Jill Jones - Musical Muscle 

In February of 2009 while living in Tokyo I was dabbling in journalism and had become acquainted with Jill Jones, best known for her work with Prince, specifically on the 1999 album and for her bit part in "Purple Rain". Via our social media communications and eventual phone calls I came to learn that her role was far greater than that, that it strongly resembled the studio guitarist who played on just about everything Tommy Tedesco; everybody has heard them but nobody knows who they are. Looking for…

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Big Jay McNeely 

During the late 60's in Los Angeles my father played with one of his childhood heroes, legendary saxophonist Big Jay McNeely, "king of the honkers". I knew his name and some of the larger than life stories surrounding him before I had heard any of his records. In late 2012 as I was preparing to return to the U.S. my father, also a Tokyo resident, informed me that Big Jay was doing a Japan tour and that we were going to go see him. We got backstage before the show and after a brief reintroduction they were…

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Step Back - Johnny Winter Brings It To A Fitting Close 

Because Johnny Winter died just as Step Back was being released there has been much hype surrounding it. I wanted to give an objective review so I first listened to it without reading the liner notes, allowing the music to succeed or fail entirely on its own terms. Afterward I went back and listened to again, this time reading the liner notes. Since then I've listened to it a few times while doing other things, occasionally grabbing a quick glance at the liner notes. Although there is a deluge of Internet…

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Johnny Winter 1944 - 2014 

Johnny Winter has been one of my biggest guitar heroes from the time I first picked up the instrument right through to the present. The term "Blues-Rock" is too frequently applied to any Rock guitarist who aspires to play Blues but to be a true Blues-Rocker like Winter, SRV or Rory Gallagher requires being a dyed-in-the-wool Blues player first and, because you're a long haired white guy, blowing the roof off a Rock audience who may or may not be hip to Blues. Few can pull it off. For me he was the…

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My How Times Have Changed 

   My how times have changed. Sitting in a neighborhood coffee shop that I've frequented for the last nine years drove the point home. When job hunting nine years ago I would wake up around 7:00 A.M. on Monday morning, have coffee and breakfast, then walk fifteen minutes to the train station near my house. Inside the station was a kiosk that sold The Japan Times, one of two local English language newspapers. If the kiosk at Nishi-Chofu station didn't have it the kiosk at Chofu station, one stop away…

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2012 In Review 

All the New Agers kept going on about this being the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac. I don't believe in astrology but I needed some good news and both Western and Chinese zodiacs were saying it would be a good year after several years of shit so I decided to believe it this year. Worked out pretty good.

In February work resumed on the Long Way From Home album after a three year hiatus. Booked three shows at Crawfish, one a month through April, and hauled my recording board down to get my…

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2011 in Review 

2011 was hardly a space odyssey. More of a slow comeback after a couple years of what both the Western and Chinese zodiacs described as "everything you touch shall turn to shit." While it wasn't without its trials all in all it was pretty good. Even the rough spots had their advantages in the larger picture of things.

In January I met up with my 'adopted' sister I hadn't seen in over 20 years and then had a really cool retro themed photo shoot in Narita with Oliver Richter and Bryan Harmon. But the real…

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Frankie Camaro 

 My family is from Cuba. My dad is a doctor and my mom is a pharmacist but she's also a piano teacher. I am the youngest. They left during the revolution. I was born in Virginia. It's part of the mainland across Chesapeake Bay. It’s the very tip of the peninsula. They call it Del Marva. It's Maryland, Delaware and a little tip of Virginia. That’s actually part of the Jamestown settlement area so pretty interesting place where I was born. And then we moved to St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) and Miami for a few…

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Denny Freeman (part 2) 

(When did you first meet?) It's hard to remember, back probably in the... I guess Mike was still actually living in Fort Worth probably when I first met him. I think he came down a little after we did, but he was playing with some people that we got to know from Fort Worth and they would come down to play and we were all just kinda in the same family. They were kinda doing something similar in Fort Worth. Back then there were so few people trying to do the kind of things that we were doing that you just…

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Denny Freeman (part 1) 

Starting Out

   When I was a young child there wasn't really any Rock 'n' Roll so the music that I heard was just music from the honky-tonks and white Pop music, whatever was popular, Country. The popular music of my parent's generation an it didn't really have that much of an impact on me. I guess I liked music but I don't have any real memories of it but then when I was becoming an adolescent that's when Rock 'n' Roll was born; Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Little Richard , Elvis and Buddy Holly, and all…

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