Welcome to my website. Here you will find links to my articles, reviews and interviews as well as my music blog which I update occasionally. At the moment I write for Hittin’ The Note Magazine, American Blues News, and Blues Blast and I’m open to more opportunities.
Check out what’s new:
September 12, 2012
I’ll be checking out the 2nd annual Blast Furnace Blues Festival this weekend in Bethlehem, PA. The lineup is tremendous with legends like Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King, Marcia Ball, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Lazy Lester, and Magic Slim to newer acts like Alexis P. Suter, Samantha Fish, and local favorites Friar’s Point and Mike Dugan with plenty more. I love Samantha Fish’s debut disc and look forward to seeing her 2 performances this weekend.
Smokin’ Joe was kind enough to let me jam with him at 2nd Story Blues a while back and I look forward to seeing him, Bnois and the band tear it up again too. The first time I ever heard Mike Dugan was at last year’s Blast Furnace festival and I was immediately wowed and that rarely happens. If you have the chance, get out and see him.
I’ll be covering Blast Furnace Blues Fest for Blues Blast this year and I’m pretty excited about doing more work for Blues Blast. It’s a free online Blues magazine and newsletter and reaches blues fans world wide. The Blues Blast award winners have been announced so check them out and see if you agree with the results.
The Blast Furnace Blues Fest takes place on the ground of the old Bethlehem Steel factory and although the building is a stark reminder of the losses of the steel industry in America, it provides a stunning back drop and the revitalization of the grounds is inspiring to the community and visitors alike. Below are some shots from last year. Click on the images to get the full size photo. I plan to put more blues photos up in the near future.
July 30, 2012
We spent the weekend at Pennsylvania Blues Festival covering the event for Blues Blast. We got some great photos, met ChefJimi & Leslie from blues411.com, saw two sets from the Brooks Family Blues Dynasty with Lonnie Brooks and his sons Ronnie & Wayne Baker Brooks, and got to chat with Lonnie backstage for a while which was a great honor. Michael Cloeren and crew put on a great show despite weather and we blues fans appreciate all their efforts.
The current issue of Blues Blast (Issue 6-30, July 26, 2012) has a great interview with Lonnie Brooks so check it out.
July 19, 2012
I have a new format for my site and I’ll be able to easily update it more often now. For more on what I’ve been up to for the past year you can read this blog entry here. Beyond all that fun stuff I’ve done a slew of reviews for Blues Blast and I just covered the Briggs Farm Blues Festival for Blues Blast as well and that article should be in the next issue. Links to all my work will be added to their respective pages on this site but I’ll recap most of them here since it’s been so long.
Let’s go oldest to newest, shall we?
From American Blues News:
A Chat With PA Blues Festival Founder Michael Cloeren
We discussed the demise of Pocono Blues Fest and keeping the tradition alive.
Briggs Farm Blues Festival 2011 – A Record Breaker
Tons of great blues at this 2 day festival.
Pennsylvania Blues Festival – A Cure For The Pocono Blues
Michael Cloeren & Company bounced back with a stunning lineup for the first ever PA Blues Festival.
Bluestock 2011 – Awash In Music, Merriment And Memories
Hurricane Irene just about wiped out this festival but everyone pulled together for an unbelievable weekend of blues performances.
Samantha Fish – Runaway CD Review
This one is a corker of a debut album. Produced by Mike Zito. One of my favorites of 2011.
Duke Robillard – Low Down And Tore Up CD Review
Gritty & grooving new disc from the Duke.
Cedric Burnside Interview Part 1: Feeling The Rhythm
I got to sit and chat with Cedric at the Blast Furnace Blues Festival. He was pleasant, good-natured and fun to interview.
Johnny Winter – Roots CD Review
It’s great to have Johnny back in the studio again and making music. Yeah, it’s all covers but that’s a hundred year old tradition in the blues.
Watermelon Slim & Super Chikan – Okiesippi Blues CD Review
I was fortunate to chat with Super Chikan at Chenango Blues Festival and he tells wonderful stories and has a great sense of humor which comes through in this musical conversation with Watermelon Slim.
Festivals Of 2011 Bring The Blues Community Together
There were a slew of festivals within driving distance from my home and the sense of kinship and community was palpable at each.
David “Frankie” Toler – A Year Of Tears And A Lifetime Of Music
Frankie was briefly a member of the Allman Brothers Band and was a longtime member of the Gregg Allman Band and passed away last year leaving a rich musical legacy extending beyond the Allman Brothers musical circle.
D’Mar & Gill – Real Good Friend CD Review
Deep, old-time acoustic blues with a modern edge.
Rocco DeLuca – Drugs N’ Hymns CD Review
Mud Morganfield – Son Of The Seventh Son CD Review
Another of Muddy Waters’ sons lays claim to the legacy, and Mud Morganfield makes a convincing case.
Mac Arnold’s Blues Revival – Live At The Grey Eagle CD Review
Mac Arnold is an alumnus of the Muddy Waters Blues Band and he brings together a few others on this live set.
Cedric Burnside Interview Part 2
Part 2 of my interview with Cedric Burnside.
Richard Briggs And Fifteen Years Of The Briggs Farm Blues Festival
My recent interview with Richard Briggs, founder of Briggs Farm Blues Festival
June and July have been incredible months so far. I had my first review published
in Blues Blast magazine. I got to talk to Ronnie Baker Brooks for the Father’s Day
feature at American Blues News. I did an interview with one of my favorite guitar players: Todd Wolfe. I got to meet Todd recently at a blues jam at Larry Holmes Ringside in Easton, PA. I attended the Briggs Farm Blues Festival and put up numerous photos on Facebook (American Blues News) so come by and “Like” us and check out the pictures including some incredible black & white shots. An article will be published shortly giving all the details of the show.
I’ve done five more CD reviews for American Blues News including the new Rory Gallagher
set, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, Davina & The Vagabonds, Harry Manx & Kevin Breit and
the A Nod To Bob 2 tribute to Bob Dylan. I also got to chat with Kenny “Blues Boss”
Wayne and that interview will be published shortly as well.
I attended the second annual Blues Summit at Jazz At Lincoln Center. This year
featured Texas Blues with Jimmie Vaughan, W.C. Clark, Lou Ann Barton,
and Billy F. Gibbons – you might know him from Z.Z. Top. The review of that show with plenty of great photos can be found here.
There is plenty more coming up. There is the PA Blues Festival in July and in August
I’ll be heading to Hunter, NY for Bluestock. I also contributed text to the new 2nd Story Blues T-shirt so I’ll provide a link once they are ready for sale. Thanks for checking out my work. Email me or check me out on Facebook or Twitter. I don’t Tweet much, but you never know!
April and May were exciting months. Smokin’ Joe Kubek honored his invitation to
have me come out for a jam. It was my honor to share the stage with Joe and Bnois
King. Joining the jam was Jansen Kelchner of the Kelchner Brothers Blues Band who
opened the show. Thankfully someone caught the performance on video. Check it out
here. My interview with Smokin’ Joe Kubek can be found here.
I also had the opportunity to chat with Mitch Woods and that interview is available
on line at American Blues News also. I recently spoke with Ronnie Baker Brooks and
that interview will be online in time for Father’s Day. I’ll post a link here when it becomes available.
Around Thanksgiving last year I interviewed Jimmy Thackery and it was also
published in April. He has an excellent new album out called Feel The Heat.
He’s got plenty of other projects in the works too and we discussed them and a host
of other topics. It was a thrill to talk with one of my favorite guitar players.
I also reviewed several new CDs including Tab Benoit’s Medicine, Elvin Bishop’s
Raisin’ Hell Revue, Super Chikan’s Welcome to Sunny Bluesville, and Todd Wolfe
Band Live which is probably my favorite of the bunch so far. Todd is back from
an extensive European tour and is now on the road in the US. Go check him out.
My review of Joe Bonamassa’s Dust Bowl is in the new issue of Hittin’ The Note Issue #69 so be sure to check that out too. You can order it on the web or find it at Barnes & Noble Borders and other fine newstands everywhere.
I haven’t added to the blog in a while but I’ve been pretty busy.
I’m looking forward to some Blues Festivals this summer and doing more writing. Thanks for checking in.
I also reviewed some CDs and an intense Shemekia Copeland and Robert Cray show.
I finally started a blog for this site so I hope you’ll check that out too and join the conversation. Musings and music have always gone together and I’ll be sharing mine in the blog.
Soon I’ll be uploading some photos to share too.
My review of the Robert Cray show is on American Blues News.
2nd Story Blues on Broadway in Fountain Hill, PA near Bethlehem and Allentown
hosted a Toys For Tots benefit show before Christmas. Mike Zito was the headliner
and regional favorite, Mad Dog & A Blues Night Out were the openers. It was a great
show and brought in a lot of gifts for the kids. My article is on American Blues News.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Paul Nelson, who manages and plays
guitar with Johnny Winter. Paul won a Keeping The Blues Alive Award for Manager.
Thanks to Paul I was able to fulfill a long time dream of meeting Johnny Winter
My review of the new North Mississippi Allstars CD, Keys To The Kingdom, is
online at American Blues News too. It’s an excellent disc dedicated to their late father
Big Jim Dickinson – a legendary producer, musician and documentarian.
American Blues News
Allman Brothers Band In Philadelphia – Concert Review
The Doors Live In Vancouver 1970 – CD Review
Jimi Hendrix – Marching To A Different Drummer
Chris O’Leary Band – Mr. Used To Be CD Review
8/1/10: Hittin’ The Note #65 is out on newsstands and at Borders and
Barnes & Noble. My review of Jimi Hendrix – Valleys of Neptune is in the new issue.
I play a few instruments, listen to a lot of music and occasionally write about it. I’ve been reviewing CDs for Hittin’ The Note magazine – the Allman Brothers Band quarterly magazine. I’ve done some comedic and satirical articles for Spiteful Critic and music-related articles for Associated Content.
I’ll be posting links to articles & reviews and providing information about my print media pieces. I hope you enjoy them. Feel free to contact me, even if you don’t like the articles, or just disagree with my observations.
Like Ricky Nelson sang: “You can’t please everyone so you’ve got to please yourself.” But a good argument is always fun too…