Chicago’s blues scene has produced more legends than any other. Although they’ve individually played with a veritable who’s who of Windy City greats and they never miss a chance to testify about the influence of their heroes and fallen cohorts, the Chicago Blues All-Stars aren’t interested in recreating the past. Instead, they’re poised to escort the genre into fresh, funky, extremely danceable territory with their own high-energy attack.
Their heady moniker is no idle boast. Prior to teaming up, these All-Stars played on countless studio recordings and logged myriad miles on the road. Bringing them together under the All-Stars banner was the brainstorm of both “Killer” Ray Allison, who pounded out ferocious drum beats behind Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, Koko Taylor, James Cotton, and Chicago’s revered blues king Muddy Waters before switching to guitar and stepping out front as a vocalist, and guitarist Daniel Ivankovich, who started out in Otis Rush’s band at age 18 before bringing his 6’11” frame fully into the spotlight.
“What we’re hoping is to try and uncover an audience that’s younger, that’s interested in all kinds of different music, by doing so, we can captivate them with the blues,” says Dan, who also answers to the sobriquet of Chicago Slim (Rush and Magic Slim, two of his primary influences, bestowed the Slim nickname on him; he’s proud enough of his Chicago roots to wear them as the other half of his stage handle). That daunting task hasn’t proven too difficult for the soul-and-funk-steeped band. “Every show we play,” Ray says, “the dance floor is jammed.”
Classics of the genre abound on this All-Stars debut album. But these aren’t covers in the standard sense. This aggregation aggressively redefines each song for the here and now, no holds barred. Take their storming rendition of Little Walter’s “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.” “If you’re looking for the 1950s version, you ain’t gonna find it,” says Dan, who sings it here. “That was something that I just wanted to make a guitar workout.” Ivankovich also does the vocal honors on revamps of Rufus Thomas’ “Walkin’ The Dog” (filtered through Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson) and Buddy Guy’s relentless “Let Me Love You Baby.”
The exuberant Killer belts the strutting “Feelin’ Sexy,” its steamy boasts tailor-made for his boisterous stage persona. His steady-surging rendition of “Tell Me” socks hard, spiced with harp and horns. “Ray’s a bluesman, but he’s definitely a soul-fixin’ bluesman,” says Dan.
From the very beginning, the All-Stars were sculpting their sound during weekly Tuesday evening jam sessions with engineer Rick Barnes at Rax Trax Recording. During this time they were guided by a musical philosophy not often encountered locally. “I simply said, ‘I want you guys to play the way clubs will not let you play, and the way record labels will not let you play!’ And they go, ‘Are you kidding?’” says Dan. “There were no parameters. It was like, ‘How do you guys envision blues sounding today?’ There was but one rule for these jams, James Brown Rule #1: ‘I don’t care what you play, make it funky!’” There’s no denying the Chicago Blues All-Stars accomplish that goal handily. Everything on this CD churns and burns with molten intensity, a thoroughly contemporary approach that may not please postwar purists but is sure to delight a youthful constituency weaned on remixes and beats-per-minute.
The Chicago Blues All-Stars began coming together in 2007, when Killer and Dan started brainstorming the concept (they made a still-unissued album together back in the mid-‘80s, when Ray was manning the drums, before Ivankovich took an extended musical hiatus to pursue a now-thriving career as a physician). One of their first recruits was harpist Scott Dirks, a noted expert on Little Walter and other Windy City blues harp icons. He sings a pair of Junior Wells gems on this set, “Snatch It Back And Hold It” and “Hoodoo Man Blues.”
“When we started, it was basically me, Dan and Scott, with a dude playing trap drums, doing that whole Rice Miller King Biscuit thing,” says Ray. “Real stripped-down, real dark, real heavy Maxwell Street stuff.” They soon tracked down bassist and old friend Johnny B. Gayden, whose incredibly funky bottom anchored Albert Collins’ late-period glory years. Drummer Jerry “Bam Bam” Porter, once upon a time Killer Ray’s replacement in Buddy Guy’s band, was welcomed aboard. Powerhouse keyboardist Roosevelt Purifoy, Jr., formerly with Koko, Junior, Otis, and plenty more, came into the fold too (his signature theme “Mad Hatter Blues” climaxes this disc).
