Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wayne Coyne talks about the Flaming Lips’ Oklahoma City New Year’s Eve show


The Flaming Lips perform their first New Year’s Eve Freakout at Oklahoma City’s Cox Convention Center almost a year ago. (The Oklahoman Archives photo) 

The Oklahoman’s Entertainment Editor sat down with Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne to talk about Wednesday night’s The Flaming Lips New Year’s Eve Freak-Out No. 2.

The show will be at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday right in downtown at the Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens.

The opener will be Norman-based experimental rockers Stardeath and White Dwarfs Norman-based experimental rock band Stardeath and White Dwarfs. Coyne admits he has taken a “nepotism gone wild” interest in the band since his nephew, Dennis Coyne, is the group’s singer.

Coyne also talked about OKC’s cultural landscape, Flaming Lips Alley, the developing Academy of Contemporary Music at Edmond’s University of Central Oklahoma, and perhaps most exciting for Lips fans, his plans to make the New Year’s Eve show an annual occurrence.

He promised that Wednesday’s show will be the band’s usual visual and sonic spectacle, with costumed dancers, huge balloons, his giant hamster ball, and of course, that gloriously psychedelic music.

To read Gene’s story, click here.

Coyne also sat down with Gene in the NewsOK video studio for a 20-minute talk about the Freakout and a variety of random topics. Check it out:


Mama Sweet

Hello Friends!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, which ever the case may be.

We have been taking it a little slow during December and will start January off the same way, but 2009 is going to hold a lot of exciting things.  We are going to kick things off with an all out blow out on New Year's Eve.

Where?  You might ask.  At Wallstreet, in Duncan, OK.  Ok, so it might not be the biggest of stages or the most prominent of venues, but I assure you it will be an exciting night.  The Duncan Demons never let us down and I have no doubt that New Year's Eve will bring things to a whole new level.  Did I mention that Dan Walker will be joining us!!!!

The show starts at 9pm.  I can't wait to see you all there!


Contest Photo

2 days left to enter the 2008 competition

Song of the Year is currently accepting entries into
the final round (December's Round) of the 2008 Song
and Lyric writing competition. This is your opportunity
to get your songs or lyrics sent to major record labels,
publishers, and others in the music industry while
competing for over $100,000 worth of cash and prizes.

Any entry submitted into the competition online or
postmarked by December 31st will be entered into the
2008 competition. You can enter today at


Songwriting Judges - Record Labels, Artists, and more

Bon Jovi Beyonce George Strait Photo

The judging panel consists of Jon Bon Jovi, American
Idol's Randy Jackson, Beyonce, Dolly Parton, Jennifer
Lopez, Amy Grant, Bono, Faith Hill, Pink, George Strait,
Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, individuals from Universal
Records, EMI, Sony BMG, and more. Enter today at


* A two week grace period will be given for oversea
'mailed-in' submissions to arrive. As long as an entry
is postmarked by December 31, 2008 it will be included
in the 2008 competition. International entries are



Song of the Year



 Make plans to attend the best New Year’s Eve Bash anywhere as TUMBLEWEED presents Jason Boland & the Stragglers & Jason Savory live in concert December 31st. Tickets are $20.00 in advance and $25.00 day of show. Come party at the Tumbleweed the place  for New Year’s Eve. That’s right.

 SPECIAL SPECIAL SPECIAL!!! Starting now and until December 30th you can purchase Jason Boland & the Stragglers & Jason Savory tickets together for only $15.00 folks it doesn’t get any better than that.

See Ya at the ‘WEED

Tumbleweed Concerts
Th,Fr,Sa 8:00pm - 2:00am

Sunday, December 28, 2008

‘Blues in the Night’ podcast #219 (Smoothville)

Posted by Dave Merten 

Greetings music lovers. I have to apologize for being a bit late with this one, but i think It was worth the wait. My spotlight artist this time is Chris Bayne, an Oklahoma boy and one of great talent. Below are some URLs to find out more about Chris




The old body caught up with me, and for all the abuse i have piled up on it, the darn thing required a little down time at the hospital. I have spent the last 5 1/2 days at the hospital. At first we thought it was a second heart attack. It turned out to be a bit to much fluid on the lungs. Anyway we are home once again and ready for our shot at the title. Thank you for hanging in there with us.

