February 22, 2017

Key to the Highway 
2017-02-22       Mardi Gras                                                          

Buckwheat Zydeco
John Mooney
Huey “Piano” Smith and the Clowns
Next Tuesday is Mardi Gras and, each year, it is my pleasure to dedicate an entire show to the music of Louisiana and today’s is this year’s edition.  “Play an Accordion, Go to Jail” is a common bumper sticker in the Bay Area, but our main artist should definitely prove an allowable exception to that rule.  It might even make my cousin wish he hadn’t given up the instrument in his youth.  Hopefully, he will hear today’s show since he avails himself of KKUP’s streaming to his remote location in the suburbs of Vancouver, Canada.
Stanley Dural, Jr. was born November 14th 1947 in Lafayette, Louisiana, but became known popularly as Buckwheat Zydeco, so nicknamed in his youth because his braided hair created an apparent likeness to the Little Rascals character. 
A quote from The New York Times might help explain why the accordionist and his band, Ils Sont Partis Band, were among only a few Zydeco bands to achieve mainstream popularity: “Stanley ‘Buckwheat’ Dural leads one of the best bands in America.  A down-home and high-powered celebration, meaty and muscular with a fine-tuned sense of dynamics … propulsive rhythms, incendiary performances.”  NPR’s Weekend Edition referred to him as "the go-to guy for Zydeco music.”
Stanley Dural Sr. was an accordion player but Jr.’s first choice was the organ, and it was on this instrument, in the late 50s, among the artists he backed were Joe Tex and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown.  It was not until 1971 that he founded his own group, the 15-piece funk and soul group Buckwheat and the Hitchhikers, with whom he achieved local success for the single It’s Hard to Get.
In 1976, Buckwheat joined Clifton Chenier’s Red Hot Louisiana Band, still playing organ, and right away he saw the effect they had on the audience: “Everywhere, people young and old just loved Zydeco music.  I had so much fun playing that first night with Clifton.  We played four hours and I wasn’t ready to quit.”  Chenier is the only artist I can think of who gained as much name recognition in the Zydeco field as Buckwheat Zydeco, albeit a generation or two earlier. 
Inspired by his time spent with Clifton, Dural took up the accordion in 1978 and the next year released One For the Road with his band named Buckwheat Zydeco, the first of three albums for the Blues Unlimited label.  After a short time with the Black Top label, Stanley moved on to Rounder Records and received Grammy nominations for both of their releases, the 1983 album Turning Point and 1985’s Waiting for My Ya Ya.  Another switch, this time to Island Records for a five record deal, making them the first Zydeco group ever signed to a major label, brought about another Grammy nomination for their initial album, On a Night Like This.  The band could also be seen in the 1987 movie The Big Easy.
1988 would find Buckwheat’s ensemble touring with Eric Clapton as well as the guitarist’s twelve night gig at the Royal Albert Hall in London.  Buckwheat was now a highly sought out commodity, performing on tours and sometimes in the studio with such artists as diverse as Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, Mavis Staples, Dwight Yoakam and David Hidalgo, Paul Simon, Ry Cooder, and U2, even the Boston Pops, as well as providing music used in movies including the Bob Dylan bio-pic I’m Not There.  The group also made several television appearances including on The Late Show with David Letterman, CNN, The Today Show, MTV, NBC News, CBS Morning News and many others.  They were also invited to play the final episode of The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon.  Buckwheat also acquired an Emmy for his music in the CBS TV movie, Pistol Pete: The Life and Times of Pete Maravich.
In addition to a number of appearances at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the most noteworthy of his many Festival performances were the Newport Folk Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival.  Buckwheat performed at inaugural balls for both of President Bill Clinton’s terms and also in the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta to a worldwide audience of three billion.  Amid his heavy touring schedule, Buckwheat started Tomorrow Recordings and released Trouble, the first of his four albums for the label between 1997 and 2005.
About his 2009 Grammy nominated album for Alligator Records, Sonicboomers.com noted, “The CD is a vastly entertaining and appealingly diverse package. Bandleader Dural remains an ever-engaging vocalist and a whiz on any keyboard he touches. So, for Buckwheat Zydeco fans, Lay Your Burden Down finds the maestro and his group near the top of their form. For listeners with less interest in the ol' accordion get-down, the collection supplies enough interesting wrinkles to get the good times rolling."  Guest performers on the album included Steve Berlin of Los Lobos (who also produced the release), Sonny Landreth, Warren Haynes, Trombone Shorty, and J.J. Grey.
The career of Buckwheat Zydeco lasted from 1971 to 2016 but was brought to a conclusion with his passing from lung cancer on September 24th 2016 at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in the town of his birth, Lafayette, Louisiana, but his music lives on.   Enjoy
John Mooney was born on April 3rd 1955 in East Orange, New Jersey but at an early aged his family moved to Rochester, New York.  One of his neighbors was Blues legend Son House and John was taught the basics of both the guitar and the power of the musical genre.  Mooney would later back House on his mid-70s performances in the twilight of his career.
In 1976 Mooney relocated to New Orleans where he quickly signed on with Blind Pig, releasing his first album, Comin’ Your Way, in 1977.  His next album was Late Last Night for Bullseye Blues, which hit the shelves 1990.  The backing musicians are Jon Cleary on keyboards, David Ransom on bass and Kenneth Blevins on drums.  It is from this disc that we air Mooney’s first set.
John veered away from his acoustic style when he formed Bluesiana I 1983 with drummer Kerry Brown and bassist Glenn Fukunaga to meld the music of the Delta with the rhythms of New Orleans.  The band is well represented today from the live album, Travelin’ On, recorded in Breminale, Germany in 1991 by the Bay Area’s own Blue Rock’it label.
These two albums were put together early in John’s recording career and were instrumental as a foundation for an enduring run of entries on record store shelves.   Enjoy
Huey “Piano” Smith became known through a handful of R&B hits he had with his band, the Clowns, but he was also behind the scenes of several more of the Crescent City’s classics.  He became a highly desired sideman in a city known as a Mecca for talented and innovative piano players.
Huey was born on Robertson Street in New Orleans on January 26th 1934 where, early on, he listened to an uncle play piano.  He took music lessons but also learned much from his sister and listened to Charles Brown, Ivory Joe Hunter, Ray Charles, and Hank Williams on the jukeboxes, but it was a piano player he often heard in his neighborhood, Professor Longhair, who had the most profound effect on his own style.  Entering a talent contest with a friend under the pseudonym Slick and Dark, they performed a tune the two penned, Robertson Street Boogie.
When he was fourteen he put together the Honeyjumpers, a group loosely inspired by the music of Louis Jordan.  A year later, in 1950, Huey teamed up with guitarist Eddie Jones, better known as Guitar Slim, and drummer Willie Nettles.  Eddie Jones and his Playboys recorded for Imperial in May of 1951 and Smith also backed Jones’ 1952 session for Bullet.  Huey’s first recordings he was credited for were in a session for Savoy split with guitarist Earl King in 1953.  Slim’s first sessions for Specialty had Lloyd Lambert’s band backing him which featured Ray Charles on piano, although one of my sources says it was Lawrence Cotton and not Ray Charles who played piano for Lambert.  Johnny Vincent had Jones continue with the Lambert band for his touring so Huey teamed up with Earl King as vocalist.  Smith preferred to be bandleader and not lead singer. 
In 1955 Huey was a part of the sessions that created Little Richard’s Tutti Frutti and Smiley lewis’ I Hear You Knockin’.  Johnny Vincent had left Specialty to set up Ace Records and he convinced Earl and Huey to come record for him.  They laid down Those Lonely, Lonely Nights and the tune, credited to Earl King, became the label’s first hit; Huey was upset when the platter listed the piano as by “Fats”.  It started King on his solo career, but in mid-1956 Huey came out with his own release, Everybody’s Whalin’ with Little Liza Jane on the B-side.  Huey provided Ace’s first national hit in August 1957 with Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu, reaching #9 on the R&B charts and #52 on Billboard’s Hot 100.  As Smith recalled, “I was trying to pick up on some catchy lines.  Chuck Berry had this line, ‘I got rockin’ pneumonia sittin’ down at a rhythm revue’ and Roy Brown had a line about ‘young man rhythm’.I started thinking about opposite lines like ‘kissin’ a girl that’s too tall’.  So we came up with Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu right there in the studio.”
One of the stops on Huey’s tour backing up Shirley and Lee was at the Royal Theatre in Baltimore where vocalist Bobby Marchan was the opening act.  Smith had backed Marchan on his successful Ace release, Chickee Wah Wah, and the two decided backstage to form Huey Smith and his Clowns.  After Free, Single and Disengaged b\w Just a Lonely Clown failed to chart, their 45 Don’t You Just Know It b\w High Blood Pressure reached #9 in the spring of 1958.  The song’s title came to mind when the band’s tour bus driver whose response to practically everything was “Don’t you just know it.”  While the record was achieving such a good market, the group was rushed into the studio to put together Havin’ a Good Time (also the title of the CD  that provided the music for this set) with the flip side We Love Birdland, but it achieved only local success. 
Vincent had again drawn Smith’s ire when he had him record We Like Mambo as the flip side of Eddie Bo’s My Love is Strong (one source says it was I’m So Tired) and ultimately credited both sides to Bo, but the last straw was in 1958 when he took Huey’s Sea Cruise track, sped it up a little and replaced the vocal with Frankie Ford, essentially stealing another hit from the piano man.  Huey had another hit for Ace with December 1958’s release of Don’t You Know Yockomo b\w Well I’ll Be John Brown (#56 in the Hot 100), then left for Imperial in 1959.
The musical tastes of times had changed and Huey was struggling at Imperial when, in 1962, Vincent released The Popeye, a tune Smith had recorded while with Ace, and its success caused Imperial to drop Huey so he returned to Ace until the label folded in 1964.  Huey went on to form his own label, releasing a disc under the name Shindig Smith and the Shakes, and he went on make a few recordings of little note through the end of the 60s, instead depending on his gardening business to make his living.  In 1970, Huey had a session for Cotillion with hopes of an album but only a single was put out.  In 1981, Huey decided to retire from music in Baton Rouge, with the exception of appearances in the 1979 and 1981 with Bobby Marchan, became a Jehovah’s Witness and set about studying the Bible while running his gardening business.   Enjoy
Since it is still relatively new, I thought I’d mention that KKUP is now streaming on the internet and, while it is still in a developing stage, we have been putting out the word.  I’m not all of that good with high-tech stuff, but it seems pretty easy to access.  If you go to our website at KKUP.org you will see on the home page a strip of options immediately above the pictures of the musicians the next to the last option being LISTEN ONLINE.  By clicking this, it brings up a choice of desktop or mobile.  I can only speak for the desktop but after maybe a minute I was receiving a crystal clear feed.  As already mentioned, this is still a work in progress and we are currently limited to a finite number of listeners at any one time.  I mention this so you will be aware to turn off the application when you are not actually listening.  (I put the player in my favorites bar for the easiest of access.)  Now we can reach our listeners in Los Gatos and Palo Alto, even my family in Canada.  Let your friends elsewhere know they can now listen to your favorite station, and while they have the home page open they can check out our schedule.
Soul Serenade
What You Gonna Do?
Walking to New Orleans
Hard to Stop
   Buckwheat Zydeco

