"Tulsa's - ONLY - RELIABLE - Live Music Source"
5 DOLLAR SUGAR
"Live Original Bluedirt Music"
Written By: Curt Fillmore / CurtsList.Com
"5 Dollar Sugar" is a young, rockin', upwardly-mobile Tulsa Blues Band that took it's name from Bluesman Elmore James whom was often known to happily reflect "Ain't nothin' sweeter than that "Five Dollar Sugar". The band is comprised of award winning musicians that have all found a musical 'refuge' in the blues that they love to play together. When I asked about the origin of the Band's name guitar & keyboard player Timbo Kelly told me "The name just makes me smile when I say it and it definitely makes me smile when I play it!" They recently played Friday
Morning Live on Tulsa's KMOD Rock Radio, released their first Cd that night at Tulsa's Dirty Knuckle Tavern and in only a few months have sold more than 250 units, they took 2nd place at the 2012 Blues Society of Tulsa IBC Blues Challenge,opened for Blues Recording Artist Guitar Shortyand shared the stage and their music with a few notable national blues artists at The Hound Dog Blues Festival. You could say
these young Bluesmen are definitely serious about their music !
Bass player Dusty 'Low-Down-Dirty-Rotten' Robison & drummer Josh Eatmon were discovered by lead vocalist, harmonica & guitar player Joshua Yarbrough at the world famous 'Every Sunday Jam' at Tulsa's Cimarron bar. Later,
as a power trio, they brought on Timbo whom completed the sound that Joshua had been searching for - for at least a couple of years - after moving to back to Tulsa from Colorado.
And he can't compliment them enough when he refers to his band who constantly inspire & mesmerize him. Timbo's the Musical Theory department of the band with actual credentials from music acedemics and has played with several local bands for a few years including David's Bandana, Ransom James & Chuk Cooley. Josh has
been in a variety of different bands as wellincluding The Michael Gungor Band & The Steve Pryor Band and is currently a finalist in Guitar Center's Drum Off 2012 Competition.
Dusty has followed the same route & played with a host of different bands including the band Ne'er Do Well but actually came real close
to going national with the band A.D.D.
Joshua played around - here and there for awhile and even tried the one man accoustic gigs - but couldn't satisfy the hunger he had to form
a band that would give him the creative freedom he really craved.
But just as the Stone's lament states "But if you try sometimes...well you just might find - You get what you need" Joshua did indeed finally find - 'brothers' - that are incredibly tight and superbly tuned-in to each other's craft. Joshua told me that they completed the debut album in only five hours, all in one shot, and that half of the lyrics weren't even written up to that point, so he simply made them up - on the spot.
Their live performances are an amazing joy to behold and an even greater joy to hear. They not only create great original blues music
but sounds, tones & tectures as well, sometimes taking a song into an entire production piece that may take twice as long as a normal song while they add layer upon layer of their own live audio magic. (A lot of the bands gear & instruments have been tweaked & munipulated by their incredible gear & road tech Lunchbox Empty.)
These guys are musically influenced by a variety of different genres as well as a variety of different artists like: Jeff Beck, The Allman
Brothers, Chris Coleman, Derek Trucks, Tom Waits, Geezer Butler, Sly & The Family Stone, Warren Haynes, and Joe Cocker. Knowing
their muses makes it easy to understand why they sound the way they do and it also makes it so much fun ! Yes, you definitely need to see the 5 Dollar Sugar live...but fear not those of you that can't be there; next month fans will be able to check out recorded live performances as well
as other assorted adventures on the 5 Dollar Sugar's YouTube Channel.
They will also be releasing their self-titled second album at the big Halloween party at Tulsa's "Dirty Knuckle Tavern" (I've already heard one definite hit song from the 2nd album that has a great Tom Petty kind of flavor.), followed by recording a third live album at the same place on New Years Eve. You can find 5 Dollar Sugar on Facebook & Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/thefivedollarsugar.
When you see them tell them that you are there because you read this article and had to check it out for yourself !
You won't be dissapointed!
- Curt Fillmore (CurtsList.Com)
(Sidenote: Unfortunately by the time this article was published Barry Seal was no longer a member of Brave Men...)
Hurricane Mason: "Crossing Twisted Bridges"
Blues Society of Tulsa
"Blues News" May/June 2010
Matt Mason - Checkin' out the current issue...