Playlist for podcast #219 (Smoothville), posted on December 27, 2008

Chris Bayne – Oklahoma – Blue Swing
Blue Attitude – Canada – In The Groove
Ross Schneider – New Mexico – Brazilian Nights
Chris Bayne – Oklahoma – Rio Fun
Blue Attitude – Canada – Bad Weather
Stefan Leipziger – Germany – Gently, oh So Gently
Chris Bayne Oklahoma – Detour
Blue Attitude – Canada – Evening In Brazil
Albert Maksimov – Ukrane – Black Orpheis
Blue Attitude – Canada – Santiago Summer
Stefan Leipziger – Germany – Let’s Have Some Fun
Ross Schneider – New Mexico – Beach Dance

Blues in the Night podcast via iTunes >>

Blues in the Night RSS feed >>

Blues in the Night archives >>

Blues in the Night website: blues.macosg.com

Download the Blues in the Night podcast widget here.

Friday, December 26, 2008

PJ Moore says....

Yesterday, while visiting family in Locust Grove, OK, hubz  came across a nice article on the 2009 Red Dirt Music Fest. The article read Red Dirt…risk. 

I hesitated on making a slokie comment, because the article was very nice.  My favorite section was “ the Red Dirt night brought more people than Gretchen Wilson and Tracy Adkins”!


Last year, it was raining  on the Red Dirt evening  but as we saw the Red Dirt Rangers on stage, it was like open arms.  Thunder was all around, but no one better than to see on a cloudy, rainy evening!  The rain went away but the music didn’t stop.   


 Plus, we are from Oklahoma!  Risk? What risk? We don’t need imports.  Its all about the fun and good times.  I’ll scan the article if I come across it soon.


Blessings everyone! May you have a great New YEAR~ 


(plan to spend it hearing Brandon Jenkins in Ttown)


Susan Herndon

We're celebrating tonight at Lola's and it's also the birthday of my brother, HAPPY!
If you're in Norman--
come out! come out! wherever you are!
We'll be at the old Denco's on Main tomorrow night.
Can't wait to see you.
Love and Happy New Year!
(for dates without blurbage, scroll down...)
Lola's at the Bowery.  (Main & Brady, Tulsa, OK)  Friday, 26 December,
Thursday, 8 January, Friday, 16 January, Thursday, 22 January, 6:30 pm.
With the band:  Frank Brown, David White, Michael Steed.  
"Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets..."  so, there we are.  She wants you there, too.
Coaches.  (102 W. Main St, Norman, OK)  Saturday, 27 December, 10 pm. 
With Frank Brown, Michael Steed, Tom Skinner & John Fullbright.
So so love to play in Norman and see all my friends and family there.
This will be a big birthday bash for Steed and for Travis who's hosting!
Grape Ranch Winery.  (6 miles south of Okemah, OK)  Sunday, 28 December & 11 January, 1 pm.
Would say my home away from home, but it's more than that now... you'll see the charm of
the place, Okemah: music capital of the world.
TK's 2.  (Riverwalk Crossing, Jenks, OK)  Tuesday, 30 December, 6 pm.
Tuesday at TK's 2.  However, we're a bit tentative on this date, so call before you come. 
Let me just say, it's an exotic otherworldly and enchanting way to spend a Tuesday evening. 
New Year's Eve!  (Lola's at the Bowery, Main & Brady, Tulsa, OK)  Wednesday, 31 December, 8 pm.
With the band, Louis Lynch and other special guests. 
"...should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?... we'll drink a cup o' kindness yet, for
auld lang syne."  We might drink a little more than that.  But this is a special evening, hope you can join us.
For more information &/or reservations:  918.592.7995
Bourbon Street.  (Cherry Street between Utica & Peoria, Tulsa, OK)  Saturday, 3 January, 2 pm.
With the band.  This is a private party.  So why do i mention it?  (SShhhhhhhh!  Because I'm pretty
sure the restaurant is open and you'll hear us if you happen to be there.)  And, to let you know...
in this festive season, we're available for not only concerts, but all sorts of functions!    :-)
Coaches.  (102 W. Main St, Norman, OK)  Saturday, 3 January, 10 pm.
With the Elephant Revival and My-Tea-Kind.  Feeling fortunate to be invited down to play with these special people again.
And, Norman again?  (I miss it so, may just enroll in school once more...)  Hoping the beautiful Bridget and the lovely Bonnie will join me again for my set 
House Concert.  (1609 S. Madison Ave, Tulsa, OK)  Wednesday, 7 January, 7 pm.
A special night of Italian fare!  This is a concert featuring Beppe Gambetta... Italian Singer/Songwriter
and chef.  Dinner starts at 6 pm (i think he's cooking?) at the home of host,  Andrea San Severino Martin.
I'll play a set at 7 pm.  BYOL.  Limited Seating.  RSVP required to Scott @ 361-3071 or scottapoet@yahoo.com.
French Hen.  (71st & Yale, Tulsa, OK)  Saturday, 10, 17, 24, 31 January, 7 pm.
Je chante les chansons tres doucement...  Yet, again, these dates are tentative, socall before you come!
Benefit for the Flash family.  date and time, TBA.
Just a heads up on this bash.  My dear friend and godbaby's mamma, Lacey, just received a heart transplant.
It's truly amazing this thing called LIFE.  Go here to check out a photo of this incredible incredible miracle...
Details about the event, who's playing and where, soon to follow. 
(All locations Tulsa, unless otherwise noted...)
Friday, 26 December:  Lola's at the Bowery/ with the band
Saturday, 27 December:  Coaches/ Norman, OK/ with the band & Fullbright & Skinner
Sunday, 28 December:  Grape Ranch/ Okemah, OK
Tuesday, 30 December:  TK's 2/ Jenks, OK
Wednesday, 31 December:  Lola's at the Bowery/ with the band & special guests
Saturday, 3 January:  Bourbon Street (private party ;-)
Saturday, 3 January:  Coaches/ Norman, OK/ with Elephant Revival & My Tea Kind
Wednesday, 7 January:  House Concert/ with Beppe Gambetta
Thursday, 8 January:  Lola's at the Bowery/ with the band
Sunday, 11 January:  Grape Ranch/ Okemah, OK
Friday, 16 January:  Lola's at the Bowery/ with the band
Thursday, 22 January:  Lola's at the Bowery/ with the band

