Have I been busy lately! I’ve been traveling around the country, having a great time doing what I love – writing and playing music!
My band and I were in Montgomery, Alabama on Sunday at the Capitol Oyster Bar. It’s been quite a while since we were there and we enjoyed getting to see our friends and fans in the area. And Memphis Billy was along for the ride.
(Photo by Jimmy Jacobs)
A few months ago I performed with an old friend Becky Hobbs and a new friend, Lucy Billings, at the Renaissance Theatre in Kingsport, Tennessee. We played an “in the round” songwriters night. It’s always inspiring to hear other writers songs. An “in the round” concert is when artists take turns performing their songs. I’ve always enjoyed this type of concert and I think it’s interesting for the audience to find out the thought process behind the songs. It lets them know where your ideas come from, and how a song develops.
(LtoR: Lucy Billings, me, Becky Hobbs)
And at the end of July, I helped launch the Explore Georgia Songwriter Series at the Carnegie Library in my hometown of Dublin, Georgia! This was the first in a series of events, and I was honored to be part of the first one. Joining me was Levi Lowrey and Greg Hester. These two guys are successful writers, and I really enjoyed hearing their music, and getting to know them a little bit. Levi ended up jammin’ with me on the fiddle and we had a ball! I hope we can all work together again!
(LtoR: Greg Hester, me, Levi Lowrey)
The night before that I was in Sheffield, Alabama at George’s, a beautiful venue with great sound. Thanks to Debbie Dixon and all those who came out to get their fill of the blues!
And while we’re talking about songwriters, I spend some time in Nashville again, writing with Johnny Neel and Doug Jones, and we came up with some keepers! Johnny and I, and Joanna Cotten wrote a song that’s on Shaun Murphy‘s new album. I was honored to have another song on her album, too. I hope by now you’ve heard her CD. It’s a real true blues release and Shaun really belts it out. Check it out when you can!
Recenty I also performed in another songwriters round at the Allman Brother’s Big House in Macon, Georgia with Sonny Moorman and Russell Gulley. I’d heard about them for a long time, and really enjoyed being with them. Thanks to Michael “Buffalo” Smith for letting me be a part of it.
(LtoR: Toney Gulley, Sonny Moorman, and me. Photo by Rick Cash.)
In mid-July I did a mini-tour in Ohio and Indiana. I performed again at one of my fave places, the Hey Hey Club in Columbus, then I did a house concert in Westerville, Ohio at the Hoover House Concert series. It was outdoors, on a lovely night, and Nancy and Roy were precious hosts. It was a magical night!
The next night I helped kick off the new Indy Blues Society at an event at Wolfie’s in Noblesville, Indiana. It’s a good thing to see folks have such a passion for this great music and who are willing to start a society to help keep the blues going. Marcia and Mark Adams are dedicated to growing this blues society, and I know they will. So many good things can come from being associated with the Blues Foundation. I’m just proud to be a part of it.
I’m getting ready to head up to Ohio for the Cincy Blues Festival, and I’m really looking forward to seeing a lot of friends up there. Lots of my friends are performing on the same stage! After my set, Gaye Adegbalola will do a solo set, then Andra Faye and Scott Ballentine do a set. Then Gaye will join Andra for a “Saffire Reunion” with Cheryl Renee sitting in. This will be their first reunion since Saffire – the Uppity Blues Women retired. And even though Ann Rabson won’t be there physically, I know she’ll be there in spirit. I love performing, and I love sitting back watching my friends perform, too. I can’t wait!
After the festival, I’ll be flying to Wyoming to have a whole week of learning more about my camera, taking photos, taking in the fresh air, and just being blessed by the beautiful surroundings. This trip has been on my “bucket list” for a long time. Hopefully I’ll come back with some new exciting photos.
In the next couple of months I’ll be in Chattanooga, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and Nashville. When I’m home in between shows, I’m working on a new project that I hope will be ready in the next few months. I’ll let you know when it’s ready to show everybody.
Keep an eye on my schedule and I’ll see you somewhere along the way! Until then, keep a song in your heart!
