MARK HUMMEL'S BLUES HARMONICA BLOWOUT: Featuring John Mayall, Rick Estrin, Little Charlie Baty, James Harman, Mitch Kashmar and more!
3017 SE Milwaukie Ave.
Portland, OR, 97202
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is minors under 21 with parent or legal guardian
John Mayall was born on the 29th of November 1933 and grew up in a village not too far from Manchester, England. It was here as a teenager that he first became attracted to the jazz and blues 78s in his father's record collection. Initially it was all about guitarists such as Eddie Lang, Lonnie Johnson, Brownie McGhee, Josh White and Leadbelly. However once he heard the sounds of boogie woogie giants Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson and Meade Lux Lewis, his desire to play was all he could think of. At the age of 14 when he went to Manchester's Junior School of Art, he had access to a piano for the first time and he began to learn the basics of this exciting music. He also found time to continue learning the guitar and a couple of years later, the harmonica, inspired by Sonny Terry, Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter.
After his two years at art school, he joined the art department of a major department store while starting to build up his own record collection that was to be his source of inspiration to play the blues. At age eighteen when he was due for National Service he spent three years in the Royal Engineers as an office clerk in the south of England and in Korea all the time playing whenever he got a chance. As no-one seemed to be interested in this type of music, John felt pretty much of an outsider throughout his twenties until 1962 when the news broke in the Melody Maker that Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies had opened a club in Ealing devoted to blues music. After Britain's ten year traditional jazz boom had about run its course, a new generation was ready for something new. Out came the amplifiers, guitars and harmonicas and out came young enthusiasts from all over the country eager to sit in and form their own groups.
This was all the encouragement thirty-year old John needed and, giving up his graphic design job, he moved from Manchester to London and began putting musicians together under the banner of The Bluesbreakers. Although things were rough at first, the music quickly took off thanks to the popularity of the Rolling Stones, Georgie Fame, Manfred Mann, The Animals and Spencer Davis with a young Steve Winwood. John also backed blues greats John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, and Sonny Boy Williamson on their first English club tours.
After a couple of years and many personnel changes, Eric Clapton quit the Yardbirds and John quickly offered him the job as his new guitarist. Although John had previously released a couple of singles and a live LP for Decca, the now classic collaboration between Eric and John resulted in the all time best selling classic 'John Mayall's Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton'. However by the time it was entering the charts, he and bassist Jack Bruce had left to form Cream. So began a succession of future stars who would define their roots under John's leadership before leaving to form their own groups. Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood became Fleetwood Mac. Andy Fraser formed Free, and Mick Taylor joined the Rolling Stones.
In 1969, with his popularity blossoming in the USA, John caused somewhat of a stir with the release of a drummer less acoustic live album entitled "The Turning Point", from which his song "Room To Move" was destined to become a rock classic. He received a gold record for this album. Attracted by the West Coast climate and culture, John then made his permanent move from England to Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles and began forming bands with American musicians. Throughout the 70's, John became further revered for his many jazz/rock/blues innovations featuring such notable performers as Blue Mitchell, Red Holloway, Larry Taylor, and Harvey Mandel.
In 1982, motivated by nostalgia and fond memories, John decided to re-form the original Bluesbreakers. Mick Fleetwood was unavailable at the time so John hired drummer Colin Allen to join with John McVie and Mick Taylor for a couple of tours and a video concert film entitled 'Blues Alive'. Featured greats were Albert King, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Etta James. By the time Mick and John had returned to their respective careers, public reaction had convinced Mayall that he should honor his driving blues roots. In Los Angeles, he selected his choices for a new incarnation of the Bluesbreakers. Officially launched in 1984, it included future stars in their own right, guitarists Coco Montoya and Walter Trout.
Throughout the eighties and nineties, John's popularity went from strength to strength with a succession of dynamic albums such as 'Behind The Iron Curtain', 'Chicago Line', 'A Sense of Place', and the Grammy-nominated 'Wake Up Call' that featured guest artists Buddy Guy, Mavis Staples, Albert Collins and Mick Taylor.
