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!
WHERE THE BLUES TALKS
THE BLUES IS A FEELING
THE BLUES IS LIFE
THE BLUES IS STORIES AND LEGENDS
THE BLUES IS THE HEART AND SOUL OF AMERICA
IT IS OUR HISTORY AND NATIONAL STANDARD
EVERYTHING STARTED FROM THE BLUES
IT'S TIME NOW FOR BLUES AMERICA
BROADCASTING COAST TO COAST
LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME BLUES, SHALL WE
Show 64: Sep 16 to Sep 22, 2016
LIL ED WILLIAMS
Lil Ed Williams is one of a kind. With his trademark Fez hat which symbolizes an African crown and his torturous slide guitar, Lil Ed Williams embodies the spirit of his famous uncle, J.B. Hutto and has become one of the biggest names in the blues. He is an award winning artist who is set to release his ninth full-length recording for acclaimed Alligator records called ‘The Big Sound of Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials.’ When he hits the road to promote his new album, he’ll be greeted by mobs of devoted followers called “Ed Heads”; with popular late night talk-show host Conan O’Brien being their most high profile member.
KEEP THE BLUES ALIVE
Southwest Musical Arts Foundation
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Show 68: Oct 21 to Oct 27, 2016
BILLY BOY ARNOLD
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.
Show 78: JAN 13 to JAN 20, 2017
CEDRIC BURNSIDE PROJECT
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.
Show 79: JAN 20 to JAN 26, 2017
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. Later that year he lost everything he owned in a flood disaster that devastated communities in his home state of Louisiana.
Show 81: FEB 03 to FEB 09, 2017
Standing 6’3” tall and weighing over 300 pounds, Oscar Wilson is a larger-than-life charismatic front man that carries on the great Chicago blues tradition. He is best known as the downhome singer of the Cash Box Kings. He grew up on the Southside of Chicago and lived in the same neighborhood as Smokey Smothers and David Honey Boy Edwards. The group’s latest album, Holding Court (Blind Pig Records) – has struck a favorable chord with the blues-loving public, overseas and closer to home, as well.
Show 80: JAN 27 to FEB 02, 2017
JIMMY DUCK HOLMES
Jimmy Duck Holmes is one of the last country guitar players of the Bentonia Blues style following in the footsteps of legends like Henry Stuckey, Jack Owens and Skip James. In fact, Henry was the first to teach him guitar and Jack was the last. He also operates one of the oldest juke joints called the Blue Front Café which is part of the Mississippi Blues Trail. This establishment was started by his parents 70 years ago. Most recently it was announced that an image of Jimmy will appear on a US Postage stamp.
Show 82: FEB 10 to FEB 16, 2017
Harmonica Ace, Pierre Lacocque is the founder and leader of Mississippi Heat which has been a hallmark band in the Chicago area for decades and a franchise brand for the Delmark Record label. Pierre is from Belgium and began performing on the Chicago scene with greats like Sunnyland Slim and Jimmy Rogers during the 90’s. His group released their sixth studio effort with Delmark, Cab Driving Man, which has received rave fanfare and topped the blues charts for consecutive months. Their lead singer, Inneta Visor, a star in her own right, has cemented the bands vocal foundation for over a decade and has been nominated for a Koko Taylor Award.
Show 83: FEB 17 to FEB 23, 2017
Speaking backstage with the “King of the Chitlin’ Circuit”, the Living Legend, Bobby Rush. One of the last of his era, Rush estimates that he has cut over 337 sides since he first began making music. After being honored with three Grammy nominations, he accepted his first Grammy trophy for his newest sensational Rounder Records release “Porcupine Meat.” Bobby has also racked up 41 nominations and 10 awards from the Blues Foundation, and a 2006 induction into the Blues Hall of Fame. The creator of “Folk-Funk” scored his first gold record with the 1971 immortal hit classic “Chicken Heads.”
Show 85: MAR 03 to MAR 09, 2017
Thornetta Davis is the reigning Queen of Detroit Blues whose latest album “Honest Woman” has been climbing the music charts and earned her two Blues Music Award nominations. She confesses that her recent studio effort that has earned national critical acclaim was 20 years in the making. She was mentored by the great late Alberta Adams. The Queen has also had her music featured on the hit cable series Sopranos and has performed many times with Bob Seger, Kid Rock and Iggy Pop.
Show 84: FEB 24 to MAR 02, 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.
Show 86: MAR 17 to MAR 23, 2017
The Jerry Lawson Legacy Project is an exclusive series for Blues America that explores the history of singing legend Jerry Lawson and the famed Persuasions in chronological order as explained in biographical commentary by Jerry Lawson and guest host Julie Lawson. Jerry Lawson was the lead singer for the Persuasions for 42 years before launching a solo career and appearing on the CBS hit show, the Sing Off. On this episode, Jerry talks about the Persuasions fan favorite third studio effort, “Street Corner Symphony.” This album is the holy grail of contemporary a’cappella.
Show 87: MAR 24 to MAR 31, 2017
Heard on this Episode
Gary Clark Jr
Honest I Do
Live North America 16
I'll Sing the Bues For
Connor Ray Music
You Can Mistreat Me
Legends of AFBF
Mike Wheeler Band
Mike Wheeler is regarded as one of the hardest working blues guitarist in Chicago. He cut his teeth performing with Muddy Water’s last piano player, Lovie Lee before getting gigs with the likes of Son Seals, Willie Kent, Koko Taylor, Jimmy Johnson and Big James. Now he commands his own band and released his second studio effort for Chicago’s legendary Delmark Records called “Turn Up!!” In 2014 Mike joined a legendary class of musicians after he was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame.