Bluepower Blog

  • On The Passing Of Gregg Allman!

    I knew who Gregg Allman was decades before I ever met him. In my experience Gregg was one of the first superstars of Rock and Roll: I first heard about him because he was marrying Cher and I couldn’t have been more than 8 or 9 years old when he became front page news because of this union of celebrities. 
    And I mention Gregg and Cher’s nuptials not to lessen the impact his music and the impact he himself would eventually have on me but to illustrate the fact that Gregg was one of an elite group that included Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia, and David Bowie: they were actual newsmakers. Newsworthy enough to have left an impression on a young boy from Virginia whose best friend was already that Rock and Roll sound   despite being a full 8 or nine years out from buying my first Allman Brothers LP (Fillmore East of course).

    Of course I heard Midnight Rider and One Way Out on the local radio but it wasn’t until I received a well loved copy of the Fillmore East live record that my ground was literally shaken. The album was in constant rotation as I played my little beginner’s Hondo P-bass copy and tried to keep up with that fierce locomotive of a rhythm section. And yes, the band sure could hit that note.

    But it was Gregg’s voice that really got me. It carried the burden of all human experience: pain, sadness, joy, world weariness and love. It seemed like a mismatch that this pseudo-elfin wisp of a blonde man could put forth such a powerful sound fraught with the weight of the world and do it night after night. I can’t imagine the burden he bore in order to sing with such intent.

    And years later, when I wound up meeting Gregg in person I was surprised at how cowed I was despite his naturally disarming personality. To my core I was shaken by being in the presence of his greatness…he was so much more than an elder statesman and fellow musician. His effect on me took some time to get over.

    Bits and pieces of the “Gregg effect” lingered in me when I was lucky enough to sit in with ABB. All it took was the first line of Dreams to rattle me off of that repetitive goose egg of a bass line and elicit looks of amusement and “gotcha” from Derek or Butch. And Jaimoe would just laugh and laugh and laugh.

    I will recount one of my favorite Gregg moments: I had gone to Lakewood Amphitheater in Atlanta to see ABB and, as it often happened, Oteil Burbridge sauntered offstage between songs and handed me his bass. So onstage I went to play the tune Rockin’ Horse. We were deep into the jam when Gregg finally looked over my way, saw me, looked back at his keys, then looked back again with shock and surprise on his normally stoic face. An actual double take! For once I got him. Later Gregg told Warren Haynes, “I like the way that big ol’ boy plays the bass.” SCORE! It’s a precious moment I will always treasure it along with so many more too numerous to mention.

    So to Gregg: thank you for the music and thank you for teaching me about the blues. More importantly thank you for being a brother. You were always welcoming and sweet to me. You were always thoughtful and soft spoken and carried yourself with an aloofness that only your closest friends knew was an actual shyness (and perhaps a bit of amusement at how ludicrous the hugeness of the whole “rock star thing” really was - but like it or not you were the epitome of a rock star). Thank you for trying to come down to my level even though I will never be able to see you as anything other than a superstar - one of the brightest in my sky. Thank you for guiding me in your own way as a teacher whether you knew it or not. The impact you have had upon my life and the way I work my music is undeniable.

    And to those who loved Gregg: my heart is with you. I have no other words that can temper or lessen the pain that you must be feeling today.

    In closing I will say that Gregg holds a special place amongst another elite group: Those who have written songs that are guaranteed to make me cry. There are only four in this group and without mentioning the other three I will say that it’s Melissa that starts the waterworks. Every single time I hear this beautiful song the tears just come. I think I’ll go listen to it now.

  • Getting Back To Love....!

    With Special Guest....Lori Rhys.

    The following show was posted 10 years ago. We republished it yesterday afternoon before receiving 2 texts around 12:30 pm last night telling us that our friend, Phil Dick and his wife, Kim had been 20 feet away from the explosion in Manchester. The texts went on to say that they had no idea how they had come through unscathered and that Kim had dived into the carnage and helped a young girl with a leg wound.

    We are adding this dedication to this particular show today as we are deeply saddened by the events in Manchester, England and that 10 years after this show was recorded we must still ask this same question: Where has love gone?

