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Elvin Bishop's 'Raisin' Hell Revue' coming on Delta Groove on May 17

Elvin Bishop’s musical biography is no secret to anyone who has followed blues or rock over the past 40 years. Taken under wing by legendary bluesman Little Smokey Smothers in the ’60s, Bishop found a wide audience as guitarist in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and in the ’70s scored a Top-10 radio hit with “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.” Along the way, he’s carved out a niche all his own, playing an appealing mix of rootsy rock ’n’ roll, R&B and barroom boogie, steeped in the heavy blues he learned from Little Smokey all those years ago.

So when a bunch of close friends who also happen to be consummate musicians are sequestered together, as they were at sea on the 2010 Legendary Blues Cruise, what else were they to do but unite forces to create some truly exemplary music? Thankfully the tapes were rolling, and the musical experience was saved for posterity. Delta Groove Music will release the resultant Raisin’ Hell Revue live album on May 17, 2011. And with the good vibes of a ship full of fellow music lovers to buoy the band, you can really hear that everyone was having a great time.

Over the course of their featured performance, Bishop shares the vocal mike with four hard-hitting pros: blues veteran Finis Tasby (Lowell Fulson, Freddie King, Clarence Carter, Z.Z. Hill), fast-rising harmonica man John Németh (Anson Funderburgh, Junior Watson), Norwegian blues guitar star Chris (Kid) Anderson (Charlie Musselwhite’s band), and Bishop’s long-time band-mate and Bay Area legend, saxophonist Terry Hanck. They work their way through a strutting, soulful set of blues and R&B with the powerful grace of a veteran working outfit, perfectly highlighting the strengths of everyone involved. And it really is a “revue” in the classic sense of the term — various band members representing a wide array of styles move in and out of the spotlight, all presided over by the good-humored and congenial master of ceremonies Elvin Bishop. We’re treated to swinging up-tempo R&B, lowdown blues, rootsy rock ’n’ roll, and a touch of gospel; even a fantastic reworking of Bishop’s smash hit “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” is included featuring the wonderfully gifted and dynamic vocalist John Németh.

Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Elvin Bishop didn’t have much exposure to live music as a youngster. But his family had a radio, and in between the pop schmaltz and the C&W that ruled the airwaves in the 1950s, that radio could sometimes catch the legendary R&B programming beamed throughout the southern part of the U.S. at night by Nashville radio station WLAC. That station introduced Bishop to the classic records of Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, and once his ears had been hooked, there was no turning back for young Elvin. He soon got his first guitar and on his own began scratching out the basic outlines of the blues, R&B and rock ’n’ roll that had captured his imagination.

By the time he was preparing to go to college in the late ’50s, Bishop had earned a National Merit Scholarship, allowing him to go to almost any school he chose — and there was only one choice on Elvin’s mind, the prestigious University of Chicago, which just happened to be located on Chicago’s South Side, ground zero for much of the urban blues Elvin had been studying only from a distance. He arrived in Chicago in 1959, and before long crossed paths with a kindred spirit in Paul Butterfield.  Together, they explored the ghetto blues clubs in the black neighborhoods surrounding the university campus at a time when blues giants like Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Otis Rush, Magic Sam and Howlin’ Wolf could be found playing in neighborhood joints on a weeknight. Elvin soaked it all up, gaining impromptu lessons and invaluable stage time in front of discerning audiences, and forging a fluid yet powerful guitar style of his own.

By 1963, Bishop and Butterfield were ready to graduate — not necessarily from the university, but certainly from their apprenticeship under Chicago’s blues elders.  Recruiting Howlin’ Wolf’s former rhythm section of Sam Lay on drums and Jerome Arnold on bass, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was born. In 1965, after adding Mike Bloomfield and Mark Naftalin to the lineup, their revolutionary debut LP was released, kicking open the door for virtually all the young white blues bands that followed.

