- All Time Favorites
- Books by Location
- Little Known Heroes
- Music Cruising
- Recent Work from Favorites
- Roaming the Arts Radio
- The Back Page
- Who is Hot
- Word & Film
GET WELL SOON!!!
John Prine is an American country folk singer-songwriter. He has been active as a composer, recording artist, and live performer since the early 1970s, and is known for an often humorous style of country music that has elements of protest and social commentary.
Check out long time lead guitarist Jason Wilber
I’m With Her is a band rooted in a rare alchemy: three celebrated songwriters coming together to create music that reveals entirely new possibilities in their distinct and deep-seated talents. Since forming in 2014, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan have imbued their songs with a sharply detailed lyricism, graceful musicianship, and—perhaps most powerfully—mesmerizing harmonies that endlessly reflect their extraordinary chemistry.
Check out their performance: NPR Tiny Desk Concert
Location – Northern Ontario
Giles Blunt is a Canadian novelist, poet, and screenwriter. His first novel, Cold Eye, was a psychological thriller set in the New York art world, which was made into the French movie Les Couleurs du diable. He is also the author of the John Cardinal novels, set in the small town of Algonquin Bay, in Northern Ontario. Wikipedia
Infusing Funk, Jazz and Samba with Blues Soul and Tango, Award winning International Touring artists Ariella and Nicolaas (video) have created a memorable ear-catching sound. Formed in September of 2013 they quickly became one of the top acts in their native Tampa Bay music scene, as evidenced by their nomination for best local group in Tampa Bay and Ari for best Jazz vocalist.
Ari and the Alibi’s seems to be the full band alter ego.
Samuel Stephen “Steve” Forbert is an American pop music singer-songwriter. Bob Harris of BBC Radio 2 said Forbert has “One of the most distinctive voices anywhere.” His 1979 song “Romeo’s Tune” reached No. 11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and No. 13 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart. Wikipedia
The featured video dates back to Steve’s first recording “Alive on Arrival” and to me was the best break up song of 1978. I may have even sobbed to it once or twice. (ed.)
For more video variety vist Steve Forbert on social media.
Jeff Abbott is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of many mystery and suspense novels. He has been called “one of the best thriller writers in the business” (Washington Post). His novels have been called “compulsively readable” (Chicago Sun Times), “outstanding. . .genuinely moving” and “fresh, original… intricately woven” (Publishers Weekly), “nail-bitingly suspenseful and totally original” (Irish Independent), and “extremely compelling” (Associated Press). He is published in many languages and has been a bestseller in the US, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Australia, Portugal, and other countries.
At well over a million miles of roadwork, including two stints as members of Nanci Griffith’s Blue Moon Orchestra, Pete and Maura Kennedy show no signs of slowing down either on tour or in the creative realm.
Originally based in Austin, Texas, they spent a few years in the Washington DC area before moving to the East Village in New York City, where they have been based for most of the last two decades. The Kennedys are known nationwide as the hosts of the late lamented Dharma Café program on Sirius Satellite Radio, and on Broadway, they are regular cast members of Theatre Within’s annual tribute to John Lennon — working in that capacity with Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper and a host of others.
Jason Pinter is the bestselling author of Hide Away, the first Rachel Marin novel, as well as five novels in his Henry Parker thriller series and the standalone novel The Castle, which have over one million copies in print worldwide and have been published in over a dozen countries, the Middle Grade adventure novel Zeke Bartholomew: SuperSpy, and the children’s picture book Miracle. He has been nominated for the Thriller Award, Strand Critics Award, Barry Award, RT Reviewers Choice Award, Shamus Award and CrimeSpree Award. Two of his books—The Fury and The Darkness—were chosen as Indie Next selections, and The Mark, The Stolen and The Fury, were named to The Strand’s Best Books of the Year list. The Mark and The Stolen both appeared on the ‘Heatseekers’ bestseller list in The Bookseller (UK). The Mark was optioned to be a feature film.
Amy Rigby has made a life out of writing and singing about life. With bands Last Roundup and the Shams in eighties NYC East Village to her solo debut Diary Of A Mod Housewife out of nineties Williamsburg; through a songwriting career in 2000s Nashville and during the past decade with duo partner Wreckless Eric, she’s released records on visionary independent labels Rounder, Matador, Signature Sounds and reborn Stiff Records as well as her and Eric’s own Southern Domestic Recordings. The Old Guys, her first solo album in a dozen years, measures the weight of heroes, home; family, friends and time. Philip Roth and Bob Dylan, CD/cassette players, touring, the wisdom of age and Walter White, groupies, Robert Altman, egg creams and mentors are paid tribute. Twelve songs written by Amy and recorded by Wreckless Eric in upstate New York, The Old Guys is the sound of a good girl grown up, never giving up.
Now a memoir joins her music. Girl to City, out now.
T.Coraghessan Boyle is the author of twenty-eight books of fiction, including, most recently, After the Plague (2001), Drop City (2003), The Inner Circle (2004), Tooth and Claw (2005), The Human Fly (2005), Talk Talk (2006), The Women (2009), Wild Child (2010), When the Killing’s Done (2011), San Miguel (2012), T.C. Boyle Stories II (2013), The Harder They Come (2015), The Terranauts (2016), The Relive Box (2017) and Outside Looking In (2019). He received a Ph.D. degree in Nineteenth Century British Literature from the University of Iowa in 1977, his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1974, and his B.A. in English and History from SUNY Potsdam in 1968. He has been a member of the English Department at the University of Southern California since 1978, where he is Distinguished Professor of English.
Victoria Vox has taken the artful sound of the ukulele into eclectic new directions. Her music ranges from upbeat and clever to honest and moving, while incorporating her signature “mouth trumpet” and occasionally singing in French. Her delightful songwriting uses a unique palette of sounds and beats that delight audiences of all ages.
For a taste of Victoria combining Mouth Trumpet and Ukulele check out this Video
Check out Jack & the Vox. Another dimension when Victoria and her husband hit the road.
He may be one of the most lauded artists in the contemporary blues arena today, and rightfully so, but for Mike Zito, the thing that counts the most is maintaining his honesty, authenticity and integrity. Those are the qualities that have steered Zito’s career since the beginning and continue to define every effort he’s offered since.
“I have nothing to hide; it seems my honesty is what people relate to most,” he once told Vintage Guitar magazine. “Anders (Osborne) told me early on, ‘If you don’t believe what you’re singing, you’ll never be a good singer.’ I try not to write fluff; I try to make every word count.”
That point became convincingly clear with his last record 2018’s First Class Life, a collection of songs that detailed his journey from addiction to sobriety and the subsequent success he achieved through his award-winning body of work. A multiple award winner and nominee, Zito has built his career on an ability to tap into tradition while maintaining contemporary credence all at the same time.
Born in Toronto, Canada, KJ enjoyed a nomadic lifestyle during her early years, living in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Caribbean, which gave her an insider’s view into many different cultures. While abroad, she read every book she could find, which triggered in her a desire to create her own stories.
She attended Salzburg International Preparatory School, Neuchâtel Junior College, and Albert College before earning a Specialists Degree in Business from the University of Toronto. KJ found success in the corporate world, but her passion for travel, adventure, and stories drew her back to school where she earned a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She is a Thriller and Barry Award nominee, and she has won several writing awards, including three Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellent in Mystery and Suspense.
While honing her fiction skills, KJ worked as a medical, health, and fitness writer. She then became involved with the International Thriller Writers as the Executive Director of ThrillerFest, the organization’s annual conference held every July in New York City.
After a decade of relentless touring and recording in all but complete obscurity, the Texas-bred/New York-based quasi-collective suddenly found itself held up by the press and public as one of the major figures in the jazz world. But as the category names for all three of the band’s Grammy® awards would indicate (Best R&B Performance in 2014, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2016 and 2017), Snarky Puppy isn’t exactly a jazz band. It’s not a fusion band, and it’s definitely not a jam band. It’s probably best to take Nate Chinen of the New York Times’ advice, as stated in an online discussion about the group, to “take them for what they are, rather than judge them for what they’re not.” (website)
Postmodern Jukebox, also widely known by the acronym PMJ, is a rotating musical collective founded by arranger and pianist Scott Bradlee in 2011. PMJ is known for reworking popular modern music into different vintage genres, especially early 20th century forms such as swing and jazz. Wikipedia
Breaking that down…PMJ takes songs you know, great singers and players, then performs them in an arrangement of an entirely different form than the original. Check out the PMJ YouTube channel for a wide range of illustrations.
Otto Penzler is the president and CEO of MysteriousPress.com.
He’s also the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City and is regarded as the world’s foremost authority on crime, mystery and suspense fiction.
Penzler founded The Mysterious Press in 1975, which he later sold to Warner Books (1989). He reacquired the imprint in 2010 and it now publishes original books as an imprint at Grove/Atlantic, and both original works and classic crime fiction through MysteriousPress.com, in partnership with Open Road Integrated Media.
Penzler has won two Edgar Awards, for Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection in 1977 and The Lineup in 2010. The Mystery Writers of America awarded him the prestigious Ellery Queen Award in 1994 and the Raven–the group’s highest non-writing award–in 2003.
Ben Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation.
He’s created an enormous body of genre-bending music that includes pop albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple solo albums, and numerous collaborative records. His last album was a blend of pop songs and his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra that soared to #1 on both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts.
For over a decade he’s performed with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, and currently serves as the first ever Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.
