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Saturday, August 31, 2013

W.C. Handy Festival 2013 The Photos


W.C. Handy Festival 2013 The Photos


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Florence, Alabama to attend W.C. Handy Festival 2013. Many of you asked that I post more photos. Here are the photos with a soundtrack. Enjoy!!!

Storytellers are Verna Gates and Kent DuChaine. Music by Timothy Hogan, Greg Crowe and Muse.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

WC Handy Festival Sampler


WC Handy Festival Sampler


Alabama Music Office.com presents W.C. Handy Festival 2013 in a CNN Headline News format. AMO shows a part of the happenings that took place from July 19th thru 28th in less than 15 minutes. We call it our sampler. It's a highlights reel. Enjoy!!!

William Christopher Handy was born in 1873 in the Shoals city of Florence, Alabama. Since 1982, the Music Preservation Society (MPS) has been honoring and celebrating the "Father of the Blues" with an annual ten day series of events held in the Northwestern part of Alabama.

The Music Preservation Society (MPS), a non-profit organization, was established in 1982 to "preserve, present and promote the musical heritage of Northwest Alabama." MPS has a strong educational mission, and educational programs are a big part of the schedule during the W.C. Handy Music Festival. MPS hosts an annual music camp, jointly sponsored by the Department of Music at the University of North Alabama in Florence. With the W.C. Handy Festival Music Camp, MPS provides scholarships for students to learn from professionals who provide musical expertise to those who would otherwise have no access to that level of teaching.

Other MPS and Handy Festival related educational and outreach programs include a design competition, art exhibits, a poetry competition, research projects, GeoBlues, Literally Music, Industry and Songwriting Panels, ABCs of Blues and Jazz and Beyond, as well as programs in several public libraries. The non-profit organization is led by a board of directors and is maintained primarily through the efforts of community volunteers.

Funding for the Music Preservation Society comes from a variety of sources including grants, corporate contributions, event sponsorships, donations from Friends of the Festival, and the sale of Festival memorabilia. The Music Preservation Society and the W.C. Handy Music Festival Committee extend their heartfelt appreciation to the family of William Christopher Handy for its support of the W.C. Handy Music Festival.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Keb Mo Headliner for WC Handy Festival 2013


Keb Mo Headliner for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Norton Auditorium on University of North Alabama campus in Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by W.C. Handy Festival 2013 headliner, Keb Mo.

Keb' Mo' (born Kevin Moore, October 3, 1951) is a three-time American Grammy Award-winning blues musician. He is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter, currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. He has been described as "a living link to the seminal Delta blues that travelled up the Mississippi River and across the expanse of America."[2] His post-modern blues style is influenced by many eras and genres, including folk, rock, jazz and pop. The moniker "Keb Mo" was coined by his original drummer, Quentin Dennard, and picked up by his record label as a "street talk" abbreviation of his given name.-Wikipedia

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mojo Risin' at Norton Auditorium Plaza for WC Handy Festival 2013


Mojo Risin' at Norton Auditorium Plaza for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Norton Auditorium Plaza on University of North Alabama campus in Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Mojo Risin' for W.C. Handy Festival 2013.

Florence, Alabama's Mojo Risin plays a blend of traditional blues with some contemporary R&B, funk, and jazz fusion.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wray, Rigel & Rose at Legends Steakhouse for WC Handy Festival 2013


Wray, Rigel & Rose at Legends Steakhouse for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Legends Steakhouse in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Bob Wray, Mitch Rigel and Charles Rose for W.C. Handy Festival 2013. This jazz group is also know as Charles Rose & Friends. As I upload this Charles Rose is on his way back from a tour that offered him the opportunity to play the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater (the only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world. From Sting and The Beatles, to opera stars and U2, every artist aspires to play on this magical, spiritual and emotional stage.).
This video should be titled "Charles Rose & Friends play in far less crowded restaurant" Which makes for better video.

Jazz at Zodiac Theatre for WC Handy Festival 2013


Jazz at Zodiac Theatre for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to the Zodiac Theatre in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend a jazz performance for W.C. Handy Festival 2013.

"Master your instrument, Master the music, and then forget all that *!xy!@ and just play."-Charles Parker, Jr. , famously called Bird or Yardbird, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Gary Nichols at Pine Street Plaza for WC Handy Festival 2013


Gary Nichols at Pine Street Plaza for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Pine Street Plaza in Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Gary Nichols for W.C. Handy Festival 2013.

