Partial review from Blues Blast Magazine
November 24, 2016 Issues #10-46
Philadelphia’s AC Steel and the Galvanizers is a slick band and their new disc, Now or Never, is perfect for listeners who want plenty of guitar with their blues. You may never heard of their frontman, Stephen Solotist, but he took an interesting path to get to this point in his music career.
An awesome guitarist, Solotist and his band flirted with the big time back in the 1970s, opening for big name acts such as the Allman Brothers and Pink Floyd. After shipping off to England for a while and turning down a slot with UFO, he eventually came back to the States and entered the world of day jobs and daily commutes. But he also stayed in the music game, playing gigs with the Jukerockers and the Dukes of Destiny.
Stephen is joined on Now or Never by the Galvanizers, whose members include “Chicago” Carl Snyder on the keys, Rich Curtis on the bass, Bud Manton on the skins, and Arlyn Wolters with the backing vocals (most of these folks are also members of the Dukes of Destiny). The disc was cut at Buckeye Studios in the City of Brotherly Love by co-producer Peter Richan. Ten of the eleven tracks on this album are originals that were written by Solotist, and apparently he is a capable singer and songwriter, in addition to his prodigious guitar skills.
Now or Never is a neat album from AC Steel and the Galvanizers, and their particular brand of guitar-driven blues is fresh and fun. Please note that should you happen to purchase a copy of this CD, a third of the funds will be donated to Kevin McCann to help defray the expenses for his medical care. And, if you get a chance, head over to the band’s website and check out their gig schedule. They have some dates coming up, and if you are anywhere around Philadelphia area you should make the time to see one of their shows. There is a lot of experience in this group, which should translate well to the stage!
Reviewer Rex Bartholomew is a Los Angeles-based writer and musician; his blog can be found at rexbass.blogspot.com.
Guitarist, singer and songwriter Albert Castiglia [pronounced ka-steel-ya] was born Aug. 12, 1969 in New York, the son of a Cuban mother and an Italian father. Castiglia's parents moved to Miami when he was five, and began taking guitar lessons as a 12-year-old. As a teenager, he realized the passions in his heart and thoughts in his mind were best expressed through his own music.
He made his professional debut in 1990 when he joined the Miami Blues Authority. He was named ‘Best Blues Guitarist' in Miami in 1997 by New Times magazine, a local alternative paper.
Castiglia completed his four-year college education and then worked for four years as a social services investigator for the state of Florida. He continued to fine-tune his guitar playing, songwriting and singing chops at nights and on weekends in the Miami area.
He struck out on his own and released his debut, "Burn," in 2002, collaborating on the album with his friend Graham Wood Drout. He followed up with his 2006 release for New Jersey-based Blues Leaf Records, "A Stone's Throw."
Given that he's young by blues standards and has a depth and breadth of live, studio and life experience, it is possible Castiglia may yet become a major force behind another blues and blues-rock rebirth.
The cosmic American love child of Howlin Wolf and Link Wray…Known as a “musician’s musician,” Alvin Youngblood Hart’s praises have been sung by everyone from Bob Dylan to guitar gods Eric Clapton & Mick Taylor.Mr. Hart was born in Oakland CA in 1963 to a family of post WWII Mississippi transplants. ,After a couple false starts ,he began to play the guitar, in earnest, in 1977.“By that time, it had become an obsessive competition among us teenage boys. The guitar was the video game of our day”, Hart says.The Hart family was never one to stay put. Spending his formative years on the West Coast, in the Midwest and the Mid-South surely influenced Alvin’s wide ranging musical perspective.“It really taught me to appreciate MUSIC for what it was ….not because it was this or that genre. I have a great disdain for genre segregation. I try to avoid that practice”.Along with his 40 years of playing comes a nuts and bolts passion for the hardware of the trade.“I’ve been a guitar tinker since day one. I can recall my parents buying me a new guitar, and I would have every screw out of it by bedtime”.Hart is also an electronics technician, a talent he picked up after 7 years active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard. His knack for quick thinking repairs on the road has earned him nicknames such as, The Garage Guerrilla or The Rock N Roll MacGyver from fellow musicians.After two decades on the road ,Alvin continues to delight audiences worldwide, whether as a solo performer or with the eternally rockin’ Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory…The multi award winner always delivers.“When I was a 15 year old kid in my room , I would never believe that I would someday play legendary venues like the Hollywood Bowl or Royal Albert Hall. You couldn’t have told me that I’d be in the studio with Taj Mahal, or play onstage with the Allman Bros. Band and members of Thin Lizzy. Some days, it’s a dream job…
The sultry vocals of Australian blues performer Anni Piper attracted significant overseas interest & saw her sign with Blues Leaf Records (USA) in 2008. The ‘Blues Leaf’ catalogue includes releases by many successful American performers including the award-winning Janiva Magness. Piper’s latest CD 'Split Second' was recorded at Showplace Studios in New Jersey, USA & has received rave reviews since its release in April 2013, debuting at #3 on the USA RMR Blues charts.
