Latest “Hurricane” Advisory

Latest “Hurricane” Advisory

Latest “Hurricane” Advisory

Latest “Hurricane” Advisory

By Monte Adkison aka “The Blues Stalker”

My relationship with Roger “Hurricane” Wilson goes back about 25 years. I first heard Roger play guitar at a local pub that a friend owned who held live music shows on Sunday afternoons for musicians traveling back from gigs in South Florida. In fact, Roger is responsible for my pen name, “the Blues Stalker.”  I had seen Roger play in Florida one of those Sunday afternoons. The next day I was on my way to Oxford, Mississippi, to engage in a Florida Humanities Council scholarship to study the history of blues music at ‘Ole Miss. I spent the night with my sister in Atlanta and we went to a coffee house in Marietta and Roger was playing there. The next evening I was in Oxford and he was playing at a venue on the square there and I showed up to hear him.  So, in 3 days in 3 different states, we collided. On the third day, he asked me jokingly (?)  “Are you stalking me?”

Months later, when I had begun writing for the Suncoast Blues Society’s newsletter Twelve Bar Rag (1997) I told a colleague that I needed a pen name to write under. I had also told him the story of seeing Roger and him accusing me of “stalking” me. So my friend suggested, “how about the Blues Stalker?”  That is how the moniker was claimed and over the years Roger and I have become blues buddies colliding on the blues highway frequently. Roger was also at the organizational meeting of the Suncoast Blues Society to offer advice and has always been a big supporter of the Suncoast Blues Society.

Roger has over 40 years’ experience in broadcasting, television and radio, in addition to being an accomplished songwriter, guitar instructor and musician. Inspired by an Allman Brothers performance in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park, he started playing guitar professionally in 1972. He taught guitar lessons at his own studio from 1973-1985. In 1986 he worked for CNN for a decade and then went on the road in 1996. In 1997 he started his own record label BlueStorm Records. (www.BluestormRecords.com) With over 25 CDs to his credit and many years of touring playing festivals and clubs, Roger still teaches guitar lessons on the internet, teaches Blues in the Schools sessions, judges the International Blues Challenge, continues to write music and record, and tours in his recreational vehicle.

Roger has developed quite a following of fans at RV resorts and campgrounds when he takes his music skills on the road to share with others. With over a half century of experience in the music and entertainment industry, his journey was finally penned in his autobiography “Hurricane” published in 2016.

BS:         Roger, in your opinion, what are the best and the worst trends that you have observed in your fifty years in the music business?

RW:       I really appreciate the technology available now for recording, promoting, and distributing music ourselves that gives us total control over our bodies of work. After all of the time I was on the road, working on my own music at home and doing everything from there is very enjoyable and much more productive.

After doing two hundred or so dates a year on the road for a long time, it seems I am reaching more people worldwide than ever before. A big negative is how inconsiderate, rude, and clueless so many audiences are these days. With as much that is out there today, it seems that no one is listening most of the time. Music is  supposed to be listened to and not talked over. There is nothing wrong with dancing and having a good time, but for the singer/songwriter/performer to actually engage and be listened to as opposed to just being heard, the artist has to be selective and choose his or her own audience. 

BS:         You have been a judge at the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis. What advice would you give artists competing for the first time?

RW:       Just present your material as you would at a regular gig. What I mean by that is do what you do. Don’t try to be something you aren’t, or try to throw an act together just for the IBC. As judges, we can see right through that. An example would be having seen numerous musicians come in as a duo, with one playing guitar accompanied by a saxophone player. It most always never works. Muddy Waters once said if you will just be yourself, they will love you.

BS:         For the gear heads, what is your favorite ax? What other gear are you partial to?

