Our good friend and excellent guitarist/bassist/singer Greg Roberts recently invited Jet City Blues to his Seattle home to check out his collection of vintage amps and guitars. Here are some photos from that visit for you gearheads out there. Enjoy!
Greg Roberts with his 1956 Alden guitar. Similar to the Stratotone guitars, these axes were manufactured by the Harmony company and were available through Montgomery Ward back in the day.
A 1938 Gibson EH-185 amp and matching 11-string lap steel guitar.
The amp and cabinet is in beautiful condition. The amp has both bass and treble controls, an unusual feature at the time.
The amp is actually a head that can be removed from the cabinet. Here you can see the original 12" speaker, which still sounds great!
A 1950 Fender Pro Amp with a Jensen P-15N speaker. This "TV" model cabinet would have had a tweed covering originally, but someone thoughtfully covered it with fake snakeskin sometime in the past.
It's not unusual to find old Fender tweed amps recovered or painted black (a friend of mine has a old Bassman that someone painted red!). It's a mystery why someone cut the two holes in the bottom back panel here.
A 1963 Fender Reverb tank, prized by many players as the best sounding outboard reverb units.
This cabinet is also the wrong color, with the exception of the back panel. Fender made the brown tolex covered amps for only three years.
Guild amp, circa 1961-62. Similar to the Fender Pro it also has a single 15" (Utah) speaker.
Rear view of the Guild amp. Note the wood reverb/tremolo footswitch.
A 1969 Fender Vibrolux Reverb amp. This was manufactured shortly after Fender was bought by CBS, but still has the pre-CBS circuitry. This is the same type of amp that Roy Buchanan played.
Rear view of the Fender Vibrolux Reverb. Two 10" speakers and reverb/vibrato footswitch.
This just in from Zab Zyvoloski over at the Salmon Bay Eagles Club:
Help this guy out, he's doing double duty!
Salmon Bay Dance Series with Brian Lee & the Orbiters!
Brian Lee and Zab Zyvoloski
On Sunday evening Sept 12th, the Salmon Bay Eagles and Zachariah Cassady will be presenting the first Swing Dance lesson & DJ dance. We are expecting everyone from beginners to veteran dancers! The lessons will occur from 6 until 7pm and then Zachariah will have a DJ dance afterwards until 8:30 pm. Two and a half hours of dancing, and what a great work out! Who needs to go jogging or bike riding when you can dance instead! Spending time practicing in your living room during the week, so you can be better for the next lesson, is a fabulous way of getting fit and graceful at the same time. And Hey! What better way can you think of to get socially active at the same time as getting physically active?
On the 26th, after the dance lesson, instead of the DJ dance, Brian Lee & The Orbiters will provide LIVE music and really get the dancers moving! You know what a great blues band this is, and they are fantastic to dance to. This Sunday dance format will be continued for the indefinite future, so you can always show up for a lesson and/or a dance on any Sunday. The live band dances with Brian Lee & The Orbiters are targeted for Sundays towards the end of each month, with Oct 24th, Nov 28th, & Dec 19th set as the next dates in the series. The next live dance with the Orbiters will be on Sunday, Oct 24th.
It will always be $5 for the lesson and another $5 for the DJ dance afterwards. The Brian Lee & The Orbiters Dance is a $10 admission or only $12 for both lesson & dance! Come for one or both! For Salmon Bay Eagles members, the dance lesson, the DJ dance, and the live performance of Brian Lee and The Orbiters, are all free.
Zachariah is also planning on having a Waltz dance session from 1 to 4pm on the first and third Sunday of the month, just prior to the Swing Dance lesson, and he will use the same format as the Swing dance. Check Zachariah’s website for the particulars at:
This just in from our friend and unindicted co-consirator John "Mr. Solid" Lee:
The J & M Café and Mr. Solid Productions Presents
The Sunday Evening Social Club and Jam, featuring the rockin’ and funky sounds of the Seattle Houserockers. Also tap dancer Tim Hickey will be performing some hot numbers for all to see. Every Sunday beginning September 12th 2010. 7 to 11pm.