The album features Piper’s bass playing talents throughout and this time she shares vocal duties with talented Florida based beauty Nicole Hart. The Blues Leaf bombshells beguile listeners with butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-your-mouth harmonies and heart-rending ballads of love gone sour. But as well as showing their sweet side, there’s a little spice with diverse originals and covers from Janis Joplin to Ronnie Earl.
Anni Piper began playing electric guitar at 12 years old, but became a devoted musician when she got her first bass at age 14. She quickly discovered an affinity with the instrument, preferring to lay down a groove rather than scream out a solo. Piper’s musical ability and strong focus led her to complete a Bachelor of Arts (Contemporary Music) at Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW, at the age of 19.
Piper remembers with clarity the first time she heard the blues back in her school days
“It was Paul Butterfield Blues Band playing ‘Born in Chicago’ - I knew straight away this was the direction I was heading.” she says.
In early 2004 Piper made the decision to record ‘Jailbait’ (BMM287.2), her debut CD. The album was an immediate success, winning the category of ‘Best New Talent’ at the 2005 Australian Blues Music Awards, plus making finalist for ‘Best Female Vocal’. Piper also achieved first place in the 2004 ABC Radio ‘Fresh Air’ competition. These weren’t the only accolades for ‘Jailbait’ and Piper went on to become a top 5 finalist in the blues category of the 2004 MusicOz competition, and garnered 2nd place in the blues category of the 2005 Australian National Songwriting Contest.
Piper’s second album ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ was recorded in early 2007. It was a much ‘rawer’ recording, and represented Piper’s live sound at the time more effectively than her first album. Already acknowledged as being an accomplished bass player and singer, this album showed that Piper had blossomed into a songwriter of distinction; her songs having a blues sensibility whilst still addressing the issues of today.
Piper’s USA debut, titled ‘Two’s Company’ was released in January 2009 and hit #1 on the Australian Roots music charts and # 21 on the USA ‘Living Blues’ chart.
‘Chasin’ Tail’ was launched in February 2010 at the Australian Blues Music Festival & has also been released by Blues Leaf Records world wide to rave reviews. For this album, Anni employed a tougher sound, influenced by the blues / rock idols she enjoyed in her youth.
Other career achievements include nomination as a top five finalist in the 2010 Musicoz Awards in the Blues / Roots category, and finalist in the 2009 APRA Professional Development Awards. Piper was also a finalist for ‘Best Female Vocal’ at the 2008 Australian Blues Music Awards and received a nomination for the ‘Rudy Brandsma’ award at the 2007 Australian National Songwriting Contest
With his latest album, …Before The Beginning, Anthony Gomes offers a powerful collection of unplugged compositions, promising to be the artist’s most compelling work to date. “On this CD I wanted to show that there is more to our music than loud, ripping guitars. By stripping everything down, we could feature the voice and songs. I wanted to capture the spirit of the old field hollers and get back to where the music came from,” says Gomes, “We only used acoustic instruments – drums, piano, acoustic guitars and acoustic bass. The most powerful of all the acoustic instruments is the human voice. When you put the harmonies in there, it’s just soul shaking.”
Born in Toronto, Canada to a Portuguese father and a French-Canadian mother, Gomes began playing guitar in his early teens and was drawn to the blues sounds of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. While he honed his skills in the blues bars at night, Gomes earned a master’s degree from the University of Toronto focusing on the racial evolution of blues music. He relocated to Chicago in the late '90s to learn from the blues masters. During his brief stint as a sideman for Magic Slim and the Teardrops, Gomes put together his own group and won the first annual Buddy Guy’s Legends “Best Unsigned Blues Band” competition in 1998. Later that year, Gomes released his debut CD, Blues in Technicolor, which introduced him as a guitar-slinger loaded with impressive firepower.
On 2002's Unity, he accomplished the album's title with a heavy mix of styles leading Bandit Blues Radio to name it one of the Top 30 Essential Blues CDs of all time. Gomes was elevated to the top of the blues field just one year later when BluesWax Magazine named him “Artist of the Year,” an award he would claim for several years in a row due to his endless commitment and touring. Music Is the Medicine (2006) peaked at number fouron the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart, only to be outdone by LIVE (2008) debuting at number one. Last year, Gomes received critical acclaim for his release of Up 2 Zero. The album claimed “Best Blues CD of 2012” (A1 Blues.com) and “Best Blues Rock CD of 2012” (Blues Underground Network). Art Tipaldi, Editor of Blues Revue, declared Gomes “at the forefront of modern blues.” Anthony recently climbed to the number one position on Reverbnation’s Global Blues Chart.
Instead of following up with more of the same, Gomes boldly steps back to deliver an acoustic recording showcasing his vocals, songwriting, and acoustic guitar work. “I feel like this is my most soulful release to date. The album has a lot of weight to it. The theme is the cycle and circle of life.” The disc opens with the title track, “…Before The Beginning,” a stirring field holler equally rooted in the gospel tradition as it is the blues. Gomes follows with the upbeat “Blues Is Good” and the powerful first single “Lady Soul”. “The song was written about Aretha Franklin and how her music helped me get through some tough times. She really has been a light when the world can sometimes get dark,” says Gomes. The album includes the haunting slow blues of “Rescue Me,” the inspiring “Love Is Everything,” and the ominous “Sinner’s Song.”
The CD features another first for the singer-songwriter – his first recorded duet. “I wrote this song called ‘Let’s Fall in Love’ and I thought it would work best as a duet. My favorite singer is Minnie Murphy from Nashville, and I thought she’d be perfect for the song. I am delighted she agreed to sing on the CD.” With the exception of three co-writes, Gomes penned the album in its entirety; a gesture he feels gives his listeners a direct line to himself as an artist. The most personal tracks on the CD are “Golden Wings” and “Beautiful Goodbye.” The former was inspired by Gomes’ survival of a massive vehicle fire while on tour this past fall, and the latter chronicles the last conversation between the bluesman and his grandmother. “My grandmother took sick when we were on the road in the middle of Montana. There was no way I could get to an airport quick enough to fly and see her. We talked on the phone and when we said good-bye we both knew it would be last time we’d speak. The world stood still for a moment.” Releasing an acoustic album is a gutsy move for Gomes who is seen in the music community as a high energy blues rocker. The artist, however, believes that the source of the blues comes from the same place, regardless of presentation. “Musically, most people try to look ahead for inspiration, seeking out the latest cutting edge soundscape. I seem to go in the opposite direction. In awakening the sounds of Muddy Waters or Robert Johnson, I hear the future of the blues tradition. This time, we went way back. This album is so yesterday, that it’s today.”
Anthony Clark is a world class musician who has performed, and recorded with some of the best local and national blues acts. Anthony started out playing the drums at the age of five, and by the time he was twelve, started listening to the blues greats. Musicians like Little Walter, Big Walter Horton, Paul Butterfield, and Sonny Boy Williamson, just to name a few.
The band has played up and down the east coast, from Pennsylvania, to Tennessee. His CD “RAW” has been featured on many college, and Internet radio stations. The music is a blistering mix of contemporary blues with a funk edge.
Today you can see Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark at various festivals and clubs opening for the likes of Chuck Brown, Deanna Boggart, and Betty Lavette. He has also played along side Tommy Lepson, Linwood Taylor of Joe Louis Walker fame and Kenny Neal in studio.
Americana under the influence of Jump Blues, Swing, & Rockabilly...Ba - ba - ba - Boogie! With a dab of N’awlins for extra spice! Smoke & honey vocals, Cigar Box Guitar, Upright Bass, Banjo, Washboard...servin’ up high energy & deep vintage vibes is our specialty. Roots Baby Roots!
April Mae: Washboard, Vocals, Victory Rolls, Kazoo, Implements of Percussion.
Dave ‘Catfish’ Fecca: Cigar Box Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Vocals.
Topher: Upright Bass, Comic Relief.
Bad Avenue is quickly becoming a local favorite making the circuit in local establishments from Delaware City to the beach. The lead singer/rhythm guitar player, Craig Coffield, founded the Central Delaware Blues Society, and established a regular Thursday evening jam session in Magnolia, Delaware, for local musicians to hone their craft. Bad Avenue came to be after four local guys met at the jam and decided to get together to play for fun. Just a few years later, they now spend most weekends in Delaware and Maryland entertaining the local crowds with a collection of classic rock, blues and country songs.
Craig Coffield, a native of West Virginia, is a transplant to the First State and has lived in Delaware for the last 26 years with his wife and children, first in Dover and latterly in Magnolia. Craig has been running the Jonathan's Landing Golf Course in Magnolia for 15 years. He is Bad Avenue's vocalist and a guitarist handling rhythm and lead. Craig's been playing guitar for about four years now and his likes and influences include Albert Castiglia, Brent Johnson, Sean Costello, Chris Whitley, Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters and more.
