Blues

Photos: Jason and Gibson Wells

by Carl Abernathy on September 9, 2017

I’ve seen Jason Wells, an area rocker and bluesman, perform many times, but I’d never seen him play with his 15-year-old son, Gibson, before. Wow. They perfectly complement each other, creating bluesy sonic waves with their guitars.

Great set by the Frankfort, Indiana, musicians Friday night at the Knickerbocker Saloon in Lafayette. Indianapolis musician Jason Andrew Brown opened with a nice set. Purdue student Tara Marlow also performed a couple of songs.

Some photos:


Gibson and Jason Wells
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Gibson and Jason Wells
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Gibson Wells
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Gibson and Jason Wells
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Jason Wells
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Gibson and Jason Wells
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Gibson Wells
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Gibson and Jason Wells
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Jason Wells
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Jason Andrew Brown
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Jason Andrew Brown
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Tara Malone
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Doug Duffey and The Louisiana Soul Revival

by Carl Abernathy on May 28, 2016

I don’t remember how I discovered Doug Duffey, a member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame. Probably a college pal from Louisiana who clued me in. I do know I’ve been a fan for almost 30 years.

I’d planned to spend a quiet Friday evening at home with the pup after attending the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Muddy Roots Spring Weekender and a bunch of other concerts over the last several weeks. Thank goodness I happened to check The Knickerbocker Saloon’s concert calendar earlier in the day.

Duffey, who played with the Louisiana Soul Revival, danced effortlessly on his keyboard between blues, funk, rock and sweet, sweet soul. Duffey’s voice is gruff, weathered by the better part of five decades on the road. That – and the band’s great horn section – give The Louisiana Soul Revival’s funk tunes bite. But when Duffey sang Toussaint McCal’s “Nothing Takes the Place of You” (one of my favorite songs), his voice was sweet and soulful. Beautiful.

The band, led by guitarist Dan Sumner, is filled with pros. I didn’t think I’d get a chance to return to Louisiana so soon after jazz fest, but they took me back just a few seconds into the first song. They covered several Allen Toussaint songs, which were both poignant, just a few months after his death, and vibrant. But Duffey’s songs are the ones still ringing in my ears.

I wish there’d been a larger crowd to hear a Louisiana music legend and one of the state’s finest bands, but I’m glad I got a chance to hang out with them, if only for a couple of hours.

Doug Duffey (Click photo to enlarge)
Doug Duffey (Click photo to enlarge)

Betsy Lowe (Click photo to enlarge)
Betsy Lowe (Click photo to enlarge)

Doug Duffey & The Louisiana Soul Revival (Click photo to enlarge)
Doug Duffey & The Louisiana Soul Revival
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Dan Sumner (Click photo to enlarge)
Dan Sumner (Click photo to enlarge)

Nate Johnson (Click photo to enlarge)
Nate Johnson (Click photo to enlarge)

Doug Duffey (Click photo to enlarge)
Doug Duffey (Click photo to enlarge)

Photos: 2015 Uptown Jazz and Blues Festival

by Carl Abernathy on August 23, 2015

The music at the 2015 Uptown jazz & Blues Fest in Lafayette, Indiana, was great; the weather was perfect.

Rob Dixon with The Blue Side (Click photo to enlarge)
Rob Dixon with The Blue Side
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Melvin Taylor (Click photo to enlarge)
Melvin Taylor (Click photo to enlarge)

A young drummer accompanies the band from just below the stage. (Click photo to enlarge)
A young drummer accompanies the band from just below the stage.
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Bassist Larry Gray with Condition Blue (Click photo to enlarge)

[caption id="attachment_7748" align="alignnone" width="300"]Uptown dancers (Click photo to enlarge)
Uptown dancers (Click photo to enlarge)

Bernell Anderson with Melvin Taylor (Click photo to enlarge)
Bernell Anderson with Melvin Taylor
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Caitlin Cotten (Click photo to enlarge)
Caitlin Cotten (Click photo to enlarge)

