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Patti Parks Sings From A Whole Nother World

Posted May 2021

PattiParksThe odds are pretty good that you haven’t heard of her. I admit that I hadn’t of her until recently when I received information about her new album, “Whole Nother World”, from her publicist. Patti’s original album, “Cheat’n Man,” continues to have radio play all over the world including Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United States. Patti has gotten outstanding reviews from famous Blues Music Magazines such as “Blues Blast Magazine,” several live interviews from Belgium’s own Purple Haze Radio Show to Rambling Night Blues in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“Whole Nother World” was recorded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and released on Booga Records/Vizztone. American Bluesman Kenny Neal signed Ms. Parks to his own label and produced, arranged and performed on this eclectic gem. The album debuts this month. You really should check it out. A riveting live performer, Patti has a soulful, sensual voice that does immense justice to her uplifting blend of Chicago blues, Memphis soul and tasty funk.


Patti has performed in many major festivals including the Blues 'n March Festival, Ellicottville Blues Festival, Niagara Thunder, Kalamazoo Music Festival, Blues in the Valley, Wellsville Creative Art Center, Curtains Up, Crystal Beach Concert Series in Canada, the M&T Bank Concert Series, Taste of Buffalo, Buffalo Canal Fest, the Niagara University Concert Series, Northeast Jazz Festival and National Women in the Blues Showcase. She has also performed at numerous blues & music festivals and clubs throughout the country including the Blues 'n March Festival, Ellicottville Blues Festival, Niagara Thunder, Kalamazoo Music Festival, Blues in the Valley, Crystal Beach Concert Series in Canada, the Northeast Jazz Festival and National Women in the Blues Showcase, among many others. Oh, and Patti has performed at famous venues as the Funky Biscuit, Ground Zero, Time Out Pub, as well as BB Kings and Rum Boogie.

As if all of that isn’t impressive enough, I should add that Patti is also a working nurse and creator of the Nurs’n Blues education program, which she developed to help high risk children at drug rehab centers.

After watching this fun interview with Patti, share this link with your friends who are blues fans. Second, order “Whole Nother World” by clicking on the album cover on this page. Third, keep up with the latest on Patti by visiting her website, ThePattiParksBand.com. You can even see if she’s playing in a town or burg near you. If so, go see and tell her Boomerocity sent you!

The Boomerocity Interview With Patti Parks

Richie Furay Deliverin' Again

Posted May 2021

richie furay for what its worth croppedIt’s always a compliment and a pleasure when one of the icons of our youth allows themselves to be interviewed by Boomerocity. How much more so it is when they sit with us more than once!

Such is the case with former Poco and Buffalo Springfield member (as well as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee), Richie Furay. Boomerocity interviewed Furay once before six years ago (here). I follow Richie on social media and saw that he had a new CD/DVD set available and was raising money for a documentary. My Spidey senses told me that it was high time to chat with the Hall of Famer again, so I reached out to him, and he quickly agreed to an interview.

As you will see in the video, the conversation is laid back and easy. Richie is very approachable in person, on social media, and in interviews and is a wealth of information. While it’s one thing for me to say what a great guy Richie is, here are some quotes by others that I “borrowed” from his website:

Richie’s gift never left the fans or fellow musicians’ hearts. He is on the short list of guys that true musicians admire and follow, year after year.

  • Cameron Crowe – American director, producer, screenwriter, journalist, author & actor

It has been a rare pleasure to be able to call Richie Furay a friend after so many years. Like so many music lovers, I became aware of his work with Buffalo Springfield as a teenager in London in the late 60's and have been a fan ever since. Over the years he has added much to my musical experience via his work with Poco, Souther-Hillman-Furay and more recently The Richie Furay Band.  

Our band, America, was heavily influenced by the writing and arranging style of Richie and these artists in our early days and when we first returned to the U.S. in 1972, it was a thrill to be touring with Souther-Hillman-Furay within a short time! He’s a great songwriter and has a beautiful voice....and a big smile! As a person Richie has always been an open and generous human being sharing the joy of making music with everyone...long may he run!