The cast continued to grow; eventually a crackling horn section expanded the membership at the weekly jams. Trombonist Johnny Cotton is their leader, his resume featuring stints with James Cotton and the Ohio Players. Saxist Garrick Patton is another mainstay. Johnny invited trumpeter Kenny Anderson to round out the recording section. “We had a full ensemble, and we basically would just jam,” says Dan.
The last part of the puzzle fell into place when Allison brought in Anji Brooks, a vivacious young vocalist who worked with his band at South Side clubs. “The whole thing was to find a fresh voice, to find someone who’s a really, really good singer” says Ray. “She’s not someone who’s been doing this for 30 years.” Anji and Killer stir it up on a playful “Wonder Why,” and she breathes welcome new life into the venerable warhorses “Wang Dang Doodle” and “Rock Me Baby.” “It’s ‘Wang Dang Doodle’ via James Brown,” notes Dan.
Although Ray and Dan collaborated on something in the neighborhood of 40 originals as this project progressed, it was ultimately decided that a wiser strategy for their debut album would be to present classic material dramatically reworked in their own sizzling style. “This stuff sounds good. It feels really good. If we introduce what we’re doing with 13 original songs, it might confuse people. The songs sounded original, and that was the real trick,” says Dan.
The Chicago Blues All-Stars are as fiery onstage as they are in the studio. “We start with a couple of instrumentals, then Dan will kick in, then I’ll kick in,” says Ray. “We keep elevating and elevating and elevating. We’re known for the fact that we don’t stop playing.” Lead guitar duties are doled out democratically, Dan playing behind Ray when he’s singing and vice versa. The road warriors in the touring CBAS rhythm section are a show unto themselves. Bassist C.C. Copeland engages in crowd-pleasing acrobatics as he lays down a funk-dripping bottom, while drummer Tony Dale—a Roland endorsee and former trapsman for the Chi-Lites—keeps the pulse skin-tight.
CBAS sets can run as long as three-and-a-half hours, the intensity never letting up and those almighty grooves never running dry. “I think the groove is everything,” says Dan. “It was like, ‘How can we have a groove that is so heavy that people are just drawn into this vortex of rhythm?’ You are so sucked into the whole groove that you want to dance.” And who better to share leadership duties than an ebullient former drummer now free to roam the stage, guitar in hand? “I think Ray being out front driving the beat, mentally he’s a drummer, and he drives the whole experience,” says Dan.
These Chicago Blues All-Stars just may represent the future of their hometown’s favorite musical genre.
I started my career as a musician at the age of 17. Right now my passion is play in the band Deep Insight.
I also work with several different projects, studios and accompanying different artists. More permanently I work with the projects Vesrain and Mannen Gypsy Band, which works in collaboration with Gogol Bordello for example.
As I guitarist I can't evaluate myself. I love different genres but perhaps the closest ones at the moment are rock and flamenco."
Here is the main link for Deep Insight:
Rev: Derrick Drover.
Derrick's music has been described as "once you hear it, you won’t forget it, a classic rock & soul mixture”.
With the ability to perform and write music from many instruments and influences, Derrick pays homage to the past, but also stays current and progressive.
(Check out his debut album "Worship & Wonder", and you'll hear for yourself). www.derrickdrover.com
The main influence for his music is life, his faith, and of course, "music itself".
He began performing live at the age of twelve, and played his first arena show on his fifteenth birthday.
Since then, it’s been "anywhere and everywhere" for the songwriter, playing at small venues, charity events, churches, and headlining large concerts and festivals.
Derrick has played all across Canada and parts of the United States.
“There’s nothing like a live performance” he says; "each concert, show, or service all take on a life of their own.
Each time I get to go somewhere different, and then let the music take the people, somewhere they’ve never been before. It’s just amazing"
Over the years he has had the privilege to play with some great musicians and credits his success to those who have inspired him to becoming the artist he is today.
An inspirational performer, and genuine worship leader.
If you ever get the chance see him live, you quickly notice the passion he has for what he does, not to mention the arsenal of instruments that he can do it from.
Included in his exhaustive list is some of Derrick's favorite "tools of the trade", Carparelli Guitars.
