Highway 61 Radio

March 14, 2013

Upcoming soul/blues shows and festivals

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Barretta @ 11:16 pm

March 12, 2013

Oxford Music Festival this Sunday (St. Patrick’s Day)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Barretta @ 12:38 pm

This will be the Oxford Music Festival‘s fifth year, and for the first time it’ll be both free and outdoors (weather permitting).

It will take place at the outdoor stage at the Plein Air development in Taylor. In case of rain, the event will be held at the Lyric Theatre in Oxford, with the music lineup starting at 1pm instead of 4pm.

1:00-until Maker’s Market
4:00 Hinge Dance Company
4:20 Legit Jazz Sextet
5:00 Deux Filles de Sangin
5:20 Damein Wash
6:10 Tyler Keith and the Apostles
7:00 The Red Thangs
7:40 Adrian Dickey
8:30 Eric Deaton Trio
9:20 Shannon McNally

Set list for Mandolin Blues show, 3/9/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Barretta @ 12:03 pm

I often get requests to put up information about the songs that I play on Highway 61, and thought that I’d start posting the set lists to make it easier for you all to track them down.

Here’s the set list for the “Mandolin Blues” show that aired on March 9, 2013

Highway 61 – Johnny Young (featuring Big John Wrencher on harmonica, John Lee Granderson on guitar, Testament CD Mandolin Blues), mid-‘60s
Blue Sky Blues – Mississippi Black Snakes (Bo Carter vocal and guitar, Joe McCoy mandolin), 1931
Let My Peaches Be – Papa Charlie’s Boys (Charlie McCoy v & mdn, Black Bob piano) 1934
Divin’ Duck Blues - Sleepy John Estes (Estes g, Yank Rachell voc & mdn) 1929
Lake Michigan Blues - Yank Rachell (w/ Sonny Boy Williamson 1 hca) 1938
Rosalie – Muddy Waters (Muddy g, Son Simms v, Louis Ford mdn), Stovall Plantation, 1942
Bull Dog Blues – Luther Huff (voc & mdn, Percy Huff g) Trumpet Records, 1951
Why Did You Break My Heart - Johnny Young (voc & mdn, Slim Willis hca, Otis Spann p, Robert Whitehead d) recorded in Chicago by Swedish Radio, from CD I Blueskvarter, Vol. 1) 1964
Step By, Baby - Johnny Young (same session as above)
State Street Pimp #1 – Carl Martin (mdn & voc, Johnny Young g, from Testament CD Crow Jane Blues) ca 1966
Garbage Man Blues – Will Hatcher (mdn & voc, John Lee Granderson g, Testament CD Mandolin Blues) mid-‘60s
By And By – Rising Sons (Taj Mahal v, Ry Cooder mdn, from CD Rising Sons) 1966
Broke And Hungry – Alvin Youngblood Hart (mdn & v, from Memphis International CD Down in the Alley) 2002
Cherry Tree – Big Jack Johnson (mdn & v, from M.C. Records CD Roots Stew) 200o
Lula – Bert Deivert (mdn & v, Sam Carr dr, Bill Abel g, from CD Kid Man Blues) 2011
Mandolin Rock - Johnny Young (instrumental w band, Testament CD Mandolin Blues) ca 1965

I didn’t play this one, but it’s a good sample of Johnny Young’s brilliant mandolin work

January 28, 2013

Heritage Music Series continues in Vicksburg in February and March

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Barretta @ 4:44 pm

The Vicksburg Blues Society is the sponsor of the Heritage Music Series, which runs on Fridays from 8pm to Midnight at the Bottleneck Blues Bar at the Ameristar Casino

