Rock The Blues Summer Jam 2013

Dickey Betts and Great Southern

Dickey Betts, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, has one of the most distinctive voices in music today. Known as one of the most influential guitar players of all time, Betts has mastered a seamless style of lyrical melody and rhythm -- marrying country, jazz, blues, and rock into one unparalleled sound. The New York Times has called Betts "one of the great rock guitarists�who thinks like a jazz improviser, in thoughtfully structured, cleanly articulated, intelligently paced phrases � [when] Mr. Betts was tearing into one of his improvisations, the music was about as exciting as rock and roll gets."

Betts joined several bands in the sixties and eventually formed a band with bassist Berry Oakley. One fateful night in 1969, Betts and Oakley's band jammed with another local group featuring Duane and Gregg Allman, marking the birth of the Allman Brothers Band.

In addition to matching band leader Duane Allman lick for lick, Betts also wrote such memorable songs as "Revival" and the instrumental tour de force "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed." After Duane Allman and Berry Oakley were killed in accidents a year apart in 1971 and 1972, the Allman Brothers worked through their sorrow, with Betts writing and singing the group's biggest hit, "Ramblin' Man".

Members of the band ventured into solo careers in 1973, and when the ABB officially split up in 1976, he formed Dickey Betts and Great Southern. The group reformed in 1978, but soon split again.

In 1989, their 20th anniversary, the Allman Brothers Band reformed. The chemistry that resulted from the unique two-guitar approach of Warren Haynes and Betts made the Allman Brothers Band once again one of the most compelling bands in the country. The band enjoyed continued success throughout the nineties -- being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, winning their first Grammy, and amazing audiences with their powerful live performances.

A year after the Allman Brothers Band celebrated their 30th anniversary, Betts departed to hit the road on his own. His guitar sound is still immediately recognizable, with soaring leads providing musical wings, and his road-seasoned vocals reflecting grit and hard-earned respect. The group released their first CD in June, 2001 mining such American music genres as jazz, western swing, country rock, blues, Celtic, and some good ole rock n� roll.

Dickey Betts & Great Southern have honed their considerable musical skills through a relentless touring schedule that have included live concert appearances with the Charlie Daniels Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Weir and Rat dog, and Phil Lesh & Friends

The Fabulous Thunderbirds

For over 30 years, The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been the quintessential American band. The group’s distinctive and powerful sound, influenced by a diversity of musical styles, manifested itself into a unique musical hybrid via such barnburners as “Tuff Enuff” and “Wrap It Up”. Co-founder Kim Wilson, the sole original member, still spearheads the group as it evolves into its newest incarnation.

“We started as a straight blues band”, vocalist and harmonica player Wilson says. “We now incorporate a mixture of a lot of different styles. We’re an American music band and we’re much higher energy than we were before.”

In addition to Wilson, the current Thunderbirds line-up features Jay Moeller on drums, Johnny Moeller and Mike Keller on guitar, and Randy Bermudes on bass.

“To be in the T-Birds, you need to understand the different styles of music and different ways of playing,” Wilson comments. “You have to be willing to adopt a more contemporary style. The guys we have now are able to do that.”

The band continues to tour extensively, in both the U.S. and Europe. Wilson is currently writing songs on his own, with band members and other writers.

“I’ve primarily been a solo songwriter, but I’m looking forward to experimenting with the guys in the band,” Wilson says.

The thread throughout the T-Birds career has been the respect the group commanded for its peerless musicianship and devotion to the sounds of blues, R & B and rock ‘n roll. In fact, Muddy Waters called Wilson his favorite harmonica player and vocalist. “Muddy Waters was very good to me,” Wilson says. “He almost adopted me. I’ll never forget him.”

For Kim Wilson, the musical journey started in Goleta, California. At 17 he began playing the harmonica. His influences included Little Walter, George “Harmonica” Smith, Lazy Lester and James Cotton. At the same time, Wilson began singing and was deeply impacted by Bobby “Blue” Bland, B.B. King, Otis Rush, Jimmy Rodgers and Muddy Waters. In search of other musicians who shared his love of the blues, Wilson headed to Minneapolis. He stayed there for a year and a half, playing locally, before moving to the burgeoning music scene of Austin, Texas. It was there that he met Jimmie Vaughan and they founded the T-Birds in 1974. The band developed a reputation as a compelling live act and subsequently signed a record deal with CBS/Epic Records.