Below is a quote from Drover himself :
"I bought a Gibson when I was 15 years old, and of course it's still special to me, I have three Fenders, which are also great guitars, BUT.... Hanging on my wall is a Carparelli S4 and it's causing what I'll call "family problems"!
As I said above, I love my Gibson, the depth, and the dirt are classic, my Fenders have sweet tone, and pitch, but my S4 can do the work of both, because it is just that amazing. With one pick up switch (through my Hughes & Kettner amp) I get the depth of my Sonnex -180, switch again I get the tone of my Tele. I couldn't believe how this guitar stacked up with the big boys, hearing is believing".
Michael Ursini was born into a music loving family on February twenty-second 1987. His earliest musical influences came from his mother’s classical piano playing. As a toddler he was exposed to artists like Michael Jackson, Journey, and Rush. Michael displayed musical potential at an early age by playing back melodies he had heard on his mother’s piano. He began piano lessons at age seven at the Ontario Conservatory of Music. He continued his lessons to achieve a grade five certificate. He then decided to learn how to play the guitar. This is when Michael’s true passion for music revealed itself.
After only a few months of teaching himself basic chords and fingering, he was comfortable enough to perform in front of a crowd. A grade eight talent show was the first step to a long career ahead of him. Throughout high school Michael played in various bands as a guitarist. During that time he learned how to play the drums and the bass guitar. As his high school years were coming to an end he began to create his own music. Michael Ursini does it all. He plays all the instruments, records and mixes his songs. During Michael’s first year at York University he formed a band named The Basis.
He was the composer, lead guitarist and vocalist. For two years he played concerts, fundraisers, bars, and festivals around the GTA and southern Ontario. In the summer of 2009 The Basis parted ways and Michael joined another rock band called Highs and Lowes as the lead guitarist and is currently gigging with them. His solo album titled “From my Basement to your Ears” is performed, produced and mixed by himself.
Michael Ursini is currently in the fourth and final year of his undergraduate music degree at York University. He has developed a professional understanding of music theory, writing, playing and recording. He has studied with professional musicians such as Anthony Michelli, Lorne Lofsky, Kelly Jefferson, Ed Wilson and Jim Burges.
He has developed an excellent knowledge of professional recording programs like Pro Tools and Cubase as well as composition programs including Propeller Head’s Reason. Every day he continues to improve his skills with instrumentation and composition.
Work & Volunteer Experienced
During high school, Michael would voluntarily play guitar for the Peel Regional Police Band. In September 2008 he began giving guitar lessons at Arcadia Music in Maple. In May 2009 he began his teaching job at the Ontario Conservatory of Music in Mississauga and is currently employed there. He also gives private lessons and is always on the lookout for new students. Recently he has been performing as a solo artist at “open mics” all over the G.T.A. promoting his album. His repertoire of original and cover songs is impressive and he continues to expand and improve on his material.
Michael is the proud owner of his new Custom Handmade Carparelli 59 Electric Guitar #006 and uses it as his main axe.
Heidi Little is a Canadian/American, singer/songwriter and guitar player. She writes for you and me, beautifully creating works filled with love, empowerment, peace, and freedom. Her song No More War off of the album "Dreams of Grandeur" has held the #1 spot in Rock for 12 weeks in a row, recently topping the All Genres Charts at #1 for the Independent Artist Company - www.iacmusic.com You need to hear it to understand. Visit her web site Heidi Little's House of Music - www.heidilittle.com - and feel the love and light. Born Heidi Monika Little on December 20th, 1975. Heidi’s mother, Monika Kavitz Hogan, was born in one of the last Jewish concentration camps to be released. Although a brief time in show business with Kinky D, Monika would not choose music and would spend the rest of her life as a nurse and childcare provider. Heidi’s father James Little, of Scottish birth, began his career as a coach maker for Mercedes and Rolls Royce, and carried on to work in the Scotts guards. Both could carry a tune and music filled the air; Church solos soared.
Heidi asked to play piano; she was put into organ. She asked to be in ballet; she was in Austrian and Highland dancing. Regardless, trophies filled the house. A winning essay found Heidi shaking hands and receiving a diploma of merit from Queen Elizabeth. Modeling, skateboarding and a Baptist upbringing found Heidi an unfulfilled and confused teenager with music as her solace.
