Archive for moulin blues festival

Photographer Bert Lek’s classic pictures of Lester Butler and Paul Size at Moulin 1993

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on October 21, 2021 by J.J.

The Red Devils’ incendiary performance at the 1993 Moulin Blues Festival in Ospel in the Netherlands continues to surprise, more than 28 years later.

Photographer Bert Lek recently allowed NoFightin.com to share his photographs of Lester Butler and Paul Size onstage from that festival. Dedicated fans will recognize some of these photos from publication in Block magazine, or as the inspiration for stunning artwork by Theo Reijnders.

We just think they’re cool. (Learn more about Bert’s fascinating life and career in this 2014 story)

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Welcome to nofightin.com

Posted in 13, lester butler, red devils with tags , , , , , , on October 13, 2021 by J.J.
kingking_vinyl

For those coming to this site for the first time, welcome to nofightin.com.

We have been here since 2009, cataloging the short but stellar career of The Red Devils and Lester Butler.

Wander around and find rare music, videos and reviews, and meet other fans — and some of the musicians who made the records we love so much.

To get you started, here are some of the most popular and essential posts and pages on nofightin.com:

  • Reunion tour: All of our exclusive coverage of The Red Devils’ 2017 reunion tour of Europe with ZZ Top.
  • Watch: The Red Devils live at the King King club, the way they were meant to be seen and heard.
  • Lyrics: Everything on “King King,” most of “13,” live stuff and more.
  • 2 Meter Sessies: In lieu of a second Red Devils record, this live radio set from 1993 can fill the void.
  • “Lester’s Legendary Last Gig”: Full coverage of the DVD release of 13’s classic 1998 Moulin Blues performance.
  • “Lousiana Blues”: The story behind one of the most rare songs in the Devils’ discography, released on a promo tape before “King King” came out in ’92.
  • “Blues in the Morning”: Hear The Red Devils rock KCRW in 1992, including their rare take on “Shake ‘Em On Down.”
  • VPRO: Famous & rare Lester Butler TV appearance, blowing a little acoustic harp, talking Little Walter and jamming with G. Love.
  • Inside King King: Pictures from what is believed to be The Red Devils’ last King King gig.
  • MTV Europe: The band shuffles through a pair of tunes on the music video channel.

Finally, ruminations on the band we love: Memories of hearing the record for the first time in 1992, a more recent take on just what makes “King King” so special and asking that musical question: Can a record change your life?

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Block 1993 interview with Lester Butler after Pinkpop festival (annotated)

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , , on March 7, 2021 by J.J.

This week, we bring you an interview with Lester Butler from the July/August/September 1993 issue of Block magazine (#87).

There is a lot to take in from this interview, conducted May 31, 1993, after the band had already played its seminal morning set opening the 1993 Pinkpop Festival, and a gig that night in Doornroosje, Nijmegen, Holland. Basically, this interview was their last official activity at the end of an important month for the band, which kicked off May 1 with the legendary performance at the Moulin Blues Festival in Ospel.

The story, originally in Dutch, has been translated by nofightin.com (well, Google Translate, with some contextual edits by us), and appears in its entirety below.

In addition, we offer annotations throughout the story: What’s right, what’s wrong, more context and history. Look for the notes just under some paragraphs.

A band foaming at the mouth: The Red Devils

By Marion Wisse

The Red Devils started in 1988 as a jam session band at the King King club, a former Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles. The first time only nine skateboarders came to watch, but due to word of mouth, the number of visitors grew quickly. Among them: Peter Wolf, Lenny Kravitz and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Also always present was Rick Rubin, producer for the Def American label. But it wasn’t until they had seen his face about 60 times that Lester Butler (vocals/harmonica) and his mates knew what that man does in the business.

Much of this is detailed in the band’s official press kit biography.

The debut CD “King King” has been out for less than a year and resulted in a studio session with Mick Jagger. In addition, The Red Devils were allowed to close Moulin Blues and open Pinkpop. In the evening, after Pinkpop, they performed in Doornroosje in Nijmegen. There we spoke to the band.

