Moes Alley Santa Cruz Nightclub
Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout 2013 – A Tribute to Jimmy Reed
Appearing Live at Moes Alley
Thursday, January 3rd
8:00 PM, Doors Open 7:00 PM, $30/33, Day Of Tickets Available After 4pm at Moe's Or By Phone At 831 479-1854

Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout 2013 – A Tribute to Jimmy Reed
This year’s event will be a tribute to iconic blues trendsetter James Mathis Reed (aka “Jimmy Reed”). Born in Dunlieth, MS, and raised in Leland, MS, Jimmy became childhood friends with guitarist Eddie Taylor, who taught Jimmy the rudiments of blues guitar. Reed picked up the harmonica by listening to Sonny Boy Williamson’s King Biscuit Time, which was broadcast out of nearby Helena, AR.
When Taylor moved to Chicago in the early ‘50s, Reed followed suit and relocated to Gary, IN, and the two reconnected, starting a band with John and Grace Brim. When Reed accompanied Taylor on some tracks for Vee Jay Records, the label owners heard something they liked from Reed and immediately signed him to a contract.
Reed and Taylor – with Earl Phillips on drums – became a hit-making machine, churning out such chartbusters as “Ain’t that Lovin’ You Baby”, “You Don’t Have to Go,” “High and Lonesome,” “Bright Lights, Big City,“ “Take Out Some Insurance,” “Honest I Do,” “Down in Virginia,” “Found Love,” “Shame, Shame, Shame,” “The Sun is Shining,” “Hush-Hush,” “Baby, What, You Ain’t Me to Do,” “Can’t Stand to See You Go,” “Big Boss Man,” and many more. These songs remained on the charts for up to 98 weeks and reached the No. 3 to No. 12 spots on R & B and pop charts during the 1950s through early-1960s. Reed was one of the only blues men to have a rock-n-roll audience when Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Little Richard ruled the airwaves.
Unfortunately, Reed never caught on during the United Kingdom blues boom of the 1960s, as much as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and B.B. King, though the Rolling Stones covered many of his songs on early LPs, and copped the perfect Jimmy Reed-feel on their own “Spider and the Fly.” The Yardbirds, Van Morrison, the Grateful Dead, Etta James, Elvis Presley, Bill Cosby, Steve Miller and Neil Young have all recorded numerous covers of Reed hits. Jimmy Vaughn and Omar Dykes recorded Jimmy Reed Highway a couple years back to great acclaim. Artists like ZZ Top, Delbert McClinton (who backed up Reed as a teen), Johnny Winter (who recorded with Reed) and The Fabulous Thunderbirds regularly cite Reed’s music as shaping their sound. Reed performed his last shows in San Francisco at Savoy Tivoli and died at age 50 from epilepsy-induced respiratory failure on Aug. 29, 1976, in a hotel in Oakland. He was just a week shy of his 51st birthday. “Big Boss Man” and “Bright Lights, Big City” were both voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.
Rick Estrin and Little Charlie Baty guitarist and harmonica player Charles Baty was attending University of California, Berkeley, and studying mathematics when he formed Little Charlie & the Nightcats with harpist/vocalist Rick Estrin in 1976. San Francisco native Estrin was first turned onto blues through his older sister’s Jimmy Reed records, but before long, he discovered Little Walter/Muddy Waters sound and saw his future in music. The band’s music relied chiefly on electric urban blues of the Chicago variety, but mixed in with other compatible styles, including early rock-and-roll, soul, surf music, swing, jump blues, and western swing. The Nightcats issued their debut album, All the Way Crazy, in 1987, which featured the songs “Poor Tarzan,” “Suicide Blues,” and “When Girls Do It.” The following album, Disturbing the Peace (1988), included “That’s My Girl,” “My Money’s Green,” “She’s Talking” and “Nervous.” The records help established them on the blues festival and club circuits, and they began touring the country extensively, playing a number of international venues. They have played at the San Francisco Blues Festival (1980, 1982), the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the San Diego, California Street Scene and Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival, as well as the 2002 Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival. Their 1993 album, Night Vision, was produced and played on by Joe Louis Walker. It featured “My Next Ex-Wife,” a witty blues-rocker that won Estrin a W.C. Handy Award for “Song of the Year,” highlighting his steadily growing reputation for songwriting prowess.
