johnson

Zee Avi Announces Sophmore Album "Ghostbird"

25-year-old Malaysian singer songwriter Zee Avi announces the release of her sophomore album Ghostbird through Brushfire and Monotone Records on August 23. Avi took her fresh batch of tunes to Brushfire Records’ Solar Powered Plastic Plant studios and got down to business with producer Mario Caldato, Jr., best known for his work with the Beastie Boys and Brazilian artists like Bebel Gilberto.
Ghostbird (the literal translation for owl in Avi’s native language) was born in her Brooklyn kitchen last summer; however it was a trip to the Florida Everglades where Avi found endless inspiration and wrote the album’s first single, “The Book of Morris Johnson,” an upbeat song inspired by the Floridian folk artist.
A video preview of the recording of the album featuring a glimpse of three new songs: “The Book of Morris Johnson,” “Swell Window,” and “31 Days in June” can be found at www.zeeavi.com/ghostbird
In the last two years since Avi’s critically acclaimed self-titled debut, Zee Avi (a 2009 Associated Press Top 10 album) her very free spirit has wandered from major music festivals (Outside Lands, Bonnaroo) and concert venues across the country to her homeland of Sarawak, Borneo, where she recently picked up an International Youth Icon Award.
After the album arrives this summer Avi is itching to get back on tour and show off her live skills. "I want people to feel like they're being hugged," she says of the soothingly beautiful Ghostbird.
Tour dates to be announced.

Big Head Todd & The Monsters Announce 2011 Summer Plans

Longtime Colorado favorites Big Head Todd and The Monsters have mapped out their summer tour plans. In addition to a handful of theatres in the midwest, the band headlines their annual Red Rocks Amphitheatre gig on June 11, where Guster will be on hand to open the show. The band also returns to Chicago’s famed Ravinia Festival and to the idyllic Colorado mountain town of Telluride for the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, later this summer. The complete list of summer tour dates is listed below.

Earlier this year, in celebration of influential bluesman Robert Johnson (who would be celebrating his 100 birthday on May 8, 2011), Big Head Todd and The Monsters assembled the Big Head Blues Club. The ad-hoc collaboration featuring Big Head Todd and The Monsters and special guests B.B. King, Hubert Sumlin, Honeyboy Edwards, Charlie Musselwhite, Ruthie Foster, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm toured earlier this year and recently released a studio recording of the project, titled 100 Years of Robert Johnson. Here’s what critics are saying:

“A superb musical collective…moving and wildly entertaining.” –Boston Globe

“Todd Park Mohr’s growling and moaning like he's got muddy Delta dirt under his fingernails.” -USA Today

Big Head Todd frontman Todd Park Mohr will be at the 32nd Annual Blues Music Awards on May 5th at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Todd will lead a Robert Johnson tribute. This year’s event also features performances by honorees Buddy Guy, Denise LaSalle and John Hammond, among others. Visit www.blues.org for more information.

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The list of Big Head Todd and The Monsters summer tour dates are as follows:

Friday, April 29 The Windjammer Isle of Palms SC
Sunday, May 22 Doheny Blues Festival Dana Point CA
Thursday, June 2 Cotillion Ballroom Wichita KS
Friday, June 3 Fantle Memorial Park Yankton SD
Saturday, June 4 Crossroads Kansas City MO with Langhorne Slim supporting
Thursday, June 9 Simon Estes Amphitheater Des Moines IA co-headline with Toots & the Maytals
Friday, June 10 Stir Cove Council Bluffs IA co-headline with Toots & the Maytals
Saturday, June 11 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison CO with Guster supporting
Sunday, June 12 Red Butte Garden Salt Lake City UT co-headline with Toots & the Maytals
Tuesday, June 14 Knitting Factory Concert House Reno NV co-headline with Toots & the Maytals
Thursday, June 16 Mountain Winery Saratoga CA co-headline with Toots & the Maytals
Friday, June 17 Uptown Theatre Napa CA
Thursday, August 4 Minnesota Zoo - Weesner Amphitheatre Apple Valley MN with Cedar Avenue supporting
Friday, August 5 Mankato RibFest Mankato MN
Sunday, August 7 Nateva Music & Arts Festival - Oxford Fairgrounds Oxford ME
Saturday, September 3 Big Sky Resort Big Sky MT
Tuesday, September 6 Wolf Trap Vienna VA co-headline with John Hiatt
Sunday, September 11 Ravinia Festival Highland Park IL
Saturday, September 17 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival Telluride CO
Sunday, October 23 Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise San Diego CA

