Here in the D.C. area Stacy Brooks will hold her Mardi Gras party tonight from 8-12 at Surf Club Live! Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark and his Blues All-Stars will also perform at the event, which is sponsored by the D.C. Blues Society and hosted by WPFW Radio Personality Texas Fred. Tickets are $8 for D.C. Blues Society members and $10 for non-members. Surf Club Live is located at 4711 Kenilworth Avenue in Hyattsville.
Harmonica Player Bob Corritore was kind enough to send us the following:
• RIP Tom Leavey Sept 13, 1942 - February 21, 2011. It is with great sadness that we report the passing of bassist/songwriter Tom Leavey, who is probably best known for his great work with the Mannish Boys. Tom passed away on Monday of a heart attack, at age 68. Tom was a Brooklyn native who fell in love with blues early on. While still underage, he would sneak into R&B shows at the Apollo Theater. In the late 1960's Tom would relocate to the West Coast, where he would join up with Jimmy Carl Black, of the Mothers of Invention, in a band called Geronimo Black. In the mid 1980s, Tom would relocate to Phoenix to start the LP Club, a celebrated but short lived venue that would feature national jazz & blues acts. During his time in Phoenix he would also work with Janiva Magness & The Mojomatics. By the end of the 1980s, he would move back to Los Angeles where he would collaborate with Randy Chortkoff on numerous projects, including the famed all-star group known as the Mannish Boys, and Chortkoff produced albums by King Ernest, Billy Boy Arnold, Finis Tasby, Bobby Jones, and, of course the Mannish Boys. Tom toured the world with the Mannish Boys until some health issues forced him to take a break from music over the last couple years, Tom was known as a kind, and humble person, and an excellent traditional blues bass player, as well as a great live performer who always wore wonderful suits on stage. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
• RIP Big Bill Collins -April 5th, 1935 to February 14, 2011. Legendary Chicago blues DJ Albert "Big Bill" Collins passed away on Feb 14th. He had a delightful after-hours blues radio show on WNIB where he would use his well-loved slogan "Big Bill Collins, down in the basement, sittin' up here on an old beat-up orange crate". His down home approach, which often included numerous dedications, and ad skits, was nothing less than pure charm. He was especially prominent in the 1970s and '80s. He also managed blues singer Bonnie Lee and others. He was frequently seen at blues events with his characteristic trench coat, passing out cards for his show.
• RIP Johnny Nitro, Birthdate unknown - February 19, 2011. Blues singer/songwriter/guitarist John "Johnny Nitro" Newton was an intregal part of the Bay Area blues scene. He is best known for being the writer of "Too Many Dirty Dishes," a song made famous by Albert Collins. He was a fine singer, guitarist, and bandleader who would often perform with many of the resident blues legends in the Bay Area. He died on Saturday, February 19th, at age 59. He passed away in his apartment, which was located above the Saloon on Grand Avenue, the club he played at for the last 25 years. Johnny will be greatly missed by the blues world.
• Blues Grammy winners! This year the Grammy Awards recognized the seasoned Chicago blues veterans in their 2 blues categories. Congratulations to Pinetop Perkins and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith who won in the Best Traditional Blues Album category for their CD Joined At The Hip on the Telarc label (a shout out to producer Michael Freeman, manager Patricia Morgan and Blue Mountain Artists for their part in this win!). Also congrats to Buddy Guy who won in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category for his CD Skin Deep (another shout out to publicist Betsie Brown for her promotional efforts). We should also mention that Mavis Staples / You Are Not Alone won Best Americana Album, Carolina Chocolate Drops / Genuine Negro Jig won Best Traditional Folk Album, and Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band / Zydeco Junkie won Best Zydeco/Cajun Music Album!
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