MESSAGE FROM RAY BENSON

Wow, I am filled with so much love and gratitude right now. Thank you so much for the calls, texts, emails, notes on social media from concerned family, friends and fans from all over the world. I appreciate it more than you know and I apologize if I haven’t responded, but I am responding as much as I can with what my energy level allows!

To clear up any confusion or questions, I have tested positive for the COVID 19 Virus. I had become bed ridden with headaches and extreme fatigue/dizziness. I made an appointment with my doctor on Saturday, March 21st to see what was up. Got tests for flu, influenzas etc.. All came back negative. I then asked for a COVID 19 test. They said they didn’t have any! So I just went back home and hunkered down to see if it went away. Unfortunately, the same symptoms kept occurring/progressing. Being extremely fatigued, just falling asleep all the time, headaches were getting worse. Went back to doctor on Monday the 30th to do some bloodwork and other tests to try and figure out what was going on.

After not finding anything through those, I was finally given a COVID 19 test and was sent home and said they’d call me with the results. So I got a call Tuesday morning saying I tested positive! Luckily for me nothing has progressed any farther and feel very lucky and optimistic about my current situation. I am still very fatigued/dizzy and in bed for now. Doctor says if nothing further comes up like elevated temperature, respiratory, cough etc., I should be in the clear in the coming weeks.

What I’d like to get out there is I am and was very frustrated with the lack of testing available. It took basically testing for everything else to acquire a COVID 19 test. Luckily, I wasn’t around that many people within this time frame and was practicing the standard things like washing your hands/sanitizer, wearing a mask at the doctors, keeping proper distance etc.. So I’d like everyone to know the  “symptoms” that are out there as ways to know if you have it or don’t have the virus, doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. They didn’t for me!

So, please take this virus seriously! It’s for real. Please follow the safety guidelines out there.  If you think or subscribe to those folks whose opinion is that this virus isn’t that big of a deal, please consider otherwise. Please use your voice to demand getting testing out to everyone NOW! Please send your thoughts and prayers out there to all the wonderful people putting their health and their families at risk defending ours. We all know someone or somebody who has lost their life to this virus and we have lots of folks currently fighting the virus and their families need your thoughts and prayers as well.

Please love each other and treat everyone with respect in this time of crisis. This is real and needs to be treated as such. Be safe, wash your hands, STAY OUT OF THE PUBLIC, hunker down and I look forward to getting out on the road and playing music with my band and seeing everyone ASAP!

When COVID-19 disrupted Dirty Honey‘s plans to return to Australia to record new music with legendary producer Nick DiDia, frontman Marc LaBelle concocted an idea to make use of the unexpected downtime: Suitcase Sessions.

“I’ve always wanted to shoot videos out in nature, in non-traditional locations, and have a high-quality recording rig that was small enough to fit in a suitcase,” LaBelle explained.

Unafraid to defy the innocuous music trends of today, the seemingly out-of-nowhere Dirty Honey, featuring LaBelle/vocals, John Notto/guitar, Justin Smolian/bass, and Corey Coverstone/drums, has proven in just one year that their reinvention of rock n’ roll is so close to heaven yet so far from God.

 

In November 2018, the Los Angeles-based rock band was completely unknown, recording its self-titled debut EP in Australia. The band launched on the scene by opening for heavy hitting legends Guns N’ Roses, Slash, and The Who and stunning audiences at major outdoor summer festivals including Sonic Temple, Heavy Montreal, Rocklahoma, Louder Than Life, Exit 111, and Welcome to Rockville. The strength of the band’s live show paved the way to dive straight into 2020 with a string of sold-out headline shows around the country.

The band debuted their first session on March 30: a stripped-down version of “Heartbreaker” in front of a stunning stretch of mountains in Lone Pine, CA, a location synonymous as the backdrop for the most celebrated Westerns filmed since the 1920s.

“I’ve taken my motorcycle up to Lone Pine for a couple of years now, so I know the area really well,” LaBelle explained. “‘Heartbreaker’ was written on an acoustic guitar, so there was something special about performing it acoustically with those snow-covered Sierra Nevada peaks in the distance.”