Gary Nichols (born 1978 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama[1]) is an American country music singer. Signed to Mercury Nashville Records in 2006, Nichols made his debut that year with the release of his single "Unbroken Ground", which reached No. 39 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. Following it were the singles "I Can't Love You Anymore" and "Goin' Fast." Nichols never released an album for the label and soon left it.
In April 2010, he replaced Chris Stapleton as the lead singer and guitarist of The SteelDrivers.[2] Wikipedia

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Paul Wexler Interview



Paul Wexler Interview




Alabama Music Office.com goes to Florence-Lauderdale Public Library in Florence, Alabama to attend the screening and after screening panel discussion of Tom Thurman's documentary, Jerry Wexler: Immaculate Funk for W.C. Handy Festival 2013. The panel was made up of people that worked with Jerry Wexler when he came to Muscle Shoals. Also included was Jerry's son Paul Wexler. I interviewed Paul after the discussion.

Interview: Paul Wexler  by Jerry W. Henry

I asked Paul, What brought him to town? He answered, "I was coming down because I told Dick Cooper, who was an A&R guy and ran the studio in Muscle Shoals for so many years and also a great photographer, that I was going to come down and visit him. So I was planning on coming down and all of a sudden all these events started springing up that were about my dad. Today the screening of Immaculate Funk, Tom Thurman's film, and two nights from now Christine Ohlman is doing a tribute to my dad with Spooner (Oldham), Donnie Fritts, Bonnie and Bekka Bramlett. I think Jimmy Johnson is going to be there and David Hood is the music director. David and Jimmy are from the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.  I am not saying all of these things started happening because I was coming down, but I wouldn't say coincidence but a little synchronicity. I am always happy to honor my father."
 
I asked if he had ever been to Muscle Shoals before? He replied, "Oh Yes! I came down a few times for a few sessions that my dad did down here. One time my father was working with Kim Carnes before she had the hit with "Betty Davis Eyes." This was maybe 1971 or 1972. Dad asked if I knew any good mandolin players and it just so happened that I was a friend with David Grisman, also known as Dawg, who is one of the great mandolin players. I said yea, I got a guy. We came down together and David did his part on this tune and my dad was more than happy with it. So it was my first moment that I actually contributed something to some of my dad's work. It was a great moment for me. I also came down for one of the Dylan sessions down here, the second album. I was down one other time as I remember it, but I can't recall which album my father was working on at that point."

What were his first impressions of Muscle Shoals? He said, "I guess the pace is more laid back. The catfish are great down here. The atmosphere in the studio was very focused but not relaxed because you are never relaxed when you are recording, but just more of a laid back feeling. I'm not sure of how else to put it."

Can he see changes from his visits in the '70's to know? He responded,  "I think I would be fronting, as they say now days, If I tried, because I haven't spent enough time around here. It looks a little more built up, I would say and there seems to be more here than there used to be."

What does he do for a living? He told me, "At this point I'm retired, but I worked in the music business. First I worked as an independent contractor for KSAN, the San Francisco radio station that Tom Donahue started the FM format that changed from the AM format. I went to work for Warner Brothers Records in 1976 as their quality control man, making sure the vinyl didn't skip from different pressing plants around the country. After that I worked for Chris Blackwell at Island Records. I worked out of his studio in the Bahamas. I actually did a stint with Atlantic in the '90's. Basically I am retired, I play the piano and sing. The main activity that I do is every week I do an hour long set for the retirees at a retirement home near where I live in New Jersey. I do a lot of standards like "Moon Glow" and "Bye Bye Blackbird." I do classic country like "I'm In The Jail House Now" which Willie Nelson did such a fierce version of. Those and others that these people in their 80's and 90's know. So they get that feeling that they used to get, and it's sort of like Awakenings, where people that haven't talked for years will be singing along with the music. It really brings something out of them; it's bringing something to them where they can have some enjoyment at the end of their lives."

This interview was published in the August 2013 issue of The Leaf.

Jerry Wexler panel discussion at Library for WC Handy Festival 2013


Jerry Wexler panel discussion at Library for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Florence-Lauderdale Public Library in Florence, Alabama to attend the screening and after screening panel discussion of Tom Thurman's documentary, Jerry Wexler: Immaculate Funk for W.C. Handy Festival 2013. The panel was made up of people that worked with Jerry Wexler when he came to Muscle Shoals. The panel was Terry Pace, Donnie Fritts, Dick Cooper, Paul Wexler (Jerry's son), Jimmy Johnson and David Hood.
*This video is a must see for all Jerry Wexler and Muscle Shoals Music fans. This could be considered an historical occasion. There is some great stories about Jerry, some very funny.

Gerald "Jerry" Wexler was one of the most highly-regarded A&R men in popular music history. Music journalist turned music producer, Jerry was regarded as one of the major record industry players from the 1950s through the 1980s. We were lucky enough to have Jerry call Atlantic Records home.

A true visionary, Jerry coined the term "rhythm and blues", and signed and/or produced many of the biggest acts of the last 50 years, including Ray Charles, the Allman Brothers, Chris Connor, Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Wilson Pickett, Dusty Springfield and Bob Dylan.

