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True Blue
from Ellis Kell
Argus/Dispatch blues columnist

AUGUST 2006

TRUE BLUE from Ellis Kell

SAM MYERS 1936-2006

Legendary bluesman Sam Myers passed away on Monday, July 17 at approximately 10:30 AM. He had battled throat cancer for some time, but was expected to recover. Copies of his latest CD release "Coming From the Old School" are still available online at www.sweetsammyers.com. All proceeds from the sale of this CD will now go to The Southwest Blues Heritage Foundation.

old_school (16K)Sam Myers was born in Laurel, Mississippi on February 19, 1936. He honed his blues chops in the rough nightclubs and streets of Chicago’s South Side, sitting in with blues icons such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Hound Dog Taylor, Robert Lockwood, Jr. and the great Elmore James. The two developed a great friendship, and Myers continued to play drums with Elmore from 1952 until James passed away in 1963. From the early 1960’s until 1986, Sam worked the clubs throughout the southern 'Chittlin’ Circuit'. In 1986, Sam met Anson Funderburgh and formed The Rockets. They toured worldwide, and became one of the best live blues bands on the blues circuit.

Sam Myers was laid to rest next to his parents, Ollie and Celeste Myers, near Meridian, Mississippi. HIs autobiography, “Sam Myers: The Blues Is My Story,” (University Press of Mississippi) is due to be published in October of this year. New "Currents at the Crossroads" Musical Segment on WQPT...

I'm very proud to be hosting a new musical segment called "Currents at the Crossroads", as part of WQPT's 'Life & Times' with Susan McPeters. We'll feature interviews and live performance footage with local, regional and national musicians and bands that pass through our river valley. Our first program in July featured the Andew Landers Project from Muscatine, and upcoming shows will include interviews with John Lee Hooker, Jr. and Louie Bellson, just to name a couple. For information on upcoming shows, please visit http://wqpt.org/lifeandtimes . I also encourage you to help support this type of music and art programming on public television with your member contribution to WQPT.

New Tracks As Hot As The Weather...

Bill Perry (11K)Don't Know Nothing About Love - Bill Perry (Blind Pig Records) Popa Chubby produced these fresh new tracks from ol' houserocker Bill Perry. The CD features eight new originals and three cover tunes, from the fiery guitarist and blues tunesmith. If you haven't sampled the blues power of Bill Perry, this new collection is a great place to start! For more information on the web, visit www.blindpigrecords.com .

Jeremy Spencer (10K)Precious Little - Jeremy Spencer (Blind Pig Records) Jeremy Spencer was an intregal part of the early Fleetwood Mac sound, and now comes back on the scene after three decades as strong as ever. Mick Fleetwood says of his old bandmate's new release, "Great! All the passion, humour, poignancy, and yes, the magic touch. Congratulations on a righteous album!"

Albert Cummings (4K)Working Man - Albert Cummings (Blind Pig Records) This marks Mr. Cummings second release on the Blind Pig label. The new disk is delivered by legendary producer Jim Gaines. Albert Cummings shines through the sting of his fiery guitar, and through his songwriting technique. Matchless tone, and such soulful delivery.

Lil Ed (33K)Rattleshake - Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials (Alligator Records) Slide-guitar driven, no nonsense, houserockin' is the blues stew served up by these road-worthy warriors. This new collection features a batch of vital new originals, and the addition of barrelhouse piano and organ to the signature sound. For more information on the web, visit www.alligator.com .

Cephas and Wiggans (33K)Shoulder to Shoulder - Cephas & Wiggins (Alligator Records) No one on the planet does the Piedmont style of blues better than this legendary duo. Ann Rabson guests on boogie-woogie piano, as only she can. New originals are complimented by Blind Boy Fuller, Sleepy John Estes and Skip James classic blues tunes.

Big Band Bash (18K)Texas All-Star Big Band Bash - Johnny Nicholas - The Texas bluesmaster is joined on this live romp by an all-star cast of Texas musicians, including Marcia Ball, Greg Piccolo, Augie Meyers, Joe King Carrasco, Joel Guzman, Cindy Cashdollar, Floyd Domino, Red Volkaert and others. Recorded live on Nov. 12, 2005 in Fredericksburg, Texas, this is a big band party in the Texas tradition. For more information on this release, visit http://www.hilltopcafe.com/music/bigbandalbum/index.html .

I'm headed for the creek, to get cooled off for a bit! Until we meet again at this crossroads, peace, love & blessings to all, and...

Blues to ‘ya!

Local musician Ellis Kell writes about blues music both local and national in ‘True Blue’, running the first Sunday of each month in Entertainment. He is also on the staff of River Music Experience, a not-for-profit center dedicated to preservation, education and celebration of American Roots music.



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