Sociable

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jason Bailey Interview



Video-Jason Bailey Interview 




Alabama Music Office.com goes to Fretted Instruments in Homewood, Alabama to interview Jason Bailey, mandolinist.

Meet Alabama Mandolinist-Jason Bailey  by Jerry W. Henry

Wikipedia tells us that a mandolin (Italian: mandolino) is a musical instrument in the lute family (plucked, or strummed). It descends from the mandore, a soprano member of the lute family. The mandolin soundboard (the top) comes in many shapes—but generally round or teardrop-shaped, sometimes with scrolls or other projections. A mandolin may have f-holes, or a single round or oval sound hole. A round or oval sound hole may be bordered with decorative rosettes or purfling.
Jason Bailey is Mandolinist, composer, teacher, studio musician, Jason Bailey possesses a range of musicianship of a well-seasoned professional and is an essential and powerful asset to Birmingham-based favorites such as Celtic-infused Shillelagh Law and Henri's Notions, folk/rock Three Man Stone, bluegrass group The Bluegrass Cartel and the regional touring jazz/bluegrass/southern jam band Tonal Vision.
I met with Jason at Fretted Instruments in Homewood, Alabama where he teaches. Jason is from Birmingham and has always lived there with the exception of the 4 years he spent at Maryville College in Tennessee studying music.
In the mid'90's while still in high school he played guitar. He played the customary covers of Nirvana and Hendrix at local gigs. Then the mandolin entered his life. That is the point where he got serious about music.
That first mandolin came right after high school graduation. His parents, who have always supported his music, bought him a mandolin at a garage sale. That year Jason discovered mandolinist David Grisman as well as other great acoustic musicians.
I asked Jason, if you had a dream group, what music would you be playing? He answered, " I write a lot of music, so I definitely would want my dream group to be doing a lot of my compositions.  It would be something that was acoustic oriented. A lot of my originals are fusion, for lack of a better word, with a little bit of bluegrass, a little bit of jazz, a little bit of Celtic and maybe a hint of classical. I'm not really a classical musician. All that kind of mixed together. Newgrass, if you will. So something of that sort would be my ideal group to play with if I only had one."
He owns several mandolins. His favorite mandolins being his Gilchrist or his Hyde. The mandolin that gets played the most is an A style Collings. He uses electric mandolins when playing rock-oriented music. He has several more mandolins with names like Rono, Ryder, Wendler and Bacorn.
I asked, if he had ever played with Rick Carter. His reply, "Oh yea, I've played with him a bunch. Years back, occasionally there were times where their mandolin player at the time that also played guitar, Barry Waldrep, couldn't make a gig for some reason. They needed me to substitute. We both have long hair and play the mandolin so sometimes people didn't know he wasn't there. I have even signed his autograph too."
When asked, where he sees the future for Jason. His response, "That's an interesting question because I'm in a transition in my life right now. Things are going great in Birmingham but I have a place in Nashville. So I am traveling back and forth. Which is new for me. I really don't know what is going to unfold. As long as I can keep playing music and don't have to get a real job, then it's all going to be good for me, whether it's my dream band or not."
I asked, if he had hooked up with some Alabama or Nashville players up there. He responded, "It still relatively new for me, so I really haven't gotten immersed in the scene yet. I know players from Alabama, so I have contacted them and we've been in touch. The last two albums I put out, I recorded in Nashville. The musicians that are on that album I have been in contact as well. At this point, I am putting feelers out there. Finding out what all I am interested in and vise versa."
His first album is called, Southwood (Joots Music) and was recorded at Synchromesh Studios and Boutwell Studios in Birmingham. That album is all instrumental originals. His second album is September In The South (self-released) all the songs are originals but this time he included two songs by some friends. His third album is Mandolbug (self-released) another that is all instrumental originals. His albums can be bought on most Internet outlets.
Published in March 2013 issue Tannehill Trader

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Taylor Britton Interview



Taylor Britton Interview




Alabama Music Office.com goes into our studios to interview Taylor Britton. She is the lead singer of The Alabama Blues Project Advanced Band. Taylor is helping carry on the rich musical tradition we call the Blues. At 16 years old she exhibits a confidence that will aid greatly in tackling the business of music.
Taylor Britton, a name to watch in Alabama Music.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2Blu and The Lucky Stiffs "Goin Fishin"



2Blu and The Lucky Stiffs "Goin Fishin"

Alabama Music Office.com goes to DanielDay Gallery on 6th Ave. South in Birmingham, Alabama to attend a performance by 2Blu and the Lucky Stiffs.
2Blu and The Lucky Stiffs:
2011 Judged Alabama's Best Unsigned Blues Duo, Magic City Blues Society 
2010 Semi Finalist, IBC Blues Challenge, Memphis 
2009 Judged Alabama's Best Unsigned Blues Band, Magic City Blues Society 
2007 Semi Finalist and FINALIST, IBC Blues Competition, Acoustic Duo, Memphis 
2007 Judged Alabama's best Unsigned Acoustic Blues Duo 
2003 Judged Alabama's best Unsigned Acoustic Blues Duo 
2003 Semi Finalist, IBC Blues Competition, Memphis 
2002 Judged Alabama's Best Unsigned Blues Band; Semi Finalist, IBC Blues Competition, Memphis

What's The Music Like In General? 

