Friday, April 30, 2010

A message from Mr. Nick - Mr. Nick's Northeast Harmonica Showdown

For Immediate Release:

What: Mr. Nick's Northeast Harmonica Showdown
When: Friday, May 7 at 9pm
Where: Johnny D's - Sommerville, MA
Tickets: $12

 Mr. Nick does it again, by bringing together three of the hardest hitting harp players around. Featuring, former member of The Muddy Waters Band AND Eric Clapton's band, the harp master himself, Mr. Jerry Portnoy. Former front man for Roomful of Blues, Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters & current front man for Sugar Ray & the Bluetones, the silky voiced, cut throat harp player, Sugar Ray Norcia. Touted as the best female harp player on the planet, she is one of the best period, Annie Raines. Rounding it out as always is New England favorite Nick David (Mr. Nick). If you like Blues and Blues Harmonica this is not a night to be missed.

A note from Conrad Warre of Bees Deluxe

Celebrate live music with the

almost-legendary Acid-Blues outfit

Bees Deluxe

this Friday April the 30th evening at


802 Main Street Worcester, MA 01610-2422

Featuring the inimitable, amazing, and intrepid Bruce Mattson on keys!

we've had some very nice press lately,

you can read it here:

We got new T Shirts for those of that need to get dressed at:

and in case you hadn't noticed we've an album of unforgettable original tunes and songs for you on iTunes here

Mystery Guests, great beers, great food, and most important of all some great live music like your grandma never heard. See you next Friday at Gilrein's! Come early and stay late! Bring your friends !

The Ten Foot Polecats gettin' around

Just a reminder to you all!

Come on out this weekend for some Eastern and Central Massachusetts shows

Also....see a write up of our current CD in The Boston Phoenix!

Friday April 30th 9pm-1:00am


738 Massachusetts Ave

Cambridge MA

** we headline the night **

"I Get Blamed For Everything I Do" CD RELEASE PARTY !!!!

CDs on sale for a special rate !!!

Saturday May 1st 9pm


34 Green Street

Worcester, MA

Upcoming Shows

Saturday May 8th at Wilbert's - Cleveland OH

Pick up our current CD "I Get Blamed For Everything I Do" on Hillgrass Bluebilly Records

For band info/EPK's and press kits

Social Networking Sites

Friday, April 16, 2010

Blind Billy Mitchell - Extended Hiatus

Over the years of “working” for the BBS while keeping a band afloat I have had I chance to meet a lot of characters.  Out of a barrel full of characters I have met, “Blind” Billy Mitchell happens to stand out.  
Over the years, “Blind” Billy has been a good friend and mentor for both the “music thing”, and the “writing thing”.  It is disappointing, but understandable, to hear his hiatus from music has been extended.  Like Punxsutawney Phil, Billy is popping his head up tomorrow and then going to back away from the limelight again for a while.
Over the years “Uncle” Bill has fielding many e-mails, phone calls, and texts regarding numerous topics. Drawing from a wealth of personal knowledge, and a dry sense of humor “Uncle” Bill fielded each and every call/e-mail/text with a steady stream of encouragement and had a knack for ending each and every call with a lot of laughs.  I may not have always gotten the answer I was looking for, but we would always have a long talk, a lot of laughs and Billy would give me a pat on the back when deserved and a foot to the backside when also deserved.  
In spite of the semi eulogy I’m providing here, I really don’t expect THAT is going to change, but Blind Billy’s last show for the foreseeable is tomorrow night at The Overtime Sportsbar in Beverly. The truth is, we will probably see him back at some point if not with The Spectacles then sitting in with other bands. Though an accomplished harp player and showman, “Uncle” Bill is a family man first and his priorities are always in order. But if this TRULY is his last show, you betcha ass I’ll be there to catch some of it.
Please join Blind Billy & the Spectacles featuring Tommy Carroll, Neal Dike, and Bob "The Whale" for the last public scheduled gig at the Overtime Sports Bar, Beverly, MA from 9 - 12 Midnight.
The Overtime Sports Bar is a few steps from the Beverly Train Station, just in case you do not want to or shouldn’t drive.

