I'm sometimes called 'Bluesguy'. Oddly, it isn't because I play the blues. .. I often don't play the blues - although the blues is large part of my musical language and I often DO play the blues. .. I haven't always played the blues. I don't always play the blues now. .. And - .. I call myself by my given name - Guy. .. But... .. When I was a teenager, I'd do anything and go anywhere to be close to the music and the (mostly rock) musicians who made the music. .. My parents listened to swing and bebop for the most part (Dad later tried Country & Western when we moved to Texas), but I was digging the British Invasion during my early musician years. I dug the Stones, The Beatles, The Animals, The Who, and had no idea that I was listening the blues being rehashed by all of my favorite British rockers. .. Dad's favorite songs included Billie Holliday's 'God Bless The Child' and Wynonie Harris' 'Don't Roll Those Bloodshot Eyes At Me'. Dinah Washington's records were amongst my Mom's favorite sing-a-longs, so I guess the blues had a comfortable home base in my head, but I proclaimed myself a rocker, and lived the life through the tiny successes of my teenage rock bands. .. One afternoon when I was 16, I got a call from Jim Clinton, one of the older guys who played music (in a great band called The Glass Cans) from my high school, now graduated and a drummer in a popular local band (with a hit record on the radio) named The Magic Ring. Jim told me he would pick me up early for a concert. After picking me up at my parents' home, we picked up an older black man, who he introduced as 'Sam'. .. Jim drove me and Sam to the Jewish Community Center for what was billed as a 'Night Of Folk Music'. The performers were to be two I had never heard of, John Lomax & Sam 'Lightning' Hopkins. .. That night turned out to be one of those moments one can point to and say -"my life was changed". .. John Lomax was a historian and archivist, and his performance was part lecture, part storytelling, and part DJ, as he played tapes made from his travels into the backwoods of America, retold stories he had collected from Native American folklore, sang songs he had recorded from delta negroes, and recited poetry from the Appalachians. He also told his own stories about his travels and adventures while collecting and archiving this American folk art. .. Then, Sam got up and sat down to play. .. Wow! .. He was deep and raw! It was inspiring! .. Jim and I were two feet away from, and sitting at the feet of Lightning Hopkins. .. We rode with him in Jim's car. .. Wow! .. The full meaning of my adventure was not clear to me for years. I had no idea how important those guys were to me 'til years later - and that was years after I found out how important they were to the rest of the world. .. Like many others, I've spend hours of my life enjoying the music of blues artists who only came to be known through the archival work and recordings of John Lomax, and his son Alan Lomax. .. Like many others, I've been influenced by the music and songs of Sam 'Lightning' Hopkins, but with one big difference - I got to know him and play with him! .. When Rex (Wrecks) Bell wasn't available, I was one of the guys who got the call to play bass with Sam. This led to other, similar opportunities, too, like getting more phone calls to sub on bass when John Lee Hooker came to town, and then Jimmy Reed. .. Living within the rich blues culture in Houston, Texas, USA, I began meeting the most amazing musicians and songwriters. Great bluesmen and blueswomen. Mance Liscomb, Juke Boy Bonner, Albert Collins, Rocky Hill, Jerald Gray, Townes Van Zant, Blaze Foley, Kinney Abair. I got to play with many, party with others, and I wrote about them, too. .. I like to write - songs and prose. I'm writing this now, for you... .. That's when I got the nickname 'BluesGuy' - As a writer who wrote about blues and blues artists. For years, it had nothing to do with the music. I wrote about the culture, the blues jams, the musicians. I played bass in rock bands, and subbed on bass with blues and country artists, too. I wrote about my adventures. I was 'Bluesguy'. .. Of course, the blues is an infectious form - it HAD infected my British-invasion heroes (and me, too) - so I've carried the blues with me through everything else, and many years. .. The hiphop kids liked that name, so I became 'BluesGuy' again. When we recorded that great CD with Opie & Kool B, they both insisted that I use the 'Bluesguy' name. If you've never heard that CD, it's pretty cool (two acoustic guitars & poetry) at ..itunes... .. So, I make music under that 'Bluesguy' name now, too. I've done some recording work with Gloria Edwards, Jerald Gray and Little Joe Washington, and contributed music and songs to projects with them and Calvin Owens and Hamilton Loomis. .. In 2000, I collected the blues songs from my previous few mixed-genre CDs, and put out my first album containing nothing but blues & R&B songs, and used the 'BluesGuy Schwartz & The New Jack Hippies' name as the artist. Made a new all-blues CD in 2004. They do better than most of my other titles online (except the weed stuff) -probably because it's easier to define when googling with search-words. .. I'm releasing another blues & R&B album this year, as well as a funk-rock CD with my old band (Roger Tausz & Billy Block). I've made a lot of albums, with all types of music, and just a few of my 49 albums are blues-only studio albums. A few more are live recordings of blues events. Those are the ones that say 'BluesGuy'.
