Tamines 1997 reissue is a miss

Posted in 13, lester butler with tags , on December 20, 2015 by J.J.

A new album with the “Lester Butler” name on the cover is a rare thing, but “Live at Tamines 1997” misses the mark for both hardcore fans and newcomers.

From the song selections, to the notes, to the packaging, so little care seems to have been put into this release. While a new disc could both satisfy and fuel Butler fandom, the release by RockBeat Records likely won’t find the audience to justify any more reissues.Live at Tamines 1997

IT’S OLD: The Tamines festival gig has been floating around bootleg circles for years. Most Lester Butler fans — this online and on early tape-swapping lists — have had this recording in their collections for years.

For them, there is nothing new here. Even a bonus track, “Automatic,” from the 1998 Moulin Blues Festival in Ospel, has been widely circulated and seems to be here just to fill out disc two.

IT’S DAUNTING: A double-album like this naturally costs more. That’s a barrier for new fans, who aren’t going to spend more for an artist they aren’t familiar with, and won’t commit to two discs of unheard live material from nearly 20 years ago.

The run times for this live show, helpfully listed on the CD’s back cover, would scare off even the most sturdy blues fan: 9:57, 8:47, 8:30, 6:17, 12:59, 10:39 …

IT’S LAZY: Though there are production and mastering credits, the disc is clearly bootleg-rific. The drums — especially the kick — are too high in the mix. The entire sound is trebly, with very little bass. The crowd participation, which usually helps justify a live release, is inaudible. Clearly, the recording was from a soundboard mix and was not meant to be heard in recorded format.

The laziness extends to the packaging.
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Blow like a Devil

Posted in red devils with tags on November 7, 2015 by J.J.

promo_harpThere is some funky-weird Red Devils merch out there in the world.

If you have 60 Euros you could be the proud owner of a promo Red Devils harmonica, of dubious origin.

Pasi Rytkönen found this harp in a European store. From the pic, it’s hard to tell the make and model of the harmonica, but it looks off-brand with the red band logo on it. The harp appears to come with a little red felt bag with a black “Red Devils” logo on it.

On the Devils Facebook group, Jamie Cassius, who toured with the band and continues to work with The Blasters, said the full-size harp is a fake. “The only promo harps were miniatures, anything else is exploitation,” Cassius said.

1997 Tamines bootleg given mainstream release

Posted in 13, lester butler with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2015 by J.J.

Lester Butler is back — sort of — on the above-board release of the long-bootlegged Tamines show from Aug. 29, 1997, at the 7th South Blues Festival in Belgium.

Live at Tamines 1997The two-disc set “Lester Butler featuring 13 Live at Tamines 1997” comes from RockBeat Records, the same folks who reissued “13 featuring Lester Butler” more than four years ago, with bonus tracks from the Tamines festival, clearly taken from the bootleg that had been circulating for a decade by then.

Here’s the back-cover info from the new release:

Lester Butler was a brilliant harmonica player. He rejuvenated the LA blues scene with his group The Red Devils. After they disbanded, Lester formed a group on Hightone Records featuring a back up band he called 13. The live intensity of this show demonstrates how adept he was singing and playing the blues. He died not long after this show from 1997. The blues was hot and Lester was on fire.

Though Amazon shows a release date of Oct. 2, our copy is already on backorder.

So though we don’t have the physical package in hand just yet, there are a few things we know already:
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Red Devils climb ‘Mountain Stage’ 1992

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , on October 18, 2015 by J.J.

At the height of their powers, The Red Devils were heard live on the popular “Mountain Stage” radio program on Oct. 4, 1992, along with Leo Kottke, John Cale and Juliana Hatfield.

Thanks to YouTuber Dominik Ablamowicz, the oft-bootlegged radio program is a little more available.

Ablamowicz uploaded two songs, “Have a Good Time” and “Shake Your Hips,” from that session.

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The Drifter Speaks: Mike Flanigin remembers his time with The Red Devils

Posted in red devils, related music with tags , , , , , on August 16, 2015 by J.J.

  

[Above photo by Tina Hanagan; others courtesy mikeflanigin.com]

A key time in The Red Devils’ history was their U.S. club tour through the U.S.

Holding down guitar duties — and altering the Devils’ sound — was guitarist Mike Flanigin, filling in for rhythm guitarist Dave Lee Bartel. With Flanigin came Texas swagger, a third soloist and a friend to fellow Texan Paul Size.

Back in May, we went to Austin to meet Flanigin, who graciously let us into his home to spend a couple of hours talking about music, The Red Devils and more.

In the coming weeks, we will have several posts from that interview, along with some really cool Red Devils recordings — live audio, live video and studio cuts never-before-seen-or-heard.

Screen+Shot+2015-08-15+at+2.28.53+PMWe caught Flanigin at just the right time: His debut solo album, “The Drifter,” is out Aug. 21. It’s a labor of love for the musician, featuring many of his idols and friends such as Devils fan (and guitarist in that little ol’ band from Texas) Billy Gibbons, Jimmie Vaughan, Gary Clark Jr., Alejandro Escovedo, Kat Edmonson and more.

Pick it up here. Or here. Or read cool stuff about it here. And stay tuned to nofightin.com for more.

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The Blasters in The Cities

Posted in bill bateman, related music with tags , , , , , on July 5, 2015 by J.J.

There was no cooler place to be in Minneapolis on June 17 than Lee’s Liquor Lounge.

We were piled in there, too, pressed against the stage for The Blasters‘ return to the Twin Cities.

Phil Alvin, John Bazz, Keith Wyatt and the powerhouse drummer “Buster” Bill Bateman played a greatest hits show for hipsters, rockers, punks and squares in the little corner tavern.

Here are photos by Tina Hanagan, including a couple of openers Javier and the Innocent Sons (you remember Javier Matos from a latter-day version of The Blue Shadows w/Bateman & Bazz).

Every word on ‘King King’

Posted in red devils with tags , , on June 24, 2015 by J.J.

“Baby” is the most frequently used word on “King King.”

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