  • Dewey Bunnell / Member of the group AMERICA

Throughout the formative years of our group America, the songs and voice of Richie Furay were a constant inspiration. With both the Buffalo Springfield and Poco albums, Richie was in “heavy rotation” in our world and remains so to this day.

  • Gerry Beckley, Member of the group AMERICA

Richie Furay really took me to another level. Richie mentored me. I watched how he worked as a songwriter and a singer and a performer.... and I really learned a lot just by being around him. I consider him one of my best friends, on many levels.

  • Timothy B. Schmit / Bassist, The Eagles


Richie Furay deserves his place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His contribution to American music is truly appreciated by his millions of fans.

  • Graham Nash / Singer, Songwriter of Crosby, Stills & Nash

Richie and I shared many wonderful times along the road to our collective and individual successes. "Kind Woman” and “Child's Claim to Fame” are the two songs Richie wrote during our times together with the Springfield, that still inspire me to this day. Enough so for me to sing and perform them in my set each night. My way of paying tribute to Richie as a writer and a warm reminder of the creativity we once shared together.
Richie was my best man at my wedding, which should tell you something about how I appreciated his talent and friendship. It was Richie and his wife Nancy who inspired me as a young man of 20 years of age, to seek out a loving and meaningful person to share my life with. Richie and Nancy's solid commitment to one another continued to inspire me for many years to come.

  • Jim Messina / Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist, Producer of POCO, Loggins & Messina


Richie Furay, one of the most talented people I have had the pleasure of working with over the years. As a singer/songwriter/musician he has blessed us all with his beautiful music for five decades. As a man he carries in his heart an unshakable love for Jesus Christ and a faith so strong that we can only hope to achieve. I love you Richie, you are a true blessing in my life.

  • Chris Hillman / Singer, Songwriter of The Byrds, Desert Rose Band, Souther-Hillman-Furay


Richie Furay was a pioneer of folk-rock, country-rock and soft-rock in southern California.

  • Roger McGuinn / Lead Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist of The Byrds

So, in case you are wondering why I am always so stoked to chat with Richie, you can see from the quotes of the dignitaries, above, that I am in excellent company (and there are many more quotes like those on Richie's website so be sure to check them out!).

As you will see in the interview (below), we talk a lot about the live recording at the Troubadour titled, “Richie Furay: Return To The Troubadour. It’s an amazing recording (both CD and DVD) and I strongly encourage you to order the set for your own library as well as some for gifts for the music fans in your life. You can do so by visiting RichieFuray.com. Some of the proceeds will go towards funding a documentary on Richie titled, “Through It All: The Life and Influence of Richie Furay”. Below the interview video is what his website says about the film. Please be sure to check it out.

The Boomerocity Interview With Richie Furay

 

ABOUT THIS FILM


Using a blend of interviews, rare photos & video clips, vintage recordings, and present-day footage, Through It All: The Life and Influence of Richie Furay is the untold story of a living legend. Widespread commercial and financial success evaded Richie, all while many other musicians he played with or influenced experienced hit songs and gold or platinum records. A combination of unfavorable circumstances, deficient management, inadequate record label support, and immeasurable chaos & drama, all contributed to Richie's frustration & stagnation as a working musician. Still, his influence is immense. Most noteworthy, at an Eagles concert in Denver a few years back, head Eagle Glenn Frey pointed Richie Furay out in the audience with the acknowledgement, “If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be here.”


The film also delves into Richie's personal setbacks and many family triumphs. Unlike most of his music contemporaries, Richie is married 52 years to the same woman, even after separating twice in their early years. In the face of adversity, Richie found a life of positivity and fulfillment.


This documentary will also take our audience into the creative process. Along with discussing his songwriting, both past and present, Richie will take us through the evolution of a song, from genesis through production. By working in this interactive and immersive format, viewers will receive an intimate portrait of Richie’s life and music.


Although Richie’s career and influence is of historic value and will be addressed throughout our narrative, this film will be a break from the standard, nostalgic chronicle, and will instead present Richie as a modern, working artist. With a nod to the past, we will show how Richie continues to write & make music that inspires and enlightens generations both young and old.


