Elvin Bishop has been travelling the Blues road longer than most, and he's got the stories to prove it – many of which are contained within the songs on this release. Stops along the way include his work as a founding member of the groundbreaking Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the early '60s, recordings with legends such as Clifton Chenier, John Lee Hooker, and The Allman Brothers, and Pop success with his own 1976 smash hit "Fooled Around and Fell In Love". Bishop's long and varied career has included plenty of side trips along the way as well, from deep down gutbucket Blues played in smoky South Side Chicago taverns, to raucous roadhouse R&B, to good time Rock & Roll on concert stages and festivals around the world. And at every stage along the way, he's instilled all of his music with passion, creativity, and a healthy helping of wisdom, wit, and good humor.
Elvin was born in Glendale, California, and grew up on a farm near Elliott, Iowa. His family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, when he was ten years old. His earliest exposure to music came from the family's radio, where in between "How Much Is That Doggy In The Window" and "Your Cheatin' Heart," young Elvin could sometimes catch classic records of Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. Once he'd got his feet wet, there was no turning back. He quickly acquired his first guitar and on his own began working out the basic outlines of the Blues, R&B and Rock & Roll that had captured his soul.
By the time he was preparing for college in the late 1950s, Bishop had earned a National Merit Scholarship that allowed him to go to almost any school he chose – and the only choice on Elvin's mind was the prestigious University of Chicago, which just happened to be located on Chicago's South Side, ground zero for much of the urban Blues Elvin had so far been studying only from a distance. He arrived in Chicago in 1959, and before long crossed paths with a fellow student Paul Butterfield. Together, they explored the taverns and Blues joints in the black neighborhoods surrounding the university campus at a time when Blues giants like Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Otis Rush, Magic Sam and Howlin' Wolf could be found playing in corner bars for a $2 cover charge just about any night of the week.
Elvin BishopBy 1963, Bishop and Butterfield were ready to graduate – not from the university, but from their apprenticeship under Chicago's Blues veterans. They made their first recordings that year, doing a session with veterans Billy Boy Arnold and James Cotton. That same year, they recruited Howlin' Wolf's former rhythm section of Sam Lay on drums and Jerome Arnold on bass, and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was born. In 1965, after adding Mike Bloomfield and Mark Naftalin to the lineup, their revolutionary debut LP was released, opening the door for virtually all the young white Blues bands that followed. Bishop remained in the fold for three albums with the Butterfield band, including their innovative "East-West" release (on which Bishop and Bloomfield's intertwining guitars helped set the stage for the Allman Brothers Band and the Grateful Dead, among many others who followed), before getting the itch to move on and venturing out on his own. Elvin released several well-received albums in the early '70s, before experiencing his biggest Pop success, the gold-record earning national hit "Fooled Around and Fell In Love" from his 1976 LP "Struttin' My Stuff."
Road work kept Elvin busy through the '80s, and as time went by his journey led him back to the Blues that were at the root of all his musical endeavors. And that fertile territory has been his focus ever since.
Delta Groove Productions president Randy Chortkoff has been a fan and follower of Elvin's music through all the many phases of his career, beginning with Butterfield Blues Band in the mid 1960s, and when the opportunity arose to bring Elvin into the Delta Groove fold, Chortkoff jumped at the opportunity. The result was Elvin's Grammy-nominated 2008 CD "The Blues Rolls On," and a flurry of other awards and accolades, including being named 2009 Male Blues Artist of the Year by Blues Blast magazine. Elvin's new releases are exciting next steps in his Blues journey.
Right out of the gate, on "Red Dog Speaks", Bishop leaves no doubt where his heart is, cleverly introducing his long-time cohort "Red Dog" with a gritty slow blues calculated to set the pace for what's to come. Along the way he smoothly steers the way from strutting Blues and R&B , through a good dose of good-time Rock & Roll, and even an occasional detour through Doo-Wop, Zydeco, and Gospel. Elvin has made plenty of talented friends over the years, and many of them jumped at the chance to help out on "Red Dog Speaks"; Buckwheat Zydeco, Tommy Castro, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and John Németh all make guest appearances. And all of it adds up to an amalgam that can only be called "Elvin Bishop music."
