Sunday, January 13, 2013

John Lee Hooker Jr. To Perform in Seattle Jan 29th and 30th

The son of legendary blues man John Lee Hooker will take the stage for two nights in January at Jazz Alley in Seattle. John Lee Hooker Jr. is touring in support of his latest release ALL HOOKED UP! Band members are James 'Gig' Anderson (keyboards), Frank “Tebo” Thibeaux (bass) , Jeffrey James (guitar), and Mike Rogers (drums). Set times Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30pm. Doors open at 5:30pm. CLICK HERE for details.

Two-time Grammy Nominee John Lee Hooker, Jr.'s 5th and arguably greatest CD release to date All Hooked Up features music luminaries such as the great Betty Wright, the legendary Lucky Peterson, harmonica master Dave Barrette, D'Wayne Wiggins of Tony, Toni, Tone, Eddie Minnifield, sax player for Sheila E and Prince, as well as outstanding vocalists Jeanie Tracy and Sakai.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Hooker Jr. was exposed to the blues as some children are exposed to a parent who practices carpentry, bricklaying or farming. The son of the blues legend, John Lee Hooker, naturally developed a curiosity and appetite for his father's livelihood. Hooker Jr. performed on Detroit's WJBK radio at the tender age of eight years old and toured with his father throughout his teens. Exposed to blues greats such as, Jimmie Reed, Washboard Willie, and Boogie Woogie Red, little Hooker Jr. would eventually perform his talents at prestigious venues such as Detroit's, Fox Theatre and other upscale Motown clubs in the shadow of his father. By the time little Hooker Jr. turned eighteen, he was a recording artist performing with his father, most notably on John Lee Hooker's, Live at Soledad Prison (ABC Records) release.

His 2004 release, Blues With a Vengeance was John's "celebratory redemption" from addiction and the sub-culture of life on the streets. In other words, he would celebrate his redemption through the hard work and dedication it takes to create a musical classic - and redeem himself he did. The newly awakened artist received 2004, "Comeback Artist of the Year Award" from the San Francisco Bay Area Blues Society, "Outstanding Blues Album of the Year" from The California Music Awards (formerly known as the BAMMYS), "Best New Artist Debut" nomination from the W.C. Handy Awards, and "Best Traditional Blues" nomination from the Grammy Awards. Etta James won the actual Grammy award but to be in her company along with fellow nominees, Eric Clapton, Pinetop Perkins, and James Cotton was a strong indication of the direction Hooker's career was taking.

In 2010, between sharing the stage with artists such as, Lenny Kravitz, Taj Mahal, and ZZ Top, Hooker Jr. was the musical face of America's prestigious, U.S. Open (CBS). He was also interviewed by the 700 Club, and in 2011, appeared on the cover of Healthy Living magazine. He is currently celebrating and touring in support of his new release All Hooked Up!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

An Interview With Nolan Garrett - Young Blues in the Pacific NW

By Son Jack Jr.
 "Playing in your garage won't get you anywhere. Get out, be seen, and be heard” - Nolan Garrett
There is obviously something special about the water in this region, as the Pacific Northwest seems to have more than its fair share of young up and coming blues players. This first issue of The Torch focuses on a young man who, in my opinion, is at the forefront of this next wave and yet only turned 15 last month. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Nolan Garrett…

SJ: How did you get started in music?
NG: My Mom was the one that really got me started. I was trying to do something new every year and sports wasn’t my thing. Music was next on the list so I started taking guitar lessons at 8 years old from Daniel Harris at Ted Brown Music in Tacoma. I didn't initially want to take guitar lessons, but Mom made me go, and it turned out that I really enjoyed it and found out I was good at it. From there I started performing with a family friend around town. I really enjoyed performing and being on stage. I realized then this is what I want to do. Now that my voice has changed I've been taking voice lessons from Sue Carr based out of Seattle.

SJ: Why play the blues?
NG: I started going to a lot of Jams. They were mostly blues jams so I started to naturally gravitate towards that style of music, plus I like the freedom and flexibility that blues presents. Also, the blues community is very supportive of all musicians and we all learn from each other, and appreciate each other’s' talents.

SJ: What are your main musical influences?
NG: I listen to all sorts of music with influences coming from all areas. The few that really made an impression are Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Ray Vaughn, to name a few. Musicians I really admire include John Mayer and JoeBonamassa because they are both out playing bluesy music, but presenting it in a way that a wide variety of audiences like it. Plus, they are great guitar players.

SJ: What are some of your musical career highlights so far?
NG: Learning to play guitar (ha ha). Seriously though, the "Kids Got Talent" competition was great and led to a performance at the Paramount Theatre when I was only 12. I also won a video contest voted by fans on Facebook. More recently, getting to play with and perform for numerous well-known musicians has been awesome.

SJ: Any plans to release a CD in the near future?
NG: I'm currently working on finishing up my first album being produced by Jeff Kossack/Other Hand Studios in LA, set to release in the late spring or early summer of 2013. It will have 10-12 original tracks and the music is my own style that is influenced by many of the people I mentioned earlier.

SJ: What are your goals?
NG: I'm working towards being a successful touring musician, playing in front of tens of thousands of people. Location doesn't matter – I’m flexible and Mom can drive until I’m old enough (ha ha). As of now my immediate need is more paid gigs to help with studio, travel, recording expenses, equipment, lessons and the list goes on. I’m hoping that I can make some impact and connections while at the IBC to help drive
this. If music wasn’t my focus then I would like to be some kind of teacher. Both my parents are teachers and I love working with younger kids.

SJ: In closing, any words of wisdom for other younger and older musicians?
NG: I'm still working on stuff myself, but for younger players I would say play as much as you can and as often as you can, especially in front of people. Playing in your garage won't get you anywhere. Get out, be seen, and be heard. I started to practice about 2- 6 hours a day after I realized it was what I wanted to do. I don't think I am in any position to give advice to more experienced musicians. Although, I do appreciate
all of the older musicians who have helped me along the way and have taken the time for one on one advice.

Nolan typifies the ambitious young player and maintains a schedule that many a pro/semi-pro would kill for, and hopefully will start to get more paid gigs (hint, hint to any promoters reading this). Nolan will represent the South Sound Blues Association at the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis and we all wish him the very best of luck! You can follow Nolan on Twitter at

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dirty Rice - CD Release Party at The Triple Door Jan. 5th

Dirty Rice, a blues band out of of the Pacific NW, will be releasing their new CD: Rock-n-Blues at the Triple Door in Seattle on January 5, 2013. Dirty Rice was one of the nominees for the Society's "Best New Band" awards in 2012.

The blues talent and sounds coming out of the Pacific NW is catching the attention of the rest of the country. Dirty Rice is no exception to that trend. This trio, with a talented new  young drummer, Eric Rice and Scotty Harris, have put together a new project that you will want to experience. This band rocks relentlessly with the grace and class to offer up some of the prettiest ballads with sweet vocal harmony. Raw old school Rock-n-Blues with a lot of variety.

This is an opportunity to see the band in a a world class setting worthy of their new release. The party is at  the Triple Door Musiquarium on 2nd and Union in Seattle January 5, 2013 at 10pm. 

For more information on the release party you can CLICK HERE. For a taste of what this band has to offer, see below....