Additional dates to be announced, Visit www.bigheadtodd.com for more information

100 Years of Robert Johnson streets Tuesday, March 1

May 8th, 2011 marks the 100-year anniversary of blues legend Robert Johnson’s birthday. In celebration of the most influential bluesman that ever lived, the Big Head Blues Club – an ad-hoc collaboration featuring Big Head Todd and The Monsters and special guests Hubert Sumlin, Honeyboy Edwards, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm – has been touring coast to coast playing the material of Johnson. The tour, which has been garnering rave reviews, wraps up on March 8, just after the studio album, titled 100 Years of Robert Johnson, hits the streets (March 1, 2011 - Ryko/Big Records).

100 Years of Robert Johnson is a stirring collection featuring 10 potent interpretations of some of the most vital and durable music of the past century. In addition to the above-mentioned artists, 100 Years of Robert Johnson includes performances by blues greats B.B. King and Charlie Musselwhite, as well as keeper of the blues flame Ruthie Foster. The album was recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, and produced by Grammy award winning blues producer Chris Goldsmith (Blind Boys of Alabama), 100 Years of Robert Johnson will be released in early 2011.

For Todd Park Mohr, who founded Big Head Todd and The Monsters with Rob Squires (bass) and Brian Nevin (drums) nearly a quarter-century ago, the project has served to re-introduce him to the iconic music of Johnson, whose songs provided many of the pioneering blues-rock bands—Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Cream, Canned Heat, etc.—with some of their most popular material.


100 Years of Robert Johnson features several inspired takes on Johnson’s best known compositions. For Mohr and Goldsmith, the challenge in recording the tribute was to give new voice to Johnson’s music, to avoid copying the countless cover versions already extant. “In so many of the takes on Robert’s stuff, you don’t get the depth of emotion that’s in the lyrics and in Robert’s voice. That’s one thing that Chris and the band and my voice were able to bring to it. Chris had great ideas about how to represent the stuff, and all the musicians were just so good at what they did, the unique arrangements just came naturally.”

Robert Johnson’s story is the stuff of myth and legend alike, and his music has fascinated blues fans and musicians for more than seven decades. Born in Mississippi in 1911, Johnson recorded only 29 songs, all during the years 1936 and ’37. His unique guitar style and haunting vocal phrasing, and the evocative, often mysterious nature of his lyrics, made him a popular artist during his short time in the spotlight and has continued to intrigue since. A persistent tale that as a young man Johnson sold his soul to the Devil in order to become a more proficient musician has been attached to his biography since his untimely death at age 27—the alleged victim of a poisoning incident at the hands of the jealous husband of a woman with whom Johnson had been flirting.

A hundred years after the birth of its greatest artist, it looks like the blues itself is about to be reborn.

BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS: THE ROBERT JOHNSON CENTENNIAL CONCERTS tour featuring Big Head Todd and The Monsters and special guests David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Hubert Sumlin and Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm is as follows:

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Jan. 28 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom
Jan. 29 Costa Mesa, CA Orange County Performing Arts Center
Jan. 30 San Diego, CA (2 shows) Anthology
Jan. 31 Santa Barbara, CA Campbell Hall / UCSB
Feb. 04 Austin, TX Paramount Theatre
Feb. 05 Dallas, TX Lakewood Theatre
Feb. 10 Ann Arbor, MI Hill Auditorium / U of M
Feb. 11 Chicago, IL Orchestra Hall
Feb. 12 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theatre
Feb. 13 Meridian, MS Riley Center / MSU
Feb. 16 Chapel Hill, NC Memorial Hall / UNC Chapel Hill
Feb. 17 New Bethesda, MD The Music Center at Strathmore
Feb. 18 Boston, MA Berklee School of Music
Feb. 24 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
Feb. 25 Princeton, NJ McCarter Theatre
Feb. 26 Blue Bell, PA Montgomery County Community College
Feb. 27 New Bedford, MA Zeiterion Theater
March 4 Milwaukee, WI Potowatomi Casino

