Keeping Live Music Alive
Joe Maher a/k/a "Big Joe" started out his music career in his Maryland high school jazz band "The Starliners.” Musician greats like Clark Terry, Urbie Green, Mudell Lowe & James Moody often sat in with the band as guest performers and they were an inspiration to him. His father listened to Louis Jordon and blues & jazz at home so this was an influence on his musical style as well. He started his own roots blues record collection during that time in the 60’s when most of his friends were jusJoe Maher a/k/a "Big Joe" started out his music career in his Maryland high school jazz band "The Starliners.” Musician greats like Clark Terry, Urbie Green, Mudell Lowe & James Moody often sat in with the band as guest performers and they were an inspiration to him. His father listened to Louis Jordon and blues & jazz at home so this was an influence on his musical style as well. He started his own roots blues record collection during that time in the 60’s when most of his friends were just into the rock-n-roll. After high school he went immediately on the road with his own jazz/blues trio. His mission then started to become an accomplished singer/drummer. Over time he shared the stage, opened up for or backed up music Legends: Willie Dixon, Johnny Adams, Floyd Dixon, Delbert McClinton, Johnnie Johnson, Mick Fleetwood, Jimmy McCracklin, Jimmy Rogers, Pinetop Perkins, Jimmy Witherspoon, Bullmoose Jackson, James"Thunderbird" Davis, Nappy Brown, Jimmy T99 Nelson, Bobby Parker, Otis Rush & Earl King. Some often requested him when coming to town knowing he would know their material and be quite adept at covering it. In the late 80's after managing and performing with the 9 piece swing band "The Uptown Rhythm Kings," and after a few years as drummer with the Tom Principato Band, Joe formed his own 5 piece jump blues group "Big Joe & The Dynaflows." In between touring and local performances with the Dynaflows, in the mid-90's Joe accepted the role as Music Coordinator for Mick Fleetwood's niteclub in Alexandria, VA "Fleetwoods." His knowledge of the local and national blues & jazz scene helped him land the position which had the nightclub consistently filled with top notch talent. In 1997, Big Joe and his band had the honor to perform at an Inauguration Ball for the 42nd President of the United States. in Washington, DC. The Dynaflows release "I'm Still Swingin" on Severn Records, received the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA)"Best Blues Recording" in 1998. WAMA also voted Big Joe "Male Blues Vocalist of the Year" both in 2005 and 2009. Other Dynaflow releases include "All Night Long" and "You Can't Keep a Big Man Down" on the Severn label; "Layin' in the Alley" on New Orleans based Black Top Records, which received the (WAMA) "Best Blues Recording" in 1994;."Good Rockin'Daddy" on the Powerhouse label & "Cool Dynaflow" on a European label. Big Joe & The Dynaflows and the Big 3 Trio/Big 4 Combo (smaller versions of the Dynaflows) perform live at local Maryland, Wash.DC & Virginia venues & festivals, nationwide & tour in Europe. Joe has just recorded with Delbert McClinton on his new CD.