The weekly gathering will also be a jam session of sorts as friends and musical compatriots drop by to join in the fun every week. Joining the Houserockers for the kick-off will be some of the Puget Sound area’s finest and lasting blues and roots players.
Guitarist Jack Cook has played with virtually everyone on the Seattle blues scene including the legendary Issac Scott. At this time Jack leads his own cool ensemble, The Phantoms of Soul.
Mark Dufresne is an extraordinary vocalist, harmonica player, and songwriter. Mark was the vocalist for 5 years with Roomful of Blues, and during that time the band won the “best band” award from the national Blues Music Awards and one of the two recording projects he did with Roomful, “That’s Right!” was nominated for a Grammy in 2004. Mark is a true delight to hear!
Mike Lynch, harmonica and vocals, has been a mainstay on the Seattle blues scene for many years always fronting top notch groups with excellent players. Mike has been a sideman with both Tom McFarland and Issac Scott. His band the Harmonica Playboy and His Midnight Movers was voted “best band” by the Washington Blues Society in 1998.
Members of the Seattle Houserockers are journeyman professional musicians who have performed at festivals and in clubs all over the world. After decades of performing and contributing to dozens of recordings, the Seattle Houserockers have formed to play a cool mix of classic R&B, Blues, New Orleans beat, fatback, and boogie.
The Seattle Houserockers are:
John Marshall- harmonica, vocals ( Wild Rhododendrons, Trouble At Home )
Dan Newton- guitar, keyboards, vocals ( the Crossroads Band, the Mark Dufresne Band )
John Lee- bass guitar, vocals ( the Crossroads Band, the 3J’s )
Marty Lockwood- drums, vocals ( the Blue Flames, Laurinado Almeida)
The J&M Café and Cardroom is a historic Pioneer Square landmark. The J&M is Seattle ’s oldest bar established in 1889 and has long been a popular watering hole. With new ownership, a little makeover, great food, tasty libations, and top flight blues and roots music, the J&M Café is a great spot to let the good times roll. From 7 to 9pm families are able to join in the Social Club fun. Also, bassist John Lee, former cook at both, Miz Sadie’s at the Owl Café and the Highway 99 Blues Club will be conjuring up his red beans and rice as a weekly special.
Seattle blues singer "Sir" Charles White has been diagnosed with and is battling Light Chain Myeloma cancer. This is a benefit concert to raise money to cover out-of-pocket expenses that his health insurance doesn't cover. Admission is $20 with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Charles' medical expenses.
If you plan on donating to the Washington Blues Society's (WBS) Musicians' Relief Fund (MRF) on behalf of Charles, you will need to identify your donation as such. All WBS-MRF donations earmarked for Charles will get to him. If you are unable to make the benefit, please consider mailing a donation (checks or money orders - no cash) to:
Washington Blues Society Attn: Charles White MRF Fund PO Box 70604 Seattle, WA 98127
Date: Sunday, July 25th Time: 3:00 to 6:00 PM Where: Salmon Bay Eagles Club Address: 5216 20th Avenue NW, Seattle (Ballard)
Leslie "Star Drums" Milton and Gael "Lady Keys" Kurath will host a benefit on Sunday, July 25th at the Salmon Bay Eagles for the family of premier singer and entertainer, Mauva Belle, who passed away on May 20th in New Orleans of pancreatic cancer. She was only 49 years young. After spending three months in the hospital with no medical insurance, donations are being requested to help her family with the medical bills. Her husband, James White, will try to fly up from New Orleans to attend the benefit, and is very appreciative of the Seattle musical community coming together to celebrate the life of one of our own.
Mauva's CDs will be auctioned off, and musicians are welcome to sit in with Star Drums and Lady Keys. Some confirmed musical guests (at this date) include: Mike Lynch, Bruce Ransom, Gary Lee Johnson, Walter Young, Matt Clausen, and Lonnie Williams.
Here are some photos I took of the Dana Lupinacci Band playing at the Salmon Bay Eagles club about a week ago. My old pal Jeff Ziontz is playing guitar in this version of the band, and the group sounded great - swinging and not too loud. I sat in with the band for a couple of tunes, as did harp maestro John Marshall.
