Bluepower Blog

  • 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
    Spiralcraft....Host

    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,
    BluePower.com
  • Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival Returns To Santa Clarita!

    Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival Returns To Santa Clarita

     By Doug Deutsch

     

       By popular demand, the Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival returns to Santa Clarita, Calif. On Sunday, May 7, from 12 noon till 6 pm, taking place at Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Canyon Rd. Presented by the same folks that sponsor the famed yearly California Beer Festival, the Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival is part of the big, three-day “BBQ and Beer Festival” from May 5 through 7 that includes a Craft Beer Festival on Friday, May 5 from 5:30-9:30pm (21 and over) and a BBQ Festival on Saturday, May 6 from 12 noon till 8pm. Tickets available online now at https://www.bbqandbeerfestival.com and will also be sold at the Gate. Beer Festival tickets are priced at $20-$40; BBQ Festival (and) Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival tickets are $10 (entry must be purchased for each day). Must be 21 or older with valid ID to enter the Beer Festival on Friday and to consume alcohol for the duration of the festival. Kids 12 and under get in free Saturday and Sunday.

       “We’re happy to bring the Blues to Santa Clarita, one of the many cities here in Southern California that in our experience have traditionally been very supportive of this genre,” says Brews & Blues Festival promoter, Vincenzo Giammanco. 

       Live music for the Blues, Brew & BBQ Festival on Sunday will be provided by two of the biggest names in the world of Blues: Tommy Castro & the Painkillers; (and) SoCal’s Jack Mack and the Heart Attack. Night after night, Tommy Castro, a fierce and fiery road warrior, fervently delivers his driving, blues-soaked, soul-baring music to fans all over the world. The road is where he honed his guitar playing to a razor’s edge. It’s where he learned how to captivate an audience with his intensely passionate vocals and his memorable songs, licks and grooves. In the words of Blues Revue, “Tommy Castro can do no wrong.” Over the course of his four-decade career, Castro has played thousands of shows to hundreds of thousands of fans, packing dance floors, always leaving them screaming for more. He has released 14 albums filled with original blues, soul and West Coast rock. With their latest album Method To My Madness, the group turns the intensity up another notch.

         Jack Mack’s sweet and funky soul music has resulted in a critically-acclaimed thirty-year legacy of success in the music business: seven records, blockbuster movie soundtracks, and hundreds of global television and stage performances.  Their  new album “Back To The Shack” combines strong American/Soul roots with the classic sound and traditions of the Blues. The players include Jack Mack’s World Class horn section, “The Heart Attack Horns” plus one of New Orleans’ favorite sons, Mark Campbell, on lead vocals. They have garnered an ever-expanding and loyal following cementing their legendary reputation. But what the band is most known for is their solid, energetic and stellar live performances. The Jack Mack entertainment brand has oozed into every facet of show biz, from their incredible live performances, studio recordings, film and TV music placements and the ever-constant shoulder rubbing with celebrities.  


     

  • The True Story of "Chuck Berry, Live At The Roxy."

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    The call came a few hours after I returned home from a job in Tokyo early in 1982. My friend, Artie Epstein was frantic. It seems he had just produced a show at the Roxy Theater featuring Chuck Berry and, though hiring the best pre and post production house in Hollywood, found serious problems with the recorded master video and audio tapes.

    When I arrived the next morning at 10 am at Motown Studios, I found the piano track completely missing, as though it was never recorded, which I later found was the case. It seems the engineer was recording while watching the input levels. Had he watched the output levels he would have seen a malfunction in the twenty-four track machine they used. Imagine the engineer's surprise as he went to check the tape after everyone had gone home and found there was "no" piano track.

    To complicate matters, on the first song, while setting the mix perifory, I noticed that the sax player's mic wasn't working. I found later that the sax mic had been mislabled as "audience 1". The mistake was corrected on the second song, thank God!

    I was amazed! The premiere pre and post company in Hollywood had completely failed and could do nothing about it. Not to mention, Smitty Smith was at that time, one of the best players in town and, try as I may, could not get the piano into the mix. Yes, you can hear him in the house mix loud as hell but nothing went to tape. It's a shame. There are several copies of this show to be found on You Tube. The person who downloaded the show tried to bring up the piano but since it was only available from the monitors, completely screwed up the sound. I mixed the show in mono for TV which was standard at the time. There was no stereo mix!

