Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Groove Behind Frankie Beverly's Maze: Part II of Our Interview with Bassist Larry Martin Kimpel

Well, we had a great conversation with bassist Larry Martin Kimpel of Frankie Beverly and Maze. So great that it went on for two hours and we had to divide it into two parts. In part II, he talks a little about the tools of his trade, using music to mentor youth, and oh yeah, what it is he likes specifically about Curtis Mayfield's Superfly, the music that inspired him to pick up a bass in the first place:

BBP: What was your first bass, the first you ever used?
Kimpel: Oh, man, that was a Gibson copy, and the name brand escapes me right now, but it was like a Jack Bruce model, a Gibson that he used to play. Great bass. I look back on that now and say “Man, how did I let that get out of my hands?” Yes, it’s gone. I have no idea where it went (laughs). Or what I did with it, I might have traded it for something back in the day: when you’re younger you don’t think about that stuff. Yeah, my first one was a Gibson SG copy. And from there I moved onto a…what was the next bass from that? I think it was…I think I actually had a Gibson. I think I moved up to a Gibson Grabber with the little pick-up that moves. It was like one pick-up and it slid forward and back, changed tone. It didn’t change it much, but just enough (laughs). It was like Gene Simmons...I have seen him play with it…from Kiss….he had one of those. I said “yeah, let me check that out.” And that also was in my budget at that time.

BBP: You play upright too, right?
Kimpel: Yes, I do.
BBP: Was that harder to learn than playing bass guitar?
Kimpel: Yeah. It’s a different animal. Totally different animal. Different concept. Different fingering. It’s just a’s almost a different instrument,completely other than the fact that it’s E-A-D-G, or B-E-A-D-G if you’re using a five-string. But it’s a different animal completely. A lot more hand strength is required. A lot more stamina. A lot more effort in order to get a good tone out of it, I think. So it’s a different thing. When you pick it up, you have to switch hats, in other words. Conceptually it can be…. you can think of it as the same thing, but it’s really not. It’s definitely a different animal.
BBP: You probably don’t get a chance to use it as much as the other one, right?
Kimpel: No. No I don’t. Every now and then I get a call for a session. I think I used it…the last time I used it on a jazz record…that was probably mid-to-late 90’s. Got a call for it. But I use it on some things that I’m working on, you know, whatever. I got my studio set up so I go in and practice with it. But when I’m out on the road, there’s no time or room.

BBP: Yeah, those things are heavy.
Kimpel: They’re heavy and they’re bulky and you got to buy a seat for it on the plane. For me, I’m an electric player by trade. But I do know…I’ve played upright for a number of years now. Basically I..originally I picked it up just to understand the instrument. I wanted to..I was a fan of people like Ron Carter and Lee Brown and Paul Chambers, people like that, and I just wanted to understand what that instrument entailed. So I picked one up and…it sounds kind of flippant “I just picked one up...” I literally walked into this bass, it was $50. This guy had it stuck in his attic in Chicago, and he wasn’t using it. And I bought it, it was a Kay, an old Kay, a plywood bass. And I picked it up for 50 bucks, and I still have it. That one’s in my garage. I picked up another one that I kind of inherited from a young lady, who unfortunately…a dear friend of hers gave me the bass. Her name is Lois Booker, actually. She called me up and she said “Hey, I’ve got this bass over here, it was a friend of mine who’s passed on. Would you like it?” I said “Of course!” I popped by and I saw the bass and it was a beautiful Kay. And it had belonged to a young lady who played bass and she passed and so her friend Lois got all of this stuff of hers and that was one of the things. I said “I will certainly take good care of it and I’ll honor her memory by using it."
BBP: I saw you talk about practice, the advice you gave. I think you said: play something you’ve never played before to improve. How do you--can you extrapolate on that--is the question I have.
Kimpel: Yeah, that’s an old thing I got from Stanley Clarke quite some time ago. He said “don’t sit and gas yourself playing something you know because you’re not going to grow that way.” Basically you need to challenge yourself in this thing you don’t know, that you need to know how to play. Or those things that you don’t know but you need to know about the instrument, you need to be seeking those things out and putting those into your arsenal. You can review things that you know. Does that make sense?

BBP: I’ve taken up most of your afternoon, so whenever you get tired of being asked questions, let me know. I wanted to ask you, you mentioned “Superfly.” You mentioned that the bass really caught you and struck you. What were the songs on that album that really…that kind of got your attention?
Kimpel: First (the song) “Superfly.” “Superfly” was the (sings the opening bass run to the song “Superfly”) that part. That bass part. And then the other one was “Freddy’s Dead.” (Sings the bass line to “Freddy’s Dead”) That part. So both of those..the whole record is great, but those two songs really stuck out and the bass player was just, he was just so prevalent in those. And that was the late Lucky Scott, by the way, who did that whole record. And he was with Curtis Mayfield for years and years.
BBP: So it was those two songs, “Superfly” and “Freddy’s Dead.” (Hums the bassline to “Freddy’s Dead.”)
Kimpel: Exactly.

BBP: Let me also ask you. You mentioned that you’re a motivational speaker as well?
Kimpel: Yeah. Yeah. For the past few years I’ve taken on, I’ve discovered another passion that I have is mentoring and talking with young people. I’m on the board of directors for an organization in California called Christian Mentors. I guess I’m just basically giving back to the community and to the world at large what was given to me. They didn’t call it mentoring back then, but I was influenced by a lot of good solid men and women that came alongside us and came..and advised. Whether they knew they were doing it or not, just their shear presence became a huge impact on us, on myself definitely. And so basically what that entails, I’ve just discovered I have a passion and an aptitude for speaking to children and to the things that are effecting them, and then also on the music side. I’m also on the board of another organization called the Music Exchange, which is based in Las Vegas. And I speak to them, to those children, on a regular basis. Basically what that organization is, it’s run by a good friend of mine, Pastor Oliver Garner, and what it is is basically at-risk children. It’s an after-school program, you know the government has taken away a lot of those, most if not all of them, so now the kids don’t have anywhere to go, don’t have any outlet, so that they’re failing in school. So what they do in this after-school program is they use music as the catalyst for them to learn reading, math, science, history, all of it, and the kids are flourishing, and they get to learn an instrument on top of it. So I’m going to be doing more speaking on behalf of the Music Exchange in the near future, but I’ve also been asked to speak at a couple of other, for another couple of similar organizations in the last year, similar kind of thing. I just love it; my wife says, “Man, you really have a passion for speaking to the kids." What I do also is I speak on the history of the blues in modern music and the influences, that kids, that young people, they don’t even know what they’re hearing. Because they’ve not been given that history They've not had the chance to know what’s come before them, and that’s really, really hard to understand as to why we’re cutting our nose off to spite our face by not giving these kids the knowledge that they need on any level. But definitely on the music side. You know it’s all about what’s new. It’s always what’s new: it’s not about “well, it’s not new. Jaz-y’s not new, he’s just sampling something that’s been here before, putting his spin on it.” Some of the things he does are original, but a lot of the stuff he does…they take stuff that’s been done. And they sampled it. And that’s been the cornerstone of rap music for years. But most of the kids have no clue whatsoever where that came from. And they’re not given that kind of knowledge. So we try to, when I go to speak, I try to give them those examples of those things, like the blues thing. I do a-what I do is I talk, I give them modern examples of modern stuff, and then I give them examples of what’s come before that. And so they get to really see and hear and experience what it’s really all about. And it’s not just what I’m hearing now. My goodness, what it is is, this came before this. And that’s why I’m able to even hear what I’m hearing is because this came before it. So that’s what we try to do is connect that. And I also bring a real treat for most of the kids. I own a Victrola, an actual Victrola, the old crank record player, and they can’t believe it. And I’m like, “that’s how people used to listen to records. And they hear this little (makes a swishing sound) and it’s real thin and tinny and I tell them “if you had one of these, if you were fortunate enough to be able to afford one of these, you were popular on the block.” I mean everybody didn’t have that, so like when the radio came around, everybody didn’t have one of those, so it’s just important for the kids to know the history, on all levels. But definitely in music, and music is the cornerstone of so much that we took it for granted for so many years in this country. And it’s to our detriment really, because we’ve taken the arts out of schools. And now it’s up to private, non-profit organizations like the ones I’m working with to try and help take up the slack that the government, somehow in their infinite wisdom, chose to take away. And then they see the crime rate go up, see all of this absenteeism and all of this craziness going on. But then they don’t think to-“Well Gosh, what did we do, did we do anything? Well, it did kind of happen when you took the after-school programs out of schools. Kids didn’t really have, inner-city kids especially, didn’t have anywhere to go. They didn’t have any hope. They didn’t have any hope for the future, they didn’t even know that they could do anything, or play an instrument or sing, or draw, or paint, or anything. They don’t know. And you wonder why kids are tripping out here. Because they don’t have the outlets.
BBP: You said you have a Victrola. Do you own the Victrola?
Kimpel: Yeah I bought it some years ago at a store in Orange County, California. I found it, and I said “I’m not leaving the store without this. I’ve got to get it, got to have it. So yeah, the old 78 records, 78 rpm, and you crank her up, and you release the little lock on it, and away it goes, until you need to try that again. Yes, so I bought it for a couple of hundred bucks. It’s a remake, it’s not an actual model, but it’s a rebuilt, reissue of the RCA Victrola. But it works just like the old ones. I think some of the components are from the old actual models. But it’s amazing. It’s an amazing piece of history.

BBP: I know that your faith is very strong and I mean I heard that you wear a cross on your arm?
Kimpel: Oh, yeah. Yeah, I was wearing for a lot of years, a cross on my arm that basically was to show people that my faith was strong and that there is a faith, there is one faith, one Lord, one Baptism. And I never try to hit people over the head with anything, but it was just a subtle reminder when I’m playing, I hope that my countenance, that my attitude, how I relate to people shows that without having to hit people over the head with it.
BBP: I was wondering, when you do secular music and some of it is not really the type of thing …for someone who has a spiritual background the message might not go with your beliefs. Do you ever have that conflict when you’re playing?
Kimpel: You know I actually have not had a whole lot of experiences where the music did not coincide with my beliefs or faith. I’ve been real fortunate with that. As far as if I did have a problem with it, how I would handle that is probably I’d have to bow out of the situation. I think that’s only fair. Because I wouldn’t be able to give my full 120 percent to whatever the project is. You know I’m certainly not a perfect person. No one is. But I try not to go and just be blatant with crazy vulgarities and disrespect to women and all of that craziness.
BBP: And your involvement in Christian music, stylistically does some of what you take from that kind of find it’s way to the secular playing or performances that you do?
Kimpel: Sure. Yeah it does. Yeah I definitely allow whatever music I’m doing, I allow it to flow through. I don’t hide my emotions well. So if it’s an emotional piece, it could be a secular piece, but it could certainly still instill a certain amount could still get me excited or get my spiritual side going when I hear it. I’m always open to allow that experience to happen. I’m always there with that. So I’d say the answer would be “Yes, I do.”

BBP: Because sometimes I hear that bass, particularly the vocals, and it has sort of a gospel edge to it. I did see a video of you, I think you were doing like a, it was either a warm-up session or a rehearsal or something like that, and you were doing a solo of (Frankie Beverly’s) “Back in Stride Again.” It was you, the drummer..there was a keyboard player who kind of came in a little bit later. He was kind of shadowing you a little bit. The more you did it, the more you seemed to get into it and the more it seemed like you were oblivious to anything visual. Just sound. I mean, that’s how I saw it.
Kimpel: Hmmm. Yeah. I hear you. I hear you. Yeah I know what you’re talking about. Yeah that’s when you just kind of, you just allow yourself to be taken away, if you will, by the sound. You just let it flow. It’s like what Michael Jordan used to call “being in the zone.” I think Kobe Bryant, different guys on sports teams have talked about it. When you have that momentum, that spot, that intangible place where nothing can stop what’s going on. Nothing can stop that momentum. You know those teams-we always use sports analogies…and that’s definitely something we can relate to, just watching a team rise up, just this intangible rising up and you can feel it, feel it overpower the other team, just almost magically. But it’s that space, that place where you get into a oneness with the spirit, I think. That you can’t touch it, you can’t taste it, you can’t smell it but you can feel it. And that’s where you try to—if you’re a musician, if you’re an artist of any kind—if you’re passionate about what you are doing, then somewhere along the line there has to be a spiritual connection. You don’t have to be church going, but you have to—if you’re going to be a passionate person, if you’re passionate about what you do, there’s a spiritual connection, whether people know it or not. I mean that’s in any field. When you look at a movie and you see someone on screen, male or female actor or actress, and they are just nailing it, nailing it to the wall and you know this is not them, it’s a character they’re playing. But you would swear that they are that person, there’s just nothing like that. And it applies to music too. So getting back to what you were saying...
BBP: Yeah, did you ever see Ving Rhames play Don King?
Kimpel: Yes.
BBP: Yeah that kind of thing. Is there something I haven’t asked you that you want people to know about yourself?
Kimpel: Is there anything that I want people to know? Oh gosh..
BBP: Something you’re doing? Maybe a project you have going? You mentioned something involving your wife. I had the impression you were trying to get a blues band started? You were trying to get promotion for one? Maybe I got that wrong I don’t know.
Kimpel: Yeah, at the time I was looking for a booking agent for the band. I think that position has been filled.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Groove Behind Frankie Beverly's Maze: Part One of our Interview with Bassist Larry Martin Kimpel

