HELLO from TERESA JAMES
The Latest News
We are looking forward to some exciting things coming up very soon, but before I tell you about that, let me catch you up on what has already been happening…
First of all, the Sandy Beaches Cruise (#20!) was wonderful – as always -some of the most incredible musical experiences I have ever seen or had the pleasure of being a part of. I think at one point on the last day, we had 23 musicians on stage with us –drummers, percussionists, horn players and singers – it was amazing! It’s hard not to get inspired and excited about the music when you are seeing that much talent on every stage all day long… AND…. we just got invited to come back for #21 next January, so we are excited about that! If you want to check it out, go to: www.sandybeachescruise.com - you don’t want to miss it!
Also, I am not performing with Eric Burdon as part of the Animals anymore. Working with those guys this last year was very special –playing all those great old hit songs and hanging out and travelling with my friends was really a wonderful adventure and we had a lot of great shows, but I missed getting out and performing my own music more and am working more on booking myself and the Rhythm Tramps. I am excited that the band is going to be getting out and playing more this summer. Speaking of which…
I am very excited to announce that the band and I are going to be hitting the road this summer and striking out into some new territories. For the first time, we are going to be playing not one but 2 shows in the Chicago area (north and south) – both in June! (Details on the ‘dates’ page here on the web site…) We are also going to be doing a whole run of dates in July, including a first time show in New Mexico at the Animas River Festival, several dates in Texas – Houston, Austin and Gruene Hall (woo-hoo!) – our first show ever in Kansas City, MO and gigs in Olathe and Topeka, Kansas! I hope that you will check these out and come see us while we are out and about…
The other thing that is new is that I have been getting out and doing some shows as a solo artist – just me on piano and singing – and it has been a blast! I started out by opening for Delbert at the Birchmere last fall – the legendary showcase club in Alexandria, VA – and I had such a great time, that I have been following it up with other solo performances. I just did a little run of dates down in Texas – in Austin at the Saxon Pub, Houston at Baba Yega’s (with the very talented Terry Wilson sitting in with me) and a great house concert in San Marcos at the home of some of my friends from the cruise. This is definitely something that I am hoping to do more of – I love the intimacy and informality that comes with being a solo performer and getting to make a more personal connection with the audience. Of course, I absolutely love getting to perform with my band, too, but since Terry and Billy Watts - my rhythm tramp partners - are still out on the road quite a bit with the Animals, this is a really fun way to get out and share my music and get to know people in other parts of the country (and the world…). If you aren’t familiar with the house concert scenario, you should check it out – it really is a lot of fun and a good excuse for a party. You can check it out at http://www.concertsinyourhome.com and http://www.houseconcerts.us/resources.html At any rate, I am planning on getting around to exploring some new territories to play, so if you know of any good venues in your area for solo performers or if you are looking for an excuse to have a house party, let me know – and I hope to see you somewhere soon!
I am also very happy to say that we are starting to work on material for a new CD and are planning a trip in the studio with the guys next month. I am really excited about the direction that it is heading already. Stay tuned and I will try and keep you posted on things as they develop. In the meantime, take care and I hope to run into you somewhere along the road very soon!
This has been an amazing year – the CD has done very well (again, thank you very much) – we have been getting lots of airplay and great reviews from all over. We are still getting some reviews that are just now coming in and are thrilled to be included in DownBeat magazine’s ‘best of the year’ wrap up for their blues reviews.
We have also been doing some very cool gigs: our annual North Carolina run was a blast, as always – we love playing at Papa Mojo’s in Durham and at the Tater Jam in Hugo. This time, I also made a run up to Alexandria, VA to do a solo opening set for Delbert McClinton at the Birchmere – a new room for me and a great night with Delbert. The guys and I also had the pleasure of doing a Norwegian cruise with JT Lauritsen and his band, along with Jr Watson and Southern Hospitality and several other great bands. We also did some cool shows around Oslo and on the west coast of Norway that went really well. After that, I got to stick around after my band came home to go up to Svalbard, right up near the Arctic Circle, and did some gigs at the Dark Season Blues Festival with some excellent Norwegian players backing me up (including the very talented Billy T who has a great CD out of his own). I also got to perform and hang with the boys from Southern Hospitality – Victor Wainwright, Damon Fowler and JP Soars - and I have to say that not only are they some of the most talented people I have met lately, their name definitely suits them; it really helped to take the chill off of that -20 degree weather there. It was really quite an experience to be up there in the frozen north – if you ever have an opportunity to go up that way, you should do it; it is a wondrous land of ice and snow and the people there are some of the friendliest and warmest that I have met (and they definitely know their blues…)
This year, I had the pleasure of singing with the very talented and gracious Lloyd Jones on his latest release, ‘Doin’ What It Takes’, and performing up in Portland with him and his band for a great show there. I also was a guest on the title cut of JT Lauritsen’s latest CD, ‘Play By the Rules’. If you are not familiar with these two artists, you really should check them out – they are both extremely soulful and talented and deserve a lot more recognition than they have gotten.
I guess my main news, though, is that I have been performing with the legendary Eric Burdon as a member of his band for the last few months – an amazing experience both musically and personally. I got to sing on his latest CD, ‘Til Your River Runs Dry’, which was produced by my good friend, Tony Braunagel and also features several cuts that were co-written with my husband, Terry Wilson. Both Terry and Tony have been performing with Eric off and on for years (along with my friend and fellow Rhythm Tramp, Billy Watts) and after Eric saw me perform live with my band, he invited me to be a part of his band also. It has been a lot of fun and I have really enjoyed getting to see so much of the world and get to know the other guys in his band (Red Young on keyboards; Wally Ingram on percussion and Eric McFadden on guitar – all great musicians and lovely folks).
We are looking forward to seeing what next year brings and to seeing you on the road somewhere – have a great holiday and new year!
The finalists are voted on by folks in the industry, so it is quite an honor and I am definitely in good company with the other finalists. The winners are decided by the public, though, so if you would like to cast a ballot, go to: www.thebluesblast.com and vote!
