Archive for review

1992: Red Devils find the Size that fits

Posted in paul size, red devils with tags , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by J.J.

Very nice article from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on the early days of Paul Size in the band.

RED DEVILS FIND THE SIZE THAT FITS
by Dave Ferman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Sept. 11, 1992

Texas-born blues guitarist Paul Size readily will admit that he’s been real lucky so far in his musical career.

Born in Dallas and raised in Denton, Size, 21 just weeks ago, was happy playing blues and R&B in Denton bars backing legendary singer Pops Carter; he was playing the music he loved with good buddy Jon Moeller (now guitarist for Texas Heat) and just having fun.

Then a friend told him the Red Devils — Los Angeles’ hottest blues band — was looking for a new guitarist. Size packed, journeyed to California, auditioned, got the gig, and less than a year later the Devils (having gained a rep as the favorite El Lay band of Mick Jagger, the Black Crowes, Bruce Willis and other slumming celebs) have a CD, “King King,” out on Def American, have cut 13 tracks with Jagger and spent the summer touring with the Allman Brothers, Little Feat, Bob Dylan and Los Lobos.

“Yeah, I was walking into something pretty big without knowing it,” says Size by phone from South Carolina on the eve of the band’s final date with the Allmans (the Red Devils headline Dallas’ Trees on Thursday). “We just kind of clicked together — the band needed a guitar player and they decided to keep me.”
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1998 Bolwerk, Sneek: Butler plays blues the way it should be

Posted in red devils with tags , , , on October 28, 2012 by J.J.

From our friend Feelgood comes this story about 13’s Jan. 30, 1998, gig at Bolwerk, videos of which are available on YouTube. Nothing groundbreaking here, but a fine read nonetheless. More accurate translations are appreciated.

LESTER BUTLER PLAYS BLUES THE WAY IT SHOULD BE
by Jacob Haagsma, Leeuwarder Courant
Jan. 20, 1998

SNEEK — From Pinkpop to a club room for a few hundred people. Lester Butler is not the first to reverse this road test. Ever since his previous band Red Devils, loudly applauded and enjoined by such greats as Mick Jagger and Rick Rubin. But now this singer-harmonica player is again on his own.

Though that’s not entirely true, because he is supported by a first-rate, bright-playing band. Main playmaker in 13 is guitarist Alex Schultz, with an intensely vicious attitude but at the same time never losing sight of the swing. As befits actually.

Because yes, 13 plays the blues like it actually hears, but as that too little hear. By going to the harrowing intensity that the original black practitioners laid decades ago, at least, these pale boys from Los Angeles are close. And with the raw energy of today, as if they traveled on skateboards to Sneek have rather than in a narrow coach.

Including the brisk rhythm section, with loosely pounding, thundering drums and functional, ie no note-counting, bass. Live the songs are less pointed than the extremely elementary produced, self-titled debut CD. Butler and Schultz let themselves often go into long solos, but they seem to charge less to run than show muscle to pure fun.
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USA Today: “King King” raw, rootsy blues

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

A glowing “King King” review from USA Today’s Oct. 28, 1992, edition. Is this one of the earlier, mainstream notices of that album?

RED DEVILS LIVE ALBUM BLASTS RAW, ROOTSY BLUES
by Edna Gundersen
USA Today

"King King"

Hellbent for blues, the red-hot Red Devils have cranked out the year’s most electrifying live album, a stunning debut. Even a band this sharp and spirited will be hard-pressed to top it. The raw and rootsy “King King” (***1/2), produced by sonic sharpshooter Rick Rubin, was recorded at L.A.’s King King club, where the Devils served as house band for six years. Whether blasting their own “Goin’ to the Church” or breathing new fire into Sonny Boy Williamson’s loping “Cross Your Heart,” the band outshines any contemporaries with its lean, high-powered and nasty approach to Chicago blues. Catch their opening act on Los Lobos’ current tour (tonight, at the Varsity in Baton Rouge, La.)

Red Devils go to school for noon concert

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on August 27, 2010 by J.J.

The Red Devils were a band built for smoky bars, but even they might have had some trouble conjuring that mojo for the noontime lunch crowd at a college campus.

The review from the Daily Titan [PDF] recaps the band’s Dec. 2, 1992, performance at California State University in Fullerton. Interesting details on guitarist Mike Flanigin, described here as replacing Dave Lee Bartel in the “traveling line-up” of the band.