When he was about 12, Larry Martin Kimpel received a six-string acoustic guitar from his brother.
Even at that young age, Kimpel was no stranger to music. Inspired by Ramsey Lewis songs such as “Wade In the Water,” he had started piano lessons at the age of five, but eventually lost interest. Tinkering with his new gift, he began talking about becoming a guitar player.
But one day, while listening to Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly, still another instrument caught his attention.
“I’m sitting in my room, listening to that, trying to pick the guitar parts out and this bass is just jumping off the vinyl,” he recalled. “It’s jumping out at me the entire time. So I’m like, ‘Gee, I’m really gravitating towards that.’ So after a while I took the top two strings off of the guitar and started playing E-A-D-G. And I started picking the stuff up by ear off the record.”
Now 51, Kimpel has since become an A-list bassist who has shared the stage with the Staple Singers, Anita Baker, George Duke, Yolanda Adams and Edwin Hawkins, among others. And for the last nine years, he has played bass for Maze, a popular rhythm and blues group headed by singer Frankie Beverly that is noted for its energetic live performances.

A deeply spiritual person, he has also become a force in the Christian and worship music industries, releasing his latest CD in that genre, Be Still and Know, through his own record label, God’s Voice Records & Entertainment.
The Chicago-raised Kimpel is also making his mark on the blues world through Outlaw X, a guitar/bass/drums/keyboards ensemble whose first album, Out of the Box takes a hard-driving, jazz-inflected approach to the genre. The album is mostly original music with only one cover: a version of Rod Stewart’s “Stay with Me.”
“What I want it to be was not really a traditional blues record,” said Kimpel. “I wanted to pay homage to those past influences but I also wanted to put a newer kind of a spin onto an old form.”
When not on stage or in the recording studio he mentors youth through a variety of programs, including the California-based Christian Mentors and the Music Exchange, a Las Vegas-based program targeting at-risk youth.
“What I do is speak on the history of the blues in modern music and the influences that…young people, they don’t even know what they’re hearing,” Kimpel said. “Because they’ve not been given that history, they’ve not had a chance to know what’s come before them. And that’s really, really hard to understand, as to why we’re cutting off our nose to spite our face by not giving these kids the knowledge that they need on any level. But definitely on the music side.”
He also represents three companies that make basses: Yamaha, Xotic and Atlansia, a guitar company bassed in Japan.

For whatever he wants to do in music, Kimpel has a family tradition to draw from. During the 1920’s, his great-grandmother was known for sitting on the back porch of her Arkansas-Delta home, playing blues on an old weather-beaten guitar.
When Larry was an infant, his father, Allen David Kimpel, who led the local church choir, would put him on his knee and sing him soft melodic ballads.
Kimpel was two years old when his mother died and he, his brother and two sisters went to Chicago to live with their Aunt Ruby. A university cleaning woman who was “not wealthy by any means,” she nevertheless saw that her new charges had whatever they needed to reach their potentials.
In addition to piano lessons, Kimpel studied drawing and painting as a child. When he reached high school, George Hunter, a music teacher who, as a sideline, played saxophone at recording sessions around the city, took him under his wing.
“He was responsible for getting me my very first session, which was with Gene Chandler, you know the ‘Duke of Earl?’ I got to meet all of the prominent musicians in Chicago at that time. George Hunter, I cannot say enough about him. He recognized the potential early on, and he only rode those kids that he saw the potential in. If he didn’t see it, he’d just leave you alone, let you go your own way.”
When Kimpel was 16, Hunter hired him to play in a big band he led, “George Hunter and the Moonlighters.” “The reason it was called the Moonlighters was because they were all teachers and doctors and lawyers and they were moonlighting musicians at night,” Kimpel said.
From them he learned about both music and life, he recalled.
“Here I am this 16-year-old kid—and I’m playing with these 40-year-old men! And hanging! As best I can, but I’m hanging. I learned so much, and being around those guys, how they handled themselves. Yeah, all of those influences, they’re still with me today. I cannot say enough about Mr. Hunter. He’s the man.”
It was just a few years later—in 1977—that Kimpel made his professional debut as a bassist for the Staple Singers. We started our interview, which is divided into two parts because of its length, with a discussion about his time with them.
BPP: I saw the itinerary of people that you played with: Staple Singers and George Duke, Larry Carlton, Anita Baker. Staple Singers. What was playing with them like?
Kimpel: The way I got with that thing, I was working with another artist in Chicago and we opened up for them at a club called The Burning Spear on the south side. And Pops heard me with the group and I didn’t even know that he was listening. I didn’t even know that he was in the house when we were doing our set. But he did hear me. Apparently he liked me. And I guess it was a good four or five months later, in the summer of, I guess it was 1976, or 1977—right after I got out of high school—he called. He got my number from somewhere and called me. I answered the phone—I’m living with my sister—and the phone rings and I run in the kitchen to answer the phone and he says “Yes, is Larry Kimpel there?” And I said “Yes, this is Larry.” And he’s like “Hey Larry, this is Pops, Pops Staples.” And I’m like, ”uh-huh”(laughs). And he says, “Listen, I like the way you play. You know, we’re looking for a bass player. Would you like to come down and play?” And I said, “Of course!” And he said “Listen, we’re also looking for a drummer. You know if you can get the guy that you played with when I heard you at The Burning Spear? That would be great.” So I got off the phone and ran through the house basically, you know, “Oh My God! Oh My God! Oh My God!” And they were just the tops in Chicago at that time. They were just great. They had done those great hits, you know, “Respect Yourself,” and “Let’s Do It Again,” all of that stuff. And I’m like: “Oh My God! This guy, he actually called me! He actually called! I talked to him on the phone!” So I tried to call my guy and I couldn’t find him. He wasn’t at home and that was before cell phones, they didn’t have pagers, so he just missed the call, so I had to call another friend of mine, Dana Goodman and he picked up the phone immediately and we went down and he liked both of us and he hired us. And so we stayed with them for five years, ’77 t0 ’81. And we toured all over the world. They were really, really great people. Sweet man. And he taught us a lot about—here’s another positive male influence, which was great for me because I came from a single parent home. My mom passed when I was two so my aunt took myself and my three siblings, my two sisters and my brother, so I didn’t have that male influence in the house. So God saw fit to put these people in my life that could teach me about life and about music. So Pops was a really, really sweet man, and I definitely miss talking to him and listening to his take on life. He was a real country gentleman, he was really something else.
BBP: Wow. What was it like to play behind Mavis?
Kimpel: It was great, man. Mavis is one of the great artists of our time. And it was almost surreal sometimes when you’re standing behind them, looking at them do what they do and it was an amazing time because it was formative years. I was about age 18, just getting out on my own, so to be traveling with them and doing some recording with them, and just being around them, watching how they dealt with their public and they were respectful…I mean they truly lived that song. I never once saw any of them out of line with the public. So they really showed us how to be people, how to be good folk and just have fun. They were entertainers, but it was great. She’s still killing people (laughs). I still hear stuff from and about her and she’s still knocking them out.
BBP: I understand also you played with George Duke?

