Sunday, July 31, 2011

George Lewis' Genial Traditional New Orleans Jazz

Emerging as part of the New Orleans Revival with Bunk Johnson, clarinetist George Lewis himself became a highly loved and influential traditional New Orleans musician and led a band that by 1953 toured the United States (and later the world) extensively as well as recorded extensively over the decades, often in the company of trombonist Jim Robinson and trumpeter Avery ‘Kid’ Howard. Lewis and his associates were rooted in the blues (Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz has referred to Lewis as a blues musician) and their simple musical embellishments may be far removed from the sometimes abstract musical solos of contemporary jazz, but the music is imbued with a simple joyful quality that makes this music spin its hold on folks decades after he has passed.

504 records, a label specializing in the music of New Orleans issued several years ago a double disc by The George Lewis Ragtime Band, Live in Concert — 1963. In addition to the afore-mentioned front-line, the band included that night “Slow Drag” Pavageau on bass; Emmanuel Sayles on banjo; Charlie Hamilton on piano and Joe Watkins on drums with the occasional vocals handled by either Howard, Sayles or Watkins. 16 of the twenty two selections here have never been issued while six was issued on a Danish vinyl album and CD. There is two and a third hours of music presented here.

The songs are pretty representative of the band’s repertoire (and it might be suggested the traditional New Orleans repertoire) with such familiar numbers as Basin Street Blues, Milenburg Joys, Bourbon Street Parade, St. James Infirmary, Tin Roof Blues, Ice Cream Blues, Clarinet Marmalade, St. Louis Blues, Bogalusa Strut, and Walking With The King. There is Howard’s lead trombone with Lewis’ clarinet snaking in and out with Robinson’s blustery tailgate trombone weaving in as well with the rhythm section providing a jaunty rhythm. The sound is quite acceptable. Perhaps not as much presence as on the marvelous Oxford Series of recordings from the mid-50s, but satisfactory. The vocals are some what muffled. And Lewis does his Burgundy Street Blues, with his gentle and wistful tone.

This may not be an essential release perhaps by Lewis, who has numerous releases on a variety of labels, most notably American Music, but certainly a solid and representative collection that can be obtained at

I purchased this the Louisiana Music Factory when I was in new Orleans for the 2011 New Orleans JazzFest.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The King Bees Keep On Stingin' and Swingin'!

The Carolina Band, The King Bees, is celebrating 25 years of stingin' and swingin' as the cover to their latest recording Carolina Bound (Original High John Records) proclaims. The group is anchored around the bass, vocals and songs of Queen Bee Penny Zamagni and guitarist Hound Dog Baskerville Hound Dog Baskerville. The band has worked with and learned with so many great blues artists, some of whom (Jerry McCain, Nappy Brown, Carey Bell and Chick Willis) are featured on some of the performances here.

The King Bees play straight blues without any hard rock trappings. Their originals are idiomatic and display the same solid style that make them such a fine back-up band for the various blues legends they have supported over the years such as the late Nappy Brown on his solid rendition of Howlin' Wolf's Natchez Burning, and Carey Bell's What Mama Told Me, which was a staple of his repertoire. Chick Willis does a solid "Yonder's Wall," a regular feature of his performances.

The title track has the line about going to the Carolina's, but also a travelogue of the states as Penny sings about loving that Carolina sound, and Tarheel Slim, Pink Anderson, Nappy Brown, Maurice Williams and Drink Small is still around as she encourages guest Roy Roberts to strut his stuff as the pianist pounds the ivories. There is some nice slide guitar on this track as well. Roberts also adds guitar to the nice blues-ballad You Were There, while McCain adds tough harmonica on the shuffle Run Your Reputation Down. One of the group's originals Its Tight, makes use of a melody that evokes Rocket 88.

There is nothing revolutionary about The King Bees latest recording. Carolina Bound
just has some solid straight-ahead blues played with feeling. It is available on amazon, cdbaby and itunes.

I received my review copy from The King Bees.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sunflower is a Milt Jackson CTI Masterwork

Milt Jackson's Sunflower (CTI Masterworks) was among the initial batch of CDs to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of CTI Records. This recording dates from late 1972 and had the great vibes played joined by a band that included Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on Bass, Billy Cobham on drums, Ralph McDonald on percussion, and Freddie Hubbard on trumpet. In addition there is a string section and classically oriented horns (alto flute, English horn, oboe, piccolo) on some of the tracks with Don Sebesky's arrangements on a re-mastered, remixed and re-edited reissue.

Jay Berliner's flamenco-styled guitar sets the mood on Jackson's For Someone I Love, with Jackson and Hubbard playing with lovely restraint on this ballad. What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life, by Michel Legrand, and Alan and Marilyn Bergman also displays Hubbard melodic side with immaculate support with the strings creating a dreamy cushion. Hancock switches to electric piano for interpretation of The Stylistic's hit, People Make the World Go Round, providing a base for the solos by Jackson and Hubbard before taking a lengthy one himself. Hubbard contributed the lilting title track on which strings reappear and it is followed by a Milt Jackson blues, SKJ, the most straight-ahead performance here with plenty of heat generated. It is performances like this one that really get this writer’s juices going.

may be a bit sweet at spots for this writer's taste, but it is strongly played and easy to listen to.

My review copy was provided by a publicist for the label.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Arnold McCuller's Soulful New CD

A real surprise is a new release by vocalist Arnold McCuller, "Soon As I Get Paid" (What's Good Records). As a vocalist he has worked as a session singer with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt Phil Collins, Lyle Lovett and James Taylor as well as had his own choice recordings issued over two decades and a half. His early singing was rooted in the church and was with the national Touring Company of "Hair." More recently he has been touring with James Taylor, and involved with upcoming Ry Cooder and Eric Clapton recordings.

From the opening moments with the title track, McCuller shows himself to be a terrific singer, rooted in the blues and soul. His vocals are wonderfully delivered and the backing complements his expressiveness. Even the blues-rock touches are generally understated. It is hard pressed to pick out standout tracks. The title track is a stunning bluesy piece while Gasoline and Matches, is a marvelous duet with Thelma Jones. It is followed by a fine rendition of the Big Jay McNeely-Little Sonny Warner classic There is Something On Your Mind, with a fine guitar solo from Mike Landau.

