Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa (born May 8, 1977) is an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter. When he was 12 years old, Bonamassa opened for B.B. King. In the last 13 years Bonamassa has put out 15 solo albums through his independent record label J&R Adventures, of which 11 have reached number 1 on the Billboard Blues charts. Bonamassa has played alongside such artists as Stephen Stills, Eric Clapton, Blondie Chaplin, Foreigner, Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, Warren Haynes, Solomon Hicks,and Derek Trucks among others. His career highlights include performances at the Royal Albert Hall and a Grammy Award nomination in 2013. In addition to his music career, Joe Bonamassa runs a nonprofit organisation called the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, whose mission it is to further music education by funding scholarships and providing music education resources to schools in need. He is also known for his enormous collection of guitars and related gear. Bonamassa was born in New Hartford, New York. He started playing guitar at age four, encouraged by his father, who was an avid music fan and exposed him to British blues rock records by Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, greatly inspiring him. At 11 years old Joe was mentored and trained by American guitar legend, Danny Gatton. When he was 12 years old, he had his own band called Smokin' Joe Bonamassa, which gigged around western New York and Pennsylvania, including cities such as Scranton and Buffalo, but only on weekends since Joe had school on weekdays. Bonamassa played a crimson 1972 Fender Stratocaster he called "Rosie", which his father had bought in Utica, New York. Bonamassa opened for B.B. King at approximately 20 shows in 1989. Before he reached 18 years old, Bonamassa was playing in a band called Bloodline with the sons of Miles Davis, Robby Krieger, and Berry Oakley. 

Although Bloodline did not become a famous act, it attracted some attention to Bonamassa's guitar chops. Bonamassa's debut studio album A New Day Yesterday was released in 2000, and features both original tunes and covers of such artists as Rory Gallagher, Jethro Tull, and Warren Haynes. The album features a guest appearance by Gregg Allman on the tune "If Heartaches Were Nickels" and was produced by Tom Dowd. The album reached number 9 on the Billboard Blues chart. Between 2002 and 2006, Bonamassa saw three studio albums hit number 1 on the Billboard Blues charts, and all five of his solo studio albums made the top 10. In 2009 Bonamassa fulfilled one of his childhood dreams by playing at the Royal Albert Hall in London, where Eric Clapton played a duet with him. Bonamassa's live album Beacon Theatre–Live from New York was released in 2012. The show featured one of Bonamassa's musical heroes, Paul Rodgers, formerly of the bands Free and Bad Company, as a guest. March 26, 2013 saw the release of his live acoustic album An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House, which was released as a CD/DVD/Blu-ray set.This concert marked the first time Bonamassa played a wholly acoustic show. The acoustic ensemble that performed the show was assembled with the help of Bonamassa's longtime producer, Kevin Shirley. The concluding, three-night stand of Bonamassa's spring 2013 tour occurred at the famous Beacon Theatre in New York City. Over the summer of 2013, Bonamassa performed four shows in London featuring three different bands and, at one show, a horn section, covering four different sides of his music. Each show had a unique setlist. The shows were recorded for a DVD release and the set of DVDs was released in October, 2013 under the name "Tour de Force." On December 6, 2013, Bonamassa and Beth Hart were nominated for a Grammy Award for their 2013 collaborative album SeeSaw in the Best Blues Album category. Bonamassa's album Different Shades of Blue is his first solo studio album since So, It's Like That to showcase only original songs, except for one short instrumental Jimi Hendrix cover. The Hendrix cover is a 79-second partial performance of "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)." To write the album, Bonamassa went to Nashville and collaborated with three songwriters there: Jonathan Cain, who has written for Journey; James House, known for his work with Diamond Rio, Dwight Yoakam, and Martina McBride; and Jerry Flowers, who has written for Keith Urban. 

Bonamassa explained to the writers that he wasn't interested in creating three-minute radio hits, but just wanted to write some serious blues rock. The recording of the album was accomplished in Las Vegas at a music studio in the Palms Hotel. On the charts, the album reached number 8 on the Billboard 200, number 1 on the Blues Chart, and number 1 on the Indie Chart as well. In May 2015 Bonamassa won a Blues Music Award in the 'Instrumentalist - Guitar' category. In April 2018 Bonamassa's signature amplifier the ‘59 Twin-Amp JB Edition was released by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. On June 27, 2018, Bonamassa premiered at the Grand Ole Opry when he made a guest appearance after being introduced by Chase Bryant and playing along with him in his final song of the set, "I Need a Cold Beer." Bonamassa was first exposed to Beth Hart's music after seeing her play several television performances. The two would often cross paths when playing shows separately in Europe, and Bonamassa became very impressed with Hart when he caught her show at the Blue Balls festival in Lucerne, Switzerland. While recording his album Dust Bowl and listening to the expanded edition of the Rolling Stones' Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! that features tracks by Ike and Tina Turner, Bonamassa became inspired to try pairing up with a woman, and Beth Hart came to mind. The two musicians met up in a hotel bar in Dublin and soon Bonamassa floated the idea, which Hart accepted immediately, although she was at first under the impression that he was asking her to sing backup vocals on his next album. When she realized that his intention was for her to sing lead vocals, she said "I was floored". Bonamassa, Hart, and producer Kevin Shirley wrote down lists of soul songs they liked to come up with material for the album, which was named Don't Explain. The group settled on twelve songs, although only ten ended up being recorded. Bonamassa and Hart chose five songs for the album each. Some of Hart's favorite tracks on the album, included "For My Friend" by Bill Withers and "Sinner's Prayer" by Ray Charles. Bonamassa had always wanted to do versions of Brook Benton's "I'll Take Care of You" and "Well Well" written by Delaney Bramlett & Bonnie Bramlett. Their follow-up album, Seesaw was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Blues Album. On January 26, 2018, Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa released Black Coffee, produced by Kevin Shirley. Bonamassa serves as the guitarist for the hard rock supergroup Black Country Communion. The band released their fourth studio album, "BCCIV" in September 2017. He is also a member of the jazz-funk band Rock Candy Funk Party. They released their debut album, We Want Groove in 2013 and followed it up with Rock Candy Funk Party Takes New York - Live at the Iridium. The show was recorded over a three night stand at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City. The band played Conan on February 10, 2014. Bonamassa produced podcasts between January and July 2015 with another guitar aficionado, Matt Abramovitz. 