.Onward and upward through the blackest of nights cross these twisted bridges of life,
reads an update on the Facebook page dedicated to Hurricane Mason. Ignoring trends, baffling non-believers and overcoming adversity is de rigueur for a day in the life of this triumvirate of musical rogues. They come to you from Tulsa, OK. The citys misty musical cauldron of country, swing, rock-n-roll, blues and dozens of hopeful offshoots seems to fuel the drive they have to do things their own way. They are one part hell- raising rock-n-roll, another part introspective examination of lifes puzzles that owes as much to whats already been done as to what is yet to come.
Their informal fan club, known as the Minions enjoy supporting a band who offers them an interesting and original twist to an art-form which some would say died off with disco. But these boys believed it when Neil Young announced rock-n-roll will never die and took it straight to the lab for further examination.
Their high- energy live shows pull from their repertoire of award winning original
material from their indie label albums going back to 2002. They also possess a wide range of familiar Classic Rock, & Blues material that allow the listener the luxury of experiencing a totally different presentation each night. Clubs, casinos, concerts, fairs and festivals through 5 states have gotten to experience Hurricane Mason in one phase of their development or another over the past decade. The next phase begins with their new album for 2010 entitled 'Twisted Bridges'.
Its the 4th album overall and first to be produced and recorded by veteran bass player Ace Eversole. His Hideaway Digital Recording facility in Broken Arrow, OK has been supplying commercial grade recordings to bands of all genres for the better part of the last 25 years. Twisted Bridges has been a project they have been working on in between literally hundreds of gigs a year and various Hideaway commercial clientele. While the bands last album; 2007s Hurricane Mason "Five Alive", was a document of the bands growing abilities to communicate and deliver in the live setting,
Twisted Bridges has been about refining and redefining their abilities as musicians in control of their own destiny in the studio. Hurricane Mason has learned how to embrace the studio as a tool to bring their playing, songwriting, performance and production to a higher level. Theyve been spending time thinking outside the box as evidenced by the wide stylistic range of tracks that appear on Twisted Bridges. Theres explosive rock-n-roll via Sunshine Smile, Tail That Wags The Dog, and Twistin In The Wind, hybrid cross-pollinated rock-n-country-roll found in Get Out of The City and the unlikely pairing of red dirt and Rush in Her Name Is Mystery. The anthemic Take It Outside (And Set It on Fire) layers late 70s blues metal with a spaghetti western style melody line hook and then were thrown a curve ball cover of Gram Parsons She replete with background vocals and pedal steel by Jesse Aycock. Bob Marleys Three Little Birds closes the album with blues diva Wanda Watson contributing duet vocals in her own inimitable style. Matt Middleton (Groove Pilots) and Jay Lesikar on keys further helped in the formulation of a very ornate collection of songs hand-crafted one at a time. Its an engaging listen for music lovers of every stripe. No bubblegum here, just real, honest music created by a band that really loves to perform.
The 2nd disc is a bonus download only available with purchase of the Twisted Bridges album. Highlights will include the 18 minute blues medley performed by the band at 2009s Blues Challenge. Recorded live - in the studio, it was designed to display the blues from Robert Johnson beginnings - to progressive - and back again. After hearing the new album and seeing their accompanying short film "Hurricane Mason: High Flying Rock and Roll"
its clear that theyve been sweating, bleeding and living it thru the blackest of nights cross
these Twisted Bridges of life. http://www.myspace.com/hurricanemason
- Curt Fillmore (CurtsList.Com) w/ In-Studio Contributions from Matt Mason & Ace Eversole
sadly...Hurricane Mason is no longer together...but the lads are still out there, however, makin' great music under different names...Matt's gone solo or teamed up w/ several Nat'l talents & Ace & Shawn are currently playing in the band Sara D. & the Damned Souls - c.f.
The Readable IIIrd Degree Article - And posted on IIIrd Degree's website:
- Hard Rockin' Blues Band; IIIrd Degree
.I pull up to my dark destination amid an army of cars, trucks and beautifuly customized motorcycles and hear a loud, muffled
drum beat from inside the club..."oh wow,...I recognize that song" I think to myself as I pull the bar door open... the minute I enter I'm completely stunned for a moment by the sheer power of the guitar riffs, the drums, the drivin'
bass and the vocals as I become emersed in Robin Trower's "Too Rolling' Stoned" performed in such an excellent way that Robin Trower - himself - would be proud !!
I've ventured out again tonight to hear the Rockin' Blues Band; III'rd Degree - and as always - I'm never disappointed.
This Hard Rockin' Blues Band from Tulsa, Oklahoma just keeps getting better and better - every single time I hear them.