McCuller does a wonderful re-imaging of the Jackie Wilson classic Lonely Teardrops, slowing down the tempo and singing in a fashion that captures a fair amount of the heartache of the lyrics. McCuller observes that Wilson was performing this when he suffered a heart attack and stroke that left him in a coma for 8 years and obviously is a significant influence on McCuller. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man is a nice rendition of the Dan Penn and Chips Moman tunes that Aretha is most identified with. Obviously having a man sing it gives the words somewhat a different tenor. The catholicity of McCuller's repertoire is also displayed by his solid rendition of JB Lenoir's The Whale Swallowed Me, with his aching vocal complemented by Landau's spare trebly guitar and Larry Goldings restrained organ.

Soon As I Get Paid was a revelation as Arnold McCuller shows himself to be a first-rate singer, backed by a sympathetic band on this impressive release. 
His website is and this can be ordered there.

I received my review copy from a publicist for this release.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Where's the Blues in "Bluesland"

This is more of a cautionary comment than a full review, but the album by Canadian roots artist, Bill Bourne && the Free Radio Band, Bluesland (Linus Entertainment) is according to publicity “an authentic collection of rock, folk and country song, and drenched with sultry electric blues sounds.” Actually the performances here are more in the vein of Bob Dylan-esque country rock starting with the opening “Deep Dark Woods” and actually closing out with a rocking version of Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm.”

Little on this here strikes me as blues with perhaps the exception of “Home” with a Howlin’ Wolf groove. You might enjoy the driving country rock of “Forever Truly Bound,” or “Columbus Stockade Blues,” another country rocker, but to echo the old Wendy’s commercial, “Where’s the Blues?”
The fact that some reviewers up in Canada consider this to be blues simply has me shaking my head and wonder what their conception of Blues is. I have heard about Blues Without Blinkers, but at some point even the most liberal definition of blues has to connect with the African-American origins and roots of the music of which little evidence can be heard on Bluesland.

I received the review copy from a publicist.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Randy Weston's Fascinating Musical Journey

Randy Weston
African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston
Composed by Randy Weston, Arranged by Willard Jenkins
2011: Duke University Press

2011 has seen a number of important biographies and autobiographies involving significant jazz and blues artists. One of the best may be African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston. Instead of the usually by x as told to y, this book informs us it was composed by Randy Weston and arranged by Willard Jenkins. This probably more accurately describes the process which the great composer and pianist Weston and journalist, educator and broadcaster Jenkins produced this book.

Weston has led a remarkable life, growing up in a very culturally aware home and having crossed paths with and worked together with some of the most remarkable individuals. His father was a follower of Marcus Garvey and the message of self-determination that is seen in his pride as a black man and this is reflected in his life. The rich narrative takes us from his growing up in Brooklyn in a neighborhood where Max Roach, Cecil Payne, Duke Jordan and Ray Copeland were also growing up to his embrace of the "Motherland" including his travels there and his living there and operating a famed club there to being recognized as the Jazz Master he is.

The narrative takes us to the Berkshires where Weston's a career as a jazz pianist began with him participating in programs on jazz history with pioneering jazz historian, Marshall Stearns and then made his first recordings with bassist Sam Gill for Riverside, followed by one that used his own compositions and an early live recording. The memories and perspective of Orrin Keepnews who produced those early recordings are quite valuable. He is simply one of many of Weston's associates who help fill in the story.

Melba Liston is amongst the most amazing of the persons that Weston has been associated with and we are introduced to her. They worked together first on the Little Niles, record date and her arrangements continued to enhance his music over the decades, even when she had suffered significant health setbacks. And then there was Weston's Uhuru Afrika, his suite dedicated to Mother Africa, and his involvement with the African American Musicians Society. While known as a composer already, he considered this his major work to date and collaborated with many including Langston Hughes, Yusef Lateef, Ron Carter, Clark Terry, Charles Perslip and others. It also took some effort to get his label to release this project with Weston having to do an album based on a Broadway show. But it did, and he also recalls later performances of this suite. And its message was heard, leading to the South African government banning it.

Weston would soon make a pilgrimage to Africa as well as tour their with his band whether playing pioneering festivals or on State Department sponsored tours. Eventually, Weston settled in Tangier which became the base for much of his activities and opened up his African Rhythms Club, which became a focal point for jazz and African Culture in North Africa. It was also where he connected with the remarkable Gnawa people with whom he developed a close rapport as a people and their music.

And at some point he returns to the United States and resumes his career as an honored elder of the music. He discusses some of his compositions and other significant performances, talks about his present band and its members (and they contribute their impressions as well). African Rhythms also contains a discography of his recordings and a list of the honors he has received. It is a truly wonderful read.

This was a purchase.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Jeff Turmes' "Five Horses, Four Riders" Is Blues & Roots Gem

Jeff Turmes is a multi-talented bass player, vocalist and songwriter that currently is in Mavis Staples' touring band. He has graced numerous recordings including Mavis' Grammy Award winning album, You Are Not Alone. His most recent recording Five Horses, Four Riders (Fat Head Records), mixes blues and roots for a rich musical stew. The production here is austere, and the tenor of the performances is similar to his recent work with Mavis Staples.

One can hear echoes of John Lee Hooker boogie groove on the opening Something Must Have Happened, one of three performances that include Turmes' Mavis Staples bandmates, guitarist Rick Holmstrom and drummer Stephen Hodges on drums. "Honey Man," with its Mississippi Hills groove, suggests to me my good friend Memphis Gold's style. Turmes employs atmospheric slide slide along with banjo in support of his unusual lyrics on Give Satan a Chance.

There is a folky mood on the title track with deft acoustic guitar and a lyric of four menacing men coming for Turmes' wife. Don't The Moon Look Real is a playful, swinging number to which Holmstrom adds twang, while Turn Your Heart In My Direction is a lovely ballad with the yearning vocal embellished by moody trumpet. Banjo accompaniment lends an old-time flavor to Weeds Like Us, followed by his acoustic blues accompaniment to Hew To The Roadside, with its advice that one needs to hew to the roadside if one wants to last. Overdubbed bass clarinet and baritone sax add a bottom under his adroit guitar playing.