We are also hopeful that this film will bring recognition to POCO and gain them the needed exposure to obtain a nomination into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
You can contribute to the making of this film by clicking here and/or by visiting RichieFuray.com.


Boomerocity Note: Closer to the time of the film’s release, we plan on chatting with Richie in more detail about it. Until then, please give this interview your careful attention, order the “Troubadour” set, contribute to the making of the documentary, and share the link to this interview with your friends!

Billy Gibbons Gives The Lowdown On "Hardware"

Posted May 2021

BFG Color Reduced

Note: Due to the manner in which this interview was conducted, you can either read the following or scroll to the very bottom of this page and watch/listen to an edited version of the e-mail exchange between Boomerocity and Billy Gibbons.

 

The blues. Rock. Mystique. Intrigue. Other worldliness. Uber-coolness.

All these words come to mind when one hears the name, Billy Gibbons, from ZZ Top. I mean, c’mon! The guy founded and been in ZZ Top for over fifty years, plays great music, has very cool guitars, and has been in some of the most iconic music videos that ever aired on MTV . . . back when MTV played music videos.

Boomerocity had the privilege of interviewing Billy Gibbons a little over four years ago (here). Then, as now, the interview was conducted via e-mail and, while I, of course, would have much rather spoken directly with Gibbons, I was – and am – thrilled to be able to catch up with the fabled ZZ Top guitarist.

Because the Reverend Billy Gibbons has a new album coming out titled, “Hardware”, now was the perfect time to touch base with him again to chat about the project.

Billy answered my first question – which involved how he was weathering the pandemic – by saying:

“Well, it’s been a very unusual succession of ‘Taco Tuesdays’. The ‘BFG Three’ (“Billy F. Gibbons”) trio followed Matt “Big Beat” Sorum - who led us 20 miles overland into within shifting sands through California’s high desert, near the famed outpost in Joshua Tree, which found us making discovery of a recording studio. We got there just to check things out and ended up staying for three months!”

“Hardware” is Gibbons’ third solo album. I asked how this one is different for him to put together than the other two and the ZZ Top albums.

“This new outing can be thought of as a continuing excursion into the unknown. Lending ourselves to the creative energies of the desert found days turning into nights and back into day. It was the elegance of losing track of time to some extent. And, as the sessions in the studio began to unfold, the approach turned quite ecumenical. The first BFG solo album was aimed toward the sounds of Havana. The second release was all about the blues and this most recent, ‘Hardware', is anybody’s guess. I mean we have surf guitar blending into western film themes. Talk about something of a departure! Surf music in the middle of a bone-dry desert!?!? Go figure!”

Artists never like to be asked which song is their favorite because it’s akin to asking a parent which child is their favorite. With that in mind, I asked Gibbons which song he would point to as a calling card “Hardware”.

“That might be somewhat difficult to answer right off the bat. However, I suspect we should start at the beginning. Side one, track one, is ‘West Coast Junkie’, and, no, it’s not about hard drugs but, rather our ‘jones’ for the California experience. We dig the surf and the sand and whatever’s in between. The lyric is somewhat autobiographical: ‘I’m a West Coast junkie from a Texas town and when I get to Cali it’s gonna go down’, and ‘gettin’ down’ became the order of the hour.”

“Desert High” is one of the songs on “Hardware” and the music video is on this page. As you can hear, it has a very Jim Morrison-esque vibe to it. I asked Billy what the story is behind the song.

“It’s the album closer and something of a collection of verse with a prose-like tone with, of course, references to ‘the Lizard King.’ The song paints a mind picture deeply inspired by the desolation of the desert. The Mojave really holds a place of mystery and intrigue and it inspired us to sum things up in a way not dissimilar to maybe a theme for some western film.

“Our pre-ZZ band, The Moving Sidewalks, actually shared performance bills with the Doors so there’s a personal connection in it as well. Similarly with Gram Parsons, also referenced in the delivery. We met Gram while admiring a vintage touring bus parked in front of a theater when he came over to chat about it. We thought he might have been the driver, but he introduced himself as ‘Gram’ and being in the band. We knew we had met the man himself.”

One of the songs on the album is, “Stackin’ Bones”, with duet, Larkin Poe. I asked Billy why them and why that song.