She began her professional music career at 14 in punk rock. Fronting the Saskatchewan based band Sexy Sister Mary/Nonetheless, she began a short wild ride into creating lyrics with meaning, writing about the religious implications of hell fire and damnation that had marked her Sunday school days and created a fear of death. Transition, teenage motherhood led to branching out into rhythm and blues with DD and the Dynamiters, a new breathe of hope, a clearing. Heidi began to research everything she could about every religion. You name it she checked it out. And out came the common factor. The light.
She was gifted a guitar and wrote "The Way". She wrote and wrote, and played and played, and performed and performed, catching the heart of CBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s, Spoken word producer Kelley Jo Burke. This brought Heidi her first full length album recorded “Live” with an in-studio audience, and aired as a Christmas special nationally called “True Believer”. The album is “Live In a Shu Box” named after the theater it was recorded in and available at www.cdbaby.com/heidilittle.
Grants, tours, writing, performing, and more ensued as Heidi networked, did business plans, was awarded grants, made more connections, wrote more songs, played the welcome ceremony’s for Prince Charles and Prince Edward, toured and completed a BFA in theater performance.
Then touring some more, where the songs for her next album “Dreams of Grandeur” came from. No More War has been number one for twelve weeks at this point, created and played across the lands for ten years.
After completing that North American tour, recording “Dreams” and releasing the video for “Movin On”, Heidi won songwriting competitions for Canadian music week, received a business degree, designed some progressive programs for public schools, and then moved to other countries, where she now is. Fully alive and happy. LIGHT recorded and released. Ready. Still writing.
Heidi and Carparelli guitars have decided to join forces and endorse each other. Perfect timing. Honored. Getting ready to record with 50 x platinum producer Artie Kornfeld, one pending record deal, with a #1 song called No More War 3 months in a row. So much to be grateful for. You have to hear it to understand. Heidi just finished building her new web site - www.heidilittle.com - feel the energy.
In Rock and love we trust. Carparelli !! We LOVE you !!!
Heidi Little is a Canadian/American singer/songwriter and guitar player. Her song No More War off of "Dreams of Grandeur" has held #1 in Rock for 12 straight weeks and just hit #1 in All Genres on The Independent Artist Company Charts - www.iacmusic.com From performances for princes to recent endorsements by Carparelli Guitars, Heidi Little is filled with purpose, beauty and truth within a rising generation of flowers in bloom. Her music is for you and me, and you need to hear it to understand. It's pop/rock/alt country, it's calming and invigorating all at the same time, it's relaxing and empowering, it's rich and simple. It is peaceful and powerful; well crafted rich tones, highs and lows. Heidi Little's House of Music is here - www.heidilittle.com - go and experience the energy!
Carparelli ARCO F-1 Custom, Pearl White with Rosewood Fingerboard, P90s and Gold Hardware.
Performing with Triumph’s superstar Rik Emmett, winning First Place in the Supernova Battle of the Bands contest and securing a Carparelli Guitar Co. endorsement has supercharged 15-year-old Kristen T. Clark to push forward with her music career.
In 2010 Clark’s excitement escalated ten-fold when she won an International contest for a week-long Scholarship to Toronto’s SongStudio 2010 Songwriting Workshop. It’s hosted yearly by rock Superstar Rik Emmett (Triumph) and highly respected producer, engineer and broadcaster Blair Packham (The Jitters).
Additional Faculty were Greig Nori (MuchMusic, DisBand), Jim Vallance (Hedley, Bryan Adams), Terry Brown (Rush), Allister Bradley, Bill McKetrick, Dan Hill and Suzie Vinnick.
Clark spent the week at Ryerson University co-writing with several musicians and performing at Toronto’s prestigious venues C’est What, the Gladstone Hotel and Hugh’s Room. The week concluded with a showcase in which Clark performed an original song WITH Rik Emmett!
She is now writing new material and being a lead guitar player allows her to write titillating solos that are riveting but more importantly, memorable.