The band also saw their second single, “Rolling 7s,” explode into the Top Five at U.S. Rock Radio. “Rolling 7s” follows the band’s debut single into the upper echelons of the U.S. and Canadian Rock Charts, coming in at #5 this week. “When I’m Gone” made record industry history last Fall when it because the first track by an unsigned artist to go all the way to #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart.

Check out the video for “Heartbreaker,” (directed by “Rolling 7s” Director Scott Fleishman).

Dirty Honey

*Feature image courtesy of Dirty Honey

Blues-rock sax player/vocalist Evelyn Rubio announces a May 1st release date for her new CD, Crossing Borders, on the SeaSpeed Productions label. Produced by Grammy-winner Larry Fulcher, who also contributes his dynamic bass playing to the new disc, Crossing Borders features musical contributions from a host of A-list musicians, including Fulcher’s Phantom Blues Band buddies Mike Finnigan (keys), Tony Braunagel (drums) and Johnny Lee Schell (guitar), as well as former Spirit bandmates Al Staehely (guitar) and Mark Andes. Added to that mix are world-class guitarists David Grissom (John Mellencamp, Joe Ely, The Allman Brothers Band, Dixie Chicks) and Josh Sklair (Etta James) and it’s obvious that Houston-based Latina Ms. Rubio has cooked up one salsa-fying, soulful stew of blues, R&B and rock to satisfy any musical cookbook. It also includes three bonus tracks sung in Spanish to round out the album.

Crossing Borders is an album in which I allowed myself to explore different sounds from what I had been doing,” Rubio admits. “Blues, Rock, Jazz, and a little Country weave love and heartbreak stories, not being able to understand pain and injustice and the pride of recognizing where I came from and where I am going. This combination happened with the guidance of Grammy-award winner music producer Larry Fulcher, who gave me the opportunity of recording in Los Angeles with tremendous musicians from the Phantom Blues Band. Also, we had the participation of Etta James’s guitar player of more than 25 years, John Sklair – wow! For me, learning from musicians who have worked with the best in this industry was such a great experience, and gave the bluesy sound to the songs ‘Mistake,’ ‘I Don’t Understand,’ ‘Just Like a Drug’ and ‘Still on Your Side.’ ”

Looking for a rockier sound, Larry decided to record some songs in Austin with another group of musicians who gave that one-of-a-kind vibe only Austin has. Musicians like the extraordinary guitar player David Grissom, alongside Kirk Covington on drums, Red Young on the keyboard, Zach Person on the second guitar, and Larry Fulcher on the bass gave life to ‘What a Way to Go,’ ‘One Last Time’ and ‘70s band Rhinoceros’ song, ‘When You Say You Are Sorry.’ Their energy gave me the punch to deliver my interpretation with my voice and saxophone.

The album’s title, Crossing Borders, was also inspired by the song “Border Town.” It was recorded by the legendary Houston music engineer Andy Bradley at Wire Studios. It was one of the first songs I recorded by my own at the start of this album, in which I had the incredible contribution of two members from the 70s rock band, Spirit, Al Staehely on guitar and Mark Andes on the bass, accompanied by Brandon Jackson on drums, Barry Seelen on the keys and the phenomenal Kenny Cordray on the guitar, who sadly we lost a few weeks after this recording. Two of his last songs on this album were “Border Town” and “He Did Me Wrong But He Did it Right,” written by Al Staehely, himself, and Patti Dahlstrom.

Born and raised in the barrios of Mexico City, Evelyn Rubio has now delivered her musical message to stages all over the world. It all began with Evelyn being introduced to the stage as a very young girl, later progressing to appearances on leading children’s television programs in her native country, where she performed as a singer, dancer and actor. Next came musical theater, where she landed the role of Mary Magdalene in a Canadian production of Jesus Christ Superstar. While all of this was going on, Evelyn’s soul was being touched by the music of American blues, soul, jazz rock and R&B – and the saxophone (tenor, alto and soprano). Evelyn left the stage to tour with a rock band in Mexico, honing her skills on the sax and building those now-famous musical chops that currently have everyone in he business raving about her skill-set.

As her range and passion for the arts continued to grow, Evelyn knew that to really achieve what she wanted for her career, America was the place to be. Shortly after arriving in Houston, she met the legendary Calvin Owens, who had been B.B. King’s band leader, composer and lead trumpet for many years. With an introduction from famed rocker Al Staehely she got an invitation to audition for the Calvin Owens Orchestra, who offered her a spot in the band and a multi-year record deal. From there, she began recording and performing as a front person vocalist and sax soloist with his 18-piece orchestra.

After meeting another B.B. King Band luminary, James Bolden, Evelyn recorded the album Hombres in two separate versions, one in English and one in Spanish. Hombres went on to debut on the Billboard at #1 Latin Pop chart, #3 Top Latin and #6 Blues charts. Tours in Europe and other world markets followed, as Evelyn Rubio’s star continued to shine. And now, she has brought it all back home in the celebration of her new CD, Crossing Borders, crossing boundaries throughout the disc in both music and styles, singing in both English and Spanish on the album’s 15 tracks, including a totally unique take on the Latin music standard, “Besame Mucho,” transforming it into a Delta blues classic-in-the making.

“Finishing with a high note, the album includes a song from the Latin music repertoire, ‘Besame Mucho,’ in which I wanted to clarify that Blues can be sung in Spanish and a Latin song can be sung in Blues,” Rubio says. “I have had this idea in my head for a long time and thanks to Larry Fulcher’s musical flexibility and willingness, Mighty Orq’s fantastic work on guitar and Sonny Boy Terry’s harmonica, this concept was achieved. I am very proud and happy to present this project that would have not been possible to carry out without every single musician’s talent, energy, experience, and willingness to share their brilliance. And where would I be without the songwriters, engineers, and producers? The answer is nowhere. Now, it is here for you to enjoy…”

Evelyn Rubio

*Feature image Monika Watkins

Seminal American roots music band The Nighthawks are travelin’ that blues highway once again on their new CD, Tryin’ To Get To You, releasing April 17 on EllerSoul Records.

The Nighthawks, who will celebrate 50 years as a band at the end of 2021, have long been celebrated for their excursions into the great American songbook of blues, roots and early rock ’n’ roll; and Tryin’ To Get To You continues that righteous run, as the quartet delves into some deeply-rooted chestnuts, along with several new original songs from the group. The current band includes original founding member Mark Wenner – harmonicas and vocals; Dan Hovey – guitars and vocals; Mark Stutso – drums and vocals; and Paul Pisciotta basses and vocals.

“The transition from the last version of The Nighthawks to the current lineup went smoothly over the summer of 2018, as Paul Bell and Johnny Castle chose to stay off the road but stay active locally,” Wenner explains. “As often as possible, Dan Hovey and Paul Bell played together that summer. Dan had always been the guest guitarist for the traditional pre-Thanksgiving event in Kensington, Maryland, and had subbed for Paul several times. By the Fall, Dan was holding down the core of the tunes and Paul was free to add the spice. As Johnny brought his focus to his own band, the Thrillbillys, Paul Pisciotta took over holding down the big bottom. Paul P was no stranger to the band, having just missed joining in 1974 after auditioning the same day as Jan Zukowski. I remembered listening to him in the early ’60s when Paul was playing with Robert Gordon in the Confidentials. He and Mark Stutso, now with a decade under his belt, quickly became a rock-solid and swinging rhythm section virtually overnight. Both his own vocal harmony and Dan’s relaxed yet powerful baritone have taken the three- and four-part harmony to new heights.”