The bluesy Jack-a-Hammer has a simple, repeated vamp as Turmes singing how this woman wears a man down. Loser's History is another folky number with topical lyrics as his banjo is framed by cello and violin. Turmes ability to craft lyrics that catch the listener's attention is also showcased on God Came Down from Heaven, followed by the emphatic groove on the bluesy When My Baby Wakes Up, with effective employment of baritone saxophones. The closing Iron City is a lovely instrumental displaying his deliberate guitar picking.

The production throughout is austere, and the tenor of the performances is similar to his recent work with Mavis Staples. Turmes' straight-ahead vocals, supported by the spare backing, adds to the performances atmosphere throughout. There is precision and restraint in the playing throughout resulting in substance rather than flashy pyrotechnics. Five Horses, Four Riders is a marvelous collection of blues and roots songs that linger in one's mind after hearing. Highly Recommended.

My review copy was received from a publicist for this release.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

GILFEMA's Enchanting Collaboration

The trio Gilfema takes its name from initials of its members, West African guitarist, Lionel GILles Loueke, Hungarian drummer, FErenc Nemeth and Swedish Italian bassist MAssimo Biolcati. Loueke is the best known of the three as a regular member of Herbie Hancock’s touring band and highly rated as a rising star guitarist in DownBeat’s critic’s poll. The three have been friends and musical collaborators since meeting at Berklee College of Music and have developed an intuitive interactivity that results from years of playing together. They had a prior album which received considerable acclaim. The trio’s new album is Gilfema + 2 (ObliqSound) reflecting the addition of Anat Cohen on clarinet and John Ellis on bass clarinet and ocarina.

The resulting recording is a marvelous mix of world music grooves and jazz with their use of West African grooves along with their New World counterparts as the opening Twins, by Loueke whose rhythms and vocal evoke Brazil as well as West African with the reed voices of Cohen and Ellis complementing and adding further seasoning here. Nemeth’s Question of Perspective, suggests some of Chick Corea’s compositions with Ellis’ smoky bass clarinet and Loueke’s scatting in unison with his deft single note runs. Loueke’s Your World, sports a mesmerizing African groove, with clarinets adding a flavor that suggests some of Abdullah Ibrahim’s recordings, with the deft interplay between Cohen’s clarinet and Loueke’s guitar being simply one of the small delights here.

The remaining selections are equally melodic as well as rhythmically lively as the quintet conjures up a different set of moods and rhythms with marvelous interplay throughout and interesting instrumental textures created by the clarinet and bass clarinet such as on Biocati’s Salomé. Gilfema + 2 is playful in spirit but deep in musical substance. Highly recommended.

This review originally appeared in the September 2009, Jazz and Blues Report (Issue 320). I do not recall if I was sent my review copy from the publication or a record company or its publicist.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Byther Smith and Blues On The Moon

Yesterday I posted an older Byther Smith review. The following review is of what I believe was his last release, a live performance issued on CD and DVD by Delmark.

Chicago blues guitarist-vocalist Byther Smith has not had an easy life, but he certainly has overcome a lot and produced plenty of solid West Side Chicago blues. This writer first became aware of him from some tough 45 rpm singles, including a strong, insistent rendition of Detroit Junior’s Money Tree. He had albums for small labels like Grits and Razor, and the latter was picked up by Bullseye Blues, with whom he also recorded a new disc. In more recent years he has recorded for Delmark and the European Black and Tan and his music has remained pretty constant. Impassioned vocals, stinging, driving guitar and tight bands that kick the groove along.

Delmark’s latest live recording is Smith’s Blues on the Moon: Live at the Natural Rhythm Social Club. It is available on CD and DVD, with the DVD including one track not on the CD. Over a hour of straight blues with no filler. Smith’s propulsive attack and soulful vocals is ably supported by the band of Anthony Palmer, guitar; Daryl Coutts, keyboards; Greg McDaniel, bass; and James Carter on drums. Coutts piano is especially noteworthy backing Smith who tackles a variety of material including the driving title track, Your Mama’s Crazy, inspired by Mama Talk To Your Daughter, by his cousin, J.B. Lenoir, with a different lyrical cast and some stinging guitar instead of Lenoir’s boogie riffing.

Smith’s staccato single note playing has a drive to it and enhances his pleading vocals. And he has a few distinctive riffs that enliven his rendition of the well worn Rock Me Baby. A highlight is the autobiographical Monticello, set to the melody of Let’s Straighten It Out, and the performances closes with an marvelous original recasting Don’t Start Me Talkin.

Sound on the recording is excellent and the DVD continues Delmark’s straight-forward approach in its video production. Focus is on Byther and musicians with some crowd shots added, but not to any distraction. The performances, and Byther’s intense focus in his performances commands our attention. As a bonus, there is a fascinating interview and commentary by Steve Wagner and Byther Smith discussing his career and the performances, along with Wagner discussing the actual production of the CD/DVD.

This is another excellent addition to Delmark’s CD/DVD pairs and I would be hard-pressed to name another blues label that is producing such new live blues CDs at such a high level of artists that frankly should be documented. Jimmy Johnson next please Delmark.

I received my review copy from Delmark.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Byther Smith's Holding That West Side Blues Train

One of the frustrations of blues is discovering a terrific talent, yet being frustrated by the artist’s failure to be able to take a step to insure success as more than a fine recording artist. The one time I saw Byther Smith at the Poconos, he was with a pick-up band, which was a shame because it did not do justice to his strong West Side Blues guitar and vocals that are almost on the level of an Otis Rush. He has recorded other strong albums for Delmark, JSP and Black & Tan. This review appeared in the July-August 2004 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 269). Tomorrow, I will run my review of his 2008 CD/DVD on Delmark, Man on the Moon.

With an efficient backing trio laying down steady, funk-tinged grooves, Byther Smith blasts out some stinging blues guitar and pleads his blues with plenty of heart on his third Delmark album Hold That Train. While he does cover some overdone songs like The Thrill is Gone, Willie Dixon’s 300 Pounds of Joy and Howlin’ Wolf’s Killing Floor, most of the material handled here is not nearly as familiar, as he opens with the late A.C. Reed’s This Little Voice, Dixon’s Close To You, Andrew Brown’s You Ought to Be Ashamed, Junior Wells’ Come On In This House, and Detroit Junior’s So Unhappy. Other tracks include Mississippi Kid, set to the melody of Junior Wells’ Messin’ With the Kid.

