Celebrating King Records

ckr01Remember The Twist? How about Chubby Checker? Hank Ballard? Just about everybody will recognize the first two and two out of three ain’t bad — unless you’re from Cincinnati. Cincinnatians should know it was Hank Ballard and the Midnighters who first recorded the song that made Chubby Checker famous. They should know because that version was released by Cincinnati’s King Records. The Twist was a regional hit for the Midnighters and it got them booked on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. They didn’t make it and Clark got a fellow named Ernest Evans to lip-synch to Ballard’s recording then recorded and released an identical version with Evans using the name Chubby Checker. Why did Ballard miss his Bandstand session? Various stories have been told but the man in the photo above says Hank was in Atlanta with a lady. He should know. He’s Phillip Paul who played drums on The Twist and 400 or so other King recordings.

ckr02ckr03Not all of those were hits but many were. Several, in fact were major milestones on the route of rock and roll. Paul drummed on Little Willie John’s Fever, Tiny Bradshaw’s Train Kept a Rollin’, Wynonie Harris’ Good Rockin’ Tonight and Freddie King’s Hide Away. Today those song titles are more familiar than the artists’ names because they have all been covered over and over but, as he was with The Twist, Phillip Paul was there at the beginning; There when the originals were recorded. And he’s still “there” today, playing every Friday and Saturday at The Cricket in downtown Cincinnati. He was there Sunday, May 31, in Washington Park providing some “good rockin'” and good stories as the opening act for a reading of a new play about King Records.

ckr04That play, Cincinnati King by KJ Sanchez, tells the story of King Records largely in the words of people, including Paul, who were part of it. Many of the words are from the nearly fifty interviews conducted by Sanchez. Others come from recordings and printed material. The story of King Records is really the story of Syd Nathan. Nathan owned King and ruled it with an iron fist that usually held a cigar when it — the cigar not the fist — wasn’t in his mouth. He did things his own way and, more often than not, he did them himself. He started with a record store. When labels started gouging him for records, he started his own. When his “style” created problems with recording studios, he built his own. When pressing plants sent inferior product, he built his own. Eventually King did it all including designing and printing its own packaging.

ckr05ckr06Partly because of Cincinnati’s half-north half-south location, Nathan’s store did a good business in “hillbilly” and “race” records and that’s what his record company initially made. Those names have been replaced by country, bluegrass, blues, rhythm & blues, and a few other genres. King’s stable included Grandpa Jones, the Stanley Brothers, Cowboy Copas, Bill Doggett, the Delmore Brothers, Moon Mullican, Charles Brown, and on and on. Of course, the biggest star ever at King was James Brown. Nathan’s independent and demanding ways irritated just about everybody at some point and “The Godfather of Soul” was just as independent and just as demanding. The two were like oil and water but they made each other a lot of money and even managed to occasionally look like great friends at an award ceremony or some such.

ckr08ckr07Just as the musicians that King recorded were a mix of black and white, so, too, were the other employees. In time, King’s employment application included a question about whether working with a person of another race would be a problem. It’s said that Nathan would sometimes hire someone who answered “yes” then make a point of assuring that the new employee was put in the situation they thought would be a problem. Syd Nathan didn’t solve all the race issues in the world but maybe he did his share.

This concert and reading was part of the OTR Performs Series and a Cincinnati Fringe Festival Special Event

Phillip Paul turns 90 on August 11. The city of Cincinnati has proclaimed the preceding Saturday “Phillip Paul Day”. Look back at this article’s first picture. To me, that sure looks like a man who is enjoying himself.

Not A Bad Week At All

wnile01It’s been a pretty full week. It included several things that could have been turned into blog posts if I felt the urge but none for which the urge was felt. I was about to schedule a Trip Peek to fulfill my Sunday morning commitment when I decided to just list the week’s activities and include a few pictures from my favorite.

On Sunday I went to the afternoon performance of Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash at Playhouse in the Park. The play was over before the big football game started so I watched some of that, too, but I liked the play a whole lot more.

