Pete Sears – Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Jerry Garcia, Jefferson Starship



Peter Sears (born 27 May 1948) is an English rock music musician. In a career spanning more than six decades, he has been a member of many bands and has moved through a variety of musical genres, from early R&B, psychedelic improvisational rock of the 1960s, folk, country music, arena rock in the 1970s, and blues. He usually plays bass, keyboards, or both in bands.

Pete Sears played on the Rod Stewart albums Gasoline Alley, Every Picture Tells A Story (which was listed high in Rolling Stone‘s top 500 best albums of all time), Never a Dull Moment, and Smiler. He also played on the hit singles “Maggie May“, and “Reason to Believe“. During this period, Sears toured the US with Long John Baldry blues band, and played with John Cipollina in Copperhead.

Sears joined the band Jefferson Starship in 1974 and remained with the group through the transition to Starship, before departing in 1987. After leaving Starship he worked with bluesman Nick Gravenites, and many other artists including Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bob Weir, Maria Muldaur, Rich Kirch, Taj Mahal, and Mimi Farina. (1992 to 2002) he played keyboards in the Jorma Kaukonen Trio with Kaukonen and Michael Falzarano, and with Kaukonen, Falzarano, and Jack Casady and Harvey Sorgen in Hot Tuna.

Sears has played with many other musicians through the years, including Dr. John, John Lee Hooker, Leigh Stephens and Micky Waller in Silver Metre; Long John Baldry, Copperhead with John Cipollina, Jerry Garcia, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Levon Helm, Steve Kimock, Dave Hidalgo, Sons of Fred, Fleur de Lyse, Sam Gopal Dream, Jimi Hendrix, Pete Brown, Bob Weir, Los Cenzontles, Phil Lesh, Leftover Salmon, and Los Lobos.[5][6] Currently, he divides his time between the David Nelson Band, Chris Robinson and Green Leaf Rustlers, Zero, California Kind, Harvey Mandel, and Moonalice.

Sears has also written and recorded the original score for many documentary films, including the award-winning “The Fight in the Fields”Cesar Chávez and the Farmworkers Struggle directed by Ray Telles and Rick Tehada Flores. His most recent film, also directed by Ray Telles and co-produced by Ken Rabin, is called The Storm That Swept Mexico (2011) about the Mexican Revolution.


Austin de Lone – Elvis Costello, Boz Scaggs, Nick Lowe, Bonnie Rait



#elviscostello #lindaronstadt #bozscaggs #bonnieraitt #nicklowe Austin de Lone is an American keyboardist who records and tours with his own bands as well as with other artists, such as Bill Kirchen, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Boz Scaggs, Nick Lowe, Commander Cody, and Loudon Wainwright. De Lone grew up in suburban Philadelphia, taking piano lessons at age 12. His early influences included Ray Charles and George Shearing. After stints as a student at the New England Conservatory of Music, Harvard University, and University of California, Berkeley, he moved to Greenwich Village.[3] While at Harvard, de Lone composed the song “One for One,” which was the first single released by Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys. Eggs over Easy In 1969, de Lone formed the band Eggs over Easy with Jack O’Hara and Brien Hopkins.[4] In 1970, Chas Chandler persuaded the band to record in London, but those recordings were not released. A four-night-a-week residency at a pub called the Tally-Ho in Kentish Town lasted more than a year. Eggs over Easy played a blend of blues, country, and rock that became known as pub rock. Regular attendees of their shows included members of Brinsley Schwarz and BBC disc jockey John Peel. In 1972, they returned to California and released their first album Good ‘N’ Cheap produced by Link Wray. The Moonlighters De Lone moved to Marin, California in 1972, where he met Bill Kirchen, who had been performing with Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. In the late 70s, de Lone joined Kirchen’s side-project band, the Moonlighters. Their 1983 album Rush Hour was produced by Nick Lowe. Both de Lone and Kirchen later worked with Lowe and Elvis Costello. De Lone and Kirchen still record and perform together. In 2016, they released their duet album Transatlantica. The Christmas Jug Band De Lone is a member of the Christmas Jug Band, a collection of musicians who have been touring locally each holiday season since 1976, and releasing albums since 1987. The band has included musicians such as Dan Hicks, Tim Eschliman, Jim Rothermel, Lance Dickerson, Brien Hopkins, and Norton Buffalo. Richard de Lone Special Housing Project De Lone coordinates an annual fundraiser for eventual construction of the Richard de Lone Special Housing Project, a residential facility for people with Prader-Willi Syndrome, which de Lone’s son Richard is afflicted with. As part of the 2007 event, Elvis Costello reunited with Clover, the band who backed him on his first album My Aim is True.