Monday, April 12, 2010

R is for Retirement - Rock and Roll Style....

OK.  I have to know....
With the announcement of Aerosmith and the J Geils Band playing Fenway Park this summer as a double bill, and my collective yawn, I am curious to know just who you want in the music to just go away....and retire.
My ONLY ground rule is for the music related choices which proves the artist has gone beyond their expiration date, not with their choices on who to hitch their wagon to in efforts to get their music or talents exposed to the masses.  
Keep the politics out of this one.  If you’re going to rip Sting/Bono/Paul McCartney...I only want to hear about the musical choices...
In spite of my ongoing confusion over those who fawn over Bob Dylan’s every mumbled word, I will personally start the dialog up by offering Steven Tyler/Aerosmith as my choice of bands I just want to go away.  Aerosmith was once a great band.  Then, right around “Permanent Vacation” the band realized their collective 401 Ks were not funded or some shit like that, and then they decided they needed to start working out songs with outside songwriters...
And that’s where it all fell apart for me.....
What I want to know is where other groups fell apart for you, and why?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Undaunted Professor Harp - Live at Franco's in Waltham

The Undaunted Professor Harp

Live at Franco’s Pizzeria

714 Moody Street

Waltham, MA 02453-5030

April 10th, 2010

Due to the day job and the lack of consistent maintenance to Route 95, I figure I spend 60 hours a week either in Waltham or commuting back and forth to Waltham. Really, the last place I want to be on a Saturday night is Waltham. But The Boss and I hadn’t caught Hugh Holmes, aka The Undaunted Professor Harp, live in a while and the good Professor is a musical sure thing.

Franco’s, on the other hand, was a bit of a mystery for us. Located on the ‘other’ side of Moody Street, Franco’s combines a local pizza joint with a northern equivalent to a juke joint. Franco’s features fine pizza, cheap drinks and is a place where the locals come to tie one on. From the look of the people transfixed by the TVs either carrying keno games or one of the many sports games of the night, clearly the majority of the almost packed house were not there to hear music. The somewhat rough & tumble crowd was there to drink & gamble, and probably not dance too much.

Taking selections out of the Texas and Chicago blues/rock song books, and splicing up the set with some foot stomping boogies, The Professor quickly won over the crowd. There may have been rent and mortgage money tied up in the over/under of the NCAA Hockey Championship, some pocket money tied up in KENO (the Massachusetts tax for those who can’t do math), or some sanity tied up into the 5th of 162 for the Red Sox, but The Undaunted Professor quickly won them all over. Heads bobbed while mouths filled with pizza, the ever-hustling staff took a few breathers just to enjoy the music and pool players took time from their games in order to soak it all in. And then there were the jazz hands.

There was a gentleman on the dance floor who had either been familiar with The Undaunted Professor’s work, or he just couldn’t contain a jones to dance. He stomped, he hollered, and he rocked the jazz hands. It was, to say, an impressive sight to see. The Undaunted Professor may have owned the stage, but this gentleman owned the dance floor.

Unfortunately the night ended early. As much as I would have liked to have hung out with Paula and Bob of the Boston Blues Society, I had gone well past my allotment of Waltham time for the week. Thankfully The Professor indulged me by playing an extended version of "Use Me", the Bill Withers soul-classic given a very funky and psychedelic treatment, making full use of his lesley speaker effect.

