Saturday, July 28, 2007

Redwood City Blues Festival Photos

The Fantastic Jackie Payne

18 new photos!

Caught in the act were: Bill Singletary, Carl Green, Daniel Castro, Henry Oden, Jackie Payne, Joe Louis Walker, Juce Garcia, Nick Otis, Robi Bean, Sid Morris, Steve Edmonson, Steve Freund, Suzy Tyler and Tim Wagar

Photos in the usual place: 2007: Bay Area Blues: A Year In Progress.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hayward/Russell City Blues Festival Photos

There are about 40 new photos from Saturday's performances at the Hayward/Russell City Blues Festival. People caught in the act are:

Ariyo, Big Time Sarah, Billy Branch, Carl Weathersby, Craig Horton, Don Yonders, Double G, Henry Oden, Joe Louis Walker, John Primer, Kenny Neal, Lou Holscher, Lurrie Bell, Nick Charles, Oakland Sam, Pinetop Perkins, Steve Gannon, Tail Dragger, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and others.

There are also about 40 new photos from Sunday's performances at the Hayward/Russell City Blues Festival including:

Big Bob Deance, Billy Branch, Bobbie Webb, Carl Green, Carl Weathersby, Doug Logan, Eddie Shaw, Eldridge "Big Cat" Tolefree, Ella Pennewell, Gino Landry, Henry Oden, Jan Hagge, JC Smith, Lil' Wolf, Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Ronnie Stewart, Sahar Miller, Sid Morris, Teddy "Bluesmaster" Watson, Terrible Tom, Vaan Shaw, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and Xymphoni.

The URL is: 2007: Bay Area Blues: A Year In Progress.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Hayward/Russell City Blues Festival - Sunday

The Legendary Eddie Shaw

I arrived a bit late. The Howlin Wolf Tribute was already underway. Lil' Wolf was already onstage and sounding excellent. This was a good set. Good tunes. Good vocalist. Tight band. It was good stuff.

The Caravan of All Stars was up next with a variety of vocalists. Some of the vocalists included: Xmphoni, Eldridge "Big Cat" Tolefree and Teddy "Bluesmaster" Watson. Terrible Tom performed several R&B classics and was anything, but terrible.

The Russell City Memorial Band consisted of a great horn section including Gino Landry, Carl Green and Bobby Webb. Gobs and gobs of great saxophone music was delivered during this set.

JC Smith followed with his band. It was the first time I saw JC Smith with his band. They were very good. Sid Morris joined them on a few songs. Willie "Big Eyes" Smith came on stage and blew some great 50s style harp.

After a nice long set, they were joined by Vann Shaw and Nellie "Tiger" Travis. Nellie Travis is a bad ass singer from the Mississippi. She relocated to Chicago, where she has rapdiy established herself as a fine singer. She put on a really nice set where she led the audience in a huge version of the Electric Slide.

She was followed by the fabulous Eddie Shaw. The first time I saw Eddie Shaw was over twenty years ago in a little neighborhood bar near the West Side of Chicago. He was great then; he is still fanstastic and shows no signs of slowing down. He sounded fantastic and concluded the day with his own tribute to Howlin' Wolf. For the last several songs, he was joined by Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues with Carl Weathersby. This was a fabulous set.

People made the trek from as far away as Reno, Phoenix and Anahiem to attend this festival. It was a fabulous weekend. It was like being in Chicago without the four hour plane flight. Ronnie Stewart assembled a killer lineup for this festival. He wanted to do a Chicago thing and he put together a great show.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Hayward/Russell City After Party - Saturday Night

Gino Baronelli jamming with the Sons of Blues

It was back to the Bistro for more post-festival fun.

For a while, it didn't look like anything was going to happen.

Last year, Don Yonders and I ended up playing with some of the members of the Caravan of All Stars and KC Kelsey.

This year, things weren't looking good. A member of the Bay Area Blues Society was playing the keyboards and guitar to a backing track through the PA.

Just as I was finishing up my beer, Billy Branch, Nick Charles and Mose Rutues walked in. There was no bass, so I offered to run Nick back to the hotel to pick up his bass. When we returned, Tail Dragger and Big Time Sarah were in the house.

Shortly afterward, the music started. Billy kicked off the festivities with a really nice boogie that was reminiscent of Big Walter's Boogie. He did a few more tunes. Lurrie Bell sang a few. Tail Dragger did a couple great tunes and Big Time Sarah followed him with a less than G-Rated performance that was highly entertaining! For the final tune of the evening, Billy called me up with a vocalist that I had never seen before.

Two hours flew by quickly. It was a fun evening of music.

Hayward/Russell City Blues Festival - Saturday

Nick Charles, Billy Branch, Me & Carl Weathersby

Aside from my trip to Chicago, this festival is going to be hard to beat in 2007. Each year, the festival opens up with some really nice gospel music. This year was no exception.