Michael C Deely got serious about music and musical instruments as a young teen and has spent his adult life being involved in both. Club gigs started before he was old enough to be in a club. After a “hitch” in the 590th Air Force Band, Michael kept playing and started working with a guitar maker in Maryland. Currently Michael works for JS Technologies/Suhr Guitars and enjoys making organized noise with Bad Avenue. Michael is a singing bassist, frustrated keyboardist, who plays a variety of fretted instruments and excels in obvert aragance when self promotion is required but typically in a nice way. “Let’s play songs and mean it”
Ellis Hope Neel, was born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in New Castle, Delaware. Ellis is a single ADHD miscreant, recently returned to New Castle from New Mexico having spent an interesting 16 years out there working for newspapers and the Associated Press and a 5-year stint as a restaurant owner. Ellis bought a 1970 Gibson SG in 1981 and has been noodling around on guitar ever since. Influences and likes include David Gilmour, Average White Band, Beatles, Sly and the Family Stone, Tinsley Ellis, Robben Ford, Michael Landau, James Taylor, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Vince Gill, Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed, Steve Wariner, Gary Moore, ZZ Top, Durutti Column, Latitude, ad nauseum.
Bad JuJu is a Delaware Blues band that is all about good old fashioned, shoot-from-the-hip blues, rhthym, blues and soul! Much of what we put out there for you may be on a list, but is not really scripted. I doubt that it ever happen the same way twice, and that is what keeps it interesting, energized and full of vibe! We hope that you enjoy what you hear, and can get lost in the music just enough to forget the day-to-day things that sometimes get in the way. We Are Bad JuJu!
Barrelhouse was formed in October of 2007...... Since then they have been playing locations throughout the Delmarva region. They have worked hard to build a large following that "Digs" their particular brand of blues. Club & Festival goers alike, agree, that their music is high energy and up in your grill. The boys have opened for numerous well known national blues acts such as, Victor Wainwright, John Primer, Bob Margolin, Ray Fuller, Moreland & Arbuckle, Albert Castiglia, The Night Hawks, and others.... You can find Barrelhouse more and more in the lineup of festivals and major blues locations in the region....
Winners of the Central Delaware Blues Society International Blues Challenge competition and attending the 2018 IBC in Memphis January 16 - 20, 2018.
With an extensive background in gospel and a lifelong passion for soul music, Betty Fox has burst onto the Florida music scene in a whirlwind of controlled yet unabashed passion and has taken the hearts of anyone wise enough to lend her their ear. Betty Fox appreciated singing early in life and performed for the first time at a church play at the age of 4. Her family had a deep love for southern country gospel and tight harmonies which they would express at every family gathering, and that is where her affinity for music began. "My uncle Fred would pound on the keys with his monster hands and the harmonies would resonate in my soul", Fox says. Now, at age 27, this fiery songstress has her own musical project with quite a few heart wrenching, lyrically driven and musically sound original tracks that beg the question "What kind of life must this old soul have lived?" To support her talent, she has carefully selected musical heavyweights Matt Walker on guitar, Benjamin Sudano on bass, and Sam Farmer on drums to set herself up for nothing less than well deserved success. Listen for yourself by clicking on the "Music" tab. In fact, in the past year this dynamic quartet has played on multiple music festivals including the city of Treasure Island's Bikini Blues Bash Festival, the Tangerine Blues Festival, the Dunedin Wines the Blues Festival, the Gasparilla Music Festival, they headlined the Safety Harbor Seafood Festival, and will be performing at the Daytona Blues Festival in October. They have opened for such artists such as Mavis Staples, The Legendary JC's, Selwyn Birchwood (IBC WINNER), Roosevelt Collier of "The Lee Boys", Damon Fowler, Lucky Peterson, Shaun Murphy, Bill Wharton "The Sauce Boss", and Marcia Ball, They have performed on festivals with Lord Huron, Ozomalti, Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears, Best Coast, Dawes, and The Meter Men, for crowds amassing over 6,000 screaming fans. You definitely don't want to miss this one of a kind musical experience! If you haven't heard them, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of their first album "Too Far Gone", released in July 2012 and titled after one of her powerful original songs in which she pleads with a loved one lost in addiction. "It's the most important song on the album", Fox says. From the Salsa tinged chart "Goodbye" written as a farewell to her beloved Grandmother, to "Dirty Soul", a rickety anthem of her love affair with music and a thorough homage to Howlin' Wolf, this album will pull at your heart strings and make you want to dance while you play it on repeat.