We call it a premium blend of blues, rock, funk and gospel 
In the context of a show, we perform in three formats. Acoustic duo or trio, unplugged four piece and five piece electric band. 
When performing acoustically, the tunes are closer to a Delta Blues style with original twists added. 
When performing "electrified" we produce a blend of blues, funk and rock. We consider ourselves influenced by many artists. To name a few; Little Feat, Stevie Ray, reverend Gary Davis, Elmore Jones, Lowell Fulson and of course Ray Charles. 
Our tunes are mostly original with some adaptations and covers of our liking thrown in.

The Players

Bruce Andrews -- Harmonica and Lead Vocals

George Dudley -- Guitars and Vocals

Jack Dudley -- Bass and Vocals

Dave Gowens -- Percussion 

James Dudley -- Drums  (Drummer in video-John Scalici)

Monday, February 25, 2013

2Blu and The Lucky Stiffs at DanielDay Gallery


2Blu and The Lucky Stiffs at DanielDay Gallery


Alabama Music office.com goes to 6th Ave. South in Birmingham, Alabama to attend a performance by 2Blu and The lucky Stiffs. There was a large crowd on hand to enjoy a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the South. This video shows the sights and sounds from this great day at DanielDay.

2BLU and The Lucky Stiffs have been providing fans with their premium blend of blues, rock, funk, and gospel for years. Whether they are putting their original twists on Delta Blues when performing in an unplugged acoustic duo or trio, or bringing the funk in their electrified four- or five-piece configuration, 2BLU And The Lucky Stiffs create their own unique brew to rock your bones and soothe your soul.

The genesis of the band was the acoustic duo of Bruce Andrews and George Dudley, who adopted the name "2BLU". With the addition of drums, bass, and percussion, the boys become "2BLU and The Lucky Stiffs".

Why the name? The guys are "Lucky" to share a mix of music, faith, and life experience with anyone who will listen. On top of that, they're a bunch of "Stiffs," old, old dudes who can't quit playing and wouldn't dream of quitting in the first place.

2BLU's lyrical approach frequently reflects the band's Christian faith, usually in a non-traditional format, mixing secular and Faith themes in their tunes; exactly as life mixes the everyday grind with the divine. This combination represents the roots of the Blues.

Diverse instrumentation includes custom hand-built lap steel guitars, bass guitars and hand percussion by bassist Jack Dudley of Don't Fret Instruments.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bad Brad and The Sipsey Slims at Cypress Inn


Bad Brad and The Sipsey Slims at Cypress Inn


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Cypress Inn Pavilion to attend a performance for a private party by Bad Brad & The Sipsey Slims.

Bad Brad talks about his album,Slim Pickins, "I always wanted to cut a record of original material, but I had envisioned a far more instrumental endeavor for one reason. I did not know I could sing. I had no idea. I only started experiencing it after being around Bobby Whitlock, keyboard for Derek & The Dominoes. We would be hanging out drinking coffee, he would sing, and it would come from his toenails. It was awesome. And it was nothing like his speaking voice. I would get in the car after hanging with him and try to do it. It took several years of "doing it" before I would even attempt it in front of anyone.

I had all these songs written, and nothing to do with them. I finally wanted to try my hand at producing. I called all my most bad-to-the-bone friends to do a session in the Shoals: Buster Marbury (Grammy award-winning producer and drummer for The Temptations, who flew in from Detroit), Jason Isbell, Ken Waters, Jimbo Hart of the 400 Unit, Greg Lowery, Scott Boyer III, Shane Porter, Chris Gordon, Chad Fisher and Dan Western. I traded a Fender Rhodes piano to my friend Jimmy Nutt for three days in his new Sheffield, Alabama studio, The Nutt House."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Hollows at The Crestwood Tavern


The Hollows at The Crestwood Tavern


Alabama Music Office.com goes to The Crestwood Tavern to attend a peformance by The Hollows. The Hollows are Kendra Sutton, Sarah Green, Sue Nuckols and Eric Onimus. They sing their original song, "Don't You Think It Hurts," in this video.


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The Hollows have been a band for less than two months. But that's no problem for Sarah Green, Kendra Sutton, Sue Nuckols and Eric Onimus.

All four of these musicians are experienced pros, and they know each other well.

"Susan, Eric and I have all played together for years," Green says. "They're my go-to people."

When Sutton, another veteran on the Birmingham concert scene, called Green with the idea of starting a new band, Green knew exactly who the other members should be.

"It seemed natural; we're all comfortable together," Green says. "And it would be hard to find more professional folks."

Things fell into place quickly. The Hollows -- Sutton (vocals and keyboards), Green (vocals and guitars), Nuckols (fiddle and harmony vocals) and Onimus (bass) -- played their first show on Jan. 5 at Moonlight on the Mountain in Hoover.

Two more dates on are on the horizon, on Jan. 26 at Marty's bar in Southside and Feb. 22 at the Crestwood Tavern.

Vocal harmonies are important to The Hollows' aesthetic, along with a low-key Americana vibe. Each musician brought a list of originals to the table, or contributed ideas for songs that The Hollows might cover.

"A lot of the stuff we do is very thoughtful music, more dynamic and complex than stuff we've ever done before," Green says. "There's no ego involved in this band. We make decisions as a group. It's kind of the first time in a band where I've felt that everyone an equal amount of ability and creativity to add."