Monday was Groundhog Day and, although I didn’t didn’t actually travel to the home of any of the prognosticating rodents this year, I did make the quasi-traditional visit to Bob Evans for ground hog & eggs and I did follow the reports. There are three furry forecasters whose jurisdictions I think I might be in. One is Punxsutawney Phil who is the most famous and whose forecasts might, for all I know, apply to the whole world. The others are Buckeye Chuck, Ohio’s Official State Groundhog, who makes his predictions in Marion, and Rosie who lives and works in nearer-to-my-home Dayton. Phil and Rosie saw their shadows. Chuck did not. What now? There isn’t even a geographic pattern. I don’t know whether to hunker down for six more weeks of winter or get ready for it to be over in a month and a half.

Tuesday I did nothing but meet the gang for some Buzztime trivia. The temperature was in the 40s on Wednesday so I walked down to Flipdaddy’s for exercise then ate a Burger of the Month to nullify it.

A string of nights out began on Thursday with the Bare Boards Theater Company‘s performance of Rabbit Hole. This isn’t a trivial play but the BBTC nailed the first performance of their first production. I attended with my daughter and both of us were entertained and impressed.

wnile02wnile03wnile04On Friday it was a Willie Nile concert at The Southgate House Revival. I became an overnight fan of Willie after seeing him for the first time last year and bought my ticket to this show as soon as I heard about it. I learned just a few days ago that, rather than the anticipated full band show, this would be a performance with just Willie and bassist Johnny Pisano. I thought things might get toned down and I’d be disappointed. No so and not so. I’ll admit to missing Matt Hogan’s guitar licks now and then but I got to focus on and appreciate Johnny’s outstanding bass work even more. Far from being disappointed, it was, as you can see, my favorite event of the week.

The Cincinnati Winter Blues Festival took place on Friday and Saturday. I wrapped up my week by going to the festival’s second night with a few friends. The night’s headliner was young guitar phenom Joanne Shaw Taylor and she did not disappoint. The festival was successful to the point of being uncomfortably crowded. Maybe I’m just getting too old for this sort of thing even when it’s got chandeliers and marble staircases.

Music Review
Belle of the Blues
Lisa Biales

belleblues_cvrThey did it again. Co-producers EG Kight and Paul Hornsby captured another set of tracks that feature Lisa’s wonderful voice but don’t short the listener one bit in the sound behind it. Back in 2012, Kight, Hornsby, and Biales hooked up for Just Like Honey which contained some Biales and Kight originals but consisted largely of tunes written by or associated with a number of Biales’ influences. Those influences are not totally ignored here, there’s a tune written by Memphis Minnie and another that Bessie Smith made famous, but Kight wrote or collaborated on seven of the eleven songs on Belle of the Blues.

As they did on on Just Like Honey, Tommy Talton (guitar) and Bill Stewart (drums) appear on every track with Tommy Vickery and Johnny Fountain splitting bass duties to bound out the core trio of backing musicians. This line up is frequently augmented by the likes of Pat Bergeson on harmonica, Ken Wynn on guitar, and Randall Bramlett on organ. Kight adds some vocal and guitar help and Hornsby plays piano on several tracks. Something that I thought a nice touch, although it only shows up in the digital version of the track listing, is the identity of featured musicians in the titles. Examples are “Sad Sad Sunday (Featuring Tommy Talton & Randall Bramblett)” and “Belle of the Blues (Featuring Pat Bergeson)”.

Despite all the talent involved in writing, recording, and playing, this is clearly a Lisa Biales album. Her voice is out front and in control of every song from the sultry “Sad Sad Sunday through the raucous “Bad Girl”. She even takes charge of “Trouble”, a song firmly associated with Kight (she wrote it and made it the title track of a 2000 release) in a way that, while it won’t make you forget EG, will sure make you remember Lisa.


botbcdr1botbcdr2In Nashville, the Long Players exist solely to deliver live performances of entire albums. Individual songs may be rearranged to fit specific performers but when they do an album, they do it all and they do it in the same sequence it once appeared on your turntable. That’s the way I first heard Belle of the Blues. At Friday’s CD release in Oxford, Ohio, Lisa started things off by performing all eleven songs “just like the record”. I believe it was also the official debut of the quartet she’s calling the Belle of the Blues Band and with which she will be preforming other shows in the coming months. I won’t claim that this group (Bill Littleford guitar, Dave Mackey drums, Noah Cope bass, Chuck Wiggins keys) is better than the high powered crew that did the studio version, but I can report that they are mighty good and the performance was not wanting in any way.

botbcdr3A short break followed the album then the group returned to do an assortment of songs from Lisa’s repertoire. One was a Jimi Hendrix tune that Lisa has been performing at least since 2010 when she included it on her Closet Hippie CD. As a result, I got to hear the Little Wing solo performed on accordion for the first time ever. I liked it.