AWARD WINNING BLUES
2014 INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE 3RD PLACE WINNERS
2013 INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE BEST SELF PRODUCED CD TOP 5 FINALIST
2013 BLUES SOCIETY OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 1ST PLACE WINNERS2007 WEST VIRGINIA BLUES SOCIETY 1ST PLACE WINNERS
Billy the Kid and The Regulators are a high powered, guitar driven, rhythm and blues band based in Pittsburgh. Lead singer Billy Evanochko is widely-known across the Steel City for his impassioned lyrics, seductive vocals, and stinging guitar riffs. Together with his band, The Regulators they deliver a well-balanced dose of funky rhythm and blues, with heart and soul being the main ingredient, playing countless clubs and festivals throughout the country. The band attracts fans with their fresh mix and interpretation of the iconic R&B experience.
Billy the Kid & The Regulators won over the Blues Society of Western Pa taking first place honors among the acts at the Blues Challenge in Pittsburgh in 2013 earning them a spot at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. The Band competed with acts from all over the world in Memphis January 22-25, 2014, earning them the 3rd Place Win among the best blues bands in the world! Their Sophmore CD "She Got a Hold on Me", released in April 2012, wowed judges in Memphis, TN in which it placed in the top 5 best CD's submitted from around the world for the Best Self Produced CD.
Billy the Kid and the Regulators earned a spot in the 2008 International Blues Competition in Memphis TN by winning the Appalachian Blues Challenge for the West Virginia Blues Society."Billy Evanochko and company deliver a unique blend of contemporary blues with a big side of funk. This definitely is a band to be reckoned with" - Scott Tady, Beaver County Times"The boy can flat out play." "Billy and the boys are one of the best kept secrets in the Blues. If you ain't heard of em, you better ask somebody!" - Michael Burks, Alligator Records Recording artist"Billy The kid & The Regulators are the best band I've had as an opening act this year period." - Tinsley Ellis, Telarc Records Recording artist.
Billy has appeared with & opened for:
Koko Taylor • Bernard Allison • Michael Burks • Ana Popovic • James Cotton • Jimmie Vaughan • Hubert Sumlin • G.E. Smith Band • Zack Harmon • Tab Benoit • Rory Block • Chris Thomas King • Savoy Brown • Blind Boys of Alabama • Eric Lindell • Carl Weathersby • Tommy Castro • Debbie Davies • Magic Slim • Scott Holt • James Soleberg • Bob Margolin • Anson Funderburg w/ Sam Meyers • Jason Ricci & New Blood • Guitar Shorty • Magic Dick • Lee Oskar • Shemeka Copeland • Mark Hummel • Fiona Boyes • Rich DelGrosso • Coco Montoya • The Sean Carney Band • Sue Foley • Deborah Coleman • Roxanne Potvin • Otis Taylor • Lurrie Bell • The Kilborn Alley Blues Band • Dave McKenzie • Kelley Hunt • Sean Costello • Pops Walker • Michael Hills Blues Mob~ Kansas~Shemekia Copeland, Just to name a few...
Billy the Kid and the Regulators continue to write music, and perform cooking up their brand of blues with soul being the main ingredient.
Billy “Got Slide” Pierce is a Wilmington Delaware Blues Slide Guitarist.
Pierce has received a number of accolades; a recent one includes: The Saint Georges Session acoustic recording of his song Take Me Back To The Delta, which won the Big City Rhythm and Blues Magazines first round CD sampler contest 2013.
As Billy “Got Slide” Pierce grows his reputation as one great slide guitar player, he is also evolving into a charismatic blues-rock star and singer-songwriter of stylistic depth and emotional resonance. His ability to connect with live concert audiences is transformational, and his latest project, The Billy Pierce Band, Take Me Back To The Delta CD disc: captures the magnetism and maturity Pierce showcases as an artist.
Billy released his new CD titled “Take Me Back to the Delta” recorded in Billy’s living room studio and at New Orleans Oak Street Recording Studios.
Billy says of his band, The Billy Pierce Blues Band, this is a power trio of slide guitar, bass and drums. A few of his earlier acoustic songs he turned into songs for the power trio.
For his CD he wanted a few extra colors in the mixBilly has several New Orleans guests on his CD. Craig Klein, Mark Mullins and Greg Hicks from Bonerama added trombones, Slide virtuoso Sonny Landreth added his slide guitar, and New Orleans funk master Charlie Wooten added bass on two songs. Waylon Thibodaux adds his Cajun Fiddle on three songs and New Orleans own Jimmy Carpenter plays some sax. Ex Allman Brothers alumni Johnny Neel from Nashville added piano on two songs.
After working with several other bands, Billy began his solo career. Billy “Got Slide” Pierce is the consummate performer…he does it all !! With great charisma, a big smile and a twinkle in his eyes, he masterfully entertains with his great vocal, songwriting, and slide guitar skills… this guy is the real deal and not to be missed !!
