The Robert Lockwood Jr. All Stars

The Wallace Coleman Band

As a youth in eastern Tennessee where country & western music still prevails, Wallace Coleman was instead captivated by the sounds he heard from his radio late at night. It was Nashville's WLAC and they were playing ...the Blues. The sounds haunted him by day where, he says, "I would be sittin' in class and hear the Howlin' Wolf singin' just as clear in my head..."

It was on WLAC that Coleman first heard those who would also become his greatest musical influences: Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Wolf, Muddy Waters. Creating and laying down the guitar foundation on many of those recordings was Robert Lockwood Jr. - a man who, some 25 years later, would play a pivotal role in Coleman's future.

Coleman left Tennessee in 1956 to find work in Cleveland, Ohio. He found steady work and, to his delight, an active Blues community where Jimmy Reed, Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, B.B. King and others came to perform.

A self-taught musician, Coleman played the harmonica on his breaks at work. One day a co-worker brought his cousin to the jobsite to hear Coleman play. That meeting sparked a year-long pairing with Cleveland's Guitar Slim at the Cascade Lounge. A real Blues juke joint setting nestled in his city of Cleveland where he could play good old Blues was more than Coleman thought he could ask for.

But the next step was just around the corner.

The Cascade Lounge is where Coleman caught the ear of Robert Lockwood Jr., who had come to hear him play. Lockwood liked what he heard. He asked Coleman to join his band. Coleman had a while longer to work in order to retire from his full-time job. Lockwood asked Coleman to call him after he retired. One year later, Wallace Coleman did retired, marking the end of his 31 year career at Cleveland's Hough Bakeries. Then he made the call to Lockwood as promised.

And at the age of 51, Wallace Coleman joined Robert Lockwood Jr.'s band...marking the beginning of his professional music career.

Soon he was traveling throughout the United States, Canada, and overseas playing major Blues Festivals and clubs with one of this American artform's most creative architects.

For the first time, Lockwood would be performing his own music and the songs of his step-father, Robert Johnson, accompanied by harmonica. He asked Coleman to find ways to bring his richest harmonica tone to these songs. An innovator himself, Coleman created and developed 3rd position harmonica parts that perfectly complemented Lockwoood's guitar.

Lockwood knew that Coleman had a lot to offer with his playing and singing and recognized that Coleman should form his own band. As time went by, Lockwood encouraged him to do just that. In 1997, Coleman left Lockwood's band, graduating to the post of full-time bandleader. Shortly before leaving, Coleman recorded with Lockwood on his Grammy-nominated "I Gotta Find Me A Woman."

Coleman's introduction to the 1950-60s Cleveland blues scenemeant seeing as many of the touring artists as possible. IN the 1960s, Lockwood and Sonny Boy Williamson II, who had been performing together in the south, made their way to Cleveland via Chicago, taking up residence and performing.

While COleman would not meet Lockwood until much later, Coleman often went to see Williamson perform at local venues. The two became friendly, discovering they lived only several blocks apart. Williamson would soon depart for Europe while Lockwood made Cleveland his permanent home. The elders of the Blues inspired Coleman, whose time as a young man new to Cleveland and hungry for the Blues would shape his life for years to come. Little did he know that he would one day take the stage, recognized for his own artisty and contributions.

In the 1940s, Coleman's mother, Ella Mae, saved her money to surprise he young sone with his very own radio. The gift opened a new world to young Wallace when the Blues arrived on the nightly radio waves of Nashville's WLAC. They were sounds he'd never heard before. And sounds that would always be with him from then on. Coleman established his own record label, now named Ella Mae Music, in honor of his late mother.

With his Ella Mae Music lable, Coleman produced four CDs - "Stretch My Money," "Live at Joe's," "The Bad Weather Blues," and the newest, "Blues in the Wind" Remembering Robert Lockwood Jr. all critically acclaimed in the US and abroad.

Travis Haddix

Travis Haddix began playing the piano at the age of seven in his home town of Walnut, Mississippi, located thirty miles south of Memphis, Tennessee. The turning point in his musical learning experience came when he was eight, when the legendary B.B. King came to Memphis and began playing daily at the studios of WDIA. Travis was awed by King's guitar virtuosity and he hung around the radio station every day to learn all he could. Soon, Travis' piano playing fell by the wayside and was replaced by the guitar, which he plays on stage and in the studio.