Country Gal
Baby Please Don’t Go
It Don’t Matter
Coma Mama
Late on in the Evening
Country Boy
   John Mooney

Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu
      (part one)
Don’t You Just Know It
Little Chickee Wah-Wah
Lil Liza Jane
Well I’ll Be John Brown
Everybody’s Whalin’
Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu
      (part two)
High Blood Pressure
Don’t You Know Yockamo
   Huey “Piano” Smith and the Clowns   21mins

I’m Gonna Love You Anyway
It Must Be Magic
Buck’s Going Downtown
Buck’s Going Uptown
Rock, Boogie, Shout
You Lookin’ for Me?
   Buckwheat Zydeco

Mean Mistreater
Maybe Baby
Standing Around Crying
Junco Partner
Ain’t Gonna Marry
Shortnin’ Bread
   John Mooney

Out on the Town
Put It in the Pocket
   Buckwheat Zydeco

February 8, 2017

Key to the Highway 
Billy Boy Arnold                      1955-64               
Lou Donaldson                         1964-65
Johnny Shines
It seems like I’ve written this before but I can’t recall in what context, but Billy Boy Arnold is a perfect example of how I found new and interesting artists in the 60s and 70s.  I came across Billy Boy’s first album, Prestige’s 1964 release More Blues from the West Side, which leads off today’s show, and discovered that Jerome Arnold, bass player for the first Paul Butterfield Blues Band album, was his brother.  That was a good start, but the topper was the fact that two of Magic Sam’s recording sidemen, guitarist Mighty Joe Young and piano man par excellence Lafayette Leake, were included here along with another familiar name, drummer Junior Blackmon, filling out the four man backing crew.
From that album we take a step backward a decade, as we return for our next Arnold set, to visit his earliest recordings backing Bo Diddley in 1955 and some things put out in his own name from the same sessions.  Billy Boy had laid down a couple of tracks in 1952 for the Cool label, but they are not in my collection so we begin here with a March 2nd 1955 session for Chess Records, which produced Bo Diddley and I.m a Man, plus two tracks released under Arnold’s name, Sweet on You Baby and You’ve Got to Love Me.  Earlier, in the fall of 1954, Billy Boy and Bo, along with another future well-known Chicago sideman, guitarist Jody Williams, had teamed up playing on the street corners outside the bars.  Williams appeared on that first Vee Jay session, Bo did not.  Billy Boy joined Bo again on May 15th to cut Diddley Daddy and The Great Grandfather, but sometime that month Billy Boy went into the Vee Jay studio and came out with his first hit, I Wish You Would, along with its B-side I Was Fooled.  This was reportedly the first Chicago Blues release to utilize an electric bass but the song’s airplay was reduced when Leonard Chess complained it was too similar to Bo Diddley, whether that meant the song or the artist was unclear.
Billy backed up Bo once again July 14th on the recordings of Bring It to Jerome and Pretty Thing.  Then it was back to Vee Jay in September for four more tracks, of which we hear Don’t Stay Out All Night and I Ain’t Got You, the latter tune released simultaneously by Vee Jay’s most popular Bluesman, Jimmy Reed.  The song was chosen almost a decade later by a couple of British groups, The Yardbirds (who had already done Arnold’s I Wish You Would) and The Animals, and those versions made the song a favorite of seemingly every local garage band around 1966.  Our set closes with Arnold’s last recording with Bo, Down Home Special from some time in 1956.
All the Bo Diddley tunes are sourced from the 2CD Chess Box while the six remaining songs come from Charlie Records Billy Boy Arnold: I Wish You Would.  More from the latter album provides us with four more numbers from Arnold’s Vee Jay sessions to open our closing set.  Whether he was playing with Bo’s band or assembling a combo for each of his own sessions, Arnold was availed of the highest caliber of Chicago’s sidemen, including for Vee Jay Howlin’ Wolf’s longtime pianist Henry Gray or Sunnyland Slim and drummers Fred Below and Earl Phillips.  Pianist Otis Spann and drummer Clifton James were part of the first Diddley date.  The bassist on all the Diddley tracks was Chess’ A&R man Willie Dixon.
Alligator Records acquired a taped session from June 25th 1963 featuring Johnnie Jones, best known as the piano man behind Elmore James.  He was also very popular on Chicago’s West Side clubs and for a while was essentially the house pianist at Sylvio’s, which provided a base at various times to such as Howlin’ Wolf or Magic Sam.  Most often the club featured three bands and Johnnie would join in with all three.  Had he not died of cancer in November of 1964 and played maybe a decade longer, his stature as one of Chicago’s best keyboard players would have been cast in concrete.  As Arnold recalled, “It was a little place in the basement. I guess there were about fifty people, no more.  It was an old upright piano.  No, we didn’t rehearse.  We just called out tunes when we got on stage.  A guy like that, you don’t have to rehearse.”  Most of the album Jones plays solo, but we did take three tunes showing Billy Boy’s talents to close today’s presentation.
Billy Boy was a native of Chicago (born there on March 16th 1935, one of sixteen children) and in 1948 was taken under the wing of harmonica legend John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson.  I have come across a few explanations why Billy became Billy Boy, one being that he was a child prodigy, but the one I choose to believe is that he took on the addition in tribute to Sonny Boy, who was murdered the same year Arnold came under his tutelage.  Arnold had met Ellis McDaniel in the early 50s and, while busking on the Chicago street corners, the two created McDaniel’s lasting identity as Bo Diddley.  At one point, Bo even put together Billy Boy’s first amp out of an orange crate   After his recording successes with Bo but mostly from his own releases for Vee Jay, Billy Boy was able to play the Chicago club circuit regularly, but partly due to the young black audience moving away from the Blues combined with the competition of so many quality Bluesmen in Chicago and his contract with Vee Jay not being renewed, the early 60s found Billy making his living out of music as a bus driver, truant officer or counselor to women paroled from the Illinois Justice system.
As Arnold expressed to Pete Welding for the 1965 liner notes to the Prestige LP, “The main reason I haven’t been working as much as I could is that I just got tired of all the trouble, the hassle, involved in keeping a band together.  You form a group and it seems that you no sooner get it where it’s good, get it to where you want it, than the guys start leaving to go out on their own.  So you spend practically all your time recruiting new musicians and breaking them in; the rest of the time you’re out hustling for jobs.  You spend all your energy staying where you are and to keep what you have.  I just got tired of it all.”
Chicago sessions recorded in 1966 for Testament Records comprised all but one track of the 1995 release Goin’ to Chicago, but I believe many of the tracks were released on vinyl in the late 60s or early 70s on a compilation album of the same name.  The 70s also saw Billy boy hitting the festivals and making his first tour of Europe in 1974.  There was a 1973 Vogue release titled Kings of Chicago Blues Volume 3, but I guess by the title it may be reissues of American stuff.  A couple of albums came out on Red Lightnin’ in 1975 (Blow the Back Off It) and 1979 (Checkin’ It Out) as well as the recording of an October 1977 session for BBC Radio One DJ John Peel.  Another session in London in 1997 with Tony McPhee’s Groundhogs created the Catfish album, released in 1999.
A Paris recording from December 1984 was rereleased in 1995 on the Evidence label as Ten Million Dollars.  Things were looking up as Billy Boy got a contract with Alligator Records but only two albums were released, Back Where I Belong in 1993 and El Dorado Cadillac in 1995.  After another recording drought, Arnold was backed in 2001 by Duke Robillard’s band for Stony Plain Record’s Boogie ‘n’ Shuffle.
Mark Hummel set up ten dates for Billy Boy and Jimmy Rogers, and he used Billy Boy’s time in California as an opportunity to record him backed up by Mark’s band, the Blues Survivors, which at the time featured guitarist Rusty Zinn and bass player Ronnie James Weber.  The tracks were laid down in eight hours on October 1st 1992 but didn’t see the light of day until 2005 on Electro-Fi Records, then the label followed with Billy Boy Arnold Sings Sonny Boy in 2008 and Billy Boy Arnold Sings Big Bill Broonzy in 2012.  Stony Plain came back with another release in 2014, The Blues Soul of Billy Boy Arnold.