March 5 Omaha, NE Holland Performing Arts Center

March 6 Minneapolis, MN Orchestra Hall

March 8 Urbana, IL Krannert Center – Tyrone Festival Theatre

Big Head Todd & The Monsters headline Red Rocks

Big Head Todd and The Monsters today announce their annual Red Rocks Amphitheater play for June 11, 2011. Guster will open the show. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 4 at 10am MST at Ticketmaster.com. Ticket and show details are listed below.



Big Head Todd and The Monsters will host an online auction featuring exclusive Red Rocks ticket packages including premium show seats and once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as lunch with the band, a “harmonica-handoff” during the show, the opportunity to be a crew member for the day, and so much more. 100% of the proceeds will go to support the Colorado Homeless Coalition. Bidding will happen in two rounds - beginning March 1 and May 1. Visit www.bigheadtodd.com for all the details.



Big Head Todd and The Monsters have been busy – first celebrating the release of their new studio album, Rocksteady (July 20, 2010/Big Records), and now preparing to hit the road with some of blues music’s biggest legends in support of 100 Years of Robert Johnson (March 1, 2011 - Ryko/Big Records), a stirring new tribute album featuring 10 potent interpretations of some of the most vital and durable music of the past century.

Big Head Blues Club features in addition to the Colorado-based quartet—guitarist and vocalist Todd Park Mohr, bassist Rob Squires, drummer Brian Nevin and keyboardist Jeremy Lawton—special guests, blues legends B.B. King, Hubert Sumlin, Honeyboy Edwards and Charlie Musselwhite, as well as keepers of the blues flame Ruthie Foster, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm.

Recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, and produced by Grammy award winning blues producer Chris Goldsmith (Blind Boys of Alabama), 100 Years of Robert Johnson will be released in early 2011, and supported by a national tour (“Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts”) featuring many of the participants in the sessions. A complete list of the tour dates is included below.

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Big Head Todd and The Monsters’ Red Rocks show info is as follows:

Saturday, June 11 @ 7:30PM (Doors @ 6:00PM)
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
with Guster supporting
18300 West Alameda Parkway Morrison, CO
Tickets $39.50 GA, $49.50 - $59.50 reserved / All Ages Welcome
Tickets on sale Friday, February 4 at 10am at Ticketmaster.com

For more information, please contact 1-800-745-3000 or visit www.redrocksonline.com

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BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS: THE ROBERT JOHNSON CENTENNIAL CONCERTS tour featuring Big Head Todd and The Monsters and special guests David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Hubert Sumlin and Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm, tour stops are as follows:

Monday, January 31 University of California - Santa Barbara, Campbell Hall Santa Barbara CA
Friday, February 4 Paramount Theatre Austin TX
Saturday, February 5 Lakewood Theater Dallas TX
Thursday, February 10 University Of Michigan, Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor MI
Friday, February 11 Orchestra Hall Chicago IL
Saturday, February 12 Uptown Theater Kansas City MO
Sunday, February 13 Mississippi State University Riley Center Meridian MS
Wednesday, February 16 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Memorial Hall Chapel Hill NC
Thursday, February 17 The Music Center at Strathmore North Bethesda MD
Friday, February 18 Berklee Performance Center Boston MA
Thursday, February 24 Ridgefield Playhouse Ridgefield CT
Friday, February 25 McCarter Theatre Center Princeton NJ
Saturday, February 26 Montgomery County Community College, The Science Center Theater Blue Bell PA
Sunday, February 27 Zeiterion Performing Arts Center New Bedford MA
Friday, March 4 Northern Light Theater at Potawatomi Bingo Casino Milwaukee WI
Saturday, March 5 Holland Performing Arts Center Omaha NE
Sunday, March 6 Orchestra Hall Minneapolis MN
Tuesday, March 8 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Krannert Center - Tryon Festival Theatre Urbana IL