In early 2008, Baty announced he was entering “soft” retirement. Baty performs with Mark Hummel on many of his harp “Blowouts,” Blues Survivors gigs, and such special projects like the Golden State Lone Star Revue with guitarist Anson Funderburgh. Estrin continued with the band re-billed as Rick Estrin & the Nightcats. Baty was replaced on guitar by Telemark, Norway, native Chris “Kid’ Andersen” (born 1980). Andersen has backed Charlie Musselwhite, as well as fronted his own band.
Mark Hummel has just finished his blues memoir Big Road Blues:12 Bars On I-80 (Mountain Top Press). “This book ought to be required reading for any aspiring blues musician,” said Huey Lewis. “I loved it!” Hummel’s been on the road since 1984, and has released 18 albums and CDs since starting out. His latest is a Back Porch Music, an all-acoustic CD. Hummel has recorded for the Flying Fish and Tone Cool labels since the early-’90s. Most recently, he’s been recording for Electro-Fi Records. For three consecutive years, Hummel has been nominated for BMA awards for “Best Harmonica.”  Hummel has been performing and producing the California-based Blues Harmonica Blowouts since 1991, and has performed at these multi-artist events with the top players in the genre all across the planet. In 1982, Hummel worked with Jimmy Reed mainstay guitarist Eddie Taylor, and saw and met Jimmy Reed two nights before Reed died in 1976. Hummel says the first blues he heard was Reed’s “Honest I Do” when he heard it on the radio as a 9-year-old in Los Angeles.
“Mark Hummel came of age in the early 1970s, at the height of rock and roll ... like many of his peers, he went and bought a harmonica and hasn’t stopped playing since. A specialist in “West Coast Blues,” he’s a seasoned showman who knows more than a thing or two about how to please an audience,” said The New Yorker.
Lazy Lester at 79 years young (not a stretch) is the last of the “Louisiana Swamp” blues masters. Lester was born Leslie Johnson in Torras, LA, on June 30, 1933, and learned music as a youngster. Hearing Jimmy Reed became his calling to blues Lester begin playing in bands on guitar, drums and harmonica, hiring a young Buddy Guy, recording with Johnny Winter in early ‘60s, but mainly hooking up with Lightnin Slim in Crowley, LA, and recording many classic sides for Jay Miller at Excello Records. These recordings have gone on to become classics in many genres, though they’re considered blues, including “Sugar Coated Love,” “I Hear You Knockin’,” “I’m a Lover Not a Fighter,” “Same Thing Could Happen to You“, “If You Think I Lost You,” “Sad Sad City” and “Ponderosa Stomp” (that the famed New Orleans event is named after). Acts like Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny Winter, Lou Ann Barton, Freddy Fender, the Kinks, Dwight Yoakam and countless blues bands recorded Lester’s songs. He’s the last of the great Swamp Blues kings, including his late contemporaries Slim Harpo, Lightnin’ Slim, Katie Webster, Tabby Thomas, Lonesome Sundown, Jimmy Anderson (probably the greatest Jimmy Reed mimic of all), and Guitar Gable. Lester also recorded with every artist on this list. Lester’s still got it!