IIIrd Degree was founded & formed by lead vocalist & rhythm guitarist Dave Sandkuhl, (then) lead guitarist & vocalist Billy "Detroit" Amey and bassist & vocalist Jim Summerlin back in 2005. The name has a variety of different meanings including the Willy Dixon/Eddie Boyd song by Eric Clapton, as well as the severity level of a chastisement or argument one might be so,... unfortunate as to receive... but was initially suggested by Billy's Wife; Patty whom is an EMT and has had
experience with the delicate nature of third degree burn victims.
Dave's been playing music since childhood. After years of performing professionally and upon switching guitars - from an acoustic to an electric (Fender Strat) Dave soon realized
that Blues music would be his new genre of choice. After singing & playing from L.A. to Branson - where he even created his own music venue, building the stage and hiring the bands himself for three years - to Austin & Tulsa, Dave'squite passionate about his love of the blues and his band: IIIrd Degree.
Billy is an incredible guitar player and a pretty darn-good vocalist as well. Not to mention a great guy, dear friend and cherished bandmate.
By way of Detroit, MI - Billy Amey was, and will always be, the inspiration, heart, motivation & spirit of III'rd Degree. Billy was painfully forced to leave the band due to health issues around two years ago, but everyone will always miss (I know I do), among so many outstanding performances,...his incredible emotional version of "Key To The Highway" & the way he'd shred that Fender Strat every night.
Jim Summerlin was actually referred to Dave & Billy by none other than Tulsa's Multi Blues Awards Winner; Miss Wanda Watson as one of the best bassists she knows. Jim's been
thumpin' the Electric & Double Bass for over 30 years and cut his teeth on mostly jazz fusion bands with a penchant for Little Feat. Jim's Getty Lee vocals and performance of Rush's 'Tom Sawyer' - will blow your mind.
New members; Joel & Ken Harlan came to the band 'Just' when the band needed them the most. Dave, Jim & Barry Hurt heard Joel one afternoon at The Every Sunday Jam at
Tulsa's Cimarron Bar and were mezmerized by not only Joel's guitar work...but his incredible 'sound' as well. Previous Drummer;
Barry Hurt, had to leave the band for a new job opportunity and filled his pending vacant position himself - through Craig's List.
While talking over the phone to new promising candidate: Ken Harlan - Barry mentioned the gifted guitar player the trio had heard and invited to join the band - Joel Harlan, which
was immediately followed by "Hey...that's my brother!" from Ken.
Joel ventured down Texas way to play his music of 35 years, while Ken polished his chops out West - around Arizona way. Joel eventually gravitated toward Tulsa and was quickly joined
by his brother. The Two discovered the 'Tulsa Sound' the second day in Tulsa - early 90's - while at Uncle Bentley's & ended up jammin' with a cool new guitar player & singer they had just met; Mr. Glenn R. Townsend.
And so - the missing pieces to the Blues Puzzle that Dave & Jim had always been in search of - finally fell into place.
...A band that completely enjoys practicing - and making music together,... and it shows.
IIIrd Degree plays hard hitting, hard rockin' blues. It's uplifting music with a powerful beat & rhythm that just sounds 'tough'. - Yet it's tight and precise and well rehearsed to deliver a memorable experience that you'll want to repeat
as often as you possibly can.
The Band features the music of Robin Trower, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Indigenous, Eric Clapton, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Storyville, & Stevie Ray Vaughan as well as many, many other hard rockin' blues artists.
Check out the band, their music, gig calendar, and live performances at:
or,...just catch em LIVE !!
...Your ears will thank you ! - Curt Fillmore (CurtsList.Com)
Blues Cd Reviews from Blues Society of Tulsa "Blues News"
Janiva Magness: - "What Love Will Do"
Alligator Records - Rel; June, 2008
.Janiva uses her "killer" Blues, Rock & R&B voice
to the max on this; her Alligator label debut. Gritty, full of emotion and very powerful at the same time.
If you enjoy Susan Tedeschi and Bonnie Raitt,
You'll want to get this Cd ! She also makes me
think a LOT of Tulsa's own; Jennifer Marriott
and Wanda Watson - only with a rockin' horn
section on quite a few of the original songs.
This is a real good album - from beginning to end.
