Calvin Owens first played trumpet with B.B. King in 1953. In the late Seventies and early Eighties, Calvin was B.B's band director, and you never heard the band kick like it did when Calvin was in charge. A superb arranger, Calvin re-wrote the charts for many of B.'s perennial favorites, then added half a dozen horns to the band. At the Christmas 1979 gig in Houston, the audience was stunned to see 15 musicians on stage, most of them horn players. Two weeks later they played Parker's in Seattle. I couldn't see the band from the ticket counter, where I was waiting to get in, but I instantly heard the difference. My response was something like, "Holy ****! What the hell is THAT?!?" Calvin and I became buddies at that gig, and have remained so ever since. He's moved back to Houston, and you can get to his web page by clicking on the above image. He's cut several albums, including the brand new "Another Concept" with saxman Jimmy Heath.
I positively adore this woman. A fledgling folkie from Georgia when she hit Seattle in the mid-70's, she later went back home and turned into a one-woman musical extravaganza. Caroline's got several outstanding CDs on her own label, plus a new CD coming out this fall. Don't miss her when she comes to your town.
The Soul Queen of New Orleans, pictured here at the 1994 Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, where she flat knocked the crowd out. Irma's usual haunt is the Lion's Den Lounge, 2655 Gravier Street, New Orleans. Now that's my idea of a house band! Irma's working on a degree in Social Work to go along with the social work she does on stage. You GO, girl! Irma is online, and you can e-mail her at BlusSinger@aol.com.
Oh sure, you can play lead guitar with your teeth. Big deal. Try doing it while sinking a thirteen ball in the side pocket. All in a night's work for blues guitar ace Lonnie Brooks. And his kid, Ronnie Baker Brooks, ain't no slouch, either. Check 'em out on Lonnie's CD, "Roadhouse Rules" (Alligator ALCD 4843) and the great new release "Lone Star Shoot-Out," with Philip Walker and Long John Hunter.
*P.S. Both Steve and Kate were taken out by Leukemia. Next time one of those Leukemia Cure-a-thons comes around, you might want to keep this in mind.
Barry MeltonThe original fish of "Country Joe and the..." fame. Still playing after all these years, and moonlighting as Mendicino County Public Defender.
Quicksilver Messenger Service Legendary Bay Area band, featuring two guitar players I stole from heavily -- John Cipollina and Gary Duncan. Their site is well done, and you can find info on a newly released "lost tapes" CD.
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