Years later, the Haddix family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where Travis, now a budding star, continued to refine his craft by singing and playing throughout the North. The original "Moonchild", he earned the nickname from his beaming presence on stage and his always broad smile and energetic, sexy performances. In 1959, Travis moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he joined the D.L. Rocco Band and achieved regional notoriety that led to a prominent spot with the Little Johnnie Taylor group. Travis also contributed material to five albums by Artie "Bluesboy" White. His material is also covered by Artie “Bluesboy” White, Dickie Williams, Jimmy Dawkins, Michael Burks, Charles Wilson, the late Son Seals, and Lee Shot Williams.

Haddix has received rave reviews in Living Blues Magazine, Blues Revue, Real Blues, Big City, Jefferson and Audience Magazine, and he has toured Europe since 1992. His style evokes the sounds of the great Stax-Volt days, when the likes of Sam & Dave ruled the urban blues roost. His fifth release on Ichiban Records is A Big Ole Goodun', featuring the Travis Haddix band (together since 1988). He proves, once again, that he is a fixture in the modern blues industry with songs like: "Make Me Say Please" , "From Bad to Worse", and the made-for-jukebox single, "(She Called Me) Knucklehead".

Travis received 4 awards in 1999: Best Male Blues Artist, Best New Blues Artist, Best Blues Entertainer and Contemporary Blues Artist Of The Year. In 1989 he founded Haddix Publishing Company and Wann-Sonn Records, and recorded ten CDs under his own label. In 2007, Travis won the Gay Rose Production Keeping the Blues Alive Award.

Next time you have a chance, check out the movie April's Fool which features Travis' hit song, Everything Is Everything.

In 2007, Travis' single, "Dick for Dinner" from "Mean Ole Yesterday" was nominated Best Blues Song by the Blues Critic Awards 2007 Readers Poll-Comtemporary Blues. Travis was in great company; the prize was awarded to Omar Kent Dykes & Jimmie Vaughan.

Crazy Marvin

“Crazy Marvin” Braxton, born May 30, 1943 in Cleveland Ohio had music put in his soul, as do so many of the greats, by his mother and father who played the piano in church. He got started by blowing on a tuba, but quickly discovered a harmonica, won a talent contest at the famed Leo’s Casino in Cleveland, found himself on stage being introduced by Ray Charles at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, … and has been making folks smile and dance ever since.
Possessing the heart and mind of a naïve youngster, Marvin just has a knack for crazy light-hearted and musical FUN. Marvin has found himself in some crazy moments, rubbing elbows with famous musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Sly & The Family Stone, Buddy Miles and recalls the time he helped George Harrison push his broken down Volkswagen up Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles. No stranger to the Blues, he has worked many odd jobs, including a stint caring for horses at the tracks in Louisville, KY.
Marvin has been scuffling, playing the blues clubs around Cleveland, Ohio for decades, and still performs, with a pacemaker now installed, ….CRAZY MARVIN’s got the BLUES and is still “whippin’ n’ dippin’ and Gettin’ on down”.
Marvin will be the center of attention at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio this coming Sunday, May 27th from 1 to 4 pm as the local Musician’s Union and Cindy Barber (owner/Beachland Ballroom) throw Marvin a Birthday Blues Bash to which YOU and the public are invited !

Bob Frank

About Bob Frank Cleveland Magazine said, "Aside from being an accomplished guitarist, Frank boasts a encyclopedic knowledge of old-time country, blues and bluegrass music." The Free Times added, "Frank is a first-class guitarist and vocalist." Jazz and Blues Report added, "A sure-fingered, veteran player, skilled in a wide spectrum of black and white roots styles, Frank comes off as a performer with a strong sense of identity." And in a recent cd review, Vintage Guitar Magazine said, “Frank is a first rate songwriter and a champion guitar player.”

A lifelong resident of Cleveland, Bob spent eighteen years as the leader of the Hotfoot Quartet, touring throughout North America and recording several albums. As a sideman he has worked with Robert Lockwood, Wallace Coleman, fiddler Howard Armstrong, the Falls City Ramblers, and British bluesman Long John Baldry. Bob has played many different kinds of music including bluegrass, old-timey, swing, rock, reggae and Caribbean soca.

