Lamar Wiiliams Jr.
BUTCH TRUCKS is an American drummer who is one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band. One of Trucks’ first bands was local Jacksonville band The Vikings, who made one 7-inch record in 1964. Another early band was The 31st of February which formed and broke up in 1968. This group’s lineup eventually included both Duane Allman and Gregg Allman. They recorded a cover of “Morning Dew”, by 1960 folk singer Bonnie Dobson.
Trucks then helped form The Allman Brothers Band in 1969, along with Duane Altman (guitar), Gregg Allman (vocals and organ), Dickey Belts (guitar), Berry Oakley (bass), and fellow drummer Jai Johanny Johanson (a.k.a. Jaimoe).
Together, the two drummers developed a rhythmic drive that would prove crucial to the band. Trucks laid down a powerful conventional beat while the jazz-influenced Johanson added a second laminate of percussion and ad libitum cymbal flourishes, seamlessly melded into one syncopated sound.
Said founding member and co-lead guitarist Dickey Betts of Trucks’ addition to the original band lineup, ” …When Butch came along, he had that freight train, meat-and-potatoes kind of thing that set Jaimoe up perfectly. He had the power thing we needed.”
A little anecdote from Butch tells the tale of a drummer’s life. “We were playing North Lake Amphitheatre near Atlanta several years ago. Two offensive linemen that played with the Atlanta Falcons were at the show. They were obviously football players, or if they weren’t, they should have been. I introduced myself, and they told me their names. I said. “Yeah, I’m quite familiar with you. We’ve got a lot in common. “And they looked down at my little shrimp butt and they said, “Well, what do you mean by that?” And I said, “Well, we do all the work and the quarterbacks get all the credit.” They laughed their butts off.” Trucks keeps his sense of humor about his life in the back of the stage, but seems quite serious when he says, “It’s a band, and what we have in this group is a band. And all the elements are necessary.”
Butch continues to be a leading component in the Roots Rock Revival summer music camp. Roots Rock Revival is a four night, five day all-inclusive intensive that features master classes, jam sessions, Q&A sessions, open rehearsals and more. Its an intimate look at the Southern Blues Rock movement, the Allman Brothers Band and the music that forms the foundation of Rock ‘n Roll. Some of the young attendees are often invited to perform with Butch at local gigs.
Legendary drummer and founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, Jaimoe and his Jasssz Band play American music. They combine elements of Jazz, Blues, Rock-n-Roll, and R&B into a unique blend that captures the spirit and stirs the soul. Their repertoire ranges from new interpretations of classic tunes, as well as original songs that are classics in the making. Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band features Jaimoe – drums, Junior Mack – guitar and vocals, Dave Stoltz – bass, Bruce Katz – keyboards, and some of the finest horn players of our time, including Paul Lieberman – sax, flute, and piccalo, Kris Jensen – sax and Reggie Pittman – trumpet.
Jaimoe, man of many names, and one of the original six Allman Brothers Band members, has combined forces with fellow drummer and percussionist Butch Trucks in a million subtle, driving, playful, and energizing ways to keep the music on track and flowing.
Jaimoe himself contributes the following biographical insights: This is Jaimoe. No, I did not play at Monterey. I played with Otis Redding 4/18/66 through 9/5/66 in the band that did “Otis – Live at the Whiskey A-Go-Go”. I joined that band a week after that record was recorded. A very good friend of mine, a very good sax player and a hell of an organizer, Donald “Cadillac” Henry, was a great reason for me getting that break and a lot of others, right up to the fact of the reason I was in Macon was because Donald told me to go to Macon. Phil Walden was putting a recording studio in Macon which was Capricorn Records. Phil Walden and Otis Redding had a company called Redwal Music.
A Big Band Run
On 4/18/66 Otis had about a 9-piece band. I joined that band in Dallas, TX. In less than two weeks it was 13 pieces. Edward “Woody” Woodson was the other drummer in that band. Woody was the drummer on “Live at the Whiskey”. I really learned about playing live rhythm & blues and rock & roll from Woody Woodson & Butch Trucks. Woody could take a bass drum, snare, floor tom, hi-hat, and crash & ride cymbal and swing your ass from Washington, D.C. to L.A. In three weeks we were in the Apollo Theatre in New York. Now we’ve got 18 pieces. I played in my first big band. I backed Percy Sledge, Patti Labelle & the Blue Bells, the 5 Stairsteps, Brenda & the Tabulations, and the Manhattans. The Howard Theatre in D.C. was another 18-piece band. Added to that show was Smokey Robinson & the Miracles & band, also Martha & the Vandellas, and the Kin Folks, a bad ass 4-piece band out of L.A. The next stop was the Regal Theatre in Chicago. By now we had 22-pieces and the co-star was the Queen of Soul. That’s right. The Lady Aretha. She had her own rhythm section. I was glad I didn’t have to play behind her. She raised hell about one thing or another the entire week. I played again with the Stairsteps, Patti Labelle, and 5 guys called the Step Brothers. They were tap dancing acrobats about in their 50s and 60s. They were one of the top tap dance acts of all times. They offered me a gig in Vegas, but I had to turn them down. I was having too much fun and learning a lot playing behind all of those people in those big bands and orchestras.