Kimpel: I still actually do some work for George. Actually on his latest record that just came out, I think it’s called “Déjà vu” if I’m not mistaken. We just did that last year. And uh, yeah we’re still associated; still do a sub-gig for him here and there when his regular guy Mike Manson can’t do it. But I worked with him steadily for a good four or five years. Actually he was the first gig I had after I left Anita Baker and moved to L.A. in 1991. He hired me, right out the box. Freddie Washington had left the group and he was looking for me and (saxophonist) Everette Harp had suggested me to him. Same thing. George called me up—very personable, very professional—and said “Now okay, I’d like you to come to my studio and do some playing with me. Let me hear what you’re doing.” And we set up a date and a time, and hung up the phone and about ten minutes later, George called me back and said “Man, I heard you. I don’t need to do no audition.” He hates rehearsals. (laughs). He really does. He does not like to rehearse. He’s a jazz guy from the top to the bottom. In other words his spontaneity is what drives him. He doesn’t like to plan so much what’s going to happen. He just likes to hire professional people to come in and do their job. He doesn’t tell you how to do your job. He hires those people that know what they’re going to bring to the table and he trusts them. That’s one thing I can say about George: he’s one of the most trusting artists I’ve ever worked with in terms of he just allows the other artists that make up his group to come in and do what they do. He hired me and said “Man, just be at this studio. We’re doing this recording. Bring your upright.” So my first session in L.A. was in 1991 with George Duke, Paul Jackson Jr. on guitar, and Leon “Ndugu” Chancellor on the drums. And me on the bass. We were playing for a Japanese artist; I think her name was Anri. And I’m sitting in the booth and I’m just looking out and I’m like “Oh my God, this is George Duke here. This is no slouch.” It was a thrill, and I’ve been really blessed to be around a bunch of really great, great people. So it’s been fun. But George is an amazing guy, amazing artist. So he’s continuing to make music and make history.
BBP: Wow. You know you mentioned Anita Baker. One of the things that struck me about her, she seems to pay a lot of attention to detail in her music. Did you find her to be like that?
Kimpel: Yeah, she does. Yeah, Anita’s really, really hands on. She definitely…she listens…she’s a musician. Some singers are just singers; they need to kind of be told where to go, and some singers know what to do. I mean no disrespect to anybody but Anita was definitely hands on. She paid attention to each and every instrument. She knows what’s supposed to be where. She just is…she really is meticulous. I wouldn’t say she’s so much of a perfectionist, but she is definitely hands-on in that she really wants, she really wants and expects the best out of people. You don’t have to be perfect but it definitely has to be up to her standards.
BBP: When did you play with her?
Kimpel: I did two tours with Anita. The Compositions record world tour, which was in 1990, and then I followed that up with the Rhythm of Love album in ’94-’95.
BBP: And were you on both albums?
Kimpel: No, I wasn’t. Those albums, I think…I think those were done by (bassist) Nathan (East). Interesting, I never actually got in the studio with her. We came close a few times, but something always seemed to prevent that. I got a gold record from her. (laughs) Actually, a platinum record, so…thank you Anita!
BBP: Which one was that?
Kimpel: That was for the Rhythm of Love.
BBP: For the actual song “Rhythm of Love?”
Kimpel: No, no. The CD
BBP: Oh, you were on the CD.
Kimpel: No. No. She just gave all the band members the platinum records as a thank-you for helping put it over the top. Because if you don’t go out and play live, you know if people don’t see it live, they’re not going to the store. So that’s what all that was about. The studio cats that she hired, they put together the documents. We brought it to the table live, you know, myself, there was Rayford Griffin on drums, great drummer from Jean-Luc Ponty and George Duke; Ray Fuller and Dwight Sills were guitarists; and then I think we had Keith Henderson also. He’s from Chicago. He came in, I think, midway through that tour. The great(Leonard) “Doctor” Gibbs, percussionist….and then rounding that out I think we had Darrell Smith on keyboards, who’s done Janet Jackson…I mean Darrell’s done everybody. Then we had (keyboardist) Don Wyatt. We had the Perry Sisters (from West Virginia), great background vocalists, and the Ridgeway Sisters (session singers from Detroit) as well. Man, I tell you, just a great, great bunch of artists that rounded that thing out. She felt like she needed to give everybody that acknowledgement, so we were blessed to have those hanging on the wall as a thank-you for doing the job well.
BBP: Wow, that’s incredible. Incredible story. How did you meet Anita Baker?
Kimpel: That’s another interesting one. Each piece fits into the other piece. What happened, was, I was working with the great guitarist Phil Upchurch in Chicago. And if you don’t know Phil, he was a HUGE session player in Chicago.
BBP: Yeah, I know about him…
Kimpel: Yeah, a ton of records. And he was also the second guitar player with George Benson for years. So I was working with his band and a good friend of his, Bobby Lyle, great keyboard player, called him and he says “Hey Phil, I’m coming to Chicago in a couple of weeks, but I need a pick-up band. Who do you think I should call?” And Phil didn’t hesitate. He said “Call Larry Kimpel. He’s my bass player, he’s a great cat, great player; he’ll put it together and you’ll be happy.” So, out of the blue, I get a call. It’s Bobby Lyle, calling from L.A., and I’m like, “Oh my God. Great, man. It’s a pleasure to talk to you.” He’s like “Hey, man, I’m coming, blah, blah, blah. I need you to put a band together for me. Can you do that?” I said “Of course.” So I got on the phone and started calling cats, you know. That ended up becoming his band. We did such a great job, he just started hiring us to do his live shows. So we worked with Bobby for a couple of years doing that. Long story short, we were in Detroit doing a show. And we were with Jonathan…Bobby Lyle opened for Jonathan Butler. And Bobby was musical director for Anita Baker back in 1985-86, somewhere in there. So he called her—she happened to be at home—he called her and invited her to the show—her and her husband—and they came to the show and we met back stage after our set. And I’m talking. I’m like: “Man, this is a great honor to meet you guys, I’m a huge fan” and she was like: “Oh thank you.” She was so gracious and nice. She said, “Well listen, if you’re not leaving, why don’t you come upstairs in the balcony with us and watch Jonathan’s show?” So I said,”Sure, that’d be great, I’d be honored to do that.” So we walked upstairs and watched the show and after the show was over I turned to her husband and I said “Once again, it’s a pleasure to meet you guys and here’s my card. If you ever need a bassist for whatever, please think of me and give me a call.” And he took the card and he looked at it and he said, “Oh, okay. Great. Because actually we’re getting ready to get rid of our bass player.”
BBP: (laughs) Wow!
Kimpel: Yeah! So my heart just dropped. I’m like “Oh my God.” So like, divine timing for real. So long story short, about six months later her management called and said “Anita’s going out. She said to call you. Are you available and would you like to come out?” And I was living in Chicago, and I said “Absolutely.” And that’s how that happened. They flew me out a couple of weeks later and we started rehearsing and they put us up in a great little apartment in Hollywood there, and we went to rehearsals and that’s when I met all of these other wonderful people. That’s how that happened.
BBP: And why was she seeking to get rid of her other bass player?
Kimpel: You know, I think it was just…sometimes relationships, they end. And he’d been with her for a while and I guess they were just not seeing eye-to-eye artistically, you know. And it was time to make a change. Sometimes it just is. I never heard the reason, but I’m assuming that’s what it was.
BBP: Frankie Beverly. Now you’ve been with him for how long?
Kimpel: I’ve been with Frankie now for going on nine years.
BBP: Wow. And how did you connect with Frankie? I think I saw you one time. Because you guys play D.C., you have a tradition of playing around Christmas time or Thanksgiving?
Kimpel: Yeah, we used to play Constitution Hall. Yeah, that’s another story. I worked with them…I was referred to the band by Wayne Lindsey, great keyboard player, songwriter, producer who is actually…if you watch “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” right now, you’ll see him on keyboards. And he was in the band; he was in Maze for some years. And Frankie was needing someone to record on his album back in 1994, Back to Basics CD. And Wayne suggested that they call me. We’ve known each other for a few years and done some projects together, so he called, gave Frankie my number and they called me and set up a time for me to come fly up….and start recording. So that happened. It was a great experience and we finished that project and I moved onto other things and that was like ’94, so fast forward to—I guess—2002. The drummer—who was also a fellow Chicagoan, Michael White—I’m driving, doing some errands and stuff and I get a phone call from Mike. Mike said “Hey man, I just want to give you a heads up. Robin Duhe, the longtime bass player for the band, he’s going to go out on his own, so he’s leaving the band. So the bass chair’s going to be open. So they’re auditioning cats now, but I think they’re getting ready to close the audition. So you may want to give Frank a call. Here’s the number, give him a call and try to get them to hear you.” I said, “Okay, thank you my brother.” (laughs). So I called and left a message. I said “Frank, this is Larry Kimpel. You know I worked with you...” and we would see each other periodically through those years. If they were in town, I might stop in or whatever, so we had seen each other. And I said, “Hey man, this is Larry Kimpel. How are you doing? I hear that Robin’s leaving the band and I know that you’re auditioning people. If you wouldn’t mind I would like to be included in that because I think I know what you need. I think I’d be able to give you what you need as far as the bass chair is concerned.” So he got that message. He immediately called his assistant and had him set up a flight. And about a week or so later they’re picking me up from the airport in Oakland to take me over to the audition with Maze. And you know I played. I had somewhat of an unfair advantage because that was one of my favorite bands coming out of high school (laughs). It was my dream band actually. I love Robin Duhe. He was another huge influence on me and so I knew a lot of their stuff already. So I just came in and I played and they were just so impressed. Frank was so impressed that he offered me the gig that night. And I accepted it. And that’s pretty much it. And I’ve been with them—it will be nine years I think in September of ‘11.
BBP: You’ve recorded on a lot of their albums, right?
Kimpel: Actually I’ve done the one record, actually we haven’t had a record out since that record, believe it or not.
BBP: I know. I follow them…I think the last one they did was “Silky, Silky Soul Singer?”
Kimpel: Um-hmm. So that record, we did that one. Since that, a couple of years ago we did a live DVD in Dallas, Texas that Frank’s planning to put out with about six other songs that’s he got. Six new songs. So um, not sure when that’s coming out. Think he’s trying to get that out later this year. So anyway that record’s supposed to be called Anticipation.
BBP: (laughs) Aptly named.
Kimpel: (Also laughs) Yes, aptly named. So we’ll be working on that. Like I said we do the live video which is really, really great. The band lives live, it’s just one of those great live bands. That’s how they made their mark. My wife told me they used to do two shows a night and they would work six nights a week. They were killing, they were just burning up the place. So that’s how they ended up being in the echelon that they are. But yes, in answer to your question, the Back to Basics CD and then this new thing that’s getting ready to come out.
BBP: Have you recorded the new songs yet on Anticipation?
Kimpel: No we’re doing pre-production and we haven’t gone in and cut the stuff yet. But we’ve heard it and it’s bomb stuff. It’s definitely Maze, and I can’t wait to actually track it.
BBP: Wow. And the songs are actually penned and you have versions of it right now that just really haven’t been cut in the studio yet.
Kimpel: Right.
BBP: Gotcha. And we’ll hear that when? People are going to want to know that, man! (laughs)
Kimpel: You know what? That’s really up to Frank but I’m assuming he’s going to try to get it out, you know, this year, later this year, maybe late summer. I’m hoping. But that’s all up to that man there.
BBP: I know that, besides Outlaw X and Maze, you’re very into Christian recordings? You have one out, Be Still and Learn
. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Kimpel: Sure. That’s my true passion, you know is praise and worship music and Christian music in general. So the Be Still and Know project is all original material. It was written and produced, co-produced by a guy named Monty Seward and myself...and the background vocals are myself, Monty and his wife Kimia Seward who is the former lead singer for the jazz group Hiroshima. So that’s a real passion, that record. Real close to my heart. I get a lot of good response from people on that record, and I’m working on the next one now. It’s going to be called Reverence and I believe it’s going to take people into a deeper place of worship and meditation on the God of the Universe. Like I said, it’s really passionate; it really is a passion of mine and a calling. So I take it really, really seriously. I have fun with it, but that music is sacred to me. So I really do try to give it that treatment that it deserves. The Be Still and Know project is available on I-tunes, Amazon, all the major on-line outlets. But yeah, look out for Reverence, That should be released by summer of 2011.
BBP: I know the big song from Be Still and Know is “It’s Good to Know”
Kimpel: Yeah, “It’s Good to Know.” There’s a video of that on youtube and yeah that’s one of my favorites on there. And I’m thinking it’s just good to know that Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith, and it’s just a good thing to know he is where he is, and that he loves us, and so it’s a nice little groove and it just moves forward and it’s a nice little praise kind of a thing. But there’s a lot of good things on there… People gravitate to what they are drawn to and I can’t say….there’s not one song on there that someone hasn’t said, “man, that really touched me,” or “this is my favorite” or “that’s my favorite.” So it’s really…it’s been gratifying. And I’m planning to go out and do more ministry live, you know, doing the record live in churches and various church events and things like that in 2011 and beyond that so a lot more momentum on that side of my career.
BBP: How did Outlaw X come together?