Pryor Oklahoma’s Music Fest 2009


Its worth waiting for!...ABSOLUTELY THE BEST SHOW ON EARTH and PETA can’t save these animals on guitar, drums, bass, harmonica, fiddle…!!! 


I hope you share this link w/great music and the  Red Dirt Music history with the world!  http://country.feverfest.com/

   Make your plans now! (It’s a great place to take Father on Father’s Day)


I’m sorry but there will not be any musicians from Nashville at this years event but NO ONE at Pryor Oklahoma’s Music Fest 2009  will be upset at all.  It reminds me of my family when growing up.  We had so many musicians in our household,  no one had to go too far to hear great musicians play.    It seems to me that a group of people  figured out, why should we import musicians, lets go for some REAL great music that is already here!   So almosee like my family’s old day porch band or sitting at the kitchen table, this concert has the Red Dirt Family playing.  This music fest is a pleasant dream  with  a line up that no one should miss! 


A lot of  Oklahoma  Red Dirt musicians do not like to ‘sell their soul—(but they might trade)’  just for  entitlement of getting bossed around early in the mornings while they could be writing more tunes. I look forward to  Oklahomans  increasing  support  of their  Red Dirt  boys and gals because w/o Nashville labels many people in this world are missing great music as Red Dirt.  I applaud the Pryor, GrapeRanch winery, Cain’s,  & TX Stockyards’ event coordinators for their kind hospitality each year.   Its time to share with the world ....so Watch out for Stoney LaRue+!  Jason Boland & the Stragglers!  Brandon Jenkins!  Travis Linville! …Cross Canadian Ragweed Babee’! Red Dirt Rangers…Mike McClure (whoo) on and on for countless hours….


I want to emphasis…they write their own music!  SHOCK…but wait until you hear them play it!!!  THE BEST IN THE WORLD AT WHAT THEY DO!  And they are going to be in Pryor, Oklahoma


Red Dirt Music and have the best time ever!



#1Red Dirt Music Cheerleader!


PJ Moore,

Tahlequah, OK!


Start inviting everyone…red dirt flame…bring ‘em in—pack them out.  J   

The All-American Rejects

All-American Rejects Cover Britney Spears
12/23/08 2:28pm
by Shehzaad Jiwani (CHARTattack)

The All-American Rejects put their own spin on a post-breakdown Britney Spears song during a recent online performance as part of Yahoo!'s Pepsi Smash series.

The Stillwater, Okla. pop-punk band covered Circus lead single "Womanizer" and, in an attempt to infuse it with some AAR (or at least Gogol Bordello) flair, they transformed the song from an electro-pop jam to a gypsy-influenced jig. You can watch the video here:

"It's because we can just do it better than Britney," is how vocalist Tyson Ritter explains the choice of "Womanizer."

Given the beer bottle percussion and accordion solos, we have to agree with him.

The All-American Rejects released their third album, When The World Comes Down, last week.