The band and I are also in the finals for an Independent Music Award in the blues category for the second time. We were the winner of the popular vote a couple of years ago for our last release, ‘You Know You Love It’ and are very happy to be in the running again for this new one. If you wand to check it out (or cast a vote for us), go to: www.TheIndependentMusicAwards.com/imanominee/12th
Lots of other things have been happening around here and things have been a little hectic - I am really sorry to be so long with an update...
First of all, I want to thank everyone for all the support you have given us - the CD, Come On Home, has been doing great! We have been getting lots of airplay (at one point, we made it to #3 on the roots radio chart!); there have been great reviews from all over - including a 4 star review from Downbeat magazine – and the CD has been included on several of the ‘best of’ lists for the last year.
One thing that has been a little different this summer: I have been out on the road travelling and playing with several of the Rhythm Tramps , backing up the legendary Eric Burdon - the amazing singer and performer best known for his hits as the frontman for the Animals). Terry Wilson and Billy Watts from my band have been playing with him off and on for several years along with original rhythm tramp, Tony Braunagel, so after seeing those guys play with me, Eric invited me to come along and be part of their touring ensemble for the summer. Although I had to rearrange a few of my dates to accommodate it, it has been quite an adventure performing with this group. Besides the aforementioned players, the band also includes the keyboard phenom, Red Young (which some of you might know from the Delbert Cruise and from appearances with the Rhythm Tramps), and the talented, Eric McFadden on guitar and Wally Ingram on percussion – both world class players in their own right, so the band is really strong and we are having a lot of fun performing together. (I even dusted my flute off for a turn with Eric B on ‘Spill the Wine’!)
From Portland, we hit the road for Europe – So far, we have performed in Vienna, and several places in Spain (including the beautiful town of Aviles). Before the tour is over, we will have been to Serbia, Italy, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Israel, and Norway… I will try and keep you posted on some of the events along the way…
When we get back, we will have a few dates in Southern California and then the Rhythm Tramps will be back on the road, heading to Norway to do a cruise with the fabulous Mr. JT Lauritsen and his crew. He has a new CD out that is really great (and which I am proud to have had the honor of singing on). I will also be performing at a festival north of the Arctic Circle (Darkfest) in late October, so that will definitely be an adventure!
I will try and keep you more up to date on the news as things go along here – thanks for checking in and I hope to see you somewhere along the road.
07/05/12: Starting July 6, we are launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to help with our new CD.
Kickstarter is an internet site that helps people fund their creative projects by offering incentives to interested people in exchange for their contributions.
A lot of our friends have financed their CDs this way (Mingo Fishtrap, Seth Walker, Mike Farris, etc.) and it seems to work well. The only drawback to doing the Kickstarter thing is that 1) it only runs for 30 days (ours will run from July 6 to August 5) and 2) you have to set a goal and if you don’t meet your goal, you don’t get any of it. It adds a little bit more of a challenge, but we are always up to a challenge (we have stuck it out this long in the music business, after all).
Some of the money will go to manufacturing and mastering and mechanical stuff like that, but most of the funds that we raise will go to help promote the CD. The internet is a great tool for promotion, but we also need to be able to take out ads and hire people whose specialty it is to get our our music to the radio stations and who know how to get it reviewed in the kind of publications where it will get our name out there. I could go on, but you get the picture. I think that we have come up with some cool and fun incentives so please go to kickstarter.com and check it out!
NOTE: if you have already paid for your copy of the CD in advance - we will be adding some extra stuff in with whatever level you choose... (thanks again!)
05/17/12: OK... so I admit it - I am SLOW delivering the news. But we have been busy... as you know, we have been working like crazy to finish this new CD. And if it seems to you like it has been taking forever, imagine how it feels for us! Is it just me, or does it feel like there is always way more to do in a day than there is time to do it? It also seems (to me) that time is speeding up - this year has gone by so fast... The good news, though, is that it is shaping up to be really great! For those of you who have pre-ordered the CD, I promise that we will be getting it too you very soon!
BIG NEWS: We are getting ready to launch a Kickstarter campaign to help promote the new CD. In case you haven't heard about it, Kickstarter.com is a web site that is dedicated to helping creative people raise money to fund projects by offering different incentives depending on the level of support that is given.... We did the same kind of thing on our own for our last CD, but this just makes it a little easier to get it going and keep it organized. I think we have come up with some fun ideas for our incentives, so I hope you will check it out when we get it up on the site... which should be in the next few days...
I am heading to North Carolina in a couple of weeks to perform at NC State for the retirement party of Dean Johnny Wynne - the long time head of the agriculture department. I am honored to have been asked to be there and also excited that it will give me a chance to also play at Papa Mojo's and in my (other) home town of Kinston... check the dates on the website for more details on that... We are also planning a trip to Norway at the end of June to perform at the Ost Festival there (thank you to our friends over there for that) - I am really excited about getting to go back there.
Catching up: Recently, I had the pleasure of recording a duet with Lloyd Jones for his upcoming CD - he recently released an acoustic, solo CD (which is VERY good) but at the same time he has been working on a full band release that will be out in a few months. I am such a fan of Lloyd's, it is a real thrill to be on record with him.
I have also had the honor of being included on a tribute album of songs by Texas blues great, Bugs Henderson. It is going to feature lots of great musicians (mostly Texans) including Billy Gibbons and lots of other great players. We just cut the track (on 2" tape, no less!) with Terry Wilson and Billy Watts from my band, Tony Braunagel on drums, and Joe Sublett and Darrel Leonard (the Texicali Horns) on sax and truumpet - I am really looking forward to this coming out... btw - all the proceeds will go to the family to help pay for his medical expenses, so keep your eyes open for it.
OK... I am sure there is more news that I need to catch you up on, but I can't think of it right now. I promise to be better about keeping you up to date from here on out.
One last little bit of news... If you hear someone that sounds a lot like me singing the blues about McDonald's new blueberry oatmeal, it IS me! So everybody eats lots of it so they will keep it running! (Why not? They tell me that it is really healthy food and good for you...)
09/22/11: So… It is time for a serious update on what’s been happening these last few months… I really can’t believe that summer is over – is it just me or does it seem like time is zipping by? Somebody told me that the earth has actually sped up by a couple of seconds a year, so I am thinking that could be what is throwing me off… at any rate, to paraphrase our friend, Delbert, we have been ‘working with our head down trying to keep our groove alive’ and making good use of the time we have.