RW:       My onstage gear is quite simple. For my electric sets, I played Les Paul’s for many years, but settled on Fender Strat’s since the sound was more versatile in my trio situation, which has been the norm for me since the late 50’s. LOL. A minimal effects board consisting of two Boss Delays, one set long and one short, a Boss Chorus pedal, an Ibanez Tube Screamer, and a Dunlop Cry Baby Wah Wah pedal, are more than enough for what I need. As far as amps, I’ve endorsed Peavey amps since the mid 90’s, but a Fender Deluxe has proved time and time again that it can take a licking and keep on ticking. For my acoustic sets, Taylor Guitars have been very good to me with an endorsement deal since 2003. I have a 700, a GS, and a T5, and I do utilize a TC Helicon harmonizer and a Boss RC 2 looper to keep things interesting and fun.

BS:    You participate in Blues in the Schools programs and have recorded several CDs with high school jazz bands. Can you tell us about that experience?

RW:       I simply started out going into classrooms simply trying to let kids know there was life before rap and to pull their pants up. Once they heard the music and some of the stories, they were hooked. It is a shame that the arts have suffered in U.S. education for such a long time. Hats off to organizations, teachers, and administrators that think out of the box by getting it and trying to rally against the ignorance of the constant testers and bean counters.

BS:         You often perform at the Rentiesville Dusk ‘Til Dawn Blues Festival and were inducted into the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame in 2015. For those unfamiliar with that festival, tell us about it.

RW:    The festival was founded in 1990 by legendary Oklahoma Bluesman, D.C. Minner, along with his wife, Selby. My first appearance there was in 2003, and I have been back every year since simply because it is the real deal. I was able to get involved with nearby Checotah High School to work with the band director. That led to a number of years performing with the high school band at the blues festival. The Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame had been created there early on, and since they had created a division for folks that worked in the state, but weren’t native to it, there were a number of us that were formally inducted. It was a real honor. The festival was virtual in 2020, but will be back in person over Labor Day Weekend 2021. All information can be found at: http://dcminnerblues.com/    

BS:         Your latest CD, “Live at the Time Out Pub” was actually recorded in 2010 and is charting and receiving acclaim globally. Tell us about the venue and why you chose to recently release it.

RW:    My plan was to release it much earlier, but I got sidetracked with other projects along the way, as well as touring. While recording my sets every night on the road, this one really stood out. The band, Harry Werner on bass, and Scott Stump on drums, who I referred to as The Pennsylvania Railroad, along with the crowd, really locked in that night. The Time Out Pub in Rockland, Maine hosted road acts every Monday night for many years. It was presented by Paul Benjamin, founder of the North Atlantic Blues Festival, who gave many acts a gig on a Monday night as opposed to having to suffer through another empty weeknight on the road with their tongues hanging out. The Time Out Pub closed as a result of Covid 19,  as many venues did, so it was obvious that it was the right time to preserve something else that was now gone.

BS:         With regards to technology—the current options of Vinyl, YouTube, streaming services, CDs, etc. are constantly evolving and challenging for the consumer as well as the artists. You utilize AirPlay Direct to get your music played all over the world. Can you share your thoughts on how artists can best get their music to the people most effectively at this time- particularly during pandemic and post-pandemic times with so many venues closed down.

RW:    For me, I just keep writing, recording, releasing music, and putting it out. If folks like it, that’s even better.

 I’ve always played music for me because it was fun, not really caring if anyone was listening or not. That was my approach as a little kid, since I didn’t know any better. As I aged and saw how music transcends geographical, ethnic, and racial barriers, how could I not want to keep on doing it! To answer the question, this goes back to my statement about so many (not all) people not listening in live situations. For musicians, the stage is where you keep your chops up. For others, it’s that fix of the applause that they can’t live without. I suppose I was guilty of that for a time, but somewhere along the way, that addiction left… thankfully! With the internet and digital distribution by way of many devices, and music being so portable that it can be taken anywhere, I think most people are more apt to actually listen. As far as vinyl, I still have a wall of shelves full, but you have to be sitting in one place, probably at home to experience it. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever, but in my case, if I play a vinyl record,  I’m usually transferring it to digital from a USB turntable. Just as well, the digital formats don’t melt in your vehicle when the temperature exceeds one hundred degrees. I’m speaking from experience.   