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BIG HEAD TODD AND THE MONSTERS TOURDATES INCLUDE:

Saturday, February 19 The Fiillmore at Irving Plaza New York NY

Friday, April 15 - Saturday, April 16 Paramount Theatre and Visual Arts Center St. Cloud MN

Saturday, June 11 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison CO

Sunday, October 23 Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise San Diego CA

Celebrating "100 Years of Robert Johnson" -Streets 3/1/11

How do you throw a 100th birthday bash for the most influential bluesman that ever lived? If you’re Big Head Todd and The Monsters, you gather some of the greatest living blues musicians and record 100 Years of Robert Johnson (March 1, 2011 - Ryko/Big Records), a stirring new tribute album featuring 10 potent interpretations of some of the most vital and durable music of the past century.

Big Head Blues Club, as the ad hoc ensemble is calling itself, features, in addition to the Colorado-based quartet—guitarist and vocalist Todd Park Mohr, bassist Rob Squires, drummer Brian Nevin and keyboardist Jeremy Lawton—special guests, blues legends B.B. King, Hubert Sumlin, Honeyboy Edwards and Charlie Musselwhite, as well as keepers of the blues flame Ruthie Foster, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm.

Recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, and produced by Grammy award winning blues producer Chris Goldsmith (Blind Boys of Alabama), 100 Years of Robert Johnson will be released in early 2011, and supported by a national tour (“Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts”) featuring many of the participants in the sessions. A complete list of the tour dates is included below.

For Todd Park Mohr, who founded Big Head Todd and The Monsters with Squires and Nevin nearly a quarter-century ago, the project has served to re-introduce him to the iconic music of Johnson, whose songs provided many of the pioneering blues-rock bands—Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Cream, Canned Heat, etc.—with some of their most popular material.

100 Years of Robert Johnson features several inspired takes on Johnson’s best known compositions. For Mohr and Goldsmith, the challenge in recording the tribute was to give new voice to Johnson’s music, to avoid copying the countless cover versions already extant. “In so many of the takes on Robert’s stuff, you don’t get the depth of emotion that’s in the lyrics and in Robert’s voice. That’s one thing that Chris and the band and my voice were able to bring to it. Chris had great ideas about how to represent the stuff, and all the musicians were just so good at what they did, the unique arrangements just came naturally.”

Robert Johnson’s story is the stuff of myth and legend alike, and his music has fascinated blues fans and musicians for more than seven decades. Born in Mississippi in 1911, Johnson recorded only 29 songs, all during the years 1936 and ’37. His unique guitar style and haunting vocal phrasing, and the evocative, often mysterious nature of his lyrics, made him a popular artist during his short time in the spotlight and has continued to intrigue since. A persistent tale that, as a young man, Johnson sold his soul to the Devil in order to become a more proficient musician has been attached to his biography since his untimely death at age 27—the alleged victim of a poisoning incident at the hands of the jealous husband of a woman with whom Johnson had been flirting.

A hundred years after the birth of its greatest artist, it looks like the blues itself is about to be reborn.

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The complete list of “Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts” tour stops is as follows:

Jan. 28 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom

Jan. 29 Costa Mesa, CA Orange County Performing Arts Center

Jan. 30 San Diego, CA (2 shows) Anthology

Jan. 31 Santa Barbara, CA Campbell Hall / UCSB

Feb. 04 Austin, TX Paramount Theatre

Feb. 05 Dallas, TX Lakewood Theatre

Feb. 10 Ann Arbor, MI Hill Auditorium / U of M

Feb. 11 Chicago, IL Orchestra Hall

Feb. 12 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theatre

Feb. 13 Meridian, MS Riley Center / MSU

Feb. 16 Chapel Hill, NC Memorial Hall / UNC Chapel Hill

Feb. 17 North Bethesda, MD The Music Center at Strathmore

Feb. 18 Boston, MA Berklee School of Music

Feb. 24 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse

Feb. 25 Princeton, NJ McCarter Theatre

Feb. 26 Blue Bell, PA Montgomery County Community College

Feb. 27 New Bedford, MA Zeiterion Theater

March 4 Milwaukee, WI Potowatomi Casino

March 5 Omaha, NE Holland Performing Arts Center

March 6 Minneapolis, MN Orchestra Hall

March 8 Urbana, IL Krannert Center – Tyrone Festival Theatre

Dierks Bentley Ends 2010 with More Accolades

As 2010 comes to a close, country music maverick Dierks Bentley capped off a daring year with three GRAMMY nominations for Best Country Album for his critically acclaimed UP ON THE RIDGE and two nominations in the Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for the album’s “Bad Angel” featuring Miranda Lambert and Jamey Johnson and “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” featuring Del McCoury and Punch Brothers.

To watch a video performance of “Bad Angel” with Lambert and Johnson, click here.

Since announcing this Spring that his fifth Capitol Nashville studio project would be steeped in the bluegrass and roots music that moved him to become a country musician in the first place, Bentley has garnered the support of fans, media and industry peers alike. UP ON THE RIDGE has been named one of iTunes “Best Albums Of the Year” and one of Amazon’s “Top 10 Country Albums of the Year.”  It also earned glowing praise from critics who said the album was “the best country recording we’ll hear in 2010” (Washington Post), “timeless” (NPR) and “shocking in its freshness” (Boston Globe).

Bentley will close out his year UP ON THE RIDGE with a revival of his intimate Dierks Bentley and Friends pre-GRAMMY bash at the Troubador in Los Angeles on Feb. 12.   The last edition of this event featured surprise guests including members of Pearl Jam, Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Dwight Yoakam and more.   A very limited number of fan tickets will go on sale this Fri. through www.dierks.com.

Legendary Blues Collaboration to Celebrate 100 Years of Robert Johnson

How do you throw a 100th birthday bash for the most influential bluesman that ever lived? If you’re Big Head Todd and The Monsters, you gather some of the greatest living blues musicians and record 100 Years of Robert Johnson (February 1, 2011 - Ryko/Big Records), a stirring new tribute album featuring 10 potent interpretations of some of the most vital and durable music of the past century.

Big Head Blues Club, as the ad hoc ensemble is calling itself, features, in addition to the Colorado-based quartet—guitarist and vocalist Todd Park Mohr, bassist Rob Squires, drummer Brian Nevins and keyboardist Jeremy Lawton—special guests, blues legends B.B. King, Hubert Sumlin, Honeyboy Edwards and Charlie Musselwhite, as well as keepers of the blues flame Ruthie Foster, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm.

Recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, and produced by Grammy award winning blues producer Chris Goldsmith (Blind Boys of Alabama), 100 Years of Robert Johnson will be released in early 2011, and supported by a national tour (“Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts”) featuring many of the participants in the sessions. A complete list of the tour dates is included below.

For Todd Park Mohr, who founded Big Head Todd and The Monsters with Squires and Nevins nearly a quarter-century ago, the project has served to re-introduce him to the iconic music of Johnson, whose songs provided many of the pioneering blues-rock bands—Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Cream, Canned Heat, etc.—with some of their most popular material.

100 Years of Robert Johnson features several inspired takes on Johnson’s best known compositions. For Mohr and Goldsmith, the challenge in recording the tribute was to give new voice to Johnson’s music, to avoid copying the countless cover versions already extant. “In so many of the takes on Robert’s stuff, you don’t get the depth of emotion that’s in the lyrics and in Robert’s voice. That’s one thing that Chris and the band and my voice were able to bring to it. Chris had great ideas about how to represent the stuff, and all the musicians were just so good at what they did, the unique arrangements just came naturally.”

