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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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BROADCASTING COAST TO COAST

LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME BLUES, SHALL WE

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Morgan Freeman

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64

Show 64: Sep 16 to Sep 22, 2016

LIL ED WILLIAMS

SEP

2016

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

SWMAF

Southwest Musical Arts Foundation

FUNDING AND PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATION MADE POSSIBLE BY:

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.

Blues America 69 - Death of Johnny Ace

MUST LISTEN

73

Show 73: DEC 01 to DEC 08, 2016

MIKE ZITO

DEC

2016

Mike Zito is one of the leading contemporary blues artists on the scene today. He has been releasing albums for over a decade in addition to his top notch production with Samantha Fish and Albert Castiglia. He was a founding member of the Royal Southern Brother, a popular band that also features Cyril Neville and Devon Allman. He recently opened up about his struggle with substance abuse and credits his mentor, Walter Trout for helping him to beat his demons. Mike continues his success with Ruf Records on his latest release, Make Blues Not War which is produced by one of the industry’s best, Tom Hambridge.

Blues America was off during the Thanksgiving holiday

74

Show 74: DEC 09 to DEC 15, 2016

LURRIE BELL

DEC

2016

Lurrie is the second generation Bell playing traditional post-war Chicago blues after his famous father, harmonica master, Carey Bell. During the 70’s while performing with Willie Dixon and Koko Taylor, he was hailed as a prodigy and touted as the future of blues in Chicago; but his personal battles with depression and substance abuse threatened to derail his career. He made a miraculous comeback during the 90’s and never looked back. Today he’s held in the highest regard as one of Chicago’s biggest blues stars with an impressive resume of historic and popular recordings under his belt, including his latest studio effort, Can’t Shake this Feeling which has been nominated for a Grammy Award.  

75

Show 75: DEC 16 to DEC 22, 2016

CHRISTMAS SHOW

DEC

2016

Throw-on your bad Christmas sweater, untangle those lights and spike the eggnog as we gather around the stovepipe for Santa’s favorite show, the Blues America juke joint jingle jam. A home cooked BBQ smothered Christmas special featuring fine holiday blues, special guest Biscuit Miller and a live in-studio performance by the indie blues band Sonorous covering James Brown’s funky holiday classic, Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto. Then we hear the legendary singer Jerry Lawson carol in the studio and deliver a playful reading of the immortal classic ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.’    

76

Show 76: DEC 29 to JAN 05, 2017

2016 REWIND SHOW

DEC

2016

Before we ring in the New Year and look 2016 in the rear view mirror, we rewind the tape to hear what 2016 sounded like with some of the best moments of the year jam-packed into one show.  Featuring Paul Oscher, Billy Boy Arnold, Mac Arnold, Janiva Magness, Jontavious Willis, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Debra Devi, Walkin Cane Mark, Jerry Lawson, Julie Lawson, Paul Nelson and more. Happy New Year!

77

Show 77: JAN 06 to JAN 12, 2017

BISCUIT MILLER

JAN

2017

Biscuit Miller, who is only one a handful of bass players who leads a band, just released his third studio effort, the critically acclaimed Wishbone. Miller is a Blues Music Award Winner who recorded with the late Sonny Rodgers and Mojo Buford before touring with Lonnie Brooks for 10 years. Later he toured with Anthony Gomes and co-wrote the chart burner, “Testify.” Born and raised in Chicago, Miller is known for his high energy shows and his million dollar blues with a smile.  

78

Show 78: JAN 13 to JAN 20, 2017

Heard on this Episode

CEDRIC BURNSIDE PROJECT

BRAND

New Blues

Sharon Lewis

Call Home

Grown Ass Woman

Delmark

2016

BLUES at

The Break

Mitch Kasmar

My Lil' Stumptown

West Coast Toast

Delta Groove

2016

WAY WAY

Back Blues

Kokomo Arnold

Milk Cow Blues

C-9428-B

Decca

1934

BLUES

Soundbite

Fred McDowell

Interview

Blues Maker

1968

BLUES

KickOff

Cedric Burnside Project

Down in the Delta

Descendants of Hill

Indie

2015

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.    

 
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