Thursday, September 28, 2023


Timothea started her music career singing for change in front of the jukebox at her aunt's bar in Westwego, Louisiana. By the time she turned 12 she was sharing the stage with the likes of Earl King, Irma Thomas, Ernie K-Doe, Dr. John, Johnny Adams and Art & Aaron Neville. At age of 14 she cut her first single, "Teenage Prayer," at the New Orleans local hit factory of the time "Cosmo's Recording Studio". Legendary Wardell Quezergue produced Timothea, and a rising star named Dr. John played guitar. She was married at the age of 15 and had two children before she turned eighteen and quit the music business for 12 years. 
In 1981, she returned to her first love - singing. Timothea released a series of singles that were produced by her long time friend and Guru, Earl King. He took Timothea under his wing and his label. Earl King and Timothea released several singles in the eighties on Grand Marshall Records, all written and produced by Earl King and featuring George Porter Jr., Joseph "Ziggy" Modeliste, Art Neville, and other members of the Neville Brothers / Meters. Johnny Adams soon asked Timothea to be part of his review at Dorothy's Medallion where she found the New Orleans Singer and Guitar Wonder, Walter "Wolfman" Washington. That was all she needed. Together they co-wrote Wolftracks (1986) and Out of the Dark (1987), on Rounder Records. 

Jim Jarmusch discovered Timothea at Dorothy's and gave her the roll of Julie in the movie "Down By Law". While singing and touring with Adams, Timothea and The Wolfman decided to go out on their own and put together a new band, The RoadMasters, (pinned after Timothea's RoadMaster bicycle). The band featured Walter Washington, Jon Cleary and Timothea. The three headliners shared their magic together on the road and in front of thousands of people, then coming home to play their weekly house gig at Bennies Bar on Valance St. Timothea left the band after three years to move to New York, leaving Walter and the Roadmasters to go for the solo career. 

After the release of "Down By Law" Timothea moved to New York and lived there for six years. In NYC she produced her first CD using some of the older tracks recorded with Walter and The RoadMaster Band and began booking Timothea and The Po Boy's all through Europe. 
Timothea moved back to New Orleans when her Mother became ill and started Blue Soul Records with Kent Birkle and then Lyn Boudousquie. Blue Soul has released several CD's to date. 

A pioneer in promoting education and awareness of Hepatitis C, Timothea founded and heads Siren to Wail Inc. "Music With a Message". A charitable organization she founded in 1999, Siren to Wail promotes, produces and sponsors public service announcements for TV and Radio, music concerts for awareness and her latest baby, pinned by her son, rapper Jesse B, titled "The Hep-Acation Project" for awareness in the schools. Once again using music to draw attention to this debilitating illness. The annual "Once in a Blue Moon" concert and silent auction sponsored by Siren to Wail has raised thousands of dollars for Hep C awareness since 2000. Previous concerts have headlined such stellar entertainers as Dr. John, Buddy Guy, Allen Toussaint, Art Neville, Bobby Rush, and Diane Lotny, plus Timothea and her band Blue Soul All Stars who back up all of these legends. For more info, contact. Timothea was recently nominated for her outstanding work by Angels On Earth. Their most recent recipient of this award was singer / percussionist Shelia E for her work with children. 
2004 has been a busy year for Timothea. She released her latest album, I'm Still Standing, in partnership with two other songwriters, Steve Busch and Pat Robinson, who have worked with other artists such as Brookes & Dunn, Joe Cocker, The Byrds, and Ry Cooder and a number of other rock legends. She also completed her first music video, Time for a Change. The video was written and directed by Aaron C. Walker, and was filmed over several days at the Columns Hotel in New Orleans. Coming in August 2004 Timothea will appear on a new compilation CD, Born to the House of Blues, with such artists as Ron Wood and Keith Richards, Marino DeSilva, Johnny and Edgar Winters, Leon Russell, Taj Mahal, Les McCann and more. Timothea isn't just a musician. She is one of New Orleans finest songwriters and producers. Alligator artist WC Clark, winner of this year's WC Handy award, recorded one of Timothea's compositions. She has collaborated with many other talents including Walter Washington and Earl King tune's soon to be released from the crypt. 