Watermelon Slim to perform at Stillwater Blues Fest

Watermelon Slim to perform at Stillwater Blues Fest

STILLWATER — The award-winning blues and roots artist Watermelon Slim will be performing a fund raiser for the Stillwater Blues Fest on Jan. 9 at the City of Stillwater Community Center from 8 to 10:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased online at tickets.stillwater.org or at the box office, located at 315 W. 8th (corner of 8th and Duck Streets). Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets will be also be available at the door as space permits.

Watermelon Slim and his band, The Workers, won two 2008 Blues Music Award Awards (Best Blues Album of the Year and Best Blues Band of the Year) for the CD release "The Wheel Man."

Blues Fest coordinator Gloria Short said, "This is will be a great show, and it’s a wonderful way to support the arts."

The Memphis Flyer led its terrific CD review with the question "Does anyone in modern pop music have a more intriguing biography than Bill "Watermelon Slim" Homans?" Slim was born in Boston and raised in North Carolina listening to his maid sing John Lee Hooker and other blues songs around the house. His father was a progressive attorney and ex-freedom rider and his brother is now a classical musician. Slim dropped out of Middlebury College to enlist for Vietnam. While laid up in a Vietnam hospital bed he taught himself upside-down left-handed slide guitar on a $5 balsawood model using a triangle pick cut from a rusty coffee can top and his Army issued Zippo lighter as the slide.

In the following 30 plus years Slim has been a truck driver, forklift operator, sawmiller (where he lost part of his finger), firewood salesman, collection agent, and even officiated funerals. At times he got by as a small time criminal. At one point he was forced to flee Boston where he played peace rallies, sit-ins and rabbleroused musically with the likes of Bonnie Raitt.

He ended up farming watermelons in Oklahoma – hence his stage name and current home base. Somewhere in those decades Slim completed two undergrad degrees in history and journalism.

In 2002 Slim suffered a near fatal heart attack. His brush with death gave him a new perspective on mortality, direction and life ambitions. He says, "Everything I do now has a sharper pleasure to it. I've lived a fuller life than most people could in two. If I go now, I've got a good education, I've lived on three continents, and I've played music with a bunch of immortal blues players. I've fought in a war and against a war. I've seen an awful lot and I've done an awful lot. If my plane went down tomorrow, I'd go out on top."

If it's any indication from raving reviews and features in Guitar One, HARP, Blues Revue, Toronto Star, Chicago Sun-Times, NPR, House of Blues Radio Hour, BBC's World Service Programme, XM Satellite Radio and others, Watermelon Slim may have finally settled in on his chosen vocation.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact (405) 533-8433 or gshort@stillwater.org

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Photobucket Photobucket

YES, There Is An Oklahoma Connection!

Jim Carrey’s most recent project Yes Man is about a man whose life is completely altered when he attends a self-help program that changes his answer to everything- “Yes.” Only being able to say “yes” allows Carrey’s character on an adventure of a lifetime. And yes, there is an Oklahoma connection.

Yes Man features Oklahoma native Jillian Iva and her band Von Iva. The Bethany native leads the electro-punk trio with vocals and includes members Rebecca Kupersmith on keyboards and Kelly Harris on drums. Von Iva appears in the movie as the backup fictitious band members in indie-rock group Munchausen By Proxy, which is fronted by co-star Zooey Deschanel.

Von Iva not only appears in the movie, but they also wrote four of the songs on the Yes Man soundtrack, including the theme song “Yes Man,” which plays at the end of the film as the credits roll. The soundtrack is now available in stores.

Catch Yes Man starting Friday December 19, showing in theatres nationwide. Also, check out Von Iva on their “Hell on Heels” tour throughout the country.

For more information on Von Iva, please visit www.myspace.com/voniva

For more information on Yes Man, please visit yesisthenewno.warnerbros.com/

For more information on Yes Manthe Soundtrack, please visit www.myspace.com/yesmansoundtrack

To read a recent interview with Jillian Iva with George Lang from the Oklahoman, please CLICK HERE

Monday, December 22, 2008

Susan Herndon

Wishing you a very happy holidays! 
Here's where we're playing this week.  
And, hey, Normanites, we had such a great time there this last month--
we're playing there again this Saturday to celebrate Travis' birthday!
So so hope to see you out!

