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Archive for the ‘Musician’ Category

RIP, Lonnie Brooks (April 1, 2017) Chicago Blues Legend

Posted by themusicsover on April 1, 2017

Lonnie Brooks (Born Lee Baker)
December 18, 1933 – April 1, 2017

According to a press release from Alligator Records, Lonnie Brooks passed away on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at the age of 83. Cause of death was not immediately released. Over the course of his 60-year career, Brooks recorded 11 full albums and dozens of 45s for a number of labels. His career began in Port Arthur, Texas in the mid-1950s. Recording under the name Guitar Junior, he scored a string of regional hits, including “Family Rules” and “The Crawl” for the Goldband label. The success of his singles led to numerous southern tours and a busy performance schedule that included dancehalls, juke joints and roadhouses across Texas and Louisiana. In 1959, Brooks befriended the great Sam Cooke, who suggested his move to Chicago. Once settled, he changed his name to Lonnie Brooks (Chicago already had a Guitar Junior) and became infatuated with the sound of deep Chicago blues. He soon landed a job as a sideman with blues hitmaker Jimmy Reed, with whom he toured and recorded. Brooks cut a handful of singles throughout the 1960s, while appearing on a number of Chicago blues and R&B recording sessions. He played nightly in the bars on the South and West sides of Chicago and in Gary and East Chicago, Indiana. In 1969, Capitol Records released Brooks’ first album, Broke an’ Hungry, under his old stage name, Guitar Junior.  In 1978, Brooks recorded four songs for Alligator Records’ Grammy-nominated Living Chicago Blues anthology. This led to a full contract with the label. His Alligator debut, Bayou Lightning, was released in 1979. The album, along with Brooks’ roof-raising live performances, brought him to the attention of Rolling Stone, which ran a six-page feature on the legendary musician. The album won the prestigious Grand Prix du Disque Award from the 1980 Montreux Jazz Festival. Constant touring in the U.S. and abroad kept Brooks in the public eye. His scorching 1980 live performance of “Sweet Home Chicago” on the Blues Deluxe album (resulting in Brooks’ second Grammy nomination) is now considered the quintessential version of the song.  His final two releases, 1996’s Roadhouse Rules and 1999’s Lone Star Shootout, showed Brooks at his very best – an electrifying guitarist with full-throated vocals, clever original songs, and a dedication to having fun.   Lonnie’s last recording appearance was as a guest on his son Ronnie Baker Brooks‘ latest album, Times Have Change.

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Died On This Date (March 30, 2017) Elyse Steinman / Guitarist For Raging Slab

Posted by themusicsover on March 30, 2017

Elyse Steinman
DOB Unknown – March 30, 2017

Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

Elyse Steinman is best remembered as the founding guitarist for the beloved New York City heavy rock band, Raging Slab.  Formed in 1983, Raging Slab found a sound that was drawn from equal parts early ’70s hard rock, and late ’70s punk rock.  By the late ’80s, they had built a sizable regional following and record companies began to take notice.  After releasing their debut, Assmaster, on a small independent punk label, major labels came knocking.  After a bidding frenzy, they ultimately signed with RCA in 1989. Soon, Guitar Player magazine was describing them as “Lynyrd Skynyrd meets Metallica,” and their fans couldn’t get enough.  Although their line-up changed quite a bit over the years, Steinman was always there pounding away on guitar.  Elyse Steinman died as a result of breast cancer on March 30, 2017.

