November 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm #90153
full album is streaming on AOL spinnerNovember 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm #90154
today is the official release dateNovember 28, 2012 at 2:43 am #90155
best review yet! thanks to Rick and City Pages for all the support.
Deep blues comes to life on this raw, live cut featuring seven bands
By Rick Mason Wednesday, Nov 28 2012
On the weekend before the Fourth of July last summer, downtown Bayport baked under a scorching sun while a glorious noise, mixed with the pungent aroma of southern barbecue, drifted from behind a row of buildings a stone's throw from the St. Croix River. Over three days, 26 bands representing the raw, remarkably diverse, grassroots phenomenon known as deep blues regaled a small but robust gathering of the faithful in and around Chris Johnson's Bayport BBQ, one of the epicenters of the movement.
It was the fifth Deep Blues Festival, returning after a year's hiatus, almost Lazarus-like after a history of artistic success tempered by bad luck and financial drubbings. This time around, Johnson staged the fest indoors and out at his barbecue joint and limited ticket sales to just enough to break even, resulting in an intimate atmosphere somewhere between a crowded living room and a block party — albeit fueled by the wild, raucous, unwaveringly passionate sound of deep blues.
The spirit of that weekend is captured onAlive at the Deep Blues Fest, a live recording of seven bands that were there, all on the roster of the L.A. label Alive Naturalsound. Buffalo Killers, Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, Brian Olive, Radio Moscow, Left Lane Cruiser, John the Conqueror, and Wales's Henry's Funeral Shoe collectively confirm Alive's emphasis on the rock 'n' roll wing of outsider blues. The album is out this week, including a version on "barbecue-sauce red" vinyl.
"It's fantastic," Johnson says, beaming, at a listening party for the new album, while Left Lane Cruiser's rock 'n' ragin' version of the Robert Johnson classic "Rambling on My Mind" cascades from the BBQ's sound system. "It's true to what we're doing. Alive has its own niche. It's a segment of what's out there. Right from the beginning, it was a dream of mine to have a document of the festival."
"Really captured the general feeling of the festival. You can hear the dampness of barbecue-covered guitar strings and fingertips," says Andy Gabbard of Buffalo Killers, who kick off the disc with a pair of rollicking, psychedelia-laced blues-rock nuggets.
"Man, I'm honored to be included on it," Bains adds. "There are some bands on there that not only make rad music, but are absolutely killer live bands. Chris Johnson up there in Bayport really has been very cool to us. It's definitely galvanizing to have somebody with good taste support you in such a way."
Johnson says he actually approached Alive owner Patrick Boissel with the idea of a live album after recording all 46 bands at the 2008 Deep Blues Festival. Boissel then declined, questioning its commercial viability. But this year, he asked to attend the festival and arranged for Neil Weir of Minneapolis's Old Blackberry Way studio to record the proceedings. Mixed by Jim Diamond of Detroit's Ghetto Recorders, the disc captures the visceral immediacy of stormy guitars and shredded vocals rippling through the BBQ's back patio and parking lot.
"Seemed like a good opportunity since seven of our bands were playing the Deep Blues Fest," Boissel says via email. "Plus, I liked the idea of an old-school live album. Nobody makes these kind of records anymore. I thought it would be fun."
Besides simply capturing the moment, the album's release could shine new light on what's still a mostly underground movement, which grew out of the primordial blues of Mississippi's Delta and Hill Country, and artists like R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, picking up bits of punk, country, folk, and bluegrass, among other genres, along the way.
"It's a big step," says Johnson. "It really is an accomplishment, and some recognition."
Boisell and the artists involved are optimistic about the album's role in spreading the word. "I hope it's going to help put the deep blues on the map and give Chris Johnson some credit for helping the scene grow and develop," Boisell said. "Hopefully, the album will bring some attention to the artists and the event. All these bands are the real thing. They are not backed by big companies expecting to make millions with them. They play for the sheer joy of it. These are all artists with integrity."