Otis Was a Great Teacher
I also had a great offer from Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions. They said my playing reminded them of Leo Morris, a New Orleans drummer who we know today as Idris Muhammed. I can thank Charles “Honeyboy” Otis for that one for Honeyboy was a great influence on Idris, “Smokey” Johnson, Zigaboo, John Boudreau, Jr., and a lot more than he’s given credit for. Honeyboy is the reason that I can play as many styles as I can. Also listening to all that stuff Earl Palmer did on those records, Honeyboy turned me on to Earl Palmer.
Just for the record, that photo I am on with Otis is 1966 in Columbus, GA at the Columbus Auditorium, where you cross the river into the Central Time zone and into Phoenix, Alabama. I did a 42-date tour with Otis — 41 days back-to-back with a day off. We did a TV show, “The Big Beat”, hosted by a disc jockey from the famous WLAC in Nashville who on the day of taping of the show got drunk couldn’t go on. So Otis not only starred the show, but mced and hosted the show. I played behind James Carr, Mitty Collier, the Ovations, Garnette Mims, Patti Labelle & the Bluebells, Percy Sledge, Sam & Dave & band co-stars. Woody played behind Otis. That night I played 3 hours at the Parrot Jazz Club with whoever got on the stage. The next night we did the 42nd, show. Great tour. I learned a lot from Otis. I didn’t realize it at the time.
Thank you, Otis.
Two-time Grammy winning bassist Oteil Burbridge has been in the music business touring and recording for over three decades. His first step into the national spotlight came in 1991 when he became a founding member of the Aquarium Rescue Unit featuring Col. Bruce Hampton, a cult classic that has stood the test of time. That led to his membership in the classic rock group The Allman Brothers Band. Since 1997, his work with the band has earned him two Grammy nominations for best rock instrumental, in 2003 and in 2004. Over the years, Oteil has shared the stage with rock and blues legends such as Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Levon Helm, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Billy Gibbons, Chuck Leavell, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Johnny Winter, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow and Trey Anastasio. In 2012, Oteil received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his 15 year contribution to the Allman Brothers Band as the longest running bassist in the band’s history.
While touring and recording with the Allman Brothers over the years, Oteil still found time to collaborate with many other musicians. He formed his solo group, Oteil and the Peacemakers in 1998. From 1998 until 2007, the group toured extensively and released three albums. In 2001, Oteil joined Phish’s keyboardist Page McConnell and The Funky Meters’ drummer Russell Batiste to form Vida Blue. He also founded an improv based trio with Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and Max Creek guitarist Scott Murawski in 2008.
Oteil reunited on stage with his brother Kofi after ten years of touring separately when Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band in late 2010, featuring the Burbridge brothers in the rhythm section. The 11-piece super group released their first record, Revelator, in 2011 which won a Grammy in February 2012. The Tedeschi Trucks Band played Eric Clapton’s iconic Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2011. Oteil’s original composition “Love Has Something Else to Say” was including in the DVD release and on their Grammy-winning debut album. The Tedeschi Trucks Band released their second album (and first live album) in 2012, titled “Everybody’s Talkin”.
Over the years, Oteil has also recorded and shared the stage with jazz and jazz-rock fusion legends Herbie Hancock, Roy Haynes, Randy Brecker, John Scofield, Jerry Goodman, Bob Moses, Lenny White, Steve Smith, Bela Fleck, Jimmy Herring, Howard Levi, Victor Wooten and Branford Marsalis.
Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart joined forces with John Mayer in 2015 to form “Dead & Company”, with Oteil on bass and Jeff Chimenti on keys. The band toured the US in the fall and finished up the year with two shows at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and two shows at the Forum in Los Angeles for New Years Eve. Dead & Company is booked to play Bonnaroo in June 2016, with a summer tour to follow.
