Archive for the ‘Houston’ Category

Houston’s Shakespeare Pub   Leave a comment

Texas Johnny Brown at Houston’s Shakespeare Pub — Photo-Artistry by kenne 
(Click on Texas Johnny Brown to see archived blog posting on TJB)

Texas Johnny Brown is a major talent who simmered on the blues scene longer than all the beef stew cooked in the ’40s, the decade when he first began playing and recording. Like pianist Johnny Johnson of St. Louis, Brown is an artist who did not get a chance to record a full album as a leader until he had been in the music business more than half-a-century. Also like Johnson, the results of coming in so late in the game have been a pair of highly acclaimed, prize-winning albums including the righteous Blues Defender. Brown can take plenty of the credit, since he has taken over almost complete control of his ow arranging, production, and mixing, as well as the string bending and blues moaning. He began his career as a sideman for the Duke and Peacock outfits in the ’50s about which discographers make comments such as “… the record keeping at that time was less than desirable.” As a result, some of Brown’s playing on releases by artists such as Lightnin’ Hopkins and Joe Hinton remains uncredited. The guitarist, singer, and songwriter began his professional career as an original member of the great Amos Milburn band known as the Aladdin Chickenshackers. Brown’s picking is killer on early Aladdin recordings by both Milburn, and on Ruth Brown’s first Atlantic sides. Atlantic allowed Brown to make a few recordings of his own in 1949, buoyed by the enthusiasm the label had for Milburn, who played behind his sideman on these sessions along with the rest of the Aladdin Chickenshackers. T-Bone Walker is the dominating force in Brown’s stylistic palette, an influence that was considered something of a driving permit for any guitarist venturing out of Houston during this period. Before finally getting the biggie recording opportunities in the late ’90s, Brown did an ARC session in Houston in the early ’50s that was never released. He also performed regularly with Junior Parker during that decade, remaining based out of Houston. As a songwriter, Brown’s most famous work is “Two Steps from the Blues,” a big hit for Bobby “Blue” Bland, with whom he also toured as a lead guitarist in the ’50s and ’60s. By the ’80s, he was considered only sporadically active on the blues scene, but this turned out to be only a temporary brown-out, so to speak.

— Eugene Chadbourne Source: allmusic.com

Houston Skyline at Sam Houston Park   Leave a comment

Houston Skyline at Sam Houston Park — Image by kenne

“Houston is an example of what can happen when architecture catches a venereal disease.”

— Frank Lloyd Wright

Sherman — Come Away In   Leave a comment

Houston Blues Legend, Sherman Roberson — Image by kenne

Don’t tell me The Blues is not a feeling!

Christmas Past: Holidays In New Orleans   2 comments

Royale Street in New Orleans (December 2014) — Image by kenne

For years, after celebrating Christmas with family and friends,
Joy and I would go to one of our favorite ‘getaways,’ New Orleans.

Big Easy dreaming
Strolling through the French Quarter
Existential being.

— kenne

Houston’s Trudy Lynn   Leave a comment

Houston’s Trudy Lynn (October 24, 2002) at  Houston’s Photofest — Image by kenne

 

The Great Chris Duarte   1 comment

Chris Duarte at the Cactus Moon, Humble, Texas (January 2003) — Images by kenne

When it comes to Blues/Rock guitar players, Texas has produced some of the best.
I saw Chris live several times in the late ’90s and early ’00s, and each time his
performance
drained me. He is very intense and emotional — literally mindblowing.

— kenne

1972 Houston Skyline   Leave a comment

1972 Houston Skyline (Signed Print In My Office) — by Norman Baxter

The forgetting of the history of marginalized groups
is both a cause and effect of their marginalization.

— Susan Jacoby

Posted October 10, 2020 by kenneturner in Art, Houston, Information, Quote

Tagged with , , , ,

A Dream Deferred   Leave a comment

Texas Johnny Brown (11/15/09) Image by kenne

A Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

— Langston Hughes 

Time To Rest The Feet   1 comment

Joy at FotoFestTime To Rest The Feet (FotoFest 10/24/02) — Photo-Artistry by kenne

The female is fertile, and discipline

(contra naturam) only confuses her

Who has, head held sideways

Arm out softly, touching,

A difficult dance to do, but not in mind.

 

Hand on sleeve: she holds leaf turning

In sunlight on spiderweb;

Makes him flick like trout through shallows

Builds into ducks and cold marshes

Sucks out the quiet: bone rushes in

Behind the cool pupil a knot grows

Sudden roots sod him and solid him

Rain falls from skull-roof mouth is awash with small creeks

Hair grows, tongue tenses out – and she

Quick turn of the head: back glancing, one hand

Fingers smoothing the thigh, and he sees.

