Tag Archives: Harmonica

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.


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.


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.  

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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


Special Guest Jim Pugh



Jim Pugh’s international performing music career spans 40 years and includes multiple Grammy Award, platinum and gold records. He has recorded and performed with a star-studded array of musicians including B.B. King, Etta James, John Lee Hooker, Robert Cray, Boz Skaggs, Syl Johnson and Van Morrison. He created Little Village Foundation in 2014 to share the diverse music that has always inspired him and to help other artists, especially musicians no one would learn about without Little Village Foundation’s support.


Live from The Backroom in Berkeley California



Mark Hummel brings together some of the top blues players in history for his Chicago Blues Party at the Backroom in Berkeley California.  The supergroup includes:

Mark Hummel – Harmonica/Vocals

Oscar Wilson – Vocals

Joe Beard – Guitar/Vocals

Billy Flynn – Guitar

Wes Starr – Drums

Randy Bermudes – Bass


Special Guest: John Nemeth



John Németh is an American electric blues and soul harmonicist, singer, and songwriter. He has received five Blues Music Awards for Soul Blues Male Artist, Soul Blues Album, Traditional Blues Album of the Year, Instrumentalist – Vocals and Instrumentalist – Harmonica. He has recorded ten albums since 2002, having also backed Junior Watson, Anson Funderburgh and Elvin Bishop. He has opened for Robert Cray, Keb’ Mo’, and Earl Thomas.

AllMusic noted that he is a “vocalist with great range, ability, and soulfulness, Németh had also developed into a top-notch blues harmonica player…”  In 2013 alone, he was nominated five times for a Blues Music Award, making nine such nominations in total.


Special Guest: Mark Wenner



THE NIGHTHAWKS
Mark Wenner: Vocals, Harmonica
Mark Stutso: Drums, Vocals
Paul Pisciotta: Bass
Dan Hovey: Guitar, Vocals

The Nighthawks was an idea in Mark Wenner’s brain long before he was able to implement it. The musical product of pre-1958 radio in Washington, D.C., he did not know there were rules against mixing blues, R&B, honky-tonk country, doo-wop, gospel and rockabilly into one delicious stew.

http://thenighthawks.com

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Special Guest: Barry Goldberg



Barry Joseph Goldberg is an American blues and rock keyboardist, songwriter, and record producer. Goldberg has co-produced albums by Percy Sledge, Charlie Musselwhite, James Cotton, and the Textones, plus Bob Dylan’s version of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready”.

barrygoldbergmusic.com

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Special Guest: Steve Weston



#thewho #rogerdaltrey #bluesharmonica Steve grew up among the vibrant music scene in Essex, listening to Dr Feelgood among others.He started out playing in various bands on keyboard before finding his harmonica mojo as the front man in West Weston and the Bluesonics, and he hasn’t looked back since.He has become the harmonica player of choice for Mud Morganfield when he’s touring Europe, as well as playing with Trickbag in Scandinavia, and then playing on the number 1 album with Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey, no less.

cannedheatmusic.com 

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