Tuesday, 23 December, 6 pm  @  TK's 2
Solo at the Riverwalk Crossing in Jenks
and, keep in mind...
Friday, 26 December, 6:30 pm @ Lola's at the Bowery
w/ the band-- in Tulsa
Saturday, 27 December, 10 pm @  Coaches Brewery
w/ the band:  David White, Frank Brown, Michael Steed;
& w/ Tom Skinner, & John Fullbright-- in Norman
Sunday, 28 December, 1 pm @ Grape Ranch Winery
6 miles south of Okemah
Wednesday, 31 December, 8 pm 
Susan Herndon Band @ Lola's at the Bowery in Tulsa for New Year's Eve.
A fantastically beautiful delicious warm and fun event with all of the good things in life!
Better than a hootenanny... it's gonna be a nanny-hoot! 
Food, champagne, art, music, love, camaraderie...
For more information &/or reservations:  918.592.7995 

Camille Harp

Hey friends! It's finally gonna happen! I just got shipping CONFIRMATION for tomorrow! :) The cds will be in Tuesday morning!

I will be at The Deli Tuesday night to sling cds to those of you who can't wait to get your paws on one! :) Aron Holt and Blake Lennon will be playing so come snag a cd for you and your loved ones (they make great Christmas presents!!) and hear some good music while you're at it!

For those of you who can't make it to The Deli to get one, we can make arrangements to meet (I'll play Santa) or I can drop one in the mail to you. More than likely it will get to you on Wednesday if you are local. 

Eeeek! I'm so excited for you all to hear it! 


P.S. We will be playing Saturday December 27th @ Lucky Star Casino in Concho.  Come try your luck!....worst case scenario, you get to hear some good music in the lounge. :)




Contact: Lezley Norris
(214) 543-6817

DALLAS — There’s no looking back for country recording artist, Floyd Tolston, as his latest single, “Lookin’ Back At Luckenbach,” soars to No. 76 on “Music Row’s Country Breakout Top 100 Chart.” After 14 weeks on the chart, “Lookin’ Back At Luckenbach,” continues its upward climb at an exceptionally consistent pace.

“Floyd Tolston is the real deal,” said Jay McRae, program director-KGFY in Stillwater, Okla. “ ‘Lookin’ Back At Luckenbach’ is lookin’ like a hit. It sounds so good on the radio.

“Very impressive for an independent,” he said. “Stillwater listeners are lovin’ it!

“Lookin’ Back At Luckenbach” is the Texas singer/songwriter’s third single from his debut CD, “Something Special.” Since its release, the song averages about four adds to terrestrial radio playlists per week throughout major radio markets in the United States. “Lookin’ Back At Luckenbach” is gaining Internet airplay throughout the U.S. and overseas.

Lee Richey, program and music director at WCJW AM/FM in Warsaw, N.Y., praises Tolston’s hit: “In the spirit of real COUNTRY music ... Floyd Tolston delivers a gem which conjures up fond thoughts of Willie, Waylon and even ol’ Merle. Our listeners love it!”

With its catchy melody and “feel good” spirit, the song takes a fresh look at the small Texas town with a larger-than-life reputation. It was the infamous gatherings of Luckenbach’s owner and self-proclaimed mayor, Hondo Crouch, which inspired Tolston.

“When Hondo was alive, he had sing-a-longs in the dance hall,” Tolston explained. “Anyone could enter, but, in order to stay, everyone had to pass the guitar around and sing a song. It didn’t matter if you could play or sing, in order to stay inside the dance hall, you had to do a song. I always liked those events.”

Tolston’s first two single releases, “Austin” and “Wal Mart Lovers,” continue to receive significant airplay. Earlier this year, “Austin” boosted the “Something Special” CD onto the “Roots Music Report True Country” chart, peaking at No. 21.

“Something Special” is a collection of 14 songs, all written by Tolston. His songs are heartfelt reflections of life in all its comedy, pain, regret and pathos. There is a straight-edged truth to his music.

“Floyd Tolston has a way of telling a story within a song the way Tom T. Hall or Jerry Jeff Walker have,” said Scott D. Soderberg, program and operations manager at KAUS FM in Austin, Minn.“Telling it with real life feelings as in ‘Lookin’ Back At Luckenbach’ or ‘Cut And Run!’

“ ‘K.I.A.’ is a poignant song about a war that some veterans still have yet to come to terms with,” Soderberg continued. “The song relates how, ‘You can fly away on that freedom bird, that don’t mean that you’ll ever make it home’ or ‘You don’t have to be alone to be alone’ – it’s a song that cuts to a person’s heart and soul,” Soderberg said. “Floyd has something special in each song on his debut CD. ‘Something Special’ is a must-hear for anyone who actually listens to lyrics!”

Music Row radio promotion is through Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion:








Saturday, December 20, 2008

Monty Harper

December 20, 2008
MontyNews Flash


How would you like to see your child on the cover of the next Monty Harper CD?

The CD is called Let's Get Creative.