Timothea is working on yet another CD compilation of Louisiana artists to raise money and spread awareness of Hepatitis C. She has partnered with Marino DeSilva, Founder of another musical healing organization, Angels On Earth. This time besides singing and writing she will be A&R and Co-producer with Marino. In April he produced and released The Magic with Carlos Santana and his past and present players. At one time Marino was a member himself. Timothea has had a long and storied musical career that has taken her all over the US and Europe playing and recording. Some refer to her as "the triple threat" because of her abilities as a singer, songwriter, and savvy businesswoman, but she "gets her thrills from discovering and producing new talent." Timothea's music has also appeared on several other television programs and soon to be in the movies. If you are a fan of soul, funk, blues, or R&B then you can find something in Timothea's music. It is rare to find an artist that has lived what they sing about. Fortunately, Timothea is one of those extraordinary few. Her songs show a side of her life that some artists might shy away from, but Timothea confronts them head on with the same vitality that has allowed her to become such a successful and long lived artist. If you want to really find out what life is all about, then you only need to go to Timothea's website to visit or to pick up a CD or a DVD.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd, American rock band that rose to prominence during the Southern rock boom of the 1970s on the strength of its triple-guitar attack and gritty working-class attitude. The principal members were Ronnie Van Zant (b. January 15, 1949, Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.—d. October 20, 1977, Gillsburg, Mississippi), Gary Rossington (b. December 4, 1951, Jacksonville—d. March 5, 2023), Allen Collins (b. July 19, 1952, Jacksonville—d. January 23, 1990, Jacksonville), Steve Gaines (b. September 14, 1949, Seneca, Missouri—d. October 20, 1977, Gillsburg), Billy Powell (b. June 3, 1952, Jacksonville—d. January 28, 2009, Orange Park, Florida), Leon Wilkeson (b. April 2, 1952—d. July 27, 2001, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida), Bob Burns (b. November 24, 1950, Jacksonville, Florida—d. April 3, 2015, Cartersville, Georgia), and Artimus Pyle (b. July 15, 1948, Louisville, Kentucky). 

After playing under various names in Jacksonville, the group settled on Lynyrd Skynyrd (a backhanded compliment to a high-school gym teacher notorious for his opposition to long hair). In 1973 they released their first album, Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd. “Free Bird,” a tribute to the late Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band, was an immediate sensation, thanks to the interplay of its three lead guitars, while “Sweet Home Alabama,” a response to Neil Young’s derisive “Southern Man,” opened Second Helping (1974) and established the group as Southern rock stalwarts. In 1977, as Skynyrd’s success was increasing, a plane carrying the band crashed in Gillsburg, Mississippi, killing singer Van Zant and guitarist Gaines. The group disbanded.

The new Skynyrd was embraced by a number of country singers, especially Travis Tritt. In 2006 Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Although they are still known primarily as a blues rock band, they did not start that way, nor do they continue that way. They were originally called “John Lee’s Groundhogs” and supported John Lee Hooker on his tour of England in 1964. Supporting Hooker was not easy, he was famous for his constant changes of pace. Closer to spoken blues (Talking Blues), or to his own electric version of Delta blues. John Lee's style is immediately recognizable.

His most famous period came from the time when it was difficult to get blues plays in England, demonstrating what can happen when, starting from a blues base, Tony McPhee's exceptional creativity and guitar skill explode. He says, for example, of the song on his album 'Blues Obituary' (where they are apparently burying the blues), that 'Mistreated' is a blues song, but he added 'a few chords' to it.

As a composer, he frequently disguised his feelings (against war, for example) behind ironic titles, and with a penchant for titles that distort common phrases into puns.

The band is considered a legendary group, but really although the bassists and drummers were top-notch, the center of Groundhogs was always the guitarist, songwriter and singer. Tony McPhee in Groundhogs deserves the description of Captain Sensible as 'the English Jimi Hendrix'. I'll get to the wonderful Robin Trower in a future article naturally.

There are a wide variety of sounds and timbres that McPhee uses, his skill with the pedals is amazing, but his sound never stops being completely original and recognizable. There is a lot of sophistication in the different arrangements he proposes and in his expansion of the limits of what an essentially blues guitarist could be and do, he shows many possible paths to follow.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Do you remember? Bill Broonzy


Despite years of research, the details of William Lee Conley Broonzy's birth date remain problematic. He may have been born on 26 June 1893 - the date of birth he often gave - or according to Bill's twin sister Laney, it may have been in 1898. Laney claimed to have documents to prove that. However, definitive research undertaken by Bob Reisman has changed the picture.

