Archive for dave lee bartel

Red Devils play essential set on ‘2 Meter Sessies’ (1993)

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2021 by J.J.

In lieu of a legit Red Devils sophomore album, fans should look to live performances such as 1993’s outstanding “2 Meter Sessies” recording to fill the void.

The 2 Meter Sessies is a Dutch radio series, a live-in-the-studio “unplugged” session. Performers over the years include Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Cranberries, Blind Melon, J.J. Cale, Jackson Browne and many others. Of course, the Devils didn’t unplug at all, giving one of their essential performances — all caught on tape. (Read more about the Sessies on nl.wikipedia.org.)

The Devils’ performance was recorded May 3, 1993, at Bullet Sound Studios in the Netherlands, just two days after their infamous Moulin Blues Festival appearance. This time, the band sounds rested and ready; it’s just as compelling a performance as Moulin, but without the debauchery. It sounds like a hardworking blues band on top of their game.


The set is typical of the band’s show during this period, a solid mix of “King King” favorites and other choice picks. Several of the songs were earmarked as possibilities for the band’s full-length follow-up to “King King.”

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‘A rowdy presentation of the blues’ … Dave Lee Bartel in 1992

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on January 24, 2021 by J.J.

From the Sept. 3, 1992, Des Moines (Iowa) Register, we get this interview with Dave Lee Bartel. The occasion was a gig the next week, Sept. 9, at the Iowa State State Memorial Union’s Maintenance Shop (“M-Shop”) venue in Ames, Iowa. Tickets reasonably priced at $2 ($3 day of show).

Where did the Devils play? Find your gig or share one for the timeline

A couple of things stand out in this relatively rare Dave Lee interview:

  • The elder Bartel brother comes off very humble and self-effacing in this story. He has a “pinch me” kind of attitude about the ride the band was on at the time, chalking a lot up to luck.
  • He also paints a vivid picture of the group’s intent, as laid out by Bill Bateman:

The current lineup has the brash, angry sound of which Bateman had dreamed.

“Bill wanted to make a rowdy presentation of the blues,” Bartel said. “We play aggressive music — like Elmore James, pretty raw. Just scream your guts out and not give it too much swing or jazz feeling.”

— “Red Devils play hot blues,” by Bart Dupuis, Des Moines Register, Sept. 3, 1992

This interview is noteworthy for another reason: Just a week later, Dave Lee would be off the tour, and Mike Flanigin in on rhythm guitar.

Eyewitness: Blue Shadows “deadly serious” at the King King

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2017 by J.J.


Some of the best stories about The Red Devils come from the people who watched it all go down.

One such eyewitness is Kevin Shattuck, who has been recounting his favorite shows, and the stories behind them, on his Facebook page. Not only that but he is assembling amazing collages that render his musical memories in iconography.

He recently did a piece on the Blue Shadows — the precursor to the blues Red Devils — from the summer of ’88 at the King King. That is Genesis 1 in The Red Devils’ nearly 30-year story.

Kevin’s recollections are published with permission below, but it is definitely worth checking out his Facebook page for stories about The Blasters, X, the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Gun Club, Panther Burns and on and on …

In the Summer of ’88, a Chinese restaurant on the corner of 6th & La Brea named “King King” decided to stay open late & book rockabilly & blues acts. I was working at the Beverly Center & the club was on my way home, so I started to drop in fairly often. It didn’t take very long before an astonishingly great punk/blues band named the “Blue Shadows” settled into that space on a Monday nite residency. It included ex-”Blasters” Gene Taylor on keyboards & Bill Bateman on drums, “Radio Ranch Straight Shooter” Greg “Smokey” Hormel (or on occasion) Dave Alvin playing lead guitar & the Bartel brothers Dave Lee & Jonny Ray on rhythm guitar & bass. The front man was a young harmonica player named Lester Butler. He was a pretty good singer, but was a flat out beast on the harp & had a true bluesman’s weathered, world weary demeanor.
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And here it is … The Red Devils 2012 reunion

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on June 2, 2012 by J.J.

They started from a jam, so it makes sense they would return at a jam, under the cover of darkness, unannounced and just as powerful as when they burst on the national stage with “King King” in 1992.

The surviving members of The Red Devils reunited May 27 at an afterparty for the Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Music Festival Memorial Day weekend.