Danny Beirne has been around the block. He has played for two U.S. presidents, opened and/or played with numerous internationally renowned entertainers (view list), released three albums with his east coast-based band, Skip Castro, in the 1980's, worked in the early 1990's with MCA recording artist Tommy Conwell, whose song I'm Not Your Man, was a number 1 hit, and he just keeps going. He continues to wow concert and club audiences with his infectious, expressive singing, his powerhouse piano-playing, and a manic, carefree stage persona.How do you describe Danny's performance? Arresting? How about mind boggling? Devastating? Suffice it to say that Danny never fails to turn heads when he steps up to the keyboard. He has a dead-on, take-no-prisoners approach to the piano that is at once zany, gonzo, melodically brilliant, chordally dense, and rhythmically mesmerizing. Like the jazz and blues greats to whom he so frequently draws comparisons, after you've heard him play, you instantly recognize his style. To watch and listen to Danny build a piano solo from a few carefully chosen licks through some hypnotically inspired chops to a lightning-fast, banging crescendo is to be born again with a new belief in an awesome, as yet fairly unknown talent.Danny's uniquely expressive singing style is simultaneously articulate and soulful. He feels the lyric and tackles his melodic chores with gutsy abandon. His vocal style is fearless, abrasive, yet can mellow to a breathy yearning with his quieter ballads.Then there is the breadth of Danny's song-writing style, or should we say, styles. In his catalog he has left virtually no musical genre's stone unturned. Danny has written in the country, rock & roll, pop, alternative rock, blues, soul, swing, and even the spiritual traditions with artistic éclat and a sincerity rarely seen in today's music scene. Danny weaves these diverse styles into a stunning musical fabric all his own. His songs run the gamut of the human emotional experience (it makes sense that by the sheer number in his repertoire - untold hundreds including a rock opera penned in his early teens - he ranges from songs of pure joy to cries of despair) but running through them all is a sense of strong pop melody and soul.Lastly, something about Danny's appearance begs to be mentioned. It is wild, sometimes demonic, then a moment later blatantly clownish. His crazy, curly red locks are an instant attention grabber, an immediate point of interest.Danny Beirne has opened for and/or played with:Chuck BerryDave MatthewsThe B-52'sThe KinksThe Stray Cats (w/ Brian Setzer)Muddy WatersStevie Ray VaughnGeorge Thorogood and The DestroyersThe Fabulous ThunderbirdsKenny LogginsHall & OatesJames BrownThe HootersThe SpinnersBo DiddleyThe Beach BoysTaj MahalEarl and Randy ScruggsAsleep At The WheelThe Four TopsThe SupremesJunior Walker and The AllstarsJames CottonThe Grass RootsMitch Ryder and The Detroit WheelsSouthside Johnny and The Asbury JukesThe Bus BoysThe RomanticsTommy Conwell and The Young RumblersThe ProducersMaria MuldaurLittle FeatDelbert McClintonNRBQThe NighthawksBob Weir and Billy CobhamRoomful Of BluesBig Joe TurnerClarence "Gatemouth" BrownShalomar.
BIG JOE MAHER
Bruce KatzBruce Katz is a five time (2008, 2009, 2010 and 2015, 2019) Nominee for the Blues Music Award (W.C. Handy Award) for "Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year", selected by the Blues Foundation of Memphis, TN. He recently won Acoustic Album of the Year in 2019. He is equally comfortable playing Hammond B-3 Organ and Piano. Besides leading the Bruce Katz Band, Bruce performs regularly with Butch Trucks and The Freight Train Band, Les Brers, John Hammond, and other artists as well. He was a member of the Gregg Allman Band from 2007-2013. Over the past twenty five years, Bruce has been an in-demand sideman as well as leading his own band. He has played and recorded with many of the leading names in blues and roots music, appearing on over 70 albums with artists such as Ronnie Earl, John Hammond, Delbert McClinton, Gregg Allman, Duke Robillard, Joe Louis Walker, Little Milton, Maria Muldaur, Jimmy Witherspoon, Paul Rishell, Mighty Sam McClain, Debbie Davies, David “Fathead” Newman and many others. Bruce has a lengthy background in classical piano. After hearing a Bessie Smith record when he was 10 years old, he started teaching himself blues and early jazz on the piano. He then heard boogie-woogie and swing music and continued his musical journey into more aspects of jazz and American roots music. Bruce attended Berklee College of Music in the mid-1970s, studying Composition and performance. For the next fifteen years, he performed with many of the leading musicians in New England, and played “on the road” for long stretches of time. After a particularly long stint of touring in the late '80s with Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, he decided to come off the road and enrolled at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where he earned a Master's degree in Jazz Performance and studied with Geri Allen, Paul Bley, Cecil McBee and George Russell. It was during this time that he conceived of and started writing music that became the Bruce Katz Band. In 1992, he met Ronnie Earl, who soon invited him to join his band, The Broadcasters. During his nearly five-year