Though we lost him in 2008, Jerry's legacy lives on in the halls of Atlantic. Do yourself a favor and visit the "Jerry Wexler - Record Man" YouTube page to see Jerry's Memorial, the Fresh Air Interview as well as his four-part GRAMMY Foundation "Living Histories" series.
Source: http://atlanticrecords.com/news/jerry-wexler-record-man/

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Willis at Wilson Park for WC Handy Festival 2013


Willis at Wilson Park for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Wilson Park in Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Willis for W.C. Handy Festival 2013.

I was on Court Street in downtown Florence videoing street musicians when I was approached by a group of young people. They asked if I would come over to Wilson Park and video their friends band, Willis. There was a discussion about the band's name but I was assured Willis was the proper name. I only had a few minutes to video them because of prior commitments. First the lead singer was late and then I had a dead battery. I am posting this only because I promised.

Anne E. DeChant at Swampers for WC Handy Festival 2013



Anne E. DeChant at Swampers for WC Handy Festival 2013 




Alabama Music Office.com goes to Swampers in Marriott, Shoals in Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Anne E. DeChant for W.C. Handy Festival 2013.

Anne E. DeChant is an American rock singer/songwriter/guitarist based in the Cleveland area. Her career began with the promising band Odd Girl Out in the early 1990s before releasing her first solo project in 1996.  Source: Wikipedia

Lauderdale at Pegasus Records for WC Handy Festival 2013


Lauderdale at Pegasus Records for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Pegasus Records Garage in Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Lauderdale for W.C. Handy Festival 2013.

Originally formed as a 3-piece bar-room rock and roll band, Lauderdale has evolved into a 5-piece outfit with the ability to make full, lush-sounding records. Niles Lee provides the songs for the band, but this is more of a "band record" than the self-titled release from 2007. Along with Lee and drummer Patrick McDonald,  the addition of Ben Tanner on keys and Daniel Stoddard on pedal steel and lead guitar gave the band the ability to build upon the sound that was envisioned for the first album, but they were not able to achieve Lee's songs about relationships, both romantic and paternal, provide the backbone of the record. On the surface, the opening song Moving On starts the album off with a song that is seemingly about love lost, a lost family member, and learning how to cope when in all actuality it's about dealing with the demons staring back at you in the mirror. "The Grant" and "Big Fish" explore the relationship of a father and son and the stories that the dad passed down to him. "At Night" is the bands first real push into odd soundscapes and chaos, a departure from the norm for them. Just a glimpse into the communal nature of the Shoals area music will reveal that Lauderdale members also perform with Dylan LeBlanc, The Alabama Shakes, Doc Dailey and Magnolia Devil, The Bear, Belle Adair, and The Pollies. This explains why Lauderdale has kept low key for the last year. That downtime gave Lauderdale the time to make the best record they could.
Source: http://www.secretstages.net/?page_id=1170

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Bear at Pegasus Records for WC Handy Festival 2013


The Bear at Pegasus Records for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Pegasus Records Garage in Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by The Bear for W.C. Handy Festival 2013.

Those around the Shoals who are familiar with local music might be familiar with the Bear. The Bear is the brainchild of the husband and wife duo of Louisa Murray and Nathan Pitts. Pitts and Murray are accompanied by Ben Stedman, Kyle Minckler, and Ben Tanner. On their self-titled debut the Bear draws from so many different musical genres that it is difficult to classify their sound.

Very rarely do albums come along that can't be pigeon holed into some classification, but the Bear has managed to do just that. Louisa Murray's incredible vocals may very well be the most important instrument on the songs she penned. She can shift from angst-ridden and vulnerable to powerful and joyous at the blink of an eye. On the first track "On the Shoals" Murray belts out "I'm an Appalachian apparition" which is appropriate because it sounds like an Appalachian folk tale. Murray's tracks have an old time feel. Track six "Can't change Your Mind" is reminiscent of a old time vaudeville act, with a little bit of a raucous feel. On track 13 "No Honey for Anybody", Murray evokes memories of Janis Joplin, while Pitts and company's playing is worthy of comparison to Big Brother and the Holding Company. At any rate Murray has written many wonderful songs and has the voice to make them incredible.
More at: http://theshoalssound.com/news/the-bear-debut-album-review-and-release-party/

Kent DuChaine at Ricatoni's for WC Handy Festival 2013


Kent DuChaine at Ricatoni's for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Ricatoni's Italian Grill in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Kent DuChaine for W.C. Handy Festival 2013.

Kent DuChaine has listened to, hung out with, opened up for, traveled and played with most of the great Blues men and women his whole adult life. The list is too long to name them all, but some of the major ones are:  Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, Koko Taylor, BB, Albert and Freddie King, Willie Dixon, Bukka White, Johnny Shines, Robert JR Lockwood, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Furry Lewis and Son House. These were the big Country and Urban Blues influences who Kent heard and/or played with. - See more at: http://www.kentduchaine.com/biography/#sthash.KA6gRjLz.dpuf

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Charles Rose & Friends at Legends Steakhouse for WC Handy Festival 2013


Charles Rose & Friends at Legends Steakhouse for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Legends Steakhouse in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Charles Rose & Friends for W.C. Handy Festival 2013. Charles Rose friends are Bob Wray and Mitch Rigel.

