This is the first update I've done in a while. So many great things have been happening that I thought I would just let you all know what all has been happening in my world. This can probably be considered the Bluestorm Records First Quarter 2009 Wrapup.
In the fall of 2008, I performed at the legendary King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, AR. 3 days of non-stop Blues acts including former Muddy Waters' band members Pinetop Perkins, now 95, along with legends such as Hubert Sumlin, Eric Clapton's favorite guitarist. It was a real honor to perform around the guys that pioneered the Blues, America's purest musical art form. An opportunity to jam on some street performances with Deak Harp from Champagne, IL was also a highlight. At the same time, my latest CD, Exodus, received extensive airplay on Sirius-XM Satellite Radio, and went to #23 on the Living Blues Radio Chart in September..
In January, I taught a week long course of Blues In The Schools (BITS) to a middle school in Raleigh, NC. I then traveled to the National Association of Musical Merchandisers (NAMM) Show in Anaheim, CA. There I was able to land some instrument endorsements from companies like National Guitars and Burris Amplifiers, just to name a couple. Meeting folks from the industry is alaways a plust, as was a casual conversation with Gene Simmons, bassist from the group Kiss, about the state of the music industry.
In early February, I had the pleasure of representing the Suncoast Blues Society from Florida at the International Blues Competition (IBC) in Memphis, TN. Just getting to perform on Beale Street in Memphis is a treat, but to be there among 170 top acts from the U.S. and around the world is another great honor. The next week had me on the road with legendary Muddy Waters' band member, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. Willie was Muddy's drummer from 1961 to 1980, but he is also an accomplished harmonica player, vocalist, and songwriter. We did 4 dates as a duo in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio, and had sold out shows at every stop. Then a quick flight to Key West for a 4 day stint at Sloppy Joe's, opening for Pat Daily, a legendary songwriter from Put In Bay, Ohio, who makes an annual jaunt to the southernmost city each year. Then another trip to Northern California for my 6th appearance at the annual Tattoos & Blues Festival in Santa Rosa always rounds out February for me each year. A great addition to that trip this year was being the featured performer at the Redwood City Jam at The Little Fox Theatre in Redwood City, California.
And if that wasn't enough, I have just been accepted to perform at the Bluebird Café, the top songwriters' venue in Nashville, in the fall. The best to ever grace Nashville have played the Bluebird., soI will try to hold up my end of the bargain.
This writing finds me on my 2009 Florida Tour, just completing 2 nights at House of Blues in Orlando, Bert's Bar in Matlacha, FL, and the Tarpon Lodge, a favorite stop of mine on the Florida Gulf Coast, as well as The World Famous Buckingham Blues Bar in Fort Myers, and Aces Lounge in Bradenton, FL . A direct short stop back home for an appearance at Blind Willie's in Atlanta will happen on Tuesday, March 31 before a quick turn around back to Florida beginning with the Beach Shack in Cocoa Beach. A next stop will take me to my third appearance at the Springing The Blues Festival in Jacksonville Beach on April 5. Do look for me back home for the Big Shanty Festival in Kennesaw, GA, The Taste of Marietta in Marietta, GA. Diamond Dave's in Kennesaw on April 28, Sam & Dave's BBQ1 in Marietta on May 2, as well as the The Whole Hog Happenin' at Whitewater in Marietta, GA on May 16. That will all happen just before the 2009 tour that will once again take me across the U.S. & back. If you can, please stop by and say hello.