Bill often regaled audiences with tales of his birth on 26 June 1893 and that of his twin sister Laney and of his father's response to being told he had twins to care for. He claimed to have served in the US Army in France from 1918 - 1919 and to have been invited by a record company to travel to the Delta following a major flood in 1927: Turns out, that a good deal of this was fiction at worst and faction at best.

Robert Reisman's impeccable research suggests a birth date for Bill of 26th June 1903 (and in Jefferson County, Arkansas, not Scott Mississippi as previously suggested). Laney was not a twin at all but four years older than Bill. (She was born in 1898).

Bill spoke and sang about experiences in the US army and of his return from France to Arkansas/Mississippi. It turns out though, that the reported army experience was Bill's factional description of an amalgam of the stories told by black soldiers returning from overseas. A trip Bill claimed to have made to Mississippi in 1927 to the flooding was similarly untrue, but was a factional account into which Bill inserted himself.

Broonzy is/was not even his real name. He was born into the world with the name Lee Conly (note spelling) Bradley; and so it goes on.

Bill's father Frank Broonzy (Bradley) and his mother, Mittie Belcher had both been born into slavery and Bill was one of seventeen children. His first instrument was a violin which he learned to play with some tuition from his uncle, his mother's brother, Jerry Belcher. Bob Reisman suggests that there is little evidence that Jerry Belcher existed.

In Arkansas, the young Bill (Lee) worked as a violinist in local churches at the same time as working as a farm hand. He also worked as a country fiddler and local parties and picnics around Scott Mississippi. Between 1912 and 1917, Bill (Lee) worked as an itinerant preacher in and around Pine Bluff. It is not known why he changed his name.

Later, he worked in clubs around Little Rock. In about 1924, Big Bill moved to Chicago Illinois, where as a fiddle player he played occasional gigs with Papa Charlie Jackson. During this time he learned to play guitar and subsequently accompanied many blues singers, both in live performance and on record. Bill made his first recordings in 1927 (just named Big Bill) and the 1930 census records him as living in Chicago and (working as a labourer in a foundry) and his name was recorded as 'Willie Lee Broonsey' aged 28. He was living with his wife Annie (25) and his son Ellis (6).

Over the years, Big Bill became an accomplished performer in his own right. Through the 1930s he was a significant mover in founding the small group blues (singer, guitar, piano, bass drums) sound that typified Chicago bues.

On 23 December, 1938, Big Bill was one of the principal solo performers in the first "From Spirituals to Swing" concert held at the Carnegie Hall in New York City. In the programme for that performance, Broonzy was identified in the programme only as "Big Bill" (he did not become known as Big Bill Broonzy until much later in his career) and as Willie Broonzy. He was described as:

"...the best-selling blues singer on Vocalion's 'race' records, which is the musical trade designation for American Negro music that is so good that only the Negro people can be expected to buy it."

The programme recorded that the Carnegie Hall concert "will be his first appearance before a white audience".

Big Bill was a stand-in for Robert Johnson, who had been murdered in Mississippi in August that year. Hammond heard about Johnson's death just a week before the concert was due to take place. According to John Sebastian (1939) Big Bill bought a new pair of shoes and travelled to New York by bus for the concert. Where he travelled from is, however, left dangling. The inference of the text is that it was from Arkansas, but as noted above, by by late 1938 Bill was established as a session man and band leader, and as a solo performer in Chicago. Within weeks of the 1938 concert Bill was recording with small groups in a studio in the windy city.

In the 1938 programme, Big Bill performed (accompanied by boogie pianist Albert Ammons) "It Was Just a Dream" which had the audience rocking with laughter at the lines.

Sunday, September 24, 2023


Flavium is one of the leading blues bands in the Netherlands. The band has been active on blues and festival stages in our country for years, but also in Germany, Belgium, England and Ireland. Blues classics 'Nightlife' and 'Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out' gave the band positions in the charts.
The band plays with a lot of energy and love for the blues. Sparkling solos, ear-pleasing blue(s) notes, very fanatical train blues appear during the performances and they were recorded on more than ten LPs and CDs. On Saturday April 11, 2015, Johan Derksen presented the Dutch Blues Award to Flavium. Flavium has been added to the Dutch Blues Hall of Fame.