It’s been a while since my last blog post, which was about the loss of BB King. It’s still hard to believe he’s gone…
Ironically, today I’m writing about BB again, on his birthday. I’m honored to be a part of a Tribute Concert in Nashville next week, performing along with some great musicians and entertainers. There are few people in the music business today who weren’t touched in some way by BB’s music, personality, and sweet spirit. He influenced my music in a huge way. I wrote about it, and you can find it on page 29 of the tribute issue of Blues Music Magazine. http://www.bluesmusicmagazine.com/bb-king.html
And it’s very fitting that we’ll be performing at this Tribute with Stacy Mitchhart and his band. In the early days of my blues career, I went to Nashville a lot, and spent many a night at Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar, listening to Stacy and his band, soaking up every word, every note, and every gesture. Stacy is the epitome of Nashville Blues, and Bourbon Street was the first blues club to open in Nashville. I even brought my band to that stage several times through the years, and we always had a great time. And to this day, when I travel to or through Nashville, I try to find time to stop down there, to get my blues fix.
Thanks to Gina Hughes and the Galaxie Agency for allowing me to be a part of such a special evening. I’m looking forward to seeing Claudette King, Crystal Shawanda, Gary Nicholson, Mike Farris, T. Graham Brown, and all the other great artists who are a part of the tribute.
They’ve already sold a lot of tickets, but there are still some good seats left. Get yours today! http://www.citywinery.com/nashville/tickets/bbkingtribute092215.html
I also wanted to post a link to the “Women in Music” edition of the Blues-E-News magazine. My story is on page 44. Get a copy when you can, and read all about all these amazing women. Thanks to Wayne Rinehart and his team for putting this together! http://blues-e-news.com/2015-women-in-music-feature
I’ve been a lot of places since my last blog update. I’ve been blessed to do some shows with my Blue South Band at the Capitol Oyster Bar, the Bikes, Blues & BBQ Festival, the Crawdad & Music Festival, the Wiregrass Blues Fest honoring Paul Hornsby, Bradfordville Blues Club, at The Big House Allman Brothers Band Museum, the Street Music Concert Series in SC, and even on the Blues Music Awards show!
I’ve got one of the best bands on the planet, and I’m never more at home than when I’m on stage with them. I’ve known each of them for 15 years or more, and I love them like brothers. You can read all about them here. http://www.EGKightMusic.com/blue-south-band-bios
The Blue South Band with EG on stage at the BMA’s:
Key Wynn/lead guitar, Mike Harrell/keys, Johnny Fountain/bass, Gary Porter/drums
While I was in Memphis for the Blues Music Awards, I also got to share the stage with my Peach Pickin’ Mamas partner, Lisa Biales, as well as Greg Nagy, Victor Wainwright, Gracie Curan, and Andy T and his band.
And I got to tour the brand new Blues Hall of Fame! That was definitely a highlight of my year, to see the end result of so much hard work by the Blues Foundation.
What a fabulous place, for people from all over the world to see where the American art form called “The Blues” got its start. I’m definitely going to go back and see it again. I could go through the museum time after time…
With Victor Wainwright at Rum Boogie
I’ve also gotten to perform with some amazing bands across the country, from California to Connecticut! It was great to get out to Sacramento, and share the stage with John Ellis, Val Starr, and their Blues Rocket band. It was a beautiful evening on the patio, and I look forward to getting back out to that part of the country.
At the Blues on the Patio in Sacramento. With John Ellis on bass.
Photos by Brian Phillips.
And last weekend I was with my northern band at the 2 Left Feet Blues Festival in Connecticut. We had a ball with my “northern cousins,” Char and Tom, and I can’t wait to see them again.
And at the end of the night, I got to join John Nemeth and his band for a song. Any time I’m on a stage, I’m happy, and when I get to share it with talented folks like these, I’m overjoyed!
with Jeremy Jaffe/drums, Sean Farley/lead guitar, Bill Stetz/bass
Photos by Tom Aguiar
And I’ve done some solo shows, too. I love having my band with me, but sometimes a solo is more fitting for the venue. I’ve done some house concerts, been back to Chattanooga and Dahlonega, and was in Florence, AL for a show at the Sweetwater Depot.
More recently, Andra Faye and Scott Ballantine and I performed at a Women’s Way event, and Lisa Biales sat in with us. And the next night I had Long Tall Deb and Hurricane Ruth sitting in with me.