There was way too much good stuff too list, but I will try.

Craig Horton kicked off the blues segment of the show. He lead an excellent band featuring Steve Gannon (guitar) and Henry Oden (bass). He performed some classic tunes and several of his own songs.

Tail Dragger was up next. He tore the cover off the ball. He's a really good singer with some excellent material and incredible stage presence. For the last third of his set, he left the stage and performed in the audience. He was backed by Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues featuring Carl Weathersby (guitar), Lurrie Bell (guitar), Nick Charles (bass), Mose Rutues (drums) and Ariyo (piano).

Big Time Sarah followed Tail Dragger and delivered a fantastic performance. She toned things down and deliver a G-rated show which was a bit different than the previous evening's performance at The Bistro. During one song, she had a little girl join her onstage. She was backed by the Sons of Blues, who would go on to pull a Blues Marathon.

John Primer put on a great show. He was backed by Henry Oden, Funky Rob Gordon and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. Mid-way through the set, Ronnie Stewart joined him on stage. This was a really nice set featuring nothing but old fashioned down home Blues.

Next up was Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and Pinetop Perkins backed by the Sons of Blues. Carl Weathersby opened up this set displaying some fantastic vocals before introducing Pinetop Perkins to the state. Pinetop was celebrating his 94th birthday. He was in fine form and sounded good.

After their set, the City of Hayward, the State of California and the Bay Area Blues Society had a really nice ceremony commemorating his birth and contribution to American music. It was very moving.

The final set of the evening was an extended two hour set by Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues. Billy kicked it off with a very high energy version of Juke. He sang a few tunes before turning the vocal microphone over to Lurrie Bell. In addition to being an excellent guitarist, Lurrie Bell is also a fabulous vocal talent. He performed a few songs before turning the microphone over to Nick Charles.

Billy began calling up guests from the backstage area. He asked Kenny Neal and Joe Louis Walker on stage. They each sang a couple of tunes before Billy asked Big Time Sarah and Tail Dragger to return to the stage for one final number. It was a very cool show.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Pre-Hayward/Russell City Fest Bash @ The Bistro

Pre-Hayward/Russell City Fest Bash @ The Bistro|CONTENT|

Lurrie Bell, Carl Weathersby & Big Time Sarah

Friday night before the Hayward/Russell City Blues Festival, the Bay Area Blues Society's Caravan of All Stars performed at the Bistro in Hayward to give the patrons of this fine establishment a free taste of what the festival was to offer.

When I walked in Teddy "Bluesmaster" Watson was performing. He did a couple of excellent songs. He was followed up by a very good female singer called Xmphoni. After she did about four or five songs, the band took a break.

During the break the Chicago contingent walked into the bar. The group consisted of Lurrie Bell, Carl Weathersby, Big Time Sarah and Tail Dragger. It was sort of surreal seeing these people walk into a bar in downtown Hayward.

Ronnie started up the next set and began calling up guests. Tail Dragger put on an excellent show. Big Time Sarah was phenomenal. Carl Weathersby did a really nice version of The Town I Live In.

As quickly as the evening began, it was over.

Terry Hanck @ The Alameda County Fair

This is only a test! I caught Terry Hanck and his band at the Alameda County Fair. I decided to shoot some video and screw aroudn with iMovie.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Mid-week Briefs

Monday - I went to Bay Area's forgotten jam at Murphy's Law. Caught Mighty Mike Schermer, Kedar Roy and June Core in action. June Core had just returned from a European tour with Charlie Musselwhite. These guys sounded great and put on a really good show. They had some high quality people dropping in to jam like Big John Stokes and Chris Brown. Mike, Kedar and June were kind enough to let me sit in with them on a couple of songs. That was a good time.

Tuesday - The Mojo jam was really cool. The place was packed. Steve Freund, Marc Carino and Robi Bean sounded fantastic. The opening set was really excellent! About a third of the way through the first seet, Steve invited Jimmy Mulleniux and me to join him on a couple of tunes. It was off the hook.

There were a lot of excellent performers in the house including: Jimmy Mulleniux, Screamin' Iain, Spencer Jarrett, Barrelhouse Solly, Freddie Roulette, Don Yonders, Double G, Steve Ahola, Tumbleweed and several other people. It was a really fun evening.

Wednesday - I dragged the family to the Poor House Bistro. We arrived a bit early to catch some of the fine music by the Poor House Bistro All Stars. The identity of the players was unknown until we arrived. Bob Welsh, Marvin Greene, Dave Chavez, Jimmy Dewrance, Hans Bosse, Gary Smith, Frank Derose, Sid Morris and Jay Meduri. The music was top notch. The food was excellent and the view of the fireworks was fantastic.

Vacation Slide Show

JW Williams

I shot a lot of photos at the Chicago Blues Festival. Wading through them took a lot long than I have expected.

For anyone interested, here is the vacation slide from the Chicago Blues Festival.