“Howlin’ For Hubert,” a celebration of the musical legacy of the late Hubert Sumlin and his influence on every guitar hero of today, has been confirmed for February 24th at New York’s legendary Apollo Theater. The evening will benefit the Jazz Foundation of America. The concert will feature performances by Doyle Bramhall II, Eric Clapton, Gary Clark Jr., James Cotton, Shemekia Copeland, Billy Flynn, Barrelhouse Chuck Goering, Buddy Guy, David Johansen, Steve Jordan, Danny Kortchmar, Dr. John, Keb Mo, Todd Mohr, Ivan Neville, Robert Randolph, Keith Richards, Kenny Wayne Sheperd, Larry Taylor, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Jimmie Vaughan, Jimmy Vivino, Willie Weeks, Jody Williams, Kim Wilson, and other special surprise guests.
After playing for a lifetime and lifting the world with his blues, it is hard to believe that a legend like Hubert, who influenced so many in the music world, could die penniless. That is why this tribute to Hubert will benefit the Jazz Foundation of America, with 6000 musician emergency cases a year, saving jazz and blues one musician at a time. A fund in his honor will be created from this concert as it was his wish that no musician would ever have to go through this again.
For twenty two years the Jazz Foundation of America (JFA) has been committed to providing jazz and blues musicians with financial, medical, housing, and legal assistance as well as performance opportunities, with a special focus on the elderly and veterans who have paid their dues and find themselves in crisis due to illness, age, and/or circumstance. JFA keeps hundreds of jazz and blues legends in crisis, from eviction and homelessness by paying rents and mortgages, and finding creative dignified solutions to heal their darkest hours, as they have always been there to heal ours.
Quiet and extremely unassuming off the bandstand, Hubert Sumlin played a style of guitar incendiary enough to stand tall beside the immortal Howlin' Wolf. The Wolf was Sumlin's imposing mentor for more than two decades, and it proved a mutually beneficial relationship; Sumlin's twisting, darting, unpredictable lead guitar constantly energized the Wolf's 1960s Chess sides, even when the songs themselves were less than stellar.
A member of The Blues Hall of Fame, Hubert’s singular playing is characterized by "wrenched, shattering bursts of notes, sudden cliff-hanger silences and daring rhythmic suspensions". Listed in Rolling Stone's The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time as well as a four time Grammy nominee he is cited as a major influence by many artists, including Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Robbie Robertson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix.
Tickets are sold out, if they even were ever offered to the public, but if you can talk, buy, squirm, or otherwise gain admission into this once in a lifetime event, you’ll have a memory that will last a lifetime!
If you can’t get in to the “Howlin’ for Hubert” Concert, here’s the best of the rest for this week.
Wednesday, February 22 – ROBERT CRAY BAND is at Tarrytown Music Hall tonight. As I mentioned last week, Robert was on the bill for Stevie Ray Vaughn’s last concert, and has always been one of Eric Clapton’s, and my, favorite guitarists. He writes good songs and can wail with the best of ‘em! Recommended!
Friday, February 24 – Really good RnB band, complete with horns and chick singer, are at The Colony in Woodstock tonight. I’ve heard a lot about SISTER SPARROW AND THE DIRTY BIRDS, and the clips I checked out on the internet sounded really good. What’s better than old school RnB? Definitely worth checking out. Also tonight up in Hudson at Club Helsinki, the truly formidable ALEXIS P. SUTER will school you in The Blues and more. Veteran of about a hundred Midnight Ramble opening slots, and dozens of shows with Levon on the road, Alexis was nominated this year for a Blues Music Award in the category of Best Soul Blues Female Artist, so you know she’s gonna bring it! And all you gotta do is bring yourself (and a few friends).
Saturday, February 25 – There’re four very interesting shows tonight. HOT TUNA is at The Egg in Albany. Great venue, great band. Hope they’re playing electric. For you downstaters, the great Cajun band, BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO, is at BB King’s in Manhattan. I always liked these guys, ever since I heard their killer cover of the Derek and The Dominoes classic, “Why Does Love Have to be so Sad”. Also in Manhattan, JIMMY DESTRI, keyboard player in Blondie for many years, even into their current incarnation, seems to be out on his own and playing tonight at Joe’s Pub. I would really like to check this out, but I’ll probably wind up at The Bearsville Theater for THE KANE BROS. BLUES BAND. Formed in Woodstock in 1972, these guys broke up in 1977, but not before impressing Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and James Cotton. During their 30 year break, they conquered many worlds in music and got back together in 2002. Their audio clips sound most blueswailing, and I’m gonna make this a Pick of the Week. How d’ya like them apples? More info at www.bearsvilletheater.com.
Sunday, February 26 – Today was George Harrison’s birthday and there are celebrations planned for several clubs in Manhattan. Don’t know any of the bands, so I’m not recommending any of them, just sayin’, if you dug George’s music, you’d probably have fun at any of them. More info at www.villagevoice.com, click on Calendar section and select date. Former Woodstock resident, TODD RUNDGREN pulls into City Winery in Manhattan tonight for the first of two shows.
Monday, February 27 – Todd wraps it up at City Winery and “In Performance at The White House: Red, White, and Blues” airs on PBS tonight at 9PM. This might be a show worth Tivoing, or whatever you use to record TV shows. The show features Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, BB King, Keb Mo, Gary Clarke, Jr., and Trombone Shorty, with Booker T as musical director. WOW! This is a Pick of the Week, my first ever TV pick! Maybe the President will join them for another round of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”. LOL.
Tuesday, February 28 – If you missed VAN HALEN at their Café Wha? performance last month, you can catch them tonight at Madison Square Garden. Also, legendary guitarist, LEO KOTTKE, starts a two night run at City Winery in Manhattan. Kottke is the foremost living proponent of acoustic trance guitar in the style popularized (well, at least to his core cult following) by the late great John Fahey. He ain’t gonna rock out, but you will be mesmerized. Leo finishes up tomorrow night, Wednesday, February 28.
Happy Leap Year! See you next week.