    In the world today, where fear and derision seem to rule; the question we're asking is: Where has love gone?

    Polorization has become the byword in America. People no longer speak to their friends due to differences in religion and politics and bit by bit we have become separated. What has happened to communication?

    This show exhibits what can happen to a married couple when communication on a personal level ceases to exist. When the couple stops talking to each other and communication completely breaks down.

    Join my wife and I as we speak of our own dilema in regard to our loss of sincere dialog and what happened when we finally figured what was wrong and started on our course to re-build our relationship. Amazing things happened.

    Imagine what could happen if the entire world tried speaking with each other instead of resolving our differences with violence.

    This is a different show from our normal Blues fare. We sincerely hope you enjoy and benefit from our conversation and the music provided. As always, the music tells the truth.

    John Rhys-Eddins/

    The Music Today:

    1)...."Where Is The Love"....The Black Eyed Peas
    2)...."One"....Andy Cowan
    3)...."At Last"....Etta James
    4)...."Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"....Andy Cowan
    5)...."Hold On To What You Got"....Joe Tex
    6)...."Need Your Love So Bad"....Gary Moore
    7)...."Without Love"....Clyde McPhatter
    8)...."Love's Me Like A Rock"....The Dixie Hummingbirds
    9)...."Forever Young"....The Band

    Please share your comments, stories and/or questions with us by e-mailing us at:
    Also be sure to let us know if it is okay to use part or all of what you write to us in future shows. We love to hear from you.

    Scripted material written by Lori Rhys.

    John & Lori Rhys/

    Listen to....Getting Back To Love!
  • America's Ambassador Of Music....Mr. B.B. King! (Parts One & Two)

    Occasionally I run behind with new shows and for that, I apologize. However; there are always a plethera of shows looming in BluePower's background which I can substitute while I work on something new.

    This week, I am posting the BB King show I did several years ago. The reason being that it is a good show and quite informative. It speaks of BB's influences, which are significant for young guitarists. They were for me.

    Part One deals with the set up at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas where Mr. King was to perform. You get a definite idea as to what instruments BB uses in his ensemble; the set up etc. Good stuff to know.

    Then John interviews BB King....truly, one of the nicest men on the planet.

    Part Two deals with BB's musical influences as a young musician growing up. His influences may astonish you.

    Many thanks to my dear friend, Jim Cantale of ESI Event Services for his efforts on BluePower's behalf.

    I do hope you enjoy BB King Parts One and Two.

    Thank You,
    John Rhys-Eddins

    Listen To BB King, Part One!

    Listen To BB King, Part Two!

    Go to BB King's Web Site!

  • BluePower Is Back!


    For the last two years I have not been well. I found that I had a heartrate of between 25 and 32 beats a minute. On December 14th I had an episode where my heart dropped to 9 beats a minute and that's just not enough to sustain life and I almost vanished from this sphere. Had it not been for my wife Lori, who managed to do 20 minutes of CPR, I would have died. 

    As you can tell, I am still here. To tell the truth, I feel like an 18 year old. 

    BluePower has added to it's team and we are taking steps to make sure the Blues get the treatment and respect the genre deserves. We also intend to watch this new administration to make sure everything is on the up and up. BluePower will take them to task if that's not the case. We keep the First Amendment in the front of our minds as we work. 

    So be prepared! Our team is powerful and complete with all the necessary tools to make BluePower an even more dynamic site than it was before.

    Here is a list of our new team mates:

    Tim Piper....Technical Consultant
    Brian Rhys Eddins....Engineering and Program Staffer
    Dave Schools....Programming Consultant
    Doug Deutsch....Blues News contributor
    Mike Toth....Webmaster

    BluePower welcomes these fine folks to our staff and thanks all our friends and listeners who continued loving the Blues while I was ill. That makes us smile.

    During these times of trial here in America and the world, BluePower hopes you all will continue to be safe and in good health. Remember! Freedom is the bottom line.

    Thank you all for being here....
    John Rhys Eddins and staff,
  • Santa Barbara Blues Society Member's Show!