As well as playing guitar and serving as one of the bands lead vocalists, Bob contributes as the primary song-writer in the band. He also acts as producer for the band's recordings.

During the day Bob works through Young Audiences, performing traditional American music assembly programs for children. He has done over 3000 of these programs in schools throughout the United States.

Bob is also one of the founders of the Cleveland Blues Society. He is currently a board member of that organization and serves as the director of the educational committee and the historical committee.

Recently, Bob has returned to his longtime interest, coaching baseball. He is currently the assistant varsity baseball coach at Richmond Heights High School.

Bob and his wife Ellen have two grown children. They live in Shaker Heights.

Charlie Christopherson

"You can have all the technical skills, but the music has to flow from the heart. Music is an expression of the soul."
- Charlie Christopherson

Charlie Christopherson demonstrates his fluid technical skill and heart-felt soul as a result of a lifetime of music. Born in Cleveland to Robert, a violinist in the Cleveland Orchestra, and Rosemary, a concert pianist who still teaches piano, Christopherson, his three older brothers and younger sister each found a place for music in their lives.

Christopherson's technical proficiency derives from classical violin training from ages six through 12. He studied music theory at the Cleveland Institute of Music. As a natural transition from his formal training, at age 13, he was inspired by Jimi Hendrix's music and began to play the guitar. His commitment and desire to play comes from an absolute love of Hendrix's music. Christopherson also studied engineering basics at Beachwood Recording Studios.

"I like mixing it up," drawls Christopherson in his soft-spoken voice that gives no clue to his vocal abilities. He refers to playing with various musicians, on various stages where he integrates his skills into blues, rock, and jazz formats. Surrounded by musical influences, he plays with blues, jazz, and rock groups throughout the country, and Europe.

Christopherson met former Hendrix band member, Billy Cox, at a Hendrix tribute in Chicago. So impressed was Cox with Christopherson's talent that on Cox's tour stop in Cleveland, Christopherson and Midnight Lighting shared the bill. Christopherson has frequently played with the legendary Robert Lockwood, Jr.'s Allstar Band.

A release of Christopherson's first CD, "Good and Plenty", has already earned him much acclaim. Also now available, is his second CD, "Going Downtown." Christopherson's two CD's have received excellent reviews, and have been played on major radio stations.

Charlie Christopherson plays thirteen consecutive years at Fat Fish Blue Cleveland as a "Fat Fish Blue Favorite".

Regular performances at "Fat Fish Blue", Cleveland, Ohio.

Seattle, WA
Charlie performs with a star-studded cast, including Slash from "Guns and Roses", Stanley Jordan, Keb Mo, and Hendrix's original "Band of Gypsies" members Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. Seattle Wa.

Memphis, TN
Charlie plays at B.B. King's club on Beale Street, with the Jimi Hendrix Red House tour. Memphis, Tn.

Cleveland, OH
Belkin Productions adds Charlie to the Robin Trower Concert at the Odeon Concert Hall, Cleveland, Ohio.

Charlie meets with Robin Trower at the Odeon Concert Hall, Cleveland, Oh.

Levon Helm, Bob Dylan's drummer, and member of "The band", invites Charlie to open shows for his new band "Barn Burners."

Legendary Blues Hall of Famer, Robert Lockwood Jr., regularly invites Charlie to play with his band the "Allstars."

Robert Lockwood Jr. introduces Charlie to B.B King at the Palace Theater, Cleveland, Oh.

Akron, OH
Charlie's band "Midnight Lightning" teams up with "Centrak Laser" for a spectacular Concert and Laser show at the Highland Theater, Akron, Oh.

Boston, MA
Regularly performs with blues, jazz and rock groups on the East coast.

Erie, PA
Charlie Christopherson and Midnight Lightning play three consecutive years at the Erie Summer festival of the arts.

Charlie and his band perform a benefit show at the Willoughby School of Fine Arts

Charlie Christopherson and Midnight Lightning play on the Main Stage of the Tower City Amphitheater, Cleveland Ohio.

Charlie and his band Midnight Lightning open for Robert Cray and Buddy Guy at the Tower City Amphitheater, Cleveland, Ohio.

Charlie is currently working on an exciting new recording project and CD, to be released this Spring, 2016.


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