Archive for August, 2010

Red Devils go to school for noon concert

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on August 27, 2010 by J.J.

The Red Devils were a band built for smoky bars, but even they might have had some trouble conjuring that mojo for the noontime lunch crowd at a college campus.

The review from the Daily Titan [PDF] recaps the band’s Dec. 2, 1992, performance at California State University in Fullerton. Interesting details on guitarist Mike Flanigin, described here as replacing Dave Lee Bartel in the “traveling line-up” of the band.

Red Devils perform Chicago-style blues
By Matt Cliff, Daily Titan Staff Writer
Dec. 3, 1992

The Red Devils’ laid back, gimmick-free stage demeanor let their music do the work Wednesday at Becker Amphitheater in the last noontime show of the semester.

The band’s gritty Chicago-style blues, flavored by singer/harp player Lester Butler’s wailing harmonica, revealed why they have attracted so many fans, celebrities and music industry types to their regular shows at the King King club in Los Angeles.

Drawing from a seemingly bottomless well of blues covers by artists like Willie Dixon, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf and others, the Red Devils have a raspy, roots-rock element to their sound that pumps up its intensity.

The band is on tour to promote its debut Def American album “King King,” named for the club where they’ve played since their formation in 1988.
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Lyrics: Mr. Highway Man

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , on August 18, 2010 by automatic32

Mr. Highway Man (Chester Burnett), from King King

Highway man, please don’t block the road
Mr. Highway man, please don’t block my road
You got my head spinnin’, little girl I’m goin’ down slow

Got to tell everybody in the neighborhood
Tell everybody in the neighborhood
You’re a sweet little girl, sure don’t mean me no good

-aside- I got to ride

*harp solo*

Flyin’ down the road, got a bottle in my hand
Flyin’ down the road, with a bottle in my hand
I loved a little woman, she loved my best friend

She my rider, baby, baby drive around all night
Up and down the highway, with the moon shinin’ bright
On the(?) highway man, please don’t block the road
You got my head spinnin’, little girl I’m goin’ down slow

*harp solo* end

Transcribed by nofightin.com. More “King King” lyrics here.

Lester Butler & G. Love on VPRO’s “Lola Da Musica” 1998

Posted in lester butler with tags , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2010 by J.J.

Certainly one of Lester Butler’s last televised appearances was made on the March 6, 1998, edition of VPRO’s “Lola Da Musica” program in The Netherlands. Just two months later, Butler would die in L.A.

The program — featuring Butler co-billed with folk-hop jammer G. Love — has been widely distributed by fans of both for years. The two were featured on an episode themed “this is the modern blues,” with each showing and telling how they’ve brought blues influences into a more modern setting.

Roughly translated by nofightin.com, VPRO promoted the show this way:

Young American bandsmen always seem to draw more often from the rich heritage of the blues. … Lester Butler (Virginia, 1959-1998) on the other hand was especially in search of malicious and sharp lowdown version of electric blues such as Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin’ Wolf made. In May 1998 Lester Butler died to a overdose. … Lola brought Lester Butler with G.Love for a session and spoke exhaustively with them concerning their contemporary conception of blues, their musical heroes and their instrument the harmonica.

It’s a great document of Butler, who seemed quite happy and creative in the video. An in-studio jam with G. Love and Special Sauce on Junior Wells’ Willie Cobbs’ “You Don’t Love Me” is a particular highlight; watching Butler play with the funky, laid-back G. Love ban is pretty cool. In addition, several clips are shown of Butler and 13 (Alex Shultz, Eddie Clark and Mike Hightower) performing at Doornroosje, Nijmegen, Holland, most likely the Jan. 29, 1998, gig. Those clips include “I Wish You Would,” “Automatic,” “So Low Down” and “Devil Woman.”
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Hard-to-find Devils & 13 T-shirts

Posted in 13, lester butler, red devils with tags , , , , , , on August 8, 2010 by J.J.

There is no better way to show your devotion to a band than a concert T-shirt. Unfortunately, there are very few options for The Red Devils or 13; when we saw 13 on tour in the Midwest in 1997, they really had no merch to speak of (and unfortunately, the Devils’ 1992 tour is something of a blur almost two decades later). Nofightin.com reader Feelgood sent us some images of the handful of tees out there.

Above left is a fan tribute shirt that Jasper Heikens says is by Chris Wobben; above right is the Red Devils’ Planet Hollywood-style tee, which Feelgood said he bought when he saw the Devils on Nov. 18, 1993, at Zalen Schaaf, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands; below left and right is the front, sleeve and backside of the 13 T-shirt, with damn slick tattoo-style artwork, purchased Jan. 30, 1998, near Feelgood’s hometown, Het Bolwerk, Sneek, The Netherlands: “I bought here the 13 T shirt, Lester was after the show present on the stand with T shirts and Cd’s for a chat and a autograph.”

Jasper Heikens has more T-shirt images and info on the Lester Butler tribute page.

Review: Johnny Mastro’s “Beautiful Chaos”

Posted in related music with tags , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2010 by J.J.

L.A.’s Johnny Mastro and Mama’s Boys spare no grease or grit on their new disc “Beautiful Chaos.” Fans of 13 will find much to enjoy here; Mama’s Boys even feature 13 touring bassist Mike Hightower playing behind harp man Mastro (also notable is special guest Kirk Fletcher on guitar). Produced in Detroit by Jim Diamond (known for his work on the early White Stripes records), the sound is amped-up classic blues-rock as filtered through, well, The White Stripes. The big shuffle “Wineheaded” would feel at home in a Thorogood set, while the Peter Green-influenced “The Dirge” is more than a nod to “Dazed and Confused.” Mastro’s harp fits in every which way, a chunky, metallic sound with roots in Howlin’ Wolf and Mark Wenner. His sound is on full display in the instrumental jump “Fresh Squeezed Coolaid,” the frantic tommy gun “KGB Boogie” and pounding rocker “Spider.” The whole thing wraps up with a cover of Lester Butler’s “Night,” acknowledging a primary influence on Mastro’s playing. It’s exciting to hear the tune again, given fresh life by a band that can pull it all off. Play this one at your next fistfight.

RIYL: Hook Herrera, Led Zep’s blues stuff, old Knuckleheads

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