Music Review
Sweatshop Pinata
Dirk Hamilton & The Bluesmen

Sweatshop PinataThe album’s full title is Sweatshop Piñata: Most of the Best of Dirk Hamilton & The Bluesmen. If that means there may someday be another album with the rest of the best of Dirk Hamilton & The Bluesmen, I’m in.

Dirk has a sizable fan base in Italy and has spent part of many summers touring there. For the last few years, he has done that in the company of an Italian band called The Bluesmen. A portion of the 2005 tour was captured and made available as a CD and DVD package titled Sometimes Ya’ Leave the Blues Out on the Road. Now they’ve got a studio album with no road involved at all. That 2005 recording included some Dirk Hamilton compositions, a few covers, and a few tunes that Dirk co-wrote with The Bluesmen’s guitarist, Roberto Formignani. The international collaborations were essentially made up of Hamilton’s lyrics and Formignani’s music. That’s the arrangement on every song on Sweatshop Piñata except two where keyboardist Massimo Mantovani also contributed. This is hardly the first time Dirk has collaborated with others. There are plenty of examples of him co-writing songs with guitarist Don Evans or bassist Eric Westphal. This is, however, the first time he has collaborated on an entire album and it is also the first time he has done an album of all blues.

None of that, of course, keeps Dirk from doing some lyrical ear tickling. On The Collector, one of the most hard core blues tracks on the album, the list of things collected starts with “Mojos, yo-yo’s, maybe butterfly wings”. Two of my favorite lines come from the short and funky “Baby Take A U-ey”. When he asks for rent money, it is because “My bullfrog wouldn’t like it if we had to move again”. Then he warns folks at his funeral not to cry and instructs them to “Just chisel on my tombstone, ‘He came, he sang, he died’”. Unlike some Dirk Hamilton offerings, there is nothing at all political here. There is some social commentary (I’d be disappointed if there wasn’t.) but it all concerns individuals like the aforementioned “collector” or the empty headed target of “Automaton Town”.

Good lyrics and good music deserve good execution and they get it. Formignani’s often biting guitar is up front on almost every track. Mantovani takes the lead a little less often than Formignani but he is never hiding. He makes major contributions to most cuts on piano, organ, or both. He also arranged the horns that appear on several tracks. Roberto Poltronieri (bass) and Roberto Morsiani make up the talented rhythm section.

The mention of horns might make you think this album has a big sound. It does. Instrumentation is an area where there is some real contrast between this and Dirk’s preceding album. That album, solo mono, was a true solo effort with nothing but Dirk’s voice, guitar, and harmonica. Oddly enough, one song appears — and sounds good — on both. Assuming a specific meaning for a Dirk Hamilton lyric is never a safe thing to do so I may be way off on this. On solo mono, “Where are all the Rebels?” has lots of nice guitar work and plenty of harmonica. The harmonica supplies a touch of melancholy. To me, Dirk seems to be mourning the disappearance of those 1970s rebels. The Sweatshop Piñata version is faster. The harmonica and acoustic guitar are still there plus there is an electric guitar with some serious tremolo now and then, driving drums, piano AND organ, and a banjo! This time, I feel like Dirk just might be challenging those vanished rebels to come out and make some noise with him again.

I love them all but it’s a fact that some of Dirk’s offerings are a little tough to classify. Not so this one. Sweatshop Piñata is solid mainstream blues. I’ve mentioned that I’ve never seen Dirk live with a full band. My dream is still to see Dirk, Don, Eric, and Tim (a.k.a. The Dirk Hamilton Band) somewhere sometime but seeing a long tall Texan fronting a bunch of Italians at a Mississippi delta blues festival might satisfy me for awhile.

This and other Dirk Hamilton CDs can be purchased here.

My review of solo mono is here.


Technical problems resulted in the posting of this review being delayed one day to a Thursday rather than Wednesday.