Things are moving along really well on our new CD – Terry has been putting in endless hours in our home studio putting together some really great songs (in my humble opinion, that is). They are mostly originals, as usual, but we have thrown in a couple of choice songs by friends and at least one old cover tune. (I’m not saying what, though - it will be a surprise!) We have also been cutting some tracks out at our friend, Snuffy Walden’s studio (you may know Snuffy from his work on such TV shows as ‘The West Wing’, ‘Roseanne’, ‘Friday Night Lights’ just to name a few). Right now we have about 15 tunes that we are working on and although they may not all make the cut, it is going to be a tough call. I am really excited about this one - it is starting to shape up to be our best yet. I just got back from Texas where I had a chance to work with a fabulous photographer, my good friend Mary Bruton, so we are going to be locking in the cover art soon, too. So keep your eye out for something new from me and the Rhythm Tramps in the near future….
This summer we also made time to do a few gigs here and there… In June, we took a trip east where I started things off with a little solo show (just me, singing and playing the piano – more on that later) at a private home in Kinston, NC – home of the famous Tater Jam. It was a really lovely evening and a great way to ease into the trip. The band joined me the next day where we got to play at our favorite Cajun hangout, Papa Mojo’s Roadhouse, where we had a great time as always… This time, we took Herman Matthews with us - a good friend and an amazing drummer. If you get a chance you should google him - he has played with a ton of people including Tower of Power, Kenny Loggins and Tom Jones just to name a few, and on top of that, he is a delightful person (he has also co-written a couple of tunes with Terry that will be on our new CD).
After that, we went up to Pennsylvania and played at our friends, Tim and Sue’s, annual Summer Solstice party and had a ball! The party is at their house, which is on a beautiful hilltop of what used to be a Christmas tree farm and it is a very informal affair. There was another band, ‘Rollin’ and Tumblin’ fronted by a great singer/player, Mike Guldin, who also play the party every year and by the end of the night, we all got together onstage and had a wonderful time playing old blues songs – including some of Delbert’s golden oldies… From there we went to Reading, where we performed in one of the coolest amphitheaters I have ever seen as a part of their summer concert series - great sound, lovely people, and a perfectly gorgeous evening.
Terry and Billy have also done quite a bit of traveling around the world this summer as part of Eric Burdon’s band. (yes, they are Animals). It really is a great band (along with piano virtuoso Red Young and Brannen Temple, the drummer from Stephen Bruton’s old band, among others) and they have been having a lot of fun with it; Eric is singing better than ever and he and Terry have written several songs together that will be on his upcoming CD.
I have been doing a lot more solo performances this year at house concerts and small venues and have really been enjoying it. I like the idea that it is more intimate, which gives me a chance to interact more with everybody, but it also allows me to do a much broader range of songs. I did one of those shows, a backyard concert in North Hollywood, where I had my good friend Debra Dobkin come and play with me. We had a lot of fun – her drumming and percussion, along with her amazing vocals, really added a lot to the show. We are going to try and expand on that some in the future. House concerts are getting to be a major outlet for artists these days – so many clubs have fallen by the wayside and big concerts have gotten so expensive that people are enjoying the more grass roots approach to seeing live music. If you haven’t been to one (or hosted one) you ought to check it out – they really are a cool thing. And, of course, it is a great chance to hear and hang out with your favorite musicians (hint, hint…)
I guess that is all for now, but stay tuned for the new CD to come out very soon. We are also working on getting out on the road a lot more in the months to come. If you know of any cool gigs or festivals that you think we should know about, pop me an email and tell me about it and I hope to see you somewhere in the near future.
03/17/11: Cool news - our latest CD, You Know You Love It has been nominated for an Independent Music Award (IMA) in the blues category. The Independent Music Awards 'honor exceptional independent artists who are traditionally ignored by mass media and big box retailers' and were picked from artists all over the world. The winners are picked by a special panel, but there is also a popular vote. Login to vote for us at: www.independentmusicawards.com/imanominee/10th.
Also.....just got an email from Switzerland that we were the 'Blues Artist of the Week' - voted on by the BAOTW Group - a worldwide group of blues lovers. Here is a link to the group...
I just finished doing a duet with Lloyd Jones ('I Can't Stop Loving You') that is going to be on his upcoming CD. There is some talk about maybe releasing it as a single before the CD comes out so stay tuned for more info on that.
We are working on booking a lot more dates, so keep your eyes open...
12/15/10: If 'no news is good news' then I am guessing we are in good shape. Seriously, though, sorry to be so slow with my updates.
So anyway, to catch you up on what we have been doing... The new CD, You Know You Love It, has been doing really well - we have gotten some strong reviews and lots of airplay... and we want to thank alot of people who helped us out there... especially Mr. Bill Wax with Sirius's Bluesville channel. We even made it to #13 on the American Roots/Blues charts!