In addition to solo rock and orchestral touring, Folds has recently written a critically-acclaimed memoir “A Dream About Lightning Bugs,” which debuted as a New York Times Best Seller, and is described as a collection of interrelated essays, anecdotes and lessons about art, life, and music.
See Ben perform at NPR Tiny Desk Concert
Ronald William “Ron” McLarty is an American actor, playwright, narrator and novelist. He is regarded as one of the country’s leading audiobook narrators, having done over 100 titles and received many Audie Awards. McLarty has appeared in numerous television series, films and stage productions. Wikipedia
McLarty is quoted as calling himself “a writer who acted” rather than an actor who wrote.
Thomas Perry is the author of 25 novels including the Jane Whitefield series (Vanishing Act, Dance for the Dead, Shadow Woman, The Face Changers, Blood Money, Runner, Poison Flower, and String of Beads), Death Benefits, and Pursuit, the first recipient of the Gumshoe Award for best novel.
He won the Edgar for The Butcher’s Boy, and Metzger’s Dog was a New York Times Notable Book. The Independent Mystery Booksellers’ Association included Vanishing Act in its “100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century,” and Nightlife was a New York Times bestseller.
Metzger’s Dog was voted one of NPR’s 100 Killer Thrillers–Best Thrillers Ever. Strip was chosen as a New York Times Notable Crime Book for 2010, and The Informant was a New York Times Notable Crime Book for 2011 and won the Barry Award for Best Thriller, 2011. Poison Flower was chosen among Booklist’s Best Crime Novels of 2013
His recent book, The Burglar, was first rate, and now his recent release , The Small Town is in bookstores.
Watch for “The Old Man” coming to FX as a series.
“Musically, the group hearkens to Motown, Spector or the Brill Building: Charlie is emerging as a budding Carole King, and the songs are good enough to rate comparison to Goffin & King or Mann & Weil.” – Huffington Post
“In a world of new soul singers who actually get what they’re talking about, enter the name of Charlie Faye and her unbeatable Fayettes to that list. They could go all the way.” – Bill Bentley, The Morton Report
“The album stretches beyond the coy boundaries of ‘60s girl groups with the opener ‘Green Light,’ and though ‘Eastside’ could usher dancers down a Soul Train line, its Stax-styled groove and horn chart service a serious look at social gentrification.” – No Depression
“It’s impossible not to be enchanted by one of this year’s freshest, most delightful and all around grooviest releases.” – American Songwriter
Ann Patchett is an American author. She received the 2002 PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction in the same year, for her novel Bel Canto. Patchett’s other novels include The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Run, State of Wonder, Commonwealth, and The Dutch House. Wikipedia
When it comes to Deanna Bogart, everyone wants to claim her as their own — her hometown, her fans, her fellow musicians and even her instruments. She’s that good–and that good-natured.
Born in Detroit, Deanna spent her early years in Phoenix and New York City, climbing on any available piano bench to plunk and play with preternatural panache. Around the age of six, she was “gently removed” from the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music for playing piano by ear instead of learning to read music. While in middle school, Deanna yearned to play the saxophone. Typical of those times though, she was told, “Girls play the clarinet, not the sax.” Thankfully for us all, that tide has changed.
Today, Deanna Bogart is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist and multifaceted musician whose fans value the diversity of her genre-free zone. As a bandleader/singer/songwriter/producer/pianist/sax player, Deanna combines the best of boogie-woogie, contemporary blues, country and jazz into a splendid blend she calls “blusion.”
Deanna’s fusion of blusion — spontaneous, sophisticated, fearless and fun — has garnered her three consecutive Blues Music Awards’ Horn Instrumentalist of the Year for 2008, 2009 and 2010 and an endorsement contract with Rico Reeds. She has won, at last count, more than 20 Wammies, the music awards for the hotly contested Washington, D.C. region.
Recognized for her dazzling keyboards, soulful saxophone, smoky vocals and cut-above songwriting, Deanna easily wins the hearts of fans on land and at sea on chartered cruises. She is a featured player in the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Revue, jamming with Tommy Castro, Magic Dick (founding member of the J. Geils Band), as well as prominent guitar slingers. Deanna remembers well her early years as a budding musician and is an avid educator and mentor, sharing her insight and wisdom with students of all ages.
Jason Wilber is an American singer, guitar player, songwriter, and recording artist. In addition to his work as a solo recording artist, he is also known as the long time lead guitar player for singer-songwriter John Prine. Other artists Jason has accompanied live or in the studio include Iris Dement, Greg Brown, Tom Russell, Sheryl Crow, Mary Gauthier, Todd Snider, Simrit, Hal Ketchum, Tim Grimm, Krista Detor, Greg Trooper, Carrie Newcomer, Kim Fox, Bill Wilson, and Over the Rhine.
Jason Wilber’s solo albums include Lost In Your Hometown (1998), Behind the Midway (2000), King For A Day (2004), Lazy Afternoon (2006), Live and Otherwise Volume 1 (2006), Ghost of Summers Past (2009), Live and Otherwise Volume 2 (2009), Secret Window (2014), Echoes (2016) and Reaction Time (2017).
Jason Wilber’s work with John Prine includes the Grammy Award winning CD Fair & Square, and the Grammy nominated CDs Live On Tour and In Spite of Ourselves (which spent 32 weeks on the Billboard Country Charts). In addition to playing guitar on John Prine’s 2017 album For Better or Worse, Jason also served as a Co-Executive Producer. Jason has accompanied John Prine on duet recordings with Iris Dement, Allison Krauss, Susan Tedeschi, Emmylou Harris, Miranda Lambert, Kathy Mattea, Amanda Shires, Fiona Prine, Lucinda Williams, Josh Ritter, Patty Loveless, Lee Ann Womack, Connie Smith, Melba Montgomery, Morgane Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves, and Sara Watkins.
Hot Tuna is an American blues band formed in 1969 by former Jefferson Airplane members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. Although it has always been a fluid aggregation, with musicians coming and going over the years, the band’s name has essentially become a metonym for Kaukonen and Casady’s ongoing collaboration. Wikipedia
Don’t miss Hesitation Blues -circa 1970
Tom Rush is a gifted musician and performer, whose shows offer a musical celebration…a journey into the tradition and spectrum of what music has been, can be, and will become. His distinctive guitar style, wry humour and warm, expressive voice have made him both a legend and a lure to audiences around the world. His shows are filled with the rib-aching laughter of terrific story-telling, the sweet melancholy of ballads and the passion of gritty blues. (website)
Interview – Over 55 years of recording and performing
Edgar-nominee, Ridley Pearson is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of (more than 50) award-winning suspense and young adult adventure novels. His novels have been published in two-dozen languages and have been adapted for network television and the Broadway stage. Ridley’s crime novels have earned a reputation for writing fiction that “grips the imagination.”
Ridley’s middle-grade-reader series include, The Kingdom Keepers, Steel Trapp and Lock & Key. The Peter and the Starcatchers series,co-written with Pulitzer Prize winner (and bandmate), Dave Barry, (adapted to the stage by Rick Elice) was awarded 5 Tony Awards.
Ridley’s research has spanned the globe and has included, a prison for the criminally insane in the U.K., exploring the engine room of a cruise liner, and multiple after-hour tours of Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Ridley plays bass guitar in an all-author rock band comprised of other bestselling writers (Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Mitch Album, Scott Turow, Greg Iles, and occasionally, Stephen King). <em>The Rockbottom Remainders</em>, has raised over 2.5 million dollars for various non-profits. He lives–and writes–in the Northern Rockies along with his wife, Marcelle.
“Béla Fleck has taken banjo playing to some very unlikely places — not just bluegrass and country and “newgrass,” but also into classical concertos, jazz and a documentary about the banjo’s deep African roots, not to mention the time he toured with throat singers from Tuva. He’s also baffled the Grammy awards, winning for country and jazz in the same year and also winning in pop, world music, classical crossover and, yes, folk. That’s a lot of territory for five strings.”
— JON PARELES, THE NEW YORK TIMES
One of the most impressive guitarists to emerge from the rich Bayous of Southern Louisiana in recent years, Tab Benoit’s guitar tone can be recognized before his Otis-Redding-ish voice resonates from the speakers. He doesn’t rely on any effects and his set up is simple. It consists of a guitar, cord, and Category 5 Amplifier. The effects that you hear come from his fingers.
Location – Northern Michigan
Aaron Stander is an American novelist of mystery/thriller novels. He is the author of the Ray Elkins series. Before becoming a published author, Stander worked as an English teacher and training writing teachers in the Detroit area.
Rolling Stone calls him the “Godfather of Americana Music,” and rightfully so. Delbert’s musical style grew from his Texas roots. A little Tejano. A little Bob Wills. Throw in some Jimmy Reed harmonica. Add a splash of Big Joe Turner, and a big band horn section. He has also been nominated for Grammys in the Country category, and has been featured in media from the Los Angeles Times to the Washington Post. He has developed a sound that continues to serve him well, as evidenced by the three Grammy Awards for Contemporary Blues on his mantel.
Born in Lubbock, raised in Fort Worth, and now with homes in Austin, Nashville, and San Miguel de Allende, Delbert recognizes that he has been One Of The Fortunate Few. He grew up with a backstage pass to some of the most significant moments in American culture and music history.