We're doing a photo shoot here in Stillwater on Monday December 22 at 2:00 PM.

We need several kids between the ages of 5 and 10, girls and boys. We are going for a specific type of pose, so we can't guarantee that all who show up will actually end up on the CD cover. (That just depends on which shot we like the best.)

You (the parent) will need to sign a release form.

If you want to participate please respond right away with the number,
gender, and ages of kids you want to bring. I will write back with a
confirmation and location, and details about what to wear and what to bring.

Let me know if you have any questions. It'll be fun. I hope you can be there!

P.S. Check this out - my song "The Cat Came Back" is on a plush toy, the Smart-e-Bear! Not only that, the bear can download additional songs from me and many other award-winning artists that you've heard of. It's really pretty cool. More information is here: www.intellitoys.com


Friday, December 19, 2008

Elvin Bishop: Rollin' Forward

Elvin Bishop: Rollin' Forward

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By: Dennis Cook

Elvin Bishop
The blues have few better shepherds than Elvin Bishop, who's been exploring the myriad permutations available inside a genre that many others have tried to standardize since the early '60s. He was the guitar foil to one of that era's great guitarist, Mike Bloomfield, in the landmarkButterfield Blues Band, and a regular sparring partner for both veteran bluesmen being rediscovered in the '60s and young, emerging blues rock future-giants like the Allman Brothers Band. His instinct for music with a lil' mess on it is nigh infallible, and his guitar chops are just plain tasty, if a little wild, like a pile of yummy ingredients you might not think to assemble yourself but wolf down immediately when placed before you.

Despite some mainstream commercial success, notably '70s uber-hit "Fooled Around And Fell In Love," Bishop has charted a course that's largely honored and advanced the blues. His new album, The Blues Rolls On (released September 23 on Delta Groove Music), accentuates his long standing goal of sharing the blues with future generations while honoring those who've picked and moaned before him. It's a heck of a record, not too pretty in a time of mostly gussied up blues, and features strong guest turns from Warren HaynesDerek TrucksGeorge ThorogoodKim Wilson (The Fabulous Thunderbirds), James Cotton,Tommy CastroAngela Strehli and some less established names well worth pricking up one's ears about. But perhaps the most striking tune in this set is "Oklahoma," a blessedly rough one-man history lesson of the blues as lived through Bishop's own life, including recounting how "Charlie Daniels had the nerve to call me ugly right on his record/ He was too big to fight so I just had to accept it/ He said, 'I always knew that your music was funky but where did you get that little touch of country?'/ I said, 'I come all the way from Oklahoma.'"

We got Elvin to pull up a chair and share a bit of his hard earned wisdom, and we're mighty happy he did.

JamBase: Part of my love of the blues – and not a few others, too – can be credited to you. That first Paul Butterfield Blues Band album from 1965, which my pot smokin' uncle turned me onto, was the spark for many of us to dig into this music.

Elvin Bishop: Thank God for stoner uncles!

JamBase: You've always had a knack for creating new blues that resonate with the same weight, authority and even playfulness of vintage blues. "Drunken Hearted Boy," particularly The Fillmore East rendition with the Allman Brothers, immediately springs to mind.

Lovin' the vintage look
Elvin Bishop: Especially the older you get, the job seems to be to contribute something of your own. I don't think the world needs another "Got My Mojo Working" or "Stormy Monday." We need something that connects up blues with real life.

A recent great example of that is your own "What The Hell Is Going On" [a heartbreaking song inspired by the murder of his daughter from 2005's Gettin' My Groove Back]. Tradition is great but I don't think at heart the blues want to remain static.

That's a great point of view. It's been easier for me [to break out of tradition] because of two faults or lacks of mine. One is I was never able to effectively imitate anybody else, and number two is I don't have a great voice that's just a pleasure to listen to by itself, no matter what it's talking about. I have to have a strong story to get over with people. To capture people's imaginations I have to come up with something unique they can't get from everybody else.

I dig that you do this in different ways. You have a number of animal themed songs that always make me giggle, but you also have a lot of heavier stuff, too. One of the marks of the best blues is that range of laughter and tears.

One of my favorite old guys is Lightnin' Hopkins, and he would write a song about anything. His girlfriend gets a job in a candy factory and he writes a song called "Candy Kitchen." There's a dog howling in his backyard, so he writes a song about that. His thing was Chicago blues guys can't write a song until a woman does something wrong. He said all their songs were about women.

So, it's really about the ability to write about anything?

