Deeper Blues
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Deeper Blues

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I remember growing up listening to the sounds of the Motown artists coming out of CKLW in Detroit. Back then America listened to its music on AM radio and 50,000 watt blowtorches like CKLW serving Detroit, WLS in Chicago and WLAC in Nashville played a big part in my life and musical tastes.

Back then, the focus was primarily on the singers and album credits seldom listed the talented musicians who created the music behind artists like Sam and Dave, Aretha Franklin and Little Stevie Wonder. Few people had any idea who artists like Duck Dunn, Jerry Jemmott and James Jamerson were, but take Duck Dunn’s elegant bass line out of songs like Knock on Wood and You Got Me Hummin’ and they’re not the same tune.

Among musicians, the players behind the hits are as legendary as the singers and they were often just as important to the success of the music as the singers. Thanks to movies like Standing in the Shadows of Motown, we now know the names and the faces of the Funk Brothers who created the music behind 100s of Motown hits. No CD today would be complete without giving credit to the studio musicians.

These players are valuable for their ability to create original music you seldom get the opportunity to meet and chat with them since they can rarely afford to leave the studio long enough to tour.

One such player is Johnny B Gayden, the studio bassist behind literally dozens of Alligator Records. You’ll find him on all of the Son Seals CDs and for 15 years he toured with Albert Collins’ Icebreakers. He’s also recorded with James Cotton and a host of other artists not in the Alligator stable. Along with Willie Weeks, he may well be the most recorded bassist in blues.

To me, Johnny B Gayden is as important and legendary as Buddy Guy or Junior Wells and when Lane Baldwin, the special projects coordinator for Eden Electronics called and invited me to come up to Chicago and meet Johnny B at a Meet and Greet he was putting on at a Sam Ash store, I jumped at the chance. Not only would I get to meet Johnny, but Lane is also a phenomenal musician and bassist for Deeper Blues, a national caliber group working on its first CD. They were the host band.

In a sense, this was a fourfer. I got to meet and chat with Johnny, watch both he and Lane’s band play, and then tour both the Eden and Lakland factories the next day, all on Eden’s dime. Literally priceless.

Musical talent aside it’s easy to understand why Gayden would be such an asset to a touring band. This is about as pleasant and unassuming a human being as you’re ever going to meet. He currently lives in Goshen, IN where he spends his spare time teaching at a local music store. Prima donnas are simply not valuable commodities on the road.

It’s also easy to understand why he is in such demand in the studio. Deeper Blues is a show band playing original material that tends to be more complex structurally than traditional blues. With absolutely no time for rehearsal, Gayden jumped into their material and within a few bars was creating very interesting bass lines as if he’d been playing the song for years. This was not a trivial exercise and both Gayden and Deeper Blues exceeded my wildest expectations. Wisely, I took my Edirol recorder along and captured the jam.

While bass clinics at music stores aren’t exactly guaranteed to pack the house, this one did. In addition to the 50 or so musicians who came explicitly to see Deeper Blues and Johnny B Gayden (all by word of mouth, since Ash didn’t advertise that he would be there), the place was soon packed with people from the shopping center who were drawn in by the music.

There’s simply something about watching top notch musicians create music on the fly in an informal setting like this that is beyond description. There’s also something about meeting someone who has become a legend in their field of endeavor and watching them practice their craft.

Too bad I don’t live closer to Goshen. I could use the lessons.

For pictures and sound clips of the event, go to

http://www.deeperblues.com/pictures.htm and

http://www.myspace.com/deeperblues

- Blues News


Foodstock ’08 benefits local food pantry

Every penny, every pea counts Saturday
BY BARBARA GREENBERG
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Since Woodstock, concerts that feature multiple acts have been held to benefit good causes. In a similar vein, several musical groups will band together Saturday for Danville Foodstock ’08, an event that will benefit the Danville Area Food Pantry.

The line-up for the five-hour-long event includes Deeper Blues, Doc Ashton and the Root Canals, New Kingdom Christian Church Choir and Phaze II. There’s something for everyone in the musical repertoire for this event.

Deeper Blues’ Lane Baldwin, the event’s producer, said, “We all need to give to our community. ... And we can’t think of anyone who needs help more than those who can’t afford food for their families.

“We also wanted to commemorate the release of our new CD with something special.”

Baldwin and the other members of his blues band, Gary Jones and James Jones, recently released their first CD, “Dig the Hole.”

Deeper Blues has appeared outdoors at Charlotte’s during the warmer months for the past three years.

“Charlotte’s has been the foundation for many of the bands in Danville,” Baldwin said. “When we’re not recording or touring, we’re there as much as possible.”

Roger Boen, Danville Township supervisor, said this new event is much appreciated by the staff and the clients at Danville Area Food Pantry.

“(The band) came up with the idea,” Boen said. “They put the whole thing together by themselves.

“They’re going in with the right idea and the right attitude,” he said. “This is the first year, but they want it to continue. It should get bigger every year.”