BS:         You travel self-contained in your own recreational vehicle/camper. I know that you have a following of fans at many campgrounds that you use and did I see where you are having an ‘RV tour in the fall where fans can follow you? What a clever idea. Tell us more.

RW: That was an opportunity that surfaced as a result of my wonderful wife, Jolie, understanding how much I was touring, to purchase a motorhome back in 1998 for me to travel and carry a band in. As the band opportunities became more difficult to maintain travel-wise, I elected to utilize different rhythm sections in different parts of the country and abroad. In searching for the best option for travel, downsizing to a van and a pull behind trailer was a suitable alternative. As my solo situation proved to be more economical and less stressful, RV resorts were a pleasant change from the usual run of the mill roadhouse to an audience that would never see or hear me otherwise. And I could hang out and enjoy the facilities and scenery for a few days as well.

BS:    Other than Duane, what artists that have passed do you miss performing the most?

RW:    The legendary Roy Buchanan was a close friend and mentor to me. I met him in the 70’s while doing an interview with him, and we became close friends. So many greats were ever so supportive such as Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, who I actually toured and recorded a live CD with. Many such as Hubert Sumlin, Little Milton, Willie King, Big Jack Johnson, James and Lucky Peterson, and Robert Jr. Lockwood, among others, were all very gracious in telling me personally to stay the course and “Don’t Quit!”

BS:         How can fans obtain your music, book, and your schedule? By the way, yes, I will be stalking you!

RW:    Folks can order the book and also get a FREE MP3 on the home page at www.HurricaneWilson.com. We’re always looking for new subscribers on my Youtube Channel @RogerWilsonGuitar.

I’m also at Facebook @HurricaneWilson, Twitter @RogerHurricaneW, and Instagram@RogerHurricaneWilsonGuitar. The record company website is www.BluestormRecords.com.

 

 

 

2021 Suncoast Blues Challenge

2021 Suncoast Blues Challenge

2021 Suncoast Blues Challenge

Hello Suncoast Blues Society Members & Supporters
Just in case you haven’t yet heard (lol), this Sunday, July 25th, your Suncoast Blues Society will hold their regional Suncoast Blues Challenge to determine what band to send to Memphis for the 37th International Blues Challenge in January.

The event will take place at 10th Street Live, 1330 US Hwy 301, Palmetto.
There is also a restaurant, El Sombrero, so food and drinks (full bar) will be available.

We are excited to announce the 4 bands that will be performing:

  • JSanti & Gamblin’ Shame
  • Memphis Lightning
  • Memphis Rub Band
  • Randy Stephens & The Groove Makers

Performance slots will be drawn on the day of the competition so plan to arrive early and get a good seat, or you may bring your own chair. Show starts at 2pm – doors open at noon.

Advance ticket sales are still available for $10 at suncoastblues.org/shop or $15 at the door.
There will also be a raffle and silent auction so bring your cash and/or credit cards!
Income from the show goes to support the winning band’s travel expenses to Memphis.

We have 5 highly qualified judges:

Mark Thompson – Former President of Suncoast Blues Society and writer/reviewer for several blues publications.

Jose Ramirez – Delmark Recording artist, Blues Music Award Nominee in 2021, and 2nd place IBC winner in 2020.

Mark Goodman – photographer; received 2008 Grammy for “City That Care Forgot”-Dr. John & The Lower Nine. Been judging in Memphis since 2007.

Rick Lewis – a long time blues lover since seeing Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1983, as well as a professional concert photographer specializing in the Blues Music Genre. This is his 3rd time being a judge for the Suncoast Blues Society IBC.