Kimpel: Outlaw X was a concept of mine that I came up with. Coming from Chicago, I was exposed to a lot of different music and one obvious music coming out of Chicago was blues. I kind of ran from that influence while I was there because I didn’t want to get…it was a thing like you were pigeonholed if you played blues because they worked so much, that’s all you’d ever be able to do. You’d just be working doing that. So I kind of put it on the side, didn’t really pursue it while I was there. I was doing a lot more jazz, R&B and a few little rock things here and there. So long story short fast forward about fifteen or so years after I left Chicago it was time for me to kind of revisit all of that: that music, that heritage, that culture. My family’s from Arkansas, so I have a country boy inside me. So I have a real sensibility for that. I just wanted to explore it, so I called up some good friends of mine and they were all happy to come on board. Myself and the guitar player Ricky Zahariades; and then we got Herman Matthews, great drummer, from Houston, Texas; and then from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, rounding it out was Billy Steinway on keys. And so we all collaborated. I brought a lot of the music to the table originally and then everyone put their stamp on it…and that first record is called “Out of the Box.” It’s all original music except for the very last song. We did a remake of Rod Stewart’s “Stay with Me.” What I wanted it to be was not really a traditional blues record. I wanted to pay homage to those past influences. But I also wanted to put a newer kind of a spin onto an old form. So that’s where it came from, you know, that’s what we did with it and we were very pleased with it and since then we’ve done some other songs that haven’t been released yet. That’s basically the history on that one though.
BBP: When did that album come out?
Kimpel: I believe that came out in ’08.
BBP: You’re leading the band, and it sounds like, I don’t know, you were…I heard kind of a Stanley Clarke influence. I’m not trying to read between the lines or anything…
Kimpel: Oh, no, no. Well Stanley was a definite influence on me. He was one of the first bassists that I listened to when I first picked up the instrument. I picked it up around age 12, and so right about the time I was about 14, Stanley Clarke came into the picture. Between him and Jaco Pastorius, those were two huge, huge influences at the onset because they were literally pioneers of—if you want to call it—lead bass, you know. Outside of being great groove players they could definitely stand out front and be counted obviously. So yes, you probably hear some of him and so will a lot of other folks. That’s kind of how I grew up, like I said, in Chicago…it’s kind of an unwritten rule, you basically had your influences and then you put your spin on those influences. And that’s how you got your voice. Nobody ever comes out of the box just by themselves unless they’ve been in a cave (laughs) you know? So you’re definitely going to hear influences. I thank you for having big ears!
BBP: Where did the band’s name come from?
Kimpel: The name came from my guitar player, Ricky Z. And what it is, there was a radio station down on—I think it was the Texas-Mexico border—and it was called, I believe it was called the “X” if I’m not mistaken. And the band Z.Z. Top made a song called “I heard it on the X.” Basically the song talks about the radio station and all of the different songs and the different types of stuff they would play. And they became outlaws as in outlaw radio stations, like an underground kind of a thing. So that’s where it came from….Basically it speaks to the band’s multi-genre kind of blues that we do. Because we do blues and we do have an R&B influence. We do have a rock influence. We do have, obviously, the blues influence. And in some instances on some level we have a little bit of the jazz influence. So it’s all kind of woven into that one thing. But it came from that radio station down in Texas. That’s what that was inspired by….The only thing that I would want people to know is that I do have an independent record label and that’s called GVR entertainment—it’s actually short for God’s Voice Records.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Beldon's Blues Points July 14, 2011

