Rainy Detroit night 1992, club date + 3 rare cuts

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2017 by J.J.

Red Devils
Tapes don’t often circulate of The Red Devils during their 1992 U.S. club tour, but guitarist Mike Flanigin passed one from his collection to nofightin.com.

Not only is it a representation of 4/5 of the band that will be on tour this summer, but it is the closest I’ll ever get to The Red Devils just as I heard them almost 25 years ago.

Flanigin’s tape was not labeled, so no clear info on date or location. But he recollects it was from that fall 1992 club tour. From there, two other clues: an emcee, just before the encore, beckons the crowd, “I don’t know Detroit, do you want to hear one more?” And Butler thanks the crowd for coming out on a rainy night.

Sully’s Blues Bar in Dearborn, Mich., is essentially adjacent to Detroit. And, on Oct. 14, 1992, according to Weather Underground, Dearborn saw just more than half an inch of rain.

The relatively short show — 11 songs in the set, plus three in the encore, about an hour and 35 minutes time — lines up with a listing in the Oct. 13, 1992, Detroit Free Press:

RED DEVILS, blues from LA, 8:30 and 10 p.m. Wed., 4758 Greenfield [Sully’s], Dearborn. 846-1920

Two shows.

So, this gig took place the night after I saw them at Jake’s in Bloomington, Ind., about five-and-a-half hours away.
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Zach Zunis on brush with Cash

Posted in red devils, related music with tags , , on February 25, 2017 by J.J.

Since our last post, we have been thinking about guitarist Zach Zunis. Like Mike Flanigin, Zunis could be a mere footnote in the Devils’ story despite filling a critical role in the band for several months.

And let’s be clear: For some people, the Zach Zunis version of the band was the one they saw live, and is the one they probably still talk about.

Zunis was featured earlier this month in a story in the East Hampton Star, focused around his Grammy nom with singer Janiva Magness. There were a couple of Devils-related comments, including passing by the late, great Johnny Cash:

The late Lester Butler, another harmonica player and singer, was often in the audience at Mr. (William) Clarke’s concerts — “Clarke was the man to see,” Mr. Zunis said. Mr. Butler signed with Def American Recordings, the label founded by the producer and music executive Rick Rubin, and asked Mr. Zunis to join his band, the Red Devils.

The group recorded at the famed Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood, the former United Recording, where legends including Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, the Rolling Stones, and Michael Jackson had cut classic tracks before them. “As we were walking through the door, I heard this ominous sound,” Mr. Zunis said. The sound was the inimitable voice of Johnny Cash. “We walked in the control room, and there was Rick Rubin recording Johnny Cash,” he said. “They finished their session, and we started ours. We got to meet him — it was so cool.”

Read more here.

1993 tour contracts show work behind Holland tour

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , on February 20, 2017 by J.J.

As the reunited Red Devils prepare to return to Europe for the first time in almost 25 years, a series of contracts, riders and correspondence show just how much work it took to get the band on the road in 1993.

The documents are primarily between concert promoters and booking agents for the band’s 14-date Nov. 14-29, 1993, tour of Holland (some details redacted by nofightin.com):

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1. This document, from Sept. 10, 1993, details a proposed itinerary for the band for two weeks in Holland. Of interest are protential gigs that didn’t seem to materialize, such as on Nov. 16, 19 and 24.

2. The band’s tour rider, dated Oct. 9, 1993, breaks down what The Red Devils needed to stay on the road. Soundcheck, security, billing requirements and backline (the kind of gear the venues or promoters would provide for the band) were all outlined. If you wanted to know what amps the band was using, this document lays it out.

Most folks will be interested in the last page: What the band required in their dressing rooms. Nothing fancy — beer, soda, water, sandwiches. And a bottle of Jack and two packs of Winston 100s.

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Getty pics: Lester Butler in Europe 1993, 1997

Posted in lester butler on February 17, 2017 by J.J.

There is a wealth of amazing photos in the Getty Images archives, including these pictures of Lester Butler. Pics from these gigs have been seen before, but these particular images don’t seem to be in wide circulation.

From the Getty captions:

  • The first two are from The Red Devils’ performance at the Paradiso in Amsterdam May 2, 1993.
  • The third pic is a portrait of Lester Butler in London, taken April 25, 1993.
  • The last two are from the Crossing Border Festival in the Hague, Sept. 12, 1997. The caption miscredits the band as “The Red Devils”; it would have been Butler’s 13 at this time.

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BREAKING: Red Devils reuniting for summer 2017 European tour

Posted in bill bateman, jonny ray bartel, paul size, red devils with tags , , , , , on February 10, 2017 by J.J.

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The rumors are true …

In 2017, on the silver anniversary of “King King,” The Red Devils return to Europe, to the crowds that have kept their memory, spirit and music alive.

Bill Bateman, Paul Size and Jonny Ray Bartel return with one-time Red Devils guitarist Mike Flanigin (Jimmie Vaughan, Billy Gibbons and the BFGs).

And picking up the bullet mic and fronting the band is Dutch bluesman Big Pete, Pieter van der Pluijm, filling in for the late Lester Butler. As a solo artist, Big Pete has carried on the Devils’ tradition, bringing Billy Boy Arnold, Little Walter and Chicago blues harp into the 21st century.kingking_vinyl

The first date has been announced: Sunday, June 4, at Ribs & Blues, a free roots and blues festival in The Netherlands.

Early-June club dates are expected to be announced soon, as well as a full summer tour lineup.

WATCH NOFIGHTIN.COM FOR UPDATES.

START HERE: The very best posts on nofightin.com … music, videos, lyrics, myths, more.

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Kid Ramos tears it up in 1989 Blue Shadows videos

Posted in red devils with tags , , on February 1, 2017 by J.J.

Back in December, Kid Ramos posted three very cool videos a version of The Blue Shadows from 1989 — Bill Bateman, Jonny Ray Bartel, Dave Lee Bartel, Lester Butler and, well, the first “Kid” on guitar. Well, videos of videos.

Is this the earliest recording out there of the core of The Blue Shadows/Red Devils, before Paul “The Kid” Size joined? Until now, the earliest I’ve seen was The Blue Shadows from 1991, with Size.

Not a ton of info out there … hope the Kid can come through with details!

More after the jump …
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“Dangerous” at the King King 1992

Posted in red devils with tags , , on January 29, 2017 by J.J.

Another live video from the King King club on Nov. 30, 1992 … “She’s Dangerous”

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