HARRIS CENTER Mark Hummel's Summer Blues Session Goes Acoustic
The second Wednesday in June marks a special evening of acoustic blues, a concert honoring the roots of the blues while sharing the music of those working at the forefront of the genre.
Host of the Harris Center's annual Blues Harmonica Blowout, Mark Hummel kicks off the summer with a special acoustic folk blues celebration. As is tradition, he's bringing an amazing lineup of talent: guitarist Guy Davis received a 2017 Grammy nomination for best traditional blues album. At 83 years old, Lazy Lester's career singing and playing blues harmonica began in the 1950s- he's a member of both the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis. Guitarist/vocalist Joe Beard has his roots in Mississippi where he was born in 1938; his 1996 recording Blues Union earned Offbeat Magazine's Blues Album of the year award.
Rounding out a phenomenal evening, The Deep Basement Shakers (here joined by Hummel) specialize in primal, joint-rockin' barrel house blues n' boogie, bringing to life deep musical traditions of American roots music. And the trio HowellDevine deftly mixes Delta/country blues with wildly syncopated rhythms to create a rollicking present-day sound from the past.
Mark Hummel's Summer Blues Sessions will perform at the Harris Center Wednesday, June 13, 2018; 7:30 pm. Tickets $23- $38; Premium $43; Students with ID $12. They are available online at www.harriscenter.net or from the Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from noon to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket; parking permits are issued at the time of ticket purchase. The Harris Center is located on the west side of the Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.
Guy Davis says his blues music is inspired by the southern speech of his grandmother and although he was raised in the New York City area, he grew up hearing accounts of life in the rural south from his parents and especially his grandparents, whose stories have made their way into his music. A self-taught guitarist who learned by listening and watching other musicians, Guy has concentrated most of his efforts the last two decades on writing, recording and performing music. His discography includes Call Down Thunder, a tribute to the blues masters called by Acoustic Guitar "one of the 30 essential CDs from a new generation of performers." You Don't Know My Mind displays Davis's breadth and power as writer/performer with vocals from Olu Dara and was chosen Blues Album of the Year by the Association of Independent Music. The fourth album Naked Butt Free included Levon Helm, Tommy 'T Bone' Wolk, Gary Burke and Mark Murphy and was produced by John Platania.
Dave Marsh wrote that Guy Davis " never loses sight of the blues as good time music, the original forum for dancing on top of one's sorrows. Joy made exquisite, of course, by the sorrow from which it springs."
At 83 years old, Lazy Lester is an American blues musician who sings and plays the harmonica and guitar. His career stretches from the 50's to the present day. Lester is best known for his regional hits recorded with Ernie Young's Nashville - based Excello Records, where he contributed to songs recorded by Slim Harpo, Lightnin' Slim and Katie Webster. Cover versions of his songs "I Hear You Knocking," "Lover Not A Fighter," "Sugar Coated Love," "Tell Me," and "Same Thing Can Happen To You" have been recorded by (among others) the Kinks, Dwight Yoakum, Dave Edmunds, Freddie Fender, Anson Funderburg and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. In the comeback stage of his career (which dates back to the late 1980s) he has recorded new albums backed by Mike Buck, Sue Foley, Gene Taylor, Kenny Neal, Lucky Peterson and Jimmie Vaughn.
Lester appears in Martin Scorsese's music documentary Lightning In A Bottle. Lazy is in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis. His work doesn't end there. "Next year we'll see Lester in a Geico commercial," notes Mark Hummel, "which should be funny!"
Joe Beard was born on January 4 1938, in Ashland, Mississippi. Joe was surrounded by aspiring and veteran blues musicians. Matt 'Guitar' Murphy and his brother Floyd Murphy were Beard's childhood buddies and the ones who initially got him started on guitar.
For most of the 60's and through the 80's Beard worked as an electrician by day while developing a reputation for being among the greatest players in the region. He toured Europe in the 80's and working regularly with Lafayette Leake and Memphis Slim. In the famed BK Lounge, Beard and his bands opened for Bobby Bland, Albert King, and others. Beard performed for President George H.W. Bush's inaugural gala in 1990. Joe also did six months in James Cotton's touring band after Cotton lost his voice in the late 90's.
Mark Hummel and Deep Basement Shakers have come together to form a streamed down trio that energetically encapsulates both the blues and the Americana genres while honoring their complementary styles. Grammy nominated, two-time Blues Award winner, harmonica master, blues singer, band leader, author, and entrepreneur Mark Hummel has over 30 CDs to his credit and is the creator of the Blues Harmonica Blowouts that he started in 1991. Mark has recorded and toured with Snooky Powell, James Cotton, Lowell Fulson, Eddie Taylor, Brownie McGhee, Billy Boy Arnold, Barbara Dane, Jimmy Rodgers, Charlie Musselwhite, Huey Lewis, Kim Wilson, John Mayall, Curtis Salgado, Charles Brown, and Anson Funderburgh. Specializing in primal, joint-rockin' barrel house blues n' boogie, the Deep Basement Shakers are an East Bay Duo with a stripped down but powerful sound featuring Aaron Hammerman on piano and guitar and local legend Dave Eagle on percussion, washboard/spoons/train whistles/animal calls/etc.
HowellDevine - based in the San Francisco Bay Area - became the first blues band Arhoolie Records signed in 27 years, following Fred McDowell, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton and others. Triple threat Joshua Howell (slide guitars, harmonica, vocals) and percussion savant Pete Devine (drums, washboard) plus snappy doghouse bassist Joe Kyle Jr. deftly mix sinuous Delta/country blues with wildly syncopated rhythms to create a rollicking present-day sound from the past. Employing rich, complex textures integral to the music rather than simple backing for a soloist, HowellDevine's music is rooted deeply in the blues, but with a creative "fresh" sound. "There is no blues group performing today as different as HowellDevine - nor as delightful" (Lee Hildenbrand, Living Blues Magazine).
This Year Marks Seven Seasons of Great Shows. Up Close. In Folsom!
The Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College brings the community together to share in cultural experiences featuring the work of artists from throughout the region and around the world. Built and operated by the Los Rios Community College District, the $50 million, state-of-the-art regional performing arts center boasts three intimate venues with outstanding acoustics, an art gallery, a recording studio, elegant teaching spaces, plenty of safe parking and all the other amenities of a world-class performing arts venue. Each year the Center hosts approximately 400 events attracting upwards of 150,000 annually.