In 1979, The Fabulous Thunderbirds released their first self-titled album. Primarily blues influenced, it became a cult classic. “Things were wide open back then,” Wilson recalls. “There were hundreds of stages where bands could show what they had.”

In subsequent releases, the band started to incorporate more Cajun, rock ‘n roll and soul influences. The album “T-Bird Rhythm” marked a creative turning point for the group as it collaborated with noted producer Nick Lowe. In 1986, The Fabulous Thunderbirds reached a commercial peak with the album, “Tuff Enuff”. The single of the same title as well as the singles “Wrap It Up” and “Look At That”, all went top 40. The song, “Tuff Enuff” was featured in the film “Gung Ho” starring Michael Keaton.

For the remainder of the ’80s, the band continued to record and tour, and released the album, “Powerful Stuff”. Jimmie Vaughn left in 1989 but Wilson kept the group going, incorporating keyboards into the guitar-driven sound. Kim moved back to California in 1996, continuing to cultivate the T-Birds music.

“The thing about the T-Birds is that we can play both blues festival and rock venues,” Wilson comments. “We’re a diversified band now and everybody’s on the same page.”

As a side project Wilson formed Kim Wilson’s Blues Revue, a traditional blues band. He also owns a blues label, Blue Collar Music, that has released three albums – one by Kim, one by “Big Al” Blake and one by Fred Kaplan. Wilson has also recorded and written with noted session guitarist Danny Kortchmar and drummer Steve Jordan and may tour with them at some point. However his current focus remains The Fabulous Thunderbirds. “This is a great time for this band,” he says. “We’re looking forward to the future.”

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

In a world of war, poverty, ecological disasters, dissent and conflict in the social fabric of society, Marvin Gaye found himself looking to the heavens in 1971 and asking the heartfelt question What's Going On? And with that Gaye created the unqualified masterpiece of his astounding career, an album addressing these questions of an uncertain world.

In 2006, with the same questions looming even larger, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has borrowed on Gaye's inspiration to create a crowning achievement in their own career, which spans more than three decades of innovation and leadership in New Orleans music and beyond.

Mixing vibrant instrumental pieces with simmering, scorching vocal numbers (performed by guests Chuck D., Bettye LaVette, G. Love, Ivan Neville and Guru), the Dirty Dozen has translated the songs from What's Going On into its own music language. The new recordings are infused with the powerful feelings resulting from the band's own experiences with Hurricane Katrina, the subsequent massive flooding and the devastation of their homes and communities.

Beverly McClellan

Rock ‘n’ roll is built on a foundation of great vocalists, and Beverly McClellan is quickly becoming its newest cornerstone. NBC-TV’s The Voice introduced her to the world as a singer of stunning power and range with the presence and ability to draw comparisons to Etta James, Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt and Melissa Etheridge, to name just a few of the great torchbearers whose legacies she evokes. Now McClellan’s debut international release Fear Nothing presents her as a true and original artist — a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and dynamic presence with the ability, authority and desire to carve her own place in music history.

“I believe that I have a message,” says McClellan. “It’s simple: be yourself, love yourself, always be honest, and let the rest come naturally. That’s the way I live my life and make my music.” And that’s the easygoing Zen she applied to the recording of Fear Nothing at Los Angeles’ House of Blues studios with producer David Z. (Prince, Fine Young Cannibals, Billy Idol, Buddy Guy) and the superb rock and roots session players he assembled: guitarist Josh Sklair, keyboardist Jimmy Pugh, bassist Hutch Hutchinson and drummer Tony Braunagal — all noted producers in their own right. McClellan also brought along her own longtime guitar foil Billy Vazquez, and a stack of mostly upbeat and entirely heartfelt new songs.