The episodes are about "the life and lore of the guitar", with Bonamassa and Abramovitz going in depth about their favorite guitars, guitarists, and occasionally non-guitarists associated with the blues and rock genres. Unlike many blues rock guitarists that came before him, Bonamassa's influences are British and Irish blues acts rather than American artists. In an interview in Guitarist magazine he cited three albums that had the biggest influence on his playing: John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton (the Beano album), Rory Gallagher's Irish Tour and Goodbye by Cream. He also noted that Stevie Ray Vaughan's Texas Flood had a big influence when Bonamassa was young. Among other bands, he listed the early blues playing of Jethro Tull as an influence, and named both Martin Barre and Mick Abrahams as important musicians to him. He elaborated on his influences in a 2007 interview: "You know, my heroes were the Columbia guys – Paul Kossoff, Peter Green, Eric Clapton. There’s so many – there’s Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher – another Irish musician who played the same things, but don't tell him that. But those guys were my guys – Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page. There's a certain sophistication to their approach to the blues that I really like, more so than the American blues that I was listening to. B.B. King's a big influence – he's probably my biggest traditional influence. I love Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and T-Bone Walker and stuff like that, but I couldn't sit down. I was always forcing myself to listen to whole records by them, where I'd rather listen to Humble Pie do "I'm Ready" than Muddy Waters, you know? I think, the English interpretation of the blues just hit me a lot better, you know?" In an October 2008 interview with Express & Star he said: "When I heard Kossoff playing "Mr. Big" and when I heard Clapton playing "Crossroads" and when I heard Rory Gallagher playing "Cradle Rock", I was like, 'This is way cooler'.... "British blues are my thing. When I heard Rod Stewart and the Jeff Beck Group singing "Let Me Love You", it changed my life. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Those are my influences". And in an December 2012 interview with MusicRadar: "My friends would ask me, 'Have you heard the new Van Halen record?' And I'd be like, 'Nope.' I was listening to Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush".

Bad Boy Boogie

As vocalist with Australian hard rock band AC/DC, Bon Scott played a critical role in the band’s journey from suburban hotels to international stadiums. Unfortunately, Scott did not live to see that success, dying alone from acute alcohol poisoning in a Renault 5 in London in 1980. He was 33.  Misadventure would be an accurate description of Scott’s life and death.

Bad Boy Boogie is a celebration of Scott’s life, providing fans with the story of his unlikely success. Its author, Jeff Apter, has written more than 20 music biographies, including a recent dive into the world of AC/DC alumni George Young (Friday on My Mind 2020), Malcolm Young (Malcolm Young 2019) and Angus Young (High Voltage 2018). Apter is a master at reassembling a musician’s life from the pieces left behind, bringing coherence to stories that often exist in fragments of recordings, YouTube videos, interviews, books, letters and the memory of fans.

With his broken teeth and tattoos, Bon Scott looked the part of the hard rock rebel. And while his off-stage lifestyle was personally destructive, his ribald public persona remained safe enough for primetime TV. Scott was once asked if he was AC or DC. ‘Neither,’ he grinned, ‘I’m the lightning flash in the middle.’ He was a brilliant addition to a band driven by three brothers that barely spoke in public.

Those with long memories knew that Bon Scott had been trying to succeed in the Australian music industry for a long time before he joined AC/DC in 1974. As Bad Boy Boogie makes clear, it was a very long way to the top for Bon Scott, who first stepped on stage in the mid-1960s in Perth.

Bon Scott’s first recordings were as backing vocalist with The Valentines. Dressed in matching satin outfits, The Valentines became a popular “bubblegum” act and won the Western Australia Battle of the Sounds in 1967. Their most successful single was a novelty song by Vanda and Young, My Old Man’s A Groovy Old Man. The follow up single Nick Nack Paddy Whack faded quickly. The Valentines played national tours, enjoyed regular TV appearances and had a drug bust to their credit before they broke up in 1970.