So what's not to like about the Eagles? The Thursday night gigs are early (8:00 PM to 12:00 AM), there is never a cover, and the inexpensive drinks are nuclear powered.
Left to right: Jeff Ziontz, Dana Lupinacci, Dave Petrie, and Charlene Grant
John Marshall sitting in on the harp and vocals.
Katie, the Eagles's singing bartender.
These guys were trying to get me to join the Ballard VFW. I'm considering it!
Here are some photos from a gig that Nitelife did at the Highway 99 Blues Club last month, with our special guest Johnny Mercury. Johnny is well known in the Northwest country/rockabilly scene and is a fine guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Thanks for the helping hand, Johnny!
Note: All photos in this blog were created by Cathy Borste.
Left to right: Greg Roberts, Mike Lynch, Russ Kamerer, Johnny Mercury, and Guy Quintino
Our friend Brice reminding us the that the Liquor Control Board is cracking down on musicians drinking on stage. We wouldn't want to encourage drinking in the nightclub!
I wandered down to the Shanty Tavern in Lake City last Saturday with Greg Roberts and Bubba McCoy to see a rockabilly/country music show that was being put on by our friend and guitarist Johnny Mercury.
The Shanty is a small roadhouse out on Lake City Way that, as far as I can tell, is only open for music events. I recall playing at a short-lived jam session there years ago. The tavern shares a large parking lot with the Seven Seas Chinese Restaurant, which is convenient because you can buy liquor there between sets at the Shanty.
There were three bands performing at this show, and I really enjoyed all of them. First up was Johnny Mercury's trio (with our pal Guy Quintino on bass), followed by Lisa and Her Kin (a fine country band from Portland), and finally, the Rainieros, another cool country band from Seattle.There was a good turnout for the show, lots of nice lookin' ladies, and great music. I highly recommend checking out some shows at the Shanty - they feature plenty of events that fans of roots music will enjoy.
Here's some photos from the show:
The Johnny Mercury Trio - Left to right: Guy Quintino, Brian Elledge, and Johnny Mercury
These guys were playing at the Seven Seas - I didn't catch their name.
Did I mention the ladies? Left to right: Megan, Samantha, Michelle, Jenny, and Marjory.
Marc and Gaby Bristol were also at this show. Marc is the publisher of Blue Suede News
Up One Side...Down The Other by the Crossroads Band
Blues Town Records - Available at all Crossroads Band gigs, or CDs can be purchased from the band by contacting email@example.com.
This CD, released by Seattle's Crossroads Band in 2009, is easily one of the best regonal recordings I have heard recently. The Crossroads Band features seasoned Seattle blues veterans Steve Bailey (harp, guitar, slide guitar, and vocals), Dan Newton (keyboards, guitar, lap steel guitar, and vocals), Dennis Ellis (tenor and baritone saxophones, and vocals), John "The Savage" Lee (bass and vocals), and David Hudson (drums and vocals). Did I mention that everyone sings? Pretty unusual for a local blues project, my friends.
There is lots of good stuff on this disk, including five cool originals mixed in with some carefully chosen covers. One of the unique things that you will hear here are the horn arrangements, which are usually played on harp and sax, but sometimes created by Dennis overdubbing tenor and baritone saxes (Dennis also plays the flute on some tunes at Crossroad band gigs). The tunes range from Roy Brown-style jump tunes ("Fannie Brown Got Married"), Chicago blues ("The Sun Is Shining," Stop Now"), New Orleans funk ("Something You Got," "Walk Your Blues Away"), to West Coast boogaloo ("Get Back"). The blues, the whole blues, and nothin' but the blues, baby!!
Here's my take on the tunes offered here:
"Fanny Brown Got Married" - A swinging Roy Brown tune with great vocals and gritty honking tenor sax by Dennis Ellis. Check out the overdubbed horn parts. Note to the Washington Blues Society members - Dennis was not nominated AGAIN this year for best horn - why, pray tell?!