"...an infectious revival of both '40s jump and '50s to '60s Chess-like styles from a band that lives inside the music..." - Wall Street Journal
"No band makes the old new again better than The Mannish Boys." - Blues Revue Magazine
"It is both refreshing and encouraging to see a song selection that favors a broad range of little-known gems respectfully presented by a deep stable of talent." - Living Blues Magazine
Few blues acts have perfected the tricky maneuver of honoring the storied history of the Blues, while at the same time keeping the music up-to-date, as well as Delta Groove's The Mannish Boys. It's a balancing act that they've honed over the course of six highly-acclaimed CD releases and countless nights gigging on concert stages around the world. Conceived as an all-star showcase for the cream of the west coast blues crop, The Mannish Boys have stayed true to that vision. They've continually evolved through the years, seeking out and spotlighting the talents of true Blues legends in a setting that stays true to the deep roots of genre, providing them with the support required to excite today's blues audiences.
Their newest release on Delta Groove marks a number of firsts for The Mannish Boys. "Double Dynamite", as the title suggests, serves up a double dose of The Mannish Boys on a two CD set, allowing them to really stretch out and feature more special guests and sounds than on any of their previous releases. Especially notable is new featured vocalist Sugaray Rayford, a soulful, gospel-inflected singer, originally from Texas, who has been little known outside of his current home base in Southern California until now. Also along for the ride this time, and adding variety and depth in the vocal department, are veterans James "Icepick" Harman, Mike Finnigan (who in the '60s played keyboards on Jimi Hendrix's "Electric Ladyland" LP, among many other accomplishments in his long career), and Jackie Payne, plus long-time Mannish Boys frontman Finis Tasby. The band's regular guitarists Kirk Fletcher and Frank Goldwasser also take turns in front of the vocal mic, as does The Mannish Boys harp playing honcho Randy Chortkoff. And as a special treat this time out, Mud Morganfield, oldest son of the undisputed king of Chicago blues, Muddy Waters, also contributes as a guest vocalist, bringing a south side Chicago blues unrivalled by any living vocalist. Other special guests on this amazing release include harmonica aces Rod Piazza, Jason Ricci and Bob Corritore, and guitarists Elvin Bishop, Junior Watson, Nathan James, and Kid Ramos, all backed by the hard-swinging rhythm section of Jimi Bott and Willie J. Campbell, plus an array of other very special musicians.
A virtual blues festival in a single band, all of this variety adds up to a continually surprising, wide-ranging, and most consistently excellent release from The Mannish Boys career so far.
JAMES HARMAN was born and raised in Anniston, Alabama-quickly picked up on the black blues and soul music being played on juke boxes and the radio. He sang in the church choir until age 16 when his family moved to Panama City Florida, where he found himself surrounded by like-minded blues lovers. Wearing a fake moustache, young James slipped into a still segregated black nightclub to see Little Junior Parker's show. He was totally overtaken by the blues and soon became a regular, known as "That boy who sings like a man" by patrons.
While still in his teens, he started playing juke joints and dance clubs throughout the South. Hs performances became legendary-he was "tapped" by talent scouts, signed and taken to Atlanta, Georgia in 1964 to begin his recording career at age 18. He had a series of nine singles (45 RPM records) released during the mid to late 60's on obscure southern labels. He tried several restarts in new home bases including Chicago in '65, New York in '66, Miami in '68 and New Orleans in '69.
During his stay in Miami Harman was befriended by fellow record collectors Henry Vestine, Alan Wilson and Bob Hite of Canned Heat, who persuaded him to move to California, promising to help him get re-started. Harman made his move to SoCal in 1970, and true to their word, Canned Heat insisted on Harman's Icehouse Blues Band as their opening act on many big shows. Icehouse Blues Band became established at venues such as The Golden Bear, The Ash Grove, The Troubadour and The Lighthouse, which all booked real blues artists.
James Harman was soon in demand for his own shows, as well as backing every living blues artist who was touring without a band. He also opened literally hundreds of shows for artist who did have their own band. Icehouse Blues Band was a real working blues band. In 1978 James tired of using band names and started billing his act as James Harman Band.
Some alumni include Phil Alvin, Bill Bateman, Gene Taylor, David "Kid" Ramos, Michael "Hollywood Fats" Mann, Stephen Taylor Hodges and Jeff "Big Dad" Turmes. All of these players did long stints in the Harman Band. James is often cited as a band leader who gave many now famous bluesmen their start. Harman stopped ground touring in 2000 and now only takes blues festival dates around the world. Nathan James has been James Harman's regular band guitar player since 1997 when he was 19 years old... he turned 35 in 2013 and he's still Harman's favorite! Nathan is also James' recording engineer and co-producer on his own projects, as well as projects they produce for other artists.