Bill Champlin – Sons of Champlin | Chicago



Bill Champlin was born in Oakland, California on May 21, 1947 to a musical family. His grandparents, mother and sisters have all been singers. After forming the Sons of Champlin in 1967, he focused his songwriting talents on material for the Sons. “They were breathing fire. They were the most talented of all the San Francisco bands”, said Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead. The Sons’ first album, “Loosen Up Naturally,” was released in 1969 and followed by six more albums before the Sons disbanded in 1977. After the breakup of the Sons, Bill moved to Los Angeles and worked as a session vocalist on numerous recordings from 1977 to 1985. The artists he worked with included Patti LaBelle, Lou Rawls, Elton John, Boz Scaggs, Donna Summer, Nancy Wilson, George Benson,  Jimmy Smith,  Amy Grant, Neil Diamond and Kenny Rogers. In 1978 he released his first solo album, “Single.” In 1979 he won his first Grammy award for co-writing “After the Love is Gone,” which was later recorded by Earth, Wind & Fire. During the Chicago/EWF tours in 2004 and 2005, Champlin was asked to perform this song with them, as lead singer. In 1982 he joined Chicago to record “Chicago 16.” His unique and expressive voice can be heard on “Hard Habit to Break” from Chicago 17. Bill’s 1988 recording of the song “In the Heat of the Night” was picked up as the show opener by the TV show of the same name. The following year Chicago released what turned out to be it’s biggest-selling single and their last No. 1 hit, “Look Away,” once again with Bill on lead vocal. Four more solo albums followed from Bill’s fertile mind: “Burn Down The Night” (1992), “Through It All” (1994), “He Started To Sing” (1995) and “Mayday” (1996). In July 1997 Chicago topped the adult contemporary chart with “Here in My Heart,” as the band once again turned to Bill for lead vocals. That same year also rendered the release of  “West Coast All Stars,” an a cappella project he did with Jason Scheff of Chicago and Toto’s Bobby Kimball and Joseph Williams. The Sons of Champlin reunited in 1997, with a loyal group of enthusiastic fans traveling great distances to see them perform. They recorded “Live At The Luther Burbank Center” in 1998, as well as “Secret” (CD and DVD) and “Hip Lil’ Dreams” in 2002. Bill’s solo release “No Place Left To Fall” (CD and DVD), recorded at The Barber Shop Studios in Hopatcong, NJ for the Dream Makers Music label. It was first released by JVC Japan in September 2008, as well as being released for digital downloading, and later released in Europe by Zync Music in December. The U.S. release by Dream Makers came in August 2009. On the heels of that US release and after 28 years with Chicago, Bill parted ways with the band to focus more on his solo career. “This music is callin’ me,” he said.


Johnny Nicholas: Blues Guitar Legend



Nicholas grew up in Rhode Island, United States, where he formed his first band, The Vikings. The band performed cover versions of popular rhythm and blues hits of the time, along with songs by the Rolling Stones. In the mid-1960s, he formed the Black Cat Blues Band with Duke Robillard, Fran Christina and Steve Nardella. Around 1970, he formed the Boogie Brothers with Nardella. After attending the Ann Arbor Blues Festival in 1970, the band eventually moved on to San Francisco, California in 1972 per-request of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen.

By 1974, Nicholas had moved to Chicago, Illinois and began playing with Big Walter Horton. During his time in Chicago, he would record music with Horton, Boogie Woogie Red and Robert Lockwood, Jr. In 1974, he created his own single, “Too Many Bad Habits” for Blind Pig Records. Moving to Providence, Rhode Island, he formed his own band, Johnny Nicholas and the Rhythm Rockers, which included Kaz Kazanoff on saxophone, Terry Bingham on drums, Sarah Brown on bass guitar and Ronnie Earl on electric guitar.