Tryin’ To Get To You was produced by David Earl and The Nighthawks and recorded at Severn Sound Studio. The album’s 13 tracks showcase the breadth and expertise of the band in their explorations into all branches of roots music. Besides their scintillating covers, the album includes two original songs from Dan Hovey and two from the combined pens of Mark Stutso and Pittsburgh flash Norman Nardini. The tasty covers include tunes from Jimmy Reed (“Come Love”), T-Bone Walker “I Know Your Wig Is Gone”), James Brown (“Tell Me What I Did Wrong’ – also recorded by the ’Hawks on their 1990 release Trouble, which featured Danny Morris on lead vocal), and their contemporary roots brethren Los Lobos (“Don’t Worry Baby”). As in albums past, The Nighthawks continue to salute Elvis with the presence of the title track (also culled from the Trouble album), featuring Mark Wenner’s take on Elvis Presley’s take on a tune from the gospel group The Eagles.

Stutso and Hovey both are actively writing, and their skills are apparent in the originals included on this set. Wenner, the last of the original band from 1972, has continued to evolve his vocals and dynamic harp work and always comes up with interesting and obscure classic material.

Hovey gets lowdown with Hank Ballard’s “Rain Down Tears” on the new disc; and Wenner takes a stab at the Manhattans’ “Searchin’ for My Baby,” which Mark remembers from his educational days and nights attending the Howard Theater in D.C. in the early ’60s. The crew is back to the swinging feel for the obscure “Luscious” from Rockabilly Roy Hall. From the kings of the Carolina Beach Music scene, Chairmen of the Board, comes the heavy blues riff of the same name, “Chairman of the Board” with a Stutso lead vocal. Showcasing the band’s acoustic side to finish off is a Hovey original, “The Cheap Stuff.” In typical Nighthawks fashion, the playlist is all over the map, yet the style and sound are unmistakably THE NIGHTHAWKS.

The Nighthawks

*Feature image Chip Py

Swedish rising country star Ellinor Springstrike announces the release of her new single “This Fire.”  Recorded in Nashville with Grammy nominated Jimmy Ritchey in the producer’s chair, this accomplished and melodic track has wide commercial appeal.

The up and comer was discovered in 2019 by Ritchey, a world-renowned hit songwriter and producer from Nashville, Tennessee. Active for 25 years in Music City, Ritchey has written, and produced number one songs for George Strait, Mark Chesnutt, Jake Owen, Pam Tillis, Sam Hunt, and William Michael Morgan, to name a few…

Ellinor has had a full schedule since she met Jimmy, writing and working on an EP to be released later this year. They did make time to release “A Country Christmas” last November, written by the duo along with hit songwriter Don Poythress. The track features Springstrike’s signature voice and Ritchey on guitar.

Taken from Springstrike’s forthcoming EP which will be available later in the year, “This Fire” is now available on all major streaming sites.

Ellinor Springstrike

*Feature image courtesy of New Outlaw

The Blues Foundation has been tracking the global situation and assessing how to move forward in light of the current coronavirus pandemic. In response to the most recent recommendations by the CDC and the States of Emergency in effect and called by the United States President, The Governor of the State of Tennessee, and the Mayor of Memphis, The Blues Foundation is making the following changes to their operations:

The Blues Foundation

Beginning immediately, and until further notice, The Blues Hall of Fame Museum will be closed to the public. The Blues Foundation will immediately notify the public as soon as City, State and Federal Agencies give direction that they can re-open for visitors and tour groups.

Both the 2020 Blues Music Awards Show and Blues Hall of Fame Inductions Ceremony are canceled as The Blues Foundation continues to follow City, State and Federal agencies’ recommendations for public gatherings. In lieu of live events, The Blues Foundation is beginning work to create virtual events that will celebrate BMA nominees and winners and 2020 Blues Hall of Fame Inductees; please watch for updates on dates and times to tune in for these important blues events.

In response to the current COVID-19 crisis, in which so many blues musicians are finding tours and events canceled into the foreseeable future, The Blues Foundation will be creating a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for Blues Musicians. They are asking those who have purchased 2020 BMA tickets and/or Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony tickets to convert those purchases to donations to be applied directly to this Emergency Relief Fund. Ticket purchasers will also be offered the option for a refund of their ticket purchases or to apply those purchases to next year’s events.  However, the Blues Foundation hopes the blues community at large will come together to support touring blues musicians by making the choice of donating to this Emergency Relief Fund. Systems are open now to accept donations and donors can easily donate to this fund.

COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund

Event ticket holders will soon receive a form to notify The Blues Foundation of how to process their ticket purchases. The Blues Foundation will also share detailed information on when applications for the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund will be available and how to apply as soon as they have the minimum funds needed to begin offering support to applicants.

The Blues Foundation staff will continue to work remotely on behalf of the blues, and will continue to accept phone calls and respond to emails throughout the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. Please be on the lookout for further updates or visit about The Blues Foundation’s activities.

The Blues Foundation

ZZ Top has announced that their March 20 – 28 residency at The Venetian Theatre inside The Venetian® Las Vegas has been rescheduled out of an abundance of caution.

A statement from the band reads, “We will make a return engagement at The Venetian with specific dates to be announced soon. Thank you for understanding and look forward to seeing you all in Vegas soon!”

Upcoming tour dates for the band can be found here:

ZZ Top Tour

Craft Recordings is pleased to honor the music of Gospel Truth Records, a subsidiary of Stax Records, with the first-ever digital release of 25 albums from the label’s catalog. Beginning 3/13 with The Rance Allen Group’s 1972 self-titled debut, the titles will be released every week in chronological order, leading up to September’s Gospel Heritage Month. In addition to the digital reissues, the campaign will include a singles compilation, set to drop September 4th on vinyl, CD and digital formats, plus several playlists and new video content.

From the divine gospel of Rev. T.L. Barrett and Rev. Maceo Woods to the cutting-edge message music of Louise McCord and marquee artist Rance Allen, the Gospel Truth catalog exemplifies the dynamic heritage of Stax’s influence. Reaching beyond the realms of the black American gospel tradition, the ’70s label showcased a diverse collection of talent—including the Indian meditative teachings of Blue Aquarius, the white roots music of the Commanders and Rev. Jesse Jackson’s People’s Choir of Operation PUSH, who chronicle the Civil Rights struggle.

Established in 1972, Gospel Truth was conceived of by Stax executive Al Bell, who enlisted the help of radio promotions pioneer and songwriter Dave Clark and label staffer Mary Peak Patterson to oversee the formation of the imprint. With a focus on moving the good word out of the pulpit and into the hands of the masses, Gospel Truth was intended to “carry the message of today’s gospel to the people on the street,” as promotional material for the label’s launch touted. But what separated Gospel Truth from other labels in the genre was that it made its music accessible to everyone. With his sharp eye for talent, Clark paired down-home, traditional gospel musicians with raw, revolutionary artists that adopted the conventions of rock, funk and soul, creating a sound that resonated with a hip, ’70s audience.

Clark and Peak also gave Gospel Truth’s artists the same high-level promotional considerations that were given to any of the secular stars at Stax: from outfits and photoshoots to bookings. This also included special attention from Stax’s creative director Larry Shaw, who conceived of a cohesive design language for Gospel Truth—making each record have a conversation with the intended audience. That visual dialogue was a signal that the music could be enjoyed in all settings—sacred or secular.

Kicking off the digital rollout of albums is The Rance Allen Group’s 1972 self-titled debut. The Michigan-based trio of brothers turned the popular local stylings of Motown upside-down—offering a subversive and defiant take on seminal Detroit soul, and juxtaposing their spiritual foundation with secular influences. Another highlight in the catalog is Louise McCord’s A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson, released in response to the 1972 passing of the gospel titan. Breaking away from the conventions of Jackson’s more traditional sound, McCord instead opted to charge toward a deeper, funkier path—as heard on single “Better Get a Move On,” penned by Stax staff writer Bettye Crutcher. McCord also went on to give an electrifying performance at the Wattstax concert later that year.