James Harman's side project: Bamboo Porch Revue features guitarist Nathan James playing rollicking, low-down, juke-joint blues over James Michael Tempo's Afro-Cuban percussion, Troy Sandow's sparse, pulsating acoustic bass and Marty Dodson's masterful drumming. Through his long career starting in the early 60's James Harman has built up an enormous song catalog and had 20 of his original songs used in movies and television. He has been nominated for 19 pestiferous W. C. Handy (Blues Foundation) awards. He was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, and he is the harmonica player of choice on many ZZ Top releases, as well as live with them on many international TV shows. James Harman has had 31 releases, on many different labels; he currently tours every spring, summer and fall, working in as many as 28 countries. Harman is a one of a kind song writer, producer, musician, showman, vocalist and internationally known bluesman.
The 44's are a Los Angeles-based band who play blues-roots-rock music.The 44's are one the brightest rising stars on the American blues roots scene. Make no mistake about it. The raw rough and tough sounds generated by these four expert musicians during live performances and in the making of their Sophomore album Americana, on the Rip Cat label, demands to be heard by Blues music fans World Wide. They evidence a genuine gift for creating blues in the moment while at the same time showing loyalty to a remarkable blues-and-r&b tradition that goes back decades through the James Harman Band and the Red Devils to storied greats like Howlin' Wolf, Albert Collins, and Muddy Waters. They've become a favorite band of club and festival crowds across North America.
The 44's seem to be literally exploding across the Blues scene as a fully formed and functional unit commanding audiences with their in your face, yet highly contagious musical sound. Their first Release "Boogie Disease", Was self produced for $800 with the Help of Guitar Great Kid Ramos (The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Mannish Boys) and was quickly snatched up and issued on Rip Cat Records, hitting a peak position of No. 12 on the national Living Blues radio charts and No.2 on BB King Bluesville Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. Critical praise and industry recognition from the blues community soon followed. American Blues News Awarded the Band with The Best Blues Band of 2011 and Blues Underground Network Awarded the Band with Best Debut Album.
They play vintage instruments and channel a blues style of days past, but there is a distinct Rawness to this blues award winning quartet. Each band member is in fine form. Johnny Main grounds his outstanding singing and guitar playing in real experience--his talent's as honest as the day is long. Tex Nakamura has forged his own stirring voice from studying Little Walter and other legendary harmonica mentors. Drummer J. R. Lozano, behind his Vintage Ludwig Kit, is as solid as any you'll hear, calibrating rhythmic flow with alertness and intelligence. For their one-of-a-kind blues, The 44's successfully mine the tension.
Kid Ramos say's of his experience with The 44's "They play like their life depends on it and you can quote me" American Blues News Says "One of the Hardest working, hardest playing blues outfits anywhere."
Touring Non-stop since 2010, they've garnered a whole new generation of first-time young blues- roots fans, as well as older ones who recognize the talents of these four musicians. The 44's are at the top of their game and with the much anticipated Sophomore Release "Americana" on Rip Cat Records. They have brought together a top notch cast of characters. Kid Ramos joins the band in the producer's chair and Guest Guitar Appearances. The Mixing Chair is being filled by the Legendary David Z (Credits Include Buddy Guy, Etta James, John Mayall).
The 44's were awarded the hardest working band of 2011 for a reason. Playing 200 Club and festival Dates in 2011. They will be continuing the same in 2012 in support of "Americana" Stay Tuned for 2012 the year of the Blues.
Shawn Jones is the epitome of American Roots/Rock music. He has proven over time that he has an international appeal. Shawn is true to form of his influences, spanning from all the greats in Rock, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz & Country. His father raised him on Hank Williams, and he grew up in the heartland of Southern California, where he learned from experience how to play and sing the blues. Shawn has been touring in excess of 200 dates a year, creating new fans and followers literally everywhere he performs.
Shawn's latest CD, "Struggle Makes You Stronger" was picked up by Right Track Distribution, licensed through the Universal Group in the UK. Shawn's single, "Life Is For The Living," was released in the UK on February 11th and was a featured single on iTunes UK. The album was released on Feb. 25th, 2013. Jones will be embarking on his 15th tour to the UK in 2013. Shawn will be touring internationally appearing on radio, and performing at festivals and clubs. The album has already picked up several four and five star reviews in the US, UK, EU, AU with many others arriving. A double-page-spread has been secured with Maverick Magazine (March 2013) and Blues Matters Magazine (April 2013) in the UK. Shawn's music has aired numerous times on the BBC UK, BBC Northern Ireland, and many other syndicated stations throughout the UK and EU.
