Archive for the ‘Ken and Mary’s Blues Project’ Tag

Music Sunday   Leave a comment

This posting first appeared November 18, 2009.

Ray Bonneville at Ken and Mary’s Blues Project, November 18, 2009 — Images and video by kenne

I believe that all the little things in life add up to one’s life. So, it’s important to get them right, otherwise nothing else matters.  I’m here to tell you that Ken and Mary Harris have been getting it right for a long time.

They love people and they love the Blues, and for years now have been doing a lot of little things that have been adding up in the form of the “Blues Project.”

Several times a year, Ken and Mary open their home to friends and their guests to experience the best in blues music this side of Texas. Sadly, many have no idea what they are missing, and sometimes it can get lonely in the promise land by yourself.

One of the many musicians who have appeared at Ken and Mary’s Blues Project is Ray Bonneville. Just as Ray may write about a place he has lived, e.g., New Orleans, he is not from there. He is a traveler in other people’s reality, writing stories that serve as a portal to his existence.

“Firefly comin’ this way
a flickering light is to say
time ain’t but this long
here tonight, tomorrow gone.”

— from “Goin’ By Feel”

As a fellow traveler in the reality of others, I hope our paths will cross again soon.

kenne

Flickr Photo Set

 

A Blast From The Past   3 comments

Ken & Mary's Blues (1 of 1) art blog“A Blast From The Past” Ken & Mary’s Blues Project, December 2003 — Image by kenne

Sadly, several of those playing in this Ken & Mary’s Blues Project house concert are no longer with us — those were the days with some of the best blues ever coming out of east Texas. 

In the piney woods

Rhythm and lots of the blues

Jamming through the night.

kenne

Jonn Del Toro Richardson Is “The Real Deal”   2 comments

Diunna BenefitHouston Legend, Earl Gilliam and Jonn Richardson at the Big East, (February 15, 2009) — Image by kenne

Lately I have been listening to an Otis Taylor CD. Coincidentally, my friend Jonn Del Toro Richardson posts on Facebook a Otis Taylor, Gary Moore & Jonn Richardson video from 2006 — karma!

I’ve followed the musical career of Jonn over the last decade. The Blues world has a lot of great Bluesmen, but few as good, yet not recognized as Jonn. Yes, among Blues musicians Jonn is admired for his talent, but for many Blues fans he is under the radar. For years Jonn has toured with better known musicians, and collaborated on releasing CDs, but no solo CD — it’s time for his own CD!

Now there’s an opportunity to help Jonn reach his funding goal to produce his first solo album. Click here for more information. 

Here are three of videos of Jonn I have done — yes, he is the “REAL DEAL!”

IBC Blues Jam, 2010

The Real Deal with Rich DelGrosso at Ken & Mary’s Blues Project, 2011

Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy @ Rhythm & Roots Concert Series In Tucson, 2012 — Jonn and Diunna bring it on home in this video!

WE LOVE YOU, JONN!

Capturing The Moment — East Texas Blues   Leave a comment

Ken & Mary's 8-20-05 (1 of 1) blogEast Texas Blues (Ken & Mary’s Blues Project, August 20, 2005) — Image by kenne

When I got them north Texas blues

Thought I’d paid all my dues

Then them south Texas blues

Told me son you ain’t through

Had them east Texas blues

And them west Texas too

I’ve done all I know to do

Tryin’ to lose, tryin’ to lose

These lone star blues

— from “Lone Star Blues” lyrics by Delbert McClinton

“Just Through Loving You” — Julie Bonk   Leave a comment

Ken & Mary's Blues Project-8575 blogMary Bonk, Guthrie Kennard and George Bearishill on the stage at Ken & Mary’s Blues Project. — Images and video by kenne

People who love live music in a “house concert” format in the greater Houston area are aware of the work Mary and Kenneth Harris have done for the last 20 years. When it comes to house concerts it’s difficult to beat the live events they conduct in the piney woods of east Texas.

Ken & Mary's Blues Project-8555 Julie blogJulie Bonk

The headliner for this fall’s event was Guthrie Kennard with Julie Bonk. 

Ken and Mary first heard Julie at Camp Stupid at the Kerrville Folk Festival in 2012.