In 2012, the album Blue and Lonesome was released, but it might be the same as the earlier mentioned Catfish album because it featured McPhee’s Groundhogs.  Wikipedia also lists Live at the Venue 1990 on the Catfish label so that brings up some confusion.  Not that big a deal, though.  What is more disconcerting to me is the fact that since 1955 (over 60 years) that this small selection of releases is all there is of such a fine Bluesman.  In 2014, Billy Boy was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the category of Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year.
From its inception in 1990, this show was intended that Jazz would be an occasional participant, but likely due to my lack of knowledge of that genre the appearances have been relatively rare.  That should change this year. 
My earliest Jazz purchases were around 1970 or so at the Flea Market where used LPs sold for about a quarter, not much of a risk.  One decision that was really a no-brainer was an album called Rough House Blues which we’ll be hearing as the second set of this airing.  The album cover caught my attention right away with a large-looking black guy wearing a derby hat and a half-drank mug of beer resting just outside his left hand on the bar, not to mention two of the songs having Blues right there in the title.  For the longest time, Lou Donaldson was my Jazz go-to guy, particularly this 1964 album and you should probably be able to tell why.  So please forgive the scratches but they were well earned.  Likewise, our other Donaldson LP, 1965’s live recording Fried Buzzard, both albums released on the Chess subsidiary, Cadet Records.
Since we are talking over 50 years since these tracks were laid down, when I looked up his biographical information I was pleasantly surprised that Lou was still active.  Born on November 1st 1926 in Badin, North Carolina, the alto saxophonist attended North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in the early 40s, then signed up for the Navy during World War II.  Doing his naval training in Chicago, Lou was exposed to Bop music when he hit the city’s club scene and was particularly influenced by the music of Charlie Parker.  After the war, Donaldson returned to Greensboro where he played the clubs with The Rhythm Vets, a group of Navy men who also attended A&T.
The Rhythm Vets performed the soundtrack to a musical comedy short film, Pitch a Boogie Woogie, in 1947.  The film hit the Black theaters the next year and was chosen for restoration by the American Film Institute in 1985, and the band gave a reunion concert after the restored movie’s debut was held at Greenville’s East Carolina University.  There was a bit of a Fayetteville, N.C. concert contained in the documentary titled Boogie in Black and White about the film.
Lou recorded first in 1950 as part of the Charlie Singleton Orchestra and in 1952 with Milt Jackson and Thelonius Monk.  Among those he gigged with were trumpeter Blue Mitchell, pianist Horace Silver and drummer Art Blakey.  He was part of sessions in 1953 with Clifford Brown and Philly Joe Jones.  He joined Art Blakey’s Quintet and one of the albums they recorded was Night at Birdland, done in February of 1954 at the legendary Jazz venue.  He entered the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2012, the same year he was proclaimed a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts, considered America’s most esteemed honor for Jazz musicians.
Born John Ned Shines in Memphis, Tennessee on April 26th 1915, it took little time after learning the basics of guitar from his mother before Johnny Shines was busking on the Memphis streets and playing the local jook joints.  Johnny worked on the farms around Hughes, Arkansas beginning in 1932 until he met Robert Johnson and got back into his music beginning in 1935 when he and Johnson toured the States and Canada.  A year after they went their separate ways, Johnson was murdered.
Shines shared his music around the southern states until moving to Chicago in 1941 where, in addition to playing the bar scene, he worked in construction.  After recording for Columbia in 1946 and Chess in 1950, it wasn’t until his 1952 session for J.O.B. Records that anything ever hit the shelf.  While these have been considered the best of his output, they didn’t make a dent in the market and Shines disappointedly sold off his musical equipment and looked again to construction to make his living.
In 1967, I got what must have been my first experience of hearing some of the “real Blues” when a fellow student played a great set of three LPs, Vanguard’s Chicago / The Blues / Today!.  The first album is my favorite with The Junior Wells Chicago Blues Band (with Buddy Guy), Otis Spann’s South Side Piano, and my favorite from the collection, J.B. Hutto and his Hawks.  The second platter has The Otis Rush Blues Band, Homesick James (Williamson) and his Dusters, and The Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, but it is the third in the series that concerns us today.  After twenty-two minutes of Johnny Young’s South Side Blues Band comes The Johnny Shines Blues Band, including drummer Frank Kirkland, bassist Floyd Jones and Big Walter “Shakey” Horton on harmonica (Walter also appears on Young’s portion of the LP), and when Walter is allowed the instrumental Rockin’ My Boogie he adds a second harmonica player, Memphis Charlie Musselwhite, to the ensemble.  In my always humble opinion (yeah, sure!) there hasn’t been a compilation that comes close to this one, especially considering all these recordings were made specifically for this series.  We use all the Shines tracks from this volume except one to conclude our set; the first three tunes may be from that J.O.B. session but I have no further information available.
Shines, along with Horton, went on to join The Chicago Blues All Stars, headed by bassist and generally all around Blues legend Willie Dixon.  In 1969, Johnny moved to Holt, Alabama but remained active on the international Blues scene and in the late 60s into the 70s could be found on tour with Robert Lockwood, Jr. the guitar-playing stepson of Robert Johnson.
In 1980, Johnny suffered a stroke that put a damper on his playing.  In 1989 Johnny began touring with Kent DuChaine, which continued right up to his death on April 20th 1992 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the same year he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.  Prior to that he played in the 1991 documentary The Search for Robert Johnson and put out his final album along with Snooky Pryor and Johnny Nicholas, Back to the Country, for which he was given a W.C. Handy Award.
Shortly before Johnny’s passing, I was fortunate to see him at the San Jose State Fountain Blues Festival.  As I recall, Roy Rogers had been given the honor of choosing the guitarists to be included that year.  The only other imported act I can recall was Louisiana’s John Mooney, but the show was all top notch talent.  Shines also gave a lecture, probably the Monday after the Sunday event, but I was not smart enough to attend.  I presume it would have been relevant to the Johnson documentary.
Since it is still relatively new, I thought I’d mention that KKUP is now streaming on the internet and, while it is still in a developing stage, we have been putting out the word.  I’m not all of that good with high-tech stuff, but it seems pretty easy to access.  If you go to our website at KKUP.org you will see on the home page a strip of options immediately above the pictures of the musicians the next to the last option being LISTEN ONLINE.  By clicking this, it brings up a choice of desktop or mobile.  I can only speak for the desktop but after maybe a minute I was receiving a crystal clear feed.  As already mentioned, this is still a work in progress and we are currently limited to a finite number of listeners at any one time.  I mention this so you will be aware to turn off the application when you are not actually listening.  (I put the player in my favorites bar for the easiest of access.)  Now we can reach our listeners in Los Gatos and Palo Alto, even my family in Canada.  Let your friends elsewhere know they can now listen to your favorite station, and while they have the home page open they can check out our schedule.
School Time
Goin’ By the River
You’re My Girl
I Love Only You
I’ll Forget About You
Billy Boy’s Blues
You Better Cut That Out
Get Out of Here
You Don’t Love Me No More
   Billy Boy Arnold   25mins
Tippin’ In
L.D. Blues
Rough House Blues
Huffin’ ‘n’ Puffin’
Back Talk
   Lou Donaldson   24mins
Cool Driver
Evening Shuffle
Dynaflow Blues
Black Spider Blues
Layin’ Down My Shoes and Clothes
If I Get Lucky
Rockin’ My Boogie
Hey, Hey
   Johnny Shines   25mins
Bo Diddley
I’m a Man
Sweet on You
You’ve Got to Love Me
Diddley Daddy
The Great Grandfather
I Wish You Would
I Was Fooled
Bring It to Jerome
Pretty Thing
Don’t Stay Out All Night
I Ain’t Got You
Down Home Special
   Billy Boy Arnold (w/ Bo Diddley)   34mins
Fried Buzzard
The Thang
Peck Time
The Best Things in Life Are Free
   Lou Donaldson   28mins
Prisoner’s Plea
Everyday, Every Night
My Heart is Crying
Sloppy Drunk
Early in the Morning
I Have Got to Go
   Billy Boy Arnold   18mins