"Up One side And Down The Other" - An original by Dan Newton. I'll call it a Texas-style boogie - whatever, this tune rocks! I wish the lap steel guitar was a little easier to hear, but check out the oddball bridge which builds up tension between verses.
"Who" - An original by Steve Bailey about a ne'er-do-well lover. Love this song! "...now who's gonna fix your broke down car/pick you up when you drunk down at the bar..." Indeed!
"Something You Got" - The classic New Orleans Chris Kenner tune, shouted with feeling by bassist John Lee. There's that horn section again, a funky bariton sax solo, and Nawlin's style piano by Mr. Newton. Waiter - gimme some red beans and rice!
"The Sun Is Shining"- A tribute to the late great Hound Dog Taylor, with vocals and slide guitar by Steve Bailey. Steve manages to find the appropriately destroyed-sounding slide guitar tone here. You gotta turn this one up.
"Get Back"- The Jimmy McCracklin tune about about problems that can be encountered at the nightclub. I dig Dennis Ellis' vocals, sax solo, and the harp/sax horn section on this one.
"Mixed Up Fool" - Another Bailey original. A real Chicago blues grinder - great harp playing on this one, from a true northwest original!
"Walk Your Blues Away" - A good rockin' Professor Longhair tune with excellent piano by Dan Newton, vocals by Dennis Ellis, and great backup horns. OK, I'm ready for some jambalaya now.
"Stop Now" - Steve Bailey plays excellent Sonny Boy II style harp on this tune about impending doom associated with a love affair suddenly gone wrong.
"She Used To Be Mine" - Another Dan Newton original about a good love gone bad, very bad. I dig Steve and Dennis' harp/sax solos on this one.
"Why Do People Act Like That?" - The first time I heard this Bobby Charles tune was on Muddy Waters'"Woodstock" album. John Lee shouts this one again. They ought to play this one on Wall Street, methinks.
"Double-Eyed Whammy" - A great version ofthe Tommy Ridgley tune that sounds amazingly like "San-Ho-Zay" when you remove the lyrics. You can tell that Steve's been doing this one for a while.
"Big D Walks In" - A cool swinging instrumental that features Dennis Ellis on the sax, of course. This sounds like a long lost Johnnie Otis tune to me.
I see that this CD has been nominated for a Best Blues Recording by the Washington Blues Society. This is a fine recording created by long-time veterans of the seattle blues scene, and deserves to win this award. My vote is in, how about yours?
I dropped by our friend (and drummer) Kirk "KT" Tuttle's place today to check in and to pick up some stuff that I left there last week. He was doing OK today, but said that the last two days were pretty bad due to stomach problems and lack of sleep.
After his wife Jimi Jean died last year KT has living in a small apartment in Seattle's north end, very close to the Ballard locks. His liver disease is still progressing, and, being an Air Force veteran (flight controller), he is getting medical treatment from the VA. He can't work or play music any more, so he is living off of a small monthly social security check.
The liver disease symptoms include bouts of dizziness, sever cramps, back and leg pain, nausea, and disorientation. During a bout of dizziness about a month ago, KT fell in his bathroom and fractured one of his hips. He spent about a week in the hospital after that, and is getting around now with the help of a walker. He is scheduled to begin rehabilitation therapy at the end of this month.
I asked KT about the FaceBook page that has been set up for him, but he didn't know anything about it. If any readers here know anything about that page, please let us know what's going on so that we can enlighten KT. He also said to say thanks to the friends that have been visiting and bringing the occasional dinner for him and/or running a few errands.
Here is information on the forthcoming Portland Annual Blues Harmonical Summit produced by Bill Rhodes:
WOW! I’ve sure had a lot of folks asking me “When is the Harmonica Summit”? That’s a good sign and here’s the lowdown. On Saturday March 6th at the Melody Ballroom, we will be holding the 15th Annual Blues Harmonica Summit.
The featured Harp players will be:
■ Johnny Ward—Hands down the man who has been playing the Harp longer than anyone here in the Northwest! A veteran of many groups including the Jokers, and numerous jug bands, Johnny brings one of the most original styles out there today.