Everyone in the group has a day job; Green, for example, is retail manager and baker at Continental Bakery in English Village. Nuckols works for the United Way of Central Alabama; Onimus teaches bass lessons; Sutton is a full-time mom and photographer.

"We're playing for pleasure," Green says. "We're playing for the pure love of it. And we're taking it slow."

For The Birmingham Sessions, The Hollows performed a Sutton original, "Don't You Think It Hurts." All videos in our series are filmed at Bottletree Cafe, inside two vintage Airstream trailers in the backstage courtyard.
Source: The Birmingham News

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Highland Music


Highland Music


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Highland Music on Clairmont Ave. in Birmingham, Alabama. We spent a few minutes slowly videoing this landmark establishment.


Don Murdoch-Highland Music Founder, Hang Glider Pilot and more.
by Jerry W. Henry

I am writing this with a symphony of chainsaws in the background. The tornados changed the landscape as well as lives. Life goes on with its ever-present deadlines that must be met. I feel it is my calling to tell you of Alabama’s musicians and their music offerings. This writing is a form of therapy for me.
I met Don Murdoch when his Highland Music was on Highland Avenue. His music instrument store has long been known as the pro musician’s music store. Highland Music is now on Clairmont Avenue in Birmingham.
He has a full beard with lots of gray. His beard gives him kind of a Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart look. It looks good. He carries a few extra pounds but is in good shape. Don is not one that walks around with a smile. But he is the first to laugh when something funny is said.
I met with Don at Highland Music. I interviewed him in his storage room while one of his best customers watched the store. Don Murdock is a major figure in Alabama’s music history. We discussed many subjects including his take on a few of the pros. I learned several things that I didn’t know about Don.
Don is from Southside in Birmingham. He was raised across the street from Avondale Grammar School. He attended school there and then Ramsey High School. Later he attended Vestavia High School and the Alabama School of Fine Arts where he received his degree in classical guitar.
He played piano very early in life and began playing guitar about the age of 15. He comments, “You know how it was, everybody played guitar back in the early ‘70’s. All of my friends played guitar. I started playing on a Stella guitar. When I really got serious about playing, I bought a Yamaha from Brian York (Tom York’s son) who was a great guitar player. He sold me the Yamaha and threw in a Neil Young Harvest songbook. I spent the next 4 months learning every song in that songbook. I learned enough to get accepted in the Alabama School of Fine Arts.”
I asked about the bands he played with in those early years. I was surprised when he told me, “I did weddings. Back in those days all my friends were playing places like the Cadillac CafĂ© and Louie, Louie’s.  I was playing classical guitar at weddings. I never got to gig in night clubs because there were not many classical guitar gigs at the Cadillac.” (Laughter)
His next statement really surprised me. Don said, “I never played with any bands and have never played an electric guitar, ever. I don’t even know how to play an electric guitar. I play with my fingernails. I don’t even know how to hold a pick.” Remember this is a man that has sold thousands of electric guitars, both new and used. He is known as one of Alabama’s top vintage guitar dealers.
How did he get into the retail musical instrument business? “Back in high school, the place to go was Brookwood Mall, they had just built it. There was a Forbes there. My buddy and I used to go over there and hang out. There was a guy that worked there that would let us play as much guitar as we wanted. I would think, ‘Man I would love to work in a guitar store.’ Then I went to the University of Alabama from 1975 to 1979. During that time there was a guitar store in Tuscaloosa called The Guitar Shop and I taught guitar there. That is when it really made me want to own a music store. I graduated and couldn’t find a job. My grandmother sold her house and gave each of her grandkids $6,000. I pissed away a thousand of it and with $5,000 I opened the first Highland Music in 1981. I think I had 6 guitars and 4 or 5 boxes of guitar strings.”
He still remembers the first electric guitar he sold. “I sold it to a guy named Steven Pierce from Mountain Brooke. I had picked up the Martin line and I had 3 or 4 Martins and 2 of those were electric, that was back when they made electrics. Steven bought one of those Martin electrics.”
What kept him going in those early days in the music business was his sideline business, crossties. He sold railroad ties. Scott Ottinger lived in his store; he would open up and run the music store until noon. Don would get up early, take his pickup and get a load of crossties. He sold them to landscapers. He made $100 every day selling those crossties. He would then operate his store from noon till closing. That is how he kept the doors open at Highland Music those first 5 or 6 years. It took 7 years before his shop started paying for itself. There was a recession in the early ‘80’s that he survived.
He has had some great customers over the years. Now most of his good customers are the kids of his original customers. Early on his customers were guys like Rick Carter, Rich Kirsch, Massey Taylor and Don Tinsley. Back then they were all in their mid-twenties. One of his best has been Bert Frank, the guy watching the store. He brought in his ‘60’s Martin that morning to fine-tune the set up. Over the years he has bought 25 or more vintage guitars. He has a 1954 ES 175 on lay-a-way.
I asked Don when he got into the vintage guitar market. He replied, “Back in the ‘80’s I would sell a ’66 for the same price I would sell a ’79. I didn’t know. Then I started hearing about people getting lots more for those ‘60’s models. By the mid-’80’s, I realized the ‘50’s and’60’s stuff were bringing much more. It kind of just fell into my lap. The vintage thing really didn’t hit Birmingham until the mid-‘90’s. I collect ‘50’s amps. They don’t bring the price like a ‘50’s Fender or Les Paul would. I usually sell the guitars and keep the amps.”
He once had a very rich local customer that left a vintage ’56 guitar with him on a consignment agreement. He called the number that he had for the owner and found out that it had been disconnected. He kept that guitar in his shop for 4 or more years. At the time he and Bunky Anderson (former co-owner of Southeastern Attractions) were in the vintage guitar business together. They finally sold the unclaimed guitar at the Birmingham Guitar Show for $8,000 and split the money.  That guitar would be worth $30,000 today. He also sold a ’62 Lake Placid Blue Stratocaster for $25,000, it being a rare color was perfect for the collector’s market. He told me Bunky still deals in vintage drums from time to time.
