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"Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro"

Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro / September 2005

Something I read in one of the press releases contained in the promo package I received from the bLUESdUSTERS immediately aroused my curiosity. It went like this - ".......the challenge is to create songs that are fresh and new, yet remain firmly rooted in the great and very traditional genre. Tread the familiar ground and you risk redundancy; stray too far and you risk leaving the entire genre behind...................."

Given a choice, I'll take redundancy 100% of the time. Being a purist, I find nothing wrong with listening to blues that is exactly like it's supposed to be - BLUES. These ears have been trained to reject what the new pioneers are calling blues. Now comes the big question - what exactly will I hear as I listen to the self titled CD "bLUESdUSTERS", by the bLUESdUSTERS? I'm certainly curious and somewhat.................

"PETRIFYD", the opening track had me immediately smiling as it was quite clear the bLUESdUSTERS had not strayed very far at all.

The nucleus of the bLUESdUSTERS is JOHN O. NELSON and LEONARD "GRIF" GRIFFE. Both are lead vocalists and lead and rhythm guitarists with JOHN also playing slide and bass. Additional players include: RICHARD "LIPS" LAWRENCE on piano; MICHAEL VANNICE on organ; TOM STAMPER, KENT CLICKENBEARD, PETE MILLER and JIM BEATTY on drums; RANDY & RENEE JORDON on background vocals.

"SOFT SPOT (FOR A HARD HEADED WOMAN)" Is one of this discs many highlights. Be it JOHN or LEONARD, the lead vocals on this one, as well as all of the other tracks, are outstanding. LEONARD'S burning guitar solos and RICHARD'S mastery at the piano make this one stand out.

"PACK IT UP" is hot. This is rippin', rockin' and smokin' blues. The lead and slide guitar, as they do on most of the tracks, tear this one up. Additionally, the track is nearly stolen by RICHARD and his piano. I certainly will make sure I look for more on this fine player.

The next two tracks I'm going to mention, although both very different from each other, are certainly two of my personal favorites by the 'dUSTERS. "BEHIND THE WHEEL" is a straight up, just the way I like it, knee slappin', toe tappin' blues shuffle. The bands stated influences of Muddy and B.B. and Buddy show on this one. With the rhythm section locked into a very nice and tight groove behind them, JOHN and LEONARD's vocal harmonizing and some great blues guitar highlight this track. "TIME IS RIGHT" is a very slow, very bluesy ballad - the kind that just stops you in your tracks and puts you in 'groove mode'. You know what I'm talkin' about......the kind of song where automatically and simultaneously, your eyes close, your heel starts softly tapping the floor and your neck becomes a slinky that your head effortlessly bobs back and forth on. Man it just doesn't get any better than that. The bLUESdUSTERS nail it on this one.

"BELIEVE ME" is a funky sounding track which, as you'd expect, features a real hot rhythm section. On this one, another of the bands listed influences is quite noticeable - the guitar work is very reminiscent of the late, great Albert Collins.

In as much as some of the tracks that I didn't mention certainly do show that the bLUESdUSTER are a band with a bit of their own style and interpretation, it's quite apparent that the band has not strayed too far at all.. This is one hell of a blues band.

You can visit the bLUESdUSTERS on the Web at:

"One of the best, 2005!"

"Bluesdusters" is selected as one of the best Blues CDs of 2005 by Michel Dubois, CVRL-FM Quebec - Michel Dubois

""The Buzz""

“...original, classy modern Blues, tasty Blues-rock or ‘60’s influenced R&B. ”
Blues Matters

“...the opening track had me immediately smiling... the lead vocals are outstanding.
This is one hell of a blues band.”
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro

"Bluesdusters is the project of a pair of blues
veterans, Johnnie O. (John Nelson) from
Chicago via Denver and L.A., and Grif
(Leonard Griffie) from L.A. via L.A. These two
and their bandmates generally stay away
from covers and while they have a blues
sound, they have a unique sound, dare we
say it... an original sound. They call it
American roots music and they know what
they are talking about. Go for it, guys!"
Bruce Olson
The Landmark,
Yachats, Oregon
“It is easy to see why the Bluesdusters have a
growing reputation out on the West Coast
and this release deserves to spread their
fame further afield.”
Norman Darwen
Blues & Rhythm Magazine
“As soon as I got it, I played it on my show
and, considering the many radio-friendly
cuts, this cd will be on my playlists for weeks,
even months.”
Michel Dubois,
Blues Host, CKRL-fm 89.1
Quebec City, Canada
“The only words that apply here are ‘a master
debut’...... Buy this album of course. “
Rootstime (Belgium)
“Every song shimmies with energy as the CD
builds momentum like a well-planned set.”
Dan Dillon,
Grants Pass Daily Courier,

