How many days has it been
Since I was born
How many days until I die
Do I know any ways
That I can make you laugh
Or do I only know how to make you cry…
“Stranger In a Strange Land” ~ 1971 ~ Shelter Records ~ recorded at Island Studios/London, A&M Studios/Hollywood, Skyhill-Shelter Studios/Hollywood and Muscle Shoals Studios/Alabama.
Must admit I didn’t know much about Leon Russell and wasn’t very familiar with his music. However after doing just a little bit of research found I’d actually been listening to his music for a long time. Famous as a sideman and songwriter Leon had written music for The Carpenters, Jan & Dean, George Benson, Willie Nelson, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, and many more. He can be heard on tracks by Glen Campbell, The Byrds, and Herb Albert & the Tijuana Brass to name only a few. He didn’t launch his solo career until the 1970’s. By the 1980’s he had stepped out of the limelight. He returned to his home state of Oklahoma until Elton John persuaded him to record The Union in 2009. He was elected to both the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 2011. The Master of Space and Time passed away Sunday Nov 13th, 2016. A memorial service in Tulsa, OK at Oral Roberts Univ Mabee Center is planned for Sunday Nov 20th.
I’ll Take You There to the Ohio University Performing Arts & Concert Series. Tonight presenting Mavis Staples at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, Athens, OH. Showtime 7:30pm. Tickets $22 student, $27 senior, $30 general. Click HERE to purchase online.
*Blues 4 Tots:
One of our most favorite events of the year is this Sunday in Columbus. The annual Blues For Tots sponsored by Columbus Blues Alliance and the United States Marine Corp will be at Roadhouse 66 with the live auction beginning at 5:00pm. Doors open at 2:00pm. $10 at the door plus a NEW UNWRAPPED toy. Performing will be Nathan Travis (Youth Showcase winner), Troubled Waters (solo/duo winner), Delta Boulevard (band winners) and special performance by the great Biersdorf & Kolbe. Remember, ALL funds raised goes to help support the Toys For Tots program.
Outstanding sax player and vocalist Buddy Lee of Hip Pocket sends us the following documentary. Working Musician is a seven part series about the highs and lows of young jazz musicians in New York City. For much more go to WORKING MUSICIAN and click on EPISODES to view all seven. Thanks Buddy!
*Once again we get word from our 2nd Thursday Blues friends Dave and Elizabeth in Chester, SC. Dave says, “Trusting all is well! Elizabeth and I are doing fine. I am enclosing a couple of links for the MLK Jr. Blues Festival including tickets & donation link. I hope you are able to make the festival.” Thanks Dave and always good to hear from you both!
The Chicago Way
Probably first became aware and a fan of Toronzo Cannon when hearing him play with the late great Chico Banks. (see “remembering Chico…” 6/25/2015)
And although could have listened to his latest recording pretty much whenever wanted online; still purchased The Chicago Way on CD by taking advantage of Alligator Records recent sale. For me there’s nothing much better than actually holding the recording in hand and reading the liner notes. Does that show my age?
*abbreviated liner notes:
“In the hard-edged City of Big Shoulders, nothing comes easy… fight to succeed whether it’s abattle to get out of poverty, to find and hold a job, build a new business, expose political corruption or become a musical icon… aspiring blues musicians in Chicago battle against the toughest competition in the world… Toronzo Cannon has emerged from this competition as Chicago’s next heavyweight champion of the blues… paid his dues the old-fashioned way–playing free Monday night jams… earning his way to sideman gigs sharpening his guitar and vocals… grew up on tough South Side, raised by grandparents in the shadow of Robert Taylor Homes, the city’s notoriously dangerous high-rise public housing project… a few blocks away was famed Theresa’s Lounge where Toronzo too young to get in, first heard live blues pulsing through the walls and out the door… sounds of Junior Wells, Buddy, James Cotton and Magic Slim permeated his young ears… ‘I love the classic blues but wanted to make my own statements’… ‘Blues is truth telling music and I want my audience to relate to my stories’… Alligator debut is 100% originals inspired by his Chicago upbringing… years observing the public while working a city bus driver on the West Side and his own battles and triumphs… a man who takes his songwriting as seriously as he takes his firebrand guitar playing and straight-from-the-soul singing… proving himself to be one of the most electrifying and original bluesmen of his generation… done it the hard way– The Chicago Way.”
What else needs to be said? If you’re a fan of Chicago Blues this one’s for you. See Walk It Off. And of course it’s always best to support the record industry, especially the blues labels like Alligator by purchasing the actual album/CD rather than listening online.
*this one’s sure to be good too…
First saw Barrelhouse Chuck and his Chicago blues piano a few years ago playing with Nick Moss at The Court Street Grill. He along with everyone else that night was great and we’d love to see ’em back there again. Until that happens this is probably a good substitute. Can’t think this new recording is anything but stellar. Barrelhouse Chuck- Remembering The Masters just been released on The Sirens Records label. If you know anything more about it please pass it on to us. Click HERE for documentary on Barrelhouse Chuck.
*Complete Blue Horizon Sessions
Way too many times peoples try to give us waaay too much credit for knowing waaay more than we really do. Example being, this is another of those “stumbled onto by accident” recordings. We were completely unaware of the British blues band, Chicken Shack. But after learning a little about them found they were once very popular not only in Great Britain but all over. Often compared to the likes of John Mayhall and/or Fleetwood Mac. Although not all reviews were glowing some actually call them “the best” British blues band ever. The three disc recording Complete Blues Horizon Sessions, released in 2005 was mostly called “great music, hidden treasure, amazing, and a must have for blues lovers.” Perhaps our buddy Alan can tell us more about Chicken Shack and the CBHS?
*and now from 1972 Canned Heat with Election Blues
*and now some good news… Think we finally got ourselves a place booked for 2017 King Biscuit Blues Festival. Yep that’s a BIG whoohooo!