More so than his prior discs, Smith’s performances here suggest recent recordings by Magic Slim with the simple grooves, punched out stinging guitar lines and solid singing, although Smith’s vocals are a bit higher pitched than those of Magic Slim. So Unhappy is a stirring slow blues where Smith pours his soul in while he evokes Slim Harpo’s Scratch My Back melody for his adaptation of What My Momma Told Me. I Don’t Like to Travel is a strong performance suggestive of Otis Rush’s classic I Can’t Quit You Baby.

The only complaint would be that the tracks start to sound the same if one listens to this in one setting. Use of horns and/or keyboards on some songs would have provided more varied listening.

I likely received a review copy from Delmark.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lil Greenwood, Former Ellington Vocalist Passed Away At 86.

Lil Greenwood at 2009 Ponderosa Stomp. House of Blues, New Orleans
Photo © Ron Weinstock
Lil Greenwood, who once sang with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, as well as recorded for the Modern and Federal labels, died on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at the age of 86 in her native Alabama. She had suffered a stroke in Fall 2010 and had been in declining health since then.

A preacher's daughter from Pritchard, Alabama, who moved to the San Francisco Bay area where she found work as a nightclub singer and entertainer. In the early fifties, she spent three years with Roy Milton and His Solid Senders and her sessions for Modern Records were cut with this band with her first release being the June 1950 issued blues belter "Heart Full Of Pain," that was coupled with the up-tempo "Boogie All Night Long," that featured Jackie Kelso on alto sax and Camille Howard on piano. The Modern sides also included a live pair of songs recorded at Gene Norman's "Blues Jubilee."

She then recorded for Federal Records, a subsidiary of the Cincinnati based King Records. Her sessions were recorded in Los Angeles under the direction of legendary producer Ralph Bass (who produced among other things James Brown's first recordings. These sides were often with vocal backing by the likes of the Four Jacks or Thurston Harris and the Lamplighters along with "Monday Morning Blues," a vocal duet with Little Willie Littlefield.

All of the Modern and Federal recordings were issued on a wonderful English Ace reissue, "Walking and Singing the Blues." After these recordings she returned to the San Francisco area returning to nightclubs and where her manager got Duke Ellington to listen to her. Ellington was quoted, in the April 1960 Ebony Magazine, about her, “This girl has a voice that’s a mixture of Marian Anderson, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and Mahalia Jackson; and I don’t know but what she’s better on spirituals than when she’s walking and singing the blues." It led her to singing with the Ellington Orchestra from 1956 to the early sixties.

Eventually she returned to Alabama to take care of relatives and dropped from public view. Her career enjoyed a renaissance after 2000 as she received awards, had her early recordings reissued and recorded a new album, "Back to My Roots" with composer David Amram and others. She was much beloved and there was a concert in her honor this past Sunday which she was unable to attend.

I had the pleasure to see her as part of the Ponderosa Stomp in late April 2009 and she was terrific. Still a singer of great style and feeling, she brought perhaps a more uptown sheen to her performances than most of those that night. There is an you tube video of her singing "Summertime" from that performance. It was my only opportunity to see her perform but a memorable one. Her legacy is perhaps not as known as it should have been, but she touched many over the years.

In drafting this blog entry, I have drawn heavily on (and paraphrased) material from her website,, along with the Ace Records website entry on her reissue,, and the Press-Register blog on her passing,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Some Choice Savoy Blues On Retrospective Anthology

The following brief review of a compilation of blues recordings, mostly classic tracks from the forties and fifties from the Savoy label, appeared originally in the March-April 2004 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 267) and is still available.

The historic Savoy catalog has been reissued numerous times over the past few decades, making available seminal reissues of blues, jazz, and rhythm and blues. The catalog may now be in new hands and it seems the label is being mined yet again. One of the new releases is Savoy Blues 1944-1994 which is a three disc sampler that not only includes classic recordings by Joe Turner, Johnny Otis, Little Esther, Little Miss Sharecropper (Lavern Baker), John Lee Hooker and Big Maybelle, but also recordings by Eddie Kirkland, Robert Lockwood and Charles Brown that reflect the acquisition of the Muse and Trix catalogs to supplement the Savoy classics.

Opening with Hot Lips Page’s Uncle Sam’s Blues and closing with Charles Brown’s I Got a Right to Cry, the three discs cover a wide spectrum of music including Billy Eckstine’s classic Jelly Jelly, Gatemouth Moore’s Walking My Blues Away, Billy Wright’s Stacked Deck, Doc Pomus’ cover of Joe Turner’s Hollywood Bed, Turner’s My Gal’s a Jockey, John lee Hooker’s Miss Pearl’s Boogie, Joe Williams’ In the Evening, Nappy Brown’s The Right Time, Big Maybelle’s Blues Early, Early (Parts 1 & 2), Eddie Kirkland’s Snake in the Grass, and Robert Lockwood Jr.’s Selfish Ways.

A review of these titles should give an idea of the range of material presented here from the swing and uptempo mood of Hot Lips Page and Gatemouth Moore, to John Lee Hooker’s delta blues boogie and Eddie Kirkland’s mix of soul and delta blues. With good sound and good notes on the performers by compiler Billy Vera, this serves as a solid overview of the riches of the Savoy Catalog and is value priced as well.

I do not recall if I was sent a review copy from Jazz & Blues Report or the record company.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Big Joe Williams Got Wild

With a career that spanned decades and one whose music was robust and vital until his passing, Big Joe Williams is one of the significant blues figures whose music perhaps has unjustly forgotten. In addition to the wonderful Delmark album referenced in this review, he made wonderful recordings for Arhoolie, Folkways and other labels, in addition to his wonderful recordings prior to World War II. This review originally appeared in the January-February 2004 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 266).

Big Joe Williams, whose recording career spanned the the thirties to the eighties, was among the greatest Delta bluesmen who played and traveled with many legends and contributed one of the blues most enduring classics, Baby Please Don’t Go. The selections on this latest release, I Got Wild (Delmark) include alternate takes to previously issued selections, unissued tracks and some studio talk.