In the history of rock n roll there is a long tradition of guitarists trading in their jobs as sidemen to become virtuoso frontmen in their own right. Early on Jimi Hendrix played in Little Richards' band and Eric Clapton worked with numerous groups like John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds, Cream and Derek and the Dominos before starting his legendary career as a solo artist. Even Stevie Ray Vaughn had a stint as a member of David Bowie's touring band before going solo. There seems to be something about apprenticing with another artist that brings out the best in some guitar players. After spending years honing their craft it becomes impossible for their unique style and personality to be held back. Such is the case with Billy Walton.
Since the age of 15, Walton has plied his craft in the Asbury Park/New Jersey shore music scene – most notably as the guitarist/vocalist for Boccigalupe & the Bad Boys which features Tony Amato a veteran of the Asbury scene since the 70s (the nickname ... Boccigalupe was actually given to him by Bruce Springsteen & Little Steven Van Zandt). During his time with Boccigalupe, Walton has played countless gigs in both the United States and Europe and sat in with numerous of rock luminaries including Springsteen, Gary US Bonds and Stevie Ray's backing band, Double Trouble.
The 30-year old Walton's talents are no secret among everyone in the Jersey shore music scene and with the founding of the Billy Walton Band there's little doubt his reputation will grow far beyond the Garden State. The Billy Walton Band's sound is a combination of hard blues reminiscent of Hendrix, Clapton and Vaughn mixed with a healthy dose of Warren Hayes and Derrick Trucks.
Live, Walton has always been an explosive performer with jaw dropping talent but with the addition of bassist William Paris, Richie Taz on sax, and drummer Johnny D'Angelo the Billy Walton band churns out a singular brand of funky blues that has deep roots in both the jam band musical tradition as well as the Jersey shore Walton has cut his teeth on.
Walton's connection to his heroes is not just through his record collection. Over the years he has developed a close friendship with Roger Mayer, the well–known British guitar effects guru whose devices have played such a pivotal part in rock'n'roll for nearly every major player since Hendrix.
But regardless of his influences or where he's from, the Billy Walton Band's ultimate appeal lies in the unique musical gifts of its founder, Walton himself, who, like his forebears is poised to join the long and storied list of sidemen whose time has come to step out front.
From Wilmington, Delaware, the fabulous Blue Cat Blues Band plays good-time, party music that gets your foot to tapping. They’ve been featured at the renowned Wilmington Riverfront Blues Fest. Expect some great harmonica blues from this four man musical explosion!
This blues rock, British blues, and new age blues influenced band consist of an up and coming guitarist from the Newark, Delaware area, Jeffrey Attakorah, a guitarist whose influences are based in blues, classic rock, and modern R&B. Joined by two former members of Newark, Delaware-based punk band, 'The Checkered heroes, Ryan Gorman on bass & vocals, and Charlie Greaves on drums. They "just play whatever, with a hint of Blues", with the goal of bringing the blues back to the younger generation.
Bob Margolin is a Blues guitar player and vocalist, a recording artist who tours worldwide both leading his own band and The Bob Margolin All-Star Blues Jam. He won a Blues Music Award for Guitar in 2008, known as the W.C. Handy Award in 2005 when he won that year, and played guitar in Muddy Waters’ Band from 1973-’80.
He can be seen with Muddy Waters and The Band in The Last Waltz, the classic music documentary. His most recent album is The Bob Margolin All-Star Blues Jam for Telarc Records, which features many of today’s surviving Chicago Blues legends. Since the ‘90s, he has also recorded albums for the Powerhouse, Alligator, and Blind Pig labels. He writes a regular column for Blues Revue magazine and contributes to BluesWax.com online magazine.
Bob also has played on, produced or consulted on, and written liner notes for four reissues of Muddy Waters’ albums on the Sony/Legacy label. He appears on the Muddy Waters Classic Concerts DVD, playing in 1977 with Muddy and writing liner notes for the DVD.
In today’s Blues music scene, Bob Margolin is carrying on the tradition with a full schedule of festivals, concerts, and club appearances. For more details and depth, visit the other links on this website
What's in the Box?" is a Hard Driving, High Energy Classic Rock / Blues Power Trio covering a wide variety of artists including; Taj Mahal - Lynrd Skynrd - The Rolling Stones - S.R.V. - BB King - Marshall Tucker Band - Beatles - Frank Zappa - Jimmy Hendrix - Eric Clapton - Stevie Wonder - Van Halen - Indigenous - Pink Floyd - Eddie Money - Savoy Brown - Atlanta Rythm Section - Blues Brothers - Johnny Winter - Deep Purple - Allman brothers - Hall & Oats - Grateful Dead - Black crows - Wilson Picket - Robin Trower - Warren Zevon - Zep - Little feat - Lenny Kravitz - Al Green - Jeff Healy - ZZ Top - Foghat - Kenny Wayne Shepherd and more.