    In case you didn't know, Chuck Berry arrived at his specified time and when he asked for payment prior to the show, they handed him a check. Chuck went ballistic and told them the aggreement was for cash prior to the show. The producer went through all his hoops when he finally realized there was going to be no show unless Chuck got his cash. So the show as delayed over an hour while the producer went to fetch a large sum of cash on a Saturday night. Oh Boy!

    As you will see, the show went on with Tina Turner as special guest. However; something happened during Chuck and Tina's only song together (Rock And Roll Music). Tina steps on one of Chuck's lines and (still playing his guitar), Chuck leans over and says something to Tina. At which, Tina backs away from Chuck as he continues the song. After the song completes, Chuck takes a break and Tina never came back to the stage. I wonder what Chuck said?

    The show came out well and Chuck was amazing! An interesting feature at the tail end of this concert is Chuck bringing his daughter (Ingrid Berry)  onstage to sing a number with him. She did an excellent job.

    There is one video tape roll at the very beginning. Otherwise the video is excellent as I took it from the finished master which was given me when I had finished the job. 

    The "Poet Of Rock and Roll" is gone but his tremendous volume of work will live on in American music history. A true master of the genre, Chuck Berry's voice and inimitable guitar licks will be played for the next millenium by millions of enthusiastic young players. God Speed my brother!

    List of musicians:

    Piano....William "Smitty" Smith
    Guitar....Richie Zito
    Bass....James Marsala
    Drums...Willie Ornelas
    Sax....Jim Horne

    We at BluePower hope you enjoy this video and the stories behind the concert. It certainly was a night to remember. We wish to thank Arthur Epstein and Oak Media for permission to use this content.

    The BluePower team.

  • Welcome To America!



    It's time to think about our country. We cannot allow everything good that has happened in the last eight years to be undone. Stand up and protest. Let your voice be heard.

    The BluePower Team
  • 12th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival!

     

    ANNOUNCING THE 12TH ANNUAL VENTURA COUNTY BLUES FESTIVAL, A SPRING SOCAL TRADITION, KEEPING THE BLUES ALIVE SINCE 2005; YEAR #2 AT BEAUTIFUL STUDIO CHANNEL ISLANDS IN CAMARILLO, CA 

                                  

      Saturday, April 29, 2017 - Gates Open 10am, Music Starts 11:00 am  



     

     

     

     

     

       (Camarillo, CA)  - Announcing the 12th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival, a Spring SoCal Tradition, Keeping the Blues Alive for a dozen consecutive years, taking place Saturday, April 29, 2017, at Studio Channel Islands, 2222 E. Ventura Blvd., in Camarillo. Gates open 10:00 am, music begins at 11:00 am. Tickets $30. (Pre-Sale), $40. (Day of Show). Kids 12 and under, free with paid Adult General Admission. V.I.P. Tickets $125. (online only). Festival proceeds benefits Food Share and other Ventura County area charities (please bring a food item to donate). Info: (805) 501-7122 or visit venturacountyblues.com/.

     

      "We look forward to carrying on this tradition for many years to come," says Michael John, Ventura County Blues Society President. "Because of the support of sponsors and the generosity of all the volunteers donating their time, we anticipate the Ventura County Blues Festival will continue to grow as it has each year."

     

     

     Two-Time Grammy Award winners, Phantom Blues Band, are  

      one of the 12th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival headliners.   

     

     

    HEADLINERS AT THE 12TH ANNUAL VENTURA COUNTY BLUES FESTIVAL

     

     

         Phantom Blues Band: The Phantom Blues Band was formed as a studio band to back up Taj Mahal on his CD, Dancing The Blues. Their association with Taj led to headlining clubs, theaters, and festivals throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan, as well as being honored with two Grammys and a W.C. Handy Award. At heart, the Phantom Blues Band's sound is a cross-breeding of numerous musical styles which includes blues, jazz, r&b, gospel, rock 'n' roll, and reggae. Inside Out, the band's thirds album, features band members Tony Braunagel, Larry Fulcher, Mike Finnigan, Darrel Leonard, Joe Sublett, and Johnny Lee Schell, with help from renowned session players Lenny Castro (percussion) and The Crusaders' founding member and keyboardist, Joe Sample. www.phantombluesband.com/.