January 25, 2017

Key to the Highway 

Deanna Bogart                                               
Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson
Louis Jordan
I had originally planned this show to be aired immediately before or after the November Presidential election but that got sidelined when I had a surgery to remove my gall bladder and have missed a few shows, but I think I was made even sicker by the unexpected result.  I showed my disgust with the American voting public since then when I did a full show with only Canadian and British Bluesmen.  Anyway, I opted not to rewrite the intro to this piece.  It does seem more appropriate now, just after the inauguration, as you will find.
As we approach this, the most bizarre Presidential election this country has ever had, I wanted to make this show a little bit of a commemoration by adding one of my personal experiences.  It was 1992 after I had been driving cab for a little over a year (I started this show in 1991 so the name Key to the Highway has nothing to do with the taxi business) that one of the other drivers, Mike, who knew I was also a Clinton-Gore man, asked if I wanted to go to D.C. for the inauguration.  I answered back, “Yeah, sure, like I can afford it”.  He said, “No, man, I’ve got family there”.  So a friend of mine’s wife got us reasonable air fare and off we went.
It was a great experience, as much as I hoped it would be.  I swear, Mike’s brother and sister-in-law must have thought I slept all the time but, you must realize, I had busted my tail working through the holidays and when one works almost every night until about 10am they shouldn’t be expected to be alive very early in the day once they get to sleep.  Anyway, Mike’s family was great people, and I managed to get up early often enough to take the Metro into D.C. a few times to see some of the sites like the Washington and Lincoln monuments and the Viet Nam War Memorial.  And anyone who’s been there would surely agree that you could probably spend a month at the Smithsonian Museum.  And of course we went to join the masses at the inauguration.  In fact, I recently resurrected a well-worn commemorative  baseball cap I got that week after letting it sit on the shelf for more than a couple of decades.  I had actually bought two of them, but the night before I flew home I went to a bar by the hotel and, after a few beers and not being used to wearing a hat (there was a time I didn’t have such a bald spot to cover) I left it behind.
So, all that said, aside from the actual inauguration itself, the main thing I was hoping for that week was to catch Deanna Bogart in a local performance.  Deanna is a native of the D.C. area, living then in Maryland as I recall, but I figured with my luck she’d be out on tour in California while I was there.  But she indeed was in the area and we did get to hear her and that is when she told us she had played for one of the several inaugural balls that evening.