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RIP, Chuck Berry (March 18, 2017) Rock and Roll Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry
October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017

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As one of the founding fathers of rock and roll, Chuck Berry refined the early sounds of rhythm and blues, added catchy teen-centric lyrics, and turned up the volume of his guitar.  By doing so, he became one of the most influential artists pop music has ever known. Launching his recording career during the mid ’50s, Berry created songs that not only became a part of  America’s fabric, but would be played on radios, at parties, in concerts, on television, and in movies for the next 60 years. His remarkable output included such unforgettable songs as  “Johnny B. Goode,” “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” and “Rock and Roll Music.”  On stage, he stood head and shoulders above most of his peers by adding a showmanship that included dazzling guitar solos, and of course, that “duck walk” across the stage.  His direct influence is staggering –  the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Beach Boys, Michael JacksonBruce Springsteen, U2, Prince, Ted Nugent, Tom Petty, and George Thorogood  (to name just a very few) have all cited him as a significant influence or honored him in some way.  In 1986, Berry was deservedly part of the initial class inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he went on to receive countless accolades for the rest of his life.  And of course, a pop music-related “Best Of” list that does not include him or one of his records somewhere near the top, should be taken to the shredder.  Chuck Berry was 90 when he passed away in his home on March 18, 2017. Cause of death was not immediately released.

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RIP, James Cotton (March 16, 2017) Blues Great

Posted by themusicsover on March 16, 2017

James Cotton
July 1, 1935 – March 16, 2017

Photo: Brian McMillen / brianmcmillenphotography.com

According to a press release from Alligator Records, world-renowned blues harmonica master James Cotton, whom Rolling Stone called, “One of the greats of all time, burning with brilliant virtuosity,” died on March 16, 2017 of pneumonia at St. David’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas. He was 81. His overwhelmingly powerful harmonica playing was one of the iconic sounds of the blues. He toured worldwide for over 60 years.

Born on a cotton plantation in Tunica, Mississippi on July 1, 1935, Cotton was a working musician by age nine. He learned harmonica directly from Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller), toured with Williamson and Howlin’ Wolf, and recorded for Sun Records in 1953 before spending 12 years touring and recording with Muddy Waters (starting at age 20). Cotton was featured on Muddy’s famous 1960 At Newport LP on Chess Records, including the iconic version of Got My Mojo Working, one of the classic recordings of Chicago Blues.

After his 1953 Sun sessions, Cotton didn’t record under his own name again until the mid-1960s, with tracks included in the groundbreaking Chicago/The Blues/Today! series of LPs on Vanguard. Along with Otis Spann, he cut The Blues Never Die! for Prestige.

In 1966 he formed The James Cotton Band, quickly earning a reputation as one of the most commanding and potent live blues performers in the world—a man who could literally suck the reeds out of his harmonica from the pure force of his playing. He made his initial solo albums, three for Verve and one for Vanguard, in the late 1960s.

Cotton’s blistering talent and full-throttle energy kept him in demand at concert halls all over the country. He played the Fillmore East in New York, the Fillmore West in San Francisco and every major rock and blues venue in between. During the 1970s, he cut three albums for Buddah and one for Capitol.

Cotton signed with Alligator Records in 1984, releasing two solo albums and the famed Harp Attack! with Junior Wells, Carey Bell and Billy Branch. He won a Grammy Award in 1996 for his Verve album, Deep In The Blues and recorded four albums for Telarc Records before returning to Alligator in 2010. His most recent recording was 2013’s Grammy-nominated Cotton Mouth Man.

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RIP, Joey Alves (March 12, 2017) Former Guitarist for Y&T

Posted by themusicsover on March 12, 2017

Joey Alves
DOB Unknown – March 12, 2017

Joey Alves on left. Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

Joey Alves was the rhythm guitarist for Y&T from 1974 through 1989 – the period in which the band saw its most success.  Formed in 1974 as Yesterday and Today, the band eventually shortened its name to Y&T and went on to sell millions of albums over the next two decades.  1984’s In Rock We Trust became their biggest selling album, while 1985’s “Summertime Girls,” their signature song.  They are one of the few hard rock bands that survived disco, new wave, and grunge.  Joey Alves was 63 when he passed away on March 12, 2017.  He was reportedly suffering from ulcerative colitis which lead to his death.

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Joey Alves on right. Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

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