From his early Fort Worth bands, the Straitjackets and the Rondels, to his current band, Self‑Made Men + Dana, he continues to play sold‑out concert halls and dance halls, historical theatres and music festivals across the nation. A major player in several waves of the national surge of Texas music popularity, Delbert has performed multiple times on Saturday Night Live, has been featured on Austin City Limits seven times, as one of the most celebrated guests on the popular series; and appeared on many other national television shows.
His career truly defines Americana music: Delbert’s unique story of American history – with big horns, a strong rhythm section and a hot harmonica lead. To borrow from one of the songs on Tall, Dark & Handsome, whether he’s doing a live show or a recording, you can be assured that Delbert McClinton “don’t leave no chicken on the bone.”
Mavis Staples is an American rhythm and blues and gospel singer, actress, and civil rights activist. She has recorded and performed with her family’s band The Staple Singers and also as a solo artist. Staples was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2017. Wikipedia
Location – Florida
C.I. Dennis lives in Vermont with his family and dogs. He is the author of five novels featuring Vince Tanzi, a 50-something private investigator with a knack for finding trouble, both personal and professional. Tanzi’s quips, fast-paced action, witty dialogue and vivid characters propel his adventures across Vince’s native state (Vermont) and his adopted one (Florida).
Lawrence Block is an American crime writer best known for two long-running New York–set series about the recovering alcoholic P.I. Matthew Scudder and the gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr. Block was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1994. Wikipedia
The Mavericks are an American country music band that combine Tex-Mex, neotraditional country music, Latin, and rockabilly influences. The Mavericks were founded in 1989 in Miami, Florida. Between 1991 and 2003, the band recorded six studio albums, in addition to charting 14 singles on the Billboard country charts. Wikipedia
Crack the Sky is an American progressive rock band formed in Weirton, West Virginia in the early 1970s. In 1975, Rolling Stone declared their first album “debut album of the year”, and in 1978, Rolling Stone Record Guide compared them to Steely Dan; their first three albums charted on the Billboard 200. Wikipedia
Read about Crack the Sky in Rolling Stone – August 2018
Location – Key West FL
Laurence Shames is the author of more than twenty books. Four of them have been New York Times bestsellers; seven have been optioned for feature film. His comic crime fiction has earned him Great Britain’s prestigious Last Laugh Dagger and has been called “as enjoyable as a day at the beach” by USA Today.
Shames was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1951, and graduated from NYU in 1972. Before turning to writing full-time in 1976, he briefly and unhappily held jobs as a taxi driver, lounge singer, furniture mover, lifeguard, dishwasher, gym teacher, and shoe salesman.
Alice Peacock is an American folk singer and has recorded five independent albums and an album released by Aware/Columbia Records. Wikipedia
Much has changed for singer-songwriter Alice Peacock since her last solo studio album, 2009’s Love Remains. She’s had three kids, moved to Cincinnati and…gotten 10 years older. “Feel the weight of the world on my shoulders / Am I wiser or am I just older?” she sings on “Dry Spell,” from her new collection, Minnesota. The record suggests that despite her “wondering what all is yet to be,” she has indeed attained a measure of wisdom.
I have embedded a classic video with a special guest backing her up.
Current videos available on her web site and You Tube.
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings originally formed in 1996 when Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson came together to record what was suppose to be a one- off tribute album to the great Canadian songwriter Willie P. Bennett.
At the time, all three members were deeply committed to burgeoning solo careers that they had no intentions of putting on hold, and had no plans to turn Blackie into an ongoing concern.
Now twenty years later, 8 albums , one Juno award and several Juno nominations under their belts, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings have organically evolved into one of the finest roots-oriented bands in North America. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings remains one of Canada’s greatest musical treasures.
Extra Video for their classic song STONED (click here to view)
Andrew Gross is the author of the New York Times and international bestsellers Everything to Lose, No Way Back, 15 Seconds, Eyes Wide Open, Reckless, Don’t Look Back, The Dark Tide, and The Blue Zone. He is also coauthor of five number one bestsellers with James Patterson, including Judge & Jury and Lifeguard. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. His latest novel, Button Man, is an historical thriller coming Sept 18, 2018 from Minotaur Books.
In the 1970’s, Danny O’Keefe put out a string of albums that cemented his reputation as being among the best songwriters of his generation. These days, casual fans know him best for his Top Ten hit “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues” or Jackson Browne’s version of “The Road” from the classic Running On Empty album. But the story didn’t end in the 70’s. He recorded “The Day To Day” in 1985 with the two Top Twenty Adult Contemporary songs “Along For The Ride” and “Someday”. Working with Bob Dylan’s company, Special Rider Music, he co-wrote “Well, Well, Well” with Bob and other songs successfully recorded by artists like Nickel Creek, Alison Krauss, and Alan Jackson.
At age 18, Jon Carroll was a founding member of Starland Vocal Band, recording the #1 Pop hit “AFTERNOON DELIGHT”. (click to watch video)
The group went on to be nominated for 5 Grammy Awards, winning 2: for Best New Artist & Best Arrangement for Voices (One of Jon’s roles in the group).
Since then, he’s has not slowed down as a performer, composer, arranger, producer, songwriter and musician. His works have appeared in films, commercials and episodic dramas and comedies, and he is highly sought after studio session performer appearing on many recordings.
His songs have been covered by artists such as Linda Ronstadt (Her 80’s hit “Want Love? Get Closer!), Tom Jones and Kenny Rogers, and he’s the long-time keyboardist/vocalist band member with Mary Chapin Carpenter, with touring stints for countless others including Rodney Crowell, Dixie Chicks, Peter Wolf and Eric Lindell.
“Jon Carroll is a one man band, a poet, a songwriter, a singer of every kind of song and above all, a musician’s musician…and I can also attest to his being a not-to-be-missed performer.”
~Mary Chapin Carpenter
Location – Thailand
John Burdett is a British crime novelist. He is the bestselling author of Bangkok 8 and its sequels, Bangkok Tattoo, Bangkok Haunts, The Godfather of Kathmandu, and Vulture Peak. His most recent novel in this series, The Bangkok Asset, was published on 4 August 2015. Wikipedia
Michael Jason Isbell is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist from Green Hill, Alabama, in Lauderdale County. He is known for his solo career, his work with the band The 400 Unit, and as a former member of Drive-By Truckers for six years, from 2001 to 2007. Isbell has won four Grammy Awards. Wikipedia
Josh Ritter is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and author who performs and records with the Royal City Band. Ritter is known for his distinctive Americana style and narrative lyrics. In 2006 he was named one of the “100 Greatest Living Songwriters” by Paste magazine. Wikipedia
Location – Key West FL
Florida author Tom Corcoran’s “Guava Moon Revenge” is the eighth and most recent novel in the Alex Rutledge Series. His books, which include “Octopus Alibi,” “Air Dance Iguana,” “Hawk Channel Chase,” and “The Quick Adios,” are set primarily in the Florida Keys. Tom also recently wrote a series spin-off mystery, “Crime Almost Pays,” which features the private eyes known as “The Bumsnoops.”
Location – Edinboro, Scotland
Kate Atkinson MBE is an English writer of novels, plays and short stories. She is known for creating the Jackson Brodie series of detective novels, which has been adapted into the BBC series Case Histories. Wikipedia
New Jackson Brodie “Big Sky” out now.
Alabama Shakes is an American blues rock band formed in Athens, Alabama, in 2009. The band currently consists of lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell, and drummer Steve Johnson. Wikipedia
In 2019 Bruttany Howard released a solo album, Jaime, adding a second dimension to what Alabama Shakes had accomplished.
See both web sites for updates and video collections.
Brandi M. Carlile is an American singer-songwriter and producer whose music spans multiple genres. As of 2018, Carlile has released six studio albums and earned seven Grammy Award nominations, including one for The Firewatcher’s Daughter and six for By the Way, I Forgive You. Wikipedia
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band played their first gig in 1966 in Southern California as a jug band and by 1969 had become a cornerstone of the burgeoning country-rock community. Their career breakthrough came in 1970 with the release of the record Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy and the single “Mr. Bojangles,” a folksy Top 10 pop hit that remains a staple of their live show. During a tour stop in Nashville around that time, Earl Scruggs and his family came backstage to say hello. That introduction led to a friendship and some of the connections the band needed to record Will the Circle Be Unbroken. That three-disc album brought Nitty Gritty Dirt Band together with a number of country, folk, and bluegrass legends. Heroes like Roy Acuff, Mother Maybelle Carter, Jimmy Martin, Merle Travis, and Doc Watson joined the scruffy, young band to record country music standards such as “I Saw the Light” and “Keep on the Sunnyside.” The acclaimed project is considered a landmark recording in American music.
Following an extended 50th anniversary tour, the ensemble grew to a six-piece in 2018 for the first time since their early jug band days. The group now includes Jeff Hanna (acoustic guitar, electric guitar), Jimmie Fadden (drums, harmonica), Bob Carpenter (keyboards), Jim Photoglo (bass, acoustic guitar), Ross Holmes (fiddle, mandolin), and Jaime Hanna (electric and acoustic guitar). All six members also sing, and when their voices merge, the harmonies add a powerful new component for the legendary band. And with the father-son pairing of Jeff and Jaime Hanna, the band carries on a country music tradition of blood harmony.
LOCATION – LOS ANGELES
Michael Connelly is an American author of detective novels and other crime fiction, notably those featuring LAPD Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch and criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller. Connelly is the bestselling author of thirty-one novels and one work of non-fiction
Lou Berney is the author of November Road (a Washington Post Best Book of 2018), The Long and Faraway Gone (winner of the Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Macavity, and ALA awards), Whiplash River, and Gutshot Straight, all from William Morrow. He’s also written a collection of stories, The Road to Bobby Joe, and his short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He teaches in the MFA program at Oklahoma City University.
R.I.P – September 4, 2012
Considered to be one of the most prominent Washington D.C. artists of the last century, Green led art in the city away from the prevalent trend of painters in the Washington Color School while working for 35 years as an instructor at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. He encouraged his students to look inward towards a personal vocabulary of form, a commandment he personified. One of his most defining characteristics to those who knew him was his ever-present black sketchbook in which he would constantly draw, reacting to the world around him.
October 2019 Retrospective – Addison/Ripley Fine Art, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
“The rambling acoustic environment of New Morning—era Dylan and the smokiness of early Townes Van Zandt…his own compelling musical voice.” – Acoustic Guitar
In his own words…
I’ve been obsessed with writing songs and the guitar for as long as I can remember. I married young, am an adoptive parent, and the son of a preacher man. I toured a lot for years and put out a few records as Luke Brindley, Brindley Brothers, and Native Run. I spent a lot of time in Nashville writing with some of the top writers in the business. I never quite fit into (or cared about) “the business”. I grew up in New Jersey but live outside of Washington, DC. Along with my brothers, I run Jammin Java in Vienna, VA – one of the Top 100 Clubs In The World and Union Stage in Washington, DC
The songs have a definite focus on the lyrics and hopefully offer a kind of deeper perspective. I tend to gravitate toward the larger worldview questions such as, Why are we here? What are we supposed to be doing? What does it mean to know another person? To love someone?
Location – New Jersey
David Rosenfelt is an author who has written nineteen novels and three TV movies. His main character in most of his mystery books is Andy Carpenter, attorney and dog lover. Wikipedia
More recently David has added a new character series, Doug Brock, N.J. State Police Homicide Detective suffering from memory loss. Both series take place around Rosenfelt’s home town, Paterson, N.J.
In 1995, he and his wife started the “Tara Foundation” which has saved almost 4,000 dogs. He is a dog lover and supports more than two dozen dogs.
Dogtripping is a non-fiction chronicle of moving across the country from California to Maine with over twenty dogs.
Steve Ulfelder is the author of four mystery novels featuring unlikely hero Conway Sax. He’s also a freelance writer and co-owner of an auto-racing business.
Purgatory Chasm, Steve’s debut, was published by Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books in 2011. It was nominated for the Edgar and Anthony Awards in the Best First Novel category, and was named Best First Mystery by RT Book Reviews. The second Conway Sax novel, The Whole Lie, was published in 2012, with Shotgun Lullaby following in 2013. Book four, Wolverine Bros. Freight & Storage, was named Best PI Novel of 2014 by the Sons of Spade blog.
A new hero and new series : One Mississippi – Available now
Archer Dixon: 37 years old, Ivy educated, smart, funny, well read – but he never has amounted to much. He’s been reduced to bartering handyman services for a roof over his head. Having staggered all his life from job to job, Arch is a newly minted private detective. His first case looks easy-peasy – but when he starts digging, things quickly grow tangled. Before Arch knows it, he’s in the middle of a gang war between Nigerian car thieves and murderous Russians.
A nationally bestselling author of 11 mystery novels, Ryan has won multiple prestigious awards for her crime fiction: five Agathas, three Anthonys, the Daphne, two Macavitys, and for The Other Woman, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. National reviews have called her a “master at crafting suspenseful mysteries” and “a superb and gifted storyteller.”
2016 Blues Music Award Winner Billy Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with guitarist Roy Buchanan. Price is the vocalist on two of Buchanan’s LPs, That’s What I’m Here For and Live Stock. Since then, with the Keystone Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band, and solo projects, Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 16 albums, CDs, and DVDs.
In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock ’n Roll Legend at an award ceremony.Price’s album This Time for Real, with the late Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award in the category of Best Soul Blues Album of 2015. It has been nominated for a 2019 Blues Music Award in the category of Best Soul Blues Album of 2018.
The Pittsburgh-based Billy Price Band consists of Dave Dodd (drums), Tom Valentine (bass), Lenny Smith (guitar), Jim Britton (keyboards), Eric Spaulding (sax), and Joe Herndon (trumpet).
The Billy Price Charm City Rhythm Band, based in Billy’s new hometown of Baltimore, MD, consists of El Torro Gamble (drums), Greg Haughey (bass), Pete Kanaras (guitar), Tam Sullivan (keyboards), Dan Gutwein (sax), and Vince McCool (trumpet).
His latest album, Dog Eat Dog, debuted at number 9 in the Billboard Blues Album Chart the week of August 17, 2019.
Embedded Video is also featured on her web site.
Included here just in case you missed it. Ergo..don’t miss it.
“Iris DeMent makes music that celebrates humanity’s efforts toward salvation, while acknowledging that most of our time on Earth is spent reconciling with the fact that we don’t feel so redeemed. Grounded in hymns, early country songs, gospel and folk, DeMent’s work is treasured by those who know it for its insight and unabashed beauty.” ~ NPR
Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of seventeen novels, including THE STRANGER INSIDE. With millions of readers worldwide and books published in twenty-six languages, Lisa Unger is widely regarded as a master of suspense. In 2019, she received two Edgar Award nominations, an honor held by only a few writers including Ruth Rendell and Agatha Christie. The Edgar-nominated UNDER MY SKIN is also a finalist for the prestigious Hammett Prize, and the Macavity Award for Best Novel. And the original short story THE SLEEP TIGHT MOTEL is a #1 bestselling single.
Unger’s critically acclaimed books have been voted “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, IndieBound and many others. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Travel+Leisure. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family.
Playing For Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music. The idea for this project came from a common belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people.
Playing For Change was born in 2002 as a shared vision between co-founders, Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke, to hit the streets of America with a mobile recording studio and cameras in search of inspiration and the heartbeat of the people. This musical journey resulted in the award-winning documentary, “A Cinematic Discovery of Street Musicians.”
In 2005, Mark Johnson was walking in Santa Monica, California, when he heard the voice of Roger Ridley singing “Stand By Me.” Roger had so much soul and conviction in his voice, and Mark approached him about performing “Stand By Me” as a Song Around the World. Roger agreed, and when Mark returned with recording equipment and cameras he asked Roger, “With a voice like yours, why are you singing on the streets?” Roger replied, “Man I’m in the Joy business, I come out to be with the people.” Ever since that day the Playing For Change crew has traveled the world recording and filming musicians, creating Songs Around the World, and building a global family.
Creating Songs Around the World inspired us to unite many of the greatest musicians we met throughout our journey and form the Playing For Change Band. These musicians come from many different countries and cultures, but through music they speak the same language.Songs Around The World The PFC Band is now touring the world and spreading the message of love and hope to audiences everywhere.
The true measure of any movement is what it gives back to the people. We therefore created the Playing For Change Foundation,a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to building music and art schools for children around the world, and creating hope and inspiration for the future of our planet.
No matter who you are or where you come from, we are all united through music.
Support this movement by becoming a Member , and together we will make the world a better place.
William Kent Krueger is an American novelist and crime writer, best known for his series of novels featuring Cork O’Connor, which are set mainly in Minnesota. In 2005 and 2006, he won back-to-back Anthony Awards for best novel. In 2014, his stand-alone book Ordinary Grace won the Edgar Award for Best Novel of 2013. Wikipedia
Loren Salazar was born in California in 1951. Graduated with Honors in 1973 from Central Washington State University with a degree in Fine Arts and Sciences. Salazar has painted and exhibited extensively in the western states of Washington, California, and Alaska. His work has been exhibited across the country and his published images are found internationally. Currently calling Cost Rica home, Salazar continues to paint image locations from Italy to South America.
The Subdudes are an American roots rock group from New Orleans. Their music blends folk, swamp pop, New Orleans rhythm and blues, Louisiana blues, country, cajun/zydeco, funk, soul and gospel with harmonic vocals. Their sound is notable for the band’s substitution of a tambourine player for a drummer.
Wallace Stroby is an award-winning journalist and the author of eight novels, four of which feature professional thief Crissa Stone, whom Kirkus Reviews named “Crime fiction’s best bad girl ever.”
A Long Branch, N.J., native, he’s a lifelong resident of the Jersey
Shore. His debut novel THE BARBED-WIRE KISS, which The Washington Post
called “a scorching first novel …full of attention to character and
memory and, even more, to the neighborhoods of New Jersey,” was a
finalist for the 2004 Barry Award for Best First Novel.
His 2010 novel GONE ‘TIL NOVEMBER was picked as a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, as was the second Crissa Stone novel KINGS OF MIDNIGHT. In 2012, the Crissa Stone novels were optioned by Showtime Networks for development.
A graduate of Rutgers University, Stroby was an editor at the Star-Ledger of Newark, Tony Soprano’s hometown newspaper, for 13 years.
Anders Osborne has earned hordes of new fans. He has toured virtually non-stop, either with his own band, as a solo artist, or as a guest with his countless musical admirers, including Toots and The Maytals, Stanton Moore, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Keb Mo, The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh, Jackie Greene and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. He’s produced and played on critically acclaimed albums by Tab Benoit, Johnny Sansone and Mike Zito.