Charles Rose began as part of the Fame Gang, a loose knit group of session musicians who worked under the direction of Rick Hall at Fame Recording studio, the Muscle Shoals Horns soon earned their separate identity by performing on many recordings made at a variety of studios in the Muscle Shoals area. - See more at: http://www.alabamamusicoffice.com/artists-a-z/r/1644-rose-charles#sthash.yBTwzM32.dpuf

Bob Wray has played countless sessions in both Muscle Shoals and Nashville including recordings with Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, Al Green, Etta James and Randy Crawford, Bob was FAME Studios' third house bassist, replacing the legendary David Hood after he left to form Muscle Shoals Studios.

Most remember Mitch Rigel as drummer for The Rossington Band. He has played on many recording sessions and has played with some of the best bands in the Southeast.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

AllStar Jazz at Ricatoni's for WC Handy Festival 2013 1080p


AllStar Jazz at Ricatoni's for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Ricatoni's Italian Grill in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by some fabulous jazz artists for W.C. Handy Festival 2013. The W. C. Handy Jazz All-Stars (also known as the W. C. Handy Festival All-Stars) is a group of jazz musicians who play annually at the W. C. Handy Music Festival in Florence, Alabama. During the last week of July each year, these musicians travel from all over the United States to gather in Florence and perform in various combinations. In addition to performing jazz, members of the W. C. Handy Jazz All-Stars serve as the resident faculty of the W. C. Handy Jazz Camp, also teaching the "A B Cs of Jazz, Blues and Beyond".[1]
The Roster of Musicians[edit source | editbeta]

Through the years, the W. C. Handy Music Festival has featured numerous top quality jazz musicians, many of which are listed below.
Pianists:
Johnny O'Neal - Pianist & vocalist, Detroit, Michigan.
Robert Redd - Pianist, brother of Chuck Redd, Takoma Park, Maryland.
Ray Reach -- Pianist & vocalist, Director of Student Jazz Programs for the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, Birmingham, Alabama.
Mike Wofford -- Pianist, residing in Los Angeles, California.
Laszlo Gardony -- Pianist, residing in Boston, Massachusetts. Professor of Piano at Berklee College of Music.
Gary Motley - Pianist, Atlanta, Georgia.
Guitarists:
Mundell Lowe -- Film composer and guitarist with the André Previn Trio, San Diego, California.
Tom Wolfe -- Guitarist, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Mel Deal - Guitarist, Nashville, Tennessee.
Lloyd Wells - Guitarist, Nashville, Tennessee.
Eric Essix - Guitarist, Birmingham, Alabama.
Jack Pearson - Guitarist, former member of the Allman Brothers Band, residing in Nashville, Tennessee.
Drummers and Percussionists:
Chuck Redd - Vibraphonist & drummer, residing in Takoma Park, Maryland.
Bill Goodwin -- Drummer with Gary Burton and Phil Woods, New Jersey.
Sonny Harris -- Drummer, Birmingham, Alabama.
Mike Shepherd -- Percussionist, one of the founders of the Handy Festival, Minnesota.
Bassists:
Tim Goodwin -- Bassist, Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Memphis.
Ike Harris -- Bassist, tours with Crystal Gayle, Nashville, Tennessee.
Cleveland Eaton - Bassist, Birmingham, Alabama.
Neal Starkey -- Bassist, residing in Atlanta, Georgia.
Robert Dickson - residing in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jim Ferguson - Bass professor at Middle Tennessee State University, residing in Nashville, Tennessee
Wind Players:
Gary Lamb -- Trumpeter & vocalist.
Holly Hofmann -- Flutist, residing in Los Angeles, California.
Howard Lamb -- Trombonist & Director of the Memphis Jazz Orchestra.
Ken Watters -- Trumpeter, residing in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kelley O'Neal - Saxophonist, former band member with Take 6, residing in Atlanta, Georgia.
Gary Wheat - Saxophonist, residing in Birmingham, Alabama.
Source: Wikipedia

Jazz Guitar Trio recorded at Mane Room for WC Handy Festival 2013


Jazz Guitar Trio recorded at Mane Room for WC Handy Festival 2013

Alabama Music Office.com goes to the Mane Room in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend a live recording session of a Jazz Guitar Trio for W.C. Handy Festival 2013. The outstanding trio is Mundell Lowe, Mel Deal and Carlos Pino.

Mundell Lowe's career reads like a select list of jazz highlights from the 20th Century and beyond, as befits a guitar great whose past collaborators include such American music icons as Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones and Stan Getz.

