ANDERS OSBORNE’S BLACK EYE GALAXY DEBUTS AT #10 ON THE BILLBOARD HEATSEEKERS CHART
New Orleans-based guitarist/songwriter/singer Anders Osborne’s new album, Black Eye Galaxy, debuted at #10 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart for the week ending May 6, 2012. This is the highest charting album of his career. Osborne, voted New Orleans’ Best Guitarist two years in a row by OffBeat magazine, is coming off two weeks of stellar performances at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. USA Today described one performance as “heavy duty,” saying, “Anders Osborne is one of the city’s reigning rock guitar heroes and he backed up that title repeatedly. Influences ranging from Jimi Hendrix to fellow JazzFest performer Sonny Landreth and Neil Young echoed in his playing.” About the new CD, the paper said, “Black Eye Galaxy contains fiery anthems and dark confessional songs.” Osborne will hit the road starting May 9, 2012, touring across the United States. On Friday, May 11 at 5:00pm CST, he will perform live at Waterloo Records in Austin, Texas. The show, free and open to the public, will be webcast live.
JANIVA MAGNESS TO APPEAR ON NPR’S WORLD CAFE ON MAY 24, 2012
Award-winning vocalist Janiva Magness, whose new CD Stronger For It is already being hailed as the best of her career, will appear on NPR’s World Cafe on May 24, 2012. The live concert airs on over 250 stations nationwide. It will also be available to stream on demand. Blues Revue says Magness is “a powerful artist” with “a voice that’s made for the blues…defiant and irresistible.” Blurt called Stronger For It “the album of the year,” declaring, “Janiva Magness just keeps getting better. This is an album not just to enjoy but an album that, like all great art, forces you to come back to it again and again and search for the eternal verities of the blues. There is not a weak cut here.”
KOKO TAYLOR RECEIVES A BEALE STREET BRASS NOTE IN MEMPHIS ON MAY 10, 2012
Koko Taylor, the late Queen Of The Blues, will be honored with a coveted Beale Street Brass Note in a ceremony to be held in Memphis, Tennessee, on May 10, 2012 at 12:00pm CST, just prior to the start of the annual Blues Music Awards. Taylor’s Brass Note (the Memphis music version of a star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame) will be placed in front of the Historic Daisy Theater, located at 329 Beale Street. Her last live performance was in Memphis at the Blues Music Awards show, just two weeks before her death on June 3, 2009.
MARCIA BALL INDUCTED INTO THE LOUISIANA MUSIC HALL OF FAME
Pianist/vocalist/songwriter Marcia Ball received a surprise induction in Baton Rouge’s Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame on April 23, 2012. Ball, an Austin, Texas fixture raised in Vinton, LA, was about to start her show when Hall Of Fame Executive Director Mike Shepherd bestowed her with the induction award artwork and certificate signed by the governor. According to Shepherd, “Ball has made a great cultural contribution by taking the piano styles of Louisiana to Austin and essentially cross-pollinating the Texas music scene. Marcia Ball is a truly unique artist, one of a kind, just like Gatemouth Brown was truly unique.” “I’m shocked,” said Ball. “Don’t you make me want to cry.” Ball’s latest CD, Roadside Attractions, was nominated for a Grammy Award.
TOMMY CASTRO’S SONG HARD BELIEVER WINS FIRST PLACE PRIZE IN THE INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION
Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tommy Castro, leader of Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, won first place in the Blues category of The International Songwriting Competition for his original composition (co-written with Bonnie Hayes), Hard Believer. The song is the title track from Castro’s Alligator Records debut CD. The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is an annual song contest whose mission is to provide the opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard in a professional, international arena. Castro’s latest Alligator release is the red-hot, multi-artist Tommy Castro Presents The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue–Live! featuring Castro and many of his internationally famous friends, including Alligator label mates Marcia Ball, Janiva Magness, Michael “Iron Man” Burks, and Rick Estrin. Tommy Castro & the Painkillers (previously known as The Tommy Castro Band) are bassist Randy McDonald (back with Tommy after a five-year hiatus), drummer Byron Cage and new member, keyboardist James Pace.