Deanna is a vocalist and Boogie Woogie piano player who also plays saxophone, sometimes playing her sax in one hand and piano with the other.  Now, if only she would sing while blowing sax I would really be impressed!  In fact, I was wearing a pin showing Bill Clinton playing sax that said something like “He blew and he blew, and he blew them all away”, with little Republican elephant icons floating out of the horn’s bell, which Deanna admired so I gave it to her.
I first heard her when she played at J.J’s Mountain View club and picked up a copy of her first CD, 1991’s Out to Get You.  She played at the Monterey Blues Festival that summer and I went down to see her with the express purpose of asking her to join me on the show if it fit her schedule and she was kind enough to make it happen.  Now, if you listen to me enough to read this blog, you are likely aware that I know I do not do interviews well at all, but this was before I was so insightful.  Deanna was so gracious, humorous and generally so comfortable in what she does that I think the interview went well, with probably no thanks to me.
So Deanna was at Monterey again, must have been the next year because this was all before the 1993 inauguration, and the Conductor (Thursdays 5-7pm on KKUP), whom I rode down with, and I had our lunch plates in our hands looking for a place to sit when Deanna saw us and called us over to join her at her picnic table, a very welcoming gesture.  I think she did another show with me soon afterward, but maybe not.  That was six Presidential terms ago so my memory is not that reliable.  Anyway, all in all, she is just a very warm person who happens to put out some great music as you will hear.
Deanna was born in Detroit but her early years were also spent in Phoenix and New York City.  She must have taken to the piano remarkably early because around the age of six she was asked to leave the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music due to the fact that, instead of learning to read music, she was playing by ear.  It was in middle school that she wanted to add the saxophone to her instrument list but was directed to the clarinet because it was more ladylike.
Anyway, things worked out pretty much as Deanna must have desired because she has won the Blues Music Award’s Horn Instrumentalist of the Year three years in a row (2008-2010) and in 2 013 earned a nomination to be the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year.  All that and more than twenty Wammies, the local music \award organization for the D.C. area
Being a bigtime fan of the Cincinnati Reds, a team half a continent away which I have never been closer to than my layovers in St. Louis on that trip in 1993, I feel fortunate to have seen them win a World Series game in 1972 when a friend of my wife-at-the-time could not make the game because the postponement due to a rainout put it to a day he could not attend.  The seats were so far back that if you stood up and looked behind you and down you were staring at the pavement surrounding the Oakland Coliseum, so absolutely the very last row of the upper deck,  but still we were there.  I mention this because if Deanna is as much a fan as I am, she must have been delighted and honored to play the national anthem at the first All Star Game at the D.C. area’s only Major League ballpark, Baltimore’s Camden Yards.  Stashed away somewhere that I will likely never come across, I must still have a VCR tape of the event.  At risk of this blog sounding more about me than Deanna, I would like to add the only other event important in my life that the fates allowed me to enjoy in person, the Monterey International Pop Festival the evening of June 18th 1967, but this year being the 50th anniversary of that weekend means that is a story for a different day a few months from now.
Just before she started her own recording career, Ms. Bogart was a part of the oxymoronically named Cowboy Jazz, but I was unable to find much about that ensemble or I’d tell ya.  More recently, Deanna took part in the annual Legendary Blues Cruise series (I believe more than one year) and, in addition to her own performance, teamed up with San Jose’s own Tommy Castro in the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Revue.  We have a CD at KKUP put together from those shows, which also included former J. Geils’ harmonicist Magic Dick.  As I recall, this was a great set of live material but it is not in my personal library so I couldn’t add it to today’s show.
The three sets here were taken from Deanna’s first three discs, 1991’s Out to Get You and Crossing Borders from 1992, both released on Blind Pig, and 1996’s New Address for the Viceroots label.
A few months back (September 28th to be precise should you desire to read his bio), we used Louis Jordan as our featured artist and it was my intention to cover his charting hits, but my recollection was a little off.  The man had 26 #1 songs and we just got those in, so I’m coming back today with another dose, this time presenting all of his #2 and #3 recordings, leaving lots more great material to air on future shows.  All the tunes come from the Bear Family’s 9CD collection Let the Good Times Roll; The Complete Decca Recordings, 1938-54.
If you look up guitarist/singers named Luther Johnson, you can’t say you don’t get options! There is Luther “Guitar, Jr.” Johnson also, but today we visit the music of Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson, and to confuse the issue even further they both played in Muddy Waters’ bands in the 60s.  And since they began recording, a third Bluesman of the same name has entered the scene.
The album we hear today, Lonesome in My Bedroom, was recorded in Paris on December 18th 1975 and was released on CD in 1992 by the Evidence label.  I don’t consider Luther an exceptional Blues player, indeed it is the fact that he was relatively typical as mostly a sideman that speaks so highly of the Chicago players of his day.  At least, that is how I see it.  What is exceptional is the band he got behind him for this occasion.  Starting with the rhythm session, drummer Fred Below was one the most sought out session men of his day and, along with bassist Dave Myers, formed two thirds of The Aces who most notably backed up Junior Wells and then became known as Little Walters’ Jukes.  The other member of The Aces (not included in this session) was Dave’s cousin, Louis Myers, who would play guitar or harmonica depending on who they were backing.  Not many have more bona fide credentials than guitarist Hubert Sumlin who for so long was the man for Howlin’ Wolf.  The other axe man, Lonnie Brooks had an outstanding recording career on his own.  Pianist Willie Mabon is a familiar name and Little Mac Simmons provides the harmonica.
Luther’s father got him started on the guitar which he sharpened while in reform school and then the Army.  Born Lucius Johnson in Davisboro, Georgia on August 30th 1934, hence another of his monikers Georgia Boy, Luther relocated to Chicago and by the early 60s had played with Elmore James, formed his own band and recorded as Little Luther.  During the mid- to late-60s, Luther toured with the Waters’ group, culminating in two albums under his own name backed by Muddy and his band for the Douglas label. 
Johnson moved to Boston in the 70s and often performed there until he came down with cancer.  He passed away on March 18th 1976, exactly three months after the recording of this music.
Since it is still relatively new, I thought I’d mention that KKUP is now streaming on the internet and, while it is still in a developing stage, we have been putting out the word.  I’m not all of that good with high-tech stuff, but it seems pretty easy to access.  If you go to our website at KKUP.org you will see on the home page a strip of options immediately above the pictures of the musicians the next to the last option being LISTEN ONLINE.  By clicking this, it brings up a choice of desktop or mobile.  I can only speak for the desktop but after maybe a minute I was receiving a crystal clear feed.  As already mentioned, this is still a work in progress and we are currently limited to a finite number of listeners at any one time.  I mention this so you will be aware to turn off the application when you are not actually listening.  (I put the player in my favorites bar for the easiest of access.)  Now we can reach our listeners in Los Gatos and Palo Alto, even my family in Canada.  Let your friends elsewhere know they can now listen to your favorite station, and while they have the home page open they can check out our schedule.
Thrash Boogie
Over Thirty
All Night Long
Good Times
Cold Outside
Morning Glory
Ethel’s Place
Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar
   Deanna Bogart   25mins

You Can’t Get That No More
Salt Pork, West Virginia
Reconversion Blues
Beware (Brother, Beware)
Let the Good Times Roll
Open the Door, Richard
Barnyard Boogie
   Louis Jordan’s #2 hits   28mins

Rock Me Slow and Easy
They Call Me the Popcorn Man
Little Queenie
Lonesome in My Bedroom
Please Give Me That Love
She’s My Babe
Please Don’t Take My Baby Nowhere
   Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson   28mins

I Know You Don’t Love Me
Tell Me
Don’t Know a Thing About Love
It’s High Time
Backstage Boogie
Blind Leading the Blind
I Know What You’re Thinkin’
Morning Skies
   Deanna Bogart   27mins

I’m Gonna Leave You on the Outskirts of Town
Five Guys Named Moe
Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby
Somebody Done Changed the Lock on My Door
Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying
Petootie Pie   (w Ella Fitzgerald)
That Chicks Too Young to Fry
I Know What You’re Puttin’ Down
Early in the Mornin’
You Broke Your Promise
   Louis Jordan’s #3 hits   32mins

Checks and Love Letters
Boogie Woogie Baby
You Give Me Reasons
Time to Change
Slipped, Tripped, Fell in Love
Can’t Get Enough of You
   Deanna Bogart   26mins