This has been a really wacky, busy year and we have had a lot of great shows. I don't guess I will go through every single gig here, but to mention a few... we have been starting to get up to the Pacific Northwest a little more - had a ball up in Washington at the Highway 99 in Seattle and then at the Sunbanks Festival and the Snoqualmie Casino - we are really looking forward to going back up there sometime soon. We also got to do the Ribberfest in Indiana (first time ever in that part of the country) with Delbert and Jimmy Hall on the bill - talk about your fun night! We also were invited to Roanoke, VA for the Big LIck Festival - another first for us... Blues From the Top was a definite highlight for me - they really make you feel at home and we made a lot of new friends there. You know that Billy and Terry have been working a lot with Eric Burdon this year so it has been a little different for the band at times - In April, they had a chance to go to Russia to do a show in Moscow on the same weekend that I was booked to play in Texas, so I was fortunate enough to have the fabulous James Pennebaker fly in from Nashville to play guitar and a great LA bass player, Michael Mennell stand in for Terry and my good friend and homeboy, Herman Matthews on drums. We had a good time at the Ft. Worth Main Street Festival (where we were also joined by the amazing Lewis Stephens on organ and piano) and then played at Danelectro's in my home town of Houston. It was a little weird to be there with all my family and hometown friends without my boys, but it turned out to be a fun trip and we did some really special shows - in fact, I think some of the Houston show has turned up on youtube... I had to bring in some ringers for the Blues By the Bay up in Eureka, CA, too - with Tommy K on guitar - that was a really nice festival and we got to see our old friends, Tommy Castro and Walter Trout there, so that was fun. I also got to go to NC in the spring and do a special revue with Don Wise (formerly Deltbert's sax man) and Rickey Godfrey (a great guitar player and singer that is well known in the area)... hanging out with Kendall and the gang there again was also a real blast. I've even been doing some shows on my own - all by myself - at house concerts and a few club gigs here and there. It is a little different because I get to do a lot of material that we don't cover with the band, but I really like it. It is fun, but a little more casual and intimate And more recently, the fabulous Tater Jam in Hugo with Delbert, Big Joe Maher and country favorites, Super Grit. We also were able to work in another visit to another one of our favorites, Papa Mojo's Roadhouse in Durham while we were there where we played to a sold out crowd - another really special night. We had planned a trip to Canada tin December to play at our friend, Uncle Glenn's Sports bar up in Edmonton but weren't able to do the shows due to some problems with a work permit - very disappointing, but we are hoping to make it up another time...
Terry is starting to work on tunes for a new CD - one that will probably lean even more toward a straight blues feel. There is some talk of doing a 'ballad' CD, - not necessarily 'sad' songs, but a more mellow themed CD which would be very fun and cool to do... and possibly a "Best Of" cd that would include a couple of new cuts as well.
We are starting to get some dates on the calendar for 2011 so keep checking the calendar for new dates as they are added. Several people out there really helped out getting us on some of the festivals this year... and it really, really helps. Thanks, it's hard to stay on top each and every festival that's out there and or is in the early planning stages. If you hear of any festival we should check in to, please let us know.
05/19/10: Wow! Where do we begin? The new CD ”YOU KNOW YOU LOVE IT” is out. It’s on our site here as well as iTunes and CDBaby. It hit the radio stations around May 5-6th or so. About 150 or so blues stations around N. America that is. We’re just starting to get play lists from different stations and there’s airplay starting up all over the place and we’re very grateful. We're starting to get some great feedback here... Thanks to our west coast promo man Mr. Glazer working it for us and he always does a great job. Haven’t figured out the plan for Europe and all the other places we want to get the CD to... if you’ve any suggestions out there. Let us know. We're working on it though.
We’ve been so busy here at Rhythm Tramp Headquarters. Not just with gigging. But with that continually distracting thing called life! Terry has been working a lot in the studio the past month or two as well as writing several songs for Eric Burdon. Terry and Eric have written a couple really great tunes that are planned to be on the next Eric cd which Rhythm Tramp alumni, Tony Braunagel is producing. Also... Terry and I just got back from our daughter’s graduation from SUNY/Purchase where she graduated Cum Laud on Friday. And we’re so, so proud of her. You go girl! We spent this past weekend moving her and her roommates into their new apartment in NY up 4 flights of stairs. Our legs are still vibrating after 2 days of 20-25 something trips up and down, up and down, etc.
We’ve got a wacky, busy summer coming up. Starting off with the Topanga Festival on Saturday, May 29th. We’re returning to the festival finally after two years of missing it... looking forward to this. All of our festival dates are up on our site here. We’ll try and stay on the updates as they come in. We’ve got Winter Park, Colorado coming up in June, The RibberFest, Blues by the Bay, Topanga and we’re planning on making a trip up to Edmonton, Canada before the summer is done. We’ll be doubling up with Delbert and the boys at the Snoqualmie Casino on July 23^rd near Seattle, Wa. Terry and Billy will be out this summer at times with Eric Burdon & the Animals. Starting off at the Santa Cruz Blues festival on May 30th. Along with Red Young on keys and Brannen Temple on drums. You should try and catch this show if you can.
On the other hand... be sure to check out next year's Sandy Beaches Cruise. This next year is happening. We will be back on a bigger ship. But, you might want to sign up soon... the last one sold out and all those people who were left on the waiting list are already signing on for this next one. Leaving out of Ft. Lauderdale on January 7, 2011 and headed for Kralendijk, Bonaire and Willemstad, Curaçao. All new ports we haven’t seen as of yet.
03/01/10: There has been lots of stuff going on here so far this year… We said good bye to the old year by playing the New Bern 300 Celebration new years eve party at the Convention center there – a huge citywide party that was a ball. Then we celebrated the new year at the infamous Mel Melton's Papa Mojo’s Cajun Roadhouse in Durham, N.C. on the 2nd of January – it was a rockin’ weekend and a wonderful way to bring in 2010… Papa Mojos is the greatest little Cajun joint outside of New Orleans… and Mel can play too.
Then we made it home in time to pack for the 2010 Delbert cruise that left out of Tampa, Fl. this year. What can I say? It's definitely the best way to forget about the holiday stress... the holiday bills and apparently our son's parking ticket someone forgot to pay! Anyway… there were rumors of this being the last Sandy Beaches cruise but, that ain’t gonna happen - Next year they are doing it again! In fact, this year, the cruise was sold out and it ended up being too small a ship to get everyone who wanted on board... lots of people didn't sign up soon enough and the '10 cruise was sold out months ago. This next year it will be back on a bigger ship. But, you might want to sign up soon... there was a long waiting list for the last one and all those people are already signing on for this next one. Leaving out of Ft. Lauderdale on January 7, 2011 and headed for Kralendijk, Bonaire and Willemstad, Curaçao.