With four studio albums and one live album under his belt, Shawn's skills as a seasoned songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist have put him on the same bill with the likes of BB King, Buddy Guy, Joe Bonamassa, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughan, Willie Nelson, Leon Russell, Eric Johnson, Robben Ford, Derek Trucks, Little Feat, Taj Mahal, John Mayall, Coco Montoya, Johnny Winter, Jim Lauderdale, John Haitt, David Lindley, and many others. Waylon Jennings was also so impressed with Shawn's live performance that he took Jones under his wing, offering him a management deal and the grand opportunity to play on his 1996 release "Right For The Time." Shawn was also Waylon's lead guitarist on Lollapalooza with Metallica, Ramones, & SoundGarden, and Willie's 4th of July Picnic. Shawn currently tours with country music multi-platinum artist, Deana Carter as her lead guitarist. Jones also has endorsements with Taylor Guitars, GHS Strings, Rocktron, Visual Sound, and others...
Previously, Shawn's song "Invincible Me" was featured in the 100th episode of "Dawson's Creek" on the Fox Network. Jones and his band made a cameo appearance in the Fine Line Pictures release,"Tumbleweeds", starring Golden Globe winning actress, Janet McTeer. Two of his songs, "Long Way Down" and "Lightening Strike Me Down" are featured in the movie. The single "Long Way Down" was also included on the RCA/Victor soundtrack album. Other artists on the album include: Johnny Cash, Lyle Lovett, Buck Owens, Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams. Shawn's song "Lightening Strike Me Down" was selected for the Hollywood Pictures film, "Mystery Alaska" starring Russell Crowe.
Shawn Jones' ability to combine undeniable guitar playing, singing, writing, and recording, coupled with heartfelt emotion, has earned him the slot as one of the most compelling new artists on today's roots music scene.
- See more at: http://www.shawnjonesmusic.com/bio
The story of the R&B Bombers starts long ago, in the 1980's, at a time that music was starting to become unhinged. Electronics were being brought into the human produced order of sounds and many were tempted by the newness. Larry Nass, a guitar virtuoso from Ventura CA, along with another pair of Southern California natives Steve Nelson on bass and Joe Wilson, a vocalist whose influences are almost forgotten (but revived by Wilson in a brand new way,) wanted to form a band with a raw, human emotional feeling that captured the essence of what music is, and what made all of us start to play music in the first place. And so players in the area were recruited one by one. The immensely talented keyboardist Ken Stange, the wonderful multi-instrumentalist and writer arranger Jim Hochanadel on tenor saxophone. Craig Thomas switching on alto and tenor sax and providing added vocals, Dave Tolegian on his booming yet intricate baritone and alto saxes, Craig Woods on trombone extraordinaire, and local favorite on drums Tom Lackner were all recruited by Nelson, Wilson and Nass. After much planning, arranging, and rehearsals, the band made it's debut in Santa Barbara, CA. at the Head of the Wolf for a packed house, the first of many that the band and venue was treated to.
From there it was all up hill, as clubs, festivals, and concerts were queuing up in droves to get the R&B Bombers to play for them, opening concerts for groups as diverse as Toto, the Pointer Sisters, and the Count Basie Band with Cab Calloway. Sellout crowds, with lines down the block waiting to get into see the group on WEEKDAY nights were common in places like Sundays at Andy's Barbecue Heaven in Ventura, Mondays at the Central(now known as the Viper Room) in Hollywood sharing the bill with the renowned Chuck E. Weiss, and the Tuesday night patio parties at the 1129 club in Santa Barbara. The group even headlined at the Ventura Theater. This newfound fame was not lost on promoter Michael Kaufer, who instituted the long running Bowlful of Blues in Ojai. CA. with the R&B Bombers as the house band for the first three years of it's existence, playing their own sets and backing up such artists as Charlie Musselwhite, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, Pee Wee Crayton, Margie Evans, Cash McCall, Johnny Copeland, and many others. These appearances, coupled with the release of the self-titled R&B Bombers vinyl LP, described by the late legendary record producer Terry Melcher as a "complete and well-produced work," catapulted the band into one of the top acts in the Southern California area.
