We hope you will join us this week (3/29/14) on Time For The Blues because Henry Cook and I plan to unleash some great sides and we’ve got a special guest who we’ve been listening to for some time and now he’s finally going to join us in the studio--local harpmaster Li'l Ronnie Owens! We'll also hear more from recent CDs by Buddy Guy as well as Tommy Castro and the Painkillers! Won’t be the same without you!
Ask anyone who can remember the decade after the swinging ‘60’s and they’ll tell you that the mid to late ‘70’s were a heady time for music. I can remember that in the space of only a few years I saw David Bowie, Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, The Eagles, Jimmy Buffett, Genesis (the Peter Gabriel line-up), and many others that played here in Virginia.
Henry was living in Philadelphia at the time and he can tell you stories about some amazing bands he saw there and others he saw later in college.
Then there was this other band I saw about that time. This one was fronted by a damn fine harp player named Li’l Ronnie Owens and I’m pretty sure they were the first blues band I ever saw play live. I did catch Matt “Guitar” Murphy play once near VCU, but that was a little later. Anyway, Li’l Ronnie (who is definitely NOT little) left a lasting impression and I’ve been fortunate to catch him with various line-ups over the years.
Flash forward to about a year ago and a press release that landed in my inbox. If it had landed on my desk, it would probably still be sitting there under and old cup of coffee… Henry and I were invited to see a show that featured one of our favorite harp players, Bob Corritore. Joining Corritore were Mitch Kashnar, Kurt Crandall, and the guy who put it all together, Li’l Ronnie Owens. We’re talking four world-class harpists, plus the Grand Dukes, and maybe a surprise guest or two. It was a great time (even though Henry is still waiting for his drink order to be filled) and I finally got the chance to meet the guy who I have been listening to for years.
Turns out he’s a lot of fun, we had a lot of musician friends in common, and I immediately hatched a plan to get him on the show to talk about his career and his new record label EllerSoul Records.
A year later we finally pull it off. Li’l Ronnie joins us for the first time this week to talk about a few things and play a couple of sides from his latest with the Grand Dukes "Gotta Strange Feeling." It’s going to be fun and we’re looking forward to his future appearances with us. He even brought us some snazzy EllerSoul Record t-shirts and I’ve been wearing mine all week. Gonna have to wash it sometime soon.
Before we get to our new best friend, we're going to sample a few more sides from Tommy Castro and the Painkillers. We’ve played some Castro in the past, but this CD "The Devil You Know" is smoking hot and we are really looking forward to unleashing it on you.
And joining Castro in the smoking hot section is the one and only Buddy Guy and his special guests with some more selections from the 2013 release "Rhythm And Blues." If you like fantastic guitar work – and you probably do if you’re listening to us – you definitely want to check this CD out as well. We played tracks from both Buddy and Tommy's CDs a few weeks ago and this stuff is just so good we had to give you a second helping!
Like Li’l Ronnie and his Harping Hooligans show, we’ve got a couple of special surprises up our sleeve for you as well. We’ll give you a hint, one is named Joe Louis Walker and the other surprise is a super group from the swinging ‘60’s that just may very well knock your socks off.
So make sure you are camped out in front of your radio or computer this Saturday night. We’ll be here and it’ll be a little lonely if you aren’t with us. Time for the Blues with John Porter and Henry Cook airs Saturdays at 11:00 p.m.