Oteil is also currently working on his fourth solo record, “Water In The Desert” in his home studio, Hidden Spirit Studios. He has assembled an all-star group of musicians for this record, including brother Kofi on keyboards and flute, Little John Roberts and Sean O’Rourke on drums, vocalists Alfreda Gerald and Mark Rivers, and producer David Ryan Harris. The record is expected to be released in 2016.
When it comes to dreams, Marc Quiñones is loath to voice them. In fact, after nearly two decades of success he’s still in awe that he was able to become a professional in the music industry simply because he played Latin music.
“I always knew I wanted to be a musician, but I never thought it would be possible for me to be a professional one. Fortunately, I’m being proven wrong-and I hope I continue to be proven wrong for the rest of my musical career.” Marc adds that while he doesn’t take his success for granted, he also has never looked back since 1982 when he traded working nine-to-five for the exciting, erratic world of the music industry.
Born in the Bronx, Marc began playing drums when he was three years old. “My father and uncle played, so there were always drums in the house. I guess it was only natural that I began playing the conga.” He was nine years old when he landed one of his first professional gigs-playing in a Latin opera at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Shortly after, he started performing with Tito Puente, who introduced him to Bobby and Tito Allende, and Jose Jusino. The foursome put together a group called Los Rumberitos and did shows with Puente’s band for the next four years.
“I grew up listening to Tito’s music, so playing side-by-side with him was amazing for me as a kid. The highlight of my career was being invited to play timbale on his one-hundredth record, which is a milestone in itself. Tito has always been my idol. He’s an amazing person and an amazing musician who’s still going strong.”
Following Los Rumberitos, Marc began doing gigs around New York with local Latin groups. At age 17, he hooked up with Rafael de Jesus and for the first time began performing with a well-known salsa band. “Rafael put me on his first solo production, which was another career highlight because I was able to work with [composer and musical director] Jose Febles and Papo Pepin, who I grew up trying to emulate on the congas.”
Music is Music
Shortly after graduating high school and entering the work force full-time, Marc got the call that would change the course of his life. He was asked to fill in on congas in a rehearsal with Willie Colon, who was so impressed with Marc’s ability to sight-read music that he kept him in the band. During his five years with Colon, Marc worked his way through the band, playing every percussion instrument in turn. During the last two years, he was musical director and co-producer of one of Colon’s records.A two-year stint playing jazz festivals with Ruben Blades followed before Marc got his first taste of performing in the rock arena. More importantly, it was his first taste of being “managed.”
“I recorded a Latin-style record with David Byrne from Talking Heads, who took the show on the road for a year,” recalls Marc. “With 17 Latin musicians, it was a traveling circus.” However, Marc says he was amazed that Byrne was able to avoid the insanity simply by having management deal with any issues concerning the band. “Production assistants and a road crew handled stage and sound setups, took care of any problems, and made sure the musicians got to gigs on time-even if it meant carrying someone right out of their bed and onto a bus or plane. This was my first introduction to that side of music.”
As it turned out, the eye-opening experience of being managed in a rock band as opposed to the “craziness” of playing with unmanaged musicians proved to a pleasant change of pace for Marc. He moved on to join Spyro Gyra in 1989, this time enjoying the organized atmosphere of jazz.
“Basically, music is music. But things are run efficiently in jazz and rock, and I enjoy having everything in order. On the other hand, while salsa is disorganized in nature, the music is grooving–which makes it a pleasure to be there as well.”
Marc’s positive experience in the rock and roll arena compelled him to accept a job with the Allman Brothers Band after a chance meeting with Butch Trucks in 1991. “After watching me perform one night with Spyro Gyra, Butch came backstage and told management he was going to steal me from the band. Two months later, everything kind of fell into place.”
Marc’s Latin roots help him bring an unusual sound to the band. “I’m not really changing any sounds,” he stresses, “but rather I’m adapting the salsa I learned as a kid to fit with the band’s rock music.” For example, he will adapt a salsa tumbao into a rock and roll setting, which makes the sound a little more swinging. In some tunes, he will play six-eight rhythms, which fit with the three-four pattern of the rest of the band without any modification.
Marc is one of three percussionist drummers in the band. He explains his role is to establish a rhythm that the guitarist can play off. “It’s not like a salsa band, which has a three-man percussion team and everybody is playing. I find a little niche between Butch, who’s the timekeeper, and Jaimoe, who’s the colorist. Occasionally, Jaimoe will let me play drums, but I’m a frustrated drummer.”
Another source of frustration, according to Marc, is the unfortunate fact that Latin musicians must go outside of their realm to earn a living. “You can’t make a living playing salsa music. Aside from the disorganization, the big names are keeping all the money.”
