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Buddy Guy Damn Right Farewell
SummerStage in Central Park, New York, NY
Buddy GuyAt age 86, Buddy Guy is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a major influence on rock titans like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, a pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side sound, and a living link to the city’s halcyon days of electric blues. Buddy Guy has received 8 GRAMMY Awards, a 2015 Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award, 38 Blues Music Awards (the most any artist has received), the Billboard Magazine Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement, a Kennedy Center Honor, and the Presidential National Medal of Arts. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #23 in its "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time." In 2019, Buddy Guy won his 8th and most recent GRAMMY Award for his 18th solo LP, “The Blues Is Alive And Well”. In July of 2021, in honor of Buddy Guy’s 85th birthday, PBS American Masters released “Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase The Blues Away”, a new documentary following his rise from a childhood spent picking cotton in Louisiana to becoming one of the most influential guitar players of all time. The documentary features new interviews with Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr, and more. Though Buddy Guy will forever be associated with Chicago, his story actually begins in Louisiana. One of five children, he was born in 1936 to a sharecropper’s family and raised on a plantation near the small town of Lettsworth, located some 140 miles northwest of New Orleans. Buddy was just seven years old when he fashioned his first makeshift “guitar”—a two-string contraption attached to a piece of wood and secured with his mother’s hairpins. In 1957, he took his guitar to Chicago, where he would permanently alter the direction of the instrument, first on numerous sessions for Chess Records playing alongside Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and the rest of the label’s legendary roster, and then on recordings of his own. His incendiary style left its mark on guitarists from Jimmy Page to John Mayer. “He was for me what Elvis was probably like for other people,” said Eric Clapton at Guy’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2005. “My course was set, and he was my pilot.” Seven years later, July 2012 proved to be one of Buddy Guy’s most remarkable years ever. He was awarded the 2012 Kennedy Center Honor for his lifetime contribution to American culture; earlier in the year, at a performance at the White House, he even persuaded President Obama to join him on a chorus of “Sweet Home Chicago.” Also in 2012, he published his long-awaited memoir, When I Left Home. These many years later, Buddy Guy remains a genuine American treasure and one of the final surviving connections to an historic era in the country’s musical evolution.
Christone “Kingfish” IngramSince the release of Kingfish, his Grammy-nominated 2019 Alligator Records debut, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Christone “Kingfish” Ingram has quickly become the defining blues voice of his generation. From his hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi to stages around the world, the now 22-year-old has already headlined two national tours and performed with friends including Vampire Weekend, Jason Isbell and Buddy Guy (with whom he appeared on Austin City Limits). He was interviewed by Sir Elton John on his Apple Music podcast, Rocket Hour, and recently released a duet with Bootsy Collins. In January 2021, Ingram was simultaneously on the covers of both Guitar World and DownBeat magazines, and graced the cover of Living Blues in late 2020. Rolling Stone declared, “Kingfish is one of the most exciting young guitarists in years, with a sound that encompasses B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince.” In the two years since Kingfish was released, there have been major events that have altered his life both personally and professionally. “There has been much change, happiness and despair in my life,” Ingram says of his last two years. Right as his career was taking off, he lost his mother and biggest champion, the late Princess Pride Ingram. Christone toured for 13 months non-stop, until the pandemic halted live performances and forced him to take stock. As he was thinking about the man he was becoming and the new directions his life was taking, he began writing songs for his next album, 662. The number 662 is the telephone area code for Ingram’s northern Mississippi home, and it first came into use the same year he was born—1999. “The world was introduced to me with Kingfish,” Ingram says of his chart-topping debut. “Now with 662, I want the world to hear and meet a different, more personal side of me.” The album—recorded in Nashville and co-written and produced (as was Kingfish) by Grammy-winner Tom Hambridge—features 13 songs displaying many sides of Ingram’s dynamic personality, as well as his one-of-a-kind guitar and vocal skills. According to Ingram, “662 is a direct reflection of my growth as a musician, a songwriter, a bandleader, and as a young man. This album was written during the pandemic, shortly after I returned home from a whirlwind year and a half of touring and promoting Kingfish. It was an incredible time of change and growth, moments both good and bad, and I am a better and stronger person for it.”
Samantha FishToday, Samantha Fish has announced her new album Faster, set for release on September 10, 2021. The album (available for pre-order HERE) is the follow-up to 2019’s acclaimed Kill or Be Kind, and marks Fish’s first collaboration with producer Martin Kierszenbaum (Lady Gaga, Sting), who co-wrote eight of the album’s 12 new songs and helped the genre-defying guitarist, singer, and songwriter to refine her sound and strike out into bold new sonic territory. Alongside the announcement, Fish unveiled the video for “Twisted Ambition,” the first single from the album, out today. Fish notes, “It’s about flipping the power structure, the power dynamic, in your life. The world or a personal figure might be putting you down; it’s about taking control and owning your life and owning the situation.” The delightfully anarchic and cathartic video sees Fish smashing things up – literally and metaphorically -as she asserts, “see me take your crown, don’t need you,” and declares, “twisted ambition, I’m in control.” Watch the video for “Twisted Ambition” HERE. “The whole record has a theme of taking charge and taking the reins, in a relationship or in life in general,” explains Fish. “I really thought that after 2020 I’d end up with a really dismal, bleak album, but instead, we came up with something that’s fun and sexy and so empowering.” Faster opens on its spellbinding title track, a fiercely stomping number whose vocal hook states her intentions to “make your heart beat faster.” Immediately making good on that promise, she follows it up with “All Ice No Whiskey,” a pop-perfect powerhouse she considers something of a dare. That defiant spirit also infuses “Better Be Lonely,” a fantastically freewheeling track graced with a frenetic guitar solo. While Faster never fails to showcase the gritty vitality of Fish’s musicianship, much of the album journeys into elegantly eclectic sonic terrain. One of Faster‘s most vulnerable moments, “Crowd Control” unfolds in delicate beats and shimmering keyboard tones, forming a dreamy backdrop to Fish’s self-reflection. Featuring a guest spot from rapper/singer/songwriter Tech N9ne (who, like Fish and Kierszenbaum, hails from Kansas City), “Loud” drifts from doo-wop reverie to guitar-fueled frenzy.”He was perfect for ‘Loud,’ which is a song about speaking your truth as loud as you can,” says Fish. And on “Hypnotic,” Fish lays down a mesmerizing piece of R&B-pop, telegraphing unfettered desire in her seductive vocal delivery and lushly textured grooves. The album closes on a poignant note, with the stark and slow-burning ballad called “All the Words.” Kierszenbaum, who contributed guitar, piano, keyboards, and percussion to the recording in addition to his production duties, enlisted an A-list rhythm section comprising legendary drummer Josh Freese (Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, The Replacements) and bassist Diego Navaira of The Last Bandoleros for the session. Hannah Brier contributed backing vocals while GRAMMY-award winners Tony Lake and Robert Orton engineered and mixed, respectively. For Fish, one of the greatest joys of making music is the powerful exchange of energy at her incendiary live shows. “Anytime I play live, I just want to want to make people forget about everything else in the world and feel that same joy that I feel on stage,” she says. In the process of creating Faster, Fish experienced a similar exhilaration. “There’s such a transformation that can happen in the studio when you really own that freedom to be creative,” she says. “I feel so charged up in those moments, like I can be whoever I want to be. It’s just me and these incredible musicians trying to make a piece of art that speaks for itself and contributes something new to the world. It’s never hard to feel inspired or empowered when that’s the mission.”
