Monday, September 5, 2016

Chart Update, Schedule Alert, Etc Etc

Our CD Rain hit it's 3rd week on the chart, all three inside the top 20 of the Roots Music Reports Contemporary Blues Chart which blows my mind!  Thanks so much to the DJs, Programmers and Presenters who are choosing our CD to play.  I'm also still blown away by just how MANY songs off the CD they are choosing....  ALL 10 songs have been played by stations.  I hope that means that's a testament to how strong and consistent all 10 songs on the CD are.

Schedule: It's been a weird year.  I've NEVER had as many shows cancel as I have this year.  We're up to 5 or 6!  This time, it's the Cairo Blues and Heritage Festival.  I thought we had agreed to perform Friday night, like last year, with us opening for Chris Canas (last year, we were flip flopped), but instead the other day, I found out we were scheduled for Saturday afternoon instead, which conflicted with a show we had agreed to in Trenton, TN.  I could not back out of the Tennessee show, because my parents were looking forward to coming and they don't get many opportunities to see me play.  I think this is the first one in several years. At any rate, I apologize to the promoters in Cairo for making the mistake, and apologize to the fans too. Maybe it's time for a booking agent.

Gear:  Sunday night in Rockport, IN, I used my Eric Clapton Signature Strat for the first time live.  I played it for the solo on "Who's Texting You" on the CD but never played it live until Sunday night.  I really liked it, and may start using it more  It's different than my other strats because of the 25db boost control but I kinda like the extra control.

Bless you!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Up the Charts....

So grateful for the reception the new CD Rain is receiving!  Only 2 weeks into it's release, it already hit the Roots Music Report Charts for Blues, Contemporary Blues and 2 songs reached the contemporary blues charts for singles.  A big THANK YOU to all the DJs and presenters in the USA and abroad who are playing the CD and the reviewers who are giving it glowing reviews. 

Incredibly, DJs are playing ALL TEN of the songs on the CD!  Sales are going well and in fact has sold out of the CD twice.  They are being restocked right now.

Of course you can find everywhere you can get the CD, whether a direct download or hard copy at

Monday, August 15, 2016

Rain Getting LOTS of Airplay, Worldwide!!!

Thanks so much to the DJs and stations which keep adding us. More and more every week! So far, stations have played 9 of the 10 songs on the CD. Not sure what that means. Very grateful and very humbled... Here's s partial list.  If lyou don't see your local radio station on this list, be sure to call them up and request they add us to their blues playlist!

Atlanta, GA: WRFG
Benton, ME: WMHB
Bloomington, IN: WFHB
Blue Hill, ME: WERU
Buffalo, NY: WBFO
Carbondale, IL: WDBX
Charlottesville, VA: WNRN
Columbia, MO: KOPN
El Paso, TX: KTEP
Evansville, IN: WUEV
France: Blues Jeans
France: Radio Blues Intense
Galesburg, IL: WVKC
Gallup, NM: KGLP
Germany: Blue Road Radio
Netherlands: Radio Duivenstraat
Honolulu, HI: KTUH
Huntsville, AL: WLRH,WJAB
Kansas City, MO: KCOR
Louisville, KY: WCHQ
Mendocino, CA: KTDE
Murray, KY: WKMS
Paducah, KY: WKYQ
San Diego, CA: KCR
South Bend, IN: WSND
Spokane, WA: KYRS
Tampa, FL: WMNF
UK: Digital Blues
Web: Downtown Deb 21st Century Blues
Web: Hanks Americana Music

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

New CD Kickin Butt So Far!

Welcome to my music blog. Obviously I'm starting this one from almost scratch. I actually had a blog on my old website, but decided to start anew, as I had to dump the old website for various reasons. I do promise to update this blog more often!

So far I am just overwhelmed by the response we've had to our New CD, Rain. It has already been picked up by dozens of radio stations in the US and around the world. Another aspect is that the radio stations, for the most part,  are playing a number of different songs, instead of just one. Hopefully that means that almost all of the songs on the CD are really good and appealing to a large number of listeners!