There have been many notable artists that have patronized his music store. Bonnie Raitt, Bad Company, Julian Lennon and Miles Davis’ son just to name a few. Sonny Landreth is still a good customer. Don remembers when Sonny played the 2nd or 3rd City Stages. He needed a guitar tech. A guitar technician is one who tunes and cleans a band’s or performer’s guitars during live performances. Everyone was busy that night with the exception of Don. That was when electronic tuners were first out and Don was a Sabine dealer. Don got Jeff Sauls to go with him. He and Jeff knew very little about electronic tuners, especially the complicated kind they had chosen to use that night. When it came time to trade guitars with Sonny on stage, Don had to tell Sonny that it was way out of tune. Sonny just laughed, tuned it on stage on stage and kept playing. Needless to say Don and Jeff learned a lot about electronic tuners that night. Don told me that the first electronic tuners he bought were $265 wholesale. Now you can buy one for less than $20.
Why did Don move his store from Highland Ave. to Clairmont Ave.? Don answered, “I got tired of paying rent. I wanted something that when I got old, like I am now, I could sell it and retire. Instead of renting I wanted to buy something. I had been looking around for something to buy. When this place became available it was kind of a quick sale because the guy had a partner that died and I think he wanted to sell before it got wrapped up in probate. It was one of those meant to be kind of things.”
The storage room where we were sitting was once a branch office for the Birmingham News. Don tells me, “We would sit behind tables that were in this room and roll newspapers. We would meet every afternoon down here. This is where they delivered the newspapers. We would come down on our bikes and roll them here. My route was on Highland. I delivered to all those apartments, like Altamont Apartments. Sharp’s Grocery Store was up front in this building back then. That was in the mid-‘60’s.”
We talked of many musicians. Warren Henderson was mentioned. Don’s comment, “Him passing was a freaky thing because his roommate also passed away. Those 2 guys started the band, Kitchen Sink. They both died of some strange cancer. He was a super guy for sure.”
Oteil Burbage was mentioned. Don says, “Otiel has never played around Birmingham that much. When he did it was usually with Mark Kimbrell. I remember him best with the Aquarium Rescue Unit. He would come in but was never a local hang out guy like Topper (Price), Mark Kimbrell, Milton Davis or Don Tinsley. A very nice guy.”
When Birmingham musicians get together and talk, there are always Topper Price stories to tell. Don said, “There are so many Topper Price stories. Most can’t be printed.” He recalls, “Back when I lived over by the golf course. Before I was married. For about 3 years Topper and 4 or 5 others would get together on Christmas Eve. Topper would cook. He was a great cook! Those are the times I think of Topper the most.” He pauses and then continues, “I had just taken in a radar detector in on trade, installed it in my car. I only had it a day or two. Topper comes by and wants to borrow my car. He comes back. My radar detector is missing. I ask Topper where it was and he says, ‘I don’t know man, I never saw it.’ That kind of stuff happened about once a month with Topper…He died about 6 months after Emanuel Ellinas started working here. He used to freak Emanuel out. You know how he was. Emanuel knew to only loan him the cheap stuff. He would want brand new SM58 mics and would go around the store screaming and cussing when he couldn’t get them. He would leave and go do his gig. He would come in the next day and act like he had totally forgotten what had happened. But that was Topper…When he married Lynn, the day of the wedding; he was to come to my house to get dressed. He shows up way late. When we got to the wedding everyone looked at me like it’s my fault.”
I mentioned that my next interview was going to be with Don Tinsley. Don Murdock said and I quote, “Don Tinsley is probably the best musician to come out of Birmingham.” He pauses and then continues, “He was too early! All that great stuff he did with The Mortals. He was like 5 years too early. He was writing REM kind of stuff way before they came along. He is one guy that should have made it. He didn’t make the big time but he should have. In the music business timing is everything. He’s a great musician, intelligent with shear talent.”
I asked about Chip Snow, the Telluride bass player that worked for Don. He says, “His father died and left him some money. He put a putting green in his back yard. He is kind of a recluse. He’s a mystery; I don’t know what has happened to him.”
Others have had success through association with don and highland music. Sam Timberlake the amp man got his start there. Sam now has dealers worldwide. Emanuel Ellinas now sells his guitar effects pedals to famous guitar players everywhere. Jack White and John Mayer are 2 of his devoted pedal users.
The most surprising part of our interview came when Don told me of his greatest passion, flying hang gliders. With new excitement Don tells me, “I have been doing it for 28 years. Because of Highland Music I get to enjoy my greatest love, flying hang gliders. I have a cabin up on Lookout Mountain that we go to almost every weekend. I do a lot of tandems, which are 2 people on 1 glider. The glider will handle up to 500 pounds. Hang glider pilots are a small group. There are only about 10,000 of us in the United States. My wife also flies. For the last 6 or 7 years we have gone to Mexico right after Christmas every year to fly off those volcanoes down there. We’ve been to California, Hawaii, Guatemala, Peru and lots of other places all over the world. The highest I have ever been was 18,500 feet with no oxygen. Of course that was in 1989, when I was younger. That was in Telluride, Colorado. We used to go out there every year.”
Where does he see the future for Don Murdock and Highland Music? Don answers, “I see a good future. I will be here as long as I can make a living doing this. I’ve got the building paid off. The worst case scenario would be to rent this place out; sell everything on EBay. I own the entire inventory. What’s screwing us now is that restaurants and bars are not hiring bands. Because they are not hiring bands, my sales are down. In the past there were 30 or 40 bands playing around here. The big bands like, Jim Bob and the Leisure Suits, those guys had 4 or 5 other bands that they played in. The Kimbrell brothers are a perfect example. I have been at it long enough to know that things go in cycles. I see the future as being good. I’m going to stay here and keep jumping off mountains and selling guitars.”
On my way out of the store, I said hello to Harold McCollum (Highlands Music’s in-house guitar repairman) and killer guitarist Tim Boykin (Who has been with Don from the beginning.). Yes, Highland Music is the pro musician’s music store.