If you really want to be amazed; look up
Janiva's Bio. She's an amazing talent that
owes plenty to the good Lord. - Curt Fillmore
Wanda Watson: - "Strictly Unrestricted Bootleg" Volume II
Wandaring Records - Rel; March, 2009
.Tulsa's Own - By way of Ft. Smith Arkansas; Wanda Watson - has been singing and blowing away audiences with her "In Your Face" style of
emotional performances since 1982. She and her band at the time had the honor of opening and then backing the legendary Percy Sledge back
in 1995. With a host of Best Blues Vocalist, and Best Blues Band awards under her belt including being inducted into the Oklahoma Blues Hall of
Fame back in 2007,...Wanda still longs to be the "Rocker" she started out as in her 20's.This new cd; Strictly Unrestricted Bootleg Vol II, is a real fine example of a Live Wanda Night - without the cigarette smoke and the astounded audience in the background. This one - with her trusty compadres; Virgil Broyles - Drums, Dale Bacher - Keys,...and New compadres; Mark Albertson - Guitar, & Tim Martin - Bass, - contains songs that you'll hear on any given night that you might find yourself lucky enough to catch "Tulsa's Finest Blues" - The Wanda Watson Band.
Standouts include; "Tell Mama" with Dale's awesome Keyboard of Horns,
and the emotionally raw "Crazy Baby" - a song that just might rip your heart out, and "Hit The Road/Stray Cat" with Mark doing some great Tom Waits kind of scattin' Stray Cat vocals. A "First Song To The Last" - Excellent Cd.
If you just genuinely love some awesome blues,...or perhaps unbelievable vocales are more your cup,...or maybe seeing fine musicians execute their skills so well,...or,...et's face it,...just like a good ol get down and party - party,...then look up the Wanda Watson Band and check em out LIVE,...You won't be disappointed !!- Curt Fillmore (CurtsList.Com)
Randy Crouch - "Just A Few MoreThings"
Random Choice Music, BMI
.Randy Crouch is a Tulsa Living Legend, you won't soon forget after meeting just once and his live music performances are a force of nature all their own. One tale passed from music friend to music friend is; Randy took a fiddle home
one Friday afternoon and taught himself how to play it by Monday. Randy has a real good album here. All songs written or co-written by Randy as well. I'm not sure that I'd classify it as strickly Blues, however, but I will say If you're a
Randy Crouch fan - this new one will definitely not dissappoint.
Clever, & thoughtful songs from beginning to end with my favorite stand-out track: 'Kiss It Goodbye'. Lot's of Randy Crouch signature
use of tone & sound throughout. Randy - vox, guitars, fiddles, pedal steel, keys. Grant Tracy - bass. Brad Rice - drums. Thomas Trapp - additional guitar. Doug Moreland - additional fiddle. And be sure to catch Randy's
performances in ( Tulsa's London Friend, Music Artist, & Moviemaker) - Lata Gouveia's Incredible Music Documatary; "Red Dirt,...Songs From The Dust" whenever it becomes available to the public ! (...You can view some of this production within my Videos pg.)
- Curt Fillmore (CurtsList.Com)
Janiva Magness: - "The Devil Is An Angel Too"
.Janiva has one great voice. Still makes me think a lot of our own awesome local lady blues singers here in Tulsa; Wanda Watson & Jennifer Marriott. This is the second album of covers from Janiva & Band with Alligator Records and it's a joy to listen to. Gritty, soulful vocals & smart lyrics with some excellent musical perfomances. I've listened to this one again & again,...as it's quite nice. Rockin'songs, & pretty ones too. I'd file this one under Soft Blues.
Dave Darling, Jeff Turmes, Gary Davenport, Zach Zunis, Stephen Hodges, Ted Andreadis, Arlan Schierbaum, Gonzalo Bergara, Brie Darling, Ernie Perez, & Steve Blacke all contribute in one fashion or another - as the Band.- Curt Fillmore (CurtsList.Com)
Anders Osborne: - American Patchwork
.Joe Walsh immediately came to mind when I began listening to this new Cd from Anders Osborne. To me - it's more Red Dirt
& Rock sounding than Blues. There seems to be a lot of ambient noise on this album too. I found it hard to listen to for very long when trying
to concentrate on something because there's just too much noise within.
This is only MY opinion however,...YOU may find it exhilarating !
It IS an interesting rockin' album though, that deserves a good listen.
Anders Osborne - vox, electric & acoustic guitars, piano, & percussion.
Robert Walter - hammond b3, piano, moog. clavinet, & keyboard bass.
Pepper Keenan - guitars, background vox, percussion.
Stanton Moore - drums. - Curt Fillmore (CurtsList.Com)
Warren Haynes: "Man In Motion"
.An excellent blues album in every respect !
You'll definitely want this album in your
collection & - if like me...you'll listen to it often.
Rockers & ballads throughout - often with an
old Otis Redding kind of groove. Most featuring
a longer tag than expected with amazing jams
highlighting Warren's incredible guitar playing
employing the thick, sweet tone of some vintage Gibson hollow bodies.