Ron Thompson grew up in the
San Francisco Bay Area and learned firsthand from the blues masters he accompanied and recorded behind, including such legends and icons as K.C. Douglas, LIttle Joe Blue, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, Big Mama Thornton, Lowell Fulson, Jimmy Rogers, Roy Brown, Luther Tucker, Charlie Musselwhite, James Cotton, Paul Butterfield, and Snooky Pryor. Thompson plays guitar, piano, harmonica (in a “rack,” like he learned from Reed). In 1980, Thompson formed his own trio – Ron Thompson and the Resistors – that continues to perform to this day. In the early-1980s, they won many prestigious Bammie Awards, and drew lines around the block wherever they performed. Thompson has also been a longstanding member of Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood’s offshoot bands, and has recorded several albums with him over the years. The Blasters copied Thompson’s arrangement of “I’m Shakin’” (though it’s originally a Little Willie John song). Thompson plays some of the wickedest slide this side of Elmore James, as well as singing the blues like a man possessed. Ron’s Jimmy Reed influenced harp, guitar
and vocal delivery is a must on this Blowout!
Joe Louis Walker hails from San Francisco, where he heard blues as a teen, soaking up T Bone Walker, Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons. Soon, guitar in hand, he was jamming with John Lee, Jimi Hendrix, Earl Hooker, his good friend Micheal Bloomfield, the Soul Stirrers, Thelonious Monk, Otis Rush, John Mayall, Steve Miller and Charlie Musselwhite. After his buddy Bloomfield’s death in the mid-’70s, Walker was scared away by the dangerous world of drugs he found himself inhabiting. Walker went back to college and didn’t re-emerge back into the blues world till his Hightone record release Cold is the Night. There’s been no stopping Walker on his uphill trajectory ever since. He has since played most major blues and jazz festivals all over the globe. JLW has played the Kennedy Center Honors twice, the Bush Inauguration in 2000. On his Great Guitars CD, he featured Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Otis Rush, Scotty Moore, Robert Lockwood Jr., Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Steve Cropper, Tower Of Power, and Ike Turner as guests. Walker has recorded as a guest on James Cotton’s Grammy-winning Deep in the Blues CD,  with Branford Marsallis , Otis Grand, Little Charlie & the Nightcats and Tower Of Power Horns.
Walker has recorded for Polygram, Verve, Telarc, Hightone and his latest, Hellfire, on Alligator. Walker can also play racked harp while playing guitar and perform Jimmy Reed numbers on his regular performances.
Kim Wilson is thought by many aspiring harp players to be the greatest harmonica man of his generation. Wilson is also one of the great singers in blues and R & B. Wilson moved from Santa Barbara to Austin, TX, and joined guitarist Jimmy Vaughn’s Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1974 and proceeded to make history, becoming a powerful one-two punch in the blues scene. The T-Birds became the house band at the legendary Antones’ Home Of The Blues nightclub and backed or opened for such acts as Muddy Waters (who called Wilson the next Little Walter), Jimmy Reed and Eddie Taylor, James Cotton, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy and Jr. Wells, Albert King, Albert Collins, and more than can fill this page. They signed with CBS and put out a hit album and title track “Tough Enuff” that ruled radio playlists and MTV though much of the eighties. Wilson and Vaughn struck more gold with “Wrap It Up” off the same LP. This was at a time when blues rock was played on FM radio on a regular rotation, and Vaughn’s little brother, Stevie Ray Vaughn, was skyrocketing to fame. Eventually Vaughn left the band and Wilson maintained the T-Birds as a viable drawing act on the circuit. Wilson, along with Steve Jordan, organized the music for the film Cadillac Records, a paean to Chess Records. This soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy.
The T-Birds were one of the earlier contemporary blues bands to infuse the Jimmy Reed sound as their musical bedrock (“She’s Tough,” “You’re Buggin’ Me”).
Rounding out the Golden State-Lone Star Revue are RW GRIGSBY on bass, and famed Texas drummer Wes Starr (Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets). Between these two old Rome, GA, cronies, they’ve played with a who’s who of famed musicians, including Omar & the Howlers, Jr. Brown, Jimmy Vaughn, Asleep at the Wheel, Gary Primich, Mike Morgan & the Crawl, Carlene Carter, Hal Ketchum, Earl King, James Cotton, Kim Wilson and many more. Wes also recorded on Jimmy Reed Highway, a tribute CD that Omar and Jimmy Vaughn made for Reed’s contribution to popular music.

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