There's a couple of times in my life that I just thanked God that the blues was there and available to me. The blues was invented by people in an impossible position in the Mississippi Delta, and it just wasn't gonna get right and there was a lot of suffering built into it. But the blues is the kind of music that if you play it and sing it good enough somehow it makes you feel better about things, even though nothing has really changed.

Have you always thought of yourself as a blues musician, even with the success and notoriety you've had in the rock world?

Basically at the bottom I've always been a blues guy. I've also always had an irrational desire to support my family as well [laughs]. But there's only been very few times that there's been a pigeonhole they could stuff me into that worked with what the media had going.

Continue reading for more with Elvin Bishop...

The job seems to be to contribute something of your own. I don't think the world needs another "Got My Mojo Working" or "Stormy Monday." We need something that connects up blues with real life.

-Elvin Bishop


It's such a crappy soundbite culture, where they want to stuff lifetimes into a few simple words.

People don't like to think. They can't rest until they find a pigeonhole to put you in and then move onto the next thing. It's just file footage.

When I think of your music the two words that most often come up for me are "boogie" and "strut." There's some hips to your music, even the sad stuff.

John Lee Hooker & Elvin Bishop
I like my syncopation. I like things to swing like that. I think boogie means something different to everybody. I was born in 1942, which means for the first 12 or 13 years of my life the best that a white person, who wasn't totally into country music, could do was say Frank Sinatra and "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?" There was no rock 'n' roll. People are born with rock now. I think for most people boogie came in with John Lee Hooker and became codified. When I first heard of boogie woogie it was Albert Ammons andMeade Lux Lewis, the original piano boogie woogie stuff.

Lots of really nasty songs if you break through the language. Anytime you hear about food in those old boogies it's usually filthy. Wynonie Harris' "Keep On Churnin'" ain't a salute to the dairy industry!

Double entendre! I grew up on a farm in an old fashioned place that didn't get electricity. So, I was maybe 11 or 12 [when that song came out] and if you've ever done churning by hand it's a physical, grinding thing.

There's a lot of "life lived on the ground" in the blues. These are the people who make the sandwiches for sure.

All the classic blues guys started out on farms and plantations in the South. B.B. was a tractor driver. You talk to Hubert [Sumlin, legendary guitarist with Howlin' Wolf] and Pinetop [Perkins, longtime pianist with Muddy Waters] and they started drinkin' corn liquor when they were nine-years-old. They picked corn and cotton and they know what it's all about. The reason they're musicians is the same reason I'm a musician – that red guitar is so much lighter than the tools I used in the oil fields and the steel mills and tearing up the streets with a jackhammer. You get up every morning and thank God you're a musician!

Did you find you were accepted fairly readily by black musicians simply because of your enthusiasm for the blues?

Elvin Bishop
I really was; it was amazing. That's actually what got me started on The Blues Rolls On.

This album is a great stand-alone piece, a nutshell encapsulation of the blues as filtered through you.

Remembering how miraculously and surprisingly kind people were to me, when they absolutely didn't have to be, got me thinking. As they say in Chicago, I was square as a pool table and twice as green. They took me under their wing and took care of me, and that got me onto the concept of The Blues Rolls On, just how it gets passed from one generation to another. Then, I got thinking about the young guys coming up now, guys who aren't recognized as much as they should be. So, I thought, "Maybe it's time to do something that shows off the whole continuous thing."

Do you find that people want to come sit at your heel the same way you did with established players in your early days?

There are a lot of guys that give me a lot of props and respect for having influenced them. It just gives me a warm feeling.

Do you feel some responsibility to pass on what you know to some of them, to offer your own wing?

It's kinda like that. I like to do what I can. I see a lot of guys standing at the crossroads that have good blues backgrounds and really love the blues but they're so torn by pressures to do other stuff. I like to encourage the ones that really have what it takes to stick with the blues. I want them to do what they wanna do but I just offer them some appreciation.

Who do you like these days?

Albert Collins & Elvin Bishop
A lot of the guys I like are actually on [The Blues Rolls On]. John Nemeth is just a tre-men-dous up & coming talent, and if there's any justice he'll be a big star. And I love Ronnie Baker Brooks. I've known him for quite a while, and I've known his dad, Lonnie Brooks, since 1961 or 2.

You want to hear people carrying the blues to new places rather than being pure recreationists. I really love Otis Taylorfrom Colorado these days; very African rooted but also utterly fearless in mixing things up. He writes about some of the heaviest things ever, but like a lot of Bessie Smith recordings, it's weirdly uplifting despite the subject matter.