     

     

       Debbie Davies: "She wields an electric guitar as if it were a wand." — LOS ANGELES TIMES

      Debbie Davies is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and guitar player.  A professional musician since the early 1980s, Davies has received ten nominations for Blues Music Awards, and in 1997 and 2010 won the award for Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist. Davies cut her teeth playing in blues and rock ‘n roll bands in the San Francisco Bay area before returning to her hometown Los Angeles in 1984, where she landed the lead guitar spot in Maggie Mayall and the Cadillacs, an all-female band led by wife of British blues pioneer, John Mayall. Davies 2015 release, Love Spin, is at once funky, rocking’, and bluesy. It’s  collection of all original tunes showcases an artist at her peak, and will no doubt put smiles on the faces of long time fans and bring many new ones into the fold. www.debbiedavies.com/. 

     

     

      Chris Cain: Chris Cain's jazz-tinged, blues-soaked guitar and deep, warm vocals have the maturity and authenticity of bluesmen many years his senior. His expressive style is the result of a lifetime of study and the relentless pursuit of music mastery. His passion and intensity for music was ignited early in life by his mom and dad's deep love for blues and soul. Cain's debut recording, Late Night City Blues (Blue Rock'it Records-1987) garnered four W.C. Handy Blues Award nominations, including Guitarist of the Year. Dan Forte of Guitar Player wrote, "An impressive debut album by a top notch guitarist." The combination of his blues upbringing and his jazz studies melded to form the searing guitar style that sets Chris Cain apart and has moved him to the top ranks of the blues music scene. www.chriscainmusic.com/.  

     

       R.J. Mischo: RJ Mischo is considered by critics and fans worldwide to be in the upper echelon of today’s great Harp players and singers. RJ’s vast discography features twelve of his own releases on several record labels. He also appears on at least twenty-five CDs as a guest or on compilations with Jimmie Vaughan, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Candye Kane, G.Love, and John Mayall, to name a few. Mischo's original songs “King of a Mighty  Good Time” and “Two Hours From Tulsa” previously topped the playlist at No. 1 on SiriusXM Radio BB Kings’ Bluesville. RJ Mischo’s CDs, Knowledge You Can’t Get in College and Make It Good, have made the top 50 list of Living Blues Magazine’s Albums of the Year. He has contributed to two Mel Bay harmonica instruction books, and is acknowledged in The Encyclopedia of Harmonicawww.rjblues.com/.

     

      Michael John & the Bottom Line Featuring Mikey Mo: Michael John, Founder and President of the Ventura County Blues Society (and) Founder of the Ventura County Blues Festival, leads his band The Bottom Line. Since the Festival’s inception, Michael John & The Bottom Line have performed and donated their music. When you combine family and lifelong friends, you get a special musical bond that touches the hearts and souls of all music lovers. The band consists of Michael John (lead singer, guitar, harmonica), Michael John’s son Mikey Mo (lead guitar), Steve Nelson (electric, stand-up Bass), Eddie Z (tenor, alto sax), Jeff Dellisanti (tenor, baritone sax), and Tom “T-Bone” Broderick (drums, backup vocals). The group attracts people of all ages with their blend of Swing/contemporary rocking blues. They've received national airplay and have won multiple awards including placing in the Top Ten bands in the Finals for the International Blues Challenge. www.venturacountyblues.com/info/michael-john/.

     

      Crooked Eye Tommy: Purveyors of deep-seeded Blues and smoky Southern rock, “Brothers Marsh” Tommy and Paddy feature big guitars and even bigger vocals. Behind the strength of the group's CD Butterflies & Snakes, Crooked Eye Tommy has won “Best Blues Band” three consecutive years at the Ventura County Music Awards. www.crookedeyetommy.com/. 

     

       Jim Gustin & Truth Jones: Jim Gustin is a blues singer and guitarist from Santa Clarita, California. He has a distinctive, powerful voice; soulful and deep with a smoky rasp, he is a passionate and energetic performer. He has well-written catchy songs that reveal his many varied influences to his groove-oriented blues. Gustin is also a solid guitarist with great tone and a funky feel. Jeri Goldenhar, a/k/a Truth Jones, has been singing since she was a little girl, although at over six feet tall, it’s hard to imagine her as a knee-high, little red-headed child. She has a big voice to match her impressive stature. She can belt out gospel and soul rarely heard from suburban white girls. www.facebook.com/jimgustinandtruthjones

     

       

     

     

     

     

    12TH ANNUAL VENTURA COUNTY BLUES FESTIVAL SHOW PASSES AVAILABLE.

     

                                                        venturacountyblues.com

    facebook.com/VenturaCountyBluesFestival