Since his recording debut in 1989, Osborne has written virtually all of his own material and contributed memorable songs to a wide variety of artists. Two tunes co-written by Osborne appear on Keb Mo’s Grammy-winning 1999 release Slow Down. Country superstar Tim McGraw scored a #1 hit with Anders’ song Watch The Wind Blow By. Osborne’s compositions have been covered by artists as diverse as Brad Paisley, Tab Benoit, Jonny Lang, Edwin McCain, Sam Bush, Trombone Shorty and Aaron Neville and Kim Carnes. His songs have appeared in multiple feature films. He can also be seen performing in an episode of HBO’s New Orleans-based drama, Treme.
Locations-Bangkok & Los Angeles
Timothy Hallinan is the award-winning author of twenty highly praised novels. He currently writes two series: the Poke Rafferty Bangkok Thrillers, focused on a Thailand-based American travel writer and his cross-cultural family, the fourth volume of which, The Queen of Patpong, was nominated for the Edgar award; and the Junior Bender Mysteries, about a Los Angeles burglar who moonlights, usually reluctantly, as a private eye for crooks. The Junior Bender series is under development for global cable television and the fourth book in the series, Herbie’s Game, won the 2015 Lefty as Best Humorous Crime Novel. The latest Rafferty book, The Hot Countries, was named one of the best books of 2015 by Library Journal and The Strand Magazine and was nominated for the Macavity award.
In addition to the Lefty, the Edgar, and the Macavity, Hallinan’s books have been nominated for the Shamus and Nero award.
American writer of short stories and novels whose characters, having come of age in the 1960s, often have difficulties adjusting to the cultural values of later generations. Beattie graduated from the American University in Washington, D.C., in 1969 and received a master of arts degree from the University of Connecticut in 1970. Her short stories were published in The New Yorker and other literary magazines beginning in the early 1970s. She published her first collection of stories, Distortions, in 1976. Her first novel, Chilly Scenes of Winter, also appeared in 1976; it was subsequently adapted as the film Head over Heels (1979), which was later rereleased as Chilly Scenes of Winter (1982).
The son of a preacher man, Mississippi-raised Thorn spent much of his childhood in church, participating in multiple weekly services with his father as well as at neighboring African American congregations, where he became entranced with the music whose infectious spirit is captured on the new album. (from Paul Thorn.com)
See loads of great video linked from his web site. Our offering above is an older one with an great message.
Montbleau’s been pouring his heart out in song since the early 2000’s, when he first began performing around his native Massachusetts. He’d go on to collaborate with Martin Sexton, Trombone Shorty, and Galactic among others, and share bills and stages with artists as diverse as Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ani DiFranco, The Wood Brothers, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Mavis Staples, but it was Montbleau’s ecstatic headline shows—often more than 200 of them a year—that solidified his reputation as a live powerhouse and an inexorable road warrior. NPR’s Mountain Stage compared his “eloquent, soulful songwriting” to Bill Withers and James Taylor, while Relix hailed his “poetic Americana,” and The Boston Herald raved that “he’s made a career of confident, danceable positivity. (from Ryan Montbleau.com)
See more great videos from latest recording “Woodstock Sessions” on Ryan’s website.
For a relationship smile check out YES DARLING
Etienne Charles is the Assistant Professor of Jazz Trumpet at Michigan State University. Hailed by The New York Times as “an auteur” (Ben Ratliff), by Jazz Times as “A daring improviser who delivers with heart wrenching lyricism” (Bill Milkowski). According to Downbeat Magazine “Charles delivers his ebullient improvisations with the elegance of a world-class ballet dancer.” (John Murph). He has received critical acclaim for his exciting performances, thrilling compositions and knack for connecting with audiences worldwide. In June 2012, Etienne was written into the US Congressional Record for his musical contributions to Trinidad & Tobago and the World. Perhaps more than any other musician of his generation or Eastern Caribbean origin, Etienne brings a careful study of myriad rhythms from the French, Spanish, English and Dutch speaking Caribbean to the table. Crucially, as a soloist, he fully understands the New Orleans trumpet tradition; which is readily discernible in his trademark instrumental swagger, and what famed Crescent City Pianist, Jelly Roll Morton so succinctly captured in the now immortal phrase, ‘The Spanish Tinge’. He has performed and or recorded with Monty Alexander, Roberta Flack, Frank Foster, Ralph MacDonald, Johnny Mandel, Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Roberts, Maria Schneider, Count Basie Orchestra, Eric Reed, Lord Blakie, David Rudder and many others. He holds a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School and a Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University.
Paul Levine is an American author of crime fiction, particularly legal thrillers. He has written two series, known generally by the names of the protagonists: Jake Lassiter and Solomon vs. Lord. His novels have been translated into 21 languages. Wikipedia
Michael Koryta began writing at a very early age. As an eight-year-old boy, he began writing to his favorite writers and by 16 had decided he wanted to become a crime novelist. By the age of 21, his crime novel, Tonight I Said Goodbye, had won the St. Martin’s Press/Private Eye Writers of America Best First Novel prize. Nine of Koryta’s novels have been optioned for potential film or television production.
Those Who Wish Me Dead, his 2014 stand-alone novel, was named the summer’s best thriller by both Amazon and Entertainment Weekly and was selected as one of the year’s best books by more than 10 publications. The audio version was also honored as a best of the year, the second time that Robert Petkoff’s narration of Michael’s work has earned such an honor. The novel is currently in production as a major motion picture starring Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Tyler Perry, Jon Bernthal and Aidan Gillen and directed by Taylor Sheridan.
Greg Brown’s mother played electric guitar, his grandfather played banjo, and his father was a Holy Roller preacher in the Hacklebarney section of Iowa, where the Gospel and music are a way of life. Brown’s first professional singing job came at age 18 in New York City, running hootenannies (folksinger get-togethers) at the legendary Gerdes Folk City. After a year, Brown moved west to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, where he was a ghostwriter for Buck Ram, founder of the Platters. Tired of the fast-paced life, Brown traveled with a band for a few years, and even quit playing for a while before he moved back to Iowa and began writing songs and playing in midwestern clubs and coffeehouses.
Brown’s songwriting has been lauded by many, and his songs have been performed by Willie Nelson, Carlos Santana, Michael Johnson, Shawn Colvin, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. He has also recorded more than a dozen albums, including his 1986 release, Songs of Innocence and of Experience, when he put aside his own songwriting to set poems of William Blake to music. One Big Town, recorded in 1989, earned Brown three and a half stars in Rolling Stone, chart-topping status in AAA and The Gavin Report’s Americana rankings and Brown’s first Indie Award from NAIRD (National Association of Independent Record Distributors). The Poet Game, his 1994 CD, received another Indie award from NAIRD. His critically acclaimed 1996 release, Further In, was a finalist for the same award. Rolling Stone’s four-star review of Further In called Brown “a wickedly sharp observer of the human condition.” 1997’s Slant 6 Mind (Red House Records) earned Brown his second Grammy nomination. His latest CD, One Night (Red House), is a re-release of a 1983 live performance originally on Minneapolis’ Coffeehouse Extemporé Records. (Bio from gregbrown.org)
Lyle Pearce Lovett is an American singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. Active since 1980, he has recorded 13 albums and released 25 singles to date, including his highest entry, the number 10 chart hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, “Cowboy Man”. Wikipedia
“It may be a bit premature to crown Albert Castiglia America’s newest King of the Blues, but there’s little doubt that he at least deserves the title of heir apparent.” — Miami New Times
As most artists will attest, the most unexpected circumstance can spark artistic inspiration. That’s a fact that hasn’t been lost on singer, songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire Albert Castiglia. With his latest album, the aptly named Masterpiece, he celebrates an unforeseen triumph — a connection with a daughter he never knew he had. The result is a work that’s both personal and provocative all at the same time.
Castiglia calls this the most meaningful album he’s ever made. “My daughter finding me and opening up my world to an additional family, including two grandchildren, brought out the deepest material I’ve ever created,” he notes, “along with my wife, they were my muses.” Indeed, songs such as “Keep On Swinging”, “Masterpiece” and “Bring on the Rain” address the unexpected emotions that infused his psyche with the discovery of a family he never knew.
Location – San Diego/Southern California
T. Jefferson Parker was born in Los Angeles and has lived all his life in Southern California. He was educated in public schools in Orange County, and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, in 1976.
His writing career began in 1978, with a job as a cub reporter on the weekly newspaper, The Newport Ensign. After covering police, city hall and cultural stories for the Ensign, Parker moved on to the Daily Pilot newspaper, where he won three Orange County Press Club awards for his articles. All the while he was tucking away stories and information that he would use in his first book.
Shelby Lynne is an American singer and songwriter and the older sister of Allison Moorer. The success of her pop rock album I Am Shelby Lynne led to her winning the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. She released a Dusty Springfield tribute album called Just a Little Lovin’ in 2008. Wikipedia
2017 Recording with sister Allison Moorer – Not Dark Yet
Josh Ritter is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and author who performs and records with the Royal City Band. Ritter is known for his distinctive Americana style and narrative lyrics. In 2006 he was named one of the “100 Greatest Living Songwriters” by Paste magazine. Wikipedia
The Yacht Rock Revue is everything the late ‘70s and early ‘80s should’ve been: massive sing-along soft rock hits, tight bell-bottom jeans, impeccable musicianship, polyester shirts, glorious vocal harmonies, sunglasses at night, breezy dancing and sax … lots of sax. “The Greatest Show on Surf.”