After The Valentines, Bon Scott dumped the satin shirts for a headband, grew a beard and moved to Adelaide. Scott was now vocalist (and occasional recorder player) in Fraternity, a serious country-prog-rock band. Their second single, Seasons of Change was a hit in Adelaide and they won the 1971 Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds.

Fraternity were lucky enough to be bankrolled by a fascinating young businessman, Hamish Henry. Henry was trying to build a music empire from Adelaide, launching a record label, and bringing Black Sabbath to Australia in 1971 to headline his Myponga Pop Festival. He hoped the investment in Fraternity would lead to international success. Unfortunately, it did not. In fact, 1971 was a peak for the band who tanked when they moved to the UK in 1973. Bon Scott worked odd jobs in the UK, and enjoyed a role as the band’s unofficial drug tester. Fraternity eventually lost the support of their benefactor and returned to Australia in 1974.

Needing money, Bon Scott took a job in an Adelaide fertiliser plant to get by. While drunk and riding his motorbike, Scott crashed and wound up in intensive care with broken bones and missing teeth. Following his release from hospital, he self-medicated with pot, mushrooms, hash cookies, basically anything he could find. He was cared for by his ex-wife and his mum. In 1974, at 28, it looked like his music career was over.

Scott’s luck turned when AC/DC dumped their singer after a tour in support of Lou Reed. Scott replaced him in the energetic young band, playing the pub circuit constantly and turning up regularly on TV.  Songs like Jailbreak and It’s A Long Way to the Top if You Want to Rock and Roll were safe enough for Countdown. Others weren’t.  Apter says Scott “was fast becoming the best lyricist in rock and roll, a street poet of the highest order, who had no end of personal experiences to draw on for inspiration – some hard-won, others plain hilarious.”

Although he could be charming and mischievous, there was a darker side to Scott. At least one of his friends warned him to stop pursuing young women. In denial, Scott insisted they chase him. Apter quotes Scott directly: “This guy comes banging on my bedroom door, loud as hell, and I say to him, ‘Fuck off, I’m having a fuck’. Suddenly the door is crashed in and it turns out to be the girl’s father, and he finds me on top of his daughter, who I find is only sixteen years old. Needless to say, he beat me to a pulp.” Scott was in his late twenties when he lost more teeth in this attack. A number of other shameful incidents are hinted at throughout Bad Boy Boogie.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Delbert McClinton

Four-time Grammy Award winner Delbert McClinton celebrates his coming-of-age musical heroes and influences with his 27th studio album, Outdated Emotion (Hot Shot Records/Thirty Tigers), that was released in 2022.  The 16-track collection features Hank Williams, Jimmy Reed, Ray Charles, and Little Richard standards, as well as five original songs written or cowritten by McClinton.

Delbert spent much of the COVID isolation in Kevin McKendree’s Rock House Studio in Nashville.  This album brings his music back to where it started. Outdated Emotion pays homage to McClinton’s earliest influences, Hank Williams and Jimmy Reed with a salute to Ray Charles and Little Richard, as well as five of his own compositions, influenced by the sounds of his heroes.

Along with Kevin and his son, musical prodigy Yates McKendree, Delbert created the album he has often dreamed of.

“I’ve always wanted to do an album of the songs that influenced me the most. Hank Williams songs, Jimmy Reed songs, and songs that I love. And this was the perfect time to do it. It’s important music from another time. It’s music that people need to hear again, or for the first time. Nobody knows about them. Or has forgotten about them. Or was never turned on to them. There is a whole generation, maybe two generations now, who don’t know this music. My whole idea here was to show them how it was and how we got here.  Hank Williams, Jimmy Reed, Lloyd Price, Ray Charles. These songs take me to my youth. They are good if not better now than they were then, and they were great then. They are songs people should just get to hear.”

Rolling Stone calls Delbert McClinton the “Godfather of Americana Music.” In a career that has spanned more than six decades, his honkytonk blues sound and signature smooth voice have provided a soundtrack for American music history. He is a four-time Grammy winner (Traditional Blues Album in 2020 for Tall, Dark, and Handsome; Contemporary Blues Album in 2006 for Cost of Living and 2002 for Nothing Personal; and Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1992 for "Good Man, Good Woman"), and received the Americana Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.

Growing up in Lubbock and Fort Worth, Texas allowed Delbert McClinton an early appreciation for the best of 20th century American music, with the songs of postwar America, honkytonk country, and southern blues.  Delbert remembers where he was when he heard his first Hank Williams song. And he knew he wanted to play music for a living when he first heard Jimmy Reed.

Leading the house band in the desegregated roadhouses on the outskirts of Fort Worth, Delbert backed Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and other blues legends, while making a name for himself as a regional player in the birth of rock and roll, opening shows for Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and other pioneers of the new sound; and even headlining shows in Great Britain with Bruce Channel (“Hey Baby”), with a little-known Liverpool quartet. The Beatles as the opening act. 