This year... besides Delbert and his band... (and Teresa & the tramps), there was Marcia Ball, Mingo Fishtrap, Tab Benoit, Cyril Neville, Raul Malo, Paul Thorn, Wayne Toups ( back and better than ever) Seth Walker... along with the ever so soulful Mike Farris and the McCrary Sisters, and the oh so fab Jimmy Hall - still singing his tail off (with special guest Mike Zito on guitar)... and don’t forget Fred Eaglesmith and Al Anderson (and a whole array of amazing songwriters…). Also - the tramps got to play with Tommy Castro and that was sooo much fun. Tommy ended up on the ship without his band and we had the pleasure of both having him join us on a couple of our shows as well as backing him on his show one sunny afternoon on the Lido deck. Watching Billy Watts and Tommy Castro do the dueling guitar thing was a rare and happening sight to see and hear. Ya’ had to be there! We also want to turn everyone on to a new guy on the scene this year from Belfast, Ireland - Foy Vance. He did his solo acoustic guitar/vocal thing and occasionally his beautiful wife, JoAnne would come up and sing harmonies. If you get a chance to see Foy... it's worth the price of admission - a great writer & singer and very, very soulful with some great introspective tunes. Also... Gary Nicholson aka Whitey Johnson was on board and as usual was getting down with his funky bad self (also featuring Jonell Mosser, the amazing Nashville session singer). Delbert's band - Dick 50 - debuted their new CD and did a show this year, too, finally – everybody always knew that they sounded great backing up Delbert, but they are really great on their own, too – who knew? (Actually, I had a pretty good idea, having done a couple of shows with them myself last year…). Anyway, as you can imagine, a wonderful time was had by all. Don’t forget that it is not too late to sign up for next year…We are looking forward to some more great shows that are coming up in the near future… So far… we just got booked at the Main Street Festival in Fort Worth and are backing that up with a show at DanElectro’s in Houston; the Sunbanks Festival in eastern Washington and Highway 99 in Seattle in May; in June, we are headed to Colorado for Blues at the Top festival in Winter Park (one of our favorite places ever), the Ribberfest in Madison, Indiana, and back to Washington in July with Delbert at the Snoqualmie Casino… I will be doing some shows in North Carolina with local phenom, Ricky Godfrey in April (and of course, the band and I will be back there in November for the famous Tater Jam)... and that’s just what we’ve got so far! The California cruse that was scheduled for the spring (April 30 – May2) has been postponed until the fall, but more on that later… I hope you will keep checking the web site for updates and details on everything…
12/04/09: BIG NEWS: We are really excited to be a part of the inaugural ‘RHYTHMS at SEA’ cruise April 30 - May 3rd out of Long Beach, CA - besides the Rhythm Tramps, it also features Mingo Fishtrap, the Missiles of October (featuring Paul Peterson) and the Mike Reilly band – great music and all the fun of a big cruise ship packed into one fun weekend! Go to this link for all the details. You need to hurry and jump on this as the deadline for deposits is coming up on December 18. It is only $150 to reserve a spot on the ship so don’t miss out (makes a great Christmas gift!!).
NEWS: First of all… I have to apologize for being so bad about keeping the news up to date. This has been a really crazy (and amazing) year – it just seems like there is not enough time in the day (week, month, you name it) to get to everything that I want or need to do, but I’m sure that none of you can relate to that … The main reason I have been out of touch is that we have been working almost non-stop on a brand new CD. We are in the final stages of finishing up – finally - but it is definitely going to be worth the wait. I am really excited about it – it is going to be the best one yet (if I do say so myself…) We are hoping to have it done by Christmas, but should definitely have it in our hands just in time for the Sandy Beaches Cruise (which is also coming up very quickly – yay!)
RECENT & PAST COOL THINGS: Since my last posting, we have been very busy – we have actually been to Hell and back! (The fabulous blues festival in Hell, Norway, that is….) What a cool deal that was! We not only had a chance to see our old friend Coco Montoya (whose band totally rocked the house) and the grand master himself, Delbert McClinton, but we also got to meet some wonderful new friends – Dave Maxwell (pianist extraordinaire), the guys from Nick Gravenites’ band. We even had the opportunity to visit a little with the legendary John Sebastian..,
Also, while Terry and Billy were out on the road with Eric Burdon again, Jerry and I went to North Carolina for the annual ‘Yam Jam’ bash where we had the pleasure of doing another couple of shows with the fabulous Dick 50 – the incredible band that has been touring with Delbert McClinton (and that is featured on his great new CD, ‘Acquired Taste’). They are not only great musicians, but they are a great bunch of guys, too, and a lot of fun to hang with. The Yam Jam was a real blast as ALWAYS and we also got to perform again at our favorite Cajun home away from home, Papa Mojo’s, in Durham. BTW, we have just confirmed that both the Rhythm Tramps and Dick 50 will be back in Winter Park, CO for their summer festival this coming June, so keep your eyes open for more details on that…
08/20/09: We're going to attempt to be very detailed with this edition of our Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps news update here. We'll try and make up for all the recent slacking the past few months. First of all... our website has gone through a major and much needed overhaul. All of this was done by our good friend and "Site-meister" Mr. Page Hite. Page has been in the trenches for a while on this and as you can see....he's done a fine and wonderful job. Page also does the sites for Delbert and Marcia Ball among others, and we're sooo very happy to have him onboard helping us with our website as well. Lot's of new features... as well as the Fan Club page is back. The last time we had that up we got so inundated with spam, plumbing ads and the general porn references and graffiti from our friendly masses out there... we decided to give it up for a bit. lol. Plus... check out our new and much improved "On Stage" link. Voila... how great is that? The new country CD of Teresa's (By Request) is up on the site as well. There's several tunes there you go and get an ear full if you want. Anyway... there's lot of new stuff to check out which we hope you do and there's more to come in the near future.
Our new By Request CD is up and now for sale at CDBaby and will be up at iTunes and some of the other internet sites as well as soon as we can. The By Request CD is Teresa's country CD that she's been talking about doing forever and was recorded here in Los Angeles with Billy Watts, Red Young, Herman Matthews, Terry Wilson & Gabe Witcher as well as in Nashville at Kevin McKendree's Rockhouse Studios. Teresa picked some of her favorite country tunes to record as well as taking a couple of requests from her dad and suggestions from close friends around the country. There's a duet with Delbert of “Crying Time"... as well as Big Al Anderson with some of his famous twang guitar stylings and a rendition of “19th Nervous Breakdown” that was sure fun to do with James Pennebaker and some of his very funky tremeloed guitar tones.
