News and Reviews 2002
Robert Johnson
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11th Annual
B.B. King Blues Festival Tour

September 20, 2002
Fresno Grizzlies Stadium

Review by Randy Elzig

Those of us that went to the B.B. King concert expecting a great show weren't dissappointed.  And anybody who wasn't there should be kicking themselves for missing this one.  I'm not always a big fan of this style of review because the bands often aren't given enough time to get into it but this was an exception.

The evening started with the local Mofo Party Band who had the early crowd moving to their great sound.  Then Shane Henry, a 19 year old guitarist, brought some Southern rock to his Texas blues.  Next up, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, whose classic Texas mix of R&B/Blues rocked and revved the crowd up another notch with their classic sound.  Kim Wilson, a great harmonica player and original member, led the band through a burning set of old and new tunes.  By the time they were done with the set they had the crowd yelling for more.
And if all that wasn't enough.....

Jonny Lang, 21 and already a blues veteran, released his first album when he was 16.  I was very anxious to see him live.  This guy has great chops and left the guitar smoking.  If it was possible, his blistering solos brought the crowd to a whole new level.  There was no one around me who could sit still.  He proved to be a great player and musician.  The set came to a great climax when Lang and his sax player exchanged several chorus' of dueling licks, an unexpected surprise display of musicianship.  If Jonny is this good now, imagine what he'll be like in another 10 years.  His bass player had a great stage presence and the group was very tight.  It doesn't get much better than this.
.....of course until.....

B.B. King.  For a man who just turned 77 on Monday, he played like no one else can.  He and his music are ageless and though he sits down for his set (like he hasn't earned it?) it doesn't keep him from rockin'.  His band, one of the tightest, is great support.  They provide the groove and let him do what he does.  His rhythm section featured a very good new guitarist, Charles Weeks, and a new bass player.  B.B. played many of his older and newer songs, but as always with a freshness and a little something new.  While embracing the familiar, his solo on his hit 'The Thrill is Gone' was a completely new approach.  The part of his set where he plays with just the rhythm section gives him the opportunity to stretch out and get that down home groove going.  It's a glimpse of him in the setting that produced the sound that has influenced pretty much every guitar player directly or indirectly.  Lucille continues to be the perfect companion and there is no doubt who the King is.  His brilliant guitar playing seems to improve with each performance.  His command of dynamics and all the subtleties he can ring from a single note prove why he is a legend.  He had a great rapport with the audience and feeds off of their energy.  This is a man who loves what he does.

On a more personal note, B.B. shared that he has been healthy and plans to keep doing what he is doing.  He mentioned that his next album will be a collection of love songs (new compositions), emphasing positive lyrics and situations.  He's off touring the United States but will be back in California in November.

Blues News Views
August 25, 2002

I am delighted with your "Blues Site", and so glad I signed up for a listing while I was in Hanford for a venue.  You guys really keep us posted, and make available all the latest "blues news".  Keep up the good work.  I look forward to each newsletter.

Shirley O'Ban

Sean Costello
August 9, 2002 @ Club Fred

Monday Night Blues with Chris Millar
August 5, 2002

Starting tonight, Chris Millar (Fresno's own blues ambassador) is taking over the Monday Night Blues Show on KFSR 90.7 FM.  Check it out tonight at 9pm and let Chris know we're all supporting the blues in this great valley of ours.  I also would like to thank Roger Gonzales for all the time he spent doing the show.  Roger is very informative and his comments on CDs and artists will be missed.  Chris is also one of the most knowledgeable people out there when it comes to who's who in the blues scene so check it out and enjoy.


Delta Wires CD Release Party
Mudslide Records
August 4, 2002

Press Release

Hadden Sayers
July 24, 2002 @ Club Fred

I saw Hadden Sayers last night and my brain is still burning.  Hadden, Terry Dry, and Matt Johnson threw down two long sets of that Texas blues rock they do so well.  The only disappointment was the small crowd.  Didn’t slow the band down though—they rocked all night.

Hadden is an awesome lead guitarist, but what really impressed me is his rhythm work.  Fronting a trio and keeping in hot and fresh all night is tough.  Hadden’s fat tone and his ability to take boogie, pick-rakin’, chicken-pickin’, whatever-you-please style of playing and whip it up into a tornado of sound makes this band.  Aside from his guitar work, his singing is down-home and his lyrics kept me smiling all night.  Smokin’ good rock.

Of course he doesn’t do it all alone.  Matt Johnson is one solid drummer.  He kicked into any rhythm and didn’t miss.  I’ve never heard anyone lay down a better double shuffle.  Matt’s playing gave the guitar guy plenty of room to move around sonically.

The glue holding this trio together is bass man Terry Dry.  With his thick bass tone filling holes and playing off of Matt’s rhythms, Terry made the band sound a whole lot bigger than a three piece.

Great music and three great guys.  Don’t miss the Hadden Sayers band next time they roll into town.

Jim "Gumbo" Furnas

Hadden Sayers wrote:


Thanks so much for all the kind words.  I feel totally unworthy!! We had a great time playing for ya'll.  Let's work together to make our next show a big success for everyone involved, so we can keep coming back.

Thanks again for the write up and I hope to see ya soon.

From the highway...

Musick Mountain Blues Festival
September 7, 2002 @ Shaver Lake
June 12, 2002
(Public Service Announcement)

For further information contact:
Mike Palmer (559) 298-5145
Auberry Inter-Mountain Rotary Club

The 6th annual "MUSICK MOUNTAIN BLUES FESTIVAL" will be held in Shaver Lake on Saturday, September 7th, at the Community Center Ball Park.  This outdoor concert is a fundraising event for the Rotary Club of Auberry Inter-Mountain.  Proceeds benefit community needs and youth projects of the mountain area.

Featured Artists
•  Corby Yates
•  Wendy DeWitt & Blue Saloon
•  Mofo Party Band
•  Deja Blues

Gates open at 10:30 AM.  Music starts at 11:00 AM and will continue until about 6:30 PM.  Tickets are $10.00 in advance and $12.00 at the gate.  Advance tickets may be purchased in Prather at Ace Hardware or in Shaver Lake at Trappers Bar & Grill or at Shaver Lake Hardware.  For further information call (559) 82-BLUES or visit our website at

Kids under 12 are free and a playground area is available for them.  Bring sunscreen for the day and a sweater for the evening.  Bring lawn chairs or blankets, but leave the ice chests and pets at home.  There will be plenty of food, drink and beer available at reasonable prices.

Shaver Lake is approximately one hour from Fresno in the beautiful Sierras at 5,000 feet.  From Highway 41, take Friant road to Auberry Rd, then Highway 168 to Shaver Lake.

The 8th running of the Sierra Hope Ride was a huge success!
Over 1900 bikers raised $245,918 for the MDA, and a good time was had by all
June 1, 2002 @ Sonora Fairgrounds
The Loose Gravel Blues Band did it Chicago style
Starship Featuring Mickey Thomas played hit after hit

Click here for a photo gallery of the day

Deja Blue's
First Annual
"Your Momma's Got The Blues"
Mothers Day Jam

May 12, 2002 @ Club Fred

From Deja Blues and the Blues Lovers Mailing List:  I want to thank everyone that came out to our Mother's Day Jam and BBQ.  What a blast!  Mr. Stark Fradue, his lovely wife and sister in-law served up the best BBQ you've ever sunk your choppers into.  This was definitely a success and will be an annual event.  I had mothers telling me it was the best Mother's Day they ever had.  Keep your eye out for more of these types of events in the future.  Last but not least I want to thank all the players that came out.  We jammed until our fingers bled.  Hopefully the word will get out to all the musicians that couldn't make it and next time they will be lined up to jam.

Thanks again and Keep on Groovin'!!!
Don Heflin and my lovely wife Susan  (I couldn't have pulled this off without her)

Benefit for Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson

This legendary bluesman, who has blessed us with his blazing brand West Side Blues for over 40 years, is in need of our help.  Luther suffers from kidney failure and must undergo dialysis on a regular basis.  His condition has reached the critical stage where a kidney transplant is the only option if he is to continue performing and live a normal life.

To Help Luther with his medical expenses, a benefit concert will be held May 19, 2002 in Oak Park, Greenfield, New Hampshire.  A virtual who’s who of the Boston area Blues scene will perform including Luther Guitar Jr. Johnson & The Magic Rockers, Sugar Ray & The Bluetones, Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters, Nicole Nelson Band, Toni Lynn Washington, K.D. Bell, Racky Thomas Band, Matt Woodburn & Cheryl Arena With James Montgomery, Loaded Dice with Carl Querfuth & Horns & Danny Vitale, Michelle Wilson, David Maxwell, Jerry Portnoy, Shirley Lewis, Chris Fitz and many more.

Send Donations to:
Luther Johnson
c/o The Rynborn Restaurant & Blues Club
Antrim, NH  03440
(603) 588-6162

Mark Hummel
April 7, 2002 @ Zapps Park
With John Clifton and Jimi Godfrey

Blues-L Thread Regarding
The 1st Annual Spring Blues Festival
March 22, 2002 @ Club Fred
Franck Goldwasser

Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 02:49:15 EST
Subject: One Of The Greatest Blues Guitarists I Have Ever Seen (Paris Slim)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of seeing Franck Goldwasser a.k.a. Paris Slim, perform with Harmonica Slim and Filmore Slim a.k.a. Clarence Sims. R.J. Mischo also sat in and kicked some ass. Harmonica Slim was fantastic also. Chris Millar's drumming was surprisingly strong and interesting. But the show stopper for me was definitely Goldwasser.

Do many people know about him? He has an interesting history, having moved to the Bay area in 1983, from Paris. I believe one of his original inspirations came from a European tour in 1979, where he witnessed Willie James Lyons, whose guitar style Slim can evoke rather convincingly. Having played on several sessions, and having done numerous gigs with Troyce Keys, Sonny Rhodes, and Kim Wilson, Slim definitely has one of the best touches in blues. These days he's living in Santa Barbara, CA.