stint with Earl, Katz toured the world and performed on six albums, writing and co-writing many of the tunes, such as "The Colour of Love," "Ice Cream Man," and "Hippology." The album Grateful Heart (Bullseye) won the Downbeat Critics Poll for Best Blues Album of 1996. In 1992 as well, Katz debuted his first solo album, Crescent Crawl, on the AudioQuest label. Crescent Crawl has just been re-issued in Vinyl from Valley Entertainment. He released "Transformation" the following year. Just before the release of Mississippi Moan in 1997, his third solo album, Katz left the Broadcasters to concentrate on a solo career. At that point, the Bruce Katz Band began touring the U.S. and Europe, and has been his ongoin focus, in addition to his many other projects. Bruce’s 2008 CD, Live! At the Firefly (Brown Dog Music/Vizztone) , was received with critical acclaim. Bruce has released four albums on American Showplace Music, including his latest solo acoustic piano album Solo Ride Bruce has also been the subject of a feature stories and reviews in most of the leading blues and jazz publications throughtout the world. In addition to performing, Katz teaches piano, Hammond organ and theory privately at his studio in West Shokan, NY. He taught previously at the Berklee College of Music in Boston for 14 years in the Harmony and Piano Departments. He also conducts Master Classes in Hammond B3 and Blues History, which he has done at various music festivals worldwide. Formerly from Boston, Bruce has been based in Woodstock, NY since 2005. The Bruce Katz Band maintains an active touring schedule throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Todd began playing on the New York scene back in 1979 with his band Nitetrain, a trio that clearly reflected Todd's influences—60s bands
like Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac and other bluesy-rocking-jamming bands. The wave of guitar players that included Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Bloomfield were and are influential and evident in Todd's style and approach to guitar-playing. His next venture was Troy & the Tornados, a band based in the New York metro area. Todd met two women in this time period that would eventually play a part in his guitar-playing and song-writing experience: Carla Olson of the Textones and Sheryl Crow, at the time an unknown back-up singer. By the late '80s, Sheryl had sat in several times with the Tornados in New York City. Eventually Todd decided to fly to Los Angeles and write with Sheryl and showcase their new band in hopes of a record deal. Nothing came of this particular venture, but these two would find each other again on the same stage just a few years up the road!
After relocating to Los Angeles with a revamped line-up, Todd began to perform in clubs in southern California, while also scoring music for the Playboy Channel and connecting with old friend Carla Olson and her latest band. But it wasn't long before Todd was back with Sheryl Crow, who had just completed her about-to-be-released debut album, the multi-platinum Tuesday Night Music Club. Crow needed a touring band, including a lead guitarist that could add some extra excitement to the live shows, and Todd filled that role from 1993 until 1998.
Todd eventually went on to form several bands, including a talented bunch dubbed MojoSon that were signed to A & M Records and included alumni of Sheryl's band along with alumni of Sun 60 and Five for Fighting. With parent companies swapping ownership of A & M Records, the MojoSon album sadly was never released. Always active, always playing, Todd has never slowed down. Todd has had many excellent partnerships with fine musicians from coast to coast. Todd has also worked as a duet with famed Mountain guitarist Leslie West, touring and recording on two of Leslie's solo albums as well as recording on Mountain's tribute to Bob Dylan, "Masters of War" album!
Todd is especially proud of his current lineup with Roger Voss on drums and Justine Gardner on bass. Roger is a powerful pocket drummer. The young Ms. Gardner plays a deep groove. And they both back Todd on soulful vocals. This lineup recorded Todd's last release “Miles to Go,” his eighth album since departing Sheryl's band. The album was mostly originals that range from swampy grooves to all-out rockers and even a wistful ballad from which the title of the album was derived called, I Stand Alone. The band was joined by John Ginty (keyboards), Steve Guyger (harmonica) and Sweet Suzi (backing vocals).
On the horizon for Todd and band in 2015 is a new album currently in the works and tours to Japan and Europe as well as criss-crossing North America!
The Todd Wolfe Band recall the days when "Men were men and amps were amps," real tubes crackling with a bluesadelic sound reminiscent of the best rock and roll bands of the '60s. This band jams and rocks, but their music is deeply soaked in blues. Todd Wolfe, Roger Voss and newcomer, bassist Justine Gardner have established themselves as one of top power trios by relentless touring and spreading their legend from coast to coast and beyond.
Hittin' the Note magazine, “Imagine some power trio mixed into a Texas blues foundation and overlaid with trippy psychedelia ... that’s the essence of Wolfe’s music.” And the essence of the Todd Wolfe Band.Type your paragraph here.