Monday, October 29, 2012

Wet Willie in Tuscaloosa #6

Wet Willie in Tuscaloosa #6  (A killer performance of "Rendezvous With The Blues.")

Alabama Music goes to the historic Bama Theatre in downtown
Tuscaloosa, Alabama to see Wet Willie and Bad Brad & The Sipsey Slims
perform for The Alabama Blues Project Benefit September 2012.

Wet Willie began as a thrown together blues-rock band during the
magical Summer of 1969 "way down in Alabama"...(Mobile, to be precise).
The original nucleus of the group that eventually became known as Wet
Willie was called Fox. The first "gig" was a booking in Panama City,
Florida at a club called the Oddessy, a geodesic dome right on the
beach. For those who must have a concept, or reason and meaning behind
every occurring work in any medium of art, the only one I can think of
was "fun". Raw,

Drummer Lewis Ross assembled the musicians for a group called "Fox" in
the summer of 1969, which a year later became known as "Wet Willie." Wet
Willie was a versatile, high-energy Southern rock band that, from 1971
until 1978, produced an array of albums awash in good-time music,
rollicking high-energy blues-rock, and white Southern soul, but racked
up just one Top Ten hit and a lot of admirers.

The core members of the band during that period were Jimmy Hall,
vocals, harmonica, saxophone; Jimmy's brother Jack Hall on bass; John
Anthony on keyboards; Ricky Hirsch on guitar, and Lewis Ross on drums
and percussion. The duo of girls singing background vocals dubbed "The
Williettes" were staple of the classic Wet Willie sound, and always
featured Jimmy & Jack's sister, Donna Hall. Keyboardist Mike Duke also
joined from The Wetter The Better LP onwards. For a short period of time
in 1974 UK singer Elkie Brooks joined the band as a backing singer, as
did future Honkette Leslie Hawkins.

Wet Willie put out several albums on Capricorn Records between 1971 and
1977. Along with a "Greatest Hits" album released on Polydor Records,
they also released 2 more final studio albums on Epic Records, although
some hits collections and further live recordings have been released as
recently as 2006. Perhaps their best-known LP is the 1973 live album,
Drippin' Wet, but their main claim to fame is the hit single, "Keep On
Smilin,'" which reached #10 on the Billboard singles chart. They also
enjoyed some other Billboard-charted songs with "Country Side Of Life,"
"Everything That 'Cha Do" (Will Come Back To You), "Leona," and from
their Epic Records period, "Street Corner Serenade" and "Weekend" from
the LP's Manorisms and Which One's Willie? They toured and recorded
extensively from 1969 through the early Eighties, and they still perform

Wet Willie released a new live CD "Miles of Smiles" in 2012 and is
touring with 4 original members, including original lead singer Jimmy
Hall, brother Jack Hall on bass, sister Donna Hall on vocals and TK
Lively on drums, as well as other long time members Ric Seymour on
guitar and vocals, Ricky Chancey on guitar and newest member Bobby
Mobley on keys.

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