I guess you could say that we here at Beldon’s Blues Point have been fishing. And we’ve caught some really interesting fish.
Can’t think of a better place to start than Chicago. The picture above is of Will Jacobs, leader of Dirty Deal,a Windy City group that last weekend opened for harmonica player Billy Branch. Dirty Deal won the Chicago Blues Challenge youth division in 2009 and has since been gathering steam as an opening act for Branch, Eddy Clearwater and Tommy Castro. Here is a clip of them at the Castro show:

If you want to know more about them, check out their website

We also heard from Donna Greene, who, with her band, the Roadhouse Daddies, adds a 1950’s jazz night club inflection to her blues. Check out her website and see for yourself:

Richard Lee Wilson, who has been playing Missouri’s Ozark region with bands Smooth Down Under and Richard Lee Wilson and The Sunday Morning Casualties, describes himself this way: “Take a Solo artist, in the vein of Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Yngwie Malmsteen and throw in the twisted dementia of Alice Cooper. Turn the Rock blender on overdrive. Serve over hot-ice with a slow burning fuse and BLAM! Richard Lee Wilson.”
Here he is:

Rufaro Matavou’s “recipe” for music involves mixing hip-hop drum beats with blues guitar. He shoots his own videos. Here is one:

Dave Phillips said he has been playing and singing the blues for almost 50 years. Now living in Findlay, Ohio, he teaches and occasionally plays bass and sings with Fat Daddy, a blues trio that also features Terry McClanahan on guitar and Rusty Campbell on drums. Here is some of his solo work:

And here is a video of Fat Daddy:

We also have songs from outside of the States, including the Land Down Under, where former truck driver Jim McAllister of Caboolture has been playing guitar for 40 years. McAllister, who started out in Christian music is a preferred player in the pubs with his blues and rock licks. He lists ZZ Top, Cream, Mountain, the Allman Brothers, Uriah Heep, Aerosmith and Ted Nugent as among his favorites. You can hear some of his songs on the Reverbnation site:

Here is some Nigerian soul courtesy of Soul Suiter Entertainment:

Remember Argentine guitarist Juan Meier? Here he is with a song he wrote for his wife:

I wouldn’t exactly call this music from French guitarist Florian Baron blues, but it certainly is interesting and—in my humble opinion—well performed. Here he plays the oud, a stringed instrument popular in North Africa and the Middle East :

Baron is from Rennes in Brittany, located in the northwest portion of France. He has been touring mostly his region, and a bit in other parts of the country, and is just starting to play abroad.
This also from France, about Africa:


Also, check out some of the other music blogs out there. This one, which you will have to copy and paste, covers the rock and punk rock scene in Los Angeles:

This one is from Pamela Michel, who studied music management at the Sorbonne and is interested in the record industry:

Okay, here’s some other information for music lovers.
In the D.C. area (where I live), the D.C. Blues Society is having the following:
• It will be fish, motorcycles and music at the Society’s 7th Annual Fish Fry ‘n’ Blues “n” Bike Contest. The event features a fish fry, motorcycle contest and blues music into the night. Bands can play by contacting Bring a potluck dish and you will receive a free copy of Blues In My Kitchen recipe book, featuring recipes from blues musicians. The Fish Fry will be held from 4-11 p.m. at the American Legion Post 41, Fenton and Sligo Avenues, Silver Spring. Admission is $12.
• Blues Master Kenny Neal will perform from 8 p.m. to midnight, Thursday, July 28 at the Surf Club Live, 4711 Kenilworth Avenue, Hyattsville, Maryland. Advance tickets are $15 for Blues Society members, $18 for others. They can be ordered by calling 301-322-4808. Tickets will be $20 for everybody at the door. Check out the Beldon’s Blues Point interview we posted on September 1, 2010.
Meanwhile, from the Los Angeles area, Bluesaholic Kate has the following message for her crew:
Hi There fellow BluesAholics! Guess what..... we now have a new meeting place that we can all gather and have a razin good time! A brother dear has passed the word that this here's a cool & groovy place and we need to stomp right over there... especially their grand opening on July 22rd, 23rd & 24th... Oh.. let's mention some fine fine Nawlin's cooking.. da real deal fried chicken, red beans & rice... yum yum! NOLA... "a restaurant/bar inspired by everything that is magical about New Orleans".

LookSee: //

Where: NOLA's - A Taste of New Orleans 734 East 3rd St Los Angeles 90013 213.680.3003
When: July 23, 24, 25th, 2011
Last but not least, Alvon Johnson is looking for suggestions on a new amp. He wants something light yet powerful, at least 100 watts. It must be versatile and reliable. He said tubes are not required, “but he will put up with them.” Overall, he wants something that will kill on both big and small stages, either combo or separate pieces. He can be reached at 707-647-1153 or at
Well that’s it for now. Please keep sending songs: we want them and we also want to know what festival promoters, others in the music business—but particularly you musicians out there—are doing. One way to reach us is through Later.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

We're Going to Have a Funky Good Time- Fred Wesley

Ran into unbelievable luck this weekend at the Smithsonian Folk/Life Festival here in D.C. at the mall.
This year, the event included a rhythm-and-blues stage which on Sunday featured a performance from Fred Wesley, who in the 1970’s played trombone for James Brown and served as band leader and music director for Brown’s band, the J.B.’s. After leaving Brown’s band in 1975, he went on to play for another seminal funk pioneer, George Clinton of Parliament-Funkadelic.
On stage that Sunday with his current band, the New J.B.’s, Wesley played a 75-minute set that included a number of funky songs made famous the old J.B.’s. A former member of the Count Basie Orchestra, he occasionally steered his six-piece group into jazz. I used my I-phone to record some of those songs. Happily.
But the best was yet the come. I did not go there with the intention of doing an interview. But halfway through the performance, I thought “Why not?” After the show, I asked his daughter and manager, Joya Wesley, if I could have a few minutes, and they agreed! They took me into his trailer for the following interview:

I couldn't do this post without including some of the music. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

If you didn't catch this in the interview, Wesley and former sidemen Maceo Parker (saxophone) and Peewee Ellis (saxophone), are planning a reunion gig at Ellis Town Hall in New York City on October 6, 2011. There's going to be a ton of guest musicians, and I bet it's going to be a blast. Anyone interested in tickets should look at his website at

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Beldon's Blues Points July 6, 2011

Readers are continuing to send us in stuff and we love it. Keep ‘em coming. We prefer you send them to but get ‘em to us somehow:

Juan Meier has a lot going on. Check out some of his work on youtube:

Meier, who plays tango with jazz guitars, also put out this video:

Check out his page at

Guitarist Adam Rey has been touring the western U.S. for 35 years and has been playing with bands in the Colorado Rocky Mountain region since 1991. He recently released “Meat & Potatoes,” his first solo CD of all original compositions. “It is an eclectic combination of guitar-driven instrumental Rock/Jazz/Fusion/Blues stylings with a little “Country” thrown in the mix,” he said. “It features some of Colorado’s best local musicians lending their talent to the project.” You can hear his work on his website Cuts he recommends in particular are “Psycho-Delia” and “Swamp Thing.”
“I am looking for booking opportunities for my band, and to go out and promote my new CD, take my music to the masses and play my guitar!” he said. You can hear what he’s been doing at
If you like what you hear, let him know at

Okay, now it’s time for some music news. Bluzapalooza, the series of tours that sends blues musicians to entertain troops overseas, returns September 2 with a trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "It is an honor to be able to bring the Blues to our men and woman in and woman who have made so many sacrifices to keep us safe at home. We will be giving them a show that they will never forget and that will remind them how much they are loved and prayed for by all of us," said BLUZAPALOOZA co-founder and co-producer Steve Simon.
Sponsored by Armed Forces Entertainment, Telarc Records, Alligator Records, NorthernBlues Records, Yellow Dog Records, Ruf Records, XM Sirius Radio's Bluesville, Blues Revue and Steve & Jeff Simon Presents, thes tour will feature “The Prince of Beale Street” Billy Gibson, who has participated in previous BLUZAPALOOZA tours. In the past, musicians have entertained military and other American personnel in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Egypt.

Here's the latest from guest writer Bob Corritore:

Bob Corritore Blues Newsletter - Dave Riley and Bob Corritore tour Brazil, Living Blues Music Award and Blues Blast Music Award nominations, Lucerne Blues Festival, Clarksdale documentary, Simi Valley

July 5, 2011
• Dave Riley & Bob Corritore off to Brazil! The downhome blues team of Dave Riley & Bob Corritore will bring their "Mississippi meets Chicago blues" sound to the country of Brazil this and next week. They will be backed for these dates by the band of promoters Adrian Flores and Luciano "Big Mouth" Boca. This will be a return engagement as they first played Brazil in November of 2010. Here is a list of dates for this trip:
7/07/11: Sao Paulo, Brazil - Sesc Riberao Preto
7/09/11: Pocos de Caldas, Brazil - The 4th Annual Pocos de Caldas Jazz & Blues Festival
7/15/11: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Patio Havanna
7/16/11: Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil - Bossa & Jazz
7/17/11: Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil - Bossa & Jazz