This year, Guy tours as a solo, while recording a rock album with The Zap Rhythm Band, and releasing a blues album with the band and friends. It as an odd tour, with it's focus on less traditional venues as well as festivals, clubs, cafes. Guy will split time between solo appearances, house concerts and appearances with local musicians in every locale.
If you are interested in the videos from his exploits, check 'em out at - youtube.com/siriushippies.
Guy Schwartz' primary musical collaborator (songwriting, production, and as musicians) is Roger Tausz. Guy Schwartz' primary film making collaborator is MArlo Blue... Besides Guy & Roger, core members of the New Jack Hippies band include Leesa Squyres.drums, Chaz Nadege.keys, John Chupin.drums, Patrick Brink.trumpet, Marcos Melchor.sax, Jerald Gray.sax emeritus (RIP), and Carlos Johnson.percussion emeritus (RIP)... Guy and MArlo are working on episodes of the ..'Hippies.TV' and 'SOUTH BY DUE EAST TELEVISION'... Find a roster of other New Jack Hippies at newjackhippies.com, which is really due for some updating!
Influences I've worked with: Roger Tausz, Billy Block, Gurf Morlix, Lightin' Hopkins, Blaze Foley, Bill Clinton, Billy Joe Shaver, John Lee Hooker, Opie Hendrix, Grateful Dead, fever tree, Kinky Friedman, Duran Duran, Huey Meaux, Little Anthony, Bobby Darin, Jerry Jeff Walker, MArlo Blue, Don Kirschner, Mickey Dolenz, Muddy Waters, Gary Smith, Ray Rogers, Johnny Day, Jim Raycraft, Teri Greene, Michael Knust, Jerry Lightfoot, Carolyn Wonderland, Jerald Gray, Lionel Hampton, Arnett Cobb, Paul Boesch, Andre The Giant, Kool B, Gloria Edwards, Milton Hopkins, B.W. Stevenson, Jimmy Reed, Roy Head, Sonny James, Trudy Lynn.. Influences I've met: Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, The Beatles (3 of 4), Jimi Hendrix, Leon Russell, Frank Zappa, B.B. King, The Treeks, Freddie King, Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Doug Sahm, Dave Mathews, Emmy Lou Harris, The Allman Bros., Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Louis Armstrong, Neal Ford & The Fanatics, Janis Joplin, The Pretenders, James Brown, Bob Marley, The Band, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Nina Simone, The Road Mangler.. Influences I've admired: John F Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Paul MacCartney, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Robert Johnson, Bob Wills, Buddy Holly, Bobby Rydell, Dinah Washington, Howlin' Wolf, Steely Dan, Merle Haggard, Son House, Gram Parsons, George Jones, Brian Wilson, Elvis Costello, Otis Redding, Neil Diamond, Peter Tosh, Carole King, Tom Petty,
BluesGuy sounds like a conflagration of his influences tempered by momentary inspiration, all of his often talented or inebriated collaborators, and all of the cool mistakes they were fortunate enough to recognize as musical.....On my most recent CD, not just a blues album, but full of many genres, I sound like this -..............On his last blues CD, in 2004, BluesGuy sounded like this -..............On his blues CD from 2000, BluesGuy sounded like this -............