In the early 1970s, as his “Two More Bottles of Wine” reflects, Delbert “went out west with a burning desire to set the west coast on fire….” He teamed up with Glen Clark for the Delbert and Glen sessions (Clean Records) and released two critically acclaimed albums before returning to Texas as the progressive country/blues awakening movement was starting to happen in Austin. Hippies and cowboys crowded together on sawdust dance floors watching history in the making as Delbert, Doug Sahm, Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Freda and the Firedogs and Asleep at the Wheel set the stage for a new sound coming out of Texas. There, Delbert began to develop his signature sound, mixed rocking blues and hardcore country to create the unique style that has served him well through the last half century.

Further solidifying his sound, Delbert went into the famed Muscle Shoals, Alabama studio and called on the Muscle Shoals Horns, who had recorded with everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Elton John. They joined his longtime band to create his next album. That signature horn sound has remained a mainstay in Delbert’s music.

When Texas became the rage in New York City, a music venue called the Lone Star Café served as capital of Texas chic. Austin musician Cleve Hatttersley was the manager of the Lone Star.   He said, “Everyone who was anyone came through the door on any given night: Mick Jagger, Johnny Paycheck, Tommy Tune. Jerry Garcia… and Delbert was the biggest star of the bunch. Delbert is the absolute heart and soul of Texas rhythm and blues. We had James Brown, George Strait, Elvis Costello… but the one that all the other stars came out to see was Delbert.”

Delbert had succeeded in creating his own genre, a melting pot of American music, and people still cannot get enough of it. From those early days in Fort Worth roadhouses until the recent COVID crisis shut down touring shows Delbert and his band have crossed the country playing festivals, theatres, and iconic music institutions. From Farm Aid to Carnegie Hall, his popularity grew, and Delbert continues as a “musician’s musician,” influencing many artists along the way.

Delbert released Tall, Dark & Handsome, (Hot Shot Records/Thirty Tigers) in 2019, to celebrate his 79th birthday. The album earned Delbert his fourth Grammy® for Best Traditional Blues Album. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association, and has been featured several times in the Country Music Hall of Fame’s series of live performances, programs and podcasts.

In May of 2021, Delbert announced his retirement from touring. Fans and music journalists speculated about what he would do next. This was to be the first time in 64 years that he was not traveling interstate highways and backroads, playing a rigorous schedule.

Outdated Emotion brings Delbert McClinton full circle to the songs that started it all.  

Monday, August 28, 2023

The Metal Byrds

Coming soon on JAM 66 Radio...

The Metal Byrds band are born musicians. London born Suzanne Birdie, has a power-pop rock voice, that compliments Sly Rye's ripping rock riffs and lead guitar solos in every song!

These catchy songs are throwback to a time where female front-women dominated the radio waves with rocking sounds. A time where Hair Bands and Classic Rock & Roll ruled the world.

"Our sound comes from our individual influences over the decades.  Sly Rye's guitar playing style has been influenced anywhere from classic rock all the way from metal to alternative rock. Suzanne's singing style is heavily influenced by all the great women in rock history. From Joan Jett, Pat Benetar, Stevie Nicks and Heart. We are not the typical cookie-cutter sounding rock band, and if you listen closely, you will hear a sound like none-other." says the band of creating songs together.

The Metal Byrds have received rotation on both international and national online and FM radio stations, and have a fan base that keeps on growing.  Currently having three songs from their latest album, that have risen up the radio charts to reach #1, they maintain at least one song on any given time on a top ten chart, every week since the beginning  of 2020, as well as being featured on several explosive and popular Spotify playlists that feature other great up and coming Indie Rock bands and musicians.

Their fourth full length album, 4, available now online, for streaming and purchase on BandCamp, Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Tidal, Napster, YouTube Music, and YouTube.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

The Bintangs

Listen to The Bintangs on JAM 66 Radio.

The Bintangs are a Dutch rhythm and blues band. Founded in 1961 in Beverwijk as an indorock band, they soon began playing a rougher, rhythm and blues-inflected style. The band had a four-year hiatus in the 1980s but reunited and are still active. The band has gone through many members (in 1985 they were in their 33rd lineup), with Frank Kraaijeveld (bass and vocals) as a constant element. They scored one hit, in 1970, and though commercial success has eluded them nationally and internationally they remain a popular live act.