LtoR: Andra Faye, EG, Lisa Biales, Scott Ballantine
Photo by Lisa Scrimizzi Jones
Here’s a link where you’ll find a video of Deb, Ruth and me at the Hey Hey Club. We had a naturally good time singing “You Can Have My Husband!” http://www.EGKightMusic.com/videos
I’m also thrilled about the latest news about one of my songs! “Comin’ Down with the Blues” will air on a show called “From Dusk Till Dawn” on the new El Rey Network! That feels pretty good, that they like my song enough to use it!
I’ve also got a lot going on with my photography. Three of my photographs were just selected to hang in the Arts Clayton Gallery in Jonesboro, Georgia for the month of October. What an honor! Here’s one of them. I took this on the streets of Memphis. And you can see more of my photos at http://www.EGKightPhotography.com
And speaking of Georgia, how exciting was it to watch Miss Georgia being crowned the new Miss America!! I’m so proud of Betty Cantrell! She’s from Warner Robins, which isn’t far from my hometown.
As you can tell, I’ve been busy! I try to keep my website’s home page updated so you can see what I’m up to, but I wanted to take time today to fill you in on everything.
I’ve got a lot of great stuff coming up, too. I was asked to bring my band and be the first artist to grace the stage at a brand new $8 million Fine Arts Center in north Georgia. I’m so honored, and am proud to bring our music to show the residents of Union County that their tax dollars were well spent! Then I’ll head to Nashville for the BB King Tribute, back to Macon for GABBAfest, on to Cincinnati, Oxford, Indianapolis, Hobart, then down to Jacksonville Beach, and back up to Williamsport and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
I know this was a lot to take in, but I’ve been so excited, and had a lot to tell ya! I’m havin’ a ball y’all!
Keep an eye on my Tour Dates, and come see me when I’m in your area. I always enjoy seeing your smiling faces! You’re the reason I keep doing what I do!
Keep a song in your heart!
Happy New Year! 2014 recap – Top 5 Best Blues Artists, the new “Goat Report,” a cookbook, Robert Johnson book, Koko Taylor award voting, “A New Day” reviews, and new songs!
I hope that this year has started out good for you, and that it will be the best year ever!
As I’m writing this, I’m thinking about all the good stuff that happened in 2014. Here’s a recap of some of the highlights of my year!
- One of my photos got chosen to be on the cover of a book by James Nuttall about Robert Johnson, and I got a copy in the mail last week. I’m so tickled about that! It’s only available for kindle right now, and you can get your copy at http://www.amazon.com/Preaching-Blues-Times-Robert-Johnson/dp/1505627672
- Several of my mama goats had some baby goats born on Christmas Eve, and they are beautiful! And Sippie’s doing good, and her baby Sip is enjoying his new home and family.
- I was nominated for a Blues Music Award – the Koko Taylor Award! Voting is open to all members of the Blues Foundation. If you’re not a member yet, you can easily join on their website. http://www.blues.org/membership/individual-membership. Then you can vote up till March 2nd.
- Some of my photographs won some first and second place ribbons at the Georgia National Fair.
- I helped produce an album for Lisa Biales, which was nominated for a Blues Blast Award for “Acoustic Album of the Year.”
- My new album came out in September. “A New Day” is getting lots of airplay, and it’s still getting great reviews!
- Several of my recipes were included in the Blues Foundation’s “Cooking with HART” cookbook. You can buy it at http://www.shopbluesfoundation.org/cooking-with-hart, and all the proceeds go to the HART fund.
- Because I was on Vinny Bond Marini’s “Music On The Couch” program, I now have a chance to be featured in his 2016 calendar, for the month of September. And YOU can vote at http://www.musiconthecouch.com/#!calendar-contest/c1uk4.
- I performed at clubs, festivals, and theaters, several in new areas; did a couple of Blues in the Schools events; performed for more private events; did quite a few solo shows, got to do some shows with my incredible Blue South Band, and I joined Lisa Biales for several Peach Pickin’ Mamas shows. It was a GREAT year on the road!
- A song I wrote with Tom Horner and Sunny Stephens aired on “The Fosters” on ABC Family.
- I ended up in the top 5 “Best Blues Artists of 2014″! I’m in good company with Joe Bonamassa, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gary Clark Jr., and Eric Bibb. Read more about it here. http://www.axs.com/best-blues-artists-of-2014-35943.