In 1993, Texas guitarist Buddy Whittington joined the Bluesbreakers and for the next ten years energized the band with his unique and fiery ideas. Making his recording debut on Mayall's 'Spinning Coin' album, he proved to be more than equal to following in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors. Other modern classics followed. 'Blues For the Lost Days' and 'Padlock On The Blues', (the latter co-produced by John and his wife Maggie, featured a rare collaboration with his close friend John Lee Hooker. On "Along For The Ride", Mayall re-teamed with a number of his former mates, including Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, as well as ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Steve Miller, Billy Preston, Steve Cropper, Otis Rush, Gary Moore and Jeff Healey. The younger generation was well represented by teenage guitar sensations Shannon Curfman and Jonny Lang. In 2002 'Stories' debuted the Billboard blues charts at #1.
At a 70th Birthday celebration in aid of UNICEF in Liverpool, a concert was filmed, recorded and released as a DVD and double CD in December 2003. Along with the Bluesbreakers, it featured old friends Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor and Chris Barber. The BBC also aired an hour-long documentary on John's life and career entitled 'The Godfather of British Blues' and to coincide with the release of 'Road Dogs' in 2005, John was awarded an OBE by The Queen's Honours list. In the Spring of 2007, John Mayall's 56th album release,'In The Palace Of The King," was an entire studio album that honored and paid tribute to the music of Mayall's long-time hero of the blues, Freddie King. All garnered great reviews, critical and popular acclaim and represent Mayall's ongoing mastery of the blues and his continuing importance in contemporary music.
In addition, over the last ten years, Mayall released live recordings on his own online label, Private Stash Records. (Some still available from his website johnmayall.com. They included 'Time Capsule' (containing historic 1957-62 live tapes), 'UK Tour 2K', (from a 2000 British tour), 'Boogie Woogie Man', (a selection of solo performances), 'Cookin' Down Under', (a live DVD from Australia) and 'No Days Off', (another British live show).
By October 2008, the years of heavy touring were beginning to take their toll on John and he reluctantly announced his decision to take an indefinite break and permanently retire the name 'Bluesbreakers'. It was a sad occasion to say farewell to Buddy and the guys after twenty years of great music and camaraderie but things had reached another turning point. This caused quite a stir in blues circles and lead to rumors about total retirement. Happily for the fans, early in 2009 Eagle Records called upon John to come up with a new album. Feeling much revived after months away from music, he put together a new band for the project.
A few years ago Buddy Whittington had introduced John to a fellow Texan guitarist Rocky Athas and he recalled how impressed he'd been at the time. Luckily he answered the call and was eager to come on board for the proposed album. With the need for a rhythm section of dynamic strength, John turned to bassist Greg Rzab who recommended his fellow Chicagoan Jay Davenport on drums. Finally the three guys were put together with keyboardist Tom Canning and within two days of meeting up in Los Angeles, the album 'Tough' was in the can. It had taken all of three days in the studio and, ever since it's release and a growing schedule of world tours, a new era was born. Although Tom toured with John and the guys for the first year, eventually his other priorities conflicted and he quit.
Since then, as a four piece, the dynamics have escalated to a high degree and in November 2010 a live show in London was recorded and is currently available from John's website on DVD and double CD formats. Today, John can safely say he's never been happier with his band and long career. Revived and revitalized, the long road continues.
Rick Estrin is the co-founder along with Charlie Baty, of Little Charlie and The Nightcats. Estrin was born in SF,CA in 1949, started playing harp after hearing his sister's Jimmy Reed and Ray Charles records as a teen. Rick dropped out of high school to pursue trouble and music, in that order. Estrin went on to play in bands in SF with a young Joe Louis Walker, Fillmore Slim, Roger Collins, Hightide Harris and Travis Phillips. Rick's obsession with blues finally overtook his extracurricular activities and kept him out of jail, after he moved back to CA from Chicago(where he played with Sam Lay,Johnny Littlejohn, Johnny Young & Eddie Taylor). By moving back to SF early he missed a call from Muddy Waters to join his band, much to Rick's chagrin. Estrin ended up meeting UC student/harmonica player Charles Baty at one of Muddy's Berkeley gigs in around 1974 and the two decided to start a band together in Sacramento, where Charlie would open the sets on harp and then back Rick's harp playing on guitar. Eventually Baty switched over full time to the guitar so Rick could do most of the evening as front man of their new band ,Little Charlie and The Nightcats. Rick found his niche in becoming a world class entertainer and first rate songwriter, penning a tune as great as any Lieber-Stoller hit.His songs have been recorded by Koko Taylor,Johnny Winter,Lonnie Brooks, Rick's comedic skills began to show thru as well and became a bona fide hit with audiences everywhere. By the early eighties they recorded their first album for Alligator Records of Chicago, which put them on the road the rest of their lives. Twenty albums later and many miles longer, Baty decided to give up the road and bandleading, after his wife passed away and he had health issues himself. Rick re-named the band RickEstrin and The Nightcats and continues to record for Alligator, with his newest release TWISTED and tear up the miles around the world. World class guitar geniusBaty continues to tour a portion of the year with many of Mark Hummel's Blowouts plus selected dates with Hummel and Anson Funderburgh in a triple threat revue called Golden State-Lone Star.
