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JERRY LAWSON

JUST A MORTAL MAN

The ‘Jerry Lawson Legacy Project,’ an exclusive series for Blues America, explores the history of Jerry Lawson and the legendary Persuasions in chronological order as explained in a biographical commentary by Jerry and Julie Lawson with special guests.

Jerry Lawson is arguably one of the most important figures in the genre of a’cappella (singing without the use of instrumental accompaniment). For more then 40 years, Lawson was the lead singer, producer, arranger and founding member of the Persuasions, the most famous a’cappella group to date, and the only performers of their genre to earn worldwide mainstream success. Jerry Lawson and the Persuasions have undoubtedly done more to popularize a’capella then anyone else before or since. Lawson launched a solo career in 2004 soon after releasing an album with Talk of the Town and appearing on CBS's the Sing-Off. At the age of 71, he is releasing his first solo album on Nashville Red Beet Records, 'Just a Mortal Man.'

Blues America is a public radio series broadcasting weekly from the Chico Chism Studio in Phoenix and providing an outlet for Blues artists to share their stories. There's nothing like it!

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KEEP THE BLUES ALIVE

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Southwest Musical Arts Foundation

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68

Show 68: Oct 21 to Oct 27, 2016

BILLY BOY ARNOLD

OCT

2016

Billy Boy Arnold is one of a handful of musicians still standing to talk about the vibrant and important Chicago blues scene of the 1950’s. He was first inspired by John Lee Sonny Boy Williamson who he considered to be the most important purveyor of modern blues harmonica. After several meetings with Sonny Boy, while only a teenager, he cut his first two sides for the cool label before meeting Ellas McDaniel. Soon after, Arnold was in the studio with McDaniel cutting the two-sided smash “Bo Diddley/I'm a Man” for Checker which forever branded McDaniel with the moniker, Bo Diddley. This session led to Arnolds own hits for Veejay Records, “I Wish You Would” and “I Ain’t Got You.” Both hits put Arnold on the map and were later covered by British rockers the Yardbirds.

MUST LISTEN

78

Show 78: JAN 13 to JAN 20, 2017

CEDRIC BURNSIDE PROJECT

JAN

2017

Cedric Burnside is a 4-time Blues Music Award Drummer of the Year who grew-up in rural Northern Mississippi, without a TV or radio, across the street from Junior Kimbrough’s Juke Joint and under the wing of his famous Grandfather, RL Burnside. After many years of touring and recording with RL Burnside, Cedric continued to keep hill country blues alive with his own endeavor, the Cedric Burnside Project featuring his lifelong friend, guitar ace Trenton Ayers. Trenton is the son of Junior Kimbrough guitarist, Little Joe Ayers. Together the dynamic duo has released a handful of critically acclaimed albums with the latest effort being Descendants of Hill Country which was nominated for a Grammy Award.    

84

Show 84: FEB 24 to MAR 02, 2017

ELVIN BISHOP

FEB

2017

Elvin Bishop is a living legend whose great contributions to American music have been solidified by his induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame followed soon after by the Blues Hall of Fame. He played a significant role in the success of the Paul Butterfield Band as a founding member and the lead guitarist on three classic albums during the 1960's before becoming a regular at the famed Fillmore Auditorium jam sessions alongside Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and BB King. Elvin had a top Billboard smash hit in 1976 with the gold record “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” which was prominently featured in a recent blockbuster film. Following his 2014 Grammy-nominated album, his new critically acclaimed release is called “Big Fun Trio” out now on the Alligator record label.

93R

Show 93R: May 11 to May 18, 2017

HENRY GRAY

MAY

2017

This week your host, Drew Verbis is escorting Henry Gray to Memphis to receive his induction into the Blues Hall of Fame. 92 year old multi Grammy-nominated blues piano master, Henry Gray, is a living legend and a national treasure whose recording career spans seven decades. Despite his vibrant solo career, he is often remembered for his significant contribution to post-war Chicago blues during his time as a session player for Chess Records and a member of the Howlin’ Wolf band. In 2016, shortly after the release of his critically acclaimed Delta Groove Records called ‘The Blues Won’t Let Me Take My Rest,’ Henry was awarded a lifetime achievement award in Chicago.