Taking a more traditional route is Reverend Bernard Avant & the St. James Gospel Choir. Directed by the Southern California–based minister and radio show host Rev. Willie Bernard Avant, Jr., the St. James Gospel Choir’s sound isn’t far removed from that of Southern gospel music—likely a holdover from Avant’s upbringing in Georgia. Similarly, God’s Newspaper, from Reverend J.D. Montgomery & the Mt. Carmel Choir in Detroit, drops the listener right into the excitement of a Sunday service. Recorded in the church’s sanctuary, the album includes a sermon by Rev. Montgomery, as well as powerful selections by the Greater Mt. Carmel Choir.

In celebration of Gospel Heritage Month, Craft will also produce a compilation from the imprint’s catalog. Stay tuned for full details about the compilation, which will be coming to vinyl, CD and digital formats on September 4th. In the meantime, fans can look forward to the release of new lyric videos, plus two special playlists, titled “Gospel Truth” (out May 24th) and “Gospel Easter” (out April 12th), throughout the course of the campaign.

The music, sermons and other recordings included in the Gospel Truth canon, while left for several decades as either a distant memory for many involved or a relic for collectors to behold, holds up today as a collection of enduring importance. In the age of social media, the pursuit of “truth” and the importance of the “gospel” has yet to diminish. In an effort to present both concepts to a new generation of seekers, learners and doers, this collection of releases will serve to provide context for contemporary listeners. As Stax put it in the initial press materials for the imprint, “After all, it doesn’t matter if you listen to gospel quietly…snap your fingers…sing along…or to dance to it, as long as you get the message.”

Gospel Truth Digital Album Releases:
March 13: The Rance Allen Group – The Rance Allen Group


March 20: Reverend Lee Jackson – At Calvary


March 27: Reverend Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle Choir – In Concert


April 3: Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir – Jesus People


April 10: Reverend J.D. Montgomery & The Mt. Carmel Choir – God’s Newspaper


April 17: Reverend Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir – God Save Your People


April 24: The Howard Lemon Singers – Message For Today


May 1: The Rance Allen Group – Truth Is Where It’s At


May 8: Reverend Bernard Avant & The St. James Gospel Choir – Reverend Bernard Avant & The St. James Gospel Choir


May 15: Louise McCord – A Tribute To Mahalia Jackson


May 22: The Commanders – Walk With Me


May 29: The Marion Gaines Singers – This Too Is Gospel


June 5: Charles May & Annette May Thomas – Songs Our Father Used To Sing


June 12: Clarence Smith – Whatever Happened To Love


June 19: The Gospel Artistics – The Gospel Artistics


June 26: Rev. T.L. Barrett & The Youth For Christ Choir – I Found The Answer


July 3: The Henry Jackson Company – The Henry Jackson Company


July 10: The People’s Choir Of Operation PUSH – The People’s Choir Of Operation PUSH


July 17: Reverend Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir – A New Dawning


July 24: Blue Aquarius – Blue Aquarius


July 31: Bob Hemphill & The Commanders – Everybody Will Be Happy


August 7: The Rance Allen Group – Brothers


August 14: The Howard Lemon Singers – I Am Determined


August 21: The Marion Gaines Singers – Leaning On The Everlasting Arms


August 28: Reverend Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir – Goodbye Loneliness, Hello Happiness

One of the most popular Soul labels of all time, Stax has become synonymous with its gritty, Southern Rhythm & Blues sounds. Originally known as Satellite Records, the Memphis imprint was founded in 1957 by Jim Stewart. Over the course of two decades, Stax released more than 800 singles and nearly 300 LPs, picking up eight GRAMMYS® and an Academy Award along the way. In all, Stax placed more than 167 hit songs in the Top 100 pop charts, and a staggering 243 hits in the Top 100 R&B charts.