A six-string master of unusual concision and eloquence, he turned 90 on April 21. Lowe has walked with artistic giants for so long it almost seems surprising he has remained so down to earth. But it's no surprise, at least not to those who know Lowe's tireless dedication, that — nearly a month after he turned 90 on April 21 — he is doing three San Diego concerts (two public, one private) over the next seven days. That tally does not include his Saturday, May 12, concert at UCLA.
Source: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/May/12/guitar-legend-mundell-lowe-keeping-busy/

Mel Deal has over forty years experience as a professional instrumentalist and has worked in venues ranging from solo jazz guitar to The Nashville Symphony Orchestra. Because of his versatility, he has also performed with many pop and country music stars.

In addition to a playing career, he is part of the faculty at The Nashville Jazz Workshop.  He has taught jazz guitar clinics at The University Of N. Alabama, Hume Fogg and Battleground Academy, and has been a guitar instructor at Montgomery Bell Academy for fifteen years.

As an instrumentalist, he has performed with the Nashville Symphony, The Nashville Opera Co., The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, The Nashville Chamber Orchestra, The Birmingham Symphony, Midland/Odessa Texas Symphony, and The Germantown Chamber Orchestra in Memphis, TN. These venues have ranged from classical and opera to off Broadway productions and pops concerts, including performances with: Michael Feinstein, Melba Moore, Lorna Luft, Idina Menzel, Rita Coolidge, and Jimmy Webb. Recorded works with the Nashville Symphony include:Rhapsody in Blue, West Side Story, and Porgy and Bess.  Jazz artists with whom he has performed include: Ricky Woodard, Gatemouth Brown, Groove Holmes, Gene Bertoncini, Jack Wilkins, Mark Feldman, Paul McCandless, and Mundell Lowe. He has studied privately with jazz guitar greats Jimmy Raney and Pat Martino.
Source: http://meldeal.com/?page_id=10

Carlos Pino (born August 19, 1973 in New Orleans) is a jazz guitarist. He is a member of several active performing groups, including the Magic City Jazz Orchestra, the Night Flight Big Band, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars and Ray Reach and Friends.
Pino, the son of a Columbian physician who immigrated to the United States and works at UAB, is a 1991 graduate of the Altamont School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the Master of Music in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University. He is a faculty member of the educational program at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.
Source: http://www.bhamwiki.com/w/Carlos_Pino

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mundell Lowe at Mane Room for WC Handy Festival 2013


Mundell Lowe at Mane Room for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to the Mane Room in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by special guest, legendary jazz guitarist, Mundell Lowe, for W.C. Handy Festival 2013. The performance was recorded by the University of North Alabama Entertainment Industry Department student engineer, Jake Woods.

Biography of Mundell Lowe

BORN IN LAUREL, Mississippi, Mundell left home at the age of thirteen. After working in Nashville, he found his way to Bourbon Street in New Orleans and the beginning of his jazz career. While serving in World War Il, he met the influential John Hammond, who introduced him to Ray McKinley.  Mundell worked with McKinley's band for a year and a half, developing his distinctive instrumental style, and then moved on to work in New York at Café Society and stints at the Village Vanguard and The Embers, among others.  Mundell worked with Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Helen Humes and Charles Mingus, to name but a few.  These gigs overlapped with an early morning TV show at NBC with Cy Coleman, "A Date in Manhattan," and later "The Kate Smith Hour" with Stan Getz, Doc Severinsen, and Kai Winding.

FROM THE EARLY FIFTIES to the mid-Sixties, he was an active performer, working with George Duvivier on bass and Ed Shaughnessy on drums in Dave Garroway's "Today Show" studio band.  He also played with the extraordinary pianist Hank Jones when they both worked in the NBC and CBS orchestras of the early Fifties. After seventeen years at NBC as a guitarist and arranger, Lowe was transferred to the News and Special Events Department to work as a composer.

MUNDELL MOVED TO LOS ANGELES, California, Christmas 1965—actually, he left to visit some friends, and never went back to New York!  He met Jackie Cooper, then-head of Screen Gems, and began the West Coast phase of his career composing music for some of their television and film properties.  Lowe augmented his TV and film work with making his own LPs as well as two successful projects with noted singers Sarah Vaughan ('After Hours") and Carmen McRae ('Bittersweet").

EVEN THOUGH HE HAD made special appearances with Peggy Lee and the White House, toured Japan with Benny Carter several times, and was a regular performer at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Mundell found he was spending more time writing than playing, which he found frustrating. He made up his mind to turn that around and, during the 1980s, he stepped out of the studio world of film and television and returned to performing, the first love of his long and rich musical career.

MUNDELL'S CURRENT SCHEDULE is no less active.  In the last few years he has traveled the globe as a concert performer, worked the States with his own quintet, and has made several trips to New York to work with Ron Carter, Al Foster, Bill Mays, and Ray Drummond.  He tours with the André Previn Trio (composed of Previn, the late Ray Brown, and Lowe), as well as the Great Guitars with the late Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis, and Tal Farlow.  Mundell also has been busy in recording studios lately, having recorded two albums for Telarc with the André Previn Trio, one for Phillips with Kiri Te Kanawa, and two albums for Fresh Sounds with Teté Montoliu.

