Archive for mike hightower

1997 Tamines bootleg given mainstream release

Posted in 13, lester butler with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2015 by J.J.

Lester Butler is back — sort of — on the above-board release of the long-bootlegged Tamines show from Aug. 29, 1997, at the 7th South Blues Festival in Belgium.

Live at Tamines 1997The two-disc set “Lester Butler featuring 13 Live at Tamines 1997” comes from RockBeat Records, the same folks who reissued “13 featuring Lester Butler” more than four years ago, with bonus tracks from the Tamines festival, clearly taken from the bootleg that had been circulating for a decade by then.

Here’s the back-cover info from the new release:

Lester Butler was a brilliant harmonica player. He rejuvenated the LA blues scene with his group The Red Devils. After they disbanded, Lester formed a group on Hightone Records featuring a back up band he called 13. The live intensity of this show demonstrates how adept he was singing and playing the blues. He died not long after this show from 1997. The blues was hot and Lester was on fire.

Though Amazon shows a release date of Oct. 2, our copy is already on backorder.

So though we don’t have the physical package in hand just yet, there are a few things we know already:
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Pics: 13’s day off at North Sea Feb. 1998

Posted in 13 with tags , , , , , on June 17, 2012 by J.J.

Our friend Eddie Clark provided these photos of 13 from what he said was the group’s second to last tour of the Netherlands and Belgium in February 1998. “We had left Sneek, NL and had to go way north to the Nordzee to get back to Amsterdam,” Clark wrote. “That is a massive dike we are on and the North Sea behind us.”

These photos have been posted on other sites for years, but these are all-new scans from the original hard copy pictures. It’s interesting to see what the band — Lester Butler, Alex Schultz, Mike Hightower and Clark — did on a day off.

Also note the tag on Butler’s jacket for Royal Tattoo. We’ll guess it’s this same shop in Denmark.

Pics: 13 at Rhythm Room in Phoenix 1998

Posted in 13 with tags , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2012 by J.J.

Thanks to photographer David Horwitz in Tucson, we have these great images of 13 from the Rhythm Room in Phoenix from early 1998 (we are thinking this was April 4, 1998).

Horwitz does a great job documenting the blues scene under the imprint David Horwitz Blues Images. These photos of Lester Butler, Alex Schultz, Eddie Clark and Mike Hightower are for sale. If you’d like to use them for your site, or would like to get your own copies or prints, email Horwitz.

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Review: Bonus tracks, new packaging highlight 13 reissue

Posted in 13 with tags , , , , , , on April 3, 2011 by J.J.

“13 featuring Lester Butler” is available again. The reissue, out March 22 on RockBeat Records, features new art, new liner notes and three bonus tracks previously available only on bootleg.

We are on record with our love of “13,” so the quality of the music is not in doubt on this reissue. Instead, let’s look at what’s new here:

BONUS TRACKS: The three “new” live cuts will be of most interest to Butler fans — though they’ve been in circulation for years. The liner notes wrongly (and incompletely) claim the songs are from the “Tamines Festival, France, 1997.” In fact, “I Wish You Would,” “Boogie Disease” and “So Mean to Me” were actually recorded Aug. 29, 1997, at the 7th South Blues Festival in Tamines, Sambreville, Belgium.

The bonus cuts show the “other” 13 — the live unit of Alex Schultz, Eddie Clark and Mike Hightower that took Europe by storm in 1997-98 with its wild, expansive blues explorations. Amazingly, the three bonus tracks clock in at more than six minutes each, making them the three longest cuts on the reissue by far. The 19 additional minutes are literally half the length of the lean, mean original album.
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Review: Johnny Mastro’s “Beautiful Chaos”

Posted in related music with tags , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2010 by J.J.

L.A.’s Johnny Mastro and Mama’s Boys spare no grease or grit on their new disc “Beautiful Chaos.” Fans of 13 will find much to enjoy here; Mama’s Boys even feature 13 touring bassist Mike Hightower playing behind harp man Mastro (also notable is special guest Kirk Fletcher on guitar). Produced in Detroit by Jim Diamond (known for his work on the early White Stripes records), the sound is amped-up classic blues-rock as filtered through, well, The White Stripes. The big shuffle “Wineheaded” would feel at home in a Thorogood set, while the Peter Green-influenced “The Dirge” is more than a nod to “Dazed and Confused.” Mastro’s harp fits in every which way, a chunky, metallic sound with roots in Howlin’ Wolf and Mark Wenner. His sound is on full display in the instrumental jump “Fresh Squeezed Coolaid,” the frantic tommy gun “KGB Boogie” and pounding rocker “Spider.” The whole thing wraps up with a cover of Lester Butler’s “Night,” acknowledging a primary influence on Mastro’s playing. It’s exciting to hear the tune again, given fresh life by a band that can pull it all off. Play this one at your next fistfight.

RIYL: Hook Herrera, Led Zep’s blues stuff, old Knuckleheads

Moulin DVD highlight reel

Posted in 13 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2009 by J.J.

The Web site that brought us the 13 Moulin Blues DVD, www.bluesdvd.nl, now has a YouTube channel. Of interest to us: A great quality highlight reel of the 13 DVD. If you’ve been on the fence about getting this concert, watch this video and get going!

DVD review: Lester Butler at his best

Posted in 13 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by J.J.

It’s very easy in hindsight to project added significance to the DVD “Live at Moulin Blues Ospel 1998 — Lester’s Legendary Last Gig.” Every song choice, every note, every glance can take on a different meaning knowing that Butler would be dead just a week later.

The reality is he probably considered it just another gig. A great gig, a lot of fun, but a gig nonetheless.

On any level you choose to watch it, this DVD is required viewing for Lester Butler and Red Devils fans.

Long available on bootleg video, this new official version actually enhances both Butler’s myth and his reality. It shows him to be an outstanding frontman and bandleader and also, for the first time, gives a glimpse at the offstage Lester his family and close friends knew.

While the opening graphic demures, “These recordings were never meant to be published. Therefore we apologize for the poor video and sound quality,” this DVD of the May 2, 1998, concert is a significant step up from the VHS version circulating among tape-traders. The sound and picture quality is very good most times; some mixing problems mar a few otherwise fine performances.
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