Be sure to check out and join Harp’s mailing list. Harp maintains an active gigging schedule focussing around the South Shore, but also seems to have a regular gig in Beverly at The Pickled Onion.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ten Foot Polecats to hold their Worcester CD Release Party at The Dive Bar for their current CD release on Hillgrass Bluebilly Records

April 8, 2010


Media Contacts:

Keith Mallette (Hillgrass Bluebilly Records and Entertainment)



Jim Chilson (Ten Foot Polecats)





Ten Foot Polecats to hold their Worcester CD Release Party at The Dive Bar for their current CD release on Hillgrass Bluebilly Records

Worcester, MA May 1st, 2010 – Hillgrass Bluebilly Records and Entertainment artist, Ten Foot Polecats, will be holding their Worcester CD Release Party for their CD “I Get Blamed For Everything I Do” at The Dive Bar on Saturday May 1, 2010. Their current CD exhibits the menacingly textured vocals of Jay Scheffler, the hyperkinetic guitar work of Jim Chilson, and the primal beat thumping of Dave Darling. Known as a record label that is at the forefront of the raw & primal roots revolution movement, Hillgrass Bluebilly, and Ten Foot Polecats seem like a perfect match.

Saturday May 1st


34 Green Street

Worcester, MA

Show Starts at 9:30pm

No Cover Charge (Free Show!)

The CD “I Get Blamed For Everything I Do” can be ordered online at:




Ten Foot Polecats are a three piece Punk Blues band with their deep roots drawn from the North Mississippi Hill Country. Even though they are basically in their sophomore season, they have made quite an impression on the National and local Boston and Worcester Massachusetts music scenes as they are currently one of the few blues based bands booked across the state in the rock, punk, and psychobilly circuits.

Nationally, Ten Foot Polecats have been showcased at the 2009 Deep Blues Festival in Minnesota, The 2008 & 2009 Keene Music Festival in New Hampshire, the 2008 Boston Music Festival, and are scheduled to appear in the 2010 Muddy Roots Festival (Nashville TN) and the 10th Annual Heavy Rebel Weekender (Winston Salem, NC). They have also toured the United States in 2008 & 2009, and in 2010 they will be headlining various shows across the Eastern, Central and Southern United States.

Ten Foot Polecats have shared the stage with such nationally known acts as T-Model Ford, Kenny Brown, Kent Burnside and The New Generation, Bob Margolin, Black Diamond Heavies, Left Lane Cruiser, Cedell Davis, The Scissormen, Robert Cage, Elmo Williams, The Goddamn Gallows, Sasquatch & The Sickabillys, The Koffin Kats, and more.


Hillgrass Bluebilly Records and Entertainment is based out of Austin, Texas and is one of the premiere organizations that are entrenched in bringing a new rebel attitude to a burgeoning Roots and Americana movement. They have forgone the current sterile music market and are now delivering the new sound of the old ways and putting the hunger back into the listening experience that has been missing from today’s popular music. Hillgrass Bluebilly promotes the rebirth of passion, conviction & instrumentation, an equality of sound and skill that isn't trying to sell you anything, and just bringing truth in music as it goes back to its roots.

Hillgrass Bluebilly Records and Entertainment is both a record label and a show/tour promoter. Although their home base is in Austin, Texas, they also have satellite chapters in Arizona, Indiana, Florida, and Louisiana. They have worked with such artists as Scott H. Biram, Bob Log III, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Left Lane Cruiser, Possessed by Paul James, William Elliott Whitmore, Soda, Tom VandenAvond, C.W. Stoneking, Boomswagglers, and now Ten Foot Polecats. This past year Hillgrass Bluebilly’s double tribute compilation CD “Hiram and Huddie” was nominated for an Independent Music Award as it showcased some of today’s finest primal and raw roots revolution rebels as they paid tribute to the great Hank Williams & Leadbelly. Their artists have also been involved in film, television & radio. Such outlets have included Slowboat Films “The Folksinger”, song appearances in the movie, “The Waitress”, on television series such as “My Name is Earl” & “The Bounty Hunter”, as well as live appearances on various television shows.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

10 Shots with "Mississippi" Gabe Carter

Blues music has a storied history of mentorship and apprenticeship. Without Willie Dixon, the music world probably never gets to hear the soul-blues sounds of Otis Rush. Without the care and tutelage of Howlin’ Wolf, the world of blues probably never has a chance to hear the words of Hubert Sumlin and without Muddy Waters looking out for Buddy Guy in the beginning of Guy’s career then millions of guitar hero wannabees probably never get the chance to steal guitar riffs credited to Jimi Hendrix.

To a lesser extent, the mentorship and apprenticeship extends to the the trance blues emanating from the Bentonia area of Mississippi. Though an accomplished singer/song writer/guitarist before his initial trip down to Bentonia, Carter always speaks highly of the Jack Owens and Jimmy "Duck" Holmes.

Below is an interview conducted with ‘Mississippi’ Gabe Carter through e-mail exchanges. Be sure to stay tuned to the Boston Blues Society May newsletter for a review of ‘Mississippi’ Gabe Carter’s 2008 release “Midnight Dream”.

Georgetown Fats - I realize the why you have taken on the ‘Mississippi’ moniker, what I am curious to know is did someone dub you ‘Mississippi” Gabe or was it a name you gave yourself? Given your ties to the Midwest (Carter was born in Indiana, raised in Michigan and now lives in Chicago) it seems to be an ambitious moniker, which given the authenticity of your sound you have earned.

Mississippi Gabe Carter - I used to play on the street in a neighborhood of Chicago called Garfield Park. I got to be popular with the older black men there, who are mostly from down south. "Mississippi" is what they called me. Actually, if you are getting technical, it's more like "Missippi".

Georgetown Fats - It is probably a question you receive often, but when and where did you get your first taste of the Bentonia blues sound?

Mississippi Gabe Carter - It happened when I saw Jack Owens on a documentary that I rented from the library. The documentary is called, "The Land Where the Blues Began". I was just out high school at that time.

Georgetown Fats - The first time I heard your voice, and playing I was not picturing a 28 year old from the Mid-West. Is it your musical roots (Carter’s father is a blues pianist, Carter’s uncle Beans Richardson played with Aretha Franklin, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis) or does it stem from being exposed to that Bentonia sound at such an early age that has given you the gift of authenticity?

Mississippi Gabe Carter - I think it is a combination of things that have allowed me to play the way I do. Having kind of a screwed up youth, I think is a big part of it. Partly, it's being exposed to blues from birth. But, I think more than anything else, it's just genes. Some people can draw the most beautiful lines when they are three years old. Other people can take whole cars apart and put them back together, before they can read. I happen to be able to play blues. I got lucky.

Georgetown Fats - You have taken a DIY approach to both your sound, and the business elements. In fact, there was a deadline to pull off this interview in order to reach you before you headed out of the country again. Could you provide some information on this next swing outside of the US?

Mississippi Gabe Carter - I would love to get help from anyone who would like to. I can use it. But, I just got back from playing at a blues festival in Beauvais, France. And now I'm headed down to Peru for a month, where I will be doing a number of small shows.

Georgetown Fats - I understand you’re a solo artist, do you also hit the road alone too or is there someone behind the scenes?

Mississippi Gabe Carter - Luckily, as a solo musician, no matter where I go I can find work. I rely mostly on people who would like to get me around to play in their area, and would like to help out in terms of scheduling. I do travel alone typically though.

Georgetown Fats - Are there any particular cities/towns/countries you are particularly amped up when you receive bookings in the area?

Mississippi Gabe Carter - I love France, I have to say. They take really good care of me there. They love what I do, and they know how to show it.

Georgetown Fats - I am told you should expect an infestation of 10 Foot Polecats in May/June on this year. Are there any secrets as to how to treat your home to prevent long-termed damage?

Mississippi Gabe Carter - Yeah, it's called "Super 8".