Marti Jones & Don Dixon have been performing together, off and on, for over twenty years. This longtime partnership has resulted in an intimate stage rapport as well as the seamless blending of two of the most distinct voices around today. With over two hundred songs in their collective recorded catalogue, you never know quite what to expect when they hit the stage, but rest assured their performance will feature thoughtful lyrics and heart-felt singing.
St. Paul and The Broken Bones is an American eight-piece soul band based in Birmingham, Alabama, United States, that formed in 2012. The band is composed of Paul Janeway, Browan Lollar, Jesse Phillips, Kevin Leon, Al Gamble, Allen Branstetter, Amari Ansari, and Chad Fisher. Wikipedia
Location: (Thorn series) Florida Keys
James W. Hall is the author of 20 novels, the latest of which is When They Come For You (2017, Thomas and Mercer).
Fourteen of the novels feature a hardcore loner named Thorn, who makes a meager living tying bonefish flies. Thorn, and his private eye pal, Sugarman, have teamed up to thwart animal smugglers, cruise ship hijackers, rogue medical experimenters, and other assorted villains. For a man who simply wants to be left alone to contemplate the island light and sweet sea breezes of Key Largo, Thorn has been drawn into a long string of adventures to right wrongs and avenge the deaths of his friends, relatives and lovers and has taken innumerable gashes and wounds and scars in the process.
Hall’s non-fiction work includes Hot Damn! a collection of personal essays he wrote for the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel’s Sunshine Magazine, as well as some he wrote for the Washington Post and The Miami Herald.
His second non-fiction effort is Hit Lit (Random House) an analysis of twelve of the most commercially successful novels of the last century and the dozen features those books have in common.
Locations: Florida and others.
Les Standiford is the author of twenty-one books, including the critically acclaimed works of non-fiction, Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean –a History Channel Top Ten Pick & the One Read choice of more than a dozen public library systems; Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick and the Bitter Partnership that Transformed America, and Washington Burning: How a Frenchman’s Vision for Our Nation’s Capital Survived Congress, the Founding Fathers, and the Invading British Army–both publisher’s nominees for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Awards; The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived our Holiday Spirits (a New York Times Editors Choice); Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction that Changed America (a New York Times best-seller); and most recently, Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles, a featured alternate of the History Book Club.
He is also the author of ten novels, including the acclaimed John Deal mystery series as well as the stand-alone thrillers Black Mountain and Spill (adapted as a feature film).
He has received the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, the Frank O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is Founding Director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami and was appointed holder of the Peter Meinke Chair in Creative Writing at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg for the Spring of 2016.
He and his wife Kimberly, a psychotherapist and artist, are the parents of three children, Jeremy, Hannah, and Alexander. They live in Pinecrest, Florida, in a home built of native Florida pine and maintained by the spirit of John Deal.
Mary Chapin Carpenter is an American singer-songwriter. Carpenter spent several years singing in Washington, D.C. clubs before signing in the late 1980s with Columbia Records, who marketed her as a country singer. Wikipedia
Editor Note: The wonderful video of Down at the Twist and Shout was filmed at the Spanish Ballroom, Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, Md. Take note of both John Jennings and Pete Kennedy on guitar and the wonderful BeauSoleil. Also special because I was there.
R.I.P. Gregg Allman
In September 2014, some 50 years after moving to Los Angeles to form the band Rising Sons with fellow blues musician Ry Cooder and Jessie Lee Kincaid, Taj Mahal hightailed it to Nashville to receive an honor he called “one of the most powerful and wonderful things that could ever happen in my life.” Celebrating decades of recording and touring that have nearly singlehandedly reshaped the definition and scope of the blues via the infusion of exotic sounds from the Caribbean, Africa and South Pacific, the two-time Grammy winning singer, songwriter, film composer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist was feted with the Lifetime Achievement for Performance Award at the 13th Annual Americana Honors and Awards.
James Sallis (born December 21, 1944 in Helena, Arkansas, United States) is an Americancrime writer, poet, critic, musicologist and musician, best known for his series of novels featuring the detective character Lew Griffin and set in New Orleans, and for his 2005 novel Drive, which was adapted into a 2011 film of the same name.
Film – Drive starring Ryan Gosling
Three-time Grammy Award winner, Lucinda Williams has been carving her own path for more than three decades now. Born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Williams had been imbued with a “culturally rich, economically poor” worldview. Several years of playing the hardscrabble clubs gave her a solid enough footing to record a self-titled album that would become a touchstone for the embryonic Americana movement – helping launch a thousand musical ships along the way.
While not a huge commercial success at the time Lucinda Williams (aka, the Rough Trade album) retained a cult reputation, and finally got the reception it deserved upon its reissue in 2014. Jim Farber of New York’s Daily News hailed the reissue by saying “Listening again proves it to be that rarest of beasts: a perfect work. There’s not a chord, lyric, beat or inflection that doesn’t pull at the heart or make it soar.”
For much of the next decade, Williams moved around the country, stopping in Austin, Los Angeles, Nashville, and turning out work that won immense respect within the industry (winning a Grammy for Mary Chapin Carpenter’s version of “Passionate Kisses”) and a gradually growing cult audience. While her recorded output was sparse for a time, the work that emerged was invariably hailed for its indelible impressionism — like 1998’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, which notched her first Grammy as a performer.
The past decade brought further development, both musically and personally, evidenced on albums like West (2007), which All Music Guide called “flawless…destined to become a classic” and Blessed (2011), which the Los Angeles Times dubbed “a dynamic, human, album, one that’s easy to fall in love with.” Those albums retained much of Williams’ trademark melancholy and southern Gothic starkness, but also exuded more rays of light and hope. This all lead to the 2014 release of Williams’ first double studio album Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone. The album received overwhelming praise from the media and fans, thus proving that Williams’ songwriting is as strong and important as it has ever been.
Steve Hamilton is one of the most acclaimed mystery writers in the world, and one of only two authors to win Edgars for both Best First Novel and Best Novel. His Alex McKnight series includes two New York Times notable books, and he’s put two recent titles on the New York Times bestseller list. Wikipedia
Jon Cleary’s love and affinity for New Orleans music goes back to the rural British village of Cranbrook, Kent, where he was raised in a musical family. Cleary’s maternal grandparents performed in London in the 1940s, under the respective stage names Sweet Dolly Daydream and Frank Neville, The Little Fellow With The Educated Feet – she as a singer, and he as a crooner and tap dancer.
As a teen Cleary grew increasingly interested in funk-infused music and discovered that three such songs that he particularly admired – LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” Robert Palmer’s version of “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley,” and Frankie Miller’s rendition of “Brickyard Blues” – were attributed to Allen Toussaint as either the songwriter, the producer, or both. Cleary’s knowledge of Toussaint’s work expanded significantly when his uncle returned home to the U.K., after a two-year sojourn in New Orleans, with a copy of a Toussaint LP and two suitcases full of New Orleans R&B 45s.
In 1981 Cleary flew to New Orleans for an initial pilgrimage and took a cab straight from the airport to the Maple Leaf Bar, a storied venue which then featured such great blues-rooted eclectic pianists as Roosevelt Sykes and James Booker. Cleary first worked at the Maple Leaf as a painter, but soon graduated to playing piano there – even though his first instrument was the guitar, which he still plays and has recently reintroduced into his live performances.
As word of Cleary’s burgeoning talent began to spread around town, he was hired by such New Orleans R&B legends as Snooks Eaglin, Earl “Trick Bag” King, Johnny Adams, and Jessie “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” Hill, while also gaining the respect of the great Crescent City pianists Dr. John and the late Allen Toussaint. Years later, in 2012, Cleary recorded a critically acclaimed album of all-Toussaint songs entitled Occapella.
Today, Cleary’s work pays obvious homage to the classic Crescent City keyboard repertoire created by such icons as Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Dr. John, and James Booker – while also using it as a launching pad for a style that incorporates such other diverse influences as ’70s soul and R&B, gospel music, funk, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Cuban rhythms, and much more.
Deciding to stay in New Orleans, Cleary recorded his first album of nine, to date, in 1989. His ever-elevating profile led to global touring work in the bands of Taj Mahal, John Scofield, Dr. John, and Bonnie Raitt. Cleary has led his own group, the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, for over two decades now, but he still collaborates frequently with these old friends. At the 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, for instance, Cleary performed alongside Raitt in a heartfelt tribute to Fats Domino.
The Wood Brothers’ sixth outing, ‘One Drop of Truth,’ dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles and influences. Whereas their previous outings have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, here the long-standing trio featuring brothers Oliver and Chris Wood along with Jano Rix treat each song as if it were its own short film. The plaintive, country-folk of the album’s opening track “River Takes The Town” gives way to the The Band-esque Americana soul of “Happiness Jones.” The wistful ballad “Strange As It Seems” floats on a cloud of stream of consciousness, standing in stark contrast to “Sky High”—a Saturday night barnburner built upon stinging slide guitar funk. “Seasick Emotions” is rife with turmoil, yet “Sparking Wine” is jaunty and carefree. The end result is undeniably The Wood Brothers’ most dynamic recording to date.