Tad Robinson with The Blue Side
Tad Robinson with The Blue Side

Michael Stryker with Condition Blue (Click photo to enlarge)
Michael Stryker with Condition Blue
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 Uptown Fremont and Jackson Blues (Click photo to enlarge)
Uptown Fremont and Jackson Blues
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Uptown Fremont and Jackson Blues (Click photo to enlarge)
Uptown Fremont and Jackson Blues
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Yaz Bang (Click photo to enlarge)
Yaz Bang (Click photo to enlarge)

Uptown dancers (Click photo to enlarge)
Uptown dancers (Click photo to enlarge)

Robert Cook with Mike Milligan (Click photo to enlarge)
Robert Cook with Mike Milligan
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Tad Robinson (Click photo to enlarge)
Tad Robinson (Click photo to enlarge)

Mike Milligan (Click photo to enlarge)
Mike Milligan (Click photo to enlarge)

Uptown dancer (Click photo to enlarge)
Uptown dancer (Click photo to enlarge)

Melvin Taylor (Click photo to enlarge)
Melvin Taylor (Click photo to enlarge)

Photos: Champaign Blues, Brews and BBQ Fest

June 29, 2015

I didn’t make it to the merchandise tent after Janiva Magness’ set at the 2015 Champaign Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival. I imagine, though, that most of the guys at the festival got in line after Magness sang “I Need a Man.” Magness seduced with her ballads and shimmied on her upbeat tunes. She was […]

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Photos: Muddy Roots Spring Weekender

May 24, 2015

I went to the 2015 Muddy Roots Spring Weekender in Nashville, Indiana, because I’ve wanted to see LC Ulmer for a long time. He didn’t disappoint. At 87, he’s still an incredible guitarist and blues singer. His music is raw and unpredictable. Close your eyes and you’d swear you’re in a ’30s era juke joint, […]

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Tab Benoit and Kris Lager at City Winery

December 22, 2014

Tab Benoit broke a lot of guitar strings Saturday night at City Winery in Chicago. It was bound to happen. Benoit attacked his bluesy songs with a ferociousness that probably sent any would-be rock ‘n’ roll guitar gods in the audience scurrying back to their day jobs. Benoit never slowed down after breaking a string […]

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Photos & review: Jarekus Singleton at Carnahan Hall in Lafayette

October 26, 2014

Jarekus Singleton gave me a bear hug after his show Saturday night at Carnahan Hall in Lafayette and I felt it all the way down to my bones. I was ready for it, though, because for two hours Jarekus had been roughing me and the rest of the audience up with frenetic blues and squeezing […]

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Chicago Blues Festival preview: Diamond Jim Greene

May 27, 2014

Diamond Jim Green coaxed a variety of sounds, a lifetime of emotions, out of the guitars he used on his 2012 release, “Surrounded.” On the opening track, “Shake ’em on Down,” Greene’s guitar riffs are as jaunty as his vocals and the horns. Greene and his guitar sound as if they’re creeping down an old […]

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Chicago Blues Festival preview: Dorothy Moore

May 21, 2014

I suspect that Dorothy Moore’s performance at the Chicago Blues Festival in a few weeks will be one of the highlights of the weekend. Mostly, like almost everyone else, I’m looking forward to hearing her sing “Misty Blue,” which I think is one of the great soul songs ever recorded. I’m also partial to “The […]

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Terry ‘Harmonica’ Bean: ‘Catfish Blues’

May 17, 2014

There’s nothing flashy about Terry “Harmonica” Bean. When I saw Bean at last year’s Chicago Blues Festival, he didn’t wail on his guitar and he didn’t try to dazzle anyone with flashy harmonica runs. Don’t mistake that for simplicity, though. His fingers danced on his guitar strings, adding gentle flourishes that enveloped his warm vocals. […]

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Johnny Rawls: ‘Remembering O.V.’

May 14, 2014

I’ve seen blues and soul man Johnny Rawls in concert at least a dozen times and I own just about all of his albums. I’ve never been disappointed. But I’ve never been moved by Rawls’ work like I am when I listen to “Remembering O.V.,” an album released last year that honors Rawls’ late mentor […]

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