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Remembering Tuscaloosa, Alabama Tornado April 27, 2011


Remembering Tuscaloosa, Alabama Tornado April 27, 2011

Alabama Music Office.com remembers the Tuscaloosa, Alabama tornado April 27, 2011. The music used in this video is a song written by Kenne Walker and performed by Henderson Huggins. "I Hope We'll Never Be The Same" is on Henderson's album In God's Hands.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Henderson Huggins Interview

Henderson Huggins Interview (Unedited)
Alabama Music Office.com goes into our studios to interview Henderson Huggins.

Henderson Huggins is a native of Holt, Alabama. He began piano lessons at a very young age at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, moving on to become a noted stylist in multiple genres. He crossed the country with several different bands in the 60's and 70's, doing session work in recording studios and backing artists such as Sam and Dave and Johnnie Taylor. Off the road in recent years, he has become a popular blues arranger and professional piano tuner, as well as playing organ and serving as Minister of Music at the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in his present home town of Tuscaloosa.
In 2007 Henderson Huggins played in the movie, Honeydripper, (piano double for TYRONE PURVIS, played by Danny Glover). Comprised of some of the South's most accomplished blues and soul musicians, the Honeydripper All-Stars will be playing special performances in conjunction with the screening of the new John Sayles film, Honeydripper. The band features Henderson Higgins on piano, Arthur Lee Williams on harmonica, Dr. Mable John providing vocals, and Gary Clark Jr. on guitar.
Featured in a forthcoming film by director John Sayles, this intriguingly eclectic group includes performers from all over the country: veteran Chicago saxman Eddie Shaw, young Texas guitarist Gary Clark Jr., Mississippi harpist Arthur Lee Williams, jazz pianist Henderson Huggins from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Detroit-bred singer Mable John, a former Raelette who recorded for both Motown and Stax in the 60s -- her sassy "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)" was a hit for Stax in '66 -- and now lives in LA.
Huggins Piano Service
3718 32nd Street
Tuscaloosa, AL  35401-6812
Phone: (205) 349-1872  
Henderson Huggins album review:
It is very hard to believe but Henderson Huggins has never recorded before In God's Hands (We Three Productions). In God's Hands is a collection of 8 black gospel tracks written by Kenne Walker and Henderson. Most in Tuscaloosa, Alabama know Henderson as the piano tuning man. He was the blind piano player in the movie, Honeydripper. This soulful gospel offering was co-produced and engineered by John Hall. In God's Hands has been a long time in coming but well worth the wait.-Jerry W. Henry

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Christine Ohlman, Donnie Fritts with The Decoys



Christine Ohlman, Donnie Fritts with The Decoys




Alabama Music Office.com goes to Swamppers at the Marriott Shoals in Florence, Alabama to see Christine Ohlman, Donnie Fritts and The Decoys perform . The Beehive Queen is the adopted Yankee daughter of the Muscle Shoals music scene. Blue eyed soul at it's best.
Christine Ohlman (born November 25, in the Bronx, New York City) is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, recording artist, music scholar. Her nickname "The Beehive Queen" refers to her distinctive platinum beehive. She leads the band Christine Ohlman and Rebel Montez consisting of Michael Colbath (bass), Larry Donahue (drums), Cliff Goodwin (guitar), founding member and guitarist (Eric Fletcher) (died in 2006) with whom she has recorded six albums. Additionally, she is the long-running vocalist for the Saturday Night Live Band.
Christine's recording career began at age 16 with the New Haven, Connecticut-based band The Wrongh (sic) Black Bag recording a version of the Blues Project's "Wake Me, Shake Me" for the Mainstream Records owner/producer Bob Shad. Relocating to Connecticut and working out of a studio in Wallingford, Connecticut (initially called Syncron Sound and now known as Trod Nossel), Ohlman next fronted a group called Fancy with her brother Vic Steffens, releasing an LP "Fancy Meeting You Here" and a 45 "All My Best" on the Poison Ring label. She overdubbed backup vocals for the Rolling Stones "Metamorphosis" album and developed a lifelong friendship with Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham. She later sang on the Oldham-produced "Essence to Essence" (by Donovan) and edited the second installment of Oldham's autobiography "2Stoned."
Christine was a founding member of The Scratch Band when Fancy evolved into that band's incarnation, a seven-member unit which later pared down to five. The Scratch Band, including members G. E. Smith and Mickey Curry, were noted throughout the Northeast for their incendiary live shows (not to be confused with The 77s-The Savage-Young Scratch Band). She later reunited with both Smith and fellow Scratch Band member Paul Ossala when she joined the Saturday Night Live (SNL) Band for the 1991-1992 season.
Christine Ohlman became the lead vocalist for the Saturday Night Live Band in 1991
She appeared with Reverend Al Green on the show's 25th anniversary special. Lenny Pickett, music director for Saturday Night Live, said "Ms. Ohlman was, at the time she entered the SNL Band, responsible for selecting much of the band's vintage rhythm and blues repertoire."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