Marc says he’s lucky his career has taken him this far, “because playing Latin music doesn’t lend itself to making someone successful unless you’re a Tito Puente, a Willie Colon, or a Ruben Blades. If you’re not the main focus, if you’re just the sideman, you’re not going to be able to survive. You would have to play as a hobby.”
Luckily, there is a growing use of Latin percussion instruments in music other than salsa. “Latin players need to get into playing toys and branching out a little. I’m one of the fortunate ones-I was able to branch out and have some degree of success.”This “degree of success” includes performing 50 concerts plus 15 straight sold-out nights with the Allman Brothers in the last year alone. When he’s not touring with the band, he’s recording music with other Latin bands. Marc also recently recorded music for five episodes of the HBO series “Sex in the City,” as well as recorded jingles for Folgers coffee.
He attributes his steady work to two factors: the guaranteed quality of his musical contribution, and his ability to sight-read music.
“I always recommend that percussionists learn to read music if they want to enhance their career. If they can read and get a job done quickly and efficiently, they’re going to work.” He adds that his ability to read music often lands him recording work in which he plays several parts. “Because I can read music, it’s quicker and easier for me to do all three percussionist parts than to have one percussionist who reads and two who don’t.”
Marc laments, however, that there is a general lack of work for musicians that he blames on economics. “Because of financial matters, there is a real struggle to keep clubs open and filled with people, especially in New York City where rents are extremely high,” he says. “In my belief, we’ve lost a lot of good clubs, like the Village Gate, because people are more interested in making a quick buck than in investing the time and money it takes to start a club. At this point, I think there are more bands than clubs, so new talent is just falling by the wayside.”
He also notes that there are too many musicians who do recordings for whatever price is being offered. “Musicians are shortchanging themselves. If you’ve worked hard at your craft, you should be paid appropriately for your talent. In that regard, I think Bobby [Allende] and I have raised the standard for musicians when it comes to recording and playing live gigs. A salsa gig back when I was coming up would pay $40 to play from midnight to four in the morning. That’s ridiculous, and some people are trying to get away with that now.”
Marc’s credo is to always put 110 percent of his effort into any job, and not only give quality work but also ensure that all accompanying music melds with his rhythm. “If someone hires me for a performance, I try to make their music, their dream, come to reality. I don’t just play a part. I try to work things out to make the music better.”
He says the payback for his effort comes from musicians and other people who approach him to tell him they’re fans of his playing. “My reward is that my name, my playing, and my reputation are solid as far as music is concerned.”
Guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, session-musician…this only begins to describe Jack Pearson. He is best known as an A-list blues/rock lead and slide guitarist but Jack is also a soulful, creative songwriter and artist in his own right.
As a songwriter and solo artist, his songs are moving and honest while his grooves make it hard to sit still for very long. Jack’s lyrics often reflect hope and redemption, reminding the listener never to give up no matter how heavy their burdens. His lyrical and musical hooks have also led to cuts by other artists.
Adept at many musical genres and instruments, he possesses the ability to take each to a higher level. His playing is sophisticated while full of intensity and passion, leaving audiences cheering and musicians smiling – shaking their heads in disbelief at his seemingly effortless skill and talent. Blues Revue calls him a “world-class guitarist” and Rolling Stone brags on his “light touch and fluid, jazzy style…dynamic slide playing”.
Jack has been influenced by many styles of music and his knowledge of the history of each allows him to deliver a “true to the tradition” performance. During his 40 year career he has mastered a wide range of instruments including electric, slide, acoustic and resonator guitar, mandolin, old time banjo and Hammond organ, which he incorporates into many musical styles such as blues & roots music; jazz & bebop; pop & rock; and bluegrass & country. His versatility and musicianship keep his live shows and recordings fresh and exciting.