December 28, 2016

Key to the Highway 
The Wailin’ Walker Band
Carlos del Junco Band
The Boppin’ Blues Band
Selected British Blues highlights
Okay, it’s been over a decade since I had to do this, but it is not the first time. You will not be hearing any Americans on this show; we heard enough from them on Election Day.  It is good to be back with you after my recovery from a minor surgery and non-medical complications caused me to miss four shows, so my thanks go out to Gil, Jim and the Razzberry for covering in my absence.
I must admit to not being fully in gear for this show; I have put together a very solid musical show for you, especially the three sets of Canadian artists, but I was unable to put together the profiles you are used to seeing here.  Instead we have the biographies from their websites which I normally use, along with liner notes, to construct my own work.  I would like to point out the highlighted mention of KKUP in about the middle of the section on The Boppin’ Blues Band.  It is not often (as in never before) that my research brings it all back home. 
Early in the 90s I acquired the three Canadian albums you will hear today.  My recollection of them all was positive and when I gave them each another spin I found their styles to be perfectly complementary for today.  The English half of the show is a cheat in that I took it from an airing about a year and a half ago when we covered the years 1964 to 1969 in our two and a half year British Blues study.  I had ordered a CD box set to occupy that time but it never showed up.  Oh well, enjoy anyway.
And I hope you all enjoyed or are still enjoying your holiday traditions.
Al “Wailin” Walker was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada and is well known for his infectious brand of Rockin’ Rhythm and Blues. His stunning electric guitar solos and commanding vocals have been thrilling large crowds for more than 4 decades.

The first recording of Wailin Walker was with his band The Houserockers in 1978. Since then, three outstanding rock n' blues recordings of the Wailin Walker Band, "The Devil Made Me Play It", "Buzzsaw Boogie" and "Crazy at Night", have been released. The "Devil Made Me Play It", released under Double Trouble in Amsterdam, climbed to the top of the blues charts in the Netherlands, Spain and Australia.

Walker has played with and been personally mentored by many great artists such as Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Pee Wee Crayton and Otis Rush.