From the opening Coffeehouse Blues to the closing remake of Washboard’s Sam Back Door (familiar to some from Little Walter’s recording, Tell Me Mama), these recordings offer Williams’ fierce, rhythmic nine-string guitar playing and his fervent vocals. Its amusing listening to the studio chat before his rendition of Charlie Patton’s Peavine Blues, where a couple of strings are broken so the engineer announces, Big Joe Williams and his six and half string blues, where he is accompanied by bassist Ransom Knowling.

Big Joe was probably the single biggest influence on David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards and in all fairness to Edwards who is highly revered, Edwards’ music only occasionally reached the level of Williams. Bob Koester’s recollections of Williams in the liner notes are also very informative. Big Joe Williams belongs in every blues collection, and if perhaps I would first recommend Piney Wood Blues on Delmark, this disc is full of strong delta blues and recommended on its own.

This is still available and I received a review copy from Delmark.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tedeschi Trucks Band's Revelator Has Strong Appeal

Each having successful solo careers, spouses Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks have put that part of their career behind for a period to co-lead a band. Both have developed into established and focused performers, who often joined each other on stage when possible. This new combination is not surprising. The Tedeschi Trucks Band have recently issued The Tedeschi Trucks Band have recently issued Revelator, on Sony Masterworks.

In addition to the leaders, Kofi Burbridge from Derek's band is on keyboards while his brother Oteil, from the Allman Brothers, handles the bass. Mike Mattison, Derek's vocalist is aboard for harmony vocals (and he contributes to some of the songs, which are all originals). Tyler Greenwell and J.J. Johnson are on drums, while Mark Rivers, David Ryan Harris and Ryan Shaw are on harmony vocals. There is also a horn section that includes Kebbi Williams on saxophone, Maurice Brown on trumpet, and Saunders Semmons on trombones. The horns add some punch and atmosphere, but with one exception little else.

Few will be surprised with the music here. There is plenty of Trucks' piercing, vocalized slide guitar and Tedeschi certainly has matured to a superb singer.Certainly she is equal to others in the blues-r&b-roots-pop vein able to move from a honey-toned straight-ahead to a church-rooted shout, always sounding natural. Its easy to simply sit back and listen to the solid, tight performances here and certainly one should expect that the live performances equal, if not surpass, the level of the music here.

This is not to say that everything is perfect. Their is some sameness to some of the material and some of the material on closer examination is not as strong as the band's execution. Bound For Glory, seems like a stringing together of hooks, and the entire lyric does not cohere, although Simple Things, is a gem, with Tedeschi's vocal acknowledging that she has not been giving enough in the relationship and maybe that's why one has the walls around himself.

The groove of Until You Remember evokes classic Memphis soul, and has another of the better lyrics here as Tedeschi sings it ain't right to be holding on too tight "until you remember you are mine." There is a nice suggestion of the Memphis Horns or Bar-Kays at the opening, while Derek's guitar builds upon the intensity generated by Susan's vocal. An intriguing performance is These Walls, with its addition of sarode and tabla to the musical mix to a tune that has a melody similar to Angel From Montgomery, with a lyric about a woman whose man has left town and whose times have been hard praying that the walls don't fall down and "thinking 'bout you baby for such a long, long time." The interplay between the sarode and Truck's very restrained slide work here is very nice.

In addition to the uneven songwriting, this writer also wishes that the horns might have been given more than simply the supporting role they exhibited. Maurice Brown, for example, is an especially gifted soloist with considerable warmth and originality and certainly would have further spiced up the performances. The horns on Love Has Something Else To Say, provide a hint of this point with a dialogue between guitar and tenor sax.

Of course, these are minor criticisms at most and "Revelator" certainly will be on many lists of the best recordings of 2011. Incidentally, after the conclusion of Shelter, there is an hidden performance of an instrumental, Ghost Light.

My review copy was provided by a publicist.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Memphis Gold's Story Part 6

Memphis Gold, Watch Night 2007 Falls Church VA.
His last performance before he fell off tree
Photo © Ron Weinstock
In August 2009, Joe Kessler and I had a chance to interview Chester Chandler, the blues performer known as Memphis Gold for the Dutch publication Block. This interview was translated into Dutch for publication, but we have felt it would be helpful to have the interview in English. Joe transcribed it and this is the last part. I should point out that interviews with Memphis Gold have appeared in Jefferson Blues, Blues & Rhythm and Living Blues. The latest Memphis Gold CD was recently released, Pickin’ High Cotton (Stackhouse) and includes selections with Robert Lighthouse.

I sent it (Prodigal Son) to some of everybody. I sent that CD overseas and I wanted everybody to get a copy of it. There have been not even 2,000 copies of that CD out. I still sell it online, as a digital download now, but I don’t even have copies of it anymore (the first CD Memphis Gold). Jim O’Neil came up to see me. He had gone through a very tough divorce, a black lady he had 2 children by, so he went defunct from what he was doing down in the Sunflower State, and he moved to Kansas City. At that time when Jim came up here, he came up here for a wedding and he needed a place to stay. I said, “Jim, man, come up to my house and stay with me. I got plenty of room for you.” I started talking to him, and said, “Jim, I know you’re starting over with the record company and everything. I’d like to come in at the bottom level. I’ll put up my own money. I’d like to use your name.” So we drew up a contract. He doesn’t have a lot of money to put out to me now, but he’s growing, he’s coming back to where he used to be. You know, he had Rooster Records for years. After he lost it and sold it, he took his 2 children and they had become the most beautiful wonderful children. They’re coming to their teens now, but I know what he’s had to go through with his teens and with his old CDs and memorabilia and stuff that he’s got. Anyway, we drew up a contract, and I said, “Jim, I’ll do everything I can. All I want to do is just use Stackhouse Records, and we’ll try and work on it together.” Now I can feel some things that he wants to do for me. 

After playing on New Year’s Eve 2007, I played at the City of Falls Church’s First Night. About a week later on January the 8
th, I was helping a friend do a couple of trees in Maryland as a favor. I’m working and had already been up 3 of the biggest oak trees I had been up in a long time. I was getting ready to get off (of work) when Barbara said there’s a tree next door the lady wants to have come down, a pine tree. She said let’s try to tie this job up. I said, “I’m tired, Barb.” But I go up this tree, and as soon as I get up to about 35 feet, I throw my rope over a limb. The limb was around 2 inches in diameter. I know this limb can hold me. I threw the rope over and I’m sitting in my saddle trying to rest myself. As I’m trying to rest myself, I’m talking to somebody on the ground, and that rope left and slipped right to the middle of the limb. That’s where the breaking point was. It broke and went “crack”. And down I went. I’m going 35 feet backwards. I know I’m either gonna bust my brains or I’m gonna break my shoulder blades. I’m thinking as I’m falling, I wanna hit my butt. When I’m about 10 from the ground, I turned, and hit my butt bone, but it still broke my back.