“Anyone who’s caught Pearson live knows he can flat burn,” says Music Row Magazine. “His tone and prowess are flawless…he picks with a playful inventiveness that I haven’t heard since Duane Allman…” Vibes Magazine
He was a member of The Allman Brothers Band from 1997-1999 and has worked with music legends from the world of jazz, rock, blues and country including The Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman, Vince Gill, Jimmy Buffett, Tommy Emmanuel, Keb Mo’, Delbert McClinton, Earl Scruggs, Chris LeDoux, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Mac McAnally, Amy Grant, Groove Holmes, Mike Snider, Faith Hill, Ronnie Milsap, Jimmy Hall, Gov’t Mule, Buddy DeFranco, T. Graham Brown, Shelby Lynne, Jimmy Raney, Lee Ann Womack, Vassar Clements, Bonnie Bramlett, Mundell Lowe, The Jordanaires, Jim Horn, Lee Roy Parnell, Kirk Whalum, Martina McBride, Taj Mahal, Trace Adkins, Dr John, Sam Moore, Eric Church, John Hiatt, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and the list goes on and on.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Jack learned his first guitar chords from his oldest brother, Stanley, around the Stanley & Jack Pearsonage of 12. After learning a few songs, Stanley gave him a chart of the fretboard and told him to memorize it. It helped Jack to see and understand how the notes went together. One day Stanley handed Jack a slide and said, “Here boy, put this on your finger and play.” Stanley couldn’t play slide but he knew it was important for Jack to learn.
Jack has said Stanley was a good teacher with a lot of patience. He would pull out his records, which included players like Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Scotty Moore, Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Lightin’ Hopkins and The Ventures and have Jack learn certain songs. When Jack would hear something he liked, he would sit for hours playing it over and over trying to learn each note and which strings the notes were played on so he could duplicate the tone and feeling.
Others from Jack’s eclectic list of early influences include Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, B.B. King, Wes Montgomery, Toy Caldwell, Billy Gibbons, and Roy Clark; he appreciated any player with an inspiring craft. One Christmas he was given a record that changed everything, The Allman Brothers Band’s “Live At Fillmore East”, and told to learn every note. Although he had heard the record before, he now had his own copy so he learned every guitar lick and every bass line, which came in handy when he was called to play guitar in the band years later.
Jack continued to learn and practice incessantly. With fingers bleeding, he was consumed by his love of music and felt he had no choice; it was his calling. Jack has said, “I’ve always felt like the Lord must have made me to play music.” and he doesn’t take this gift for granted. Even now, he knows it’s his responsibility to practice daily and to continue to grow and improve.
Early on Jack was involved with several bands at the same time (a recurringJack Pearson 1976 theme to this day), with family members, with school friends, and with older musicians; playing in clubs before he was old enough to drive, requiring a ride to and from rehearsals and for gigs. At 16, he had his first studio session.
Jack Pearson 1977He had been told about a local band called Renegade, which included a slide guitar player, uncommon in the area at the time. After an early gig, he went to hear them play; he talked to them a bit and since he had his equipment in the car he was asked to sit in…he ended up playing the rest of the night. The next day that slide player, Lee Roy Parnell, asked him to join the band. In an interview with Hittin’ The Note Magazine Lee Roy said, “…I wanted him in the band real bad. Jack was just so good and so right, and I felt the vibe right away. The other guys were saying, ‘we don’t really need another guitarist’ but I simply told them ‘Let me put it to you like this – if Jack don’t go, I don’t go.’” So, in the fall of 1977, at the age of 17, Jack left with Renegade for a two-week gig in Florida, which turned into almost a year on the road.
Although Renegade later disbanded, Jack and Lee Roy moved to Austin, Texas in 1979 and started The Lee Roy Parnell Band; opening for such acts as Taj Mahal, Joe Ely and Jerry Jeff Walker. While in Austin, Jack often sat in with W.C. Clark; met keyboardist Reese Wynans (with whom he still plays); and had the privilege of jamming with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bonnie Raitt. However, it was still hard to make a living (Jack recalls that buying both a hamburger and guitar strings was a luxury) so he decided to head back to Tennessee and in 1980 he put everything he owned (guitar, amp, one suitcase & a ten-speed bike) on a Greyhound bus for the two day, sleepless trip home.
After returning to Tennessee, Jack began playing more acoustic blues and singing, landing a gig as opening act for Leon Redbone at a local show. His acoustic blues style developed from influences such as Blind Willie Johnson, Rev. Gary Davis and Brownie McGhee. He also spent time living in Muscle Shoals and Miami making new friends and playing whenever/wherever he could.
He returned to Tennessee again in 1983 and began to study more jazz, performing with Jimmy Raney in 1986, with Buddy DeFranco in 1987 and with Groove Holmes in 1988. Influenced by Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Joe Pass, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell – and not just guitarists but any musician that spoke with their instrument – Oscar Peterson, Johnny Griffin, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gilliespie, Art Tatum, Wynton Kelly, Chet Baker, Clarke Terry; Jack’s unique and versatile talent shone in his jazz performances.