“Making Fear Nothing was as smooth as melting butter on a oven-hot slice of bread,” the veteran of the south Florida club scene recounts. “I showed the songs to the guys and then we played them together in the studio and that was it. We played some of them two or three times, but a lot of performances on the album are first takes, so they have that edgy, live feeling just like on stage.”

McClellan’s anthemically rocking “I Can't Hide Me” is a bold declaration of purpose. Its rollicking roadhouse feel buoys a sweetly snarling vocal performance — dappled with her rich vibrato and skyrocketing notes that fly to the heights of her astonishing register — that celebrates her “what you see is what you get” attitude. And with McClellan, there’s plenty to see. For the past 15 years, from the day she left her job as a dentist’s assistant for a lunch break and never returned, she’s kept her head shaven and added a series of tattoos that help tell her life story. Her orca and bear body art speak of her part-Native American heritage. McClellan’s colorful peacock-and microphone sleeve was acquired during her time on The Voice, where she was a wildly popular “Final 4” contestant earlier this year.

Fear Nothing is McClellan’s fifth CD and the first she didn’t have to make in fits and starts as she’d save enough money from performing five nights a week in clubs around her Fort Lauderdale base to pay for more studio time. “It was so much fun to just go in and record all the songs at once, and I think that joy got caught on tape, too,” she relates. It’s palpable in the romantic ballad “Come To Me,” where McClellan’s flowing piano melody carries verses that brim with promises of devotion until the choruses provide their soaring crescendos. “It Ain’t Me” is equally ardent, albeit in spinning a tale of lies and their consequences over a funky, blues powered arrangement that taps McClellan’s strong background in roots music. The latter runs even deeper in “Nobody’s Fault But Mine,” a tune by early Delta bluesman Blind Willie Johnson that McClellan discovered on an album by one of her inspirations, the late jazz and blues giant Nina Simone. “Tender of the Most” is another song that captures her ongoing celebration of life, blending her piano with a catchy, percolating drum beat. And “I See Love” is a pure shot of joy, celebrating the power of the sweetest of emotions. “When I played the Atlanta Pride Festival in October, nobody out of those 50,000 people had heard this song before, and they all started singing along,” McClellan says. “It was beautiful.”

Fear Nothing also marks the first time McClellan has written songs with other artists. Most notably there’s “Love Will Find A Way Out,” co-written, produced by and recorded by Keb’ Mo,’ who also plays scalding blues guitar on the track, in his Nashville home studio. “He was the one person in the world I most wanted to write with, and as luck had it he’s a friend of my manager,” McClellan explains. “Keb made everything so easy because he is such a pro. Some people are just born with it and he definitely was. I am honored to have worked with him. Keb and his family are a sweet clan, and I felt warm to he welcomed into their home. I went in with no expectations and came out with a song that drives itself with just a little help from Keb and me....”

In that sense, the song returns McClellan to her beginnings in music. She was born in East Tennessee and raised in Virginia’s hilly south. Today, McClellan plays more than 10 instruments, including guitar, trumpet, French horn and a host of other fretted and percussive devices. She shares, "It was kind of inevitable that I’d be a musician. I started writing my own songs when I was 13, but it just took me a while to make up my mind and really go for it."

After recording four solo albums on her own, McClellan received an email from a friend goading her to submit a video performance for a show that NBC was adding to its roster. “He wrote me that he knew I was not into the corporate scene at all, but he dared me so I had to send them a YouTube link,” she recounts, “and in an hour they got back to me and asked me to audition.” Within weeks she was making her national television debut, and both Christina Aguilera and Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine wanted McClellan for their teams. McClellan chose Aguilera, and the rest — including a duet with Aguilera on the superstar’s hit “Beautiful” and five other singles — is history.

Now McClellan is ready to write a new chapter all on her own with Fear Nothing. “I’m just flying by the seat of my soul like I always do,” McClellan says. “I’m so ready to go out on the road and bring these songs to the world in a way I’ve never been able to before. It’s like the title says — I want the people who hear my music to fear nothing, and to feel the love, get inspired, and spread it around

$40.00 - $85.00


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The Capitol Theatre


Rock The Blues Summer Jam 2013

Friday, July 26 · Doors 6:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM at The Capitol Theatre