Five Bass Jazz Recording at Mane Room for WC Handy Festival 2013


Five Bass Jazz Recording at Mane Room for WC Handy Festival 2013

Alabama Music Office.com goes to the Mane Room in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend a five bass jazz recording session for W.C. Handy Festival 2013. The players are Jim Ferguson, Tim Goodwin, Robert Dickson (arranger), Ike Harris and Neal Starkey. Thanks to Bob Garfrerick, Chair of the Department of Music Industry at the University of North Alabama for providing the Mane Room facility, and to student engineer Jake Woods.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Jazz Recorded Live at Mane Room for WC Handy Festival 2013


Jazz Recorded Live at Mane Room for WC Handy Festival 2013

Alabama Music Office.com goes to the Mane Room in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend the live jazz recording session for W.C. Handy Festival 2013. Some of the best Alabama jazz performers were on hand for this special event thanks to producer, Ray Reach.


Ray's comments: I'm back from the wonderful W.C. Handy Music Festival. This was my 11th Handy Festival, and one of the best yet! This year, we multi-track recorded two great concerts of the Handy Jazz Allstars: On Thursday night, July 25, "An Elegant Evening at the Shoals," arranged and directed by Scott Andrew Silbert, and on Friday, July 26, 2013, "A Tribute to Nat King Cole and the Crooners - Sinatra, Bennett and Torme," arranged and directed by Ray Reach.

Both concerts were a big success. Now comes the task of editing and mixing the recordings. These two concerts featured numerous accomplished jazz artists, including Ken Watters, Kelley Oneal, Gary Wheat, Scott Silbert, Howard Lamb, Carlos Pino, Mel Deal, Ray Reach, Tim Goodwin, Bill Goodwin, Mundell Lowe, Renee Koopman, Robert Dickson, Ike Harris, Neal Starkey, Jim Ferguson, Gary Lamb, Sue Matthews and Jose Betancourt.

Video footage was also shot by Jerry Renno and Jerry Henry. Many thanks to Bob Garfrerick, Chair of the Department of Music Industry at the University of North Alabama for providing the Mane Room facility, and to student engineer Jake Woods. Also, many many thanks to Nancy Gonce, Selwin Jones, Tori Bailey and all the wonderful support staff of the W.C. Handy Music Festival, one of the finest music festivals around!

Carlos Pino Interview


Carlos Pino Interview

Alabama Music Office.com goes to W.C. Handy Festival 2013. While there I interviewed Carlos Pino after the jazz performers rehearsal in the Mane Room in downtown Florence, Alabama. I had heard much about Carlos and his talent. This was my first opportunity to meet him and found him to be the nice guy that everyone told me he would be. I called him Carlo instead of Carlos and I apologize.

Jazz Performers Rehearsal for WC Handy Festival 2013


Jazz Performers Rehearsal for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to the Mane Room in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend the rehearsal for jazz musicians for W.C. Handy Festival 2013. They performed later that same day (Friday, July 26, 2013) when their performance was recorded live. The best Alabama jazz performers were on hand for this special event thanks to producer, Ray Reach.
Ray's comments: I'm back from the wonderful W.C. Handy Music Festival. This was my 11th Handy Festival, and one of the best yet! This year, we multi-track recorded two great concerts of the Handy Jazz Allstars: On Thursday night, July 25, "An Elegant Evening at the Shoals," arranged and directed by Scott Andrew Silbert, and on Friday, July 26, 2013, "A Tribute to Nat King Cole and the Crooners - Sinatra, Bennett and Torme," arranged and directed by Ray Reach.

Both concerts were a big success. Now comes the task of editing and mixing the recordings. These two concerts featured numerous accomplished jazz artists, including Ken Watters, Kelley Oneal, Gary Wheat, Scott Silbert, Howard Lamb, Carlos Pino, Mel Deal, Ray Reach, Tim Goodwin, Bill Goodwin, Mundell Lowe, Renee Koopman, Robert Dickson, Ike Harris, Neal Starkey, Jim Ferguson, Gary Lamb, Sue Matthews and Jose Betancourt.

Video footage was also shot by Jerry Renno and Jerry Henry. Many thanks to Bob Garfrerick, Chair of the Department of Music Industry at the University of North Alabama for providing the Mane Room facility, and to student engineer Jake Woods. Also, many many thanks to Nancy Gonce, Selwin Jones, Tori Bailey and all the wonderful support staff of the W.C. Handy Music Festival, one of the finest music festivals around!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Amber Rhodes & John Tinger at Lu Lu's Clothing for WC Handy Festival 2013


Amber Rhodes & John Tinger at Lu Lu's Clothing for WC Handy Festival 2013

Alabama Music Office.com goes to Lu Lu's Clothing in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Amber Rhodes & John Tinger for W.C. Handy Festival 2013.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Matt Roy & Son at On The Rocks for WC Handy Festival 2013


Matt Roy & Son at On The Rocks for WC Handy Festival 2013

Alabama Music Office.com goes to On The Rocks in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Matt Roy & Son for W.C. Handy Festival 2013.