Velma Glover – 2017 IBC Winner, Velma “Spice” Glover, is a home grown, born into the Blues, singer/songwriter/producer, and performer. Spice is the daughter of the late local Blues Chanteuse, Loretta Glover, and without a doubt carries a bloodline of the Blues within her veins.
________________________________________

 

You are going to want to stay till the end – whenever that might be – for an after-competition show by Josh Rowand and The Pitbull of Blues Band, including surprise guests, while the judges score sheets are tallied.

Josh is no stranger to the IBC. Having placed third in the 2020 competition, the band successfully made it to the final stage at The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis. They know what it takes to make it “All The Way TO Memphis”.

So come on out and join us for a fun and unique day of blues music – we guarantee you will more than get your money’s worth!

Thank you again for supporting live music!
Madame Pres – Terri

And now, let’s meet our contestants!


JSanti & The Gamblin’ Shame

Having been displaced from NYC due to the Covid-19 pandemic, JSanti (John Santiago) moved to Sarasota, FL. Upon doing so, he was invited to a jam session at the “Experimental Farm Road Compound” where music and humans of a like-mind communicated and connected. Upon this meeting, J met Andrew LeachMiranda Becker, Sabrina McClenithanZeena Brown and Sean Adam Walsh.  Soon after, he would meet Marcus James, also displaced from NYC.

After having played some music with Experimental Farm Road, he was introduced to Clint Justesen, of Wild Horses. The magnetic and resonant energy between these people led them to enter the 2021 Suncoast Blues Challenge, where they will perform their very first show, showcasing JSanti’s original music, with much more to come from the group’s diverse gathering of songwriters

Memphis Lightning 


Known for our Explosive Stage Show, and High Energy Roots, Blues and Rock n Roll! Memphis Lightning was born out of tradition with a pedigree second to none. Having the chance to learn from some of the best, Memphis Lightning are the real deal. Their energetic performances will bring you back to the days when the Juke Joints were rockin’ and the Blues was King. Featuring Lightnin’ on Guitar, he is backed by his father Big Red and Lil’ Stevie!So bring a friend and get struck by Lightning!!!

Memphis Rub Band

Memphis Rub is a 4-piece blues-rock band from the Sarasota/Bradenton area of Florida, performing a blend of blues, rock, funk and R&B.

The band features “Hurricane” Gary Drouin (guitar), Scott Matzke (bass/vocals), “Barefoot” Dan Ryan (keyboards), and David Wells (drums). In 2016 Gary and Scott decided to form a band and name it after the city that calls itself the “Home of the Blues”, the “Birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll” and the “Cradle of American Music”. Dan was next to join the band and David came on board in 2019. The Memphis Rub Band performs at a variety of venues and festivals up and down the Suncoast, putting their spin on tunes by musicians such as Delbert McClinton, Tommy Castro, Ace Moreland, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and others. The band also writes and performs original music. In 2018 Memphis Rub released their first album, “Taste”, and songs from the album have been played on area radio stations including WMNF and WSLR.

Randy Stephens & the Groove Makers

Performing in Sarasota County for 10 years now RSGM plays regularly in and around the southwest area. Randy’s Groove Makers have had the pleasure opening for many acts over the years to include Albert Castiglia, Pat Travers, Larry McCray, and Biscuit MIller & the MIx.

Randy Stephens has a new original album coming out with ‘Devil in the Details’ on Sony Records to be released September 2021. The Groove Makers have evolved from a Power Trio into a mighty quartet with award winning guitarist Randy Stephens at the helm, guitar/vocals, “Detroit” Mike Michael Hepner on piano/keys for the late Brian Lee, Jessie Stephens on bass guitar, and Mark Richards on drums.

 

 

 

50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music Alligator Records – Disk 2

50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music Alligator Records – Disk 2

50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music Alligator Records – Disk 2

50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music

Alligator Records – Disk 2

The energy at the end of disk one continues with the first recording of this 21-track disk. The late Michael Burks and “Love Disease” is followed by the marvelous Kenny Neal with “I’m a Blues Man”.  Arguably underrated, The Holmes Brothers please with their foot tapping beat and creative lyrics on “Run Myself Out of Town”. A classic from a classic blues band that will probably have you singing along.