I recently picked up his CD "Bleeding Heart" on Mountain Top Records, and I am continuing to dig it more and more. What great chops and feel the guy has.

Those of you who are fans of the blues expertise of a Billy Flynn or a Rockin' Johnny should get hip to Franck Goldwasser. You won't be sorry.


Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 01:18:27 -0800
Subject: Re: One Of The Greatest Blues Guitarists I Have Ever Seen (Paris Slim)

Yeah, I sat in with Paris Slim and his band one time. He is a solid and creative player. There was NO bass player that night, just Paris Slim(Guit), Eddie Clark(drms) and RJ Mischo(harp,vocal). It sounded great. BTW, Paris Slim is writing and producing a CD for my friend, R.J. Micsho right now. Jr. Watson came in for a few tracks. It should be a good'n.

Mike M.
Blue Stew

Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 01:23:47 -0800
Subject: RJ Mischo; WAS: One Of The Greatest Blues Guitarists I Have Ever Seen (ParisSlim)

Hey Mike, that's good to hear! I really miss hearing RJ regularly since he moved down your way! I think he's really underrated. He and Jr. will create something interesting, I'm sure!


Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 09:52:09 -0600
Subject: Re: One Of The Greatest Blues Guitarists I Have Ever Seen (Paris Slim)

I'd have to agree with CB that Frank is a serious bad boy on the guitar. I played with him at the Lucerne Fest in 2000, as well as on the latest (and last) CD by the late Tommy Bankhead. He can go one on one with JV in open E and A, IMHO. He should move to our part of Dodge, where he'd be working 24/7.

Bob Lohr

Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 11:02:14 EST
Subject: Re: One Of The Greatest Blues Guitarists I Have Ever Seen (Paris Slim)

In a message dated 4/4/02 1:49:46 AM, writes:

<< Do many people know about him? He has an interesting history, having moved to the Bay area in 1983, from Paris.>>

I knew him when I lived in the Bay Area (1984-1986) and he impressed me even then. He also was speaking perfect English with no accent at all so it confused me that he had 'just' arrived from France.

I saw him again at a San Francisco Blues Festival (maybe 1995) and we caught up on memories.

He's a good guy and I wish good things for him.

Dick Waterman

A few Dick Waterman Links

Dick Waterman Photography Blues Hall of Fame

"Seven Guitars" Photography Exhibit Photo Gallery at

Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 12:32:18 -0800
Subject: Paris Slim and more........

I'm glad to see Franck getting some well deserved and long overdue kudos here. Franck is a truly outstanding guitarist. The last time that I saw Franck perform was with Clarence (Fillmore Slim) Simms at the 2000 San Francisco Blues Festival. He played impeccably. I was especially impressed with his rhythm playing as, up to that point, I had seen him play more lead than rhythm. I consider Frank a friend, and although I haven't seen him much since he has been moving around, we still correspond via e-mail. I have taken the liberty of forwarding some of your posts to him. In addition to his many other credits that have already been mentioned, he was also another of the many guitarists that have passed through the Dynatones show band in the last ten years. When I joined back in 1995, Franck was very helpful in getting me up to speed on their large (and not very bluesy) repertoire. I believe that the line of succession in that band (only going back as far as 1990) was as follows: Larry Dunn, Tommy Castro, Steve Freund, Paris Slim, Steve Edmonson (me), Justin MacCarthy, and now Rusty Zinn. Rusty is currently using the Dynatones as his back-up band for his current tour including Justin as second guitarist. Later in the summer, The Dynatones will tour under their own name featuring Rusty on vocals and guitar.

Seriously, if Franck makes it to your area, make sure that you check him out, you won't be sorry. There was a time several years ago when you almost never saw any white musicians playing with the predominantly African-American bands of Oakland's blues scene. There were a few exceptions, most notably as far as guitar was concerned, Franck Goldwasser and Steve Gannon, both Europeans...go figure.

This brings to mind one of my favorite Blues quotes. One of our local African-American sportscasters was making a short documentary about Oakland Blues. He wasn't very knowledgeable about blues in general, and it seemed to bother him that Steve Gannon was the only white guy on the bandstand one night during the filming at Eli Mile High Club (when Eli was alive he would correct you if you said "Eli's" Mile High Club, he would insist the it was Eli without the possessive "s". That's the way he said it, so that's the way he wanted it spelled). Anyway, he came up to Steve and asked him if he didn't think it was odd that he was the only white guy on the stand, and was it really possible for him to play Blues considering his ancestry? Steve thought for a moment and said, "Well, you don't have to be German to play Classical music, do you?"

On that note, Have a good day!
Steve Edmonson

Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 17:31:24 -0800
Subject: Re: RJ Mischo; WAS: One Of The Greatest Blues Guitarists I Have Ever Seen (Paris Slim)

RJ has dropped in on us at the Venice Bistro a couple of times. He is a really fine player, one of the best I've heard.

Dave Melton

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