Coming in September... we're going to Hell! We've been told that many times... but, for sure this time. Hell, Norway that is... The good people of the "Festival In Hell" on September 4 & 5. Delbert and the boys will be there as well.
The Rhythm Tramps have also been very busy on their own - Terry and Billy just got back from Europe with Eric Burdon & the Animals (along with Red Young and Brannen Temple - it's an incredible band)... Ms. Debra has been out doing dates with a bunch of different people - most notably the wonderful Jennifer Warnes... Jerry has been working furiously in his studio on remastering a bunch of different projects... and if you didn't get to go to Colorado to see Teresa along with the Dick50 boys (Delbert's band mates... Kevin McKendree. Rob McNelley, Steve Mackie and Lynn Williams - backing me up) at Smokin' Moe's in Winter Park. We hated that the Tramps couldn't make it... but, dang! This was a very cool one off show that every one that attended knew they just saw something special that was a lot of fun. Teresa and the band were asked back for the upcoming 2010 festival there in Colorado.
So... there you have it. Hope you are all enjoying your summer and I promise to do better about keeping up...
Recent and past cool things...
This summer we did the annual Tim & Sue Achenbach's summer solstice party in Sinking Springs, Pa. It's these private little parties like these where all the fun happens and there's absolutely no pressure... just good old school good times... you come to play and you have a great time musically and enjoy the hang and company. Blues Foundation's “Performer of the Year” Tommy Castro and band were also on the bill and we all got to get up and do the proverbial jam thang at the end of night. There was a video camera out there shooting it all and we hope and should be getting a copy of it soon... because there was some great stuff going on, onstage saturday night and we hope it's as good as we remember it. lol... anyway, if and when we do get this video... we'll be sure to post it both here on the website and Teresa's MySpace page too. Our good friend Mr. Bill Wax drove up from D.C. to make the party. Bill as you may or may not know.....has the ever so cool Bluesville radio show. Bill's got the best playlist on the planet and it's hard to imagine having a more comfortable host than Bill in a situation where your being interviewed. The last time we were there.....Bill let us help program the show by picking any tune that had influenced us or that we liked to listen to at home and then he played it on the air between the interview. It was a whole lot of fun - I hope everyone had a chance to listen in. That night ....the party continued later on through the evening back at Bill's place with his wife, Sheila, and Nashville songwriter Gary Vincent and his wife Carol (who is also in the biz and just happens to handle Delbert's publishing - small world, huh...). Gary and Carol cooked a mighty fine cajun style meal and the beer and tequila kept showing up in front of us... ever so plentiful and it continued to flow until late in the evening. That 4:30 AM wake up call to make the 7:00 AM flight back to L.A. came brutally and shamelessly much too early to feel good about waking up and getting on a airplane. lol... anyway, we made it home safe. Thanks Bill and Sheila for the wonderful hospitality. We hope to return the favor and see you soon.
Teresa Sails Out On Rocking the Boat
The Deluxe Release of Rocking the Boat: A Musical Conversation and Journey has hit the streets.
Remixed in 5.1 and DTS sound, the Rocking the Boat DVD now features 67 minutes of bonus material and a total of 30 songs. Total running time is 3 hours. Rocking the Boat stars Delbert McClinton and features Marcia Ball, Rodney Crowell, Stephen Bruton, Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps, Jimmy Hall, Tommy Castro, Big Al Anderson, Wayne Toups and Zydecajun, Paul Thorn, Terry Allen and Mingo Fishtrap. Additional Bonus artists include: Jeff Steele, Buddy Miller, Chris Stapleton, Whitey Johnson, Clay McClinton, Nick Connolly in Pianorama, and Bob DiPiero. This version of the movie won Best Documentary Feature at the 2007 Woods Hole Film Festival and best Music Documentary at the Lone Star International Film Festival. Rocking the Boat also OPENED the 37th USA Film Festival and played both the Dixie and Breckenridge Festivals. To order go to rockingtheboatmovie.com or filmbaby.com. Or purchase a copy at Teresa's live performances.
The 2008 Blues Music Awards
Teresa Performs to Appreciative Crowd
Tony Braunagel, Bill Wax, TJ and Jay Sieleman
The 2008 Blues Music Awards was held on May 8 at the Grand Casino Event Center in Tunica, Mississippi presented by The GIBSON Foundation. This was our first trip to the awards show... our first time to perform and hang with all the great performers and blues foundation people. We had a great time. We really want to thank Tommy Castro, Deanna Bogart, Keith Crossan, Tom Poole and Jimi Bott for sharing the stage with us and having a chance to play with all these great musicians. We got a chance to meet up and hang with Mr. Bill Wax from the legendary XM Radio's Bluesville... Jay Sieleman from The Blues Foundation on the night after the awards show. We got to see Art and Bonnie Tapaldi who we had met at and had not seen since the Nottodden Blues Festival this past August. Great to see them again. On friday evening at Ground Zero.....we had the extreme pleasure to sit in with Mike Zito and play a few tunes with Mike and Tony Braunagel for the Delta Groove party. We want to thank Randy Chortoff from Delta Groove records for that wonderful invite. Ground Zero is right in the middle where all the Delta blues began. Right at the crossroads in Clarksdale where legend says... Robert Johnson met up with Bellezabub and signed his soul away as thousands of other musicians have followed in his footstep with countless dodgy record deals... lol. Go to https://www.blues.org/members/ and check it out. It's a great way to support the blues and to help out some good causes too.
Also...the Blues Foundation has a new shirt out to buy and support the arts... and help out some good people. For this one they've used a line from a song of ours... "Since I found the blues... I've been in the pink!" Please go and check out www.blues.org/tickets. This is a ladies only shirt... although I know some drummers who will probably want to try one on at least... lol, just kidding. It's a great looking shirt... and it's a good cause. It'll make a great christmas gift... or a birthday gift. They're $20... check'em out!
Sandy Beaches Cruise Heads West
What do we have to do to never, ever leave the boat?