At one point in the evening, Julie did a solo singing one of her songs, “Just Through Loving You.”

kenne

“Down In A Country Town” — Porter, Texas   Leave a comment

Guthrie Kennard-8553blogGuthrie Kennard and Julie Bonk at Ken & Mary’s Blues Project — Image and video by kenne

As a previous posting stated, Guthrie Kennard and Julie Bonk were the headliners in Ken & Mary’s 20th year of the Blues Project at their place in Porter, Texas — what a night!

I have additional images and video I will be posting “on down the road.”

A big thanks to Ken & Mary for continuing the tradition of providing great live music in east Texas.

kenne

Define It, Or Lose It!   4 comments

Ken & Mary's Blues Project-8579-2 blog

George Bearishill — Image by kenne

“I Know It When I hear It!”

In trying to explain what is obscene, Supreme Court Justice, Potter Stewart uttered the now famous phrase, “I know it when I see it.”  Each one of us may have used similar phrases when shopping during this holiday season.  “I’m not sure what I want to buy her, but I will know it when I see it.”

But, what exactly is “it”?  Defining what we mean can be an abstract exercise.  “It” is often use as a generic expression of “worth”, but can take on a different meaning for different people.  Why is this?

How we define “it” is a reflection of context, values, experiences and expectations.   “It” can be referring to quality of service, art, craftsmanship, functionality, all of which are intended to identify, codify and communicate our expectations. So, is “it” really an abstraction?

The test for “knowing it when you see it” is expressed in behavior.  As a young man, I loved going to the Chicago Art Institute.  I could spend hours staring at masterpieces, surrounded, in the silence of others, sharing art that has endured the test of time. Such silence, in the face of beauty, speaks volumes.

I may not be an art expert, but I know art when I see it, or hear it.

Last Saturday we were at Ken & Mary’s Blues Project in Porter, Texas. Setting in on the set was saxophonist, George Bearishill from Georgia (the country). This musician was something to hear — yes, I know it when I hear it!

Another case for intuitive thought. Define it, lose it!

Seek not to define
You know it when you hear it
I know you hear it

— kenne

 

Another Blues Project Night   4 comments

Ken's BirthdayKen Harris — Image by kenne

ANOTHER BLUES PROJECT NIGHT

Next
Saturday night

back
in the Piney Woods

where
music rides

the
vapor trails

of
campfire smoke

slowly
circling above

friends
of the blues —

tossing
bottle caps

at
Ken’s beer alter

twenty
years out

the
Blues Project

seventy
years of life

for
the prince 

of
the blues.

— kenne

Ken Harris has posted —

Fall Fest 2013 is fast approaching. We are looking forward to seeing you here on Oct 26, 2013.

This year for the first time we will have three acts. Henry Old School Jones will open for Guthrie Kennard and Julie Bonk.
After Guthrie
, Marina Rocks will play.  In 1993 for my birthday I wanted some live blues music here at our house
The Blues Broad Kathleen aka The Blues Broad (she had a blues program on KPFT) sent me to Big Roger Collins.
He played here and the Blues Project was born  and we have been presenting live music here ever since.
20 years later we are doing a special night for my 70th birthday.
 

As usual we will BBQ  some meats and will have ice tea ,water  and coffee.
Bring a  side dish you like to show off to share, a lawn chair, your cooler with your favorite beverage and $10 (donation  100% for the music ).
We plan on serving food around 6:30 Henry Jones with his old school blues will play  after we eat.
We received rave reviews the last time he was here so we are  bringing  him back .

The feature act will be Guthrie Kennard with his raspy voice Americana, bluesy, roots music.
Accompanying Guthrie will be Julie Bonk on key board . We caught Guthrie’s  show at the Dosie Doe Music cafe
and were so impressed that we asked him to play here at the project . We first heard Julie at Camp Stupid at the Kerrville Folk Festival in 2012 .
She was playing keyboards in a song circle, Stephanie was singing with her, Marina was also there and they were wowing everyone.

To close the night out Marina  will do an intimate set and jam. She opened here last year and was an instant hit with everyone rocking the house.
Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments to jam afterwards.
 

We are attaching a you tube video Guthrie and Julie did. Enjoy. It’s gonna be a bluesy, jazzy, rockin’ night at the Blues Project….

If This Guitar Could Talk   1 comment

Mean Gene KeltonThe late Mean Gene Kelton — May 3, 2008 Image by kenne

“If this guitar could talk – don’t you think you might hear

How the road goes on forever, just follow the trail of tears”

— from “If This Guitar Could Talk” by Mean Gene Kelton

*****

Mean Gene Kelton was one hell of a rockin’ bluesman. He was also that down home Mississippi boy who loved sitting around picking, playing the harp and telling stories — never a moment to write about in “Gigs from Hell.”

