Friday, April 12, 2013

Some examples of Jimmy Dawkins music as both a leader and as a sideman:
Jimmy Dawkins “Serves Me Right To Suffer” (click here

Wild Child Butler “Hippies Playground” (click here)
Johnny Young & Big Walter “Ring Around My Heart” (click here

Carey Bell “Sad Dreams” (click here)
Jimmy Dawkins with Big Voice Odom on vocals “Welfare Blues” (click here)

  • RIP Di Anne Price (February 21, 1950 to March 13, 2013). Memphis had a great blues secret in singer/pianist Di Anne Price whose robust style revived some of the early sounds of classic blues woman. Despite her immense talent and showmanship she was little known outside of her native home of Memphis.  The Memphis Flyer described her this way; “Di Anne Price was easily one of Memphis’s most beloved performers. She played anywhere and everywhere. Her superb albums Wild WomenTo Hell With LoveA Good Man Is Hard To Find, and Reekin’ With Love, all showcase her smoky vocals, barrelhouse piano, and her fascination with a variety of blues and jazz styles from 1920s throwback to more contemporary arrangements.”  Her huge personality used sas, wit and kindness to win over her audiences and her tight, jazz-oriented band (collectively called Di Anne Price & Her Boyfriends) backed her perfectly. She passed away on March 13 after a battle with some ongoing health issues. Special thanks to promoter Jay Sheffield and to the venue Huey’s in Memphis for their great support of Di Anne. To learn more about the late Di Anne Price check out her website athttp://www.dianneprice.net/. To see a great tribute to Di Anne Price by the Memphis Flyer and see a spectacular video of this great artist click here.
  • RIP Johnnie Billington (1935 to April 1, 2013). Lambert, Mississippi blues singer/ guitarist/educator Johnnie Billingtondied on Monday, April 1st at a Clarksdale hospital from complications of a heart attack. He was 77. Johnny was a true beacon of blues purity who never strayed from a traditional blues sound. Born in Crowder, MS in 1935, Johnnie spent some time in the 1950s in Arizona and then Chicago before returning to Mississippi in 1977 where he became active in education. He received a number of awards; a Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Blues Foundation’s “Keeping the Blues Alive” Education Award, the Sunflower River Blues Association’s Early Wright Award, and the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Folk Arts Fellowship. He was a good and honorable man and a true bluesman. To read more about Johnnie Billington click here.
  • First blues reality show!?! Roger Stolle and Jeff Konkel have announced a forthcoming weekly series called Moonshine And Mojohands,  a reality show about the blues experience in Mississippi. The projected first season will consist of 10 edisodes each of approximately 12 minutes in length and available free online at http://www.moonshineandmojohands.com/. Currently on the website you can see the series trailer that incldes snippits of scenes with Super Chikan, Artheice “Gas Man” Jones and Frank Ratliff (the recently deceased priopieter and tour guide of Clarksdale’s historic Riverside Hotel).Roger Stolle and Jeff Konkel have previously produced the highly acclaimed documentaries M For Mississippiand We Juke Up In Here. Roger would not be pinned down to a specific debut date but promised us the first episode in early fall!
  • Valerie June appears at ACM Awards! It is always a proud pleasure when someone from our blues family gets a shot at major mainstream exposure. Valerie June is a self proclaimed purveyor of “Moonshine Roots Music” which includes elements of blues, folk, gospel and country music. Hailing from Jackson, Tennessee, she is a youthful musical embodiment of her Southern heritage with a downhome guitar and banjo style, and accented vocals. She also possesses an intoxicating beauty with her slim silhouette, angelic face and Medusa-like dreadlocks. Valerie June recently had a feature article in Living Blues Magazine. Last Sunday, April 7th she appeared unannounced and uncredited on CBS’s broadcast of the AMC Awards (AMC stands for Academy of Country Music) as she sang sweet harmony in a duet with country music superstar Eric Church on his hit “Like Jesus Does.” To see this performance on YouTube, click here. Her memorable, poised performance and striking look surely made a powerful impression on the millions of viewers that tuned in to this televised event. Look for Valerie’s forthcoming CD Pushing Against A Stone. co-produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, to be out later this year. For a nice interview/performance with Valerie June from Crane TV click here.
  • Walter Davis Tribute CD to be Released! Album art revealed! Walter Davis was an immensely popular blues singer/pianist/songwriter who made scores of influential recordings in the 1930s and 40s. His somber, heartfelt blues is considered to some of the deepest ever recorded, and his songs have been covered by Muddy WatersRay CharlesJohn Lee HookerPinetop PerkinsChampion Jack Dupree, and many more. More recently however, German pianist Christian Rannenberg has produced a marvelous concept album reconstructing the sound and mood of Mr. Davis. This project features Billy Boy ArnoldCharlie MusselwhiteJimmy McCracklinChristian Rannenberg, Keith Dunn, and Davis’ close associate Henry Townsend (with Bob Corritore). The CD is titled The Walter Davis Project and will be released on Electro-Fi Records on May 21. To see the cover art for this record click here. Look for some powerfully deep blues from this one.
    Here are some Walter Davis original recordings:
    “Oh Me Oh My” (click here)
    “Ashes In My Whiskey” (click here)
    ” Please Remember Me” (click here)
    “Come Back Baby” (click here)
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