 

— from Praise for Sick Women by Gary Snyder

 

 

 

COVID-19 Is Killing Live Music Venues   2 comments

Until COVID-19, gentrification was the big enemy of live music venues.
Now many these of these venues have closed forever because of the pandemic.
Maybe it’s time to bring back the old fashion bandstand in public parks.
People getting together to experience live music is a necessary
part of developing and maintaining a sense of community.

— kenne

Blue DoorBlue Door Texas Ice House On A Sunday Afternoon In East Texas (10/26/01) — Photo-Essay by kenne

Dancing to the Music of Gene Kelton and the Die Hards
(Gentrification Killed the Blue Door Years Ago.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking At Community Service Days (04-27-01)   Leave a comment

kennejoysheriff-04-27-01-B&W-72Joy & Kenne at a Fund-raiser for the Harris County Sheriff (04/27/01) 

Gary Clark Jr. (09/21/01)   1 comment

Gary Clark Jr., 09/21/01Gary Clark Jr. (09/21/01) — Photo-Artistry by kenne

We first saw Gary Clark Jr. in Humble, Texas at the Cactus Moon at age sixteen (November 2000).
The original image for the above art was taken the following September
at the Miller Outdoor Theater in Houston where he appeared with Diunna Greenleaf.

— kenne

 

Texas Johnny Brown at The Shakespeare Pub   2 comments

Texas Johnny Brown_edit blogTexas Johnny Brown at The Shakespeare Pub In Houston (11/15/09) Photo-Artistry by kenne

“We used to have guitars sessions,
guitar battles on Sunday out there at Club Matinee.
And there’d be about four or five of us there,
and man, guitars would be ringing like everything!

It was wild!”

— Texas Johnny Brown (Down in Houston: Bayou City Blues)

 

Mr. Gino’s Lounge   Leave a comment

Mr. VDancing to the Blues at Houston’s, Mr. Gino’s Lounge (03/09/08) — Image by kenne

 

The Blues

“The fundamental form in all of American music —
that’s what the blues is. It’s in every folk song,
The sound of the banjo and the sound of the guitar.
It’s in the sound of ragtime, it’s  in the sound of
John Philip Sousa’s marches. It’s hard to get the 
blues out of your sound. Blues is also call and
response, which is democratic form. It generally
has lyrics that described something tragic or sad.
But many times it reverses that and gives you
something that’s hopeful.”

— Wynton Marsalis (NY Times, June 28, 2020)

 

Houston Blues Legends   1 comment

Billy Blues (1 of 1)-2-72Pee Wee Stephens, Pete Mayes, Grady Gaines, Calvin Owens, Joe “Guitar” Hughes,
and I don’t know the gentleman playing bass on the stage at Billy Blues (1999)
— Image by kenne

During our time living in the Houston area, Joy and I were very much into live music, especially the blues. Although there are still plenty of blues venues, many have passed with time. One such place was Billy Blues, on Richmond Avenue on Houston’s trendy westside. Regional and nationally known blues musicians played there for about seven years. Known for its 63-foot-tall saxophone made of Volkswagen Beetle parts and beer kegs, the venue never seemed to capture the same blues feeling of clubs in Houston’s working-class 3rd and 5th Ward communities. “I love the blues. It’s a feeling,” Martha Turner said to Roger Wood in his book Down In Houston: Bayou City Blues. “You got to feel a song, you know. When a person comes into a club to see you, they enjoy your expression, not so much as what you’re singing. They watch your face.”

“You watch this person sing a song,
and it’s almost like you’re doing it yourself.
Know what I’m talking about?
You enjoy that blues.
The Blues is something you can identify with.”

(Martha Turner)

During these trying times, what better way of coming together than with The Blues, and Buddy Guy reminds us,
“. . . you treat everybody just the way you want them to treat you.”

— kenne

 

Lyrics
I've been around a while
I know wrong from right
And since a long time ago
Things been always black and white
Just like you can't judge a book by the cover
We all gotta be careful
How we treat one another
I say

Skin deep, skin deep
Underneath we all look same
Skin deep, skin deep
Underneath, don't we all look the same?

A man in Louisiana
He never called me by my name
He said "boy do this and boy do that"
But I never once complained
I knew he had a good heart
But he just didn't understand
That I needed to be treated
Just like any other man

Skin deep, skin deep
Underneath, don't we all look the same?
Skin deep, skin deep
Underneath we all look the same

I sat my little child down
When he was old enough to know
I said "I fear in this big wide world
You're gonna meet all kinda folks"
I said "Son it all comes down to just one simple rule
That you treat everybody just the way
You want them to treat you"

Skin deep, skin deep
Underneath, don't we all look the same?
Skin deep, skin deep
Underneath we all look the same

Skin deep, skin deep
Underneath, don't we all look the same? Yeah
Skin deep, skin deep
Underneath we just all look the same (the same, yeah)

Skin deep (treat everybody), skin deep
Skin deep, skin deep
All look, all look the same
Skin deep, skin deep
Don't we all look the same?
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