When the band arrives at Doornroosje a little later than planned due to a minor collision, their Pinkpop performance of that morning has just been broadcast. Great is the hilarity among the band members when Bram van Splunteren does not seem to know who Little Walter was. And when the cameraman of the NOS then switches bass guitarist Jonny Ray Bartel and guitarist Paul Size during the announcement, the boys are really laughing. Immediately afterward we talk with Lester Butler, Paul Size (or was that Lester Butler?), and drummer Bill Bateman.

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James Harman needs our help. (Icepick’s Story 2021)

Posted in related music with tags , , , , , , , on January 4, 2021 by J.J.

In a parallel universe, James Harman is a superstar.

An in-demand artiste who plays command performances for kings and queens. A poet laureate whose lyrics are studied in college courses. A giving mentor and bandleader whose roots have grown the fruits of generations of musicians. A vocalist whose records stop all diner conversation when the needle hits his latest song.

But in this here-and-now, James Harman — blues raconteur extraordinaire — is 74, without the means to earn a living, and beginning chemotherapy for Stage 4 cancer.

Harman is not a household name — unless your household is real hip. Those who know, know.

To the true believers of “The Red Devils, Lester Butler and California’s (and beyond’s) blues, rock and roots music,” James Harman is the Godfather.

Some of this is by talent, and some of it is by proximity. Harman is one of those threads of connective cool from his native Alabama, to the post-Woodstock Canned Heat California scene, to Big Joe Turner, Hollywood Fats, MTV, ZZ Top and a touring schedule in the 1990s that rivaled any act on the planet (“She wrapped my sandwich, boy, in an old road map”).

Harman has always surrounded himself with whipcrack musicians, and entire James Harman Band lineups have gone on to form or evolve into other killer bands, from The Blasters (Phil Alvin and Bill Bateman were early bandmates, as was Gene Taylor), to The Fabulous Thunderbirds (whose early ‘90s incarnation was a literal James Harman Band with Kim Wilson) to Lester Butler’s various 13s.

His most well-known ensemble was the early 1980s version of the James Harman Band … Those Dangerous Gentlemens: Hollywood Fats, Kid Ramos, Willie J. Campbell and the incomparable Stephen Hodges on drums (you might know Hodges from the Tom Waits band). Yes, Hollywood Fats and Kid Ramos in one lineup, under the direction of one James Harman.

Recommended: Extra Napkins, Strictly Live … in ’85!, Thank You Baby, Those Dangerous Gentlemens

James Harman, The Blasters, X, The (original) Red Devils, Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs, Canned Heat, Dwight Yoakam, Tom Waits, Los Lobos and many others shared common DNA, even if each leaned on nurture more than nature (punk rockabilly, experimental roots … or “American music”).

Harman would tell you (and has told me and my pals) that he is not a harmonica player. He is a singer and a songwriter who uses the harmonica when needed to tell his stories. And those stories are clever and compact in a way that demonstrates the craft and care he puts into his art. His musical ethos align more closely with artists and outsiders such as Waits and Los Lobos than the average “Tuesday bluesday” crowd — even though he gets the job done down behind that city dump, presiding over a real blues party.

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Red Devils Moulin ’93 review from Block

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on December 3, 2011 by J.J.

Dutch blues magazine Block was an early supporter of The Red Devils, continuing through the 13 years as well.

This review of the the 1993 Moulin Blues Festival comes courtesy of Feelgood. We’ve done our best to do a translation of The Red Devils’ mention — if you have a better translation, put it in the comments.

Also included: A Block ad for the festival.

Finally — I think — the only other act with a magnetic force field of over 100 km: the Red Devils (because: Mick Jagger!) with their busy and fat-accentuated party hardy clichéd blues. No trace of white and yet not heavy. The band consisted of five top strengths, though star parts were played by drummer Bill Bateman (Blasters) and never-stagnant singer/harper Lester Butler, one of the few to handle Muddy’s “Louisiana Blues.” Butler spontaneously fulfilled a request for one of the slow songs to a fan who was killed earlier that week, though hopefully no one outside of those involved had been in the painful mistake still in his ready-made text. No, of course there is a festival for people like us to get back to. And we were.

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