“Jump Start” reminds us how wonderful a guitar player “Little Charlie” Baty was, performing here with The Nightcats. And an Alligator recording would not be complete without Katie Webster, featured on “I’m Still Leaving You”. A duo whose career ended much too early, Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King, rock and slide their way through “Don’t Lose My Number”

Downshifting a bit, Carey Bell brings some old-time, smokey-bar Chicago blues with “I Got a Rich Man’s Woman”, the one that is “living on a poor man’s pay”.  C. J. Chenier turns up the heat, and probably your volume, with Zydeco in “Au Contraire, Mon Frere”. Mavis Staples impresses with “There’s A Devil On The Loose”.

“That’s Not What You Said Last Night” has Bob Margolin rocking out; old-time blues returns with Billy Boy Arnold and “Man of Considerable Taste”. Piedmont blues appears with Cephas & Wiggins who “Ain’t Seen My Baby”. Nice harmonica work on this one, and they are followed with a slow blues number from Long John Hunter called “Marfa Lights”, one that had me picturing couples dancing, closely.

Joe Louis Walker has a different opinion, and searing guitar work, with “I Won’t Do That”. Janiva Magness funks it up with “That’s What Love Will Make You Do”, leaving the listener to consider if love will make Joe Louis do what he sang he would not do.

The second volume wraps up with a country blues song “Going Back To Alabama” by The Siegel-Schwall Band, and a gospel number from Corey Harris & Henry Butler called “Why Don’t You Live So That God Can Use You”.

You can read the review from disk one of this recording at Suncoast Blues Society

We wrap up next week with the third disk on this wonderful retrospective from Alligator Records.

To purchase “50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music” or recordings from Alligator artists visit  
Alligator Records.

  • Scott Morris
  •  
50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music Alligator Records – Disk 1

50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music Alligator Records – Disk 1

50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music Alligator Records – Disk 1

50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music

Alligator Records – Disk 1

 

For many, this will be the soundtrack of your blues life. Bruce Iglauer founded Alligator Records 50 years ago in Chicago. And has crafted a 58-song 4-hour retrospective of some of the best blues produced during the past half century. 

Much has changed in these 50 years. And perhaps most of all is the distribution of music. Many, including this author will recall ordering early Alligator LPs via the mail. At that time there was no distribution into long gone record “emporiums” such as Sam Goody or Tower Records. Now, we’ve become accustom to taking music distribution digitally. Good for the listener, but maybe not so much for the recording companies and certainly not for the artist. For this one you may want to buy a “hard copy”. Alligator Records 50 Years of Genuine Houserockin Music contains not only great music but the liner notes written by Bruce are priceless. I learned so much, or recalled much forgotten, by reading Bruce’s heartfelt remembrances of his 50 years in providing joy to the blues music community. 

Now, onto the music, all remastered for this release. Fittingly, the “50 Years” collection begins with a pair of “Taylors” – Hound Dog Taylor and Koko Taylor. Hound Dog and, what else, “The House Rockers” kick of the party with “Give Me Back My Wig”, and Koko chimes in with “I’m a Woman”.  Professor Longhair takes us to New Orleans with “It’s My Fault Darling”, and the Lone Star State rocks it out with Johnny Winter’s rollicking “Lights Out”. The music slows down with “The Ice man” Albert Collins and “Blue Monday Hangover”.

James Cotton and “Little Car Blues” features James’s singing, and returned my mind to his collaborations with Johnny Winter and Muddy Waters. Albert Collins returns in combination with Johnny Copeland and Robert Cray with the wonderful song “The Dream”, originally found on their masterful recording “The Showdown”. Speaking of Muddy, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown contributes a version of “Mojo” that is, well, uniquely Gatemouth. Most enjoyable. 

