Category Archives: Tails of the road

2018 is off with a bang

Lots to look forward to… Florida in March for the St. Pete Stomp, The Queen of Boogie Woogie Presents Hella Piano Night at Soper Reese Theater on March 24 and in October it’s the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise.

2017 had some unexpected challenges and now we’re back on track… new music, recording, more travel. Thankful for the fun we’ve shared with Ricky Nye in Cincinnati, Ohio, The San Francisco International Boogie Woogie Fest’s five years of great success and exciting performances, and hanging with Chris James, Spencer Brewer, Elizabeth McDougall, and more at the Professional Pianists Concert in Ukiah, CA.

Music brings us together both as artists and as fans and the community keeps on growing. I love this life and wake up every day thankful.

Hitting the road

After covering about 8,000 on our trip through AZ, NM, TX, AK, MS, TN, and OH and another state or two last April and May, I’ve got some tips for travelers.

  1. Use your Map app for stores, Yelp for restaurants, GasBuddy for gas prices and Waze for mapping. How did we ever survive in the stone-age days of pay phones and Thomas maps?
  2. Bring your pillow. Yep
  3. Absolutely necessary…
    customize your picnic

    customize your picnic

    4. Do talk to strangers. Makes things a lot more fun

Ohio is gorgeous by moonlight

Out in the woods near Cadiz, OH spending the day recording with Sean Carney and some friends. Just over an hour out of Cincinnati gets you woods, lake, rolling hills. The terrain changes quickly from hour to hour when you’re driving across the country and it’s breathtaking.

From the Rhythm Room in AZ to here is a whole other world. Can’t get enough

Kirk Harwood

The Madman is ready

Just wondering… what have you been listening to?

I stumbled upon an article about Bettye Layette and realized I’d never paid much attention to her work so I hit YouTube and found some great stuff. She’s tuff, and delivers with passion. Her repertoire is broad and always well delivered with a good sense of subtlety that draws in the listener. Not just a soul survivor, but a thriver. Her version of the Who’s Love Reign will mess you up.


Gearing up for another trip, this time across the south through AZ, NM, TX then up to MS, TN, and OH. Know any good restaurants? Trouble with driving is all those garage sales to stop at. The van only holds so much…

More on Memphis

The winners…

36th Blues Music Awards
Acoustic Album
Timeless – John Hammond

Acoustic Artist
John Hammond

Can\’t Even Do Wrong Right – Elvin Bishop

B.B. King Entertainer
Bobby Rush

Elvin Bishop Band

Best New Artist Album
Don\’t Call No Ambulance – Selwyn Birchwood

Contemporary Blues Album
BluesAmericana – Keb\’ Mo\’

Contemporary Blues Female Artist
Janiva Magness

Contemporary Blues Male Artist
Gary Clark Jr.

Historical Album
Soul & Swagger: The Complete \’5\’ Royales 1951-1967 The 5 Royales (Rock Beat)

Lisa Mann

Jimi Bott

Joe Bonamassa

Charlie Musselwhite

Deanna Bogart

Koko Taylor Award
Ruthie Foster

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player
Marcia Ball

Rock Blues Album
Step Back – Johnny Winter

Cant Even Do Wrong Right written and performed by Elvin Bishop

Soul Blues Album
Memphis Grease – John Németh

Soul Blues Female Artist
Sista Monica

Soul Blues Male Artist
Bobby Rush

Traditional Blues Album
For Pops (A Tribute to Muddy Waters) – Mud Morganfield & Kim Wilson

Traditional Blues Male Artist
Lurrie Bell

An interesting mix of time proven artists and relative newcomers, and covering a broad range of blues interpretation.

Journey to Memphis and Back

Driving to Mississippi and back from California is a great adventure. Stoppin in Memphis only made it better. Stay tuned for more on playing at Brandon Santini’s Beale Street Mess Around, the thrill of seeing people we love walk away with Blues Music Awards, and harrowing tales of… oh wait, nothing bad even came close to happening. There was that one semi drifting into our lane but the driver woke up just in time…Wide Open Road
Wide Open Road

Four weeks of great shows, beautiful people, train rides, delicious food, inspiring music and friendship. Starting with landing in Barcelona things were immediately off to a good start. Early the next morning we met Lluis Coloma and trained out to Terrassa where the jazz society has their own building and have been putting on shows for over 25 years. The walls told it all.. McCoy Tyner, Miles, and on and on. A church to music and just being there felt joyfully peaceful. I met Balacz Daniel, my Facebook friend, in person and was wowed by his depth and talent. Still a young man and already top skills and ideas. Lluis Coloma was our host for Spain and was top notch, guiding us to shows, setting up details, and sharing his musical passion. First installment on the trip….

Photos as soon as I figure out how to do that…


Spain and loving it

We’re three dates into our almost month long visit to Spain and France. Hecho in Leon with Lluis Coloma, and Blues and Boogie Reunion at Jazz Terrassa with Lluis, Balazs Daniel and Stefan Ulbricht, and Lluis’ trio members Manolo and Marc on bass and drums, plus Kirk Harwood on drums. At one point all of us were on stage at one time, including both drummers on one kit. No, it was actually making sense! No mayhem occurred. Tomorrow it’s off o Luca for a concert, and I hear it’s sold out already! As soon as I can figure out how to load photos there’ll be some evidence posted…

Armando’s takes over where the old Sweetwater left off…

Years ago Mill Valley, CA was home to a notoriously music friendly venue on Throckmorton Ave. Called Sweetwater and everyone who came through California played there. Partnering with VIllage Music Sweetwater hosted Little Jimmy Scott, John Lee Hooker and a whole lot more. Well those days of the old small and very intimate club are gone, and the new Sweetwater is in a new location with new people and a new bag.
And now there’s Armando’s near the waterfront in Martinez. It’s small, intimate, completely music focused, and a joy to play. Fans come out to listen and it’s one big music party. With the patio there’s even more space to stretch out. We’re there on Oct. 11 for the 5th Annual Boogie Woogie Birthday Bash. Come on out. Doors are at 7:30. Armando’s