“Well, they’re just so talented and different, aren’t they?!? We met them through Tyler Bryant with whom we toured. Rebecca and Megan found their way to quite a few backstage sections at ZZ shows so we asked Tyler who they were. Turns out Tyler’s married to Rebecca. We then heard them play at a sound check and we were immediately taken aback. If there was going to be any guest musician on this album, it just had to be Larkin Poe and the collaboration with us is Click Below To Order Your Copyhardwarecoversturdy propulsive, isn’t it?”

And what are the good reverend’s plans once the pandemic subsides?

“Gonna get out there with both ZZ Top and our BFG outfit as soon as the coast is clear. It’s way time to turn it up and play some loud sounds. As the scheduling return, live entertainment dates with — Matt Sorum, Austin Hanks and yours truly from the ‘Hardware’ sessions will be hitting the deck!”

In my last interview, I asked Billy how he wanted to be remembered and what he hoped his legacy would be. Since it has been a few years since then, I thought it appropriate to once again close with it.

"’He came in, he strapped up, he plugged in, he turned it up, he rocked out.’ Seems like a legacy of substance, no?

Yes, it most certainly does.

You can keep up with all things BFG at the good reverend’s website, BillyGibbons.com, and ZZ Top at, well, ZZTop.com.

 

The Narrated Version of the Above Boomerocity Interview With Billy Gibbons

Sean Chambers Says, "That's What I'm Talking' About"

Posted May 2021

Sean Chambers hi res promo 2021 by Alain Broeckx reducedPhoto by Alain BroeckIf you love the blues (and Boomerocity most certainly does) and if you’ve never heard of – or never listened to – Sean Chambers, then you don’t know what you’ve been missing!

Boomerocity was first turned on to Sean’s work during our review of his then-new album, Trouble & Whiskey, four years ago (here). We hate to be so slow, but we’ve finally been able to link up with the amazing blues guitarist for an interview.

Chambers conjures up audio images of great blues sounds by the likes of John Mayall, Eric Clapton, Cream, and Walter Trout, to name a few. Raw. Gritty. Foot-stompin’. It’s all of that and so much more – and with Sean’s own signature sound and audio DNA.

The opportunity to chat with Sean came with the announcement of Chamber’s pending July 9th release of his latest album, “That’s What I’m Talkin’ About”. The album is a tribute to Hubert Sumlin, the late guitarist for blues great, Howlin’ Wolf.

Boomerocity has been wearing the ether off the preview download of the album and we can say with all sincerity that this is one of the must-have blues albums of 2021.

Yeah, it’s that great!

Watch the interview, below. You can also read the press release about the album that is provided below the interview video. We encourage you to share this interview with anyone you know who loves the blues because they’re going to love Sean Chambers!

The Boomerocity Interview With Sean Chambers

 

 

Press Release For “That’s What I’m Talkin’ About”

Quarto Valley Records announces the release date of the label’s debut album from acclaimed blues-rock guitarist/singer Sean Chambers, That’s What I’m Talkin About (a tribute to legendary former Howlin’ Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin), has been moved to July 9. The date change will accommodate the release of the disc’s first single and video for the track, “Hidden Charms,” on June 11, when the album will also be available for preorder.

Recorded in March 2020 just before the coronavirus shut everything down, the Florida-based Chambers went into Showplace Studios in Dover, New Jersey, for the sessions of his 8th album. That’s What I’m Talkin About was engineered and produced by Showplace owner Ben Elliott, who suddenly passed away shortly after the album was recorded. In addition to Sean Chambers (guitar, vocals) and members of his band, That’s What I’m Talkin About also features guest appearances from lauded keyboardists Bruce Katz and John Ginty. The 11 tracks on the new disc include 10 songs Sean regularly performed on the road as a member of Hubert Sumlin’s touring band, as well as “Hubert’s Song,” a Chambers original saluting Sumlin. The music showcases a tour-de force of Sean’s blazing guitar pyrotechnics.