Boen knows this from experience. The food pantry benefits from food drives at schools and churches, from the annual national collection by letter carriers and by events like its own Frostbite Marathon held at County Market. All of those events have grown, but so has the need for food, Boen said.

More than two dozen businesses will sponsor Danville Foodstock ’08.

“Thanks to our many sponsoring businesses, this will be a cost-free event,” Baldwin said. “Because of their contributions, every penny and every pea we collect will go directly to the food pantry.”

The concert is free of charge, but a donation of canned goods or other shelf-stable items is strongly suggested. Cash donations are welcome, as well.

The event also will include gift basket raffles and auctions for items, including a private party for up to 50 guests at a local venue with Deeper Blues providing the entertainment.

Members of the participating bands hope to raise enough to provide the food pantry with hundreds of dollars of extra food each week.

“I’m very much an optimist,” Baldwin said. “I shoot high when I set my goals. I set a bar for down the road.”

IF YOU GO

Danville Foodstock ’08, a benefit for the Danville Area Food Pantry, will be from noon-5 p.m. Saturday at Danville Area Community College’s Bremer Conference and Workforce Development Center. The concert is free, but donations of non-perishable food or cash are strongly suggested.
- Commercial News


Discography

Dig the Hole (Blue Empire) - 2008
Homegrown Volume 1 - 2008
Homegrown Videos Volume 1 - 2008
Homegrown Volume 2 - forthcoming, May, 2009

Photos

Bio

"This is going to hurt some, but it'll be worth it, I promise you. You’re going to experience not just our pain; you're going to feel your own pain deeper than ever before. But feeling it, really feeling it, and then letting it go, will give you a sense of renewal like no other. And that, my friend, is the purpose behind the Blues. It's what makes the Blues different than everything else. And when you hear this band play, you're going to hear Blues the way it was meant to be felt!" ~~ Lane Baldwin, co-founder, bass, vocals

Deeper Blues is a Power Blues trio that sounds like nothing you've heard before. Featuring bassist/vocalist Lane Baldwin, the band combines traditional Blues with a vast array of musical influences gained in almost one hundred years of combined experience.

What makes Deeper Blues different? Deeper emotion in the delivery. Deeper meaning in the songs. This is Blues with a heart like the old days, when people expressed their pain and found renewal - Blues the way it was meant to be felt. Darn right it hurts, and it’s made more than one man cry. But, oh, the redemption...

For decades, Lane has had the pleasure to work with, and learn from, the prior generation. "One thing that came back around time and time again," Lane says, "is that Blues began as a means of not only releasing one's pain and finding renewal, but also sharing that experience with others so they could feel that renewal, too. The benefits of this are enormous, both to the individuals and to the community. Our goal is to bring that back to the Blues, to once again take them Deeper, to the very center of your heart and soul."

Growing up when he did, it's only natural that Lane is well indoctrinated in Rock of many stripes. And, yes, these influences shine through. But, "this is Blues, y'all," Lane says, "even when it isn't. Every song we do, no matter how hard the edge, is a Blues song at heart. Now, you could say that about a lot of Rock music. One big difference is that we know it - really know it. And we do our best to honor the tradition, and those who have gone before.”

The band cuts a long orbit through a myriad of styles: a bare-bones presentation of Lane's lament Underground, nothing but Lane and his acoustic bass guitar; Hound Dog, a nod of respect to John Lee Hooker; the Texas grit of Coupe de Ville and the Chicago strut that underpins the band's shuffles; an undeniable heaviness to match the gravity of Gravedigger Jones. And above all, the gut wrenching, heartbreaking pain and sorrow of the band's slow Blues, an overwhelming display of emotion that has - far more than once - made grown men cry and brought audiences to their feet.

As the band begins 2009, they continue to receive rave reviews of Dig the Hole, their first CD. They also look forward to a live CD, and an expansion of their road work to include Europe and possibly Asia. Working with producer/director Mike Harper, the band will soon shoot videos to support the CD, and has already begun work on an upcoming full-length documentary. Join Deeper Blues on its journey through the pain and sorrow, the release and redemption that are the Blues. Come home to the heart of it, perhaps for the very first time, and you too will be "Blue to the Bone."(TM)

Lane Baldwin - Bass, Vocals - Lane's first gig came at age 13. A short stint in the Navy kept him from pursuing his love full-time until 1982. when he was initiated into the DC Blues scene, working with a Who's Who of East Coast talent, including Daryl Davis (Legendary Blues Band), guitar heroes Linwood Taylor and James Mabry, Mike Melchione (Buckwheat Zydeco), Mark Stutso (Jimmy Thackery), Cesar Diaz (Bob Dylan) and many more. Later, he plied his trade in other parts of the country, working with such notables as Mason Ruffner, Jules Alexander (The Association), Bruce Hayes, and Paul Bushbacher (L'il Ed & the Imperials). In addition to hundreds of recording and touring credits, Lane is a Musical Ambassador for the District of Columbia. His articles on the "state of the bass" have been published world wide.