Jack Pearson national steelJack first performed with his long time friend and collaborator William Howse in 1978. William, a blues harmonica master, established a playing style in the tradition of John Lee Williamson, Big Walter and Deford Bailey and his vocals are reminiscent of Muddy Waters; he is one of the few true bluesmen around. Together they have written many inspiring songs, some recorded by other artists – Gregg Allman, Johnny Jenkins, Jimmy Hall – and have added their skills to other’s recordings and live shows. They performed both as a duo and from the late 1980’s through 2002, anchored the popular local blues band,The Nationals. The combination of their exceptional talent as individual musicians and their songwriting skills made for a captivating show every time.
As The Nationals, they performed both original and cover compositions; often trading and echoing licks, creating some exciting wars between guitar and harmonica at live shows. They made one recording as a band in 1990 and opened for The Neville Brothers featuring Aaron Neville, Bo Diddley and Johnny Taylor to name a few.
As a duo Jack and William perform acoustic, country blues, delta blues that recall an earlier, more rural style, merging tradition with personal experience that reaches the listener and touches the soul. They were part of the bill at The Ryman Auditorium with The Fairfield Four and The Nashville Bluegrass Band and have opened for Doc Watson, Honey Boy Edwards, Yank Rachell and Johnny Shines.
William gave a special performance at the dedication ceremony of the Tennessee Historical Marker commemorating harmonica great Deford Bailey. As a duo they performed at the dedication ceremony of the Tennessee Historical Marker commemorating blues harmonica legend, John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson. Give them two chairs, a resonator guitar and a belt of harmonicas and the result is an authentic acoustic delta blues duo. The proof is in their recording simply titled “William Howse & Jack Pearson”, which is a collection of their original compositions.
In 1989 Jack began working with Delbert McClinton and in 1990 he started performing with Jimmy Hall, from Wet Willie fame. In addition to his guitar licks, Jack contributed several co-written songs to Jimmy’s 1996 recording “Rendezvous With The Blues”, a must have for your collection.
In 1993 Jack received a phone call from friend Warren Haynes, a member of The Allman Brothers Band (ABB), who asked Jack to sub for Dickey Betts during a tour. ABB was Jack’s favorite band when he was young and now it would pay off that he had learned both Duane’s and Dickey’s parts from all of their recordings because there was no time to rehearse. Jack flew to Dallas, Texas where he and Warren met in a hotel room to work out the harmonies and the next night he hit the stage with The Allman Brothers Band before a crowd of 20,000.
ABBAfter his stint on the tour, Gregg Allman asked Jack to join his solo band so he became part of the Gregg Allman & Friends tours. When his time filling in for Dickey came to an end, Jack thought, “I wish I could play with Dickey someday.” and that came true – sitting in and jamming at various times with ABB. Then in 1997 after Warren Haynes left the band, Jack received a call from Gregg asking if he wanted to become a member of The Allman Brothers Band. He said “yes”. Jack traveled to Dickey’s home to do a little pickin’ and get to know each other better. After playing a few songs Dickey got up and left the room. When he returned, he presented Jack with one of Duane’s slides; a special honor. Jack was asked to later play Duane’s dobro (used by Duane on “Little Martha”) and the performance prompted Dickey to play a little hambone. In an interview for Guitar World Gregg Allman said, “After he played with [Jack], Dickey said, ‘Either we hire him or I ask him for lessons.’”
Jack remained a member of ABB from 1997-1999 at which time he made the difficult decision to leave the band because of severe tinnitus (ringing in the ears). He had tried many custom ear plugs but nothing helped at that stage volume. Derek Trucks joined the band replacing Jack and later Dickey departed but eventually Warren Haynes rejoined the group. However, Jack has still received the call to sub when needed including filling in for both Warren and Derek on multiple tours; giving Jack the unique status of playing in the band with Warren, Dickey and Derek. He still visits his friends and sits in when ABB play in a nearby city.
Jack feels truly blessed by the many special experiences that have come through music including – sitting in Chet Atkins’ kitchen, picking and being shown a chord voicing by the legendary CGP (certified guitar player); becoming a member of his favorite band from his youth; meeting many other influences such as Joe Pass, B.B. King and Albert King; playing with many great musicians, many of whom will never receive the recognition they deserve; performing on The Grand Ole Opry; at Farm Aid and legendary venues such as The Ryman Auditorium, Red Rocks, Madison Square Garden and The Beacon Theatre; and recording and touring with a host of talented artists.
Mixed in with these highlights are also lowlights that every musician experiences and Jack has had plenty of those including – earning $1.73 per person from the bar’s cover charge; sleeping seven people in one hotel room; sitting on the side of the road with your equipment because the band’s transportation failed…again; playing to empty rooms or almost empty about which Jack would jokingly comment, “Boy, we really had him going tonight!”