Bishop remained in the fold for three albums with the Butterfield band, including their innovative East-West release (on which Bishop and Bloomfield’s intertwining guitars helped set the stage for the Allman Brothers Band among many others who followed), before venturing out on his own. Elvin released four well-received albums on Epic Records in the early ’70s before joining Capricorn Records for a couple of LPs and experiencing his biggest pop success, the national hit “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” from his 1976 album Struttin’ My Stuff.

As popular musical trends evolved, the recording projects tapered off, but road work kept Elvin busy through the ’80s, and by the time he hooked up with Alligator Records in 1988, he was returning to his bluesy roots. And that fertile territory has been his focus ever since.

Delta Groove Productions president Randy Chortkoff has been a fan and follower of Elvin’s music through all the many phases of his career, beginning with Butterfield in the mid ’60s, so when the opportunity arose to bring Elvin into the Delta Groove fold, Chortkoff jumped at the opportunity. The result was Elvin’s Grammy-nominated 2008 CD The Blues Rolls On, a project supported by an all-star cast of blues royalty, among them B.B. King, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, George Thorogood, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Tommy Castro, John Németh and Angela Strehli.

The Philadelphia Inquirer noted that “ . . .he’s as lively and sharp-witted as ever. No purist, he bends a variety of styles to his irrepressible personality.”

And now, with the new Delta Groove release Raisin’ Hell Revue, Bishop and crew invoke deep blues while at sail on the deep blue sea.

Delta Spirit Announce US Winter Tour

Let’s start here with a short list of the things that we lose along the way. It seems that the men of Long Beach, Calif., who make up Delta Spirit and who have written and recorded the 11 songs that comprise History From Below, would like this little process. It would make sense to them, this brief focus on what’s gone missing, on what’s been loved and remembered.

It’s not about dwelling on the losses, but recognizing how the losses make all that remains so much more meaningful. It shapes us more than we know – rounding off and enhancing the joys that are still around, that are yet to be made. But we do lose, sometimes without gain, just pain and heartache. So, we lose, in no particular order – chronologically or as importance goes – the following, in varying degrees: our youth, our safety, our comfort, our spirit, our innocence, our grandmothers, our grandfathers, our curiosity, our love, another of our loves, still another of our loves, our wives, our mothers, our fathers, our sight, our hearing, our husbands, our daughters, our drive, our sons, our pets, our time, our hair, our reflexes, our spryness, our brightness, our shine, our guts and we’re just getting started.

We lose nearly everything before we’re done, before we’ve been finished off or written to a stop. We’re wrecked to the point that we need saints and saviors because there’s no doing it on our own. There’s no human being that can get us through these ruts. It must be out of body. It must be something other, something that breathes new breath and something that runs interference with the losses, something that softens them.

Delta Spirit makes music that softens our losses, sure, but it’s a band that makes music to soften their own losses, whatever those may be (see above for a good start). It finds a pleasing heat in a fever and it finds a comfort in a chill, knowing that they will become the other with a long enough wait. They find “churches” wherever they travel and they find those willing to embrace with them in a pageant of the losses, making them feel as if they were three parts sweetness and one part regret. The losses make them realize that so much of our histories come from our hardships, whether we like it or not, and it’s decisive. We can’t help but feel absolutely included and vulnerable when, on “Bushwick Blues,” lead singer Matt Vazquez sings, “My love is strong, but my heart is weak,” with a drawn-out pause, before finishing with the words, “after all.”