Feb. 1 – Chris Gill and the Soleshakers

Feb. 8 – King Edward

Feb. 15. – Dexter Allen

Feb. 22. – Wes Lee

Mar. 1 – Mr. Sipp and Kin Folk

Mar. 8 – Sam Joyner featuring Larry Garner

Mar. 15. – David Dunavent and Evol Love<

Mar. 22 – Grady Champion

Mar. 29 – Benny Turner and Real Blues

November 5, 2012

Jimmie Lunceford celebration at Manassas High School in Memphis

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Barretta @ 1:27 pm

Last year we dedicated a Mississippi Blues Trail marker to jazz bandleader Jimmie Lunceford in his hometown of Fulton, in northwest MS. He only lived there briefly, but later moved back to the Mid South, where he pioneered music education programs for the city of Memphis’ school system through his service as the band director at Manassas High School. Alumni include musicians Gerald Wilson, George Coleman, Booker Little, Hank Crawford, Frank Strozier, Charles Lloyd, Emerson Able Jr., Harold Mabern, Howard Grimes, and Isaac Hayes.

On Thursday, November 15 the Mike Curb Insitute at Rhodes College in Memphis is hosting the event “Celebrating Jimmie Lunceford and the Music of Manassas High:” the timing is based on the 110th anniversary of Lunceford’s birth.

Thursday, November 15, 2012: Rhodes College

5:00 p.m. – Reception and viewing of Rhodes Student research on Manassas (Crain Reception Hall)

6:15 p.m. – Panel Discussion featuring Emerson Able, Jr. and Ron MBA Herd II (McCallum Ballroom)

7:30 p.m. – Concert featuring the Rhodes Jazz Band with special guest vocalist and Manassas alumna Earlice Taylor (McCallum Ballroom)

Also, a related event:  On November 14 Emerson Able, Jr., who also served as a bandleader at Manassas, will be presented with a Beale Street Brass Note at the Historic Daisy Theater on Beale Street.

Here’s a piece on Able written by our good friend Preston Lauterbach for the Memphis Flyer.

The man who kicked Isaac Hayes out of the high school band

High school bandleaders have had an influence on Memphis music that is huge and overlooked. To name just two, the great jazz orchestra leader Jimmie Lunceford taught at Manassas in the 1920s, and Harry Winfield tutored future Stax luminaries at Porter Junior High.

Emerson Able started teaching music at Manassas in 1956 and instructed many, including Grimes, who became prominent musicians. The most famous of his former pupils is the one who got away.

While a student at Manassas, Isaac Hayes couldn’t decide between Able’s band class or voice class. “I told him, ‘Go on,’” recalls Able. Hayes didn’t hold it against Able and later hired his old teacher to join the Isaac Hayes Movement. “Hayes introduced me on stage as the man who kicked him out of the school band,” Able says.

“I was not one of the musicians that hung around Stax. I had a job. They had been doing a lot of ‘head’ tunes at Stax [i.e., a song played from memory or verbal instruction rather than sheet music], and that can be very time consuming. A head tune is like ‘Last Night,’ a simple tune that they can pick up on. Basically, that was the Stax sound.

“Musicians didn’t always get credit for what they had recorded at Stax. They were doing what they called demos. You’d go down, record a demo, and they’d pay you 12 bucks. They have you to believe that it was only a demo, and they’d have you back to cut it [i.e., record for the purpose of releasing the material rather than practicing on a demo]. Then they’d [release] it and have you believe you’re not on there. Some of us could identify our errors, and we knew it was us.’

“Another game they’d run, they’d make a demo, then play it on WLOK for a while. If [African Americans] in Memphis like a record, we’ll like it anywhere. So they’d test it on black listeners here, and if it got a lot of requests, they’d make a record out of it.

“Onzie Horne [Hayes' arranger] brought me into Hayes’ band. That’s when we hit the road. We had charts, he had accomplished musicians, and we never would have gotten through all of that shit had it been a ‘head’ thing.

“We lost the music [traveling] between San Francisco and Los Angeles for Wattstax. We didn’t know it was missing until it got there. We assumed the airlines lost it. We had to write the music from memory before Wattstax.