Members of "What's in the box?" have shared the stage and worked with various headliners over the years including: Johnny Winter, Jimmy Vaughan and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, James Cotton, Elvin Bishop, B.B. King, Albert Collins, Edgar Winter, Pat Travers, Tabby Thomas, Buddy Guy, ,Junior Wells, The Holmes Brothers, The Temptations Rebview, Johnny Neel…just to name a few!
A guitar prodigy from the age of four, South Texas born Brent Johnson always knew where he wanted his playing to take him. Drinking in the very best of Blues, Jazz, Rock, Punk, Country and World Music, by the time his family moved to New Orleans in his teens, he was predestined towards a career in music.
Writing his own material, Brent formed several high-school bands, all with a lean to the Blues, then joined ‘Under The Gun’, who built a considerable following on the local live circuit in Louisiana and beyond. As admiring of the style of The Clash, Albert King, Charlie Parker, Jimi Hendrix, Albert Collins or Black Flag and Thelonius Monk, Brents passion for playing was immediate and intense for his audience.
By serendipity, New Orleans’ legendary ‘Braille Blues Daddy’ Bryan Lee heard Brent's playing and immediately recognized his virtuosity, drive and dedication to his Craft and to the Blues. At 22, Brent was seconded into Bryan Lee and the Blues Power Band with whom he has recorded and toured nationally and internationally for the past ten years.
Brent credits Bryan as an ever encouraging Mentor, sharing and expanding his deep love of the Blues and playing guitar; “ playing with Bryan has really helped me open my ears. For example, Bryan always had keyboard players before I joined him – so I had to learn how to play like an organist, like a horn section – how to play rhythm like a group of instruments... instead of solely like a guitarist. I’ve learned how to swing, how to play be-bop and also how to take that aggression that I love and give it room to move – new colors to paint with”.
Through his long association with Bryan Lee, Brent has played many major Jazz and Blues Festivals around the world and had the pleasure of playing with many outstanding Blues Artists such as Buddy Guy, Lonnie Brooks, Eddie Shaw, Gatemouth Brown, Michael Burks, David Maxwell, Bruce Katz, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Howlin Wolf associate Hubert Sumlin. Some from this circle have given Brent great accolades for his abilities as a player, a fact he underplays.
In between touring with Bryan Lee, Brent went out on the road with John Perkins (drums) and Bill Blok (bass) playing Brent's original compositions, with himself on vocals. They garnered a great response and decided to go into the recording studio, with the inclusion of Wayne Lohr on keyboards.Brent Johnson and The Call Up release their debut album ‘ Set The World On Fire’ in ‘2014’ through the renowned Justin-Time Records out of Montreal . Owner Jim West is a longtime fan and gave Brent free rein over the material and production. Renowned musicians Sonny Landreth and Alvin Youngblood Hart guest on several tracks at Brent's invitation, and he is looking forward to releasing and touring these original songs and feeling the reaction to his work from an audience.
“My sound is rooted in the Blues, though I don’t pretend to be a purist, and I don’t want to be” he explains, “ I write music based on my experiences and the sounds I grew up with... I never want to pretend that I had the same experiences as the old Bluesmen did – so I’m not going to go around trying to sound like them. What I do is put the emphasis on the feeling of the music, the passion, the urgency, the directness – that’s the goal”.
Brent describes himself as “always a guitarslinger... I always loved songwriters and wrote songs for myself”.
Interestingly, despite an omnivorous musical appetite and a very distinct love of Blues, Brent, when pushed , would list his four favourite songwriters as eclectic Houston guitarist Chris Whitley, Austin's own Ian Moore,( a writer himself influenced by World, Folk and Blues music), along with British stalwarts Elvis Costello and Joe Strummer. He describes his favourite music as “raw, honest and dirty.”
As his debut album comes of the press, Brent emphasises his commitment to keep writing his own songs –“ I want to bring something to the audience that sounds familiar but that is our own in the end”. Always demonstrating his creativity in his playing, he is excited and apprehensive about putting his own songs before the public. “I believe there are no limits – I’m going to have fun with this for a long time!
Born on March 16, 1943 in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, Bryan Lee lost his eye sight and was legally blind by the age of eight.Bryan Lee had an avid interest in early Rock and Roll and Blues Music which was fostered through the 1950’s late night listening sessions from the Nashville Music radio stations such as WLAC. This is where Lee was first introduced to the sounds of Elmore James, T-Bone Walker and many other influential bluesmen.