US Tour Dates:
11/15/10 Jackpot Music Hall Lawrence, Kansas
11/16/10 Mojo's Columbia, Missouri
11/18/10 High Noon Saloon Madison, Wisconsin
11/19/10 Turner Hall Milwaukee, Wisconsin
11/20/10 Legends of Notre Dame South Bend, Indiana
11/21/10 Mountain Stage Radio Show Charleston, West Virginia
11/22/10 Tralf Music Hall Buffalo, New York
11/23/10 Webster Hall New York, New York
11/26/10 Paradise Rock Club Boston, Massachusetts
11/27/10 The Met Cafe Pawtucket, Rhode Island
11/29/10 OttoBar Baltimore, Maryland
11/30/10 Brillobox Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
12/01/10 The Mad Hatter Covington, Kentucky
12/02/10 Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall Asheville, North Carolina
12/03/10 Mercy Lounge Nashville, Tennessee
12/04/10 Metro Chicago, Illinois
12/07/10  Fillmore  San Francisco, California
12/08/10 The Music Box Hollywood, California
12/09/10 SOHO Music Club Santa Barbara, California
12/10/10 House of Blues San Diego, California

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

B.B. King at the Boulder Theater - Jan. 22nd

Since the 1950’s, there has been only one King of the Blues – Riley B. King, affectionately known as B.B. King.  Since B.B. started recording in the late 1940’s, he has released over 50 albums many of them considered blues classics, like 1965’s definitive live blues album “Live At The Regal,” and 1976’s collaboration with Bobby “Blue” Bland, “Together For The First Time.” In 2008, B.B. King released his Grammy winning “One Kind Favor” featuring one of his personal favorites, “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” with Lemon Jefferson.

B.B. has mixed traditional blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound.  His singing is richly melodic, both vocally and in the “singing” that comes from his guitar.  In B.B.’s words, “When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille.”

Riley B. King was born on September 16, 1925, on a cotton plantation in Itta Bene, Mississippi outside the Mississippi delta town of Indianola.  He used to play on the corner of Church and Second Street for dimes and would play in as many as four towns on a Saturday night.  With his guitar and $2.50, he hitchhiked north to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1947 to pursue his musical career.  Memphis was the city where every important musician of the South gravitated and which supported a large, competitive musical community where virtually every black musical style was heard.

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B.B. King at the Boulder Theater | January 22nd, 2011

Tickets are on sale at Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

Tickets are On Sale – 10.02.2010 @ 10:00 am.

Individual tickets are $77.50 GA / $96.50 Reserved / $124.50 Gold Circle.

Mimi Fishman Foundation Auction | August 2010

The Mimi Fishman Foundation just launched an auction are hosted for our friends at Conscious Alliance which features a handful of signed posters from bands such as String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic, Disco Biscuits, Umphrey's McGee, STS9, and Phil Lesh. Also included is a Jam Cruise 6 poster with tons of sigs. Check it out here.

In addition the Mimi Fishman Foundation just announced several donations made by the Foundation.

$12,500 to the Phish''s WaterWheel Foundation
$2,500 to The Delta Gamma Center
$2,500 to Lincolnville Central School
$1,250 to Burlington''s Women Helping Battered Women
$1,250 to Lake Champlain Land Trust
$1,250 to The People Place

The Foundation has now donated over $390,000 since it’s inception 12 years ago. A huge thanks to all your support over the years!!!

Mimi Fishman Foundation Auction-LIVE!

The first Mimi Fishman Foundation on-line charity auction of the new decade has just launched. The auction features over 30 limited edition posters from Phish’s 2009 tour, including the end of year Miami run and Festival 8. All the posters are signed by each of the members of Phish and in most cases the poster artist as well; Phish famed artist Jim Pollock included. Making the posters extremely rare is the fact the band signed only 5 posters from each show.

The beneficiaries of the auction proceeds include the Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments, a wonderful organization that extends services to visually impaired children ages birth to three as well as their families - as well as the SPCA of Syracuse, an organization which was very close to Mimi’s heart and where she got her cat Valentine.

Visit the charity auction site.

Mimi Auction Raised $3,455.00 for the Delta Gamma Center!

Trey Anastasio autographed poster!- for the Grateful Web

The last auction (ending 7/25/05) raised $3,455.00 for the Delta Gamma Center!  Thanks to everyone who participated. Stay tuned for more Mimi Fishman Foundation charity auctions powered by The Grateful Web!