Ahhh, the Delbert's Sandy Beaches Cruise '08... the 14th cruise. This was the first out of San Diego... we went through Cabo San Lucas, Matzalan and Puerta Vallarta. We got to see our cruiser family again. Lots of returning cruisers that keep coming back year after year. Lots of jamming going on every night... Especially the last night jam with the final hang being with Teresa and Jimmy Hall belting out "Stand By Me" with Delbert on piano, Kevin McKendree on B-3, Rob McNelley on guitar along with our very own, Billy Watts on guitar plusLynn Williams on drums and Terry on bass... then the BMI writer of the year... Then Teresa did Dusty Springfield's "I Only Want To Be With You" before Jeffery Steele came out and finished off the night fronting the band with producer, songwriter Tom Hambridge taking on the drummer's chair with the band. Our personal new cruise band fav this year had to be James Hunter and his band out of London. Great singer... great tunes and band. Check'em out. Old school RnB...
Teresa Covers Country!
And She Covers It Right!
We'll have the final version of the country CD by Teresa called By Request. This CD is featuring Delbert, Big Al Anderson, Kevin McKendree, Red Young, Billy Watts, James Pennebaker, Herman Matthews and Lynn Williams among some other great players and friends. This CD's music is Teresa going back to her Texas country roots... We hadto do a George Jones tune... There's a duet with Delbert that's to cry for! So many people have asked Teresa when was she going to do this CD... and she has wanted to do an all out country CD for a long time... We'll have it up here on the website before too long.
Thanks, Thanks and MORE Thanks
Thanking All Those Helping Us make It Happen
We want to continue to thank BILL WAX and his Bluesville at XM for playing The Bottom Line CD... Thank you Bill!!!
We're getting sooooo happy you've been spreading the word about Teresa and we've been getting such great feedback from people writing in that are hearing the tracks all around the country. Yesireee... it do feel good!
We want to thank all the djs playing our music. If I'm forgetting somebody here... please send me the info so I can put it up. Thanks... the editor.
BLUESVILLE XM RADIO
We want to thank Blues Revue Magazine and Art Tapaldi for the wonderful review of The Bottom Line... if you haven't seen it? Go out and buy it and support the blues.
News of Note
More goings on of Rhythm Tramps and Tramps at Heart
Our good friend and part time Rhythm Tramp (when he's not out slamming with Mr. Tom Jones...) Herman Matthews has his debut cd called "HOME AT LAST". Check it out at www.hermanmatthews.com. Tell him we sent you... Teresa's on it... Terry's on it too. It's a great CD... some very nice grooves, but you'd expect nothing less from a groove master like Herman. Some great songs and you'll hear Herman carrying to the upfront vocal thing nicely. Reminescent of Pops Staples at times was our first thought here at Rhythm Tramps headquarters. Go buy it and support good people doing great music.
Bill Medley from The Rightous Brothers cut Terry's "I'LL FIND SOMEONE WHO WILL" for his new cd. That tune is on our Rhythm Method cd. Not sure when, what and where on this release. But the cut sounds great... classic Bill Medley. Produced by Steve Dorff. Steve's had his hands on a lot of hits...a bunch.
But anyway... Terry has finished California singer, songwriter Gary Hill's CD called "There Are Times". Not sure when the manufactured CD will be in his hands... more news on this when we find out.
The recently completed CD of Texas songwriter Danny Everitt's "Cold Wind, Cold Rain" was just reviewed at www.mytexasmusic.com. The review says in one paragraph... Everitt's CD is "Much like choosing the perfect after-dinner ice cream flavor for any meal". Check out Dan's CD at www.dannyeveritt.com. Teresa is on Tommy Castro's new cd called "Painkiller". She's singing and playing on the cut "Going Down South" which Tommy co-wrote with Terry.
And don't forget - if you're wanting to sign up for the next year's cruise in 2009? Don't wait round....it'll be here before you know it. The '09 will be going out of San Diego. Go to delbert.com and check out all what's happening!
Terry got to play on Ana Popovic's new cd produced by John Porter. Also on the session with Ana was Jon Cleary (from Bonnie Raitt's band & Mike Finnegan from Joe Cocker's band) on keyboards, (hello!) Tony Braunagel on drums and Terry playing bass. Check out Ana Popovic.
Terry and Tony Braunagel have completed Jodie Siegal's new CD called "Stepping Stone". John Porter mixed it and it sounds simply great. Teresa is on the new STEPHEN BRUTON cd called "FROM THE FIVE". She's also been in the studio wtih SPENCER DAVIS helping out on Spencer's upcoming CDs. Terry finished Cynthia Jones debut CD a while back... and engineer Steve McHale is in the middle of mixing it right as we speak. Billy Watts is in the studio working on a new MOJO MONKEYS CD. Hopefully it's going to be ready soon - finally! We will keep you posted on other Rhythm Tramp news as it breaks... Rhythm Tramps alumni JERRY PETERSON and JAMES CRUCE both were in the studio with the man... ERIC CLAPTON recently working on his new CD being produced by JJ CALE... can't wait to hear this. Can't help but be fans of both of these guys!!
And this just in from the UK of a review of "THE BOTTOM LINE" from BLUES BUNNY.COM
Teresa has come up trumps again with this release. The band are right on the money here and gel perfectly with Teresa's voice throughout. With great production, a full-bodied sound and stunning performances from all concerned this one's a real winner.
The opening track, "All Time Low", is a superb start to proceedings with the horn section taking a prominent role. "I Know Handsome When I See It" brings us to the perennial blues favourite of infidelity as Teresa laments her lack of judgement. While with "If Momma Don't Dig It" we are treated to a more subdued mid-tempo blues, and "Whet My Appetite" is in a similar vein. A bit more of a 'rockier' sound is provided by "Next Big Thang" and "In the Pink".
The two standout tracks are "The Bottom Line", and "How Am I Gonna Stop Loving You". The former opens with a wailing harmonica before dropping into an understated yet incessantly throbbing beat that carries you along; and with "How Am I Gonna Stop Loving You" Teresa delivers a wonderful ballad which, with the Hammond B-3 in the background, almost has a gospel feel to it. Finally we come to a close with the bar room piano driven up tempo "I Do My Drinkin' on the Weekend" - a great fun way to finish.
What can we say? The husky voiced vocals just seem to keep getting huskier, the blues get that bit bluesier and the horns just get hornier! Teresa and her tramps have given us another rhythmic work of art in shades of blue.