Clark won a Battle of the Bands contest against 11 other bands awarding her 12 hrs. of studio time, facilitating bringing her new sound to her fans. Check back soon for her new single ‘Meant To Be,’ scheduled for release in early spring 2011.
December 12th, 2010 was a dream come true for Clark. She was inducted into the world-renowned Carparelli Guitar Co. and presented with an S4 electric guitar. “I chose Carparelli Guitars because they have superior sound, feel and workmanship.
They are a company that really cares. Being a Carparelli endorsee really is like having another family,” Clark says. See Press release here: http://prlog.org/11150842.
Clark’s history has seen her perform alongside headliners Tom Wilson, George Fox, Jamie Warren and Carroll Baker. She has assisted with fundraising efforts for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Terry Fox Cancer Research, Kids Help Phone, Smitty’s Christmas Wish Foundation, the US Humane Society, Calling Cards for the Troops and the woundedwarriors.ca organizations.
This is one man who needs no introduction. He has inspired generations of musicians and was the man behind the design and production of the Carparelli Spirit of 69 Guitar. The co-founder of the original Woodstock he was the promoter for booking all of the great bands who supplied generations to follow with music that will never die. He is truly a genius and an icon of Americana.
Artie got his first guitar in 1956 and learned the basics. Pretty much the 4 or 5 chord standard song compilations of the times. He soon found himself with a record deal and attended Adelphi College and American University where he met various other musicians.
In 1965 Artie and his friend Steve Duboff got together to write and record an American classic 'the Pied Piper'. He was also a writer of gigantic proportions and some of his most famous songs went on to be performed by Jan & Dean singing 'Deadman's Curve'and 'The Rain, The Park, and Other Things'performed by the Cowsills.
When Artie Kornfeld and Michael Lang became best friends in 1968 and Lang eventually moved in with Artie and his wife Linda, the idea of Woodstock was still a dream. The effort of four men: Artie Kornfeld, Michael Lang, Joel Rosenman, and John P. Roberts through Woodstock Ventures made the 1969 music festival a possibility.
Kornfeld's dedication to the Woodstock ideals did not end with the festival. Known as "The Father of Woodstock", a title given to him by the Woodstock Preservation Alliance, he played a big role in helping save the Woodstock site from being built upon when the Max Yasgur farm was sold. Kornfeld is also responsible for putting the Academy Award winning Warner Brother's documentary together. Much of the historical documentation of Woodstock is supplied by the acts featured in the film which Kornfeld had to all convince to appear. He is in the movie so much because backstage, he was solely in charge of getting the performers to sign what were basically blank contracts prior to going on stage. He also hired the award winning director Michael Wadleigh to shoot the film. We all owe it to Artie for gathering the famous lineup of performers that we still listen to and cherish today. Even though the venus was booked, the tickets issued there were no acts lined up. It was Artie who lined up every single performer and band that made Woodstock the concert of the century.
Far after the historical Woodstock festival, Artie Kornfeld has taken the ideals of the counterculture and put them into practice in a modern day setting. He has spent 40 years speaking to schools, organizations, and universities on the true meaning behind Woodstock.
The embodiment of the Woodstock Nation has used his career pre and post Woodstock 1969 to convey the true meaning to those with open minds and ears. Kornfeld has done over 5,000 radio interviews and hosts his own show aptly titled "The Spirit Show" with Artie Kornfeld in which he reaches the ears of over 1,000,000 listeners in 20 different countries every Tuesday at 10pm EST.
Artie continues to be active in the music scene and we at Carparelli Guitars are extremely humbled to be associated with a man who not only changed the music scene forever but changed the world forever. Recently CEO Mike Carparelli had the chance to spend 3 glorious days with this incredible human being and described it as 'beyond inspirational'. Without Artie most of the music you listen today would no exist.
From the rolling hills of upstate New York to every Record Label, every performance venue, every artist and ever person who enjoys music has been touched by the man whether they know it or not. The world of music owes a huge gratitude to the man who not only brought us the most famous acts to Woodstock but continued on to promote musicians from all genres.
Our hats off to you Artie and Thank You for the millions of lives you have touched, including ours at Carparelli Guitars. Your heart and soul are in every one of our Spirit of 69 guitars and we are proud to share your vision and your everlasting love of music.