Bobby Rush2x GRAMMY winning legend, Blues Hall of Famer, six-time Grammy nominee, and 14-time Blues Music Award winner, with cameo in the Netflix original Dolemite Is My Name starring Eddie Murphy, and a recent Autobiography Bobby Rush has been making records for nearly 70 years and has more than 400 recordings, 75 career releases, and now 27 studio albums to his name. He’s finally told his story in his autobiography I Ain’t Studdin’ Ya: My American Blues Story in bookstores today via Hachette Books who have published Keith Richards, Buddy Guy, and Tina Fey to name a few. The book’s back cover includes testimonials from Mavis Staples, Dan Aykroyd, Talking Heads’ Jerry Harrison and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons; achieving feature stories in The New York Times Sunday Edition, The Guardian and NPR’s Here and Now. The literary media outlet Kirkus Reviews recounts "A fascinating story well told... A richly detailed account of a bluesman’s full life." But Rush, who turned 88 in November is not done yet. 2021 marked the 50th Anniversary of his Billboard R&B charting hit “Chicken Heads”. To commemorate the occasion Bobby Rush recorded four new versions in distinctly different styles with an array of prolific collaborators including Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Buddy Guy, Allman Brothers alum Warren Haynes’ jam-rock band Gov’t Mule, and from the new generation of blues stars and current GRAMMY nominee Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, plus Bobby Rush with his band showcasing the Southern Soul style they’ve performed it in their live shows for decades. The four cuts were included on a special Black Friday Record Store Day exclusive 12” vinyl and followed digitally in early 2022. After earning a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album and a Blues Music Award for Album of the Year for his studio recording Porcupine Meat in 2017, he spent a year writing his follow-up. In 2019, at age 85, he released Sitting on Top of the Blues with 11 originals, earning him another Blues Music Award and Grammy Award nomination. Rush is one of the last Black bluesmen from the class to emerge out of and triumph in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. He has recorded for more than 20 labels, from Checker/Chess and ABC to Philly Int’l and Rounder/Concord. To cap off 2019 he had a cameo in the Golden Globe-nominated Netflix original film Dolemite Is My Name, the Rudy Ray Moore biopic featuring Eddie Murphy as Moore. Rush kicked off 2020 with the release of “Dolemite Kid,” a single inspired by his nine years on tour with Moore, his day working with Murphy, and the hit film itself. With the release of his 2020 album Rawer Than Raw, an all-acoustic effort that pays tribute to the rich blues history of Mississippi, Rush has cemented his reputation as one of the preeminent bluesmen in the world, one of the last living links to the music’s glorious past, and an inspiration for its future stars. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album, his second Grammy Award and sixth nomination. Partly inspired by the popular series of intimate solo concerts Rush has made a mainstay of his concert calendar in the years since his first all-acoustic album (titled Raw), Rawer Than Raw casts a spotlight on five Mississippi Blues Hall of Famers: early acoustic blues greats Skip James and Robert Johnson, and Rush’s contemporaries on the music scene of the ’50s and ’60s, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Muddy Waters. One song “Dust My Broom” was written by Robert Johnson, but caught Rush’s attention after it was recorded by Elmore James. The record features a half dozen covers of some of their best-known songs rendered in Rush’s own inimitable, acoustic style, characterized by wailing harmonica and a stomping foot to keep the rhythm. Bobby Rush was born Emmett Ellis, Jr. outside Homer, Louisiana, in 1933. He twanged a diddley bow before picking up a guitar around age 11, and his preacher father knew enough about a harmonica to pass along a few riffs to his progeny. The family relocated to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in 1948. While still a teenager, Rush became a professional blues musician, adopting his stage name so as to not disrespect his devout dad. To sneak into clubs and juke-joints, the underage Rush fashioned a moustache out of matchstick ash. In Pine Bluff, the young bluesman befriended legendary slide guitarist Elmore James and played around the Deep South with him and harmonica ace Little Walter, among others. Their travels introduced Rush to other blues greats of the era, including Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. Inspired by their tales of the booming Chicago blues scene, in 1951 Rush headed north to the Windy City. There he assembled a band with a young Freddie King on guitar. (Luther Allison would join the group later.) For years, Rush gigged steadily around the West Side and in the southern