John Anthony Lewis Ross Mark Brewer in Pell City Alabama



John Anthony, Lewis Ross & Mark Brewer in Pell City, Alabama 



Alabama Music Office.com goes to The Tavern of St. Clair in Pell City, Alabama to attend a performance by 3 pros from Alabama's music world, John David Anthony (Wet Willie's original keyboardist), Lewis Ross (Wet Willies original drummer, Beat Daddys, Alabama Blues Machine) and Mark Brewer (The Platters, Coasters, Ink Spots, Wild Cherry, Ace "Tuff" Cannon, Buck Owens, Dee Clark and Mel Skinner to name a few bassist). This video is of special guest Rudy Mockabee ,a former Drifter, singing "Under The Boardwalk."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What the Preacher said about Marty


What the Preacher said about Marty


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Southside Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama to attend A Celebration of the Life of Marty Eagle. This is a video of Pastor Steve Jones delivering Marty's Eulogy.
Large crowds packed out Southside Baptist Church and later 10th Court South to celebrate the life of Marty Eagle.
Eagle, the long-time owner of the music venue Marty's, died Feb. 1 after battling lung cancer. Family and friends gathered at 2 p.m. for a short service in his honor. Sarah Green, Sue Nuckols, Eric Onimus and Kendra Sutton, also known as The Hollows, performed "Marty's Song" in his honor to the sound of loud applause.

Pastors Steve Jones and Tim Kelly remembered Eagle as a loving friend, father and devoted son.

"It'd be impossible to share every memory, every tribute to a life well-lived," Jones said of Eagle.

Following the service, trombonist Chad Fisher and other musicians led mourners in a New Orleans-style second line back to Eagle's bar.

Susan Lyons said she first met Eagle after moving to Birmingham from Berlin 13 years ago. Marty's quickly became her favorite place in the city. She said he was an appreciator of Birmingham's music scene.

"It's become a family," she said about his business. "One of the cool things about Marty is that even he checks music out around town, he always keeps music here. He would always come and say hi to every band as they'd come in and out...he was a great connector of the music scene."

 Lyons said the second line celebration of Eagle's life would have fit his personality.
"Even though it's sad, be happy we all got to know him," she said. "I just know he's dancing."

David Manning will remember Eagle as a supporter of other Southside businesses saying that he ate at a different restaurant in the area every night.

"The word fixture doesn't even apply," he said. "He's a cornerstone of this Southside community."

Manning said Eagle wouldn't have wanted a sad funeral.

"I don't think he would have wanted anyone to feel somber about his passing," he said.
Source: AL.com

Marty's Song and Second Line Parade


Marty's Song and Second Line Parade


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Southside Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama to attend A Celebration of the Life of Marty Eagle.
Large crowds packed out Southside Baptist Church and later 10th Court South to celebrate the life of Marty Eagle.
Eagle, the long-time owner of the music venue Marty's, died Feb. 1 after battling lung cancer. Family and friends gathered at 2 p.m. for a short service in his honor. Sarah Green, Sue Nuckols, Eric Onimus and Kendra Sutton, also known as The Hollows, performed "Marty's Song" in his honor to the sound of loud applause.

Pastors Steve Jones and Tim Kelly remembered Eagle as a loving friend, father and devoted son.

"It'd be impossible to share every memory, every tribute to a life well-lived," Jones said of Eagle.

Following the service, trombonist Chad Fisher and other musicians led mourners in a New Orleans-style second line back to Eagle's bar.

Susan Lyons said she first met Eagle after moving to Birmingham from Berlin 13 years ago. Marty's quickly became her favorite place in the city. She said he was an appreciator of Birmingham's music scene.

"It's become a family," she said about his business. "One of the cool things about Marty is that even he checks music out around town, he always keeps music here. He would always come and say hi to every band as they'd come in and out...he was a great connector of the music scene."

 Lyons said the second line celebration of Eagle's life would have fit his personality.
"Even though it's sad, be happy we all got to know him," she said. "I just know he's dancing."

David Manning will remember Eagle as a supporter of other Southside businesses saying that he ate at a different restaurant in the area every night.

"The word fixture doesn't even apply," he said. "He's a cornerstone of this Southside community."

