Concert Review: Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout – Bluebird Records Tribute

Tribute to Bluebird RecordsMark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout – Bluebird Records Tribute

Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, Seattle

January 8, 2015

There’s nothin’ like the Blues – especially when you have an All-Star lineup featuring some of the best in the business. No exceptions here as Mark Hummel presented his annual Blues Harmonica Blowout featuring Billy Boy Arnold, Rick Estrin, Little Charlie Baty, Steve Guyger, Rich Yescalis, Bob Welsh, RW Grisby and June Core.

On this evening, the music took us all the way back to the 1940’s, with songs from Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Bill Broonzy, and Roosevelt Sykes. Blues man Mark Hummel explained the brief history of Bluebird Records, which was a subsidiary of RCA Victor, who featured a mix of jazz, big band, novelty and of course the blues.

After a brief introduction, the evening began with Steve Guyger and Rich Yescalis from Philadelphia. Guyger blew that harp and sang with style with Yescalis playing that sweet and lowdown guitar. After a couple of tunes the next act was up.

Mark Hummel introduced the band for the evening featuring Little Charlie Baty (of Lil’ Charlie &
The Nightcats) on guitar, RW Grisby on bass, Bob Welsh on piano and June Core holding down the backbeat on drums. Hummel sang several numbers as well and was terrific on harmonica.

Following Mark Hummel, the one and only Rick Estrin came up on stage and entertained the crowd with his musings and excellent harmonica playing. Seeing both Rick Estrin and Charlie Baty on the same stage reminded me of the concert I produced more than 15 years ago at the Historic Everett Theatre. After Estrin’s performance I went up to him and mentioned this tidbit and he remembered it like it was yesterday, even remembering that it was a benefit for KSER 90.7 FM in Everett.

Closing the show, was the one and only Billy Boy Arnold. A blues legend who performed with Bo Diddley and penned many classic blues and rock songs including “I Ain’t Got You”, “Move On Down The Road” and “I’m A Man” to name just a few.

Finally, Mark Hummel brought everyone on stage for a soulful and bluesy harmonica blowout that raised the roof.

All these masterful musicians will be performing through the weekend at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle. You can review my entire photo gallery at peterdervin.comMark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout.



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