Since then, I’ve been recouping, but I’ve still been writing and playing the blues I’ve still been staying upbeat. I think my music is the only reason that I’m doing so well. I had a little bit of a setback. On January the 18
th of this year (2009) I went downstairs in my apartment to get a pedicure the day before I was gonna do the Red, White, and Blue Ball. Larry King was there, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic was there and it was the first time I was ever gonna see Sly Stone perform and stay at a gig. Peter Paul, Mary, Ben Vereen was there. We were all in the same show. The day before I did this gig, the lady (giving me the pedicure) scrubbed my foot to a second degree burn and there was a big blister on the bottom of my foot. If I had been a diabetic like the rest of my family, I would have lost my foot. It took until May for my foot to get well. In that time, I wasn’t able to walk or do therapy.
Little Jimmy Reed and Memphis Gold at 2008 Columbia Pike Blues Festival
Memphis Gold and his wife brought him up to play some gigs with him
Photo © Ron Weinstock

In March, around the time of my birthday, I was happy to release
Gator Gon’ Bitechu. The reason for the title is (in tribute to DJ) the “Gator” down at WPFW and all the ladies he called the Gatorettes. Since he is one of the premiere blues DJs in this town (Washington DC), I decided to write Gator’s Gon’ Bitechu. I’ve had some good reviews and reviews that weren’t so good, but that’s the Blues.

At the same time, I was working on a second album with Robert Lighthouse, a Swedish-born musician who used to play on the street with Charlie (Sayles). I was trying to release both of them at the same time, but I ran out of money. The second album is an acoustic, old traditional album. It’s a down home thing. Robert Lighthouse is a phenomenal guitar player and contributed a lot to the album. I’m finishing it up now. If I was able to get them both out at the same time, that would have been a kicker – a rejuvenation and I’d probably be walking again. I figure I’ll be walking again maybe by later October. I’m putting a song on my new album for the guy who owns John Brown’s Cabin, the Kennedy Farm in West Virginia. I’m putting a song on there for John Brown, who got hung. I was invited up to the John Brown House. He owns the farm now. 

I gave Charlie the name “Hollywood Charlie” in about ’99 or 2000 because of his swagger and the moves he makes, he’s like Hollywood pictures. I was K.D. King and became Memphis Gold. They were calling me K.D., King Dog, ‘cause when I was at the Vegas, every night they were open, I was going somewhere with some girl. I was a dog. When I first got to Washington I had 2 gold teeth in my mouth. I was sitting with Barbara one night and I said “I want a new name”. She said “Everybody’s trying to be a king, like Albert King, B.B. King, Little Jimmy King.” She said “you’re from Memphis and you have gold in your mouth, so you’re Memphis Gold”. 

Little Jimmy King knew me from Memphis. He called and told the promoter of a show in Alaska. They brought me up there and we had a guitar shoot out. We had the greatest time (in Alaska). I was playing with his band. I opened up for him the first night, he opened up for me the second night. 

All of the songs I record are songs I’ve lived. There are some funny songs, there are some songs that I feel. I sit down and I laugh and think about the women I’ve been with, like on the
Prodigal Son, “I got these six women”. I’ve been married 6 times, and I’ve got 2 children by 2 women outside of those 6 marriages. I’ve settled down a lot. Barbara has been background and has settled me down a lot, so it’s out of my blood, I guess. And I’m a little older now. 

I don’t think I could do anything different with my life. I wrote a really morbid song on my last CD. It’s called “In My Next Life”. Barbara asked me why I wrote that song. I said, “Maybe I missed out on something. Maybe I missed out on a girl or two!” 

I played the Chesapeake Blues Festival twice. I played with Big Joe Maher (drums) and John Previti on bass; I’ve played with some of the most top notch musicians in this town, and it’s by the grace of god. This town has some really great musicians, I must say. 

I like to listen to Howlin’ Wolf now. I just close my eyes and I can just see the type of life that he lived. He and Albert King were very ornery. They were two of a kind. Albert King was standing outside the door one night when I was playing Crosscut Saw. I walked out and he said, “Come here, boy. You’re a pretty good damn guitar player. Don’t try to play like me. Just do what you do.” From that day on, I may still play a couple licks from him, but I try to keep to my own style, sanctified Beale Street gutbucket blues. 

The Red, White, and Blue ball from this year was my favorite gig because of the people that were there, even though I was sitting in a chair. The audience was out there in dress uniforms and I was pumping them up. 

Barbara started a foundation called (Building Bridges America Foundation?) Bridging the Gaps to help handicap disabilities, autism, we’re gonna put on a festival in Crystal City, at Gateway Park, which holds about 7,000 people. I love (my town) Arlington, …even though I don’t have enough to pay the rent (laughs). The rent just jumps out of the sky sometimes. Last month, there were a couple of houses I painted. I’m not doing trees no more but I do services for other people. I have a guy who is a carpenter; he’s Hispanic, and others. I try to keep those guys working. I go there and supervise, and people, they trust me. Last month I did the house of a guy with Georgetown University. This guy trusted me and just tossed me the keys to his house and said “Memphis, do such and such a thing and paint my house.” So I’m making money doing different things than cutting trees.

Taken at 2009 Congressional Blues Festival in Washington DC
lower row- Joe Kessler, comedian & activist Dick Gregory
(Memphis' cousin) & Memphis Gold
Middle row, Jay Summerour who plays on Memphis Gold's last two albums
Upper row (Standing) - unidentified
Photo © Memphsi Gold

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Memphis Gold's Story Part 5

Memphis Gold and Deborah Coleman
Photo © Memphis Gold
In August 2009, Joe Kessler and I had a chance to interview Chester Chandler, the blues performer known as Memphis Gold for the Dutch publication Block. This interview was translated into Dutch for publication, but we have felt it would be helpful to have the interview in English. Joe transcribed it and leftThis is the fourth of several parts that will be running the next few days. I should point out that interviews with Memphis Gold have appeared in Jefferson Blues, Blues & Rhythm and Living Blues.