Manning said Eagle wouldn't have wanted a sad funeral.

"I don't think he would have wanted anyone to feel somber about his passing," he said.
Source: AL.com

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Henri's Notions at Kentuck Festival



Henri's Notions at Kentuck Festival 


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Kentuck Park in Northport, Alabama to attend the 2012 Kentuck Festival. Henri's Notions performed their celtic music from the south. Henri's Notions is Jill Chambless (Lead Vocals / Flute / Whistle), Michael Bowman (Fiddle/Vocals),  Scooter Muse (Guitars/Five String Banjo), Randy Palmer (Bass/Bodhran/Vocals), Mark Lanter (Percussion/Vocals) and Jason Bailey (Mandolin/Bouzouki/Vocals).

From soft fingerpicked ballads to hard-driving jigs and reels, Henri's Notions creates a musical mix of traditional Celtic and American music as well as their own compositions that have a rhythm and voice reflective of their Southern heritage, which lends a pleasing familiarity to the music. The Notions draw from a broad palette of melodious sounds: the ardent sounds of fiddle, lilting flute, keen tin whistles, ringing mandolin and bouzouki, 5 string banjo, all played over the resonant tones and drive of the rhythm section, consisting of acoustic guitars, percussion, and driving bass.

Lead voices dance through the intricate embellishments that bring new life to the old ballads and songs, and all members lend voices frequently creating close, rich, well-balanced harmonies. The group makes a point to provide backgrounds on the songs and instruments used during their performance and this has allowed Henri's Notions to connect with, educate and inspire audiences for over thirty years!

Henri's Notions has toured extensively in the Southern and Eastern United Stated from West Palm Beach, Florida and Dallas, Texas to New York City. The group has worked countless festivals and concerts and has appeared with such folk icons as Bob Dylan, Richie Havens, The Kingston Trio, David Grisman Quintet and top Celtic acts such as The Tannahill Weavers, Patrick Street, Paddy O'Brien and others.

Henris Notions performs year-round in concerts, festivals, special events, and school programs. As a touring member of the Alabama State Council on the Arts and Southern Arts Federation, grants are often available to eligible presenters.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shawna P Adam Brown "Dig Deep"


Shawna P & Adam Brown "Dig Deep"


Alabama Music Office.com visits Joey's North Shore Grill & Hula Hula Tiki Bar to experience Shawna P and Adam Tyler Brown doing their duet show. Shawna P shows why she is the undeniably Queen of Earth Funk Muzik as she sings "Dig Deep." This is one of Gulf Shores hot spots year round.

Heralded by George Clinton as "The Long Lost Queen of Funk", Shawna P is blazing a new trail with her unique and powerful sound.Whether singing to 50 people or 5,000 people,her stage presence is consistently filled with raw emotion and heart wrenching soul as her powerful voice commands the attention of any audience, of any age, race or background. She is gifted with the ability to reach ANYONE, as her talent is undeniable.
She describes her original material as "EarthFunk Muzik". The EarthFunk sound incorporates digital tracks with live instrumentation to create an ethereal blend of all of her influences, yet having one main element- an undeniable FUNKY vibe. It is, without question, a sound of it's own, refreshingly unique, leaving no one to compare her to-which is a good thing.

Shawna P cites her main influences as Mavis Staples, The Allman Brothers, Stevie Wonder, the Grateful Dead and Prince. She has shared the stage with such great artists as George Clinton, Kid Rock, Robert Randolph, Scott Weiland of the Stone Temple Pilots, Charlie Daniels, .38 Special, Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson and James Otto. She has recorded with Michael McDonald, Gary Nichols and also Shanna Crooks, Big Kenny, and Damien Horne of the Muzik Mafia. Her vocals can be heard on projects ranging from rock-n-roll to hip-hop, to world music grooves to country.

Currently, Shawna P is working on incorporating the Earth elements of slide guitar and other roots oriented instruments into her sound in order to get back to her southern roots in music. An Alabama native, Shawna P digs deep into the heart of southern soul like no one else. The album, "EarthFunk Muzik" is set to be released in October 2010.
According to music legend Rick Hall of Fame Studios, "Shawna P might be the best female soul singer I have ever heard in my career".

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sweet Dog explains contest rules at Green Bar*


*Contains Profanity           Sweet Dog explains contest rules at Green Bar


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Green Bar in downtown Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Craig Pickering aka Sweet Dog and DJ Sylvia play early rock and roll on 45s and a trivia contest.
Sweet Dog explains the contest rules like no other. He is Alabama's Bob Barker!

About Craig:
-PLAYING DRUMS IN THREE BANDS AND REAL PROUD OF THEM.
-SILVER LION'S 20/20, WITH CHET WEISE. (NASHVILLE, TN)
-THE SWEET DOG EXPERIENCE, WITH TAYLOR HOLLINGSWORTH.
-MONSIEUR JEFFREY EVANS AND HIS SOUTHERN ACES.
-VINTAGE LUDWIGS WITH WORN OUT HEADS.
-WORLD CLASS LEFT HANDED AIR DRUMMER. (AM GOLD ONLY).
-HONORABLE MENTION LEFT HANDED AIR GUITAR PLAYER.
-HORRIBLE AT THE BASS-BOTH ACTUAL AND AIR.
-USMC 1991-1995 USMCR 1995-2003.
-LOVE MOUNTAIN DEW.
-2001 CHEVY ASTRO VAN WITH A ROCK 'N' ROLL HISTORY.
-ENJOY LOUD ROCK MUSIC AND LIKE AM GOLD LOUD TOO.
-I LIKE BLACK T-SHIRTS, 3 PACK FOR $8.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

An Alabamian in London or Ready To Tour Europe? By Jerry W. Henry


A friend of mine is gigging in Europe during the Holidays. He sent me an email telling of a guitar find he found at a shop amply named Rare and Vintage Guitars. He said it was in an area with a lot of music shops on Denmark Street that crosses Charing Cross Road in London.
While there he became the center of attention when it was discovered he was from Alabama. The British Invasion of the ‘60’s was triggered by their discovery of America’s southern-based blues. So southern music is not new to the English. They wanted to know about the Alabama Shakes, the Secret Sisters, Drive-By Truckers and The Civil Wars. These guitar sellers are people that are in the music business and know what is happening in their music world. At this point he decided to call me knowing my interest in all things concerning Alabama music. I told him before he departed to let me know the things that would help fellow musicians that have yet to embark on their European adventure. He did not want me to use his name, nor the bands name, in this article. (Sounds like a band change coming to me.)
My friend was surprised by their knowledge of southeastern US music. He was told that the British have long loved a form of music called skiffle. They told him that skiffle is a type of popular music with jazz, blues, folk, and roots influences, usually using homemade or improvised instruments. Skiffle originated in the southern US in the early twentieth century. In the US there were many names for this type music played by jug bands or juke bands. They used instruments such as the washboard, jugs, gourds, tea chest bass, cigar-box fiddle, musical saw, spoons, stovepipe and comb-and-paper kazoos, as well as more conventional instruments, such as acoustic guitar and banjo.
He said the way the British see the evolution of music goes back to the blues. African-Americans create the musical style. European-Americans adopt the style for their own use. The most adventurous African-Americans abandon the style and create a new one. This new one of course is rap and hip-hop.
He also said that the music scene is very healthy in London. Most venues do very well. Some have a packed house 7 nights a week. The 12 Bar Club showcases around 4 acts a night, 7 nights a week, from solo performers through to full bands. All genres of music are offered with American acts included. Tickets for large venues offering The Black Keys, Kings of Leon and Jack White were selling while my friend was there. From the big name acts to a 4-piece band from near Huntsville, Alabama all seem to have a place in their ever-changing music scene.
I asked, how they got booked there. He said they were playing a military base in Germany and an agent approached them. I asked, how they got the gig in Germany? He said they started by Googling “music booking in Europe.” The best advice he can give, find a travel agent (preferably one that has set up band tours) before you start booking shows. There are obvious language, currency and voltage differences. Another factor he says that needs to be considered, jet lag.
The expanding global music market and cheaper air travel make world travel more appealing. The Internet has enabled music acts at all success levels the ability to tour extensively outside of their own country.  Wireless broadband Internet is common in all parts of the European mainland. Most venues, hotels, cafes, airports and fast food restaurants will have wireless coverage.
My friend also warned against cell phones. The roaming charges can be horribly expensive for a US-based cellular phone owner touring in Europe. As a US resident you can buy an International GSM cell phone for only $50 from Mobal. You purchase the phone and pay only for calls – there is no monthly fee. Another solution is to buy ‘pay as you go’ SIM cards for each country you are in.
He also said that you would have to pay a performing musician tax in every country. They had to pay 25% of what they were paid in Germany because the sum was over $1,000. Customs in different countries ask about their financual condition. The cost of shipping your musical equipment is another area my friend says is very expensive. Ship your equipment because the airlines are costly.
I asked what was the biggest difference that he encountered? Without hesitation, he answered, “The audiences! They are more attentive. They respect musicians in Europe. They don’t mind paying for good music.”
More markets outside the USA are opening up; new facilities are being built, and more people in more countries can support higher ticket prices. You’ll also get to see countries in ways that tourists never do: you’ll hang out with local people who don’t find you annoying (yet), eat local cuisine that wasn’t in the tourist guide, and, in the case of European countries at least, eat way better bread and drink way better coffee, wine & beer than we ever get at home. Better still, if you open yourself up to your hosts and people who have come to hear your music, you will find yourself building lasting international friendships.
Published in February 2013 issue of Tannehill Trader

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Roper Guitars of Lillian, Alabama


Roper Guitars of Lillian, Alabama


Alabama Music Office.com goes to rural Lillian, Alabama to meet Pat Roper, the founder of Roper Guitars.

 At Roper Luthier Work Shop we build handmade instruments using only the finest woods.

Everything we produce is made from scratch, we do not use any kits.

We take custom orders using the wood, design,and specifics you desire.

Choose a style, pattern, send us a picture or description and we'll see what we can do!

Give us a call or email us.... You will soon be playing the instrument you choose.

We do Quality repairs on most acoustic and electrics!

We also offer guitar building classes:

Build a guitar for yourself; call or email for details and prices.

Roper Guitars makes acoustic and electric; guitars, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, guitar-banjos, electric bass, and stand-up electric bass. At Roper Guitars we aim to not only make works of art; but instruments that sound INCREDIBLE ! We guarantee you will love to play and own; one of your own custom handmade Roper Guitars.