Microwave Dave at Flobama for WC Handy Festival 2013



Microwave Dave at Flobama for WC Handy Festival 2013 


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Flobama in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Microwave Dave for W.C. Handy Festival 2013. This video shows Microwave Dave singing a jug band tune about Alabama.

Twenty years of performances in the U.S and Europe and six albums-with more on the way-have helped Microwave Dave & The Nukes establish a wide multinational audience. Venues vary from French soccer stadiums to Bike Week in Daytona Beach, from blues cruises on the Big Red Boat to neighborhood saloons, but the thousands of shows delivered by him or him and his band all reflect one core element: the heritage blues music enjoys as a lifter of spirits. As Microwave Dave puts it: "Blues is America's first-and still best-self-help program."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

CC Jags at Wilson Park for WC Handy Festival 2013


CC Jags at Wilson Park for WC Handy Festival 2013

Alabama Music Office.com goes to Wilson Park in Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by CC Jags for W.C. Handy Festival 2013. CC Jags is a family friendly band that plays country, classic rock, soul and more.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Florence Jazz Collective at Legends Steakhouse for WC Handy Festival 2013


Florence Jazz Collective at Legends Steakhouse for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to downtown Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by the Florence Jazz Collective at Legends Steakhouse for WC Handy Festival 2013.

The Florence Jazz Collective is a musician-founded organization, formed to unite local musicians with an interest in creating a jazz scene in the Shoals.

The Florence Jazz Collective is intended to bring together young jazz musicians and listeners in the Shoals. With such a rich local musical history, the goal of this collective is to bring about a revival of jazz in the area. It is the aim of this group to connect people in order to play, listen to, or discuss jazz, and what it is about jazz that brings you to this video.
https://www.facebook.com/florencejazzcollective

Street Musicians for WC Handy Festival 2013


Street Musicians for WC Handy Festival 2013

Alabama Music Office.com goes to downtown Florence, Alabama to video the street musicians performing during W.C. Handy Festival 2013. No matter what you call them, buskers, sidewalk performers or street musicians, they are a part of this great festival.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Asleep by Ten at Flobama for WC Handy Festival 2013


Asleep by Ten at Flobama for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Flobama in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Asleep at Ten for W.C. Handy Festival 2013.

With a plethora of musical tastes and backgrounds, Asleep By Ten became friends through their love of music . Born and raised in Muscle Shoals and the surrounding area, all band members are students of legendary Shoals guitarist and founding member of Shenandoah, Jim Seales. Asleep By Ten is: Derrick Gargis, Michael Davis and Andy Martin.

Pine Hill Haints at Rosie's for WC Handy Festival 2013



Pine Hill Haints at Rosie's for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Rosie's Cantina in downtown Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by the Pine Hill Haints for W.C. Handy Festival 2013.


The Pine Hill Haints are a traditional bluegrass/folk/honky tonk/country band from Alabama, though the band members themselves describe their unique southern roots music as "Alabama Ghost Music."

The Haints are composed of Jamie Barrier on guitar and vocals, wife Katie "Kat" Barrier on washboard and mandolin, Matt Bakula on washtub bass and tenor banjo, and Ben Rhyne on snare drum.

The Pollies at Flobama for WC Handy Festival 2013


The Pollies at Flobama for WC Handy Festival 2013

Alabama Music Office.com goes to FloBama in Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by The Pollies for W.C. Handy Festival 2013. The Pollies are Jay Burgess- guitars/vocals, Chris James- bass/vocals, Matt Green- guitars/vocals, Daniel Stoddard- steel/keys/effects/vocals, Ben Tanner- keys and Reed Watson- drums.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Christine Ohlman tribute to Jerry Wexler for WC Handy 2013 (2 of 2)


Christine Ohlman tribute to Jerry Wexler for WC Handy 2013 (2 of 2)


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Christine Ohlman, a Tribute to Jerry Wexler, for W.C. Handy 2013. This was a great show with special guest Bonnie & Bekka Bramlett, Jerry's son Paul Wexler, Scott Boyer and Donnie Fritts. A who's who of Muscle Shoals musicians which included N.C. Thurman, Spooner Oldham, Kelvin Holly, Ed King, David Hood, Mike Dillon, Will McFarland, Jimmy Johnson, Wayne Chaney, Steve Bassett, Marie Lewey and Cindy Richardson.

