Saturday, May 14, 2011

Beldon's Blues Points May 14, 2011

I can’t believe it. The Kinsey Report, one of my favorite bands, is coming to D.C.
Guitarist Donald Kinsey and his brothers, bassist Kenneth and drummer Ralph, will play the Third Annual Silver Spring Festival, scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday, June 18. The Gary, Indiana-based, Chicago-styled group leads a line-up that includes many D.C. based entertainers, among them The Big Boy Little Band, Jonny Grave and the Tombstones, the D.C. Blues Society Band with Stacy Brooks, and Ida Campbell & the Blues. That evening, the Kinseys will travel to Baltimore to do a show for the Baltimore Blues Society.
I heard about the Kinsey Report in 2006 (I think) while living in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Brought in by the Lehigh Valley Blues Network, they played a show in nearby Easton. Some kind of previous engagement made me miss the concert, but I ended up really liking the band’s rock-edged form of blues after hearing it played over the radio beforehand.
Luckily I had another chance to see them when I traveled to Chicago a few months later to catch the Chicago Blues Festival. The Kinseys were at Buddy Guy’s Legends one night, and blew me away, particularly with “When the Church Burned Down,” their song inspired by a rash of arson fires breaking out at black churches during the 1990’s. After the show, the band hawked copies of Smoke and Steel, their 1998 album with Alligator Records, and I bought a copy. When I finally played it I found another gem, "Code of the Streets," a slow burner about a young man’s life of drug-dealing, murder and prison. The heart of the song is a long, hard-wrought, riveting, almost painful guitar solo from Donald.
I saw them two more times after that: one in Chicago, where I caught them at Rosa’s, another blues club, while attending the blues festival another year; and the other at Philadelphia’s Warmdaddy’s, where I remember picking Kenneth’s brain for bass-playing tips.

As I followed the band more and more, I learned they have a pretty cool history. Their father, the late Mississippi-born Lester “Big Daddy” Kinsey, was known for his slide guitar and harmonica work. During the late 1960’s, father and sons toured as Big Daddy Kinsey and his Fabulous Sons, a band which broke up in the early 1970’s.
An accomplished guitarist by the time he was 13, Donald went on to play rhythm for Albert King. Donald left King's band in 1975 to form the heavy metal group White Lightening with Ralph and bassist Busta "Cherry" Jones. The group produced a self-titled record for Island Records.
Later, at an Island Records reception in New York, Donald Bob Marley, who introduced him to another reggae legend, Peter Tosh. Tosh invited the guitarist to sit in on the album Legalize It,later enlisting him for a tour.
After a year with Tosh, Donald received a call from Marley, who asked him to overdub some guitar parts for the album Rastaman Vibration. Their collaboration blossomed in 1976 when Donald moved to Jamaica to tour with Marley. The guitarist even appeared on Marley’s live album, Babylon By Bus. But the union fell victim to Jamaica’s tumultuous politics of the period when Donald was almost killed during a 1976 assassination attempt on Marley. Donald left the band afterwards.
After a brief stint with the Staple Singers, Donald once again joined Tosh who in 1978 toured with the Rolling Stones. When the tour ended in California, Donald decided to stay there. He brought brother Ralph and a friend, guitarist Ron Prince, out there where they all formed the “The Chosen Ones,” a reggae/blues/funk/rock band.
The Chosen Ones went to Gary and in 1981 recorded a record for Faulty Products, an independent record label. Donald then returned to Tosh, touring Europe and Africa and playing on the Mama Africa album. Donald arranged and co-produced a version of "Johnny B.Goode" for the album.
The Kinsey Report was formed in 1984 when Donald, Kenny, Ralph and Prince joined Big Daddy Kinsey to form Big Daddy Kinsey and the Kinsey Report. In 1985 the Kinsey Report backed Big Daddy Kinsey for his debut album, Bad Situation, which Donald produced.
Bruce Iglauer, president of Alligator Records, brought his friend, guitarist Roy Buchanan, to hear the Kinseys live. Iglauer eventually offered the band a full record deal which led to the release of 1988’s Edge of the City. The band followed up that album in 1989 with Midnight Drive.
The Kinseys then released two albums for Pointblank, a subsidiary of Virgin Records specializing in blues: Powerhouse (1991) and Crossing Bridges (1994. The group then returned to Alligator for Smoke and Steel.
The Silver Spring Blues Festival will take place on two stages on Ellsworth Drive between Georgia Avenue and Spring Street. Admission is free.
The Baltimore Blues Society Show featuring the group will begin at 10 p.m. at the Rosedale American Legion, 1331 Seling Avenue, Rosedale, Maryland.


