Gigs Gigs and more Gigs!
So...a whole month flies by (June, we hardly knew ya!)
Actually, June was a busy month of rehearsals, private event gigs with Chicago Groove Collective and the usual end of school year stuff with the family.
July is filled with all sorts of fun and interesting musical ventures. The Redeemers warmed up for our big Summerfest gig on the 4th of July with an outdoor show in Highwood for INFERNOFEST!
SUMMERFEST...always a great time performing in Milwaukee at the World's Largest Music Festival. Ever since my band ARROYO used to perform there almost daily in the 80's, it's been a great place to win new fans. This year we were fortunate to have great weather and a significant spot on the Harley Davidson Roadhouse stage opening for Sublime.
Sunday in the Park! The Redeemers brought their original rockin' Blues to the family friendly Summer Sampler series at Deerfield's Mitchell Park. Fun time in the gazebo. And the dance contest for LITTLE MISS TWISTER had 'em all twirlin' away.
I donned my bell bottoms and spread some groovy vibes for the Woodstock Generation's 50th Anniversary tribute at the beautiful Metropolis Arts Centre for a night of the best 60's music. Performances of Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane brought the house down.
After a sweaty club date, I got to relax in the chill atmosphere of Rosewood's Sunset on the Patio. Solo gigs allow me to be at my most impromptu and the folks that were chillin' with me got to hear rare performances of some of my favorite originals and covers.
And the month will end with a bang as I reprise the Joe Cocker show as part of the Soul Bliss tour with an Aretha Franklin tribute.
Gigging can be challenging, sweaty , even physically draining. But it's NEVER NOT fun! See ya at one of the upcoming dates.
Procell/Abrahamson First BMA Win!
So...this happened. May 8-10 I attended my very first Blues Music Awards ceremony in Memphis TN. I was there for a whirlwind 2 days with my songwriting partner, Terry Abrahamson. Terry's a veteran attendee, so consequently, I was introduced to so many artists, DJ's, promotional folks and musicians that my head was spinning. A lot of that due to lack of sleep...it's a total hang!
The main reason for my first-ever was that our song, IN THE BLOOD OF THE BLUES, was an important part of Shemekia Copeland's latest CD, America's Child. And she and her album were up for FIVE awards!
In the end, Shemekia took home two awards, BEST CONTEMPORARY BLUES ALBUM and ALBUM OF THE YEAR!! I like to think that it was a bit of payback for her Grammy snub. Anyway, we all celebrated her victory...Bruce Iglauer, president of Alligator Records/ Will Kimbrough, her amazing producer/ John Hahn, her manager and frequent songwriter/ and Terry and myself. It was the crown on a glorious day at the BMA's.
The day started with us getting together with Diunna Greenleaf, a powerhouse singer from Houston, to rehearse the first song we wrote together, I WILL BE YOUR LEATHER. Diunna drove there specifically to do our song for Jesse Finkelstein's Blues Radio International videotaping that he does every year at the BMA's. I had never met Diunna before, but we clicked immediately and turned in an amazing performance that had everyone in the room sitting in stunned silence.
I even got to meet one of my all-time rock & roll cool-as-hell guys, Miami Steve Van Zandt
I 'm already looking forward to next year. In the immortal words of Warren Zevon "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead"