2010 marked year four of Blues For A Cure and our first event at the historic Lincoln Theatre in downtown Columbus. To celebrate that distinction, we welcomed Blues Music Award winner Duke Robillard and his wonderful band from Rhode Island as our headliners. I first saw Duke perform in Columbus in the early '90s at The Big Bear Rhythm & Food Festival, and he quickly became one of my very favorite guitarists – I’m not the only one.
We kept our International Blues Challenge tradition going by welcoming 2005 IBC/Albert King Award winner Jonn Richardson back from Houston, Texas (Jonn’s third year of BFAC!) and expanded upon the “international” theme with a very special appearance from Italian guitarist Enrico Crivellaro.
We also decided to include Central Ohio blues legend guitarist/singer Ray Fuller who has been playing the blues in Columbus for well over 30 years.
Duke Robillard was incredibly gracious and generous with his time, agreeing not only to hang out all weekend and join us in this recording session, but also to host a Blues Guitar Master Class at The Jazz Academy the next night.
Of course, Blues For A Cure isn’t all about the guitar, and this year we invited two outstanding harmonica players to participate. Young Chicago bluesman Omar Coleman (thanks to Honey Bee Records) has been a part of BFAC since the very beginning, and he’s not missed one yet. Although, this is the first time his schedule has permitted him to record with us. San Francisco based Phil Berkowitz also joined us with his swinging brand of harp work.
Hammond B-3 organ boss Jon Eshelman performed with us for the first time, along with veteran drummers Louis Tsamous and Jan Roll. The bassists on this recording are The Sean Carney Band’s Steve Perakis and my dad, Larry Carney.
Our first two Blues Cures recording sessions took place at Central City Recording Studio in Columbus, but due to relocating the studio, we opted for Tony’s Treasures Recording Studio in Cadiz, Ohio. Mark and Cody have done an incredible job with Tony’s Treasures. The studio proved a relaxed and warm atmosphere, following the snowy drive from Columbus that nearly had us pulling the plug!
We went with a guitar “tag team” approach on most of the tunes, pairing guitarists in some masterful combinations on an incredibly varied set of material that ranges from lowdown to uptown and touches all of the bases between. With an abundance of vocalists on hand, this recording offers even more variation, allowing every one of our singers to take the microphone for at least one song, at times taking on a Johnny Otis style revue feeling that truly offers something for everyone.
I started writing these notes with the intention of highlighting a few inspirational moments, but was left with the conclusion that each and every track is magical in its own way. There were just too many moments to recall. I will, however, say that it was a true bucket list item for me to record with Duke Robillard! We selected an old Big Joe Turner classic, “Cherry Red,” as a tribute to our late, mutual friend Jimmy “T-99” Nelson.
I also particularly enjoyed Ray Fuller and Omar Coleman going acoustic on Muddy’s “Whose Gonna Be Your Sweet Man When I’m Gone,” a one take thing of beauty that had all of the musicians in the studio on their feet! I’m sure you’ll have special moments of your own as you enjoy this recording. Make sure you search for us on YouTube and Facebook to find the videos of the recording session, so you can experience the songs as they were tracked.
Blues Cures Studio Jam Vol. 3 is an incredible addition to a recorded legacy that already includes such stalwarts as Jimmy Thackery, Henry Gray, Trampled Under Foot, J.P. Soars, “King Saxe” Gene Walker, Bill Stuve, Steve Gerard, Ricky Nye, Micah Kesselring, The Matt O’Ree Band and some of the players on this volume. The collective passion of these musicians, and all involved in this project to battle a dreaded disease, is what brought us together. That love is apparent in each and every one of these tracks.
Special Thanks: Mark Puskarich, Eric Blume, Steve Perakis, Cody Romshak, Mike Berichon, Steve Mack, Chuck Moore, CAPA Columbus, Rich Corsi, Lois Puskarich, Frank Tuttle, Cindy Blake, Dave Bush, Jeffery Allen, Jim Cantrell, Mark Suplicki, Peter Simon, Dr. Paul McCarthy, Honey Bee Records, Dave Harrison and BluzNdaBlood, Shane’s Rib Shack, Jack Gauthier, Drew Palmer and Rosebud Talent, Mike Koontz, The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Alive!, WCBE 90.5 FM, Maggie Brennan, Jon Peterson, Mayor Michael Coleman, Sue Leighton, WLVQ FM 96, The Columbus Marriott Airport Hotel, The Ohio News Network, Arica Robbins, Bill Wax, Joe Whitmer, Jay Seileman, The Blues Foundation, Dusty Scott, The Columbus Blues Alliance, Herb Sollars, Kevin Gregory, J.T. Lotozo, Greg Johnson, The Cascade Blues Society, Soul Bag Magazine (France), Andre Hobus, Kyle Diebler, The Blues Festival Guide, Bexley Mayor John Brennan, B.B. King's Bluesville, Steve Hecht and Tina Terry at Piedmont Talent, Brad Stewart at Intrepid Artists, Blues Revue Magazine, Art Tipaldi, Steve Gerard, The Big Joe Duskin Foundation, Bill Hullsizer, Vonn Jazz Lounge, Don Ritter, Category 5 Amplification, Jesse Tigges.
The producers would like to thank our friends at Honey Bee Records for making it possible for Omar Coleman to be with us once again. Honey Bee Records recently released "Louisiana Swamp Stomp," a compilation of Louisiana blues and blues-based music (including two Henry Gray tracks from "Blues Cures Studio Jam Volume One"). Proceeds from the sale of the CD benefit the Northern Louisiana Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Foundation. The foundation is a newly established charity dedicated to raising public awareness of brain and spinal cord injury, along with funding neuroscience research in Louisiana. The charity also plans to help financially, whenever possible, victims of brain and/or spinal cord injury.
