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~ Blues News ~
The current issue of Living Blues Magazine is now out!  California bluesman Kirk “Eli” Fletcher fell in love
with the guitar early and has spent his entire life following that passion. From the church to the blues stage,
Fletcher is now one of the brightest lights in the blues.  Also featured, Phoenix-based Lucius Parr may not
have followed a common path in the blues but after 50 years, he is a bluesman to be reckoned with!  
In July of 1935, J.B. Long drove three of the top bluesmen from North Carolina to the New York City
studios of the American Record Corporation for their first ever recording sessions. Over four days, these
artists recorded some of the most influential blues sides of all time.  Another feature in the latest issue is
Willie J. Laws.  This funky blues poet is now one of the top blues acts in the Northeast.

During the last decade of his life, Alvin Lee teamed up with bass player Pete Pritchard and drummer
Richard Newman to form a power trio which toured the UK and played at festivals across Europe. Alvin’s
last show, the Ribs and Blues Festival in Holland on 28th May 2012, turned out to be at the peak of his
career and one of his best live performances, subsequently released on CD as The Last Show.  It was just the
eighth anniversary of his sudden passing.  Since 2013, Alvin’s close family has ensured that his legacy is
perpetuated for future generations. Evi works tirelessly to keep the official website and Facebook page
continuously updated and to oversee new content and releases. She discovered the original never before
heard recordings from The Cap Ferrat Sessions in Alvin’s studio and had them re-mixed by producer Chris
Kimsey for inclusion in the 1967-74 Ten Years After 10-CD box set. Alvin’s daughter Jasmin is managing
director of Dean Street Studios in Soho, London, one of the world’s most famous recording venues.  

Robert Finley has announced the release of Sharecropper’s Son, the career-defining new album from “the
greatest living soul singer,” on Easy Eye Sound/Concord, on May 21 2021. A soulful masterpiece written by
Finley and co-written and produced by Dan Auerbach, Sharecropper’s Son features blues veterans and
studio legends who have worked with everyone from Elvis to Wilson Pickett.  Corky Siegel — one of
Chicago’s most renowned blues harpists just created and streamed Chamber Blues Extravaganza, where he
and a unique community of musicians performed their signature songs.

Blues patriarch Son House famously said “There ain’t but one kind of blues and that consist between a male
and a female that is in love.“ Welsh born guitarist and singer/songwriter Dave Thomas has been guided by
that axiom for over 50 years. From his beginnings in 1969 with the prog rock pioneers Blonde On Blonde,
and on to his many forays through folk, rock, blue eyed soul, and roots music and leading his own Dave
Thomas Blues Band, he has always shown a love for sad songs that explore matters of the heart. His new
album One More Mile, the first in five years, was a decade in the making, and is the first of three new
releases to come. The ten new tracks feature collaborations with great musician and songwriter friends
including long time drummer for Van Morrison, Terry Popple, Canadian songwriter Tony Henderson, along
with lead guitarist for Christie Moore, the esteemed Declan Sinnott, and the UK band Groundhogs. Some of
the recording sessions date back 20 years to the 1990’s and 2003, presented as an eclectic mix of styles with
original material and select covers that feature Thomas’ distinct vocal style.  He said: “I call it ‘One More
Mile’ because it really feels like a lifetime journey that I’ve been on. And I’ve been playing music for well
over 50 years, so the milestone is quite significant.”  

Photographer and director Danny Clinch loves music. He loves it so much that he photographs it, films it,
and plays it. He’s earned his stripes as rock and roll’s premier photographer, official backstage
photographer for the Grammys, and 3x Grammy-nominated filmmaker. Clinch has photographed the gamut
from Johnny Cash and John Prine, to Nas and Tupac.   His work has appeared on hundreds of album
covers and in publications like Vanity Fair, Spin, Rolling Stone, GQ, Esquire, and more. He’s directed music
videos for Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters and Dave Matthews, among others; and he
now has four published books under his belt: Discovery Inn, When the Iron Bird Flies, Motor Drive, and
Still Moving (foreword by Bruce Springsteen).  He uses his harp skills in the New York-based Tangiers Blues
Band, formed in 1998 when Clinch, guitarist Chris Scianni and drummer Dave Borla discovered a mutual
love for blues. “We met 25 years ago when I was photographing a band called Dangerman. They chose me as
their photographer. I went in to meet with them, and I saw all these John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters,
Howlin’ Wolf photos on the wall. And I said, ‘Oh man, I’m a big blues fan too.’ They said, ‘Oh, come on up
and we’ll have a jam.’ We started jamming and we haven’t stopped yet.

Veteran singer songwriter and powerhouse pianist Ericson Holt will release his new album 99 Degrees on
May 16. American Blues Scene is proud to premiere the video for the first single, “Walking on Bourbon
Street.” With 99 Degrees, Ericson Holt isn’t just chasing dreams, he’s living them. Holt wrote this ode to his
favorite town just in time for Mardi Gras season.  

St. Louis duo River Kittens have released a remarkable cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City” giving
the classic song a bluegrass make-over that is both refreshing and lively. River Kittens signed to Devon
Allman’s label, Create Records, for their forthcoming EP due out this Spring. “Atlantic City” is a song that
has always been close to our hearts. It’s one of the first songs Mattie ever learned on her mandolin. Its piece
of music that has seen us both through hard times and loves lost. It’s a classic night cap tune for late night
jams with our pals in St. Louis. It’s as much our anthem as any song we’ve written.  

Joyann Parker’s second album, Out of The Dark, is about to come out. It’s a hybrid: a little bit of Patti
Smith melodrama, a dash of Melissa Etheridge attitude and a lot of Ma Rainey bravada.  Joyann has a
music degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. “I wanted to make sure I understood what I was
doing because so many people say, ‘Oh, I’m gonna sing in this genre,’ and they have no idea what they’re
doing, and then they just decide they’re gonna do it and never learn anything about the instrument or the
context of it or anything like that. And so, I did, I just went in and started at the beginning and learned
about it. “Then my guitar player who’s my musical partner, my business partner, Mark (Lamoine), he was
leading a blues jam. He has been for years, and so I started going to that. Then I picked up a guitar and,
yeah, I just kinda made my journey through all the varieties of blues, and from there obviously where it
took me to R & B and soul and all that, and then I went back around to gospel and then everything else I

The Blues Foundation established the COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund to provide
immediate resources to full-time blues musicians whose revenue streams have been severely diminished by
the current coronavirus pandemic. The fund is intended for blues musicians for whom performing makes up
the bulk of their income and who have no other outlets for work. A professional blues musician with
financial need will be considered for an award by the Fund Committee based on the subjective merits of
their application and financial need. Award amounts are intended to assist with immediate essential needs
such as food, rent/mortgage, utilities, phone, and car payments. Medical insurance premiums can also be
considered.  To apply or learn more, visit www.blues.org.

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