“This album is a tribute to my mentor, and friend, the late great Hubert Sumlin,” Sean Chambers says. “Back in 1998, I got a call asking if my band and I would be interested in backing up Hubert at ‘Blues Stock’ in Memphis. Of course, I was honored and said yes. The band and I woodshedded the songs for a month or so and went to play with Hubert for the first time in October of 1998. It was a magical night for me, and the chemistry between us and Hubert worked really well. After that show, Hubert asked if we would become his full-time group. My band and I continued to play and tour with Hubert for over four years. I look back on that time with Hubert as my ‘college education in the blues’. ‘That's What I'm Talkin About’ was a phrase that Hubert used to say a lot, so we thought it would be a fitting name for this album. Ben Elliott, who engineered and produced the album, sadly passed away suddenly shortly after this session, and it would turn out to be his last project. The picture in the album package of Ben and I behind the mixing board was the last one of us, as we listened back to the tracks we had just recorded, hoping that Hubert would be proud. My previous two albums, Trouble & Whiskey and Welcome To My Blues were also recorded with Ben Elliott. He was a great friend and partner in the business and will be sorely missed by everyone that knew and worked with him. I will always be grateful to both Hubert Sumlin and Ben Elliott and will never forget all the work we did together, as well as all the lessons that I learned from them both. The music will always live on, and I hope that you enjoy this album as much as we enjoyed making it.”

Sean Chambers will begin a post-COVID tour in support of the new CD with his band throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He currently resides in Southwest Florida with his wife Karen, who handles his merchandise sales while on tour.

“I am bringing back my old bass player, Todd Cook, who played bass on Trouble & Whiskey and Welcome to My Blues. New touring drummer Andrei Koribanics was the drummer on the new album, That's What I'm Talkin About, and played percussion on Trouble & Whiskey,” Chambers says about his new touring band.

Band Members:
Sean Chambers - guitar/vocals
Todd Cook – bass
Andrei Koribanics – drums
Rick Curran – Hammond B3/keyboards
www.seanchambers.com

Danny Zelisko Gives Us All Exce$$ To His Life In The Concert Business

Posted May 2021

 

DannyZelisko 001Concerts.

Remember those? They existed before the pandemic and were a heck of a lot of fun.

Sigh!

Baby boomers certain may vaguely remember attending concerts. If you were a teen in the seventies, eighties, and beyond - and lived in the Phoenix area and attended concerts at Dooley’s, Compton Terrace, and Celebrity Theater, then there’s a better than even chance that those concerts were brought to you by Evening Star Productions. That company was founded and ran by Danny Zelisko.

In an industry (concert promotion) whose reputation is rife with stories of rip-offs, cutthroat dealings, and the like, Danny Zelisko is one of the good guys in the business.

I’ll stop right here to say that I often receive comments from friends and Boomerocity followers who say that I have quite the life because of the people I get to talk to and meet for Boomerocity. While that is true, Danny Zelisko is orders of magnitude far and above anything I’ve ever got to do. He’s not only met many more artists than I have, but he is also actually personal friends with many of them. People like Alice Cooper, Kris Kristofferson, Sammy Hagar, and many others. They’re not acquaintances. They’re FRIENDS and THAT is a testament to the integrity and principles that Danny conducts himself in the concert business.

Not only is Danny a man of strength and integrity in the concert business, he is also generous with his time – especially All Access Cover 2when it comes to putting in a good word for a friend. A case in point is in my second interview with Journey’s Jonathan Cain in 2018 (here), Danny was kind enough to take time in his busy schedule to provide some comments about his good friend for that interview.

Danny has written a book about his life in the concert business entitled, All Exce$$ - Occupation: Concert Promoter. If you are like I am and are a business geek as well as a music nut, then this book is a must-have for your personal library. It is uniquely written and printed in a way that best presents Danny’s fascinating story.

With the book out now, it provided the ideal platform to interview Danny Zelisko. Again, he was generous with his time and shared his valuable insights and fascinating stories during our nearly hour-long chat. That interview is below. It’s fun. It’s in-depth. It’s insightful. It’s well worth your time to listen to it. After you do so, click on the book cover on the right to order All Exce$$ directly from Danny’s website, DZPLive.com.

The Boomerocity Interview with Danny Zelisko