>Bluesmen Gone From Dobrofest!

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This is from Slovakblues.com. I had to do screen shots to get the translation from Slovack to English. I made these images ‘clickable’ so you can read them.
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>King Biscuit Time

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The King Biscuit Time radio show’s first broadcast in 1941 brought roots music to a mainstream audience for the first time, and was a watershed moment in African-American culture. The daily programming of Sonny Boy Williamson, Pinetop Perkins, Robert Lockwood Jr., and other Delta blues legends laid the foundation for all blues, rock, pop, and hip-hop music today. The program is still broadcast each weekday on KFFA in Helena Arkansas, and the show’s record-setting 15,000+ broadcasts document the formation of a true American art form.

King Biscuit Blues Festival:

Blues popularity has ebbed and flowed over the last fifty years with each new generation discovering the legacy of their musical forefathers. Even though there had been several rediscoveries of the blues, Helena’s contribution never seemed to earn much attention from the blues community. Seeing this sorely lacking…the idea was born for The King Biscuit Blues Festival.


In 1985 Bubba Sullivan and Jerry Pillow decided to explore the possibilities of having some type of Blues Festival in Helena. Neither had ever organized an event of such a large scale so they decided to pull together all of the blues lovers that they knew in the area. The list is a long one of all the individuals that responded to the call, some of the most involved were Ray Galloway, George Hays, Houston Stackhouse Jr., Lonnie Shields, James Morgan, Sterling Billingsley, Mike Harcourt and many, many more.

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The Original Snakeboy played at the 1998 King Biscuit Blues Festival.
“Catfish Keith performed all weekend at King Biscuit, at the National Guitar Museum & Stage, and had special guests perform and jam including Peter Madcat Ruth, Mary Flower, Robert Jones, John Mooney, The Original Snakeboy, and Paul Rishell & Annie Raines. There were also reported sightings of Alvin Youngblood Hart, Larry Johnson, Honeyboy Edwards and Roy Rogers. What a great festival, right in the heart of the delta!”
-Above quoted from Catfish Keith’s website…he and Snakeboy were good friends.

King Biscuit Festival is now known as…
The Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival.

This year they are celebrating their 25th anniversary !
Show is October 7-9, 2010 … in Helena, Arkansas.
B.B. King, Dr. John, and Taj Mahal will be among the many performers this year.

Link to their website on the right, or click on this Post Title 🙂
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Hempstalk Festival – Portland 2005


Poster ©The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation

The Original Snakeboy performed most of his gigs solo in the later part of his career. But occasionally teamed up with other Portland area musicians to create: Snakeboy’s Viper Band. This was an avenue he wanted to pursue further, but it turned out to be just sporadic here and there, with many band members varying for each gig.
However, I think Cory Burden played drums most of the time.

To my knowledge there wasn’t any ‘practice’ per se before the Hempstalk performance.
Snakeboy just got in touch with a bunch of musician friends, and said…
‘hey man…wanna play this gig with me…sounds like it’ll be fun.’
The guys involved are all very talented professional musicians,
and could easily just jam together for this gig 🙂

The Original Snakeboy – guitar & vocals
Cory Burden – drums
Miguel Maldonado – sax
Reggie Houston – sax
Jim Miller – bass

Video courtesy of Tim Pate – stage manager that year at Hempstalk.
This was the first year of the Hempstalk Festival in Portland.

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The LANDMARK


Logo ©The Landmark

Sunday, August 20, 2006 8 p.m.

THE ORIGINAL SNAKEBOY
As close to the Delta as you’ll get — winner of national slide guitar contest!

Raised in New Orleans, Snakeboy produces an unforced, smooth and sometimes soaring sound that comes from deep in the Mississippi Delta. He can do a Robert Johnson that rolls and tumbles and his Muddy Water is ever electric. Snakeboy has his originals as well, he is an entertainer who never forgets his audience. He also has a lot of Texas and taste of Hawaii in the sound. He won first place at the National Slide Guitar Festival in Gray, Tenn., in 2000.”

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Muddy Awards


Logo Banner ©Cascade Blues Association

“Named in honor of one of blues music’s most influential forces —McKinley Morganfield, or Muddy Waters — the Cascade Blues Association’s annual Muddy Awards Celebration honors local, regional, national and international stars of the blues.

Every September, the Cascade Blues Association solicits award nominations from the CBA Membership. The top three nominations in each category are used to form the official Muddys Ballots. In October, the ballots are mailed out to the CBA Membership. The votes are tabulated in time for the November General Meeting, where the winners are announced. Over 1,000 CBA members participate in the Muddy Awards process, making it one of the most prestigious blues awards in the world.”

©2010 Cascade Blues Association

The 2005 Muddy Awards Ceremony was held on November 2, 2005.
The Original Snakeboy was nominated under “Best Traditional Blues Act”

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Tribute by Guy Forsyth

The following is an edited tribute written by Guy Forsyth for Snakeboy. 02.06.2008

‘While playing a club called ‘Headliners East’ Down on Sixth Street back in 1993 a slick talking man came up to me and introduced himself as a guitar player by the name of Bill Thompson. We started talking and were soon fast friends who shared a love of music, weed, girls, cars, guitars and story telling, the stories usually being lies about girls, guitars and cars brought on by music and weed. We would play together on stage at ‘Antones’ and ‘The Continental Club’ as well as less glamorous pits like ‘Joe’s Generic Bar’, ‘Babes’, ‘Pearl’s Oyster Bar, and ‘The Black Cat’.