suburbs of Chicago, but it wasn’t until 1964 that he made his recording debut with the tough downbeat blues “Someday,” on the small Jerry-O label. After “You’re the One for Me” — a single for the Palos imprint that is so obscure a copy couldn’t be found for Rush’s 2015 career-spanning box set — Bobby’s recording of “Sock Boo Ga Loo” on the tiny Starville label was picked up by Chess Records in 1967, propelling the singer into the big leagues of R&B. “Gotta Have Money,” his funk-drenched ’68 single for ABC, and the Sonny Thompson-produced “Wake Up” the next year for Salem Records showed Rush had what it took and then some. (Another of his Salem sides from this period, the rousing “Just Be Yourself,” was recently featured in a memorable TV commercial for clothing manufacturer Bonobos.) In 1971, Rush broke through on the national charts with the lowdown funk grinder “Chicken Heads” for Galaxy Records. In recent years the song has been featured in the Samuel L. Jackson film Black Snake Moan and the HBO series Ballers. “Chicken Heads” producer Calvin Carter put out Rush’s ’72 follow-up “Gotta Be Funky” on his own On Top logo and then sold Bobby’s contract to Stan Lewis’ Jewel Records in Shreveport, La. Lewis issued several Rush singles before Bobby made the major label leap in 1974 with “Get Out of Here Part 1” for Warner Bros. Rush Hour, a 1979 album for Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records, should have made Bobby a huge star but didn’t receive its proper due until the 2000s, when Rolling Stone recognized it as one of the best blues albums of the ’70s. An encore LP was summarily shelved, and before long Rush moved back south to Jackson, Mississippi, which was fast becoming a last bastion of Southern soul-blues. In 1983, Rush’s lascivious “Sue” on the LaJam imprint sold over a million records despite little mainstream airplay. During this period Rush established his reputation as King of the Chitlin’ Circuit, playing a minimum of 200 shows a year. He also cut a series of memorable albums for LaJam, Urgent!, Waldoxy, and his own Deep Rush Records. In the new millennium, Rush made a late-career grab for mainstream recognition. He earned his first Grammy nomination for his 2000 album Hoochie Man. He was nominated in 2014 for Down in Louisiana and again in 2015 for Decisions. In 2017, Rush earned his first Grammy win for his 25th studio album, Porcupine Meat, produced by Scott Billington for Rounder Records/Concord Music with guest artists Dave Alvin, Joe Bonamassa, Vasti Jackson, and Keb’ Mo’. That same year Rush accomplished the rare feat of winning two Blues Music Awards for different albums: Album of the Year for Porcupine Meat and Historical Album of the Year for Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush. The latter, a career-spanning four-CD collection encompassing 74 recordings on 20 labels that he made between 1964-2014, also won the 2016 Living Blues magazine award for Best Historical Release. In 2006, Rush was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame. In 2008, he was honored with a marker on Mississippi Blues Trail. In 2019 a street “Rush Way” was named after him in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Thanks to his long memory and quick wit, Rush has long ranked as one of the blues’ best storytellers, a quality often on display in his live show as well as in interviews. Inspired by his first solo acoustic album, Raw, and performing more shows in recent years solo, which incorporate his masterful storytelling, humor, prolific guitar and harmonica playing, and soulful vocals, Rush introduced Bobby Rush: An Intimate Evening of Stories and Songs, a stripped-down performance that continues to provide a counterbalance to his bawdy full-band shows. The blueman’s charisma and way with an anecdote have also made him a go-to subject for filmmakers. In 2003, he starred in “The Road to Memphis,” an episode of the Martin Scorsese-produced documentary series The Blues that aired on PBS stations nationwide. He appeared in the 2014 documentary Take Me to the River alongside Terrence Howard, Snoop Dogg, and Mavis Staples; that same year, he joined Dan Aykroyd on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon to perform two songs backed by The Roots, marking his first late-night television appearance. In 2015, he appeared in the documentary I Am the Blues. In 2019 came the aforementioned Dolemite Is My Name. Rush’s performance itinerary has encompassed some of the biggest music events around the world, from Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis to Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia, countless European engagements, the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, and closer to home, Bonnaroo and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Rush was the first bluesman to perform at the Great Wall of China, attracting an audience of more than 40,000 and earning him the title of “China's Ambassador of the Blues.”