Intveld on Butler: “Taking something beyond where it’s been before”

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

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Lester Butler and 13 were supposed to play their first gig at the Dixie Belle Restaurant in Downey on June 27, 1998.

Butler never made it, but a tribute show was held for him that night. (An article that day noted Smokey Hormel, Steven Hodges and John Bazz all playing).

Here are the details by Theo Douglas from the June 26, 1998, Long Beach Press-Telegram:

HARMONICA PLAYER MEMORIALIZED IN CONCERT

The late Lester Butler may be gone, but a group of his friends and peers in the Los Angeles music world intend to make sure the harmonica player’s intense music lives on for at least one more night.

Memorial flier, courtesy Enrico Crivellaro

Memorial flier, courtesy Enrico Crivellaro

That would be Saturday night, which is when Butler and his band, 13, were scheduled to perform at the Dixie Belle Restaurant in Downey.

Faced with the harmonica player’s untimely death May 9 from a heroin overdose, Butler’s friends decided to fill in for him Saturday at the Dixie Belle with a set list of his own original songs.

“I felt there was some kind of irony that he didn’t play there. He didn’t make it, but his friends can make it for him,” said Dixie Belle promoter Ed Boswell who booked Butler’s Saturday night show several months ago.

“Maybe he could be there in spirit,” he said.

One thing is certain: Butler, who was 38 when he died, won’t be sitting in on a harp. Recognizing that no one can fill the silence he leaves, the evening won’t be an all-harmonica spectacular.
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The Blasters back in Midwest

Posted in bill bateman, related music with tags , , , on May 14, 2015 by J.J.
The Blasters. Photo by Blurry Lens

The Blasters. Photo by Blurry Lens

The Blasters are storming through the Midwest U.S. again this summer.

It’s always a good thing to see the gang, and this short run has some added incentive for Red Devils fans.

Opening a series of shows will be Javier and the Innocent Sons. The Minneapolis-based group features Javier Matos, who many might remember from the resurrected Blue Shadows with Bill Bateman, as well as the Doghouse Lords.

We caught The Blasters at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn, Ill., a few years ago, and they will be back there again for a two-night stand.

Here are some relevant dates:

  • June 17: Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • June 18: Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, Wis.
  • June 19 & 20: FitzGerald’s Chicago, Berwyn, Ill.

Check out the whole lineup, including several in California stops, here.

Return of the funky Texans

Posted in paul size with tags , , , , on May 8, 2015 by J.J.

Johnny Moeller: Guitar (mainly R. channel)

Paul Size: Guitar (mainly L. channel)

After he decamped from The Red Devils after a three-year stint, Paul Size found himself back in Texas making a small homeboy record.

Far away from the edgy, Hollywood rock-star vibe, with Size as the gunslinger for hire, 1996’s “Return of the Funky Worm” couldn’t have been any further from the Devils.

Return of the Funky WormThe focus here was on Texas blues and funk-fueled workouts with longtime running buddies. There is a comfort level on this disc, issued by Dallas Blues Society Records, that only comes from familiarity.

The record was co-billed “Moeller and Size,” with other Texas players such as Johnny’s brother Jay Moeller on drums, erstwhile Red Devils tour guitarist Mike Flanigin on all kinds of keyboards and vocals, Bret Coats on bass, Rhett Frazier on vocals and Texas mainstay Brian “Hash Brown” Calway on harp.

It’s hard to imagine what a relief it might have been for Size, coming from cross-country tours, European festivals and Planet Hollywood openings, to find himself as the foil on such tunes as the grooving Richard Berry-penned opener “Sweet Sugar You,” or old-school R&B dynamite of “Watch My 32.”
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Never heard, never sold

Posted in red devils with tags , on May 2, 2015 by J.J.

Unfortunately, most Red Devils press these days is of the “best band to never …” variety.IMG_8641

The group is mentioned in another book with the focus again on the aborted Mick Jagger solo album.

“The Greatest Albums You’ll Never Hear” by Bruno MacDonald covers much of the same ground as the essential “The Greatest Music Never Sold” by Dan LeRoy.

The difference is the sheer number of albums MacDonald covers, and how he breaks it up decade by decade. Where LeRoy focused on a handful of long-wished-for dream records, MacDonald tackles all kinds of albums that have never been released — including some it seems were never even recorded.

For Red Devils fans, the Mick Jagger solo record is taken on in just one column of text, and is clearly not a main event in the book. It breezes through the usual talking points, with no new info offered.

The Dan LeRoy book is still the essential reading for hardcore Red Devils fans.

You can likely find “The Greatest Albums You’ll Never Hear,” now several months old, still out in stores.

From "The Greatest Albums You'll Never Hear"

From “The Greatest Albums You’ll Never Hear”

No Fightin’ is back again

Posted in Uncategorized on April 26, 2015 by J.J.

After an extended, unanticipated hiatus, No Fightin’ is back.

The past year has been much busier than I could have anticipated, with a lot of work and personal commitments that took away most every free hour not devoted to sleep.

This blog was never intended to be a “blog” per se, with random daily posts. Instead, we focused on deep cuts that we think are of interest to Red Devils fans and newcomers alike, with a back catalogue of info that is valuable anytime. It was nice to see people coming to the site and contacting us, even when we weren’t always available.

I can’t guarantee that you will see posts every week on here going forward, but we will do our best to post more frequently. But know that when we do post, it will be quality info that will always come back to keeping the flame burning for The Red Devils.

— J.J.

Keys, Songs and Questions from “King King”

Posted in red devils, related music with tags , , , , on July 23, 2014 by automatic32

The standing joke about blues music is that to play it you only have to learn three chords and be able to play in a corresponding number of keys. At your average blues jam on a random night in Anywhere, USA, one would expect to run into a whole boatload of songs in E, A and G with few tunes straying from this trio. On the cuts that made “King King” The Red Devils certainly leaned on some from that lot, but the variations are quite interesting.
King King
As follows in order of appearance (all songs listed are in the keys of the stringed instruments, all harmonica keys should be assumed to be in “second position” or “cross harp” unless otherwise noted):

1. Automatic — E
2. Goin’ to the Church — E
3. She’s Dangerous — E
4. I Wish You Would — A
5. Cross Your Heart — B-flat, harmonica in key of B-flat/first position
6. Taildragger — E
7. Devil Woman — D
8. No Fightin’ — B
9. Mr. Highway Man — E
10. I’m Ready — E
11. Quarter to Twelve — E
12. Cut That Out — B
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Snake Snake at the Blue Cafe 1997

Posted in 13 with tags , , , , on May 21, 2014 by J.J.

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We have written about Snake Snake before, believing a band with that brilliant a name could only be a myth.

But here they are — Kid Ramos, Willie J. Campbell, Stephen Hodges and Lester Butler — on a June 13, 1997, at the Blue Cafe in Long Beach, Calif.

Funny that this was right after the release of “13 featuring Lester Butler” and several 13 dates.

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