“The other thing that happened, the tune we originally did for Wattstax was a Burt Bacharach tune [probably "Walk On By"]. After we recorded it at the Coliseum in L.A. and got back to Memphis, we had to go back out there. Bacharach would not give permission to use the tune [in the Wattstax film]. They fixed up the Coliseum, and we shot again.

“We’re supposed to be getting monies off of that, but we ain’t getting shit.”

November 4, 2012

Celebration of the life of Duff Dorrough, Hal and Mal’s, Sunday, November 11

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Barretta @ 12:58 pm

The event will also serve as the official release party for Duff’s new CD, If It Ain’t One Thing, which is a great testament to his talents. The link goes to the CD Baby site, where it’s available for purchase. But best to buy it at the event or your local retailer…

100 Men Hall documentary project

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Barretta @ 12:43 pm

The 100 Men Hall is a historic venue in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi that began as a fraternal organization/social aid club, and housed an important club on the Chitlin Circuit from the ’50s to the ’70s. A Mississippi Blues Trail marker was placed there several years ago. The building fell into disuse several decades ago, but was lovingly restored after Hurricane Katrina, and now regularly hosts blues concerts and other special events.

There’s currently a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds of a documentary about the Hall, and with 10 days left they only have about $1000 to go. Here’s their promotional video.

“Vicksburg’s Got the Blues” concert series

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Barretta @ 12:26 pm

The “Vicksburg’s Got the Blues” Heritage Music Series, sponsored but the Vicksburg Blues Society, is continuing for the rest of the year, and is now scheduled on Friday nights at the Bottleneck Blues Bar at the Ameristar Casino.
The shows runs from 8pm until midnight, and are free. It’s a nice venue, separated from the main gaming floors, though there are games available in the bar.

Nov.2 – Stevie J
Nov.9 – Lonnie George
Nov.16 – The Blues Dudes
Nov.23 – Sounds Unlimited Revue

Nov.30 – David Dunavent and Evol Love

Dec.7 – Mark “Muleman” Massey
Dec.14 – Grady Champion
Dec.21 – Dr. D
Dec. 28 – Sounds Unlimited Revue

New Year’s Gala

Also, the Vicksburg Blues Challenge to select representatives from the Vicksburg Blues Society at the International Blues Competition in Memphis in February will take place at the Bottleneck on Sunday, Nov. 18.  The solo/duo competition will be at 2pm; bands at 4pm.

The current lineup for bands includes: Mark “Muleman” Massey, the Bluesaholics, Bernard Jenkins, David Dunavent and Evol Love, Dr. D, Mr. Sipp and Kin Folk, and Eddie Cotton, Jr..  The solo/duo lineup is: Sam, Joyner, Wes Lee and Redd Velvet

November 3, 2012

Norton Records’ warehouse flooded

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Barretta @ 11:35 am

One of the saddest pieces of news I heard about the recent Sandy-related flooding was of the destruction of much of the stock at the Red Hook warehouse of Brooklyn-based Norton Records, a wonderful label that has issued many albums and singles of blues, R&B, rockabilly and garage rock. Fortunately Norton’s headquarters in another part of Brooklyn were unaffected, and I’ll posting about how you can support the label by buying records from them once they sort things out.

The production of Highway 61 was also affected: our longtime engineer Eric Feldman lives in the East Village, and he was without power for several days–the magic of modern technology allows us to produce the show in both Oxford and NYC, and then send it down to Jackson. We’ll be back with a new “stormy weather” themed show next week. Here’s Eric’s wonderful video blog, Portrait of a Record Dealer, which features a film he’s made about the legendary record collector/seller “Ozy” and his travels across the South.

September 11, 2012

Bridging the Blues — 12 days of blues events in late September/early October

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Barretta @ 10:27 pm

Bridging the Blues is a twelve-day series of events connecting the Highway 61 Blues Festival in Leland (Sept. 29) and the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena (Oct. 4-6), with many events in between. Just added is a show by Bobby Rush at the Club Ebony in Indianola on Friday, September 28. I’ve created a site here, with a schedule and lots of information.

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