Stax Records

Craft Recordings is home to one of the largest and most prestigious collections of master recordings and compositions in the world. Its rich and storied repertoire includes legendary artists such as Joan Baez, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Vince Guaraldi, John Lee Hooker, Little Richard, Nine Inch Nails, Thelonious Monk, Otis Redding, R.E.M. and Traveling Wilburys, to name just a few. Renowned imprints with catalogs issued under the Craft banner include Concord, Fania, Fantasy, Milestone, Musart, Nitro, Prestige, Riverside, Rounder, Specialty, Stax, Sugar Hill, Vanguard and Vee-Jay Records, among many others. Craft creates thoughtfully curated packages, with a meticulous devotion to quality and a commitment to preservation-ensuring that these recordings endure for new generations to discover. Craft Recordings is the catalog label team for Concord Music.

Craft Recordings

Surviving members of the Allman Brothers Band will come together Tuesday, March 10 as The Brothers for a sold-out, one-night-only show in Madison Square Garden celebrating 50 years of the iconic American band’s legacy. In partnership with nugs.net–the leading live music platform for concert recordings and live streams–the “50th Anniversary Celebration of The Allman Brothers Band” will be available via Pay-Per-View on March 10, 2020.

The Brothers consists of founding Allman Brothers Band (ABB) drummer Jaimoe Johanson as well as longtime ABB guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, bassist Oteil Burbridge and percussionist Marc Quinones, along with Widespread Panic drummer Duane Trucks and keyboardist Reese Wynans. Former ABB keyboardist (and longtime touring member of the Rolling Stones) Chuck Leavell will join as a special guest for many of the jams he helped create with ABB.

The Allman Brothers Band played their first show on March 26, 1969 and went on to embark on a Hall Of Fame career, which came to a close with their final performance on October 28, 2014 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

“NYC has always been a spiritual home for the Allman Brothers, says Derek Trucks. “So it only feels natural to honor Uncle Butch, Gregg, Berry, Duane and all the other brothers and sisters we have lost along the way at MSG. I’m excited to get to play these songs with Jaimoe and the Brothers one last time to celebrate 50 years of this music.”

“I can’t wait to play again with my Brothers,” added Jaimoe, and Haynes says, “This is going to be a really special evening. We’re all very happy that even those not able to be inside The Garden will be able to share it with us.”

Brad Serling, nugs.net Founder and CEO, added, “We could not be more thrilled about the opportunity to work with The Brothers on this PPV from MSG. The music that these performers helped to create is so incredibly special. We are very thankful to be able to help share this performance with ABB fans around the planet.”

 

The Brothers are all the surviving members of the final ABB lineup: drummer Jaimoe, guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, bassist Oteil Burbridge and percussionist Marc Quinones. Reese Wynans was a member of Second Coming, a band that pre-dated the formation of The Allman Brothers Band by just months and included Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe. Duane Trucks is Derek’s little brother, whose uncle was ABB co-founder Butch Trucks. Duane is currently a drummer for Widespread Panic. Chuck Leavell was first heard by ABB fans on Gregg’s first solo album, Laid Back, and joined the Allmans full-time in 1973 through their first hiatus in 1976.

 

According to an article in Rolling Stone, Dickey Betts was invited to participate, however his manager stated that he “had prior commitments that prevented him from attending.”

 

Founded in 1997 as a fan site for downloading live music, nugs.net has evolved into the leading source for official live music from the largest touring artists in the world. Metallica, Pearl Jam, Phish, Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruce Springsteen and many others distribute recordings of every concert they play through nugs.net. The platform offers downloads, CDs, webcasts, and are the only streaming service dedicated to live music, delivering exclusive live content to millions of fans daily. nugs.net is available on iOS, Android, AppleTV, Sonos, BluOS, and Desktop.

 

More information about the Pay-Per-View can be found here.

The upcoming US Tour with Norah Jones kicks off in Macon, Georgia on April 21st. After 5 stops, including 2 days at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, she’ll be joined by Mavis Staples at the Sandia Amphitheater in Albuquerque.

Photo by Michael Martin via Blue Note

9X GRAMMY winner Jones and Blues and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Staples, released the single “I’ll Be Gone” last year, and will perform no fewer than a dozen shows from the Southwest through Southern California and ending in the Northeast in August.

Norah Jones

Mavis Staples