Bill Bateman, Dave Lee Bartel, Paul Size and Jonny Ray Bartel. Courtesy Jonathan T. Lovitt

Lead guitarist Paul “The Kid” Size was playing the fest with Big Pete Sunday afternoon, and later that evening found himself reunited on stage at the Grand Vista Hotel with drummer Bill Bateman, bassist Jonny Ray Bartel and rhythm guitarist Dave Lee Bartel. By our count, this was the first time the four had been on stage since at least the middle of 1993.

Filling the all-important harmonica role was nofightin.com friend Johnny Mastro, who evoked the classic Red Devils sound. We all wondered how it would sound if it would happen, and who would be breathing into the bullet mic when it did. Now we know.

Johnny sent us an email this week telling us how it all went down:

Well it was pretty cool as the whole original band had not played together in a long, long time. It was not really planned and [Jonny Ray] kinda casually asked me to go up to Simi Valley after I played a 5 hour gig all day in Long Beach! Thank god my wife was kind enough to drive me and we had a blast.

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Paul Size on getting robbed at Mick Jagger’s birthday party, more

Posted in paul size with tags , , , , , on February 7, 2012 by J.J.

As part of the interviews for his 2011 book “Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue,” author Marc Spitz has uploaded some of his audio interviews to SoundCloud.

Paul Size was a prime source for Chapter 19, “The Red Devils’ Blues,” which once again tells the tale of the Devils, the King King, Jagger’s blues mojo and the ill-fated Jagger/Devils album that never really came to be.

In this clip, Size talks about playing Jagger’s birthday party in London — and getting robbed for his troubles. The elusive Dave Lee Bartel makes a cameo in the story to save the day in ultimate rhythm guitar fashion.

Spitz next draws comparisons to The Red Devils to two other blues-based “color” bands: The White Stripes and The Black Keys, then Size gives his take on the Jagger sessions, and if he’d like to see them released officially.

Paul Size fans will get a chance to see him in action as he joins Big Pete as special guest at the Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Music Festival May 27.

1992: Sympathy for the Devils/Mike Flanigin debuts

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , on August 7, 2011 by J.J.

Here are two important stories in Red Devils lore, both by Michael Corcoran from the Dallas Morning News. The first is the cleverly titled “Sympathy for the Devils” (Sept. 17 1992), with a strong Lester Butler interview. It gets deeper into the band’s history — and Butler’s drug use — than most by-the-numbers articles of the time.

It’s followed by “Red Devils have guitarist by the sleeve” (Sept. 19, 1992), and recaps how Texan Mike Flanigin ended up as the rhythm guitarist in the band for a short spell, replacing Dave Lee Bartel beginning with a show at Trees in Dallas. (Edited Aug. 13 to correct spelling of “Flanigin,” wrong in the original article.)

Sympathy for the Devils: The unlikely-looking Red Devils play some really wicked blues
By Michael Corcoran, Dallas Morning News
Sept. 17, 1992

The blues live on Monday, that bluest of blue-collar days. On Monday, you’re not talking with much enthusiasm and others aren’t really into listening, so you always have to repeat your first sentence twice. “I said, ‘They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday’s just as bad.'”

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DVD review: Red Devils at Moulin 1993

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by J.J.

By the 1993 Moulin Blues Festival, the Red Devils had been touring for several months on end, and the wear and tear can be seen — but not heard — in the three bonus tracks on the DVD.

While the band looks beat up, they are as tight a musical unit as one could hope for. The devastating, muscular tunes show why the band became legendary in just a few short years, and why they imploded just as quickly.

Paul Size at Moulin 1993

Immediately, you see a different Lester Butler from the 13 era. He looks dirty and heavy, with a bandana failing to keep his long hair from his face. A baggy shirt drapes his frame, and he sways precariously from side to side. His eyelids are heavy, and he has a not-all-there smile on his face. It’s a wonder that he can stand up, let alone perform.

The mini-set starts off with “She’s Dangerous” in the now-familiar live style, with the stop-time riff gone in favor of a piledriving rock beat. Bill Bateman swings hard on the drums, flipping his wrist to emphasize the snare beat. Paul Size, shirt open, cigarette dangling from his lip, eyes half-open, plays aggressively. The Bartel brothers hold down the cool: Jonny Ray swinging his bass at his hip, while Dave Lee strums frantically at his Les Paul Goldtop.
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