Music Review
Not of Seasons
Mississippi Charles Bevel

Not of Seasons - coverI went to see Hank Williams: Lost Highway last week. The first sound that came from the stage wasn’t the voice of Hank or his mother or the cry of a pedal steel guitar. When the lights dimmed and the play began, it was the pure voice of Mississippi Charles Bevel that came unfaltering from the darkness. Bevel plays Tee-Tot, Williams’ mentor. The CD that this post claims to review is not new. It’s a dozen years old and I don’t recall ever hearing of it or Charles Bevel before last Wednesday.

I was quite sincere in writing that I’d never before heard of Charles Bevel but there’s a strong possibility that it’s not entirely true. I’ve not seen the Broadway show It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues but I’ve certainly heard of it. Bevel co-wrote that and starred in it so there’s a decent chance that I’ve seen his name somewhere before. On Wednesday, though, I knew nothing of Bevel’s history and was simply wowed by his voice. He wasn’t the star of the show in any normal sense but he was the cast member who impressed me the most musically and there were some fine musicians in that cast.

I made two wishes during the show and both came true. One, some of those CDs I’d seen for sale on the way in were Bevel’s and, two, he was among the cast members in the lobby collecting money for charities. Better yet, my cheap seat made me one of the last to exit and the crowd was thinning as I headed out. My reward was an autograph and a short conversation. “All the words are in there,” the singer said as he returned the signed CD, “so you can sing along.” That was my first hint that there was more to this CD and this man than just another pretty voice.

I listened to a Hank Williams CD on the drive home. When I finally listened to my new purchase a couple of days later, it was immediately obvious that this guy had some heavy-duty musicians backing him up. And with each song it became more and more apparent that he was working with some heavy-duty material, too. By the time I checked the credits, I was simply verifying what had become more than a suspicion. Behind that Wednesday night hint was the fact that Mississippi Charles Bevel had written every tune.

A closer looked at the credits revealed even more of my ignorance. More than twenty musicians appear in the credits and I didn’t recognize a one. These are not unknown musicians. They were simply unknown to me. Toss some of the names in a search engine and you’ll discover folks who have played with the likes of John Denver, Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett, The Commodores, Nora Jones, and on and on. Every performance on Not of Seasons is top-notch and maybe it’s natural to wonder how can all these people I’ve never heard of make such great music but I’m kind of used to it. There are a lot of great musicians whose names I recognize but I also know there are plenty more that I’ve so far completely missed.

It’s a big group with multiple saxophones, trumpet, trombone, and a small choir that delivers “I’m a Lover”, the upbeat opening track. Bevel actually co-wrote this song — with James Mabone — for the Staple Singers. I know it’s the saxophone that does it but Bevel’s version sounds rather Springsteenesque to me. The next tune, “Dreams”, is a little slower and just slightly exotic sounding. It made me think of early Terence Trent D’Arby and I found myself thinking of D’Arby at various other points in the CD. I don’t believe any other track equals the opener in troop size but several come close. That choir returns for three more songs and horns, various keyboards, and guitars abound. One cut has a sousaphone; Another a cello. None are gimmicks. They are there because they belong.

Bevel’s strong voice sounds great backed by a room full of musicians but it may be easier to appreciate with pared down backing. “Woman” is just him and a piano. Other tracks include little more than a guitar and/or piano.

Back in the 1970s Bevel recorded a CD for A&M but even before the big promotional tour he realized that wasn’t what he wanted. He essentially walked away to be what he wanted to be and that’s exactly what he is. And the songs on Not of Seasons are what he wants to write and what he wants to sing. Calling it blues isn’t incorrect but it’s also gospel, soul, funk, pop, and folk. The lyrics are as strong as his voice. They can be insightful.

I heard a voice speak to me
Say, come over here to the land of the free
Land of the free and the home of the brave
But I see cowards and I smell slaves

And some might make your mind swivel unexpectedly.

Lord, Jesus and sex are both friends of mine

Some are just fun.

Making love, it ain’t magic
If you don’t know what to do it can be tragic

All are delightful.

There’s a two-man live version of the title track here. The album can be found here but Mississippi Charles Bevel spends a lot of time acting these days and it’s a lot more fun to buy it first hand after a performance.