 The greatest part is the CD has only been out for three days! Right now I'm scheduled to be interviewed next week by, which is a really cool site dedicated to the top indie artists across the nation and around the world! I will post details soon.

 Early reviews have been awesome! Here are a few:

Michael's Music Blog, Los Angeles

Nashville Blues Society

Midwest Record

Roots n Blues Corner

 If you would like to get your own copy of Rain, you can do it at several places. It's available on, iTunes, Amazon, and through my own website at

Be sure to join my email list here for free downloads specials and more!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Guitar Story: My '79 Anniversary Strat

It all began with a text message from a friend of mine late last year.  He was at a local music store and texted me that he thought an old beat up 1979 26th Anniversary Fender Stratocaster, which just came in the door, once belonged to a friend of mine.

I was very interested because the friend of mine was  fantastic guitar player who once played in a band with his brother is Southern Illinois.  I made a few phone calls and looked through some old pictures and became convinced it probably WAS my friend's old guitar.  The person who traded in the guitar said it came from an estate, and the original owner once played in a band called the Hurt Brothers.  He said he had gotten the guitar in a trade, for a pickup truck.

I learned enough so that I was pretty sure he was talking about Forrest Hurd, who along with his brother, Doug, were the foundation of The Hurd Brothers Band.  They were seasoned road warriors, playing anywhere and everywhere, from roadside joints to opening shows for Robin Trower and other top notch acts.  I had even jammed with them onstage. They truly were two of the nicest guys I ever knew in addition to be great musicians.

They burned up the road until an early morning in 2004, while returning homw from a gig, their truck was struck by a drunk driver.  The truck turned over and burst into flames and unfortunately, both Hurd brothers were killed.

I went to the music store and looked the guitar over.  Of course they were asking more than what it was worth, especially because of it's condition and the fact it had been altered with a Floyd Rose bridge.  Since I felt strongly it was my friend's guitar though, I bought it.  It was more than simply reliced.  What finish was left on the guitar was turned deep brown, no doubt by the flames on the night they lost their lives.

I took it to Timothy Korts at Stringworks in Paducah, KY, who does a lot of my guitar work.  It needed more than a setup.  It needed refretting among other things.  What a surprise when Korts pulled the neck, and there in the pocket was my old friend Forrest Hurd's signature!

It really was Forrest's guitar.  It took a lot of work on Kort's part, but in the end, I had a great sounding guitar with a sentimental value no measured in dollars.  I love playing Forrest's old strat, even though I'll never play it as well as he did.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

My Trip To The Blues Music Awards, 2014

Had a great time at the 35th Annual Blues Awards in Memphis! Haven't been in a few years.  Great to see a lot of old friends and make a few new ones..... (click on the picture for a larger view)

Several remarked to me this Blues Music Awards Week would long be remembered by them as the first one which brought together the 2 top meteorologist/blues guitarist IN THE WORLD: Myself and the great Kevin Selfe, of Delta Groove artist Kevin Selfe and the Tornadoes, and The Mannish Boys.  Ok....maybe not as many mentioned it...but it was true.

You know you're in Memphis, when in the hotel lobby, you see a grown man sporting an Elvis tattoo on his calf.

Carlene Roach from North Alabama.  She was raised in Columbus, KY and along with her husband, Robert, were quite possibly the only people at the BMAs who knew where Fulton was!  What a sweet couple!

Some Blues fans are quite particular about proper Blues dress! I noticed this was a blue plaid.

Great crowd for the reception at the Cannon Center in Memphis!

Last time I went to the BMAs, we put Bobby Rush on the phone with my wife, Bridget. She thought we were fooling and said some wild things to Bobby.  It was priceless.  This time, Bobby offered his condolences and prayed with me.  No  wonder, in addition to being one of my favorite artists, he's one of my favorite people.

Packed house at the Cannon Center for the awards show! They didn't want us to go to the stage to take pictures and requested we stay in our seats.  That's why this is the only picture I took inside the hall. It was a great show though!