The past decade has seen the emergence of young harmonica-led blues bands. In California, groups that draw their inspiration from the Chicago school but add elements of jump blues and rock 'n' roll into the mix have come up with an exciting new style of West Coast blues. In Oakland, the northern capital of California blues, resides the incredibly powerful harmonica player and vocalist Mark Hummel, leader of The Blues Survivors, who has been a major force in shaping and defining this musical genre.
JAMES HARMAN was born and raised in Anniston, Alabama-quickly picked up on the black blues and soul music being played on juke boxes and the radio. He sang in the church choir until age 16 when his family moved to Panama City Florida, where he found himself surrounded by like-minded blues lovers. Wearing a fake moustache, young James slipped into a still segregated black nightclub to see Little Junior Parker's show. He was totally overtaken by the blues and soon became a regular, known as "That boy who sings like a man" by patrons.
While still in his teens, he started playing juke joints and dance clubs throughout the South. Hs performances became legendary-he was "tapped" by talent scouts, signed and taken to Atlanta, Georgia in 1964 to begin his recording career at age 18. He had a series of nine singles (45 RPM records) released during the mid to late 60's on obscure southern labels. He tried several restarts in new home bases including Chicago in '65, New York in '66, Miami in '68 and New Orleans in '69.
During his stay in Miami Harman was befriended by fellow record collectors Henry Vestine, Alan Wilson and Bob Hite of Canned Heat, who persuaded him to move to California, promising to help him get re-started. Harman made his move to SoCal in 1970, and true to their word, Canned Heat insisted on Harman's Icehouse Blues Band as their opening act on many big shows. Icehouse Blues Band became established at venues such as The Golden Bear, The Ash Grove, The Troubadour and The Lighthouse, which all booked real blues artists.
James Harman was soon in demand for his own shows, as well as backing every living blues artist who was touring without a band. He also opened literally hundreds of shows for artist who did have their own band. Icehouse Blues Band was a real working blues band. In 1978 James tired of using band names and started billing his act as James Harman Band.
Some alumni include Phil Alvin, Bill Bateman, Gene Taylor, David "Kid" Ramos, Michael "Hollywood Fats" Mann, Stephen Taylor Hodges and Jeff "Big Dad" Turmes. All of these players did long stints in the Harman Band. James is often cited as a band leader who gave many now famous bluesmen their start. Harman stopped ground touring in 2000 and now only takes blues festival dates around the world. Nathan James has been James Harman's regular band guitar player since 1997 when he was 19 years old... he turned 35 in 2013 and he's still Harman's favorite! Nathan is also James' recording engineer and co-producer on his own projects, as well as projects they produce for other artists.
James Harman's side project: Bamboo Porch Revue features guitarist Nathan James playing rollicking, low-down, juke-joint blues over James Michael Tempo's Afro-Cuban percussion, Troy Sandow's sparse, pulsating acoustic bass and Marty Dodson's masterful drumming. Through his long career starting in the early 60's James Harman has built up an enormous song catalog and had 20 of his original songs used in movies and television. He has been nominated for 19 pestiferous W. C. Handy (Blues Foundation) awards. He was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, and he is the harmonica player of choice on many ZZ Top releases, as well as live with them on many international TV shows. James Harman has had 31 releases, on many different labels; he currently tours every spring, summer and fall, working in as many as 28 countries. Harman is a one of a kind song writer, producer, musician, showman, vocalist and internationally known bluesman.
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