Music Review
Just Like Honey
Lisa Biales

Just Like Honey CD coverI read somewhere that Alannah Myles recorded her 1989 hit Black Velvet in a hot un-air-conditioned room to make it feel, and therefore sound, like “Mississippi in the middle of a dry spell”. The result was something that could be described in a single word and which fit that word, sultry, in every dimension. Lisa Biales didn’t forego climate control to record Just Like Honey but she did get some help from the south and she did nail SULTRY — dead center and in capital letters.

The title track comes from Nashville song writers Cameron-Beck-Kahan.There are a couple Biales originals, a couple from the CD’s producer, EG Kight, and a Biales-Kight collaboration. Most of the remaining material comes from some of Biales’ musical influences and that was a conscience decision by her and Kight.

If you ask Lisa to name her influences, you best not be in a hurry. The list of female singers she admires and draws from is a long one and includes many who are no strangers to sultry themselves. She doesn’t get to all of them here but she does cover some biggies. There are tunes by Memphis Minnie, Bonnie Raitt, and Candye Kane plus songs written by others but firmly associated with the likes of Ma Rainey, Etta James, and Odetta. And by “cover” I don’t mean “copy”. I mean celebrate and interpret.

A goodly chunk of that “help from the south” I mentioned comes, of course, from Kight, a.k.a, “The Georgia Songbird”. There’s a big dose from Paul Hornsby and his Muscaline Recording Studios in Macon, Georgia, and Capricorn veterans Tommy Talton, Marshall Coats, and Bill Stewart (guitar, bass, drums) contribute their share, too. In fact Talton, supplies a song, Watch Out Baby Don’t Cry, that quickly became a favorite of mine. Talton, Coats, and Stewart form the core group for this CD but others, including Hornsby on keys and Ken Wynn on guitar, show up here and there.

So we have some highly talented musicians, an accomplished producer and engineer, some original material, some material “borrowed” from the best, and maybe even a little of that “slow southern style”. That’s a mighty fine foundation for Lisa’s clear and powerful… and sultry… vocals. Just Like Honey is the name of the CD and of a song that’s on it. It’s also a pretty good description.

The CD is here and Lisa’s website here.


I’ve mentioned a few of Lisa’s live performances in this blog including a couple in April where she and Ronstadt Generations traded “guest appearances”. Ronstadt Generations have just launched a Kickstarter project looking for help with their second studio CD. Check it out here.

Parisians at Play

Ricky Nye and the Paris Blues BandThough far removed from their natural habitat, these Parisians appear to be well acclimated and enjoying themselves. And so is everybody else. Local boogie woogie master Ricky Nye makes at least one trip to France each year and, for the last three years, these fellows have been returning the favor. Using the name Ricky Nye and the Paris Blues Band, they do a few shows in and around Cincinnati and I’ve managed to catch one of them on each of the visits. The first two years, it was at Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, where they performed Friday night. This year I missed the Rabbit Hash show but saw the group on Saturday at the Big Song Music House. This is the remarkable venue that Marc & Lisa Biales have created near Oxford, Ohio, and which I visited for the first time just about a month ago.

Paris Blues BandThe Paris Blues Band, which doesn’t really exist without Ricky, consists of Simon Boyer on drums, Thibaut Chopin on bass, and Anthony Stelmaszack on guitar. Chopin and Stelmaszack both sing and, as you can see, both play harmonica. Ever hear twin harmonica powered locomotives steam across a stage? Killer!

 

Paris Blues Band with Lisa Biales and Doug HamiltonThe excellent Ville Du Bois, recorded in Paris, is the group’s only studio offering to date. (Wrong! See note below.)
I apologize for being unfamiliar with a collection of live recordings that is also available. They are doing quite a bit of recording while in the States and that includes some with Biales. The songs they recorded together were used as openers for both sets and violinist Doug Hamilton even joined in for a couple of tunes. There will definitely be a new Ricky Nye and the Paris Blues Band studio CD available before too long and I’m sure those tracks with Lisa will appear somewhere somehow someday.

Simon BoyerThibaut ChopinAnthony Stelmaszack

 

 

 

Ricky NyeIt’s a good thing when Ricky pushes himself back from the piano in a move that looks a little like something Jerry Lee Lewis might do. It’s an unintentional signal that some extra hot keyboard action is about to take place and it’s kind of rare. Maybe it was the band or maybe it was the acoustic (rather than electronic) piano but there were three or four of those moments tonight and one that ended with Ricky standing as he joyously worked the keys. Fortunately for those seated just a few feet away, he stopped short of sending the bench sailing as Jerry Lee often does. There’s a little better view of the 1930ish Wurlitzer Butterfly Baby Grand here.