Nicholas began his stint with Asleep at the Wheel in 1978, when the band asked him to perform with them. During his off time, he would travel to various cities for solo shows, but would often visit Louisiana to play with Link Davis and Cajun accordion player Nathan Abshire.

By 1980, however, Nicholas decided to take time off from music in order to raise a family.  in 1991 Nicholas returned to recording blues music with Johnny Shines and Snooky Pryor on the album Back to the Country. After returning to music, Johnny has released one studio album and three live albums on Topcat Records while also returning to regular live shows.


Bill Kirchen of Commander Cody’s Lost Planet Airmen



In 1969, Kirchen took Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen to California and they developed a reputation as musical “outlaws” that were praised by other outlaw musicians and bands like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, The Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band.Kirchen’s band “played a collection of rock ‘n’ roll, hard-core country, boogie and rockabilly sounds produced in a “high-octane mix” that made them a “happening” group in the San Francisco Bay area.

Kirchen began to develop as guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and performer. He became known for his vocal and guitar work on such songs as “Mama Hated Diesels”, “Down to Seeds and Stems Again Blues” from the band’s albums, Hot Licks, Cold Steel & Truckers’ Favorites and Lost in the Ozone. His live performance work was captured on the 1973 album Live From Deep in the Heart of Texas, recorded at the Armadillo World Headquarters in 1973.Kirchen’s Commander Cody band broke apart in 1976 and he formed a “swing orchestra” called the Moonlighters and began a decades-long collaboration with British musician Nick Lowe. Lowe produced the Moonlighters’ second album Rush Hour, and Kirchen toured with Lowe and joined him in the studio from time to time. During this period Kirchen also worked on albums with Elvis Costello, Gene Vincent, and Link Wray.

Kirchen was one of the musicians that pioneered the Americana movement in the 1980s, and also with being a founding father of “twangcore,” along with Dave Alvin, Wilco and Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys. Kirchen’s signature sound has been dubbed “dieselbilly” and incorporates elements of country, blues, rockabilly, Western swing and boogie-woogie, laced with themes of American truck driving music. Kirchen’s work in the early 1970s with Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen helped set the stage for the singers like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson and other outlaw country bands with his recordings of songs like “Seeds And Stems.”Kirchen is said to have “one of the most distinctive, pure-Fender Telecaster tone guitar sounds in modern music”.

Kirchen was named “The Titan of The Telecaster” by Guitar Player magazinefor his musical prowess on the Fender Telecaster guitar. He played a 1959 model with a maple fretboard and sunburst finish that he calls the “coal burner” and acquired in 1967 when he exchanged his Gibson SG with a stranger on a bus.He retired that guitar in the early 2010s in favor of a Telecaster with a wider neck.


Mark Answers Listener Questions



Grammy Nominee, Blues Award Winner, Author, Harp Man Mark Hummel had a banner year in 2014. Grammy Nominated for his Remembering Little Walter CD he produced and performed on, Mark also won Best Blues CD and Best Traditional Blues CD at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, TN. Mark’s The Hustle Is Really On climbed to #2 and stayed in the top five for four months on the Living Blues Radio Charts. Hummel’s book “BIG ROAD BLUES:12 Bars on I-80” garnered rave reviews and was nominated for best Independent Book release. Mark Hummel started playing harmonica in 1970 and is considered one of the premier blues harmonica players of his generation. Thanks to over thirty recordings since 1985, including the Grammy nominated 2013 release Blind Pig recording Remembering Little Walter (part of the Blues Harmonica Blowout CD series). Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout™ started in 1991 and have featured every major legend (Mayall, Musselwhite, Cotton, etc.) on blues harp as well as almost every player of note on the instrument – a who’s who of players. Hummel is a road warrior – a true Blues Survivor. Along the way, he has crafted his own trademark harmonica sound – a subtle combination of tone, phrasing and attack combined with a strong sense of swing. Mark has been with Electro Fi Records since 2000, releasing five CDs. Thanks to Mark’s earlier albums, constant touring and appearances at the major blues festivals, he’s firmly established his solid reputation around the US and Europe. Born in New Haven, CT but raised in Los Angeles. Mark moved to Berkeley at age 18 to pursue a career in blues music, where he felt the music was taken more seriously. Mark started the Blues Survivors in 1977 with Mississippi Johnny Waters. By 1984 Hummel began a life of non- stop touring of the US, Canada and overseas, which he still continues at least 130-150 days out of each year. Hummel has toured or recorded with blues legends Charles Brown, Charlie Musselwhite, Lowell Fulson, Billy Boy Arnold, Carey Bell, Lazy Lester, Brownie McGhee, Eddie Taylor, Luther Tucker and Jimmy Rogers.