The Bintangs (after the Bahasa Indonesia word for "star") were established in 1961 as an indorock band, performing covers at live venues in Beverwijk. The original lineup was Frank and Arti Kraaijeveld on bass and guitar, respectively (both performed vocals), Meine Fernhout on guitar, and Jimmy Jansen on drums. Frank, in a 1985 interview, mentioned how impressed he was when he first saw the Tielman Brothers play, and soon the band began mixing in R&B influences, in part inspired by The Rolling Stones and in part to differentiate their sound from that of the many bands playing in the vein of The Shadows. In 1965 they recorded their first single, on Muziek Express, Willie Dixon's "You Can't Judge a Book by Looking at the Cover" (another song that was made famous by Bo Diddley and was also written by him, "I'm a Man", was the B-side), with Henk van Besu on drums, Jan Wijte on rhythm guitar, and Will Nimitsz on vocals and mouth harp. A loyal fanbase had, by the mid-sixties, risked life and limb to paint the band's name on a gas holder in Beverwijk. By 1969 they had opened for The Rolling Stones and The Kinks and released several further singles (three with Muziek Express). In 1969 they signed with Phonogram Records, with whom they released their first album, Blues on the Ceiling. Their greatest hits, "Ridin' on the L & N" and "Travelling in the U.S.A., were released in 1969 and 1970, respectively. By this time, the band had a steel guitar player as well, Rob van Donselaar. An album, Travelling in the U.S.A., was released in 1970 by Phonogram, and while another single from that album, "He Didn't Wanna Go Home", did not do as well as expected (though it did chart in the Netherlands), album sales were reported to be strong. In a 1970 interview with De Telegraaf the band characterized itself as "playing from the heart" and announced another single, "Lion Tamer".

By 1969 Arti was not as active with the band, and in 1972 he and Frank created their own short-lived band, the Circus Kraaijeveld, which lasted "for a single and a half", according to Arti in a 1977 interview. Though Fernhout and Jansen continued the Bintangs, in 1973 they released only one recording, the album Hey Dupes. The album's title song was released as a single, with little success. By this time the band had two saxophone players; it consisted of Rob Kruisman on tenor saxophone and vocals; Aad Hooft on drums; Rob van Donselaar on guitar, steel guitar, and vocals; Rob ten Bokum on guitar; Ronald Krom on bass; and Charles van der Steeg on tenor saxophone. Manager Henk Penseel mused that commercial success eluded the band since their old hits were still well-known but that their old "Rolling Stones sound" was gone, and audiences had not grown familiar with the new direction the band had taken. In 1974 Frank returned, without Arti. Three other men joined the band: singer Gus Pleines, guitarist Jack van Schie, and drummer Harry Schierbeek. The following year they released another album, Genuine Bull, and guitarist Jaap (Japie) Castricum joined. Regarding Genuine Bull, producer Steve Verocca was quoted as saying that, after 20 years as a producer, he "heard ... a new approach to rock & roll" during the sessions.

The next several years saw the Bintangs release several albums and singles, some recorded in the United Kingdom. In 1977 Arti Kraaijeveld had returned to the Netherlands after a period in Los Angeles, where he recorded an album for Shelter Records. He released Ram Man, containing mostly older material Arti wrote during a hiatus from the band; it was recorded in three days in Brussels, and released on a small label, New Entry. By the time the Bintangs performed for the celebration of the University of Groningen's 366th birthday in 1979, they were the oldest surviving Dutch band. A 1981 commemorative compilation album, Still Going Strong, was released on Ariola, but achieved no commercial success. Despite lack of success nationally and internationally, the band, as one newspaper wrote, had a loyal fanbase within the Netherlands, which made "every performance a memorable event". Jaap van Eggermont produced the 1985 single "Rosemary Nymphet", but it received no radioplay. Ultimately, in 1985, they gave a farewell concert at Paradiso in Amsterdam. The recording of this concert was released as an album, Bye Bye.

During the following two years Frank Kraaijeveld established his own band, in collaboration with Cees Brouwer. Pleines and van Schie, meanwhile, toured under the name 14all (read "one for all"). In 1988 Decca rereleased two Bintangs albums, Travelling in the USA (1970) and Ridin' with the Bintangs (1972), under the title Original Tapes. The Bintangs reunited the following year, with Gus Pleines, Frank Kaaijeveld, Jack van Schie, Jan Wijte and Cees Brouwer. Although initially intent on doing a concert in each of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands, this lineup lasted 13 years; Frank Kraaijeveld described his experience outside the Bintangs as "unsatisfying". Covering the reunion, Het Vrije Volk described the Bintangs as "the most underrated live band from Netherlands" while Jacob Haagsma of the Leeuwarder Courant wrote "it's good that the Bintangs came back to us".

For their 40th anniversary in 2001, the Bintangs held a series of concerts. Venues included the Donkey Shot in Heemskerk, the Patronaat in Haarlem, and the Kennemer Theater in Beverwijk. In 2003, after Brouwer's death, Burt van der Meij was selected as drummer. By the following year, however, amidst friction within the group, he left the group with van Schie and Pleines. Brothers Maarten(guitar) and Gerben Ibelings (drums) joined the band in 2004, and the following year former roadie Dagomar Jansen was given a permanent role singing backing vocals and performing the harmonica. in 2017 a new line up. Guitarist Marco Nicola and drummer Burt van der Meij replaced Gerben and Maarten Ibelings. The new line up Bintangs released in 2021 a brand new album "These Hands". In the year 2021, Bintangs the oldest playing, recording band from The Netherlands. Sixty! 60 years of pure rhythm and blues.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Ten Years After

A storming blues and boogie band from the U.K., Ten Years After rocketed from modest success to worldwide fame in the wake of their performance at the Woodstock Rock Festival in 1969, where their nine-minute rendition of "I'm Going Home" showed off the lightning-fast guitar work and howling vocals of Alvin Lee, the unrelenting stomp of bassist Leo Lyons and drummer Ric Lee, and the soulful support of keyboard man Chick Churchill. While the group was also capable of moody pop and acoustic-based material (as heard on 1971's A Space in Time, whose single "I'd Like to Change the World" was their greatest American hit), it was the group's raw blues-based music that remained their trademark, powered by Lee's high-speed guitar figures. While their original run would end in 1974, Ten Years After would reunite in the '80s, and they continue to record and tour more than 50 years after they started out.

