Archive for knitters

Portrait of a Knitter

Posted in jonny ray bartel with tags , , , , , , on June 4, 2015 by J.J.

Jonny Ray Bartel

Tom Harold took this portrait of Jonny Ray Bartel when he performed with The Knitters Dec. 2, 2007, at the Music Mill in Indianapolis.

Some other fan photos from that gig can be seen on Flickr.

Dave Alvin remembers Butler and Red Devils

Posted in bill bateman, lester butler, red devils with tags , , , , , , on December 6, 2013 by J.J.

Dave Alvin posted his thoughts to Facebook Dec. 4:

Got to thinking today about the late, talented Lester Butler and the short lived but tough little blues outfit, The Red Devils, so I found a good clip of the guys playing some European festival over a decade ago. Yeah, that’s Blaster Bill Bateman on drums and Knitter Johnny Ray Bartel on bass backing up Lester as he blows the hell out of his harp. In those days they battled their demons while dancing damn close to the edge but for a few shining hours they played some great damn rocking blues. I’m glad some film remains of Lester and the guys before things ended as ugly and sad as anything could.

Alvin, of course, is essential to The Red Devils, basically a spin-off band to The Blasters. Dave Alvin played in the original Blue Shadows trio with Bill Bateman and Jonny Ray Bartel, and teams still with Bartel in The Knitters.

As of this writing, the post has 422 likes, 64 comments and 86 shares.

And he posted this video, from PinkPop, more than 20 years ago:

The Blasters’ ‘Trouble Bound’ 2002

Posted in bill bateman, related music with tags , , , , , , on July 7, 2009 by J.J.

The California blues/roots/rockabilly/R&B collective The Blasters should be required listening for any fan of American Music. During the 1980s, the band, along with contemporaries such as X and Los Lobos, bridged punk and roots music with an energy and enthusiasm that thrilled a legion of fans of all types of music.

That Blasters ethic is well-displayed on the 2002 “comeback” album “Trouble Bound,” a live disc featuring the four original Blasters on record for the first time 17 years: Phil Alvin, Dave Alvin, John Bazz and Bill Bateman.

The Red Devils were one of many offshoots from The Blasters, sharing at least half a dozen musicians over the two bands along with 13, the Blue Shadows, the Knitters and others. Devils fans will find much to love on “Trouble Bound,” along with some familiar touchstones: An edgy live sound, an exemplary cover of “I Wish You Would,” the wonderful Gene Taylor on keys, as well as the Blasters’ classic “Blue Shadows,” the song that ostensibly gave the Red Devils their original name.

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