The album features Ivan Neville on organ &
background vox, Ian McLagan on piano,
Ruthie Foster on background vox, George
Porter Jr. on bass & Ron Holloway on sax.
One of my favorite standout tracks: Take A Bullet, which features Storyville's David Grissom on rhythm guitar.
"Man In Motion" was recorded Live in-studio in
a six day burst of creativity to capture all of the
emotion, passion and spontaneity at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studios on two-inch tape with vintage tube microphones. Beyond his solo work, Warren Haynes is also known as the
front-man for 'Gov't Mule', vocalist & guitarist
for 'The Allman Brothers' & 'The Dead'.
- Curt Fillmore (CurtsList.Com)
Tedeschi Trucks Band: "Revelator"
.'Revelator' is the long-awaited, song-oriented debut album by the husband-wife team of singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi & guitarist Derek Trucks.
Showing off Susan's softer more story telling vocal abilities with Derek's incredible slide guitar work punctuating every verse. Revelator also features the couple's new 11-piece ensemble band.
Both Tedeschi and Trucks co-wrote the album's
twelve new songs with an impressive list of
experienced songwriters, including Jeff Trott,
John Leventhal, David Ryan Harris & Sonya Kitchell; Gary Louris & Oliver Wood of the Jayhawks and the Wood Brothers, respectively; and old friends like guitarists Doyle Bramhall II, Eric Krasno (of Soulive), and band members Mike Mattison, Kofi & Oteil Burbridge.
This is another great blues album filled with simply beautiful vocals & amazing performances that you'll find yourself listening to over & over again.
- Curt Fillmore (CurtsList.Com)
(Hailed as a Masterpiece by music critics everywhere...I haven't been able to quit listening or playing along to this entire album since it's release...Superb songs w/ excellent mix of vocals & guitar playing- c.f.)
The Dustin Pittsley Band:
"Palm Trees & Trailer Parks" - 2011
Produced by: Dave White & Dustin Pittsley
.Tulsa's own Dustin Pittsley's done it again ! This is a fine 48 1/2 minute collection of great music. Music that rocks & soothes from the very first spin. Contained within are new blues, rock, jazz, red dirt, & a great rockin' version of JJ Cale's '13 Days'. Standouts include track 1 & title cut; 'Palm Trees & Trailer Parks' & everyone's live favorite - track 4; 'River of Sin' as well as an awesome Allman Bros. sounding Dustin penned jazzy instrumental; track 5; 'Gypsy', and track 6; '13 Days' in which I especially enjoy the Allman-like conversations between guitar & Hammond organ. This disc is filled with great performances from the Tulsa, Oklahoma musicians involved including Dustin & Dustin's own rhythm section; Donnie Wood & Doug Wehmeyer as well as Jesse Aycock, Brad James, Steve Pryor, Corey Mauser, Dave White & Billy Earl Padgett.
Just as I've said before concerning Dustin's previous Cd - "Staring Into The Sun" - this collection of oustanding music is as good as or
'better' than any cd you might go into your favorite music merchant & purchase - by any artist out there - bar none. Not a bad song on the entire disc.
(FYI: The Dustin Pittsley Band has been picked by Dierks Bentley to open a few of his concerts this month & next !)
- Curt Fillmore (CurtsList.Com)
Reviewed For & Published By:
The Blues Society of Tulsa
And Posted on Curly "No Shoes" Jr's Website:
Curly "No Shoes" Jr.: - Blues Breaker's Dozen
.Curly "No Shoes" Jr. is a multiple award winning blues singer/songwriter/actor/nice guy & friend of mine Originally from Tulsa , Ok - now residing in Chicago.
.In May of 2010 Curly was inducted into the
Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame.
.He's written songs for a few movies, including "Curly's song "Nuthin' But A Tear"" featured in the movie; "The Surfer King" and shared the stage with many blues legends over the years.
.I've even hooked him up with The Wanda Watson Band, and the Pat Quinn Blues Band while in town recently,...
This is the second album of blues music from Curly, since "Make Your Dreams Come True" was released back in August of 2006,...and I have to say - to me,...Curly has a sure-fire hit here in this one.
"Blues Breaker's Dozen" includes 13 rockin' blues songs that I defy ANY music lover to listen to & ignore. Simply amazing
performances from Curly and crew: Todd Gilmore - guitar, Richie Folsh - bass, Tony Arceneaux - horns, Kevin Yokum - drums.
.This album is as good or better than - a whole lot of new albums I've heard in a while !!
Excellent Job - Curly,...This Baby Rocks !!
- Curt Fillmore (CurtsList.Com)