Inside the new

Welcome to our new and (we hope) improved

It has been a long time coming.

The roots of this site go back to about 2007. A bit of guidance from Jonny Ray Bartel at a Knitters gig in Indianapolis sparked the mission for the site, and certainly influenced the name. And, as No Fightin’s Tom Harold said, off-handedly, “If we had some way to put up a website or write something, then people would come to us with cool recordings!”

And with that, launched in January 2009.

The first post, Jan. 16, 2009.

Since that time, a lot has happened: The Red Devils reunited. Lester Butler became a cult figure in blues circles. The Red Devils and 13 records both have seen reissues. There have been bootlegs, official bootlegs, DVDs, magazine articles, books and more.

And our small, but dedicated fanbase has grown. It was time for to roar into the 2020s.

This year, I’ve made a mission to post more than ever, write more than ever, and connect fans together more than ever. Stories about James Harman and Gene Taylor this year reminded me that The Red Devils/Lester Butler/13 orbit is much bigger than two records and a few dozen musicians. That inspired the plan to update and refocus again, from just a “look at this cool thing!” blog to a (somewhat) functioning magazine-style website.

Paul Size, Jonny Ray Bartel and Big Pete at Stimmen Festival in Lorrach, Germany, 2017. Photo by Tina Hanagan for

Here are the whats and whys of some of the changes:

Easier to read. We picked a design that put the content front and center, with a cleaner font and black text on a stark white background. (At the same time, the logo has been updated to be a little more modern and multi-purpose.)

Emphasizes good content. The old blog-style site was limiting, and every post looked the same. Now, with our welcoming front page, we can guide fans to our best stuff, not just our most current stuff. The new design also allows for great display of photos and art, which we have tried to emphasize over the past year.

Highlights social media. We don’t expect people to come to every day — we don’t have that much news! Much of our audience comes to us from social media, so you will see more icons and features throughout the site to our Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Spotify and YouTube presences. Follow us there, so you don’t miss a story here.

Alive and kicking! Nothing says “online graveyard” like a deadly looking, dated site. If the fanbase is to grow, or if we want to show people (*cough* Mick Jagger *cough*) that there is a devoted following for the music, then needs to look relevant.

A big 2022 coming. It was critical to change up the site with a big 2022 upcoming for We have a few projects in the works that we hope to have time to launch next year — including some stuff onsite and, we hope, offsite as well! The redesign will help.

In addition, 2022 is the 30th anniversary of the record that brought a lot of us together, “King King.” If you check out our new header up top, you’ll have guessed that we want to celebrate #KingKingXXX all year. We have ideas, or you might have ideas … we just need the time to pull it all off!

Labor of love, labor of wallet. The best thing about redesigning is to show that we aren’t going anywhere, and we are dedicated to continuing our original mission to be the place for fans to gather.

Here’s a secret: If you want to make money fast, don’t start a website about a long-defunct band with only one record from three decades ago.

In 2009, WordPress was free. So was gmail. As our site has grown, so has the expense. Hosting fees, domains and cloud storage space are some of the fixed costs.

In some cases, we have purchased photos or audio in order to present those online with proper permissions and credits. A big, ongoing expense has been digitizing A/V material to make it shareable with other fans. The more stuff that we get our hands on, the more it costs to get it out into the world. And if the musicians reunite for another tour of Europe, well … that’s another expense! will never be a premium site, and that’s not what we want anyway. It’s not a money-maker, and never will be. It’s by fans, for fans.

But if you enjoy the content and you want to show your appreciation and help us keep on keepin’ on, you can do so with a donation to through WordPress. Any money I get goes straight to me, and straight into And we won’t beg for it, I promise.

One last thing: Thank you, baby! Thank you for your support through the years. Glad you are along for the ride.

— J.J.


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Your contribution is appreciated. All proceeds go to the maintenance and upkeep of

Your contribution is appreciated. All proceeds go to the maintenance and upkeep of

Your contribution is appreciated. All proceeds go to the maintenance and upkeep of

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Published by J.J.

Drums and barbecue ribs. Blues music.

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