As far as young guys go, there's quite a few of them I like. And there's guys I wouldn't say are young guys but more underexposed – they need to be checked out. One guy, Kid Andersen, is from Norway and he does the Smokey Robinson tune on the CD called "Who's The Fool." He's a real cool player. Another guy isLurrie Bell from Chicago. He's just a monster! And another guy is Rusty Zinn. These are guys it would not be a waste of anybody's time to check out.

My daughter is 20-years-old and she listens to lots of people. Some of them I like, some not so much. I like Ben Harper. I love Derek Trucks. I honestly don't think people give Derek enough respect. Here's another case of that pigeonhole mentality, where they say, "He's the new Duane Allman." That's easy because of the Allman Brothers connection with his uncle and all that but it's just not true!

Continue reading for more with Elvin Bishop...

The blues was invented by people in an impossible position in the Mississippi Delta, and it just wasn't gonna get right and there was a lot of suffering built into it. But the blues is the kind of music that if you play it and sing it good enough somehow it makes you feel better about things, even though nothing has really changed.

-Elvin Bishop


His style of slide is so different from Duane.

It's so different from anybody! Unless you play slide you don't know how difficult it is to do what he does. He doesn't play licks that fall easily into your hands. He searches out these licks, and he knows what he wants. He uses phrasing you only hear from mature gospel singers. The jazz part of his playing I don't know about – I'm no jazz expert – but the blues and gospel stuff I really love it. To play that fast, that tasty and in tune is almost beyond my understanding.

I always feel I'm witnessing something vaguely superhuman when I see him play.

Elvin Bishop
I know. He might "The One" in a generation. He's a sweet guy, and when he agrees with you he don't just say, "Yeah," he says, "Yeah, yeah!" He and Warren [Haynes] got me to sit in on one of the Beacon things, and just the three of us sat down and opened up a show. We did the tune "What The Hell Is Going On," and they were so great that I got to talking with them afterwards. They have SO much more sense than the guys of my generation. They don't fall into the traps that we did. I went to Derek's recent gig at The Fillmore and he's got his mom, his dad, his wife, his wife's mom, his brothers, his sisters, their kids and they're ALL great people [laughs]. I love 'em all! This guy has some sense; this is the way to do it. How many broken homes have you seen because musicians are separated from their families?

Warren got me up at a recent [Gov't Mule] gig and that was fun, too. The blues is just five-percent of what he does. That guy blows my mind. He tells me, "We know 200 tunes," and he makes up the setlist before each show and it's a total surprise to all the guys. They never play the same show twice, and I guess it's a good thing for them because if they play three nights in a town their hardcore fans have to go all three nights! These guys are not wasting time high on drugs and shit. They put an amazing amount of time into the music.

I would be remiss if I didn't ask you about Pigboy Crabshaw, which is one of the best blues pseudonyms ever. People don't often pick their alter-ego persona so well. What possessed you to choose this nickname?

Why don't you ask John Lee Hooker why he goes "how, how, how"? It was just something that popped into my head. This was in the hippy days, and I painted my guitar up and I made myself a t-shirt that had 'Pigboy Crabshaw' on it. Clapton saw it and said, "Isn't that rather romantic?" I think he meant it in the English literary sense.

Taking a new name is part and parcel of the blues.

Well, Lonesome Sundown was already taken, and Howlin' Wolf and all that.

I've always liked how you've championed and supported musicians that don't get the credit they deserve, particularly Hound Dog Taylor. He's a personal fave of mine but not real well known outside real blues nuts.

Elvin Bishop
I was lucky because I got to play with Hound Dog before I got together with Paul Butterfield. I was in his band for a while. What a guy! I tried to match up the old guys with the new guys on [The Blues Rolls On]. I figured Roy Milton would be right up B.B.'s alley. And actually he was. B.B. and I talked for two hours before tape started rolling and he told me about how he used to open up at the Negro League Baseball parks. Satchel Page would be pitching and B.B. and Roy would be playing. That would have made a hell of a date right there, wouldn't it?

I matched up Hound Dog with George Thorogood because there's a lot of Hound Dog in George, in the way he gets up there and just goes for it. He's just up there grinning and hitting the musically wrong notes and making people love it.

It's true! It's kind of a glorious mess from both guys.

He's over there playing the one-note over the four-chord and five-chord and everything while grinning his ass off. And the people go, "Yeah!!!" I didn't want this to be one of those CDs you see a bunch of names on the front of and then take it home and go, "Oh well." Everybody was so nice and put their heart and soul into it and brought their A-Game.

The whole concept of the blues rolling on through people maybe made them aware of their own part in this tradition and fueled their contributions a bit.

I think the best thing I did on this CD was just pickin' the people.