Scott Holt, a fellow Native Tennessean, is a hoot!  I opened for him years ago at the Jenn Jam in Cairo, IL

My favorite living, left handed guitarist: Tom Holland.  This guy's a MONSTER player.

Your standard, obligatory Beale Street shot.

Still. One of the coolest things we did the past year, was play one of his songs for his granddaughter.

FLASHBACK: October, 2013 with Kala Bland and her lovely mom, Melanie McDaniel
Friday, I decided to do something during the day I hadn't done and check out some of the museums I hadn't been to.  I'd been to Sun Studios, Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum (all of which I recommend). This time, I went to the Rock and Soul Museum, and found this 1954 Gibson Reissue Scotty Moore model.

Also, this G&L presented to Carl Perkins by Leo Fender! I met Carl several times during my time in Jackson, TN.  Such a nice man, in addition to his legend. Nice!

Back for the dedication of the Blues Foundation's Blues Hall of Fame on Main Street in Memphis.

An Elvfie!

Lunch at Blues City Cafe for "wet" ribs.  I love the dry ones at Rendezvous, too.  Truth is, there are dozens of places in Memphis where you can get the "best ribs in town!"

Went through the Gibson guitar factory tour.  No pictures because they are afraid someone would take the pictures and began manufacturing guitars just as good as Gibson, and if there are no pictures, no one will ever know how they are made.....please.  I love you Gibson.  Even play a couple of yours.

This is the coolest toilet seat ever.

Friday afternoon. Went to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.  This may have been be the best museum I visited this day.  Great stuff!

This tape really interested me there.  I remembered it from Tom Dowd's documentary "The Language of Music."  If you haven't seen this documentary, YOU NEED TO!  What a story, about this tape in particular.

This is the tape machine on which it was recorded.

And YES, what Tom Dowd said in the doc was true about the markings....

This is most depressing part of the tour for me.  The part about how Stax Records used to use antiquated typewriters in the 70s.  The I recognized it as EXACTLY the ones we used to produce newscasts at WBBJ-TV in the 80S!!!

Otis Redding's Grammy for "Dock of the Bay"  Pretty cool.

Friday night: Hit the road for Clarksdale, MS

Haven't seen Candye Kane perform in 20 years.  Bridget was with me last time, in Nashville, where she played a show with Marcia Ball and Kim Wilson.

Great show.  Great voice. Great entertainer.  Laura Chavez rocked it on guitar, too.

Late night snack in the Delta.

Saturday.  Back home on the bluff. Overlooking the Mississippi Delta.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe

Like a lot of folks, every time I got to Nashville, I make it a point to stop by Prince's Hot Chicken and pick up a sack of their famous hot fried chicken to bring home!  I always wanted to know how to make it at home since I can't drive to Nashville every week to get some!

I had read on the internet that some who claim to know how to make it, said the ingredients were simple and it was easy....but they weren't talking!

I tried infusing the breading of the chicken with cayenne, black and white pepper, and although it heated the chicken up, it wasn't quite the same.

Then I read where the "heat" actually came from a "pepper paste," and THAT turned out to be the secret!  The first time I tried it....yep....that's it.  Sooooo, here's my recipe for Nashville style Hot Chicken.

First of all, you prepare the fried chicken, as you normally would.  That means soaking it overnight in buttermilk, then breading it with flour and frying it as usual.

The secret is the pepper paste.  Here's the recipe I use for it:  Equal parts lard, and cayenne pepper, along with 1/3 part salt, and a very small amount of minced or powdered garlic.

I heat this for a few seconds in the microwave to melt the lard, and then stir it together to form a thick paste.

When the chicken comes out of the frying pan, the paste is applied by brushing it on, or by spooning it on and rubbed in by hand (with gloves on...).

The amount of heat for the chicken can be altered by simply putting more on, or by using more pepper and less lard for the paste.

To complete the dish, serve on a piece of white bread, with pickles stuck into the chicken with a toothpick!

And there you have it!  Yum Yum!!!