■ Mike Moothart—Another Northwest vet, who has served time in the Switchmasters and the Jim Mesi Band. A hard blowing, no nonsense player, who specializes in Chicago and Southern style harp.
■ Little Ronnie Sirota—Originally from the big city (NYC), Ronnie will be playing the Summit for the first time. Whether playing solo or with a group, Ronnie displays an excellent sense for playing the Real Blues.
■ Tim O’Hare—Another first time addition to the Summit will be another of our great local Northwest harp blowers. Tim has listened and learned all these years and now we all get to hear the fine result.
■ Bill Rhoades—Your host and MC of the show will be another Northwest harpman. Bill has won the “Muddy” six times for “Best Harmonica Player” and recently contributed a solo harp part to the movie “Our City Dreams”.
Backing all of the featured artists will be an All-Star House band fronted by world renowned Bluesman Paris Slim on guitar and vocals.
Join us Saturday March 6th at the Melody Ballroom (downstairs) 615 SE Alder, Portland, OR. The show starts at 8 pm and should run until about midnight (Sorry—21 & over). Admission $10 at the door. CBA, Washington Blues Society, and Rainy Day Blues Society members will receive $1 off with membership card.
For more info call 503-253-1265 or 503-232-2759. Hope to see you there!
3017 SE Milwaukie Ave. • Portland OR • 503.233.1994
A sampling of Portland musical talent joins veteran blues artist and harmonica ace, Charlie Musselwhite and his band, in a benefit concert at the Aladdin Theater, on Sunday, April 25th. All proceeds from “Remember Me” 2010 will go toward the scholarship that has been established in memory of Portland 's late harmonica maestro, Paul deLay , at Ethos Music Center , a nonprofit dedicated to music education for youth in underserved communities. A committee of members from the Portland music community has again organized this annual benefit for music education. Last year’s event filled the Aladdin Theater and increased the growing scholarship fund by several thousand dollars.
Headlining this year’s celebration is a well-known friend of the blues and of Paul deLay – the award-winning bluesman, Charlie Musselwhite. As Rolling Stone Magazine puts it, "With unabashed excellence, Charlie Musselwhite and his tight band set the standard for blues bands everywhere." The Blues Foundation recently released their list of inductees into the Blues Hall of Fame for this year. The list includes this highly esteemed vocalist and harpist. More on Musselwhite follows below.
The concert also features a stellar lineup of local blues talent, including D.K. Stewart, Lloyd Jones, Jim Mesi, Linda Hornbuckle, Jimi Bott, Tahoe Jackson, Rick Welter and Franck "Paris Slim" Goldwasser, Arthur Moore and Tim O'Hare. They will be joined by former members of the Paul deLay Band: organists Louis Pain, and Dover Weinberg; drummer Jeff Minnick; bassists Don Campbell and Dave Kahl; and guitarist Peter Dammann . Curtis Salgado and Alan Hager will also perform together as a duo, which was a highlight of last year’s event. The celebration will be hosted by former tv sports personality and blues fan Ed Whelan.
Paul deLay's friendship with Charlie Musselwhite goes back to the early 1970s, when deLay's band was the backing unit for many of Musselwhite's Northwest tours. Paul and Charlie remained close friends over the years, and performed on many all-star "Harmonica Blow-offs" together, and led a harmonica workshop together, pictured below, at Portland 's Waterfront Blues Festival in 1999. Two of the featured performers in the "Remember Me" concert, Franck Paris Slim" Goldwasser and Rick Welter, who both relocated to Portland in recent years, played in Musselwhite's early bands.
Charles Lewis founded Ethos Music Center in 1998 in response to budget cuts that severely limited arts education in Oregon ’s largest public school district. Located in Northeast Portland , the organization’s name comes from the ancient Greek “Doctrine of Ethos,” which held that music can change your thoughts, moods and actions. Ethos believes every child should have the opportunity to make music. Contributions can be made at any time at www.ethos.org or sending a donation to Ethos Music Center , 10 N. Killingsworth Street , Portland , OR 97217 .