As leader, guitarist and singer of the Wailin Walker Band, Walker has shared the stage with Johnny Winter, George Thorogood and Stevie Ray Vaughan to name a few. He continues to work with a tight rhythm section... that keeps dance floors packed....
Carlos del Junco (born May 17, 1958[when?] Havana) is a Cuban-Canadian harmonica musician.
Mr. del Junco immigrated with his family when he was one year old. He started to play the harmonica at 14 years old. He graduated from college with honours at the Ontario College of Art majoring in sculpture.
He specializes in playing the ten hole diatonic harmonica. He was taught to play chromatically by using an "overblow" technique taught to him by Howard Levy, a jazz virtuoso.
In the 1980s, Mr. del Junco performed with many bands including Latin/Reggae/R&B band "Eyelevel", "Ontario College of Art Swing Band" with Bill Grove and for six years with the rhythm and blues group "The Buzz Upshaw Band".
In 1990, he formed a blues/jazz/fusion band, "The Delcomos" with Kevin Cooke. He also has recorded with Marcel Aymar, Cassandra Vasik, Oliver Schroer, and Holly Cole.
In 1993, he won two gold medals at the Hohner World Harmonica Championship held in Trossingen, Germany. He was judged world's best in both the diatonic blues category and the diatonic jazz category. In November of that year he released his first CD with Bill Kinnear (musician).
He is currently signed with Toronto's NorthernBlues Music.
Born in 1965 in Newport, Vermont into a musical family with an English mother and a French-Canadian father, Mike Goudreau picked up his first guitar at age 14 and hasn't stopped playing since. His early influences included the Beatles, Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and later, Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Powder Blues and Downchild - to name a few. Such diverse interests help to explain why Mike is comfortable in so many musical genres, especially jazz and blues.
Since 2007, Mike's songs have been heard on hundreds of network TV shows such as NCIS Los Angeles (CBS), Gotham (FOX) , the TV movie North Pole (Hallmark Channel), The Fosters (ABC Family) , Defiance (FX), Hung (HBO), Auction Kings (Discovery), Oddities (Discovery), Memphis Beat (TNT), Friday Night Lights (ABC), Let's Make A Deal (CBS), Scoundrels (ABC) , Justified (FX) , George Lopez Show (TBS), Dirty Sexy Money (ABC ), Army Wives (Lifetime) , Kath & Kim (NBC) and Everybody Hates Chris (CW), just to name a few.
Mike’s original song ‘’ Look For The Sunshine ‘’ was featured in the Hollywood film ‘’West End”. Mike’s song ‘’ Miss Wonderful ‘’ was featured in the trailer for the French film ‘’Love Is In The Air’’, and another of his compositions was used in the TV movie ‘’Bonnie & Clyde’’ on HBO.
Mike's produced 18 Albums ( 1994-2016)
In the early 90s Mike formed the Boppin Blues Band. Taking its name (and some of its style) from Vancouver's Powder Blues Band, the BBB blew into the Canadian music scene with an independently CD - Sold Out (1994) with 10 songs running the gamut from solid Chicago blues to jazz influenced 40s & 50s swing/jump/shuffle and a few country and gospel tunes thrown in for good measure. It showcases superb guitar work and vocals from Mike with a great back line of drums, bass, piano, horns and harp. Upon hearing it, Andy 'Blues Boy" Grigg of Real Blues Magazine called them one of the most talented bands in Canada.
I Dig My Job (1996) featured mostly original tunes including a couple en français, which was unique. Real Blues Magazine continued its love affair with the band rating it as one of the 5 best blues CDs in Canada that year and named them as Best Group in Eastern Canada for 1996-97. They were also nominated as Best New Artist at Canada's Maple Blues Awards in 1997. A California radio station (KKUP FM) placed I Dig My Job in the Top 25 Blues CDs for that year!
Happy Go Lucky (1999) with 9 of 13 songs originals. More accolades: Real Blues Magazine called it one of the 5 best CDs of the Year and named the Boppin Blues Band as Best Swing Band and Best Unsigned Band in Canada. It was also nominated by Maple Blues for Best Album.
Stardust Memories (2000) , Mike indulged his passion for his other favorite musical genre - jazz - when he released Stardust Memories , a compilation of 14 classics including Route 66, The Lady is a Tramp, and Don't Get Around Much Anymore.
Nous avions rendez-vous (2001),  Mike received a Research and Creation Grant from the Quebec Arts Council and produced ''Nous avions rendez-vous'', on the Montreal based Bros label ... 12 original blues tunes all sung in French! They were invited to the " Francofolies " in Montreal as well as a live recording captured by CBC's " Silence On Jazz " broadcast coast to coast.
Thank You Louis (2002), a tribute to the great Louis Armstrong. It was, and still is, very popular in Quebec garnering him numerous interviews with Radio-Canada, CBC Radio/TV and sell-out live shows.
My Favorite Time (2004) of the Year is a sweet, personalized collection of original and classic Christmas tunes featuring silky smooth vocals, great horns, clarinet, piano, cello and jazzy guitar work guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit .
The Grass Ain't Greener (2006), Mike moved away from the big band style that characterized the Boppin Blues Band. The Mike Goudreau Band stripped down to guitar, drums, bass, keyboards and some great wailing harp and slide guitar from Harmonica Zeke. You get a great mix of rockin, swingin, up-tempo blues - 8 of the 12 songs are originals!!
Boppin 15 (2007) 15 cuts with 11 originals and 4 covers. Over the years some of the band members have changed but this album, as with all the previous, still boasts some of the best rhythm and brass musicians in Quebec along with some very special guests including Peter Brown on piano, Didier Dumoutier on accordian and the great Harmonica Zeke on harmonica.
Blues Et Cetera (2009), rich with 15 new original songs. The works include various styles and grooves such as reggae, singer/songwriter, rock, country and world music influences as well as Texas, Chicago, funk and swing blues for which Goudreau has been renowned for the past 17 years. Mike's 11th album:
Look For The Sunshine (2010): 17 tracks featuring 12 brand new original songs and 5 jazz classics, not to mention one song in French, ''La Gentille Fille'', co-written with Michel Aubin. Whether it's a Sinatra-style crooner, groovy instrumental, dreamy bossa-nova, romantic ballad, New Orleans-style Dixieland or a finger snappin' blues, everyone from the most particular connaisseur to the jazz newbie will be enchanted with this eclectic mix of jazz.
Dancing Shoes (2011), Mike with organist Lorrie Goodman form '' The Goodmen Band '' with drummer Stéphane Jetté . The album features a great mix of Blues, Funk, Southern Soul, New Orleans and Jazzy original material which was well received by blues media and fans alike. Please visit www.thegoodmenband.com to know more.
Live At The Haskell Opera House (2011). Recorded live at this one of kind venue which was inaugurated in 1903, the Haskell Opera House is situated on the border of Mike 's hometown of Stanstead, Quebec and Derby-Line Vermont. Mike with his long time cronies play a mix of Jazz standards as well as a few blues favorites and some original compositions.
20 Years Of Bop & Blues ( 2012 ) with Mike Goudreau & The Boppin Blues Band: The album features 13 new original songs ranging from swinging to funky, from New Orleans to blues-rock, with some southern soul & gospel thrown in for good measure! This latest Boppin’ offering features Mike Goudreau on vocals and guitar, Jonathan Boudreau on bass, Jean-François Bégin on drums, David Élias on tenor and baritone sax, Serge Arsenault on trombone, and Maxime St-Pierre on trumpet. The BBB is joined by guests Lorrie Goodman on B3 organ, and special guest Pierre Lacocque, of the Chicago band Mississippi Heat, on harmonica.
Time For Messin’ Around (2013) – a 15th album for Mike Goudreau, comprising 11 songs with 8 new compositions and 3 covers from the Eastern Townships blues and jazzman. For the occasion, Goudreau is accompanied by long-time cronies Jonathan-Guillaume Boudreau on bass, Jean-François Bégin on drums, and the saxophonist David Élias on one song. Also appearing as special guest is Pascal “Per’’ Veillette, a very unique and talented harmonicist who brings a particular exotic flair with his participation on two songs. This is a “party” vibe album, with the first track that sets the tone immediately, right on to the last one. A few funk rhythms, Texas shuffle, country blues, blues rock, Southern rock vibes that’ll make you want to dance your blues away! Also a sizzling authentic and soulful slow blues sung “en Français”, which has been one of Mike’s trademarks for the past 20 years and counting.
T.G.I.F. (2014) - His 16th album, “T.G.I.F.” (Thank God It’s Friday), comprising 12 new compositions from the Eastern Townships blues and jazzman. For the occasion, Goudreau sings, plays bass, guitars and 6-string banjo, as well as being the composer and writer on all 12 tracks. He’s accompanied by long-time cronies, brilliant saxophonist Dany Roy (Garou, Bet.e & Stef, Susie Arioli), Maxime St Pierre on trumpet (Michel Cusson, Alain Caron, Pagliaro ), Serge Arsenault on trombone, Stéphane Jetté on drums and the fleet-fingered Nino Fabi on keyboards.
Je reste accroché (2015) - Mike Goudreau presents his 17th album : « Je reste accroché », featuring 12 new original songs, 11 of which are sung in French ! With « Je reste accroché », you'll discover a good-timing mix of contemporary Blues and traditional Blues with diverse influences : Chicago Blues, Swing, Jazz, Rock, R&B, Country and even Reggae !
Sweet Blues (2016) Mike Goudreau & The Boppin Band present their 6th release ( This being Mike's 18th album since 1993 ) . Now in their 25th year of performing and recording their brand of blues, this album features a dynamic mix of Swing, Rock, Soul , Gospel and Jazzy Blues that they have become we'll known for with accolades from their peers as well as blues media and aficionados ! 12 brand new original songs, all written and sung by guitarist Mike Goudreau who's accompanied by an all star band featuring the stellar horns of tenor saxophonist Dany Roy and trumpet player and arranger Maxime St-Pierre. Also on board is legendary bassist Norman Lachapelle, pianist John Sadowy, drummer Alain Bourgeois, bass trombonist Olivier Lizotte, organist and co- songwriter Lorrie Goodman and keyboardist Steve Soucy. Recorded and mixed by one of Canada's top recording engineers Dany Legendre and mastered by Steve Corrao in Nashville, Tennessee, this album will keep blues fans swinging and snapping their fingers from track one to twelve ! Get ready to Bop Till You Drop ! 
Over the past two decades, Mike has performed at some of the most prestigious Jazz & Blues Festivals in Canada including 10 times at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, (9 times at the Tremblant International Festival de Blues, 7 appearances at the Edmundston Jazz and Blues Festival, Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Rimouski, 3 times at the Maximum Blues de Carleton, Fredericton's Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival, Saint John Jazz Festival and Festival by the Sea. In September of 2008 Mike was invited to the '' Playing With Fire '' Blues Festival in Omaha Nebraska accompanied by members of Chicago's ''Mississippi Heat '' and had raving reviews for their performance. When asked why he plays both jazz and blues Mike replies: "I get bored doing just one type of music. I love jazz for its beautiful melodies, chords, and improvisation. I love blues for its energy, soul and milking its three-chord structure. I enjoy playing rock 'n roll too. But no matter what music I play it has to SWING!"
What some of the blues media have to say about Mike Goudreau:
''Listening to his music it almost seems he is searching for the musical Holy Grail but in actuality he is the musical Holy Grail. He is already there – but he just doesn’t let up on his drive to do more, write better songs, record more, play live more.'' - Sandy Graham - Cashbox Canada
“Du Mike Goudreau en français, cela représente pour moi un style en soi ou la qualité à tous les niveaux s'avère toujours indédiable ! Bonne écoute !” Pierre Jobin - Québec Audio & Vidéo
“Aussi bon en spectacle que sur disque, Mike Goudreau saura vous faire apprécier un blues savoureux avec un son différent grâce à une excellente section de cuivres. Une fois qu’on commence à écouter du Mike Goudreau, on ne peut plus arrêter, vous aussi direz comme moi, JE RESTE ACCROCHÉ et j’aime ça !” Pierre Lamontagne - Le Net Blues
''Je reste accroché'' , vous propose non pas un remède à la morosité ambiante, mais LE remède miracle pour non seulement effacer vos soucis mais faire briller le soleil dans vos yeux, tant il est rempli de bonnes choses, joué non seulement avec le coeur mais aussi avec l'âme.” Arol Rouchon - BCR La Revue, France
 “Un titre approprié d’album, puisqu’effectivement on reste accroché par ce blues qui rock et swing en français et qui nous parle de la vraie vie. Ce prolifique auteur-compositeur-guitariste et producteur estrien nous offre un beau mélange de blues contemporain et traditionnel avec des influences : Blues, Swing, Jazz, Rock, R & B, Country et même Reggae. -” Marie-Josée Boucher - Info-Culture.biz
“Mike Goudreau a encore trouvé le moyen de nous surprendre et de nous convaincre qu'il est un indispensable membre de la famille blues du Québec. Il a accompli le tour de force de présenter un album tout en français sans tomber dans les clichés, sans faire folklorique et en gardant l'intérêt de l'auditeur par la variété des styles comme des thèmes abordés. Oui, moi aussi ' Je reste accroché'” Michel Dubois - RUE D'AUTEUIL, CKRL 89.1 Québec
“ Well, if Mike Goudreau and his boys were looking for the sunshine with their new album, they certainly found it! Lay the sunscreen heavy ‘cause this one is a real scorcher!” Dan Behrman, Producer/Host, Espace Musique / Radio-Canada
 I love Mike's easy going, confident approach to music. Backed by sympathetic players, that approach results in a cool effortless swing whatever the groove. He shows his 'big picture' love and understanding of the blues in his guitar playing and songwriting. I'm happy to help spread the word by playing his music on CBC Radio's Saturday Night Blues and on Galaxie. " Holger Petersen 
"A hearty vocalist and effective guitarist who plays snarling, tightly wound leads...A highly enjoyable set. Tom Hyslop, Blues Revue Magazine, USA, Dec/Jan 2008 "Goudreau plays lead guitar with the tone and taste of greats like Otis Rush and Albert King, and writes compelling, original songs". Jeremy Loome, Edmonton Sun
"Quality Canadian blues...solid and unpretentious...swings with snappy sincerity and crisp energy” Hal Horowitz, Blues Revue Magazine, USA Oct/Nov 2006 Issue
 “Undiluted blues from one of the purest players on the Canadian scene” Al Kirkcaldy, CFFF 92.7 FM, Peterborough, ON “
 … A rockin’, rompin’, stompin’ good time….solid, creamy, tight and tasty licks executed with precision and class” Billie Lucas, CHLY 101.7 FM, Nanaimo BC
“Goudreau is a natural. He leads a great band with exciting original songs that dare you to sit still” John Valenteyn, Maple Blues, Toronto Blues Society
 " The Grass Ain't Greener " est un de ces albums racés qui font figure de référence dans une carrière, aussi riche et chargée soit elle ! Fred Delforge, zicazic.com, France
FOR INFO/BOOKINGS contact : Mike Goudreau – tel. : 819-876-2109 195 Passenger Stanstead Qc J0B 3E2 Info@mikegoudreau.com or mikegoudreau@hotmail.com Web sites : http://www.mikegoudreau.com or http://www.myspace.com/mikegoudreauband and the French website at : http://www.mikegoudreau.ca
The Various bands :