Locations around Florida
Carl Hiaasen is an American writer. A long-time columnist for the Miami Herald and Tribune Content Agency, Hiaasen has also written more than 20 novels which can generally be classified as humorous crime fiction and often feature themes of environmentalism and political corruption in his native Florida. Wikipedia
Radio Paradise is a listener-sponsored Internet radio station that identifies itself as an “eclectic online rock radio” station. The channel differs from most FM channels and other Internet stations in that the music played is chosen by human DJs to form thematic relationships in smooth arcs. Wikipedia
Soars got bitten by the blues bug via a legendary source in 1988, when he won a guitar and two tickets in a raffle to see B.B. King in concert. Meeting the iconic guitarist and singer further enhanced the young musician’s quest to learn more about the timeless power of the music. Soars started his blues recording career a decade ago with the 2008 release Back of My Mind, followed by More Bees With Honey (2011) and Full Moon Night in Memphis (2014). Collectively, his catalog has received extensive airplay on the XM Radio programs of Little Steven (“Underground Garage”) and B.B. King (“Bluesville”); Top 50 status on the “Living Blues” charts, Blues Music Award nominations for “Best Contemporary Male Blues Artist of the Year,” and “Best Blues CD” and “Album of the Year” accolades from the Palm Beach Post.
A gritty and expressive vocalist, Soars elicits signature tones from hollow-body guitars, plus a home-made two-string cigar box guitar for his incendiary slide guitar playing. All of which has helped him earn dates at the Baltic Sea Festival in Germany, the Liberation Day Festival in Holland, and other shows in France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, and Colombia as well as road work throughout the United States and Canada.
also see Trigger Hippy
Joan Elizabeth Osborne is an American singer, songwriter, and interpreter of music, having recorded and performed in various popular American musical genres including pop, soul, R&B, blues, and country. She is best known for her recording of the Eric Bazilian song “One of Us”, from her debut album Relish. Wikipedia
Location – Los Angeles
Robert Crais is an American author of detective fiction. Crais began his career writing scripts for television shows such as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, Quincy, Miami Vice and L.A. Law. His writing is influenced by Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, Robert B. Parker and John Steinbeck. Wikipedia
Location for Quinn Colson series – Mississippi
New York Times Bestselling author Ace Atkins has been nominated for every major award in crime fiction, including the Edgar three times, twice for novels about former U.S. Army Ranger Quinn Colson. He has written eight books in the Colson series and continued Robert B. Parker’s iconic Spenser character after Parker’s death in 2010, adding seven best-selling novels in that series. A former newspaper reporter and SEC football player, Ace also writes essays and investigative pieces for several national magazines including Time, Outside and Garden & Gun.
He lives in Oxford, Mississippi with his family, where he’s friend to many dogs and several bartenders.
Nathaniel David Rateliff is an American singer and songwriter based in Denver, whose influences are described as folk, Americana and vintage rhythm & blues. Rateliff has garnered attention with Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, the soulful R&B combo he formed in 2013. Wikipedia
Nicholas “Nick” Drain Lowe, is an English singer-songwriter, musician and producer. A noted figure in power pop and new wave, Lowe has recorded a string of well-reviewed solo albums. Along with vocals, Lowe plays guitar, bass guitar, piano and harmonica. Wikipedia
Nick Lowe has made his mark as a producer (Elvis Costello-Graham Parker-Pretenders-The Damned), songwriter of at least three songs you know by heart, short-lived career as a pop star, and a lengthy term as a musicians’ musician. But in his current ‘second act’ as a silver-haired, tender-hearted but sharp-tongued singer-songwriter, he has no equal.
Starting with 1995′s ‘The Impossible Bird’ through to 2011′s ‘The Old Magic,’ Nick has turned out a fantastic string of albums, each one devised in his West London home, and recorded with a core of musicians who possess the same veteran savvy. Lowe brings wit and understated excellence to every performance, leading Ben Ratliff of the New York Times to describe his live show as “elegant and nearly devastating.”
Richard Thompson is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He made his début as a recording artist as a member of Fairport Convention in September 1967. He continues to write and record new material regularly and frequently performs live at venues throughout the world. Wikipedia
Location – Minneapolis
P. J. Tracy is a pseudonym for American mother-daughter writing team Patricia and Traci Lambrecht, winners of the Anthony, Barry, Gumshoe, and Minnesota Book Awards. Their nine novels include Monkeewrench, Live Bait, Dead Run, Snow Blind, Shoot to Thrill, and Off the Grid. Wikipedia
Sadly, Patricia passed away in December 2016, however, fortunate for fans, Traci has continued the series which continues to delight her readers. Be sure to read Traci’s reflections on her mom, included on the website.
Hap and Leonard series and Stand-alones.
Locations in Texas
Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale has written novels and stories in many genres, including Western, horror, science fiction, mystery, and suspense. As of 2018, he has written 45 novels and published 30 short-story collections along with many chapbooks and comic-book adaptations. He has been inducted into The Texas Literary Hall of Fame, and several of his novels have been adapted to film.
His Hap and Leonard series of ten novels, four novellas, and three short-story collections feature two friends, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, who live in the fictional town of Laborde, in East Texas, and find themselves solving a variety of often unpleasant crimes. The characters themselves are an unlikely pairing; Hap is a white, working-class laborer in his mid-forties who once protested against the war in Vietnam and spent time in federal prison rather than be drafted; Leonard is a gay, black Vietnam vet. Both of them are accomplished fighters, and the stories (told from Hap’s narrative point of view) feature a great deal of violence, profanity, and sex. Lansdale paints a picture of East Texas which is essentially “good” but blighted by racism, ignorance, urban and rural deprivation, and government corruption. Some of the subject matter is extremely dark, and includes scenes of brutal violence. These novels are also characterized by sharp humor and “wisecracking” dialogue. These books have been adapted into a TV series for the SundanceTV channel and a series of graphic novels began publication in 2017. Season 2 of the television series is based on the second Hap and Leonard novel, Mucho Mojo, and season 3, which premiered on 3/7/18, is based on the third novel, The Two-Bear Mambo. Much of Lansdale’s work has been issued and re-issued as limited editions by Subterranean Press and as trade paperbacks by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Publications. His current new-release publisher is Mulholland Books. Lansdale also publishes with Dark Regions Press and Tachyon Publications, and with his daughter Kasey he has started a new publishing company called Pandi Press to control the re-issue and publishing of his older works.
Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading, MBE is a British singer-songwriter and guitarist. A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Armatrading has also been nominated twice for BRIT Awards as Best Female Artist. She received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection in 1996. Wikipedia
(February 2, 1963 – November 2, 1996) was an American singer and guitarist known for her interpretations of jazz and blues. In 1992, she released her first album, The Other Side, a set of duets with go-go musician Chuck Brown, followed by the 1996 live solo album titled Live at Blues Alley.
A Cure for Loneliness manifests the same vibrant passion for music that’s motivated Peter Wolf for most of his life. Growing up in an artistic, politically engaged family in the Bronx, he became an early rock ‘n’ roll convert after attending an Alan Freed rock ‘n’ roll revue that included performances by Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Frankie Lymon. His thirst for new and old sounds drove him to exploring blues, soul, country, folk and jazz, inspiring weekly visits to Harlem’s Apollo Theatre and leading to acquaintances with many of the music’s surviving originators.
Wolf’s talent as a painter won him a grant to study at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts. While a student there, he experienced a life-changing epiphany after jumping on stage to sing with a blues band at a loft party. He soon talked himself into membership in that band, The Hallucinations.
“I didn’t join a band to meet girls,” Wolf recalls. “I joined my first band to meet musicians. Painting was a fascination for me, but I was a music fanatic, and sitting in with that band was a born-again type of experience for me. I was transfixed, and myself and some of the guys in the band would check out performances by the musicians we admired so much, like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker and John Coltrane and Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers. Those roots stayed with me.”
Wolf’s natural loquaciousness won him a job as an all-night DJ on the fledgling FM rock station WBCN. Adopting the persona of “the Woofa Goofa,” he spun raw rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm ‘n’ blues, channeling the spirit of the flashy, fast-talking DJs he’d grown up listening to.
Wolf’s encyclopedic musical knowledge came in handy when he and some like-minded Boston players formed the J. Geils Band, much of whose early repertoire was drawn from Wolf’s vast record collection. The band soon became a local favorite injecting a much-needed jolt of raw, uninhibited rock ‘n’ roll into the ’70s scene and was soon signed by Jerry Wexler for Atlantic Records. Between 1970 and 1983, the J. Geils Band released 13 influential albums, topped the pop single charts with 1981’s “Freeze Frame,” “Love Stinks,” “Centerfold,” and earned a reputation as one of rock’s most exciting live acts, thanks in large part to Wolf’s flamboyant, hyperactive stage presence.
After going solo with 1984’s Lights Out, Wolf continued to stake out new musical territory with the subsequent releases Lights Out, Come As You Are, Up to No Good, Long Line, Fool’s Parade, Sleepless and Midnight Souvenirs, and A Cure For Loneliness. His solo work has seen him collaborate with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Merle Haggard, John Lee Hooker, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Little Milton, Wilson Pickett, Shelby Lynne and Neko Case. Wolf temporarily reunited with his J. Geils Band cohorts for live shows on several occasions between 1999 and 2015, but his solo career has remained his creative focus, as A Cure for Loneliness makes clear.
