Archive for harmonica

Blow like a Devil

Posted in red devils with tags on November 7, 2015 by J.J.

promo_harpThere is some funky-weird Red Devils merch out there in the world.

If you have 60 Euros you could be the proud owner of a promo Red Devils harmonica, of dubious origin.

Pasi Rytkönen found this harp in a European store. From the pic, it’s hard to tell the make and model of the harmonica, but it looks off-brand with the red band logo on it. The harp appears to come with a little red felt bag with a black “Red Devils” logo on it.

On the Devils Facebook group, Jamie Cassius, who toured with the band and continues to work with The Blasters, said the full-size harp is a fake. “The only promo harps were miniatures, anything else is exploitation,” Cassius said.

Lyrics: “She’s Dangerous” at Pink Pop 1993

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , on February 8, 2014 by J.J.

Here’s a different take on the story “’bout a girl I know and my best friend.”

The live version of “She’s Dangerous” is an insistent rocker, much more aggressive than the stop-time swagger of the definitive “King King” version. In concert, Lester Butler plays with the lyrics, an ever-shifting narrative of who is catching who — and who is getting hit with a baseball bat. This Pink Pop 1993 version is such an example, although there are a couple of lines that we can’t make heads or tails of — then again, Butler probably couldn’t, either. (More after the jump …) Continue reading

River Valley Music fest preview, Kansas 1992

Posted in red devils with tags , , , on March 20, 2011 by J.J.

Just a quick little interview with Lester Butler in the Sept. 17, 1992, Lawrence, KS, Journal-World, in advance of the band’s Saturday gig at the River Valley Music Festival.

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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Lyrics: “The Backstreet Crawler” (“Time to Cry”) at Pinkpop 1993

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , on May 5, 2010 by J.J.

Alternately called “Time to Cry” or “Your Turn to Cry” by fans, this Red Devils boogie at Pinkpop 1993 is actually titled “The Backstreet Crawler” on its only official release on the “Blackwater Roll” EP.

The lyrics of the song are just as confusing as the title. The Pinkpop lyrics are different than the “Blackwater Roll” version are different than the “2 Meter Sessies” version. Basically, Lester Butler just sang whatever he felt at the moment, and the meaning of the song changes from performance to performance.

After careful consideration, looking at context and related lyrics, these are nofightin.com’s lyrics for “The Backstreet Crawler” as performed at Pinkpop 1993. We plan to transcribe the lyrics to other prominent versions of this tune in the future. (More after the jump …)


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Show souvenirs

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2009 by J.J.

Christmas came a little early here at nofightin.com, thanks to some cool memorabilia shared by Andrew Rackauskas.

Rackauskas, who tells us he ran a ’90s fanzine called Spinal Column (his 13 review can be found on Jasper Heikens’ site), sent us an e-mail, relating stories about seeing the Devils every week at Jack’s Sugar Shack in L.A.:

I can’t tell you how lucky I felt getting to watch them virtually every Thursday for so long! Once Jack’s moved to the Hollywood/Vine location, the vibe was killed, and the Devils started playing far less. I was also really lucky to see them play as the house band at the “Ciao Def” party where Rick Rubin’s label got rid of the “Def” and made it “American Recordings.” They played in a bowling alley off Olympic in Koreatown in L.A. that is no longer there. It was quite the party! I remember waiters walking around w/ wheel-barrows of beer and booze!

Check out these photos he’s passed along:

Rackauskas has a harmonica signed by Lester Butler, "but I'm never going to part with that!"


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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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