Mike Goudreau Band ( Blues )

Mike Goudreau has returned to more stripped-down blues with this band. On the CD - “The Grass Ain’t Greener” you'll hear a solid backline of artists who have obviously played together for a long time and it shows. This show is a bit more Blues/Rock than The Boppin' Blues Band show but every bit as authentic in their aproach of the Blues. This band varies from 4 to 5 musicians

Mike Goudreau & Boppin Blues Band ( Blues )

Mike Goudreau was rocked from the cradle by the voices of Nat King Cole,. Frank Sinatra, Elvis and the Beatles. As a musician, he travelled the requisite roads of classic rock and country music, and moulded his style in the wake of Albert King and Kenny Burrell, whose traces can be felt to this day.

From his very first contacts with blues, he started the Boppin' Blues Band, with his crony Richard Bergeron. Featuring a great 3 piece horn section that gives this band a Jazzy,R & B sound that leaves audiences wanting more. The band has performed on television, in all sorts of festivals and special events, on hundreds of stages big and small, and has earned many titles and distinctions. Mike Goudreau Lays claim to five albums with the Boppin' Blues Band.

With those albums containing many original pieces, Mike Goudreau and the Boppin' Blues Band have demonstrated the multiple voices of blues, proving it can also be sung in French! Check out clips from all 5 albums on the music page
This band varies from 6 to 8 musicians.

Mike Goudreau & Friends ( Jazz Band )

Mike Goudreau & Friends presents the '' Great American Songbook '' , featuring songs made famous by Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Mel torme, Duke Ellington, Carlos Antonio Jobim just to name a few. This band varies from 3 to 8 musicians.

Mike Goudreau & Friends also presents : ''Thank You Louis ! '' a tribute to the music of Louis Armstrong.Check out songs from the album '' Thank You Louis ! '' on the music page.
This band varies from 4 to 8 musicians.

Mike Goudreau ( Classic Rock )

For the past 20 years this band has wowed audiences with a repertoire that keeps them on the dance floor from start to finish. They cover a wide variety of Classic Rock hits with a repertoire of over 500 songs from beloved artists as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, C.C.R. , Doobie Brothers, The Doors, Bob Seger, George Thorogood, Santana, Chuck Berry and much more.
This group available for Corporate functions, Festivals and private parties.
The band varies from 3 to 7 musicians.

Mike Goudreau ( Acoustic Solo/Duo/Trio)

Mike Goudreau also presents a Solo/Duo/Trio acoustic show with a variety of styles ranging from Jazz, Blues and Folk Rock available for Festivals, small venues, restaurants, cafe's , corporate events and private parties.
Available solo, duo or trio ( with upright bass ,harmonicist, piano
or sax )
Since it is still relatively new, I thought I’d mention that KKUP is now streaming on the internet and, while it is still in a developing stage, we have been putting out the word.  I’m not all of that good with high-tech stuff, but it seems pretty easy to access.  If you go to our website at KKUP.org you will see on the home page a strip of options immediately above the pictures of the musicians the next to the last option being LISTEN ONLINE.  By clicking this, it brings up a choice of desktop or mobile.  I can only speak for the desktop but after maybe a minute I was receiving a crystal clear feed.  As already mentioned, this is still a work in progress and we are currently limited to a finite number of listeners at any one time.  I mention this so you will be aware to turn off the application when you are not actually listening.  (I put the player in my favorites bar for the easiest of access.)  Now we can reach our listeners in Los Gatos and Palo Alto, even my family in Canada.  Let your friends elsewhere know they can now listen to your favorite station, and while they have the home page open they can check out our schedule.
Pretty Girls Everywhere
Gasoline Annie
Dawn ‘til Dusk
Outlaw Blues
I Feel Fine
While You’re Down There
Tryin’ to Find My Baby
   The Wailin’ Walker Band   30min
   Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band
She Said Yeah
   The Rolling Stones
Let Me Love You Baby
   The Savoy Brown Blues Band
Catfish Blues
   The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Remington Ride
   Chicken Shack
Go On Home
   Dave Berry
Driva Man
   Manfred Mann (with Jack Bruce)
The Cat
   Zoot Money
Every Day I Have the Blues
   Alexis Korner (featuring Herbie Goins)   25min
B Thing Intro
Just Your Fool
Quiet Whiskey
B Thing Outro
   The Carlos del Junco Band   19min
Watch and Chain
   The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation
Buy You a Diamond Ring
   Dave and Jo Ann Kelly
Cat’s Squirrel
Jailhouse Rock
   The Jeff Beck Group (featuring Rod Stewart)
Hellhound on My Trail
Fighting for Madge
   Fleetwood Mac
I Tried
   The Aynsley Dunber Retaliation
Don’t Gimme No Lip
   Dave Berry
Sweet Wine
Sabre Dance
   Love Sculpture   30min
Happy Go Lucky Blues
Bad John
Come Home Baby
Way Down South
Love This Rhythm
Swingin’ and Grinnin’
Country Cabin Hideaway
Swingne to Peine
Jumpin’ the Blues
   The Boppin’ Blues Band   30min
All Your Love
You Don’t Love Me
Snowy Wood
   John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
Change Your Low Down Ways
   The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation
Shake ‘em on Down
   The Savoy Brown Blues Band   19min
Key to the Highway
   The Carlos del Junco Band  6min