The Ten Years After story began in 1960 in Nottingham in the English Midlands, when guitarist Alvin Lee and bassist Leo Lyons first crossed paths while playing in a local rock band called Ivan Jay and the Jaycats. Group leader Jay would keep the band together through a large number of personnel changes, and in 1965, drummer Ric Lee signed on following the departure of the band's previous timekeeper, Dave Quickmire. In 1966, Jay and his band, now dubbed the Jaybirds, moved to London to take on a lucrative gig serving as the backing band for a popular British vocal group, the Ivy League. Around this time, keyboard player Chick Churchill came on board, and soon, he along with Alvin, Leo, and Ric decided to strike out on their own without Ivan Jay. They changed their name to the hipper-sounding Blues Trip, though they soon adopted the handle Ten Years After, referring to the fact they launched the band in 1966, ten years after Elvis Presley's career breakthrough opened the doors for rock & roll.

Ten Years After were soon gigging steadily, including holding down a residency at London's Marquee Club, and in 1967, after an appearance at the Windsor Jazz Festival earned praise in the music press, the quartet signed a record deal with Deram Records, the progressive subsidiary of the U.K. Decca label. Divided between originals by Alvin Lee and covers of blues classics, Ten Years After's self-titled debut (released in 1967) didn't capture the group's on-stage fire, so for their second LP, 1968's Undead, they documented a show at a small club where TYA could stretch out on blues jams, and the group unveiled a raucous new number, "I'm Going Home." The tune caught the notice of blues fans, and the album charted in the United States, going to 115 on the Top 200 charts.

As heavy touring spread the word about the act, TYA released the first of two 1969 albums in February, Stonedhenge, which charted at number 61. But it was Ssssh, which came out in August, that broke big in America, peaking at number 20, in part thanks to their revved-up cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" and partly due to the press attention generated by their showstopping appearance at Woodstock that same summer. (It would cement their reputation for decades to come when their rendition of "I'm Going Home" appeared in the 1970 documentary about the festival, Woodstock.) The band didn't slow down much to enjoy the fruits of their labors, and 1970 saw two more albums from TYA, Cricklewood Green (which spawned a major hit single in England, "Love Like a Man") and Watt.

Watt was the last album under Ten Years After's deal with Deram, and they signed with Columbia Records for the North American market and Chrysalis for the U.K. and most of Europe. The first album under these new contracts was 1971's A Space in Time, which found the group exploring more nuanced sounds beyond the blues. The ominous and atmospheric "I'd Love to Change the World" became their biggest hit in the United States, and the album would go platinum. The follow-up, 1972's Rock & Roll Music to the World, which offered a tighter, better-focused variation on their classic sound, didn't please fans or critics in the same way A Space in Time did, and leaning on their strength as a concert attraction, the group rebounded in 1973 with Recorded Live. Also in 1973, Alvin Lee made his solo debut with the album On the Road to Freedom, recorded in collaboration with Mylon LeFevre, and by the time TYA brought out the album Positive Vibrations in 1974, the group was on their last legs, splitting up shortly after the release.

After the split, Alvin Lee continued to record and tour as a solo act, Leo Lyons moved into producing for other artists, Ric Lee became active in music publishing, and Chick Churchill cut a solo album. In 1983, Ten Years After were persuaded to play a reunion set at the Reading Music Festival, and in the years that followed, they mounted occasional shows before making the reunion official in 1988 with a full tour, followed in 1989 by an album, About Time. The record was only modestly successful, but Ten Years After stayed active as a live act, touring around the world on a regular basis.

In 2003, the group came to a parting of the ways with Alvin Lee, and Joe Gooch became their guitarist and singer. With Gooch as their frontman, TYA cut a studio album, 2004's Now, followed by Roadworks, a 2005 release compiled from recordings of the supporting tour. The Gooch-fronted edition of the act issued another studio album, Evolution, in 2008.

In 2014, one year after the death of Alvin Lee, both Gooch and Leo Lyons left Ten Years After, and Ric Lee and Churchill recruited guitarist Marcus Bonfanti and bassist Colin Hodgkinson to restore the lineup. In 2017, this edition of Ten Years After presented their first studio album, A Sting in the Tale. In 2019, for Record Store Day the band treated fans to a limited-edition archival release, The Cap Ferrat Sessions, featuring previously unreleased recordings cut in France in 1972 during the sessions for Rock & Roll Music to the World.