Following Gatemouth was my first memory jogger. It was so good to once again hear Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women, and their whimsical “Sloppy Drunk. Disk 1 concludes with another “blast from the past” with The Paladins bringing their blues rockabilly on “Keep on Lovin’ Me Baby”. Kept hitting replay on this one, “woh yea!”. 

Suncoast Blues Society returns next week with a review of Part 2, the second disk of this recording. 

To purchase “50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music” or recordings from Alligator artists visit Alligator Records.

 

  • Scott Morris
2021 Blues Challenge

2021 Blues Challenge

2021 Blues Challenge

2021 Blues Challenge

If you showed up for the Suncoast Blues challenge in 2019 you know it was a heck of a good time and we are gearing up to do it again at 10th Street Live in Palmetto.

We’ve got another great crop of competitors and we will have five impartial parties, well-versed in Blues to judge the event. Deadline for competitors to register is July 1st.

It’s going to be a blast and you’ll get to hear some great music topped off by a special performance from Josh Rowand & The Pitbull of Blues Band so wear your dancing shoes!

Doors will open at 1 PM and music starts at 2 PM.

Tickets are on sale now

Admission is $10 in advance and $15 at the door, which goes toward the winners’ trip to Memphis.

Be sure read Suncoast Blues News as each week we will be telling you more about our competitors.

 

 

Music Compound to host Cigar Box Guitar workshop

Music Compound to host Cigar Box Guitar workshop

Music Compound to host Cigar Box Guitar workshop

Music Compound to host Cigar Box Guitar workshop

Funding from the Suncoast Blues Society to sponsor fun-filled workshop for up to 10 students ages 8-18

SARASOTA, FL – Families seeking fun and creative options for their students this summer will enjoy this opportunity: On Saturday, July 10, Music Compound, and the Suncoast Blues Society are partnering to present a Cigar Box Guitar Workshop, led by noted local blues musician Steve Arvey. Ages 8-18 are invited to participate in the fun-filled morning, with each child/teen building their own cigar box guitar.

The workshop takes place from 10 a.m.-noon at Music Compound’s Cattlemen location (1751 Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota). Reclaimed woods and recycled materials are used to build the handcrafted cigar box guitars; the workshop includes all materials, a history lesson, and a jam session. The event is free – thanks to the sponsorship of the Suncoast Blues Society – but attendance is limited to the first 10 registrants.

The Suncoast Blues Society is dedicated to celebrating and promoting the musical genre known as the blues, preserving its history and traditions, supporting blues musicians, and sharing blues music with current and future generations in the Tampa Bay area. The Society’s mission statement for “Keeping the Blues Alive” is seen through its support of live blues music as well as through its community outreach programs, such as this workshop.

“The Suncoast Blues Society is thrilled to be able to offer programs like this, for all ages, throughout the region,” said Terri O’Brien, Society president. “The blues is a genre to which many younger people may not have enjoyed extensive exposure; through workshops like this one, they can enjoy a creative activity while learning about the history of and getting an opportunity to play the blues.”

“We are so excited to host this workshop and bring awareness and enjoyment of this activity and the music to area children,” added Jenny Townsend, owner of the Music Compound. “Cigar box guitars have a rich history and we’re confident the participants will enjoy learning about as well as playing them!”

Workshop facilitator Steve Arvey began his career playing the Chicago blues circuit during the 1970s. During that period, he shared the stage with many of the legendary blues masters from the Windy City. Now living in Florida, Arvey is a fixture at major festivals and nightclubs throughout the South, Europe, and the Caribbean. He is also considered by many to be one of the top cigar box guitar players in the world today.

To reserve your student’s spot for the workshop, call 941-379-9100 or visit musiccompound.com/blues.

Noted local blues artist Steve Arvey will lead the Cigar Box Guitar workshop at Music Compound on July 10

About Music Compound
The Music Compound provides an environment to inspire, collaborate and educate children and adults in pursuit of their love of music.  The goal is to transform dreams into reality by providing a contemporary and influential environment for musicians of all ages. For more information, visit www.musiccompound.com.