Jack Pearson 2011Whether playing nearly empty rooms or sold out arenas, Jack puts the same intensity and passion into his performances. He doesn’t hold back. He plays his heart out every time, causing drummers to sweat and leaving his own legs weak after solos. Jack has said, “When it comes to low points, it’s important to keep things in perspective. They call hard times paying dues. Going through hard times is tough, but my faith leads me on. I have so much to be thankful for. It’s such a blessing to be able to play music to begin with.”
When writing songs he weaves that thread of hope and faith into the message, even into instrumentals. Often writing of meeting life’s challenges, not giving up and coming out strong on the other end; it’s a testament of his own life, in which his faith strengthens him. He desires to help lift a burden and leave the listener encouraged. As a songwriter Jack has collaborated with a number of accomplished and talented writers including, Gregg Allman, William Howse, Leslie Satcher, Bernie Nelson, Dan Penn, Donny Lowery, Lee Roy Parnell, Warren Haynes, Allen Woody, A.J. McMahon, Johnny Few, and Pete McClaran.
While Jack’s guitar skills cover a wide spectrum of musical styles, his talent goes beyond the guitar. He taught himself to play other instruments including Hammond organ, mandolin, bass, drums and old time banjo. He has played these on his own recordings and in sessions for others and has become quite proficient at each.
Jack Pearson mandolinHe began playing mandolin in December 2001, again, spending hours every day practicing; studying the styles of Jethro Burns, Mike Compton, Yank Rachell, and Bill Monroe. Having played mandolin on many recording sessions, Jack was honored to be included on a project by the legendary Earl Scruggs. He incorporates mandolin into many of his live shows on both traditional and original compositions. He has said, “This instrument has given me another voice and added something that had been missing from my music.”
Whatever the instrument, Jack’s playing style is unselfish; he feeds off of what is going on at that moment. He listens very closely to what everyone else is playing and contributes based on what he hears, “whatever a song needs, I’m going to play – or not play”. InHittin’ The Note Magazine Gregg Allman said, “He’s one of the finest I’ve ever seen. He really listens, he plays great, tasteful solos, he comps great and he knows how to play with you instead of behind you.”
Jack’s insightful understanding of various musical styles and the ability to properly perform each makes him a first class instructor. He has taught at countless guitar clinics and workshops over the years and is expanding as host of his own clinics. He sees the need for others to learn techniques and touches that appear to be dying; either they are no longer passed down or, in some cases, are not correctly understood so are passed down incorrectly. His future plans for online instruction will allow him to reach players around the world who can study at their own pace.
Over the years Jack has also honed his skills behind the board and has earned ample credits for producing, engineering, mixing and mastering projects for others in addition to his own. It’s no surprise that Jack is an extraordinary producer and the proof can be heard on any of his solo recordings, possessing the ability to take a good song and record it in very different styles – not a common skill these days. Jack has said, “I’ve always believed that you can play a good song in any groove or tempo. A truly good song has a life of its own and then it’s just a matter of interpretation and production.” He wants to expand this role and produce more for other artists; drawing from his deep well of talented friends would make for a first rate production for anyone.
Jack Pearson has released four CDs all of which have received praise from critics, colleagues and fans and he’s always working on new music – writing and recording. He plans to release part of his stockpile of recordings as downloads through his own website.
Guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, session-musician…many people in Nashville and beyond can claim those descriptors, but Jack Pearson is a truly gifted performer and an American musical treasure.
“If you can only check out one player, make that player Jack Pearson!” Vintage Guitar Magazine
Guitarist and harmonica player Pat Bergeson has written, toured, and recorded with many of his musical heroes. Beginning at the University of Illinois in his home state, he moved on to New York City and picked up a Jazz Studies degree at William Paterson University. After playing in New York for ten years, he moved to Nashville upon the request of Chet Atkins who heard Pat on a demo tape. Chet invited him to play on his album “Sneakin’ Around” with Jerry Reed, and later featured Pat’s guitar and compositions on his 1994 releases “Read My Licks” and “Simpatico” with Chet Atkins and Suzy Bogguss. Pat continued to tour and record with Chet for several years, and was named as one of his top twelve favorite guitarists in the Oct. 2001 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine. pat playing guitar
A versatile guitarist and harmonica player, Pat’s style incorporates jazz, blues, rock and finger style and he is known for his session work with a variety of artists. He has been in the studio with Lyle Lovett, Alison Krauss, Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Dolly Parton, Peter Frampton, Michael McDonald, Tommy Emmanuel, Bill Frisell, Martin Taylor, Suzy Bogguss, Toby Keith, Bill Evans, Benny Golson, Joey DeFrancesco, and many others. He has toured with Shelby Lynne, Madeleine Peyroux, Wynonna Judd, Suzy Bogguss and then four years with Lyle Lovett and his Large Band. Pat has been a teacher and producer, played on many Grammy Award-winning records, and has appeared on many movie soundtracks.