Georgetown Fats - Midnight Dream has garnered you critical acclaim from Deep Blues patrons all over the web, are you planning on a follow-up CD?

Mississippi Gabe Carter - I just released one, actually. It's called "Live at Duke's with Uncle Walt". It is also available at

Georgetown Fats - If you could impart any wisdom on folks who think all blues has to be a reproduction of the I, IV, V 12 - bar Chicago blues sound, what would it be?

Mississippi Gabe Carter - Go back, and find out who and what gave birth to that sound. Take a listen to Cecil Barfield or Robert Pete Williams. Listen to the music that was played and passed down by slaves in our country.

Georgetown Fats - Who is your ideal ‘Mississippi’ Gabe Carter fan? Do you find yourself receiving more support from the college radio crowd, or by the blues purists?

Mississippi Gabe Carter - My ideal fan, is a fan that finds me paying shows in his or her area! And one who turns their friends on to me. I have found support from both groups, but I would say more from blues purists.

Georgetown Fats - Great! Thanks Gabe! Please let everyone know the best way to get a hold of "Midnight Dream" or your other release “Live at Duke's with Uncle Walt”.

Mississippi Gabe Carter - Just look me up on both albums are available there! And thank you!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Preserving and promoting the blues - A response to BBS Editor's Comments

After a recent post from the Editor of the Boston Society on the Society's newsletter, I felt it necessary to double check the society's mission statement. It is posted here;

Founded in 1988, the Boston Blues Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the blues. Our goals are to involve the community through education of blues music and Southern culture; to act in the community by providing fundraisers for charitable organizations; and to teach children and adults about this great, original American art form.

I’d be blind not to see the less-than veiled dig at yours truly in a post recently by the Editor of the Boston Blues Society, so I figured I’d offer some background information.

After another more recent post by the Society's editor (excerpt posted below), I felt it best to check the mission statement one more time.


If you are offended by thoughts and opinions that go beyond superficial ephemera (like fedoras, wayfarers, alcohol or sullied places) and you see your connection to blues music as mere escapism, then this organization is probably not the best fit for you. I strongly encourage all of you to get involved with the many other blues societies that share your worldview.


Gee?? Who do you think he meant with this crack?

Nowhere in the Society's mission statement do I see any mention of advancement of political opinion.

Just for the record, the issue at hand is in result to an objection I voiced on what was an appropriate piece for the Boston Blues Society Newsletter. Not the content of the article, but our editor using the BBS newsletter as a platform for his own political opinion.

It has nothing to do with a disagreement of my own political opinion (libertarian, libertine for the record) nor was attempting to stifle Mellor’s own free speech. I question all who blindly support the politicians who make up their political party.

My personal view is just as Mellor’s or Homan’s, Blues is more more than “My baby done left me” but as reporters we should just focus on the reporting of the music. If you want to mix politics with blues, compose your own blues songs/material, form a band and attempt to get signed.

Religion and blues music also mix well together, and it would be just as inappropriate for a member of the BBS to use the newsletter to further their own religious agenda. Sex is also part of blues music, but I’d like to think our time was far better than attempting to out artists on their sexuality.

As to my future with The Boston Blues Society, though it’s clear the editor would I put my pen name to use with another society I serve at will of Karen Nugent, BBS Society president. Ultimately if I have gone passed my expiration date with my work here, though I will miss the opportunity to contribute to the continuation of blues music....I’ll live.

I am fortunate enough to work for another Society as part of my ‘day job’. It is a highly respected, non-music society which happens to put a lot of stock into caring for their brand image. As an employee, I would be better compensated working for a for-profit organization, but I happen to agree with their core mission and wish to do ‘my part’ on behalf of their image/corporate logo etc. Doing ‘my part’ for the Boston Blues Society is “preserving and promoting the blues” not continuing a petty argument. I highly respect the mission statement and respect the organization, I highly respect the society’s president, and I respect a number of the contributors to the society. That will just have to be enough for now.