THE RHYTHM METHOD review BLUES REVUE MAGAZINE June/July 2005
"Roadhouse rock- a Stonesy, satifsfying combination of blues, rock 'n' roll, country and R & B-is a popular yet underrepresentd style. Perhaps it's best-known practitioner is Delbert McClinton, and though other artists have made roadhouse music their chosen metier, reliable specimens of the form are difficult to come by. "The Rhythm Method", by Los Angeles vocalist Teresa James, lives up to strict roadhouse rules. The opener, "Nobody Rings My Bell (Quite Like That!)," could practically serve as a definition of the style. A rootsy, thumping rhythm, surging horns and rocking piano combine into an irresistable tune penned by bassist Terry Wilson, this project's producer and primary songwriter. James' voice has the rough edges the style demands, and her enthusiasm is obvious."Sure Gonna Make You Feel Good", has a rollicking New Orleans feel that's intensified by James' syncopated piano and Jerry Peterson's sax, yet it remains more roadhouse than Louisiana-specific. James' ivories enliven Stephen Bruton's rowdy kiss-off, "Big Top Hat". "That Cat's in the Doghouse" adds gospel rhythm to the uptempo mix, while "The Same Man" and "Something's Broke" are smoky R & B. Fittingly, McClinton's "Better Off With the Blues" recieves a sexy, slow-grinding interpretation. "Can't Say No", "Going With the Flow" and "Louisiana Moon, all lanquid, haunting, minor-key songs, make clear that James can work a lyric with restraint and feeling. "Just When I Thought" and "Back into Her Heart" filter vintage soul through '70's pop, and the smoldering extended take on Al Kooper's bluesy beartbreaker "I'll Love You More than You'll Ever Know" finds James at her most emotive and dramatic. James recorded with her core band - Wilson, Peterson, Billy Watts (guitar), James Cruce (drums) and Debra Dobkin (percussion)- as well as impressive guest talent such as James Pennerbaker and Bruton (both on guitar). Listeners in search of an album that evokes noisy nightclubs, the smell of beer and smoke, and the shouts of a captive audience will be rewarded by The Rhythm Method." Reviewed by Tom Hyslop
We just received a review in Belgium of The Rhythm Method in MazzMuzikaS Free-zine 1
"The Rhythm Method is a must-have for all Southern roots music enthusiasts." The rest is in Dutch and we didn't get much of that in school in Texas... so, we'll have to find someone to translate.
BLACK & TAN NEWS
Here's a what a couple of magazines have said about our BLACK & TAN "OH YEAH!":
From Rex Poindexter from THE WEST COAST PERFORMER MAGAZINE
"From the opening notes of the bottleneck slide to the first entrance of her gutsy, soulful voice, it's clear that Teresa James knows where she's going and that the ride is going to be an exciting one. 'Oh Yeah' is another fine workout from LA stage and studio veteran James, her bassist and husband, Terry Wilson and assorted local pros (our very own Rhythm Tramps). First, they swing the blues with conviction, then they turn and romp through some searing rock licks with equal abandon. When called for, James slides from swampy to skanky to sultry, all in the space of a few lines...The sound, the energy, the support, the songs, they're all there."
From BLUES REVUE August/September
"In Oh Yeah!, Teresa James has managed to craft a completely professional album while leaving enough grit to satisfy. Fat and syncopated on the bottom, brassy on top, with snappy guitar by Billy Watts, Mark Shark and Johnny Lee Schell, her tightly arranged music retains that elusive loose feel". The review goes on to say...."James singing is a little sassy, a little raspy and powerfuland she owns the uptempo cuts!"
From BLUES MATTERS (UK)
A name new to me, little info, couldn't find the press release notes and the sleeve is only 4 pages with titles and credits but I tell you what this girls voice does the talkin' alright with a knife edge to it when she wants to rip your ears off or your heart out. The band are tight as a duck's a*** and as neat as freshly groomed feathers too! [?, thought it sounded different]. What have we got? Well full 5 piece band including bass, guitar, Wurlitzer, percussion, drums and sax….and that voice!!! Easy Come, Easy Go is a bit of a trend setter, High Maintenance Man lifts the tempo up, The Wind Cries The Blues is a monster and will have you lilting with it, an understated piece of work this, lovely guitar breaks and an oh so easy sway. Great late night album played gentle or any time played up high…a name to watch out for I reckon....Caleb
Sent to us from a blues mag in Vienna, Austria. Do not know the name of magazine.
Teresa James is from Texas, and if you didn’t already know that, the briefest of listens to her third and latest CD would give you a pretty good idea anyway. Now based in Los Angeles, she is a gutsy, convincing singer and a rollicking piano player with a leaning towards the funky side of New Orleans music (and Professor Longhair in particular, to judge by her piano style), and her band, the Rhythm Tramps, are perfectly in tune with her direction… and this is a direction that runs from the Robert Johnson styled slide guitar intro to the opening track to ‘I Want It All’, with it’s Longhair piano, Robert Ward inflected guitar and mariachi band horns all thrown into the musical pot – and the result is delicious! The call and response vocals add a strong gospel feel to many numbers and occasionally Teresa will move into rock ballad territory (‘All That I Am’) though no-one should get too upset about that – and try ‘High Maintenance Man’ for the kind of throbbing, pulsating rocker that could only come from a musician out of the Lone Star State.
Where to Find What You Need
BDC Distribution out of Portland, Oregon is handling our distribution now for JesiLu Records. Our "Whole Enchilada" and "Rhythm Tramps Live" CDs are available to order through their catalogue. If you are a store.........you can call this # 503-231-0876 and ask for a sales rep and they will get you set up. fax # 503-231-0420 3647 / SE 21st Portland, Oregon 97202-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Details, Details, Details
To contact us via email or if you want a CD, you can reach us here at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you, who are going to be in Southern California anytime soon, check out our dates here on the web. If you have any questions regarding our web site, please contact email@example.com
Also, we have a new snail mail address:
P.O. Box 1307, Santa Clarita, CA 91386-1307
if you'd like to get in touch with us that way.