I recall Gene telling me that he was getting tired of the “regular gig thing,” which is one of the reasons he started his weekly acoustic “Rooster Jam” at Rooster’s in Baytown.

In May of 2008, Ken & Mary’s Blues Project provided one of those perfect “under the stars” venues for the “unplugged” Gene.

And yes, we are still following “. . . the trail of tears.”

kenne

Capturing the Moment — Saying Goodbye, Revisited   2 comments

I’m reposting an April 2010 entry in memory of the Tucson killings and last Friday’s killings of children and the people that served then so well — to the people of Newtown.

kenne

alabama2006-11-13-58-saying-goodbye-blog1
Image by kenne

Amazing Grace

Rich DelGrosso & Jonn Del Toro Richardson at Ken & Mary’s Blues Project   1 comment

Jonn Del Toro Richardson & Rich DelGrosso at Ken & Mary’s Blues Project — Image by kenne

Some people are hard to live with,
the source for many a blues song.
But the blues is easy to live with,
especially in the woods of east Texas.

Ken & Mary know that for sure,
attracting friends and their guests,
year after year to their Blues Project,
sharing the best blues anywhere.

Returning again this year, Rich DelGrosso sang,
“Hard To Live With,” with Jonn Del Tero Richardson.
Their latest CD, nominated  by “Blues Blast” magazine for
“Best Traditional Blues CD of The Year!”

Nominated among blues legends,
very deserving of the honor,
with new songs taking traditional blues
to a new creative level.

kenne

Sonny Boy Terry & Rich DelGrosso @ Ken & Mary’s Blues Project   Leave a comment

Sonny Boy & Rich  8004 - 2009-10-17 art blogSonny Boy Terry & Rich DelGrosso

Two Saturday’s ago, before PorterDavis entertained Ken & Mary’s friends in Porter, TX, Sonny Boy Terry and Rich DelGrosso provided some great Blues. What more can you ask for — (1) a beautiful east Texas fall evening; (2) Sonny and Rich; (3) PorterDavis. It just can’t get better!

If you love the Blues and you want to help support the Houston Blues Bank, then mark you calendar for November 15th and attend the Blues For Food Festival 2009 – Shakespeare’s Pub For several years now, Sonny Boy Terry has coordinated this event, following in the (big) foot-steps of Big Roger Collins.

kenne

PorterDavis @ Ken & Mary’s Blues Project   5 comments

Porter Davis  8027 - 2009-10-17 at 20-36-50 blogPorterDavis at Ken & Mary’s Blues Project – photo by kenne

Porter Davis  Dan Barrett 8058 - 2009-10-17 blogBlessed with beautiful fall east Texas weather, many blues fans and friends from all around the Houston area gathered in the east Montgomery county woods at Ken & Mary’s house party (Ken & Mary’s Blues Project). In recent years, house parties have become a popular way to enjoy live music and celebrate the joy of good camaraderie. Those who know Ken and Mary know there are few blues lovers that work as hard to share their love of the great American music genre.

Over the years I have been able to photograph and recently video the many artists that continue to make Ken & Mary’s Blues Project a very special experience. This past Saturday was no exception, but exceptional. The evening began early with local favorites and past performers at the Project, Sonny Sonny Boy & Rich  8004 - 2009-10-17 blogBoy Terry and Rick DelGrosso, who demonstrated their friendship by being a last-minute replacement, even though they would be performing at Shakespeare’s Pub later in the evening. As noted in an earlier posting today, Sonny Boy Terry will be performing in the Houston IBC final’s next Sunday at Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar. We hope all of Houston’s many blues lovers will be out to support Terry.

After Terry and Rich’s set, it was time for another past Project performers, PorterDavis to take the stage. It was Ken & Mary that introduced us to this dynamic Austin-based American Roots/Blues band, recently performing on each coast after the release of their new CD, “PorterDavis.” PorterDavis  8036 - 2009-10-17 blogThe CD demonstrates their singer-songwriter talents, with two great covers of William U. Davis and Muddy Waters songs. This is group that continues to get better and better. If you don’t believe me, buy their CD.

I’m currently working on a video I will be posting with other photos later this week.

kenne

Porter Davis  8065 - 2009-10-17 at 22-08-54 blog

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