Paris Blues BandI left my camera in the car until intermission so all of the preceding pictures are from the second set. But it was during the first set that Lisa surprised everyone, including Thibaut, by filling in on bass while he played harmonica. In another “If you want a picture really bad, I’ve got a really bad picture” moment, I tried capturing that with my phone.

CORRECTION: I somehow missed a second studio CD but Ricky very politely filled me in. The CD is here and the cover actually looks familiar though some track samples don’t. It shows up at CDBaby with a search for Paris Blues Band though not with a search for Ricky Nye. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it but I’m still sorry and embarrassed.

A Musical Weekend

If I had introduced this blog a week earlier, the Cincinnati and Lebanon blues festivals could have been the subjects of last Sunday’s post instead of the “Hi, I’m a blog” thing. The downside of doing it this week is that it’s not near as timely. The upside is I’ve had a week to figure out how to include pictures.

The Cincinnati festival is a two day affair that fills Friday and Saturday evenings starting around 5:00 PM. Lebanon’s event is Saturday only with a start time of 11:00 AM. Both end sometime just short of midnight. Why these two festivals — just thirty miles apart — are held on the same weekend each year is something of a mystery but don’t expect it to change any time soon. Cincinnati was there first. This year was Cincinnati’s 19th and Lebanon’s 13th. So it was Lebanon that caused the collision but they always seems to have all the crowd they can handle and little incentive to move the date. Lebanon’s festival is free. Cincinnati’s isn’t. I suspect Cincinnati’s Saturday crowd is lessened a bit by the freeby up the road but the Cincinnati event is locked into its slot in the venue’s full schedule and couldn’t change if it wanted to..

Some years I’ve gone to neither and some years I’ve gone to both. Other years I’ve gone to one or the other. This was a “both” year. Cincinnati certainly has the bigger festival. It is spread out not only over two days but over three stages. There is a local stage featuring runners up from the local Blues Challenge. The winners, who will represent the Cincinnati Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, open the main stage. After that, it’s filled by national and regional acts. The third stage is alway boogie woogie piano on Saturday and something else on Friday. Last year it was the music of New Orleans. A tribute to the Ludlow Garage, a venue that brought big time acts to Cincinnati in the ’60s & ’70, was held there the year before. This year it was rockabilly.

Moreland & Arbuckle, 2011 Cincinnati Blues Festival

In theory, acts get better and better as the day progresses and peak with the headliner. I frequently find, however, that my own ranking doesn’t quite match the program. That was definitely the case on the main stage Friday. I was most impressed by Moreland & Arbuckle who were third from the top — right after the local openers. I had heard they were a two piece band and was surprised to see the drummer. Then, when they started playing, I was convinced there was a fourth member and walked across the front of the stage looking for a bass player behind the speakers. Nope. Dustin Arbuckle sings and plays killer harmonica while Aaron Moreland plays bass, rhythm, and lead on a single fretboard. Aaron does play “normal” guitars but I liked him best on his custom made four string cigar box with the top string set up specifically for bass work. The program says otherwise but I believe that is Kendall Newby on drums. His talents are a match for the other two.

Teeny Tucker, 2011 Lebanon Blues FestivalOn Saturday, I went to Lebanon in time to catch the last four acts. Most of the artists here can be considered local but local includes Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus and many bands from all of those cities do a lot of traveling. The Blue Birds Big Band, last year’s Cincinnati Blues Challenge winners, would close out the night but the main draw for me was the lady in the picture, Teeny Tucker, who was on just ahead of them. I had seen Teeny do a few songs in a Columbus bar during a benefit and I was looking forward to seeing her in control of the stage and with her full group. That’s one powerful and soulful young lady.

I saw a lot more good musicians than the ones pictured here and I know there were plenty I missed. There was real top notch blues talent on the stages of Cincinnati and Lebanon last weekend. I can’t say a bad thing about any of them but, baby, you know what I like.

Moreland & Arbuckle, 2011 Cincinnati Blues Festival