Christine Ohlman is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, recording artist, music scholar. Her nickname "The Beehive Queen" refers to her distinctive platinum beehive. Christine became the lead vocalist for the Saturday Night Live Band in 1991.

Christine Ohlman tribute to Jerry Wexler for WC Handy 2013 (1 of 2)


Christine Ohlman tribute to Jerry Wexler for WC Handy 2013 (1 of 2)


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Christine Ohlman, a Tribute to Jerry Wexler, for W.C. Handy 2013. This was a great show with special guest Bonnie & Bekka Bramlett, Jerry's son Paul Wexler, Scott Boyer and Donnie Fritts. A who's who of Muscle Shoals musicians which included N.C. Thurman, Spooner Oldham, Kelvin Holly, Ed King, David Hood, Mike Dillon, Will McFarland, Jimmy Johnson, Wayne Chaney, Steve Bassett, Marie Lewey and Cindy Richardson.

Christine Ohlman is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, recording artist, music scholar. Her nickname "The Beehive Queen" refers to her distinctive platinum beehive. Christine became the lead vocalist for the Saturday Night Live Band in 1991.

Mefford, Nutt and Mann at Swampers for WC Handy Festival 2013

Mefford, Nutt and Mann at Swampers for WC Handy Festival 2013****** Alabama Music Office.com goes to Swampers at Marriott Shoals in Florence, Alabama to attend a performance by Russell Mefford, Jimmy Nutt and Mitch Mann for W.C. Handy Festival 2013.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Grand Finale from Muscle Shoals Legends for WC Handy Festival 2013


Grand Finale from Muscle Shoals Legends for WC Handy Festival 2013

Alabama Music Office.com goes to Tuscumbia, Alabama to attend a performance by  The Decoys and Friends at The Tuscumbia Railroad Roundhouse. This event was Summer in Spring Park: Muscle Shoals Legends and was part of W.C. Handy Festival 2013. This was the Grand Finale with everyone that had appeared returning to the stage. The white haired performer that many might not recognize is Jerry Wexler's son, Paul Wexler.

Travis Wommack & The Decoys at Legends for WC Handy Festival 2013


Travis Wommack & The Decoys at Legends for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Tuscumbia, Alabama to attend a performance by Travis Wommack & The Decoys at The Tuscumbia Railroad Roundhouse. This event was Summer in Spring Park: Muscle Shoals Legends and was part of W.C. Handy Festival 2013.
By the time Travis took the stage the sun was goning down and light for video improved with each passing moment.

Donnie Fritts & The Decoys at Legends for WC Handy Festival 2013


Donnie Fritts & The Decoys at Legends for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Tuscumbia, Alabama to attend a performance by Donnie Fritts & The Decoys at The Tuscumbia Railroad Roundhouse. This event was Summer in Spring Park: Muscle Shoals Legends and was part of W.C. Handy Festival 2013.
***Lighting for video was bad with the sky's overpowering backlight. I am posting this video to showcase the music.***

Scott Boyer and The Decoys at Legends for WC Handy Festival 2013


Scott Boyer and The Decoys at Legends for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Tuscumbia, Alabama to attend a performance by Scott Boyer & The Decoys at The Tuscumbia Railroad Roundhouse. This event was Summer in Spring Park: Muscle Shoals Legends and was part of W.C. Handy Festival 2013.
***Lighting for video was bad with the sky's overpowering backlight. I am posting this video to showcase the music.***

Spooner Oldham & The Decoys at Legends for WC Handy Festival 2013


Spooner Oldham & The Decoys at Legends for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Tuscumbia, Alabama to attend a performance by Spooner Oldham & The Decoys at The Tuscumbia Railroad Roundhouse. This event was Summer in Spring Park: Muscle Shoals Legends and was part of W.C. Handy Festival 2013.
***Lighting for video was bad with the sky's overpowering backlight. I am posting this video to showcase the music.***




Wayne Chaney & The Decoys at Legends for WC Handy 2013


Wayne Chaney & The Decoys at Legends for WC Handy 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Tuscumbia, Alabama to attend a performance by Wayne Chaney & The Decoys at The Tuscumbia Railroad Roundhouse. This event was Summer in Spring Park: Muscle Shoals Legends and was part of W.C. Handy Festival 2013.
***Lighting for video was bad with the sky's overpowering backlight. I am posting this video to showcase the music.***

Mojo Risin' at Legends for WC Handy Festival 2013


Mojo Risin' at Legends for WC Handy Festival 2013


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Tuscumbia, Alabama to attend a performance by Mojo Risin' at The Tuscumbia Railroad Roundhouse. This event was Summer in Spring Park: Muscle Shoals Legends and was part of W.C. Handy Festival 2013. Florence, Alabama's Mojo Risin plays a blend of traditional blues with some contemporary R&B, funk, and jazz fusion.
***Lighting for video was bad with the sky's overpowering backlight. I am posting this video to showcase the music.***