Success for the R&B Bombers unfortunately was not, shall we say, handled as well as it could have been, and the group had to replace members temporarily and in some cases permanently, and this led to general disarray of the band. This coupled with the untimely passing of guitarist Larry Nass ultimately caused the break-up of the group. One fan of the band, Kenny "the Doorman" Borrell, was able to coax the band into re-uniting for his birthday parties, and fans of the group would turn out in droves. In early 2008, the core remaining members decided that the R&B Bombers music is timeless, and extremely enjoyable to play and to be experienced by the listener. So, a serious reunion, with the release of a CD with unreleased tracks included and a serious commitment to perform the music, and a second CD of all new material was implemented. The second CD "Bad Behavior" was released in June '09 and is receiving extensive airplay and critical review. New songs are being honed and arranged by the creative forces of the the band in 2011 for a third release.
Not that the band members have been inactive. The present group of players includes new members Don Roberts on baritone and alto saxes, Steve Wachsman on guitar, and the newest member Tom Walsh joining on drums. These and the original members have toured and performed in the back-up bands for such artists as Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Brian Setzer, Joe Cocker, Freda Payne, The Temptations, Four Tops, James Brown, Joe Walsh, Dwight Yokam, Paul Anka, Tony Bennett, Big Mama Thornton, Manhattan Transfer, and Bobby Caldwell, just to name a few. The R&B Bombers are back and have become a mighty force on the American music scene. - See more at: http://www.rbbombers.com/band_bio
Guy Martin was born and raised in Ventura, CA. Guy's love for playing the guitar didn't really come out until the ripe old age of 16. It was then that Guy's good friend from high school showed him the electric guitar. Finding an instant attraction to the instrument, Guy bought his first electric guitar and started practicing...5 hours a day. With no interest in reading boring sheet music, he began to listen to his favorite rock records and play along tuning his ear to the music. About a year later, he was introduced to the thick driving blues notes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, this changed Guy's path immediately. "I want to play like that!" were the words then spoken by the determined 17 year old kid.
Practice makes perfect, as Guy has carved his way into one of the premiere blues guitar players coming out of Southern California today. Paying the bills by way of General Contracting during the day, Guy still finds the time to put everything else he's got into his passion...his music. Back in the late 90's and early 2000, Guy and his band had released only two projects to disc. One live and one studio effort. However, the live shows continued throughout Southern California for many years. Guy is just one of those artists that is waiting to explode any moment, any day, any year. Wearing a tape measure during the day, then strapping on his Stratocaster at night...Guy proves he has the rock solid determination and soul to take his music to the next level, it's just a matter of when.
Over the years, guy has shared the stage with many blues and rock greats, such as Dave Mason, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Little Feat, Gregg Allman, Slash, Jr. Brown, LeAnn Rimes, Jeff Healey Band, Michael McDonald, and the list continues to grow. Through the course of live shows and countless sit-ins and rehearsals, Guy's soulful style has become much of his own nowadays. Shaped around many of his blues heroes like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, Buddy Guy, and of course Jimi Hendrix. The passion he delivers in every note, in every show is unsurpassed and witnessed by those in attendance. Combine this with a thick attack, thick strings, thick picks and a lot of heart, it's a show definitely not to miss.
In 2011, Guy put together a show completely consisting of all Jimi Hendrix songs. It's dubbed as "not a tribute, but an experience". Incorporating back-up singers in the show to enhance the sound close to what Jimi had in his studio recordings. This live Jimi show is done Guy's way, with some added taste, grit, and some pure class of Jimi himself. Ending his show at the Ventura Theater in 2011 with a standing ovation of 500 people, the show proved itself right out of the box! There is a LIVE DVD of the night for sale at GuyMartin.com.
An original music production is long overdue and definitely on the horizon for Guy and the band. New material is being recorded as of the beginning of 2013. Special guest will be appearing on this new album, and it will surely not disappoint!
"What's an evening like with the Guy Martin Band? Great blues, jaw dropping guitar playing, and one hell of a good time!"
- Michael Kohli, VC Reporter
"Guy Martin, a self taught player, learned from the best. He was inspired by a pair of the musically missing - Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan."
- Bill Locey, Los Angeles Times
"Putting in his time while becoming one of the best guitar players in the 805..."
- Bill Locey, Los Angeles Times