”We especially liked the great homogeneity of
the group’s play. The various trends of the
Chicago style have been assimilated to
Serge Warin
Radio Canal Bleu, France
“... a good sound, simple and original...Nice
record indeed...”
Roberto GiuliRoots Highway (Italy)
”Your songs sound fresh but at the same time
they are strongly rooted in the blues. I’m sure
that my listeners will enjoy it as much as I do.”
Przemek Draheim,
Radio Sfera, Poland
“Passion, strong mood, genuine rhythms and
clear-timbered voices that colour a new canvas
of blues.”
“... a good sound, simple and original...Nice
record indeed...”

Roberto Giuli
Roots Highway (Italy)
”Your songs sound fresh but at the same time
they are strongly rooted in the blues. I’m sure
that my listeners will enjoy it as much as I do.”
Przemek Draheim,
Radio Sfera, Poland
“Passion, strong mood, genuine rhythms and
clear-timbered voices that colour a new canvas
of blues.”
Simone Bargelli
One of the best
new blues releases
of 2005!
Michel DuboisCKRL-FM,
Quebec City
One of the best
new blues releases
of 2005!

Michel Dubois
Quebec City

“The bLUESdUSTERS serve
up their songs in a way
that’s both familiar and
fresh... like a new twist on
an old family recipe”-
Solomon Burke

“Original Blues written and
performed with deep reverence
to the classic Blues and
R&B sounds of the
1950’s and 60’s.”
ROOTSTONE PRODUCTIONS • PO Box 43 •Ashland, OR 97520 Email:

- Rootstone Productions


A new bLUESdUSTERS CD is in the works and promises to hit close to home! "Home is where the heart is", it's been said and our heart is full of the Blues. Our first cd got rave reviews and strong airplay in the USA, Canada, UK, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Brazil and more! Syndicated radio show "Blues Deluxe" included Bluesdusters in their January 8,2006 playlist. 'Bluesdusters' is still available in Cd or as downloads at our website, i-Tunes, CD Baby and many on-line music sites.



Born and raised in the "Windy City", Johnny O. Nelson (Hauschild) was exposed to the musical melting pot that filled the airwaves of that mid-western city. Leaving Chicago for good in his late teens, John found himself in Boulder, CO where he fronted or shared leadership in numerous incarnations of R & B-based bands that played the regional venues. Local entertainment reviews frequently recognized the distinctive, bluesy vocals put out by 'Johnny O.', when his bands were the featured act, as well as opening act, for national touring artists. These shows often ended in jam sessions with such legends as Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Johnny Shines, James Cotton, John Hammond, Jr. and Elvin Bishop.
A chance meeting with the legendary King Solomon Burke at the Portland, OR Waterfront Blues Festival developed into onstage musical magic during Solomon's gospel set on Sunday. John O. Nelson has performed, on occasion, as a backing and featured vocalist with Burke's "Soul's Alive Orchestra". One of the shows was at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles as opening act for The Rolling Stones in 2002.

Leonard “Grif” Griffie began his music career as a southern California teen. The son of a life long professional guitarist, he took to the instrument as if born to play. Though the Los Angeles area nightclubs mostly required him to play the popular rock music of the day, Grif's guitar was always pure blues with a little jazz mixed in. An early interest in bluesrockers like Eric Clapton, Jim Hendrix, and Johnny Winter led him to seek out their influences. After years of studying and absorbing the music of favorites like Freddie, Albert, and BB King; as well as Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Albert Collins and literally dozens more, Grif has developed two unique voices: one vocal, one instrumental- Both an extension of his soul.
All of the current band members have many years of concert, club and studio experience. Michael Vannice spent many years in the Robert Cray Band, and was musical director for Lowell Fulsom.