By overwhelming demand, Pat released “Hippy Dance!,” a fun, funky, jazz-blues-inflected party record featuring the harmonica and guitar virtuosity of Pat Bergeson along with the tuba stylings of Dan Anderson. The record also features some of Pat’s favorite musicians including Jeff Coffin, Steve Shapiro,Jim White, Roger Spencer, Jimmy Wallace, Will Barrow, Charlie Chadwick, Rod McGaha, Roy Agee andMichael Jefry Stevens. Available at CD Baby and iTunes.
Pat released a CD entitled “Country Gentleman – A Tribute To Chet Atkins” featuring super-pickers Tommy Emmanuel, Richard Smith, Paul Yandell and Jon Randall, as well as Pat’s longtime friend, Suzy Bogguss.
Pat Bergeson is currently active in Nashville as a session musician, and performing with soul music great,Charles “Wigg” Walker, The Babbas with Annie Sellick, and The Hot Club of Nashville, among others.
BRUCE KATZ :
BRUCE KATZ has many angles and influences, occupying a unique space where blues, “soul-jazz”, jam-band rock, and all aspects of Americana Music collide into a style of original music all his own. He is equally comfortable playing early “stride” and boogie woogie piano as he is playing Hammond B-3 Organ and rock.
Besides leading the Bruce Katz Band, Bruce performs regularly with Delbert McClinton, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, John Hammond, Butch Trucks, Maria Muldaur and played from 2007-2013 with Gregg Allman and Friends as well as several tours with the Allman Brothers Band.
Over the past thirty years, Bruce has been an in-demand sideman as well as leading his own band.
He has played and recorded with many of the leading names in blues, jazz and roots music, appearing on over 70 albums with artists such as Ronnie Earl, John Hammond, Delbert McClinton, Duke Robillard, Joe Louis Walker, Little Milton, Maria Muldaur, Jimmy Witherspoon, Mighty Sam McClain, Debbie Davies, David “Fathead” Newman and many others.
Bruce Katz was honored to be a 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2015 Nominee for the Blues Music Award (W.C. Handy Award) for “Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year”, selected by the Blues Foundation of Memphis, TN. He was also nominated in 2015 for the Living Blues “Outstanding Musician (Keyboardist)” award.
He played with Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters from 1992-1997, appearing on 6 CDs with Ronnie including “Grateful Heart”, which won the Downbeat Award for “Best Blues Album” of 1996. In 1998 Bruce began concentrating on the Bruce Katz Band, touring the U.S. and Europe many times and has released 7 CDs, including the most recent one, “Homecoming”, on the American Showplace Music label (2014).
Besides performing, Bruce has been actively teaching as well. He was an Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music from 1996 – 2010, teaching Harmony, Hammond B3, piano and Blues History. He currently teaches privately from his studio in West Shokan, NY and conducts master classes at clinics and festivals world wide.
Bruce has a lengthy background in classical piano. After hearing a Bessie Smith record when he was 10 years old, he started teaching himself blues and early jazz on the piano. He then heard boogie-woogie and swing music and began his musical journey into more aspects of jazz and American roots music.
In 1992, Katz debuted his first solo album, “Crescent Crawl”, on the AudioQuest label. He released “Transformation” the following year. In 1997 the Bruce Katz Band began touring the U.S. and Europe.
Bruce’s 2008 CD, “Live! At the Firefly” (Brown Dog MusicNizztone) , was received with critical acclaim. The CD rose to #11 on the National Living Blues Radio Chart, and received substantial play on XM/Sirius Satellite Radio. In 2014, Bruce released his album “Homecoming” on the American Showplace Music label. Bruce has also been the subject of a film documentary, and features in many leading blues and jazz magazines the world over.
LAMAR WILLIAMS JR.:
Lamar Williams, Jr., son of the bass player for the Allman Brothers Band from 1972 to 1976, hails from Georgia and handles lead vocals for Les Brers.
Lamar has recorded and performed with numerous artists in diverse genres, from rock to soul to country.