Robert Johnson’s story is the stuff of myth and legend alike, and his music has fascinated blues fans and musicians for more than seven decades. Born in Mississippi in 1911, Johnson recorded only 29 songs, all during the years 1936 and ’37. His unique guitar style and haunting vocal phrasing, and the evocative, often mysterious nature of his lyrics, made him a popular artist during his short time in the spotlight and has continued to intrigue since. A persistent tale that, as a young man, Johnson sold his soul to the Devil in order to become a more proficient musician has been attached to his biography since his untimely death at age 27—the alleged victim of a poisoning incident at the hands of the jealous husband of a woman with whom Johnson had been flirting.

A hundred years after the birth of its greatest artist, it looks like the blues itself is about to be reborn.

100 Years of Robert Johnson Track List:

1. Come On In My Kitchen (w. Charlie Musselwhite)
2. Ramblin' On My Mind
3. When You Got A Good Friend (w. Hubert Sumlin on guitar and Ruthie Foster)
4. Cross Road Blues (w. B.B. King)
5. Preachin' Blues
6. Kind Hearted Woman (w. Ruthie Foster)
7. If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day
8. Last Fair Deal Gone Done (w. Charlie Musselwhite)
9. All My Love Is Love In Vain (Todd solo vocal and acoustic guitar)
10. Sweet Home Chicago (just Honeyboy and Musselwhite)

Cedric Burnside plays drums on “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day” and “Preachin Blues,” and acoustic guitar on “Ramblin On My Mind”

Lightin’ Malcolm plays electric guitar on “Ramblin on my Mind,” “Gotta Good Friend,” and “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day” and plays acoustic guitar on “Preachin Blues” and “Kind Hearted Woman”

BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS: THE ROBERT JOHNSON CENTENNIAL CONCERTS tour featuring Big Head Todd and The Monsters and special guests David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Hubert Sumlin and Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm is as follows:

Jan. 28 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom

Jan. 29 Costa Mesa, CA Orange County Performing Arts Center

Jan. 30 San Diego, CA (2 shows) Anthology

Jan. 31 Santa Barbara, CA Campbell Hall / UCSB

Feb. 04 Austin, TX Paramount Theatre

Feb. 05 Dallas, TX Lakewood Theatre

Feb. 10 Ann Arbor, MI Hill Auditorium / U of M

Feb. 11 Chicago, IL Orchestra Hall

Feb. 12 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theatre

Feb. 13 Meridian, MS Riley Center / MSU

Feb. 16 Chapel Hill, NC Memorial Hall / UNC Chapel Hill

Feb. 17 New Bethesda, MD The Music Center at Strathmore

Feb. 18 Boston, MA Berklee School of Music

Feb. 24 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse

Feb. 25 Princeton, NJ McCarter Theatre

Feb. 26 Blue Bell, PA Montgomery County Community College

Feb. 27 New Bedford, MA Zeiterion Theater

March 4 Milwaukee, WI Potowatomi Casino

March 5 Omaha, NE Holland Performing Arts Center

March 6 Minneapolis, MN Orchestra Hall

March 8 Urbana, IL Krannert Center – Tyrone Festival Theatre

Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts

There’s no denying anyone who digs the Blues will really dig the once-in-a-lifetime experience that is BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS: THE ROBERT JOHNSON CENTENNIAL CONCERTS. The very special tour (set to launch in San Francisco on Jan. 28, 2011) and accompanying studio recording (to be released early 2011) commemorates the 100th Anniversary of legendary bluesman Robert Johnson’s birth with exhilarating collaborations between Big Head Todd & The Monsters, living Bluesman legend David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Hubert Sumlin, and Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm. With Edwards on board, BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS has a direct connection back to the legend, as Edwards was in attendance for Johnson’s last live performance the night Johnson passed away.

“We both wanted to create a blues show that was not just another blues show, but a show that was truly unique,” said Blues at the Crossroads co-producer Ron Hausfeld, who is producing the tour with Ted Kurland Associates’ Jack Randall. “We want people to walk away saying, ‘Wow…that was cool…I’ve never seen anything like it.’”

Before the tour hits the road, BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS musicians meet this fall at Ardent Recording Studios in Memphis to put this epic collaboration to tape. The studio recordings will be released in early 2011 in conjunction with the tour.

BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS picks up the thread of Johnson’s legacy in Mississippi, at the junction of US Highways 61 & 49; the very crossroads where, as legend has it, Robert Johnson’s burning desire pushed him to make his deal with the devil – giving up his soul to write the baddest-ass blues the world had ever heard. One of the most famous Delta blues musicians, Johnson has influenced a broad range of musicians for generations with his songs, vocal phrasing and guitar style – in particular his landmark recordings from 1936-1937 that display a remarkable combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent. Eric Clapton has called Johnson “the most important blues singer that ever lived” and described Johnson's emotive vocal delivery as "the most powerful cry that I think you can find in the human voice." Johnson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an "Early Influence" in their first induction ceremony in 1986. Johnson's shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 in 1938 have given rise to much legend.

Tour Dates (additional dates to be announced soon)

Date City, State Venue

Jan. 28 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom
Jan. 29 Costa Mesa, CA Orange County Performing Arts Center
Jan. 30 San Diego, CA (2 shows) Anthology
Jan. 31 Santa Barbara, CA Campbell Hall / UCSB
Feb. 01 TBA
Feb. 10 Ann Arbor, MI Hill Auditorium / U of M
Feb. 11 Chicago, IL Orchestra Hall
Feb. 12 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theatre
Feb. 13 Meridian, MS Riley Center / MSU
Feb. 16 Chapel Hill, NC Memorial Hall / UNC Chapel Hill
Feb. 17 Washington, DC Strathmore Performing Arts Center
Feb. 18 Boston, MA Berklee School of Music
Feb. 24 Ridgefield, CT The Playhouse
Feb. 25 Princeton, NJ McCarter Theatre
Feb. 26 Blue Bell, PA Montgomery County Community College
Feb. 27 New Bedford, MA Zeiterion Theater
March 4 Milwaukee, WI Potowatomi Casino
March 5 Omaha, NE Holland Performing Arts Center
March 6 Minneapolis, MN Orchestra Hall
March 7 TBA TBA
March 8 Urbana, IL Krannert Center – Tyrone Festival Theatre

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Performers:

Big Head Todd & The Monsters

Colorado rock band Big Head Todd & the Monsters (“Bittersweet,” “Broken Hearted Savior,” “Resignation Superman”) are known for their timeless songwriting, powerful live performances, and unique sound – all reasons the band has garnered a sizable loyal following during their two decades making music. Their landmark album, Sister Sweetly, produced numerous hit songs and went platinum in the United States following its release in 1993. Big Head Todd’s latest release is Rocksteady. The band name is a tribute to legendary blues/jazz "heads" (eg. Eddy Clean-head Vincent, etc). It was actually just a fluke, as they were scheduled to perform their first gig, but had no name. Frontman Todd Park Mohr came up with the name at the spur of the moment and it stuck. For more information: www.bigheadtodd.com

David “Honeyboy” Edwards

At age 95, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, the one-and-only Delta blues guitarist and singer (“Wind Howlin’ Blues,” “The Army Blues”) and his close friend, Pinetop Perkins (age 96), are the oldest Delta blues players still touring the United States. Edwards was born in Shaw, Mississippi, and was a friend to Robert Johnson. He was present on the fateful night when Johnson died. Edwards was named the Acoustic Blues Artist of the Year at the 26th W.C. Handy Blues Awards in 2005 and earned Acoustic Artist of the Year honors in 2007 at The Blues Music Awards. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award on January 31, 2010.For more information: www.davidhoneyboyedwards.com

Hubert Sumlin

Popular American blues guitarist and singer Hubert Sumlin is widely known for his celebrated work from 1955 as guitarist in Howlin' Wolf's band. His singular playing is characterized by "wrenched, shattering bursts of notes, sudden cliff-hanger silences and daring rhythmic suspensions.” Listed as number sixty-five in the Rolling Stone100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, Sumlin, who continues to tour, is cited as a major influence by many artists, including Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Robbie Robertson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. Hubert has cited Robert Johnson as one of his early influences, along with Muddy Waters, Charley Patton and Robert Lockwood. It has been stated that Sumlin's playing was a vital catalyst for the British blues boom by providing a link from the acoustic blues of the Mississippi delta that was more accessible to electric guitarists such as Clapton, Page, Richards and Beck. For more information: www.HubertSumlinBlues.com

Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm

“Together, they combine the punch of old delta blues with funk, hip-hop and rock influences; one can hardly believe that this was actually recorded live in the studio with just two musicians.” – Houston Press on Burnside & Malcolm’s album, 2 Man Wrecking Crew

Drumming great Cedric Burnside, grandson of the legendary R.L. Burnside, son of drummer great Calvin Jackson, grew up at his grandfather's side and began touring at age 13, playing drums for "Big Daddy" on stages around the globe. Cedric has also brought his relentless, highly rhythmic charged style of drumming to performances with Junior Kimbrough, Kenny Brown, North Mississippi Allstars, and Bobby Rush. Bluesman Lightnin’ Malcolm is one of the leading, younger generation artists on the scene today. A reckless live performer, he has lived and breathed music his whole life, traveling and playing in a slashing, rhythmic style, with deep soulful vocals. Malcolm has played over the years with many of the best Mississippi blues artists, such as Cedell Davis, R.L. Burnside, Hubert Sumlin, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Jr. Kimbrough, Big Jack Johnson, Sam Carr and Otha Turner. Skilled on guitar, bass, and drums, Malcolm is an in demand session player with a telepathic sense of how to follow the older archaic styles, and is especially noted for his old-fashioned, church "shout" style on drums. For more information: www.cedricburnsideandlightninmalcolm.com

Performing Artist Jill King To Release New Album RAIN ON FIRE

Songstress Jill King releases on April 6 a new studio album, RAIN ON FIRE (Foundher Records), which the artist describes as life-changing for its renewal of her passion for music and for life and as a gift for listeners who might need a similar lift upward.

The new CD is a collection of heartfelt and thought-provoking love songs and ballads written and co-written by King that mesh blues, pop, R&B, country and jazz into her solid folk-rock sound, elevated by her stunning vocals and the slide and steel guitar vibe of Australian Michael Flanders, who produced the album with King.

It includes “Beautiful World,” “California” and “I’ll Keep Loving You” — three songs that reflect King’s life journey through joy and sorrow — as well as “Mark on Me,” which features a spoken-word intro and outro by Steven Johnson, the grandson of blues legend Robert Johnson, and the sensual “Undertow,” which was featured in the February 26 episode of the Web soap “Venice The Series.”

King and Flanders were joined in the studio by an array of respected musicians and friends including Congress House Studios’ Mark Hallman on bass, drums, loops, percussion, B3 and piano as well as Brady Blade (drums, percussion), Victor Broden (bass), Jason Millhouse (fat guitars), Bruce Holloway (guitar), Phil Madeira (piano, accordion, B3), Savannah Jo Lack (violin, string arrangement & performance), Rob Mackay (strings, tenor ukulele), Denise Locke (keyboards), Alex Torrez and Ben Flanders (percussion), and Thom Flora, Doug Stokes and Nels Andrews (background vocals) and a gospel choir made up of Marsha Hancock, Alana Griffith, Christina Taddonio.

A special-edition version of the CD includes a fascinating book by King that intricately details the impetus behind each of the songs, an essay on the making of the album and documentary photography by Nashville-based artist Whitney Jones.

King will put together a band for extensive touring behind the album that includes shows through August across the Southeast and California and Texas.

Born and raised in deep-South Arab, Ala., King was singing solos in church at 3 and was playing guitar and writing songs by age 10, when she made her first record at a local studio. Being surrounded by heaven-and-hell ideologies and later her brother’s death from cancer have influenced her life, her songwriting and her sound: a mix of genres, moods and messages.

Grateful Web's Interview with New Monsoon's Ron Johnson

photo(s) by Tim Hurley- for the Grateful Web

The last eight months have been kind of a crossroads period for San Francisco rocker