The man now known as “Braille Blues Daddy” started out playing for Midwest crowds at the early age of 15. In the late 1950’s, Bryan Lee opened for Bill Haley & The Comets with his band "The Glaciers" performing cover music of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard.By the early 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s,
Bryan Lee’s musical interest turned to the sound of Chicago Blues while touring throughout the Midwest. He was heavily influenced by Chicago Bluesmen Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Hubert Sumlin and Freddie King.While on tour in the 1980’s Bryan opened for one of his hero’s Muddy Water’s. After the show Muddy told Bryan: “Bryan, stay with this, one day you will be a living legend.” – “I went home and I cried” says Lee.
Although his acceptance in the Chicago Blues Scene didn’t come until later in his career, Bryan has the respect of his friends and peers such as Buddy Guy and Lonnie Brooks. Bryan Lee and his band frequently pack the Legend’s house performing authentic blues.In the late 1970’s Bryan fell in love with the city of New Orleans and eventually moved to the Crescent City on Jan 6, 1982.
Bryan Lee has been a fixture of the French Quarter music scene ever since. His guitar brings the Chicago styled blues of Luther Allison, as well as Albert King and Albert Collins down to the Crescent City. Bryan Lee made his stand, performing 5 nights a week for over 14 years at the Old Absinthe House. Bryan gained the nickname “New Orleans Blues Institution” from Quint Davis, producer of NOLa Jazz and Heritage Festival, of which Bryan has performed at for 26 years now.
During the 1990’s Bryan and the Jump Street Five Band initiated a long recording deal with Justin Time Records from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.The collaboration and Lee’s individual sets would take him to recording 13 albums over two decades.
2009 My Lady Don't Love My Lady
2007 Katrina Was Her Name Nominated for BMA Best Contemporary Blues CD 2008 Won German Critics Award for Outstanding Blues CD of 2008
2006 Live and Dangerous DVD
2005 Live and Dangerous CD
2003 Greatest Hits
2002 Six String Therapy
2000 Crawfish Lady
1998 Friday Night at the Old Absinthe House
1998 Saturday Night Live at the Old Absinthe House
1995 Blues Is
1995 Heat Seeking Missile
1994 Braille Blues Daddy
1993 Memphis Bound
1991 Bryan Lee and the Jump Street Five
In 1995, Bryan shared his stage with a then 13 year old, Kenny Wayne Sheppard. Bryan was so blown away by Kenny’s guitar playing that he invited Kenny to be on his “Friday Night – Saturday Night Live from The Old Absinthe House “recording along with the great James Cotton and Frank Marino. Kenny also made a special guest appearance on Bryan’s 2009 CD "My Lady Don’t Love My Lady," along with Buddy Guy.
After the closing of The Old Absinthe House and the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans, Bryan formed a new band and hit the road. Starting over with Brent Johnson on guitar and John Perkins on drums, Bryan Lee and The Blues Power Band started touring all over the world.
One of many highlights of Bryan Lee’s career would be performing at BB King’s 80th Birthday in 2005, as well as being a special guest on the Kenny Wayne Sheppard “Blues from the Backroads, 10 Days Out” Documentary and album(2007). During this 6 week tour Bryan was able to connect with the late great musicians such as Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Summlin, Eddie Kirkland and Willie Big Eye Smith along with Buddy Flett, among many others. Bryan Lee performed hit original hit tune” Tina Marie” with KWS and friends on the Jay Leno Show in 2007 as well as on the Tavis Smiley Show.
In 2010; Bryan was nominated for a Grammy Award for his work on “Live! In Chicago” with Kenny Wayne Sheppard and Friends and won a BMA for Best Rock Blues Album for the same album. In 2012 Bryan played his 26th New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and along The Blues Power Band to a packed tent.
A new protégé – Matthew Curry. If Curry’s experiences as a young bluesman sound similar to those of a young Kenny Wayne Shepherd it’s because the duo’s formative years are very much alike. They even share a common mentor – New Orleans’ bluesman Bryan Lee. “Vocally, my main number one influence is Bryan Lee. He’s just the nicest man I’ve ever met on earth,” Curry said. “He’s toured all over the world and he knows that he and his band are great, but yet he’s so humble about it. Me and him and his guitar player Brent all stay in touch. As far as the blues, I think Bryan Lee is the best blues singer that I’ve ever heard.”
In 2012 Bryan Lee signed on with Severn Records, and in 2013 released "Play One for Me," with David Earl as producer, Kim Wilson on harp, Johnny Moeller on guitar, and the Severn Records house band. “The Good Lord gave me this gift and I want to share it with you”. Bryan Lee