GOTTA GO WITH JOE!!
Anyone who knows me, and my music, knows that I'm kind of a dedicated old hippie at heart. With that in mind, I believe that everyone, especially people in the arts, need to take a stand against injustice and intolerance whenever and wherever they see it. In this craziest of years with a raging pandemic, climate fueled disasters, social injustice brought to light and a nation teetering on the brink, I've taken my stand in what should prove to be the mother of all elections.
My songwriting partner and I have come up with a ditty to warm the hearts and move the feet of anyone hoping for a change at the highest levels of government. While there are no "perfect" politicians, we believe that a return to decency and civility ...not to mention truth and adherence to the law...is not only needed but essential for our democracy to survive.
With that, here's GO WITH JOE!
Gigs, gigs...what gigs??
Into the third month of sheltering in place to help stop the spread of Coronavirus. Gigs lost, some never to return. Others will be back depending on how well EVERYONE co-operates with health guidelines.
One thing that hasn't stopped, or even slowed down, is creativity. The studio is buzzin' with new songs, videos, client projects and more.
Terry and I have been tackling the Lockdown with song and a fun video. LOCKDOWN USA was written and recorded within the first few weeks of the whole world shutting down. Recording was done remotely via file sharing with some of Chicago's finest musicians pitching in.
A much more serious approach was taken with our tribute to the heroes behind the masks on the frontline of health care. Our song SHINING BLUE LIGHT is our attempt to shine our own light on the brave souls who put their lives on the line for the rest of us.
Unlike last year, we were not nominated for any BMA's, but we did watch the livestream of the award ceremony as some of our Blues pals took home awards and some were like the Cubs, they'll just have to wait 'til next year! We hope to be well represented in 2021
Goin' viral don't mean what it used to!
Well now...it HAS been a while. As I sit here at the desk of Hear and Now music studio wondering how to deal with the new normal of American pandemic life, it occurred to me that I could use the time to update the website.
First and foremost, I want to thank God for the health and safety of my family. I'm acutely aware of the many blessings we enjoy as compared to many who will be affected rather severely by the reality of social distancing, work stoppages and financial uncertainty. Making music is what I love to do pretty much more than anything. And I'm fortunate enough not to have to rely on it to provide for my family. Others are not so lucky.
One of the early things to have come out of the current health crisis is working musicians finding new and interesting ways to make a living via online concerts, session file sharing and crowd funding. I will probably indulge my fans...and my own appetite for just makin' music...with some of that in the near future as we deal with our new reality.
I do have some new music to record, new studio clients to produce and maybe even some small venue gigs to promote. As always, I will try to keep everyone updated as much as I can. (I know...I'm not very good at that, as you can see)
Stay healthy and safe!
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"