Monday, August 24, 2009

International Blues Challenge

Each year, the Blues Foundation hosts a battle-of-the-bands type event called the International Blues Challenge. It's a long-weekend-long festival in Memphis at which every state, province, and nation is represented by its rhythm & blues artists of choice, most of the artists having won qualifying competitions by their local and regional blues societies. Yesterday, we hosted the Washington Blues Society finals to determine which artists will travel to Memphis to represent the Great State of Washington to the blues world. We're not into music and the arts as a competitive landscape, but Mother Necessity says there must be a democratic way to determine which one gets the opportunity when far more than one would love it. All the bands were great, the turnout was fantastic, everyone had a blast, and here are some photos courtesy of Ricky Peto:

The Randy Oxford Band will represent Washington in Memphis next February:

Tony making sure everyone knows the dealyo:

Nick Vigarino brings the house down with some back porch blues:

The Mary McPage Band:

Jessica takes a breather from the floor to chat with our fearless doorman Carter:

The Jam Finale:

Jada Amy of the Randy Oxford Band:

People shaking a tail feather on the dance floor:

Chester Dennis Jones Band:

Chester takes his axe for a walk through the audience:

Say hello to Murph. She's a bartender, also a mathematics genius and a softspoken bad-ass. Trust us, you don't wanna mess with her. She's tougher than you, AND smarter than you:

Cee Cee James:

Mia Vermillion and Orville Johnson:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

James Luther Dickinson, 1941-2009

Legendary Memphis musician and producer Jim Dickinson passed away yesterday in his sleep, while recovering from a recent heart surgery. During his colorful half-century career, he was a highly-touted session player for Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Ry Cooder, and the Rolling Stones; and as a producer he worked with artists ranging from Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Jason & the Scorchers to such groundbreaking rock acts as the Replacements and Big Star. He was the patriarch of a musical family which includes his two sons, Cody and Luther of the North Mississippi Allstars. He was one of thew few people whose work was followed by blues and indie rock enthusiasts alike, as in, "It's a Jim Dickinson [band/album/project]. Of course I'm gonna check it out." He was prolific as ever during his final years, cranking out a handful of good albums this decade while producing a bunch and he had just started a new rock band in Memphis this year. Just last week, a benefit concert led by John Hiatt was done in Memphis to help defray his medical bills. Jim was 67 and his wife said he went in peace.

We Don't Care

about Michael Vick, American Idol, the Mentalist, the lady with eight babies (well, we do feel bad for her and hope the blues club in her town does a fundraiser for her), we also don't care about Sarah Palin or the new Harry Potter movie (we're not six), nor do we care about how Michael Jackson's estate/debt/etc. gets sliced up. We're just blogging tonight to remind you we're still vertical. Check out these marvelous news items from the last couple days:

from CNN: How does it feel? To be on your own? A complete unknown? Bob Dylan might know.
A police officer questioning Bob Dylan recognized his name but wasn't sure it was him.

The rock legend was stopped in July by police in Long Branch, New Jersey, who were responding to a call about a suspicious person roaming the neighborhood, police said.

According to Long Branch Police Department Sgt. Michael Ahart, Dylan had been peering into a window of a house that was for sale, which prompted a neighbor to call the police on July 23.

One of two responding officers, Officer Kristie Buble, 24, approached Dylan and asked him for his name.

"She recognized the name, she just really didn't believe it was Bob Dylan," Ahart told CNN. "He was soaking wet because it was raining and he was wearing a hood."

So Buble asked the musician for identification, but he had none.

Buble and her partner, Officer Derrick Meyers, 24, then asked Dylan, 68, to accompany them to where his tour buses were parked. Once they arrived, Dylan showed them identification.

"Dylan was really cool about the whole incident," Ahart said. He said he asked the singer why he had been walking in the rain and was told, "I just felt like going for a walk."

Dylan, who is on a national tour with musicians Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp, was in Long Branch on the Jersey shore prior to his performance at a baseball stadium in nearby Lakewood.


This is an awesome story, best told by the link below which is the account of someone who was there. Click Here For The Story

We like Dylan and we like Joan. Dylan, by the way, has released what so far sounds like the Album Of The Year. It's a delightfully dirty, slow-groove, blues masterpiece.

That's all for now. We'll be barkin' atcha again soon.