May 10 2017

Drew at Henry's house in Baton Rouge

May 10 2017

Drew and Henry Memphis Bound

May 10 2017

Henry finds a Piano in Memphis

May 10 2017

Henry is inducted into the Hall of Fame

94

Show 94: MAY 18 to MAY 25, 2017

PRIMER & CORRITORE

MAY

2017

John Primer and Bob Corritore are two of the top names in the blues who celebrate their sophomore studio collaboration for Delta Groove Records with “Ain’t Nothin You Can Do.” John Primer is a living legend who credits Sammy Lawhorn as a mentor and cut his teeth on the tough Chicago scene with Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Magic Slim before breaking out as a dynamic and popular solo artist. His album “Muddy Waters 100” was nominated for a Grammy award and was widely regarded as the best blues album of 2015. Bob Corritore is a well-respected producer who has emerged as one of the top sidemen in the business. His versatility on the harmonica can summon the spirit of Walter Horton or shuffle with his contemporary peers.

100

Show 100: JUL 28 to AUG 04, 2017

SUGARAY RAYFORD

JUL

2017

Standing 6’ 5” 300 pounds, Sugaray Rayford is a formidable force. Critics consider Sugaray Rayford to be one of the greatest and last blues shouters; in the same league, as: Big Mama Thornton, Jimmy Rushing, Big Joe Turner. His critically acclaimed sophomore release was on Delta Groove and featured a host of famed talent, including Kim Wilson and Kid Anderson. Rayford’s powerful voice also leads the all-star revue project, The Mannish Boys appearing on their last two albums and winning a Blues Award in 2013. He’s been nominated for numerous B.B. King entertainer of the year awards considering his hard-working tour schedule, fine body of solo work and high profile featured performances on some of the industry’s top charting albums.

110

Show 110: OCT 06 to OCT 12, 2017

TOMMY CASTRO

OCT

2017

Alligator recording artist Tommy Castro is a Westcoast blues legend who is one of the most recognizable names in the business. The 2010 BB King Entertainer of the Year harkens back to a simpler time during his San Jose roots on his latest nostalgic studio album, ‘Stompin’ Ground,’ recorded at Kid Andersens Greaseland studios. Since starting his recording career with Warner Brother’s recording artist, the Dynatones, he’s released 15 solo albums; most of which for Alligator and Blind Pig Records and built a remarkable legacy that includes winning 6 Blues Music Awards, touring with B.B. King, recording John Lee Hookers last session and working as the house band for three seasons of NBC’s comedy showcase.

113

Show 113: OCT 27 to NOV 03, 2017

ROCKIN' JOHNNY

OCT

2017

Rockin Johnny cut his teeth on the Chicago scene with the likes of Jewtown Burkes and the Taildragger. Since then he’s released 7 critically acclaimed albums, most on famed Delmark Records. Johnny led one of the most requested house bands in Chicago working with Billy Boy Arnold, Jimmie Lee Robinson, Willie Buck, Paul De Lay and many more, before relocating to California. He just released his second studio effort as a Californian, both recorded at the renowned Greaseland. His latest is Neoprene Fedora, a theme which represents his assimilation into Westcoast culture. The album features Kid Andersen, Aki Kumar and Alabama Mike among others and features a smashing version of Johnny Littlejohn’s ABC hit, Guitar King.

115

Show 115: NOV 10 to NOV 16, 2017

ANSON FUNDERBURGH

STEPHANIE TICE 

NOV

2017

On the first half of the program, producer, vlogger and promoter, Stephanie Tice talks about her latest production, ‘Howlin at Greaseland’ a compilation which features an all-star line-up of blues greats including, Blues Hall of Famer Henry Gray, The Tail Dragger, Kid Andersen, Alabama Mike, Rockin’ Johnny and Rick Estrin. Texas guitar master and blues legend Anson Funderburgh is featured on the second half of the program. Anson talks about his latest projects with Andy-T and the Golden State Lone Star Review and reminisces about his long history with the Rockets featuring the late great Sam Myers.

116

Show 116: NOV 17 to NOV 23, 2017

MOJO MARK CIHLAR

NOV

2017

Mojo Mark Cihlar is a Chicago native who cut his teeth performing guitar and harmonica with some of most legendary players of his day like Kansas City Red, Big Smokey Smothers, Eddie King, and Little Arthur Duncan. After 30 years on the scene, he still performs traditional Chicago blues with the great Willie Buck, the Taildragger or a combination of his own band. In 2010, he was featured on the legendary Eddie C. Campbell’s award winning Delmark studio release. In 2016, he celebrated the release of his own project, co-produced with his brother, Grant, called Chicago Blues Party.

117

Show 117: DEC 01 to DEC 07, 2017

TAIL DRAGGER

DEC

2017

When the Howlin’ Wolf gives you a name it sticks. He told Arkansas native, Crawlin’ James Yancey to stop draggin’ his tail and from that day, the Tail Dragger was born on the Chicago blues scene. He took tips from Mad Dog Lester Davenport, Lee Shot Williams and Chico Chism before becoming one of Chicago’s most formidable singers and hiring a gamut of top talents to back him including Willie Kent, Little Mack Simmons, Johnny B Moore, Carey Bell, Lurrie Bell, and Eddie Shaw. Later, he frequently molded young white players; some have moved-on to make significant contributions to the blues, like Bob Corritore and Rockin’ Johnny Burgin.