I had a good Christmas and New Year’s Eve, takin’ it easy at home with family, friends and my pets. I’m so enjoying watching the baby goats jumping and running. They’re a sight to see. I’ve got a new page on my website dedicated to my goats, so you can check back regularly. Just click on the “Goat Report!”
I’m gearing up for my birthday on January 17th. My Blue South Band and I will be performing at one of our all-time favorite venues, the Bradfordville Blues Club in Tallahassee, Florida. Come one, come all! We’ll have a ball!
It’s time to start thinking about my next album, so I need to write some new songs. I’ll be busy at home writing for a while. I’ll be around Georgia and Tennessee this month, but I hope to see you down the road in the coming months. Keep an eye on my schedule, because we’ll be adding some more tour dates as we get them contracted.
I sure appreciate ALL of you! You mean the world to me.
Keep a song in your heart!
I hope you’re having a holly, jolly Christmas! Remember to be kind to one another and have patience. Try to enjoy each day and remember what we’re celebrating here, a birthday party for someone very special, Jesus.
My new CD “A New Day” is still getting quite a bit of airplay and lots of positive reviews. It’s what I call my “miracle album.” You can hear several of the songs, and read my story about it here. http://www.EGKightMusic.com/egs-story
And if you don’t have a copy yet, you can order it here. http://www.EGKightMusic.com/music And I’d be glad to autograph it for you. Just let me know how many you want, and who you want me to autograph it to!
I just found out last week that I’ve been nominated for another Blues Music Award – the Koko Taylor Award! (formerly called the Traditional Blues Female award) Now for anybody who knows me, you know that there isn’t an award out there that would mean more to me. After all, I wouldn’t be writing and singing the blues if it wasn’t for Koko. When I read the nominations, I had tears running down my face. It was a great start to this wonderful holiday season for me.
The award show will be held in Memphis on May 7th. In order to vote, you must be a member of the Blues Foundation. This is a wonderful organization that supports musicians, fans, musicians in need, and so many other things. If you’d like to be a part of it, you can join by clicking here. http://www.shopbluesfoundation.org/select-your-membership/
I got word this past weekend that the book about Robert Johnson that has my photograph as the cover will be available online soon. It’s called “Preaching Blues” by James Nuttall. I’ll let you know when it’s ready to purchase!
I’ve been busy traveling around doing what I love best, making music. My Blue South Band and I just played the Bradenton Blues Festival in Florida and did we ever have a large time! Lisa Biales sat in with us, too, and we had a ball! I love it when I’m surrounded by my friends on stage! I also did a “Blues In The Schools” program with a new friend, Dave Muskett. It was a rewarding experience and I hope the young people learned some things about the blues and music in general. There’s so much more to it than just performing.
(EG and Lisa Biales – photo by Chefjimi)
A few weeks ago, I traveled once again to Valparaiso, Indiana and then on to Allegan, Michigan where I was joined on stage by Greg Nagy, who recorded a duet with me on my latest album. Here’s a video of us together at the Griswold Auditorium performing “When Something is Wrong with My Baby.”
Another friend, Ellen Altamore, joined me on stage at the Griswold too. She is a Sign Language Interpreter, and she signed to my song “Through the Eyes of a Child.” It was a heartwarming performance, and here’s a video of it.
It’s always fun to go to new places and meet up with old and new friends, and I can’t wait to head back up that way.
And just before that trip I was closer to home in Georgia, at Dalton State College, at Steve’s Live Music in Sandy Springs, and at Darwin’s in Marietta. I sure do enjoy my work, if you can call it that!
Tomorrow I’ll be playing my last show of the year at the Crimson Moon Café in Dahlonega, Georgia. I always try to play there during the Christmas season. They have the whole town square all dressed up in Christmas lights. It’s something to see! I hope to see you there!
I’ll be around home the rest of the year. Some of my goats are expecting babies and I need to be home for that. I’ll keep you up to date on the babies.
Again, I hope you enjoy your family, friends, pets, and music during this holiday season. We’re working on some dates for 2015, and we’ll post them as soon as they’re confirmed. I look forward to seeing you next year!
Until then, keep a song in your heart!