, and acting as MC for festivals, a few years ago Anthony became involved with Blues in the Schools through educational planning for the Wiregrass Blues Festival, started with the intent to recognize area talent, such as Big Mama Thornton.
What is your most significant achievement as a performer? I have achieved many things in my musical journey. I can’t really state one that is most important. I have had opportunities to play with many of my music heroes from when I first started, and it hasn’t really stopped. I have made friends with artists who are known globally, and I look forward to many more adventures in the music world. What do you do to hang in there when things get tough? I turn to music, I play the guitar, I pray, and I talk to people that I trust with my secrets. But, music is something I’ll always have no matter what. It comforts and sustains me to the core. What do you want people to remember about you and your Music? I would like people to remember my music as innovative, humorous, creative, beautiful, heart-felt, and hopefully different than the usual. That’s what I hope for people to remember; as for me, I hope you all remember that I like each and every one of you ... might sound corny, but nonetheless it is true.
Radio: Public, Scott Mullins, Baltimore, Maryland In May 2010, Scott Mullins took over as program director of Triple A format 89.7 WTMD in Baltimore, continuing his long record of increasing the on-air presence of the blues. He began at WFPK in Louisville where he founded and hosted the Saturday Night Blues Party from 1986 to 2006. He also lobbied successfully for inclusion of blues as an integral part of WFPK’s sound when it changed to the then-new Triple A format in 1996. He then moved on to music director at 88.9 WYMS in Milwaukee where he incorporated blues into that station’s unique rock/urban hybrid format. Currently as program director at WTMD, he has enhanced the profile of blues music through increased airplay, live in-studio guests, and station-sponsored concert and event promotions. Mullins was co-founder of the Kentuckiana Blues Society in 1987; cofounder of the Garvin Gate Blues Festival in 1988; produced the Louisville Blues Compilation LP in the early 1990s and the Santa is a Bluesman series of CDs. Record Label – Telarc, Cleveland, Ohio Originally founded in 1977 as a classical music label, Telarc, a division of Concord Music Group, established a blues imprint in 1993 and, after only three years, scored two GRAMMY® nominations for recordings by Junior Wells and the Muddy Waters Tribute Band. Since then, Tab Benoit, Shemekia Copeland, Otis Taylor, Moreland & Arbuckle, Charlie Musselwhite, Maria Muldaur, James Cotton and many others have been part of the company’s outstanding blues history. In 2010, Telarc released Joined at the Hip, the last recording by Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, which won a GRAMMY® for Best Traditional Blues Album and a 2011 Blues Music Award as Traditional Album of the Year.
Gary Grape Wins SSBA’s 2012 Autographed Guitar Gary Grape was the lucky winner of this year’s SSBA autographed guitar. After almost one year of ticket sales and the guitar traveling around the world collecting autographs, Gary’s ticket was drawn by Mark Riley on stage at Jazzbones on November 4th with Mike Brooks conducting the drawing. As you can see from the picture he was quite excited!!
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in 2013. For more details on the IBC, please go to the Blues Foundation’s website at www.blues.org and click on the IBC icon. I hope to see you at our holiday party on December 20th at The Harmon Brewery. Here’s wishing you all a joyful, safe and happy holiday season, and remember to support live music!
Gary W. Grape “If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it.”
The South Sound Blues Association P.O. Box 26303 Federal Way, WA 98093-3303 www.southsoundblues.com