Black Magic and the Last Dog Standing Band

Black Magic and the Last Dog Standing Band


One of the most dynamic new bands to hit the Baltimore and Washington DC area is Black Magic and the Last Dog Standing Band. Frederick Blues Society award winners for best area Blues Band, Guitarist, Bassist, Drummer and Male Lead Vocals in 2003 and 2004, and Artist of the Year for 2004.


Black Magic - Lead Vocals
Black Magic (Horace Turner, Jr.), vocalist and harmonica player hails from the Delta Blues country. An Alabama native and the grandson of cotton sharecroppers from Eufala, Alabama, his vocals are truly "magic". He now makes his home in Baltimore; where Horace earned the nickname "Black Magic" when he began playing harmonica in the late 1960's.

Magic has been singing and playing music since he was young. He has been in do-wop, rock, gospel, R&B and Motown-style groups. Twenty years ago, however, he decided to go with one style. "I like blues," he said.

Magic began his musical career playing percussion in junior high school, but soon developed an interest in harmonica when his family took in a border and harp player from North Carolina. He takes his harmonica wherever he goes, and loves to play it. "I like for people to have fun," he said. "I like entertainment." After an introduction to the sounds of blues legends Sonny Boy Williamson, Sonny Terry and Little Walter and a few lessons, Magic was well on his way to a lifelong passion to play the blues.

Steve Beck - Guitar
Steve Beck ("Stevie B") started playing guitar at age 11. During college, his band Pendulum played clubs in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the D.C. area, and various concerts, opening for bands such as The Shooze (Kix) and Steppenwolf. After graduating from college, Steve left the East Coast to play full time in the San Jose and San Francisco Bay area. His group Panzer toured for almost 3 years, regularly playing clubs such as the Bodega, Smokey Mountain and the Keystone, cruises on the San Francisco Bay, and played various concerts throughout the Northern California area. His band was regularly in the studio, and their record, released on an independent label, received frequent airplay on San Jose radio stations.

Considered one of the rising blues guitarists of the tri-state area, he has a unique blend of rock mixed with traditional blues licks and is equally at home playing an Albert King solo, as he is Hendrix or Gary Moore. Starting his career in rock, he moved to the blues because, as he says, "it's the only style that can truly capture my emotions in my playing".

Steve lives in the Frederick, MD area where he teaches guitar at Make 'N' Music, does session and studio work, and plays at various area "open jams".

Nick Nickens - Bass
Nick Nickens, Bassist, was always musically inclined. Starting with the piano, then the clarinet in school, he later got an acoustic guitar. Not liking all the strings on it, he took off the first two and turned it into a bass. That was the start of his passion for the bass.

Nick played in Baltimore and New York's Greenwich Village and played back up in clubs, such as the Metro, Richie Havens' Café Wa, The Other End, Village Vanguard, Ken's Castaways, among others. Outgrowing the Baltimore scene, he joined the group London Fog, who successfully played a variety of Rhythm and Blues in L.A. for three years, and opened for Don Rickles in Vegas at the Sahara. A few years later and back in Baltimore, he joined the Steppin' Blues Band, which opened for Johnny Winter. A friend asked him to be the house bass player for the Jam Sessions at the Full Moon Saloon, in Fell's Point and it was there he met the members of, and formed the Big Dog Band. Big Dog was a raw-jamming, high-energy, five-piece blues band. His Big Dog run lasted for five years. It was during this time, at one of the Jam Sessions, Nick met Black Magic.

Nick is now living in Frederick, MD, where Black Magic and the Last Dog Standing Band actively plays.

Tom Mansell - Drums
Tómas Mansell, drummer extraordinaire, hails from Potomac, Maryland. Thanks to his father's Nicaraguan background, Tom was surrounded by the sounds of Latin music, while growing up. His passion for the drums started after playing his father's bongos at the age of 7. He took lessons for over ten years with one of the best Jazz drummers in the Maryland area, William Williams. Throughout the years, he played drums for his school's marching band, stage band and orchestra. In high school he started playing in rock and horn bands for parties and various occasions.

In the early 1980's, he joined a band named Tucson and played all over D.C. in such places as Desperados and Babe's. During the 6 years Tucson was together, they recorded a handful of songs, with one pressed to a 45. He moved on and became the drummer for Wayne Joy and the 24 K Band, a high-energy band with a three-piece horn section that played everything from Blues to Motown. Tom, and three former members of the 24K Band, reformed the 1960's Roulette Record label band, Fallen Angels. The reformation was a success; Fallen Angel recorded a CD and opened for John Mayall and Leon Russell.

Tom lives in New Market, Maryland. He is a successful drum teacher; some of his former students have entered college with full music scholarships. His main influ


Black Magic and the Last Dog Standing Band, Live at Bentz St (2004)
Black Magic and the Last Dog Standing Band, Live at the Frederick Blues Festival (2005)

Set List

Black Magic and the Last Dog Standing Band perform a variety of traditional and contemporary Blues. From the traditional standards of Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon, T-Bone Walker, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, to the 60's magic of Sam Cooke, Wilson Picket, Lonnie Mack and Junior Wells, to the more contemporary sounds of Albert King, BB King, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and ZZ Top, the band covers a wide variety of material.

Traditional Blues is only a part of the repertoire of this talented group. In addition to these well-known and respected artists, the group also performs more contemporary "rock oriented" material by popular groups such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Indigenous, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, and Robert Cray.