• Bob Corritore receives Living Blues Award nomination in the harmonica category! Bob Corritore is honored to be included among the nominees of the 2011 Living Blues Awards. Bob is in the "Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica)" category. The other nominees in this category are Billy Boy Arnold, Sugar Blue, James Cotton, and Charlie Musselwhite. Voting is going on as we speak and is open to everyone! All ballots must be in by July 15th! To see the complete list of nominees and to vote please click on the magazine website at
• Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues nominated for Blues Blast Music Award! More good news as the album Bob Corritore & Friends / Harmonica Blues has been nominated for a Blues Blast Music Award in the category of "Traditional Blues CD." Other CDs nominated in this same category are Charlie Musselwhite / The Well, Studebaker John's Maxwell Street Kings / That's The Way You Do, Rich DelGrosso & John Del Toro Richardson / Time Slips By, Pinetop Perkins & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith / Joined At The Hip, Magic Slim / Raising The Bar. The voting for the 2011 Blues Blast Music Awards has begun and will continue until August 31st. Voting is open to anyone who is a Blues Blast Magazine subscriber. Subscriptions are free, and you can sign up as part of the voting process. To see a complete list of all nominees, and to vote please click, and then click the voting link. The awards ceremony, put on by Blues Blast Magazine, will take place on Thursday, October 27th, at Buddy Guy's Legends, 700 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60605.
• Dave Riley featured cover story on Blues Blast Magazine! Speaking of Blues Blast Magazine, their June 23rd issue featured an in depth interview with Dave Riley! Kudos to interviewer Terry Mullins, who really understood his subject and coaxed a very relective profile of the man and his music. To see this interview, click
• Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Music Festival photo page posted! Special thanks to Steve and Libby Stoddard for posting a wonderful set of blues photos from The Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival. Steve Stoddard hosts the fantastic blues radio program "Somethin' Blue" on KTUH 90.3 FM Honolulu, and made the special trip to California to attend this great festival. The festival blues stage is masterfully booked by Delta Groove label chief Randy Chortkoff who understands the fine points of a two day blues presentation.
• New Louisiana Red album cover revealed! Ruf Records will soon release Louisiana Red & Little Victor's Juke Joint / Memphis Mojo. Little Victor has provided us with a sneak peak of the new beautiful CD cover and Victor writes: "Here's the boss cover (by Johnny Montezuma) of Memphis Mojo, the new album I recorded with Louisiana Red in Memphis with Bob Corritore, David Maxwell, Mookie Brill, Billy T, Pee Wee and the Hawk... You just don't change a WINNING team... Ha Ha Ha!" To see this cover click
• Except from Clarksdale, Mississippi documentary! Thanks to Scott Jennison for providing this preview of his cool documentary of Claksdale, Missisppi featuring Sam Carr, Big Jack Johnson, Super Chikan, Luther Dickinson, Morgan Freeman and more. The project is called Touch The Blues. To see the clip and to read more about the Touch The Blues Project click
• Tail Dragger, Henry Gray, Kirk Fletcher & The Rhythm Room All-Stars to appear together Friday and Saturday July 29th and 30th at the Rhythm Room and in November at the Lucerne Blues Festival! There will be two opportunities to see this rare meeting of blues talent that consists of Tail Dragger, Henry Gray, Kirk Fletcher, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. The first show will be at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday and Saturday, July 29th and 30th and then again in early November at the Lucerne Blues Festival. Rarely will you find such a hard-hitting group of blues artists assembled in one show. To see the Rhythm Room flyer click here. To read more about the amazing Lucerne Blues Festival in beautiful Lucerne Switzerland, with this year's fantastic lineup click
• A note from Bob. Please forgive the long time between newsletters. The last newsletter was published on June 7th. In the month between, I have been to the Chicago Blues Festival, and came home to tie up details for the new Diunna Greenleaf CD, Trying To Hold On, (due out any day now!), I just finished mixing the new Mud Morganfield CD which will be called Catfish Fishing, I wrote some brief liner notes for Louisiana Red & Little Victor's Juke Joint / Memphis Mojo CD, I did some post production work on the forthcoming 3rd release by Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, I pre-recorded 10 hours of radio shows in preparation for the forthcoming 2 week Brazil tour, and I had a 3 day visit from my friend, the lovely and talented Valerie June, where we opened for Jimmie Vaughan at the Rhythm Room on June 29th, and the next day went to Tempest Recording to record a few songs together, and I have been making plans for the Rhythm Room's 20 year anniversary party, which will include an amazing 3 day celebration on September 16, 17 and 18 (a formal announcement of the event's simply great blues and soul lineup will be forthcoming shortly). I have been a very busy man!
• Buddy Guy from 1970 on YouTube! Please enjoy this exciting vintage clip of a youthful Buddy Guy performing "The First Time I Met The Blues" from the movie Chicago Blues. To see this performance click

And the BluesAholics from Southern California that have been in touch with us lately send this:

Heyllo boys and girlies... fellow BluesAholics... we are so so excited bout this show for Lorey's Blues and the City of Hope... gotta tell ya some more..

Take out your big red pen and mark your calendar.... if ya gotta use your big crayon or #2 big pencil, then go right ahead... but it's a must gotta be there kinda fun groovin stompin laughin dancin sorta thang. Lots of our SoCal fabulous local talent we're so thrilled about will be knockin it out for us! And.. we're bestowing on our lovely Lorey .. lots of good vibes & thoughts goin her way.. (yous know her.. President of the Los Angeles Blues Society and home of the Maxson Road House Gigs). If you have any questions, please contact our girl.. Kelly @ Kelly's Lot

What: Lorey's Blues and the City of Hope

Where: Joe's American Bar & Grill 4322 W Magnolia Bl Burbank CA 91505 818.729.0805

When: August 28, 2011 Sunday 2-9pm

Band's Playin: Delgado Brothers; Teresa James, Kelly's Lot, Wumbloozo , R & B Bombers, Scorch Sisters; Blues Straight Up as MC.

Hope to see ya there.. let's make some noise & crowd that dance floor!
BluesAholic Kate

Meanwhile, back here in D.C., our own Nadine Rae and her Allstars will do a free show at the Barebones Grill & Brewery in Ellicott City, MD, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday, June 9, 2011. I am writing this on Wednesday, July 6, so that would be this upcoming Saturday. Aw hell, I'll just let you see Nadine's ad:



9 p.m. til 1 a.m.
Free Admission

9051 Old Baltimore National Pike
(in Mar's Shopping Center--cross street is St. John's Lane)
Ellicott City, MD

Reservations Highly Encouraged!!!!

Directions are cited below!




Monday, July 4, 2011

Beldon's Blues Points July 4, 2011


Highlights of July 3, 2011 D.C. Blues Society Jam:

Happy Fourth!