www.markhummel.com


Kenny Neal



Kenny Neal  is an American blues guitar player, singer and band member. Neal was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Raful Neal, and he comes from a musical family. He has often performed with his brothers in his band. Neal preserves the blues sound of his native south Louisiana, as befits someone who learned from Slim Harpo, Buddy Guy, and his father, harmonica player Raful Neal.In 1987, Neal cut his debut album for the Florida record producer Bob Greenlee — an updated swamp feast initially marketed on King Snake Records as Bio on the Bayou. Alligator Records picked it up the following year, retitling it Big News from Baton Rouge!!In 1991, he proved to be a talented actor in the Broadway production of the folk musical Mule Bone (by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston), singing numbers written by Taj Mahal.

Hosted by: Mark Hummel


Harmonica Great: Corky Siegel



Corky Siegel is known internationally as one of the worlds great blues harmonica players, blues pianist, singer-songwriter, creator of CHAMBER BLUES and the sole pioneer/composer of award-winning revolutionary works that weave blues and classical forms together. Co-founder of the SIEGEL-SCHWALL BAND, and Blues Hall of Fame Inductee, Corky Siegel has a catalogue of recordings on RCA, Vanguard, Alligator, and million selling blues/classical recordings on the iconic classical label Deutsche Grammophon. His close associations with the blues masters in the earlier days of Chicago blues, his essential part in the blues rock revolution, and his surprising success in bringing together blues and classical audiences make him a pivotal (though inconspicuous) figure in modern music history. “under appreciated national treasure” – DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE. 

Corky Siegel


Rick Estrin of The Nightcats



Estrin was born in San Francisco, California in 1949, and fell in love with blues after his sister presented him with Ray CharlesThe Genius Sings The Blues when he was 12. He began playing harmonica at age 15, and by age 18 was beginning to work professionally. Early in his career he played with Lowell Fulson, Z.Z. Hill, Travis Phillips, and Fillmore Slim. Estrin names Sonny Boy Williamson II, Little Walter Jacobs and Baby Boy Warren as key inspirations.  He played with and was mentored by Rodger Collins (whose 45rpm recordings include “She’s Looking Good” and “Foxy Girls” In Oakland). Estrin moved to Chicago when he was 19 and worked with bluesmen Sam Lay, Johnny Littlejohn, Eddie Taylor and Johnny Young.  He met and sat in with Muddy Waters at the Sutherland Hotel in Chicago. He told the Sacramento Bee, “Muddy started shaking his finger in my face and said, ‘You outta sight, boy! You play like a man! I know that sound. That’s my sound.’” Muddy tried to hire Estrin as a sideman but Estrin did not receive the phone call, and moved back to the Bay Area. He met guitarist Charlie Baty in 1973 and they created Little Charlie & the Nightcats based in Sacramento, California. Estrin fronted Little Charlie & the Nightcats for 30 years and performed around the world. They were nominated four times for the Blues Music Award for Band of the Year. In 2008, Baty retired from touring. Guitarist Kid Andersen joined Estrin with previous band members Hansen and Farrell and they formed Rick Estrin & The Nightcats that same year.  

wwwmarkhummel.com

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Special Guest – John Primer



John Primer  is an American Chicago blues and electric blues singer and guitarist who played behind Junior Wells in the house band at Theresa’s Lounge and as a member of the bands of Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters and Magic Slim  He recorded with Muddy and the Rolling Stones at Buddy Guy’s Checkerboard Lounge in 1981, a concert that was eventually released as an award-winning DVD, before launching an award-winning career as a front man, carrying forward the traditional Windy City sound into the 21st century.

johnprimerblues.com