Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It Takes a Lot of Water...

…to wash away New Orleans. Today in rock history, in 1940, Levon Helm (born Mark Lavon Helm), drummer and vocalist with the Band, is born in Marvell, Arkansas. I’ve always been a fan of Levon and the Band (any drummer who can keep a solid back beat while singing lead is aces in my book). The title of this blog comes from "Hurricane," a favorite Levon Helm tune of mine. “North of Nowhere,” my other band, is a fan too, and we play 4 or 5 Band and Levon Helm tunes. The Band broke up in 1976, but Levon went on to mount a very successful solo career. Here's Levon playing "Got Me A Woman" live in August of 2008. Come see us at the Windsor Bar near Hayward, WI, on July 17, and you can see and hear us play several Band and Levon Helm covers. Let’s celebrate Levon’s life and reaching 70 years – he’s still out there creating great music - Helm released Electric Dirt on his own label on June 30, 2009. The album won a best album Grammy for the newly created American category in 2010. He performed on the David Letterman show on July 9, 2009. He toured, in a supporting role, with the Black Crowes in 2009. Thanks to and for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"It's The Blues"

Today in rock history, in 1946, Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, featuring Charles Brown hit #2 on the R&B chart with "Drifting Blues". In 1948, The Ravens hit #8 on the R&B chart with "Bye Bye Baby Blues." These two early blues hits are cases in point to illustrate how music is constantly reinventing itself and nothing is really new. Even before these songs were recorded, you had Robert Johnson, Son House, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Skip James, etc, recording in the 20’s and ‘30’s; then you had the likes of Cream, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, etc, discovering these tunes in the ‘60’s and introducing them to a new generation of fans. It’s like the lyrics to my song “It’s The Blues” go:

“(It started) down in Mississippi, In 1922; Now all the hippies, Are playin’ the blues, too; It’s The Blues, Nothin’ But the blues, They’re Playin’ the blues…”

(I don’t have a good recording of this song yet but I’ll get it up here as soon as I do). At any rate, I may be pointing out the obvious, but what goes around, comes around again. I’m just glad to finally be playing a blues band after being a fan all my life. Let’s enjoy some good blues now with Charles Brown’s rendition of his song “Driftin’ Blues.” Come see my band Aces Wild Rockin' Blues Revue at the Ugly Mug on 6-25, and keep on rockin’!

Friday, May 7, 2010

I'll Cry Just a LIttle...

because you have to...go away. Today in rock history, in 1965, "Just a Little," by the Beau Brummels, becomes a Top Ten hit. It is the second biggest single released on the San Francisco-based Autumn Records, cofounded by legendary deejay Tom Donahue. This is really a deju-vu moment because we used to do this song back in the day, but I haven't thought of it in years... I can still picture D. J. Smith (the band's name was "D. J. Child's Society Banned") croakin' out the lyrics to this tune...let's check it out again, and keep on rockin'!