Tickets for this event are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Those under 21 and accompanied by an adult are welcome to attend. Advance tickets are available at the Aladdin Theater Box Office (503.233.1994) or online at www.aladdin-theater.com
Paul deLay wrote the haunting lament “Remember Me,” after his mother and the mothers of three band members passed away in a two-year period in the late 1990s. It was released on the Paul deLay Band’s Heavy Rotation CD (Evidence Music) in 2001. Paul deLay passed away on March 7, 2007 from complications of late-stage leukemia.
I received a call from Seattle guitarist Jack Cook recently, who told me that Northwest native and bassist Doug Royce died in January 2009 in Fort Pierce, Florida. Doug had been suffering from prostate cancer, and was 74 years old at the time of his death.
Veterans of the Seattle blues scene will remember that Doug, a trained jazz musician, played with the Hokum Blues Band, the Brian Butler Band, the Tom McFarland Band, and Nitelife. Before moving to Seattle, he played jazz for years in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, including a period with the Ray Anthony Band.
I played with Doug in the Tom McFarland Band. He used an unusual bass rig - a semi-hollow body ES-335 style Gibson bass that he played with a pick, plugged into a solid-state GK amp powering 2 x 15 Fender cabinet. He told me that this setup sounded the most like the acoustic basses that he played for years. I always wondered what happened to Doug after we quit playing with Tom. He apparently moved to Florida to be near his daughter after his wife died in 2004.
The late Ric Howell (left) and Doug Royce - Ketchikan, AK (early '80s)
Thanks to Jack Cook and Mike Dumovich for their help in providing background information for this blog. Unfortunately, this is the only photo that I have of Doug Royce. If anyone has a better one, please let me know!
As mentioned in the previous blog, Greg Roberts and I played at the recent memorial for Foster Williams held at the new Orleans Creole Restaurant. There was a pretty good turnout, and owner Gaye Anderson provided a nice spread of food for the guests.
A sizable group of the jazz musicians that have played at the New Orleans over the years played most of the afternoon, mostly New Orleans style jazz music. I was thinking that those musicians and their fans wouldn't care too much for the Chicago style blues that Greg and I were going to play, but I was wrong!
Greg and I played a couple of tunes, then blues harpist Jeff Herzog and singer Charles White did a couple of tunes with Greg and a piano player and double bass player. Jeff played a cool version of "Amazing Grace" that got the crowd worked up pretty good! Here's a couple of photos from the gig:
Greg Roberts and Mike Lynch. Photo by Pamela Eaton-Ford.
Left to right: Greg Roberts, Jeff Herzog, Charles White, Dave on bass.
Foster Williams memorial at the New Orleans Creole Restaurant
The photo shown in this blog was created by Pamela Eaton-Ford.
If you are a musician that played at Seattle's New Orleans Creole Restaurant over the past 25 years, you probably saw longtime employee Foster Williams there. Foster died of cancer on November 9, 2009. He was 74 years old.
I used to hang out with Foster occasionally and tip a few in the bar at the New Orleans. He was quite the music fan and a Korean War veteran.
A memorial for Foster will be held at the New Orleans on Sunday, January 17th, from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. Owner Gaye Anderson tells me that the jazz bands that play the regular Monday through Thursday night gigs at the club will be performing. Greg Roberts and I are planning on playing a few tunes at the gathering also.
Here are some photos that David Brewer sent to me some time ago of his Seattle band Blues Eye. From the clothes and hair styles, I'm guessing that these photos were created sometime in the '70s. I recall seeing Blues Eye at the old Pipeline Tavern, and believe that they used to back up Albert Collins when he came to town.
Sunburn City! Hey Dave, where was the band playing this summer day?
This looks like an "Images by Edy" photo to me. Edy and her little poodle dog ran a studio in Seattle's University District. Many Seattle bands had promo photos created by Edy. I wonder what happened to her photo stash after she passed away?
I believe that our drummer friend Les Hutchinson (second from left here) is in all of these photos. He lives in Portland now. Maybe Dave can identfy the other players for us.