I assumed the name “K.D.” when I got there. When I got there I had to have a name, so I was “Little K.D. King”. Everybody wanted to come in and play with me. They’d put their name on the list and ask to play with me. I was playing lead then and kicking butt. William Goldman and O.C. Nunn out of Chicago would come in. William Goldman recruited me to play at the DC Blues Society’s first Blues competition. 

I finally got a place to stay in a prestigious neighborhood near Nebraska Avenue. The guy let me stay in his basement, an Italian guy. And he would let me keep his properties up, keeping them real nice. So I had a place to stay until I met Barbara (my wife) in late ’93-94 and I moved in with her.

The week I met Barbara, I had already contracted out with Deborah Coleman and Willie Hicks. It was me, Willie Hicks, Deborah Coleman, and a guy named Slam. She said she needed a rhythm guitar player. I met her at India Gate in Adams Morgan (DC). She came to see me play that night. It was me, Willie, and a drummer, Morris. We were a three piece and we used to pack the India Gate, man. We went down to Walnut Creek down in North Carolina. That’s the first time I saw Roy Roberts, I got a chance to play with him, and also I got a chance to play with Bob Margolin. Deborah was opening up for Bob. She met this guy, Keith Federman who became her manager. He didn’t like me. When I opened up, I was killer. I’m walkin all through the crowd, doin my thing, I opened up for Deborah for at least 30 minutes, so I’m outshining her, you know. He didn’t like that. He fired me. I was with Deborah for about a year.

Then I met Charlie Sayles when I went down to Manute Bol’s to jam one night. Charlie said he’d heard of me but never met me, and that everybody used to tell him he needs to get with this guy, K.D. At time, Charlie was sleeping in front of Central Union Mission. I invited him to my house where he spent the night. It just so happened that the next day I was going to the studio to make a little demo. It was me, O.C., and Charlie. From then on, me and Charlie started playing together. It was Barbara’s idea that it was time for me to start doing my own thing, so I started doing my own thing.

Then we started playing at Whitlow’s, J.V.’s, Smokehouse Blues in Centreville. Charlie had me play with him at Fleetwood’s (Mic Fleetwood’s club in Alexandria VA). One day, Barbara’s attorney found a guy from AFE (Armed Forces Entertainment), so then I started getting on the USO tours. Then everything was starting to roll real good. I had regular gigs all the time. I was the first guy to play at Whitlow’s. We were like the house band.

When I started on the USO tours, I was trying to get out of the clubs ‘cuz Barbara’s always had a good business sense and she said if you want to get bigger than what you are now, you gotta get out of the clubs. Then I started playing up at the casinos, like Trump Plaza, with this guy called Greek Horn (?). He said Memphis, if you’re going to get a Marquee value, you’re gonna have to get out of these small places. Since then I’ve played some clubs, but mostly I’ve been kind of silent, but steady going.

I started my first recording in 1997 and finished it in 1998. It was called
Memphis Gold. Bobby Parker helped me produce it. I funded it myself. I was working cutting trees down. By this time, I started getting my own little tree company, too. I started climbing. I was climbing everyday and working in Vienna and Great Falls, making chunks and chunks of money. Times were good.

I learned quite a lot from Bobby doing my first album. Bobby didn’t want to give his total 100% to it because he was “one of the premiere blues guys around” and Bobby didn’t want nobody to outshine him, but he did help me with it and I paid him. I learned about mixing, recording, I learned how to do what Bobby said, make it big and fat. I learned what to do to bring over to my next CD which was
Prodigal Son.

Memphis Gold at Pocono Blues Festival
Photo © Ron Weinstock
I played the Poconos in 2004, after I sent a demo to Michael Cloeren. When I played it, I was getting other people to try and learn my music, and nobody really wanted to rehearse, so to me, I thought it wasn’t a very good gig. Ralph Oliver was with me at that time, and he and his old lady had just had a big blowout. That just sent him out to the left field. We were on stage trying to grapple to get our shit together, because if you’re gonna do something, the Poconos is the place to do it, and I feel like I didn’t do as well as I could have done. From that day ‘till now, I feel like it was because of that mishap with him.

I enjoyed it, though. Just to be at the Poconos and carry on and play my guitar and have everybody taking pictures. It was a half a year later that the
Prodigal Son CD came out. I feel like I was always a step behind. Even the CD I have out now, I was rushing it, I think I could have done a better job. By Prodigal Son, I was trying to show people that I am the real guy, I am the real deal. I wanted to show Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones that I’m the prodigal son, ‘cause I’m the guy who played with Robert Wilkins, the guy whose song you covered on Beggar’s Banquet. I was also trying to prove a point to myself.

I’m the prodigal son. I’m the one who left home, was homeless, and I was joining all this together as being the prodigal son.

I don’t know why I paid off my parents’ house, everybody in my family was begging. My sisters and brothers, too, none of them to this day can remember a dime I gave them. I had about $22,000 dollars. I was paying the light bills and everything, with a smile. I always smile. Every time you see me, normally, I’m the same person. My family was taking advantage of me at that time.

(To be continued)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Memphis Gold's Story Part 4

Charlie Sayles, Shawn Kellerman, Jordan Patterson, Gold at Fleetwood's 1996.
Photo © Ron Weinstock
In August 2009, Joe Kessler and I had a chance to interview Chester Chandler, the blues performer known as Memphis Gold for the Dutch publication Block. This interview was translated into Dutch for publication, but we have felt it would be helpful to have the interview in English. Joe transcribed it and leftThis is the fourth of several parts that will be running the next few days. I should point out that interviews with Memphis Gold have appeared in Jefferson Blues, Blues & Rhythm and Living Blues.

When I came back to Memphis, I started working on the river. I was doing revetment work. I was going on the Mississippi River taking big chunks of land out and sinking mats down with concrete, with wire in them. I was a pretty smart black guy, and the offices were run by the white guys. The white guys were in the office and the black guys were doing all the hard labor - from Friar’s Point, down on 49, the crossroads. All these guys were coming from Memphis and Mississippi to work on the river. I was what they used to call a voucher examiner. I was kind of smart and made E-6 (in the navy). They hired me. Guys would stay out 30 days at a time and I’d figure up where they’d stay for a month in the hotel and send it back to Memphis on a government voucher. They’d get paid 30 days and get paid enough money to go out for 30 more days.