120

Show 120: DEC 15 to DEC 28, 2017

ACOUSTIC SHOWCASE

DEC

2017

A downhome acoustic showcase with the best in-studio live performances from 2017. Featuring Grammy award winner John Primer, blues hall of famer Henry Gray, 5-time drummer of the year Cedric Burnside, Minnesota blues hall of famer Jimi Prime Time Smith, award winning harmonica ace Bob Corritore, Rockin’ Johnny Burgin and finally, Trenton Ayers.  

121

Show 121: DEC 29 to JAN 05, 2018

JOHN TEFTELLER

JAN

2018

John Tefteller is a world-renowned collector of rare records and 78’s but in particular, pre-war classic blues and more specifically, the Paramount blues catalog. John spends much of his time traveling around the world in search of rare records. In 2009, the New York Times featured John in a major soft news feature. In 2013, John made headline news by purchasing a Tommy Johnson 78 on eBay for $37, 100. John is often mentioned or used for source reference in music news and publications. In 2004, John began putting out a blues calendar which features rare blues advertising illustrations from the 1920’s and is accompanied by a rare classic blues CD compilation.    

122

Show 122: JAN 12 to JAN 18, 2018

2017 REWIND SHOW

JAN

2018

2017 was a wild ride! Headlines were dominated by politics, hurricanes and fake news. But all of that is for some other show and here at Blues America it was a great year! To be sure, there was no sex scandal and we did not collude with the Russians. Before closing the book on 2017, we rewind the tape to hear what the year sounded like with some of the best interview segments packed into one show. Featuring: Bobby Rush, John Primer, Oscar Wilson, Bob Corritore, Jimi Primetime Smith, Miss Blues, Harrison Kennedy, the Taildragger and more.    

123

Show 123: JAN 18 to JAN 25, 2018

SWEET PEA ATKINSON

JAN

2018

Sweet Pea Atkinson is a veteran singer who rose to fame when his Detroit-based soul funk band Was (Not Was) scored a top ten Billboard pop hit in 1989 called, ‘Walk the Dinosaur.’  Following this success, he spent the next few decades as a member of the Boneshakers and performing with the likes of Lyle Lovett, Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristofferson. In 2017, working with Keb Mo, he released his first solo studio album in 30 years, a contemporary blues-soul project called ‘Get What You Deserve’ for famed Blue Note Records.  

124

Show 124: JAN 26 to JAN 31, 2018

PRESTON SHANNON

JAN

2018

Preston Shannon is internationally recognized as the King of Beale Street. He gained international recognition during the 90’s after forming his own band releasing a string of successful albums on the Rounder Bullseye label and being nominated for two Grammy Awards. Prior to this, the native of Olive Branch, Mississippi was an experienced musician who cut his teeth in the band of platinum selling Grammy-winning soul great, Shirley Brown. Preston was recently featured on the cover of the Living Blues magazine and his latest studio effort, ‘Dust My Broom’ pays tribute to Elmore James and received critical acclaim.  

Heard on this Episode

BRAND NEW

Blues

Bernard Allison

You're Gonna Need Me

Let It Go

Ruf Records

2018

BLUES at

The Break

BLUES

KickOff

Janiva Magness

Cedric Burnside

Home

Army of Love

Blue Elan

2018

George Bowman

Bob Corritore

I Was a Fool

Don't Let the Devil Ride

Delta Groove Records

2018

127

Show 127: FEB 16 to FEB 22, 2018

GEORGE BOWMAN

FEB

2018

George Bowman is a famed singer in his home state of Arizona where he is a Blues Hall of Fame inductee and connected to his cities long legacy of blues and soul going back to the days of Dyke & the Blazers. After moving to Arizona from Mississippi, George befriended famed funk icon Dyke Christian and became hooked on the groove. Shortly after he formed a band, Memphis Soul and began to cut singles and opening for Charles Brown and Taj Mahal. George has recorded several full-length studio albums including ‘Badd Boy’ which featured renowned guitarist Lucius Parr. Recently George collaborated with Bob Corritore on a single for the upcoming Delta Groove Records release, ‘Don’t Let the Devil Ride.’

BLUES

Soundbite

Albert Collins

Interview

Capital Theatre

Youtube

1976

WAYWAY

Back Blues

Furry Lewis

Everybody's Blues

Single C-748/9

Vocalion

1927

 
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