Red Devils perform Chicago-style blues
By Matt Cliff, Daily Titan Staff Writer
Dec. 3, 1992

The Red Devils’ laid back, gimmick-free stage demeanor let their music do the work Wednesday at Becker Amphitheater in the last noontime show of the semester.

The band’s gritty Chicago-style blues, flavored by singer/harp player Lester Butler’s wailing harmonica, revealed why they have attracted so many fans, celebrities and music industry types to their regular shows at the King King club in Los Angeles.

Drawing from a seemingly bottomless well of blues covers by artists like Willie Dixon, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf and others, the Red Devils have a raspy, roots-rock element to their sound that pumps up its intensity.

The band is on tour to promote its debut Def American album “King King,” named for the club where they’ve played since their formation in 1988.
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Boogie with the Hook, 1992

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , on September 21, 2009 by J.J.

JohnLeeHookerAn important blurb in The Red Devils’ bio is the band’s opening slot for blues legend John Lee Hooker. That phrase — “opened for John Lee Hooker” — is Blues Credibility in Five Words or Fewer.

As far as nofightin.com can find, the Devils opened for the Hook one time, on Feb. 20, 1992, in Los Angeles.

This is a review of that show, courtesy of the Daily News of Los Angeles.

HOOKER AT HIS VERY BLUESY BEST
By Fred Shuster, Daily News Critic
Feb. 22, 1992

Judging by the amount of money changing hands outside the Variety Theatre on Thursday for tickets to the sold-out John Lee Hooker concert, you would think the latest post-punk sensation from Seattle was giving a recital.

Inside, though, it was business as usual for Hooker, who at 74 is the last of the great Delta bluesmen. Sitting center stage, face shadowed by a wide-brim hat, Hooker pounded out the one-chord boogie riffs that have been approximated by three generations of blues-rockers, from Humble Pie to Robert Cray.
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Legendary Cleveland rock writer on the Devils, 1992

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on July 22, 2009 by J.J.

Two great articles in the Cleveland Plain Dealer in October 1992 give more history of the Red Devils (winning 1992 Best Blues Band at the Los Angeles Music Awards) along with a review of a live gig at Peabody’s DownUnder in The Flats Oct. 15.

Both articles come courtesy of reporter Jane Scott, who has her own interesting history. Born in 1919, she was known as “The World’s Oldest Rock Critic,” working in the hometown of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. According to the Plain Dealer, she covered everyone from The Beatles all the way to Nirvana before retiring in 2002. For the Devils to be the subject of the 70-something Scott’s writing — not once, but twice — may demonstrate their status and potential in late ’92.

Check out the level of detail here, especially in the review — this woman knows her Devils! She doesn’t slack off, even when reviewing a bar band.

RED DEVILS SOUL’S IN THE BLUES
By Jane Scott
Plain Dealer Rock Reporter
October 9, 1992

CLEVELAND — It happened unexpectedly in a converted Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles called the King King, a a tiny, smoke-filled club with a 12-by-15-foot stage and a battered old upright piano.

The Red Devils fire up Peabody's DownUnder Thursday.

The Red Devils fire up Peabody's DownUnder Thursday.

The Monday night regulars there, the bluesy Red Devils band, spotted a familiar figure standing in back. He seemed to be enjoying himself, bassist Jonny Ray Bartel remembered.

Suddenly the man moved up to the stage, jumped up and sang Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love” with the band.

“It was Mick Jagger. What a surprise! The crowd went nuts,” said Bartel. “And what made it nicer was that he asked us first. He said ‘Would it be all right?'”

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‘Blast furnace blues’: Dec. 3, 1992, ‘King King’ review

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , on June 1, 2009 by J.J.

Looking around a few months ago, I found this review of “King King” from the University of Houston Daily Cougar Online archives, Dec. 3, 1992. I really like the exuberance and imagery in this review.

As a bonus: A Jeff Healey review!

BLOSSOMING BANDS BESTOW PLEASING PLATTERS
by Manuel Esparza
Daily Cougar Staff

"King King"

How do you like it, live or studio? Well the Red Devils cut a live disc and the Jeff Healey Band is fresh from recording 12 new tracks.

Got your asbestos gloves handy? Good. Now get ready to handle some blast furnace blues. Captured on the Red Devil’s live album King King is blues in its most elemental form — fire.

The album, King King, takes its name from the L.A. club that has adopted the Devils. It is a beer sopped, cigarette stench, sweaty bodies, dimly lit, watch where you sit, graffiti ridden, wrong side of the tracks, eardrum rupturing disc.
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