On Wednesday, May 18, 2011
guitarist Linwood Taylor will join Nadine Rae & the Allstars to play Proud Mary's Restaurant, 13600 King Charles Terrace, Ft. Washington, Maryland. The All-Stars include Barry Brady on keyboards, Charles "Red" Adkins on bass and Andy Hamburger on drums.
On Thursday, May 19, Nadine Rae and the Allstars will play The Austin Grill, 2002 Annapolis Mall Blvd., Annapolis, MD. The group will perform from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. For further information, call the restaurant at 410-571-6688 or check out its website at 410-571-6688.
On May 19, 2011 the D.C. Blues Society is bringing Biscuit Miller to Surf Club Live. Miller is a veteran bluesman who played bass for Lonnie Baker Brooks for 10 years and the Anthony Gomes Band for five. Surf Club Live is located at 4711 Kenilworth Avenue, Hyattsville, MD. Tickets are $10 for D.C. Blues Society members, $13 for non-members. The show begins at 8 p.m.
On May 20, 2011 guitarist Duke Robillard appears at 2nd Story Blues, 102 W. Fourth Street, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang play Chef Mac’s Cajun and Creole Restaurant in Baltimore on May 28. Chef Mac’s is located at 4709 Harford Road and can be reached by telephone at 410-319-6227. Eddie Shaw once played with Muddy Waters. If you want to know more about the Wolf Gang, check out our September, 2009 interview with bassist Lafayette “Shorty” Gilbert. It’s long, but chock full of interesting stuff about the Wolf Gang and other musicians. Believe me, Shorty's worked with a lot of people, and there will be names you recognize.
The D.C. Blues Society will host a jam Sunday, June 5 at American Legion Post 41, 905 Sligo Avenue, Silver Spring. The jam will take place from 4-8 p.m.

Now here’s music writer and harmonica player Bob Corritore with news on the Blues Music Awards (formerly the Handy Awards).

Friday May 6, 2011

• Last night at the BMAs in Memphis, Tennessee Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues picked up the win as Historical Blues Album of the year. Bob would like to congratulate all award winners in all categories. Bob would also like to thank the Blues Foundation for this great honor. Bob Corritore and Randy Chortkoff were presented the award by actor Jason Lee of My Name Is Earl. Bob would like to thank Delta Groove Records, DJs, writers, publicists, and everyone who believed in, and got behind Bob's efforts. More news to follow on the BMAs as Bob is traveling to Europe now to perform at the Moulin Blues Festival, and then a week of touring. This collaborative effort featured so many wonderful musicians, representing many traditions of the blues, all who also take part in this win. The following is a list of the 2011 Blues Music Award winners:
Acoustic Album of the Year
Last Train to Bluesville
The Nighthawks

Acoustic Artist of the Year
John Hammond

Album of the Year
Living Proof
Buddy Guy

B.B. King Entertainer of the Year
Buddy Guy

Band of the Year
The Derek Trucks Band

Best New Artist Debut
On the Floor
Matt Hill

Contemporary Blues Album of the Year
Living Proof
Buddy Guy

Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year
Robin Rogers

Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year
Buddy Guy

Ruf Records
Songs from the Road
(Luther Allison)

Historical Album of the Year
Delta Groove
Harmonica Blues
(Bob Corritore & Friends)

Bob Stroger

Cedric Burnside

Derek Trucks

Charlie Musselwhite

Eddie Shaw

Sonny Rhodes (Lap Steel Guitar)

Koko Taylor Award
Ruthie Foster

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player
Dr. John

Rock Blues Album of the Year
Live! In Chicago
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band featuring Hubert Sumlin, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Bryan Lee and Buddy Flett

Song of the Year
"Living Proof"
Tom Hambridge/Buddy Guy

Soul Blues Album of the Year
Nothing's Impossible
Solomon Burke

Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year
Irma Thomas

Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year
Solomon Burke

Traditional Blues Album of the Year
Joined At the Hip
Pinetop Perkins & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith

Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year
Charlie Musselwhite

We have information on hotel/ticket package deals for the upcoming Daytona Beach Blues Festival. Sounds like a great place to listen to music. Here's the link:

Anyone wishing to place an event on Beldon's Blues Point should contact us at

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