Friday, August 25, 2023

The Yardbirds

The Yardbirds were a 1960 British group. The original members were singer Keith Relf (b. March 22, 1943, Richmond, Surrey, England—d. May 14, 1976, London), guitarist Eric Clapton (original name Eric Patrick Clapp; b. March 30, 1945, Ripley, Surrey), bassist Chris Dreja (b. November 11, 1946, London), drummer Jim McCarty (b. July 25, 1943, Liverpool, Merseyside), bassist Paul Samwell-Smith (b. May 8, 1943, London), and guitarist Anthony (“Top”) Topham (b. July 3, 1947, Southall, Middlesex). Later members were Jeff Beck (b. June 24, 1944, Wallington, Surrey) and Jimmy Page (b. January 9, 1944, Heston, Middlesex).
The Yardbirds, who produced three of Britain’s most influential rock guitarists, followed in the footsteps of the Rolling Stones on the western London rhythm-and-blues circuit in 1963–64, their early repertoire consisting almost exclusively of cover versions of songs by artists who recorded for the Chess and Vee Jay record labels. With Clapton as lead guitarist, the band created the “rave-up,” accelerating their playing until it transformed into white noise.
Employing distortion and reverb (a succession of echoes that blend into one another to create sonic space), Clapton’s successor, Beck, pushed later hits like “Shapes of Things” (1966) into the realm of psychedelic rock. Page, later the leader of one of the most successful heavy metal–hard rock groups of the 1970s, Led Zeppelin, initially joined the Yardbirds as a replacement for bassist Samwell-Smith. Switching to guitar, Page joined Beck as the band’s colead guitarist—though the two played together on only one single, the visionary “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago” (1966), before the band’s short-lived final lineup dissolved in 1968. The Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Duke Robillard

Michael John Robillard was born on October 4, 1948, in Woonsocket, R.I., Duke has carved out one of blues' most illustrious legacies, while also trodding some lofty related territories as a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, bandleader, studio sideman, producer, label operator and educator.

After showing an early affinity for music and guitar, he founded Roomful Of Blues with pianist Al Copley in Westerly, R.I., in 1967. By adding horns, Roomful announced itself emphatically as the prototypical jump blues band, and became a New England legend and a fixture beyond, as did Duke himself.

His unsurpassed mastery of the guitar style of T-Bone Walker (later crystallized memorably in his 2004 release "Blue Mood") was deservedly heralded, but his breadth was also head-turning - from swing, standards and ballads to rockers, gutbucket Chicago blues and rockabilly.

By the time Duke left Roomful after a dozen years, he was firmly established in the upper echelon of contemporary blues guitarists. Duke went from Roomful to a stint with rockabilly revivalist Robert Gordon and then to the first iteration of the Legendary Blues Band, composed primarily of then-recent Muddy Waters sidemen.

The Duke Robillard Band debuted in 1981, re-emerging as The Pleasure Kings with their eponymous 1984 album on Rounder. It and its sequel, "Too Hot To Handle," burnished Duke's songwriting portfolio; the 1987 jazz outing "Swing" (with saxophonist Scott Hamilton) underscored his versatility and remains a highlight.

Continuing his solo career, Duke replaced Jimmie Vaughan with The Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1990. He cut his own much-awaited straight blues album "Duke's Blues" in 1993 for Canadian imprint Stony Plain, leading eventually to a rewarding, continuing and prolific alliance, along with releases during the ensuing years on Point Blank/Virgin and Shanachie, as well as instructional videos. He has also launched his own labels with Jesse Finkelstein, Blue Duchess/Shining Stone.

Duke's prolificity has included producing albums by Billy Boy Arnold, Joe Louis Walker, Rosco Gordon, Jimmy Witherspoon and Jay McShann, Zuzu Bollin, Billy Price and Otis Clay, Sunny Crownover, Bryan Lee and Al Basile as well as recording two collaborations with Herb Ellis, a pairing with his successor in Roomful, Ronnie Earl, a seat in the New Guitar Summit with J. Geils and Gerry Beaudoin, additional studio credits with Bob Dylan (the well-regarded 1997 "Time Out Of Mind"), Ruth Brown, Johnny Adams, Pinetop Perkins, Snooky Pryor, Al Copley, Todd Sharpville and Tony Z, and touring with Tom Waits in 2006.

Duke's resume is decorated with Grammy nominations, Handy Awards and Blues Music Awards, and other honors for his artistry, recordings and productions within the United States and internationally. On his latest release, "Duke Robillard and his Dames of Rhythm" on M.C. Records, he wields an acoustic archtop and joins six thrushes for evocative and enjoyable renditions of 1920s and 1930s swing tunes; it's a worthy successor to his 2016 BMA-winning "The Acoustic Blues And Roots Of Duke Robillard."

Duke remains based in Rhode Island and a whirlwind as a musician, producer, gardener and photographer. But wait, there's more: he's now creating fine art abstract paintings, too! At this point for Duke, versatility and mastery should come as anything but a surprise; it just means more richness in a superlative career for us to celebrate.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

This week's special figure

This week the main figure on JAM 66 Radio IS Stevie Ray Vaughan.