"This album will hopefully spread the disease to a few folks who may not already be in the know," Left Lane Cruiser Brenn Beck added by email. "Unfortunately, most people are used to clean, crisp, shitty music these days. Once people start listening with their heart and soul instead of their ears, I think this genre will be unstoppable."November 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm #90156
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Great stuff, Chris. Thanks for all the updates. I will getting this CD for myself for xmas.January 23, 2013 at 2:11 am #90157
We're announcing bands as they confirm for our 2013 event. So far:
Left Lane Cruiser
Possessed By Paul James
Mark Porkchop Holder
Johnny Walker and the Black Guard
Molly Gene One Whoaman Band.
Seven down and I'd guess about 14 to go. Cutting down to about 21 bands this year. I think both stages will be outdoors. Side by side. Alternating one hour sets. Facebook will have all the updates.
We've sold tickets so far to:
CAJanuary 29, 2013 at 4:20 am #90158
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Paid for my tickets, can't wait.January 29, 2013 at 4:23 am #90159
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dupMarch 10, 2013 at 5:33 pm #90160June 3, 2013 at 12:17 pm #90161
Less than three weeks away.
Van Campbell of the Black Diamond Heavies is coming in to play with the Dead Exs.
Walter Daniels will be playing with Guadalupe Plata.
No word yet on who makes up the Black Guard playing with Johnny Walker.
Time will tell.June 24, 2013 at 5:25 pm #90162
2014 Deep Blues Fest will be in Clarksdale MS in October. Details to be announced in the next month.November 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm #90163
moving the fest to Clarksdale MS for 2014November 30, 2013 at 4:42 am #90164
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:party: Uber pumped/thankful for The Deep Blues Fest coming down here. Awesome that you're doing it October as well. Should provide some great weather.
Can't wait to see the lineup!.. Any chance that pic you uploaded is going to be the actual gig poster for the event? Would love to get one of those framed!November 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm #90165
that is the official 2014 poster. the artist will be doing screen prints and we'll be selling those and shirts by springtime.
lineup news will be super sunday feb 2nd. Kenny Brown is playing at the bayport bbq fri/sat/sun that weekend.
this clarksdale event is going to be something very special.December 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm #90166
We've been fortunate to work with hundreds of bands from around the world at our Deep Blues Festivals. Every year, we've struggled with not being able to include everyone that has wanted to join us. For 2014, we're trying something new. Our fest is moving to Clarksdale MS and we're inviting any band that wants to play. You need to find your own venue or place to busk. We'll promote any and all musicians that can give us a location and set time. We'll hope that musicians and fans will all help promote this event and help spread the word. Please forward this email and share our facebook posts to musicians and fans.
I will be hosting late night events Thursday/Friday/Saturday Oct 16 to 19 at the Juke Joint Chapel at the Shack Up Inn, 11pm to 2am three bands each night. I've already got these bands selected, so no need to contact me requesting one of these slots. You'll have to do your homework to find a place to play and negotiate your own deal. If you've been to Clarksdale for one of the Juke Joint Festivals or other events, you know there are many places to perform. We'll be posting some venue information on our facebook page and website to help you out.
All bands that make this trip will be included in all of the Deep Blues Festival "marketing/publicity", but that it is their responsibility to set-up, help promote, and work out all the details with the individual clubs in Clarksdale specific to their show(s).
We've been asking for benefactors to help fund the late night shows at the Chapel and the other promotional costs with $100 donations. So far, we have over forty very generous fans that have contributed. They will receive a few perks, such as the first opportunity to reserve rooms at the Shack Up Inn. They will also be guaranteed admission to the late night shows at the Chapel. Send me an email if you'd like more information on becoming a benefactor.
There will be more information coming. Watch and follow the Deep Blues Festival facebook page. Make sure you're on the bayport bbq monthly email letter. Send me an email if you'd like to be included.
Sunday February 2nd (superbowl sunday) we'll be announcing the bands I've booked to play the Juke Joint Chapel. We'll have our new festival website up by then and from that day forward, we'll be promoting all bands that give me a location and set time for that festival weekend.
As with all of the Deep Blues Festivals, we anticipate fans and bands to join us from all over the world. Hope you'll think about joining us too.
Deep Blues FestivalJanuary 30, 2014 at 6:34 pm #90167
offical announcement isn't until Sunday. here's a sneak peak just for the fan lounge
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