He was a blues slide guitar player who had grown up in New Orleans, son of a guitar picker who worked on the Grand Ol’ Opry. I had only been in Austin a handful of years when I met Bill but he had been in Austin since the early 80’s and was full of tales of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Billy Gibbons, W.C Clark, Al Kooper, Marcia Ball, Angela Strehli, Denny Freeman and hosts of other musicians who built the title “Live Music Capital”. It was at that time at some jam (perhaps Walter Higgs Legendary Shuffle Pig Jam) that he found his true name. Fronting a loose group of friends he found he was fallowing a band called ‘Snakeboy Johnson’ Billy quipped that ‘Snakeboy’s Johnson’ was a great name for a band, a comment that was not warmly received. Undaunted, Billy had MC Higgs introduce his throw together unit as “The Original Snakeboy” (not the Boise Snakeboy, not the Minsk Snakeboy, not the Cleveland Snakeboy…) and the name stuck.

Billy started a band called Coupe De Ville and also played in The Austin All Stars and The Nomads but must be remembered for putting the ‘Spank’ in the Asylum Street Spankers, a band that he helped create with Christina Marrs, Wammo, and I around 1994. This next bit is from an article I read on the web this morning… One day Snakeboy came up with the idea to have signs held up during their performance, with instructions for the fans to do such things as “Applause” or “Give Us All Your Money.” One sign read, “Ladies Spanked Free.” It was just a joke, but when the sign was presented for the first time, a young lady stepped up to the stage, dropped her pants to her ankles and stuck her bare back side in the band’s direction. Banjo player Greg Bayless looked at Snakeboy and said, “You’re a genius, man!”

What makes me write all of this here, and moves this beyond simple Austin history is that Billy (The Original Snakeboy), wile not fully original or unique was a true expression of love threw music, and his life was lived in pursuit of giving joy away to any who would listen.

I say “was” as I just received word this morning that Billy died in Portland Oregon this Monday.. The last time I saw him was in Antwerp, where we had shared a bill and ‘The Crossroads Cafe’ and we had played together for the last time. After the show we sat in my hotel room, and shared the smoke, and talked about old times, music, guitars, girls. And, for a wile, we talked about that old idea of “Mojo”, “magic”, “soul”. Lots of words hint at that elusive thing that people writing about music struggle to pin down, and musicians strive to bring forth, summon up and then give away. Never something that is controlled, being a musician or any type of artist is about surrendering to the pursuit of this thing that can never be named, and that my go just as fast as it comes. Sometimes Billy had it, sometimes he didn’t, (that is all that the best may do) but he kept looking for it, just to give it away. He, like most musicians I know carried a thick stack of stories of all the times he almost but not quite made it.

This afternoon I ran into David Garza as we both stopped by the same house to drop off pay to the musicians who lived there and I told him of the news I had heard. I told him I hoped that Billy had returned to the music he had worked so hard and long to find. David agreed, and smiled speaking of those wonderful days when you first start playing and are lit up and inspired by this music. And I talked of my little girl who already rocks back and forth on the floor in time to the radio. Maybe we are in the music already but we get lost in the stories we create in our heads. Not the ones about girls and guitars but the ones about toll booths and divorces. Labyrinths of coulda, shoulda, woulda, no more real than that red Corvette back in 86that could fly or that National Tri-cone from that pawn shop in Algiers that could sustain a note forever.
– Guy Forsyth ‘

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Triple R Blues Radio – Netherlands


Logo ©Ton Wanten

Triple R Blues Radio is run by Ton Wanten…
he and Snakeboy were quite close friends, and good buddies.
Snakeboy called him Brother T.
I am fortunate that Ton has also bestowed his friendship upon me…great human being!
Please do stop by and enjoy his online Radio show.

For his website…click title of the post to go to Triple R Blues.
Or use the Link listed to the right.

“Hello and welcome to the pages of Triple R Blues Radio,
an on-line radio station operating from The Netherlands.
On these Internet pages you will be able to find out how to launch the radio through
Live365.com and listen to new releases and “oldies but goldies”.
I will do my best to keep the play list on Triple R as fresh as possible with lots of variety between blues and blues related music.

In the “News” section you can find out who’s the guy behind Triple R Blues Radio
and what I did before etc.
Reviews will be placed in the News section.

It is nearly impossible to put a play list on
the pages because the play list of Triple R on Live365 lasts for about 36 hours!
But once you have logged on to the Live365 player the play list is at hand.
Because of the Live365 policy you have to download their player, but that is just a
matter of a few clicks and a few minutes. After that the joy begins.

Dear Bands/Labels/Promoters/Pluggers-
To get your music played on Triple R Americana Radio, please submit CDs, press kits, promo materials, bratwurst, alcohol, homemade cookies, autographed shwag, automobiles, and any other form of payola you deem fit to:

Triple R Blues Radio
i.a.a. Ton Wanten
Houbenslag 41
5981 HA PANNINGEN
The Netherlands “

Gotta LOVE that man 🙂

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