Tonio K. (a.k.a. Steven M. Krikorian, b. July 4, 1950) is an American singer/songwriter who has released eight critically acclaimed albums and has had original songs recorded by many of Pop, Rock, Country and R&B’s leading artists ranging from Al Green, Aaron Neville and Burt Bacharach to Bonnie Raitt, Wynonna Judd and Vanessa Williams. His song, “16 Tons Of Monkeys,” co-written with guitarist Steve Schiff, was the featured tune in the 1992 Academy Award winning Live Action Short Film, Session Man. His work with Bacharach and Hip-Hop impresario Dr. Dre won the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Recording in 2005.
Jonathan Allen Lethem is an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer. His first novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, a genre work that mixed elements of science fiction and detective fiction, was published in 1994. Wikipedia
His book Motherless Brooklyn was released as a major motion picture in November 2019. Watch Trailer
Location – Maryland
Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working full-time and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001.
Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards.
She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor’s Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association. Ms. Lippman grew up in Baltimore and attended city schools through ninth grade.
After graduating from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., Ms. Lippman attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her other newspaper jobs included the Waco Tribune-Herald and the San Antonio Light.
Lake Street Dive is a multigenre band that was founded in 2004 in Boston, Massachusetts. The band’s original members are Rachael Price (lead vocals), Mike “McDuck” Olson (trumpet, guitar), Bridget Kearney (upright bass), and Mike Calabrese (drums). Akie Bermiss (keyboards) joined the band on tour in 2017 and is on their 2018 album. Lake Street Dive started at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. The band was named after a street with many dive bars in Olson’s hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The band tours in North America, Australia, and Europe from their base in Brooklyn.
Artist Biography by Steve Huey
Producer, songwriter, arranger, session pianist, solo artist — Allen Toussaint wore all these hats over the course of his lengthy and prolific career, and his behind-the-scenes work alone would have been enough to make him a legend of New Orleans R&B. Thanks to his work with numerous other artists, Toussaintbore an enormous amount of responsibility for the sound of R&B in the Crescent City from the ’60s on into the ’70s. His productions kept with the times, moving from rollicking, earthy soul in the ’60s to gritty, rambunctious funk in the ’70s. As a composer, Toussaint proved himself a consistent hitmaker, penning more than a few gems that have since become R&B standards and been covered by countless artists working in many different styles. In keeping with that across-the-board appeal, Toussaint worked in some supporting capacity for a wide variety of rock and blues legends, particularly from the ’70s on. On top of all that, Toussaint waxed his own records from time to time, enjoying a creative peak in the ’70s with several albums that highlighted his laid-back vocals and elegantly funky piano work. Even if he wasn’t always the most visible figure, Toussaint‘s contributions to New Orleans music — and to rock & roll in general — were such that he earned induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Crumley was the quintessential novelist for post Vietnam War America. His disillusion was equal to his romantic streak, the both of them stoked by abundant appetites and consumption of just about every substance under the sun. He was a slumming poet in the vein of his icon, Chandler, and a consummate writer’s writer, capable of more feeling and more beauty in a sentence than many authors could fit into a book. Ask your favorite crime writer for a list of their most admired books and the odds are you’ll find The Last Good Kiss or some other adventure from the C.W. Sughrue or Milo Milodragovitch series among them.
John Robert Hiatt is an American singer-songwriter and musician. He has played a variety of musical styles on his albums, including new wave, blues, and country. Hiatt has been nominated for nine Grammy Awards and has been awarded a variety of other distinctions in the music industry.
Tom Perrotta is the bestselling author of nine works of fiction, including Election and Little Children, both of which were made into Oscar-nominated films, and The Leftovers, which was adapted into a critically acclaimed, Peabody Award-winning HBO series. His other books include Bad Haircut, The Wishbones, Joe College, The Abstinence Teacher, Nine Inches, and his newest, Mrs. Fletcher. His work has been translated into a multitude of languages. Perrotta grew up in New Jersey and lives outside of Boston.
Joseph Craig English is an American artist predominantly known for his silkscreen prints focusing on street and landscape scenery of and about places around the Greater Washington, DC area. He currently resides and works in the historic community of Washington Grove, Maryland.
Jesse Winchester, the esteemed singer-songwriter who became a symbol of the anti-war movement when he moved to Canada to escape the draft in the Sixties, died April 11th from bladder cancer. Winchester, who was living in Virginia when he died, was 69.
While never as well known as peers like James Taylor and Jackson Browne, Winchester wrote some of the defining singer-songwriter tracks of the seventies — evocations of American and Southern life like “Yankee Lady,” “Biloxi,” “Mississippi You’re on My Mind” and “The Brand New Tennessee Waltz” that ached with feelings of loss for the country he decided he had to leave. The songs gained him a cult following and critical respect, and were covered by everyone from George Strait to Tim Hardin. Winchester was considered such a formidable songwriter that a 2012 tribute album, Quiet About It, featured versions of his songs by Taylor, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Buffett, Rosanne Cash, Lucinda Williams, and Vince Gill, among others.
Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1944, Winchester started playing music in Memphis, where his family later relocated. In 1967, he received a draft induction letter, but instead of showing up, he took a plane to Montreal. “I was so offended by someone’s coming up to me and presuming to tell me who I should kill and what my life was worth,” he told Rolling Stone in 1977. He arrived in Canada with only $300 and no connections, but settled into a new life, joining a local band and finally writing his own material. (Rolling Stone)
Poet and novelist Jim Harrison spent much of his life in Michigan on a farm near where he was born, as well as Montana and Arizona. His connection to rural landscapes was evident in his free-verse, imagistic poetry, which often explores human and animal drives set against an unforgiving natural world. Noting the poetry’s relation to Hemingway’s prose style in a review of Harrison’s Selected & New Poems 1961–1981, poet and critic Richard Tillinghast declared in the New York Times that “Mr. Harrison has few equals as a writer on outdoor life, the traditional heritage and proving ground of the American male.”
Harrison earned a BA and MA at Michigan State University, and he taught briefly at SUNY Stony Brook. After the publication of his first collection of poetry, Plain Song (1965), he returned to Michigan, where he worked as a freelance journalist and laborer until he began to earn a living from his writing.
Harrison published more than a dozen collections of poetry, including Livingston Suite (2005), Saving Daylight (2006), In Search of Small Gods (2009), Songs of Unreason (2011), and Dead Man’s Float (2016). He was also well known as a fiction writer, publishing numerous novels and collections. His novel Legends of the Fall (1979) received considerable critical acclaim and was made into a 1995 feature film. Harrison wrote several screenplays for Warner Bros. and other studios. He served as poetry editor of The Nation and coeditor of Sumac. He wrote a food column, “The Raw and the Cooked,” for Esquire magazine, and his collection of essays, Just Before Dark (1991), includes some of his food writing along with literary and nature essays. Harrison died in 2016.
Walter Mosley is one of America’s most celebrated and beloved writers. His books have won numerous awards and have been translated into more than twenty languages.
Mosley is the author of the acclaimed Easy Rawlins series of mysteries, including national bestsellers Cinnamon Kiss, Little Scarlet, and Bad Boy Brawly Brown; the Fearless Jones series, including Fearless Jones, Fear Itself, and Fear of the Dark; the novels Blue Light and RL’s Dream; and two collections of stories featuring Socrates Fortlow, Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, for which he received the Anisfield-Wolf Award, and Walkin’ the Dog. He lives in New York City.
What sustains a band for more than three decades? Not a hit radio band, but a roll-up-your-sleeves/drive to the next gig overnight/carry your own gear up the steps and night after night make people happy kind of band. One that makes them dance; sends them home to come back again—and again. What makes that kind band stay together through relatively few personnel changes? Answer: A good idea; a universal yet somehow unique, good idea.
The Nighthawks sought not so much to reinvent rock and roll, but simply to have it reinvent itself by taking the original ingredients and following—if somewhat loosely—the original recipe. And like good cooks, the individual personalities involved ultimately affected the outcome.
The band was over 10 years old and had baffled the mainstream industry before the term “roots rock” was coined to explain the likes of West Coasters like Los Lobos and The Blasters. By then, the affiliation with many of the living blues greats seemed to brand The Nighthawks a “blues band” despite the fact that they played with Carl Perkins as well as Muddy Waters.
The Nighthawks had its genesis when lead singer-harmonica player extraordinaire Mark Wenner returned to his native Washington, D.C. after six years in New York City, lured back by the success of his friend Bobby Radcliff’s local acclaim with a blues band. Mark joined forces with a then very young Jimmy Thackery and formed The Nighthawks in 1972. They spent a couple of years building The Nighthawks’ reputation with a revolving cast of characters until, in 1974, they decided to get the best rhythm section the area had to offer: Jan Zukowski on bass and Pete Ragusa on drums.
The Nighthawks set off on a musical mystery tour that took them to 49 states and a dozen countries. They played with nearly all the living blues legends as well as a new generation of bands, sometimes called “the Blue Wave”, and released several important albums including the best-selling Jacks and Kingswith Pinetop Perkins, Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, Calvin Jones and Bob Margolin. (Servern Records 2017)
Could not resist the throwback video..enjoy
Over the past few years, The Dustbowl Revival has been making a name for itself with a vibrant mix of vintage Americana sounds. Critics have proclaimed that this eclectic eight-piece “would have sounded utterly at home within the hallowed confines of Preservation Hall in New Orleans’ French Quarter” (Los Angeles Times) and their “upbeat, old-school, All-American sonic safaris exemplify everything shows should be: hot, spontaneous, engaging and, best of all, a pleasure to hear”