I’d go from Cairo, IL all the way down to Gretna, LA. Some of the guys would go down on a boat, I drove down in a van with the office personnel. We’d go down this long highway 61 with so much fog, really foggy, one time I was driving and ran up on two little lights. I was panicking, and it was two little white old ladies, who had a head on incident with a guy who was drunk in a truck. And the motor had pinned these ladies. They were like a pancake. So the guy had a truckload of beer, and the top of his head was cut, a big chunk was cut out.
We’d drive down and stay in hotels for 30 days. Then we’d go on to Clarksdale, then on to Greenville, then to Yazoo. I was steadily going down in Mississippi, and I’m looking for Juke joints down there too. I’m looking at all these guys and starting to get my blues thing on. I got me a guitar, out of the pawn shop, an electric, and amp. I started playing, again. If you went into a Juke joint, and you could play guitar, you were the shit. And I could pull a girl every night and take her back to my hotel room. I was playing a lot of Jimmy Reed stuff. “Oh baby, you don’t have to go…” 

I’d get into a long groove, maybe John Lee Hooker stuff. Straight ahead stuff. And then I finally ran into a guy who was doing a lot of Howlin’ Wolf stuff. He called himself “Little Howlin’ Wolf”. And I thought “Man, this guy is rollin!” To me, Howlin’ Wolf is the very best I’ve ever heard of blues guys. When it comes to Howlin’ Wolf, this guy put everything into it. So I started to get into a little Howlin’ Wolf stuff. And I started to build a little confidence and started singing, because if you didn’t sing, you were just laying back playing. When I started playing with the Fieldstones, man, those guys wouldn’t let me sing or do nothing. All I could do was play rhythm. 

When I got back to Memphis, I started playing all over Memphis. That was for about 3 years. Around 84, I was playing regularly with the Fieldstones, Ben Wilson and the Hollywood All-stars, with Uncle Ben in the park, with Earl the Pearl.

When I was 14 or 15, I used to play with Big Lucky Carter. He was living in Orange Mound at the time, I used to sit on the front porch with him, he was playing different stuff and I really got a lot from Big Lucky. He showed me a lot of chords. Memphis sat in with Big Lucky when Carter was among the featured Memphis blues acts at a 1997 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Big Lucky sat in with Memphis at his regular gig at Whitlow's at the time). 

I was playing for tips out in the park. Then, all of a sudden, I became one of them main stage guys. It happened so fast. People from overseas were coming to find some blues and I was playing with the JJ Blues Band. After playing with the Fieldstones, I started to get my own little thing together with these other guys: Little Howlin’ Wolf, a guy named John Moore, and so we started playing in the park. David Evans, Evelyn Young (sax player), and my sweetheart, Jesse Mae Hemphill. We were playing in the park. Jesse Mae was playing with bells on her feet and a big cowboy hat on, and have chewing tobacco in her mouth and she’d kiss me, and whoa no! Then David started giving me little gigs and stuff and I was following them around, the older cats, like Little Apple White, Wilroy Sanders and Wordy B. Perkins. Little Apple White was a good singer. I started watching him sing, that’s when I started singing. “If I don’t start singing, man, I’m just gonna be a rhythm guitar player.”

How I really made my mark with these groups is when I got a wireless. They didn’t know anything about a wireless. So I could step out in the crowd, and pick with my teeth, and behind my head.

At that time I had a little bit of money because I had started working at the Humko Oil Company and at the post office part time. I was different from everybody because I used to wear a suit and tie into the Juke joints. I had to do this because the only time you could go out on the river was in the late fall.

Memphis Gold at Church in Memphis
Photo © Memphis Gold
After a while, I was getting kind of sick of Memphis. It was getting commercial, and white guys were getting all the (music) jobs. They were kicking us out. Beale Street was changing. They were coming back to the Elvis Presley thing, rockabilly. And then I was tired. I’m the type of person that stays at a place only so long, and is kind of worldly. I’ve always been a world traveler. I was the only one of my father’s kids who would take off and go where they wouldn’t see me for a long time. I was the prodigal son.

I left Memphis in 1991. I drew all my retirement down from the government, and I paid my parent’s house off. And I had $100 and a 1 way bus ticket and said, “Where am I going?” And I came to DC, arrived to stay at the Central Union mission on a Friday. They put me on lockdown. They said if you’re gonna stay here, you have to stay here for the whole weekend, and be indoctrinated, and you have to stay until Monday morning. I started keeping my clothes at the bus station. Everyday I would go to the bus station and change so I wouldn’t look homeless. I walked around until my $100 ran out, and then I started to pan-handle a little bit, but I said this ain’t me. The heck with this. So I went up in Tenlytown (DC). I put an application in at Hechinger’s (hardware) and I got the job, but I was still homeless. I was going back to the shelter every night.

Then things got a little better for me and I started working for United Methodist Church near New York Avenue, doing custodial work. They started letting me stay at church and gave me the keys. They trusted me so much. I was a southern boy and had a southern aire about me. I saved up and got a lawn mower from Hechinger’s. I got my own customers, cutting lawns and landscaping. I didn’t have a car, and would walk miles from Maryland into DC with my lawn mower. I started making some money, and one day went to a pawn shop at 14
th and P, and saw a Stratocaster that was $600. “Aww man, I had $50 in my pocket.” I put it in layaway. And I worked 4 or 5 months or so, real real hard, until I got that Stratocaster.

Then I walked around the corner to the Vegas Lounge. Big Foot Emmitt Cottrell was on drums. Tony or Gale on bass. Willie Hicks would be there sometimes. I would sit in with them on an open jam, and they said, “Man! Where did you come from?” I said I’m from Memphis on Beale Street, and jet said, “I gotta have you, man!” Jet started paying me $40 on the weekends. Bobby Parker would come in every now and then, and also Phil Flower Sr. I got to play with him.

Memphis Gold and Ron Weinstock
Photo courtesy Ron Weinstock
(To be continued)