I would like to dedicate this recording to my mother, Mary Jane Hinson, and to the incredible staff at The OSU James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute for saving her life, and to the memories of Willie Pooch and Robin Rogers, who was taken by liver cancer.. – Sean Carney
I'd like to dedicate my work on this project to my sister Judith Malley and her daughter Dedeire whose lives were both taken by cancer. - Duke Robillard
I would like to dedicate my songs on this recording to my mother, Edith C. Berkowitz, who passed away from bladder cancer in October of '75. – Phil Berkowitz
I would like to dedicate my songs to the memory of my late father and mother, Richard and Betty Fuller, who were both taken by cancer in 2008 and 2009. – Ray Fuller
I would like to dedicate my work on this recording to my dad Johnnie H. Richardson who died of Lymphoma cancer in March of '91, and to my sister De Laina Bradshaw who is a Parathyroid cancer survivor and is one year in remission, and of course everyone who has battled cancer and those seeing a loved one through the ordeal. – Jonn Richardson
I would like to honor my father J.E. Roll and my wife Jamie's stepfather Ray Chapman, both taken by cancer. – Jan Roll
I dedicate my work on this recording to my late brother, Gary Carney, an incredible musician and inspiration. - Larry Carney
I would like to dedicate my tracks to my father Jimmy Tsamous who died of lung cancer in 1984. – Louis Tsamous
I would like to dedicate my performance on this recording to my mother, Jane Eshelman, and my mother-in-law, Elizabeth Lewis, both cancer survivors. – Jon Eshelman
Being part of "Blues For A Cure" and of this album, along with some of the world’s best contemporary Blues musicians, is a honor of the highest order. It is also a rare opportunity to remember John Jackson and Jeff Healey, two extraordinary guitarists and beautiful souls, whom I was lucky to meet and play with, and whose teachings, inspiration and encouragement will stay with me forever. John and Jeff are now on the ungenerously long list of Blues musicians lost to cancer, which includes my heroes Albert Collins, Larry Davis and Fenton Robinson. Cancer may have got them, not their legacy. Put their music in your CD player, groove to it, love it, and I am sure you’ll put a smile on their lips, up there. – Enrico Crivellaro
I would like to dedicate my singing and playing on this CD to my family, my extended Chicago Blues family and to the memory of Junior Wells who lost his life to lymphoma. - Omar Coleman
I dedicate my performances to Mark B. Greenwood and Brian A. Casey, two great musicians that passed before their time. - Steve Perakis
Artists appearing on this recording:
1. Duke Robillard
2. Sean Carney
3. Jonn Richardson
4. Omar Coleman
5. Ray Fuller
6. Enrico Crivellaro
7. Steve Perakis
8. Louis Tsamous
9. Jan Roll
10. Phil Berkowitz
11. Larry Carney
12. Jon Eshelman
Produced by Mark Puskarich and Sean Carney for Sean Carney’s Blues For A Cure © 2011
Recorded at Tony’s Treasures Studio, Cadiz, Ohio, on December 12, 2010. Recording Engineers Cody Romshak and Mark Puskarich. Video shot by Mark Puskarich.
Produced, edited and mixed by Mark Puskarich and Cody Romshak, Tony’s Treasures Productions, Cadiz, OH, Columbus, OH and Naples, FL. www.tonystreasuresproductions.com
Mastered by Mark Puskarich.
“I donate my time and efforts to this project in celebration of my dear friend, Lorne VanFossen, 10-year cancer survivor and true hero.” – Mark Puskarich
For additional pictures and videos, and the latest on fundraising and concert dates, please visit our websites at www.bluesforacure.org and www.achristmastocurecancer.org. Blues For A Cure, (DBA) under A Christmas To Cure Cancer, Inc. is an IRS registered 501(c)(3) non–profit corporation.
A very special thanks to all the artists on this recording who donated their time and efforts, all while driving out on a snowy day to Cadiz, OH. What a wonderful 10 hours in the studio on December 12, 2010, with a group of amazing artists, and most of all, wonderful people. To Cody Romshak, my best friend and recording studio engineer who has amazing passion and patience in the recording sessions. To Steve Mack, an integral organizer of Blues For A Cure, supporter of A Christmas To Cure Cancer and good friend. To all who helped organize and pull off Blues For A Cure 2010, Cindy and Joe Blake, Frank Tuttle, Jill Bookhout, Dave Kreider, Mike Koontz, Dave Bush, Jeff Denune, all the Berichon family, Jim Cantrell, Suzan Bradford and the wonderful people at the Lincoln Theatre. Also want to make it known that Rich Corsi of CAPA is The Best! To my sister Lisa for proofing everything on a minute’s notice and catching all the small things. Matt Cooperrider for CD art layout, Mark Frizzell and Dave Marsh, of West-Camp Press, for making my small projects of big importance to your facility. To the wonderful folks at 10TV, ONN and the Columbus Dispatch, Angela An, Chuck Strickler, Arica Robbins, and Susan Layburn among others. Thanks so much to everyone for supporting our cause. We all work so very hard to help make an impact on cancer research and Keeping The Blues Alive. – Mark Puskarich
Photos by Dusty Scott, Frank Tuttle and Mark Puskarich, CD Cover photo by Dusty Scott.
Duke Robillard appears courtesy of Stony Plain Records
CD cover, CD insert graphic design and CD insert by Matt Cooperrider of West-Camp Press www.westcamp.com and Jen Ocken of Ocken Photography www.ockenphotography.com.
Tony’s Treasures Productions is proud to sponsor this recording project to help support fundraising for cancer research and the Blues Foundation. It was a pleasure and thrill to work with such great artists and witness their enthusiasm for their craft. Thank you for supporting great Blues music and two great causes. – Mark Puskarich