With his astonishingly accomplished guitar playing, Stevie Ray Vaughan ignited the blues revival of the ’80s. Vaughan drew equally from bluesmen like Albert King, Buddy Guy, and Albert Collins and rock & roll players like Jimi Hendrix and Lonnie Mack, as well as jazz guitarists like Kenny Burrell and Wes Montgomery, developing a uniquely eclectic and fiery style that sounded like no other guitarist, regardless of genre. Vaughan bridged the gap between blues and rock like no other artist had since the late ’60s. From 1983 to 1990 Stevie Ray was the leading light in American blues, consistently selling out concerts while his albums regularly went gold. His tragic death in 1990 at age 35 cut short a brilliant career in blues and American rock & roll just as he was on the brink of superstardom.

Born and raised in Dallas, Vaughan began playing guitar at age 7, inspired by older brother Jimmie. By age 12 he was playing in garage bands, and within a few years he joined semi-professional bands that occasionally landed gigs in local nightclubs. At 17 he dropped out of high school to concentrate on playing music. In 1970 Stevie was playing in a nine-piece horn band and then formed his first blues band, Blackbird, a year later. Blackbird moved to Austin and after a few more stints in various bands Vaughan joined Paul Ray and the Cobras in 1975. The Cobras were Austin’s Band of the Year in 1976. After paying his dues as a sideman Stevie formed Triple Threat Revue in 1977. Triple Threat also featured bassist W.C. Clark, and vocalist Lou Ann Barton. Barton left the band in 1979 and the group became Double Trouble, the name inspired by the Otis Rush song. Double Trouble featured Jack Newhouse on bass, Chris Layton on drums and Vaughan became the band’s lead singer. In 1981 Tommy Shannon joined on bass and the power trio was set.

Through the early 1980s Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble played the Texas club circuit, becoming one of the most popular bands in the area. In 1982 the band played the Montreux Jazz Festival and their performance caught the attention of David Bowie and Jackson Browne. After Double Trouble’s performance, Bowie asked Vaughan to play on his forthcoming album, Let’s Dance, which, with Stevie’s lead guitar on six of the eight songs, became Bowie’s best selling record to date. After an after-hours jam in the artists’ bar Jackson Browne offered the group free recording time at his Downtown Studio in Los Angeles. Shortly afterward, legendary producerJohn Hammond landed Vaughan and Double Trouble a record contract with Epic, and the band recorded its debut album in two days over the Thanksgiving weekend at Downtown Studios.

Vaughan’s debut album, Texas Flood, was released in the summer of 1983, a few months after Bowie’s Let’s Dance appeared. Publicity over Stevie’s management pulling him from Bowie’s 1983 world tour in order to support Vaughan’s own record earned him quite a bit of attention, but Texas Flood was a blockbuster blues success; receiving positive reviews in both blues and rock publications, reaching number 38 on the charts, and crossing over to album rock radio stations. Vaughan and Double Trouble set off on a successful tour and quickly recorded their second album, Couldn’t Stand the Weather, which was released in May of 1984. The album was more successful than its predecessor, reaching number 31 on the charts; by the end of 1985, the album went gold. Double Trouble added keyboardist Reese Wynans in 1985, before they recorded their third album, Soul to Soul. The record was released in September 1985 and was also quite successful, reaching number 34 on the charts.

Although his professional career was soaring, Vaughan was sinking deep into alcoholism and drug addiction. Despite his declining health, Vaughan continued to push himself to the point of collapse in Germany in late September 1986. Almost three weeks of the European tour were cancelled while Vaughan successfully rehabilitated back in the States. The band released the double live album Live Alive in November of 1986 and launched an extensive American tour in support. Although the band’s touring schedule slackened slightly, Vaughan performed many concerts in 1988, including opening for the Robert Plant tour, a headlining gig at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, a European tour and he still found time to record his fourth album. The resulting record, In Step, appeared in June of 1989, peaking at number 33 on the charts, earning a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Recording, and going gold just over six months after its release.

In the spring of 1990 Stevie Ray recorded an album with his brother Jimmie, which was scheduled for release in the fall of the year. In the late summer of 1990, Vaughan and Double Trouble set out on an American headlining tour. On August 26, 1990, their East Troy, WI, gig concluded with an encore jam featuring guitarists Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan, and Robert Cray. After the concert, Stevie Ray boarded a helicopter bound for Chicago. Minutes after its 12:50 a.m. takeoff, the helicopter crashed, killing Vaughan and the other four passengers. He was only 35 years old.

Family Style, the Vaughan Brothers album was released in September and entered the charts at number seven. Family Style began a series of posthumous releases that were as popular as the albums Vaughan released during his lifetime. The Sky Is Crying, a collection of studio outtakes compiled by Jimmie, was released in October of 1991; it entered the charts at number ten and went platinum three months after its release. In the Beginning, a recording of a Double Trouble concert in 1980, was released in the fall of 1992 and the compilation Greatest Hits was released in 1995. In 1999, Vaughan’s original albums were remastered and reissued, with The Real Deal: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 also appearing that year. 2000 saw the release of the four-disc box SRV, which concentrated heavily on outtakes, live performances, and rarities.