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Derek Trucks & John Mayer play for BB King

13 Dec

BB King was only a couple of weeks away from his 87th birthday when he played the Hollywood Bowl on Sept. 5, 2012.  For the finale he was joined on stage by Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, and John Mayer.

Even now BB King tours nearly 300 nights a year, clearly the love he gives and receives keeps him going.  I was lucky enough to catch BB King in a small lounge in Reno, Nevada in 1973 and it remains a vivid memory.

Here’s a tip, rent or buy his DVD about his life, it has interviews with Clapton, Santana, Derek Trucks, Dr. John and many, many more.  It is a wonderful film about an amazing person.

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New York Times on Bonnie Raitt, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi

8 Nov

 

Each week, Val Haller, the founder of the music Web site Valslist.com, matches music from her baby boom generation to music of her 20-something sons’ generation.

Val Haller has a nice piece in the New York Times that recommends the Tedeschi Trucks Band to Bonnie Raitt fans.  Her own website is worth visiting regularly, she helps “busy adults keep up with what’s happening in modern music.”  Also a big thank you to her for mentioning this site in her article.

Favorite Photo of All Time

2 Sep

The After Hours Version

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

click photo to see in full size

My new interview with the Groovemaster Jerry Jemmott

10 Apr

Jerry Jemmott’s groove is the bedrock of guitarist B.B. King’s career defining hit, “The Thrill is Gone.” He was in the studio with Duane Allman and singer Wilson Pickett recording “Hey Jude,” a track that was instrumental in launching the late Allman Brothers Band guitarist’s musical career; and they were together again for flautist Herbie Mann’s Push Push (Atlantic, 1971), Allman’s first and only jazz sessions, and the last full album he recorded prior to his death on October 29, 1971. Jemmott was also there on December 13, 1968, when guitarist Mike Bloomfield called another six-stringer, an unknown Johnny Winter, up onstage at the Fillmore East—a Friday the 13th that turned out to be Winter’s lucky day.

Jemmott was with singer Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul herself, when she conquered San Francisco’s hippie community at the Fillmore West in March of 1971. The album, drawn from this series of concerts (with a surprise appearance by singer Ray Charles), earned her a gold record, and was something she would later refer to as a highlight of her career.

Jerry Jemmott’s blues credits are truly remarkable: in addition to B.B. King, Freddie King, Mike Bloomfield, Duane Allman, Otis Rush, Johnny Winter, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, there’s his legendary association with Cornell Dupree, Bernard Purdie, and King Curtis. In my last column, Jimmy Herring had this to say about him: “He’s a genius, there’s just nobody like him. He’s the sound that defined an entire generation. I love Jerry Jemmott, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Another of his seminal achievements, which will no doubt be watched by generations yet unborn, was his collaboration with Jaco Pastorius on the instructional video Modern Electric Bass (1985). Even beyond its instructional value, because it was done so close to Pastorius’ death on September 21, 1987, it provides an invaluable insight into this extraordinary musician and composer. Pastorius had this to say about Jerry Jemmott: “He was my idol. That stuttering kind of bass line, bouncing all around the beat but keeping it right in the groove—well, they don’t call Jerry the Groovemaster for nothing. He’s the best.”

In this extensive interview Jerry Jemmott speaks about all this, as well as his wide ranging session work for Atlantic Records, and his current gig with blues/rock legend Gregg Allman.

Read the interview here.

President Obama sings with B.B. King, Jeff Beck, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Warren Haynes a.m.m.

22 Feb


UPDATE:  You can now watch a significantly edited version of the concert on PBS.  It’s a shame they cut so much from “Sweet Home Chicago” so for that reason, be sure to watch the clip below.

click photo to watch video

Tedeschi Trucks Band: So what does Revelator reveal?

19 Jun

Two wings of equal strength endow a bird with the capacity to truly soar. This principle also helps to explain why Revelator (Sony, 2011), the debut album of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, has soared to #1 for blues releases on Amazon, #2 in rock, and #3 in all of music. This band brings together vocalist Susan Tedeschi, whose previous release in 2009 earned her a Grammy nomination, with slide guitarist Derek Trucks, who won the Grammy for his 2009 release. What’s particularly striking in this pairing is how evenly matched these exceptional talents are. Continue reading