ROBERT CRAY – TAJ MAHAL TRIO – SHUGGIE OTIS
It’s BLUES TIME !
For the first time – 3 legendary artists – on ONE incredible night !!
It’s been seven long years since ROBERT CRAY has toured Australia, but he and his long-serving band still shred the Blues like never before and we couldn’t be more excited about the ‘Strong Persuader’ returning for this series of Bluesfest sideshows around Easter 2013.
“Every time somebody asks me about where my music comes from, I give them .... a little rock, soul, jazz, blues, a little gospel feel. It’s pretty wide open. It’s hard to put a tag on it”
This effortless genre crossover is filtered through some of his most definitive songs like ‘Smoking Gun’, ‘I Guess I Showed Her’, ‘Phone Booth’ and ‘I Was Warned’. From his impressive catalogue it’s easy to see why he has 5 Grammy Awards (and 15 nominations) safely tucked into his guitar case, millions of record sales worldwide, is a Blues Hall of Fame inductee (one of the youngest to receive the prestigious honour), and why Fender guitars have made not one, but two signature Robert Cray Stratocaster guitars. He’s played with the greats including long time friend Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bonnie Raitt, Albert Collins and John Lee Hooker
and through his sixteen Billboard charting albums, has become “one of the greatest guitarists of his generation.” Rolling Stone Magazine crediting him as reinventing the blues with his “distinct razor sharp guitar playing” that “introduced a new generation of mainstream rock fans to the language and form of the blues”.
You could call TAJ MAHAL a singer, composer, producer, two-time Grammy-winner, world-class musical collaborator, musicians’ advocate, world traveller, fisherman or cigar aficionado. These titles are all accurate, yet none convey the warmth, humour, and soulfulness of Taj and his music.
He has been playing his own distinctive brand of music – variously described as Afro-
Caribbean blues, folk-world-blues, hula blues, folk-funk, and a host of other hyphenations – for more than 40 years. A 2009 inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame, Taj Mahal’s has received a huge nine Grammy Award nominations over his career, and has won two of these: the first in 1997 with Best Contemporary Blues Album for Señor Blues, and again in 2000 with Best Contemporary Blues Album for Shoutin' in Key.
“The one thing I’ve always demanded of the records I’ve made,” he says, “is that they be danceable”. Cue the music: ‘Linda Lou’, ‘Fishin’ Blues’ & ‘Paint My Mailbox Blue’ for starters - and let the good times roll.
A perennial Bluesfest favourite, last time round TAJ MAHAL played to sell-out crowds alongside Buddy Guy. This time looks set to repeat as he joins the ‘It’s Blues Time!’ Tour.
First up on this extraordinary Blues Tour is SHUGGIE OTIS - son of legendary R ‘n’ B bandleader Johnny Otis. A musical prodigy he was playing with his father by the time he was 13 and from the word go displayed an uncanny mastery of the blues guitar. He wrote “Strawberry Letter 23,” a world-wide multi-million selling single for the Brothers Johnson in spring 1977 , and guested for Frank Zappa on the Hot Rats album – and with Mos Def on his album The New Danger. in His Inspiration Information album from 1974 has been lauded by many, including Prince, Lenny Kravitz and David Byrne as a cult masterpiece. In Feb 2013 Inspiration Information will be re-issued complete as a double album package which will include a set of sought after unreleased masters.
Take this rare opportunity to see, for the first time, THREE legendary artists on ONE incredible night !! IT’S BLUES TIME hits the following capital cities:
SYDNEY Enmore Theatre, Sat March 23
MELBOURNE Arts Centre, Hamer Hall, Sun March 24
BRISBANE Tivoli, Tues March 26
Also appearing at Bluesfest 2013