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New Smyrna Beach, Florida, United States | SELF | AFM

New Smyrna Beach, Florida, United States | SELF | AFM
Band Blues Americana


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New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA

New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA

HODGSON LEE PROJECT @ Celebration of Life /1087 bizcayne ave

Deland, Florida, USA

Deland, Florida, USA


New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA

New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



Victor Wainwright's Blues
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Victor Wainwright & Mark "MuddyHarp" Hodgson

Mark "MuddyHarp" Hodgson has been called "the best blues player in florida" by Jam Magazine, been complimented by the likes of Junior Wells and Jeff Healy, "the best harmonica I've heard," "you play likes you were born to it," and has been in concert with legends such as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Leon Russell, The Fabulous Thunderbirds....and many many more. Comfortably settled in New Smyrna Beach, FL, he's achieved more than most blues artists ever will and has the fan base to back it up.

Hodgson is unarguably an extremely talented vocalist and harmonica player, recording some of his most notable work with King Snake Records and also with his partner for almost twenty years, the acclaimed late tenor saxophonist, Noble "Thin Man" Watts.

But what do I, Victor Wainwright, have in common with this blues giant? Well....

Click for larger size!
I moved from Savannah, GA to Daytona Beach, FL to attend Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 1999. Hodgson was leading the house band at the famous Boot Hill Saloon. I was already deep into music by this time, and even though I of course was not allowed in, because of my age, I found ways into that Honky Tonk, sometimes borrowing friends ID's or often times just flat out sneaking in. I got thrown out twice before I guess they just gave up; So I just watched and listened. It was something I hadn't heard before, but something I REALLY liked!

Photo by Wade Caldwell
I had been learning how to play genuine rock n' roll piano from my father and grandfather before heading to Daytona, but I hadn't really heard the blues LIVE, how it's meant to be heard. Mark was really the first real blues band I took notice to, that sparked within me an interest that would be everlasting, and that would shape the rest of my life. He probably doesn't remember this, but one of those Boot Hill Saloon nights, I came up to Mark, who was just bigger than life in every way, and asked, "Hey man, do you know where I can find more blues?" He responded with... "boy, I AM the blues!" haha One of my most favorite memories.

Photo by Wade Caldwell
The rest of that year, and into the summer back in Savananh, GA, I started collecting blues records, listening to the blues, playing the blues and learning. I had bought "Extreme Blues" from Mark, one of his most popular albums, and started singing along to it at home, playing piano along with it, and many other blues albums.

Album Cover for "Extreme Blues"
The next school year I returned to Daytona Beach, a Sophomore, and landed one of my first gigs, doing mostly all solo work. Eventually, as time went by, I landed a gig at a venue called "The Wreck." I had just got deep into the set when in walked Mark. I was a little nervous... He sat at a table relatively close to the stage and I watched him as I played and sang. I wanted to impress him, but he wasn't paying me a bit of mind. I thought, "there's no way he's even listening." During the break, I came off the stage and Mark met me. He asked if I had been playing long, when I had gotten into town, and if I wanted to learn? I of course said YES... It must have been exactly how Buddy Guy felt, when Muddy Waters walked up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder...

Photo by Wade Caldwell
Mark taught me about the blues, the people who created it and where it came from. He told me stories of what the "Thin Man" taught him, touring the chitlin' circuit, the hardships, and how to actually get deep into the soul of blues music... "Turn the F#*K down..." "don't play like you don't care..." "play like you give a damn!".... I'll be honest, at first it wasn't easy to please Mark. Number one, he's got a tremendous aura, a huge stage presence, like "Howlin' Wolf", and he very obviously knew what he was doing. Number two, he's a professional, and expected the same from the musicians that played with him. I really believe that some tough love can go a very long ways, and it's becoming more and more scarce within the world, not just in the blues. The bottom line was, it really made me want to improve. It was the mentor-ship I needed, just like the "Thin Man" had showed him.

Photo by Wade Caldwell

I eventually figured out though, and it took a many a nights of playing, that Mark really wasn't after me to learn particulars at all; It wasn't about me "turning down," or "stop wearing those f''ing flip flops on my stage!" It was something else entirely. He was not trying to tell me I was playing the wrong notes, he was trying to guide me into "playing the notes right." In other-words, HOW those notes are played... about finding a passion and desire, a love for the music, an emotion that you can and are willing to share with the band, and an audience, carrying on a tradition, and understanding the responsibility that comes with that. FINDING WHAT THE BLUES WAS FOR ME... and not falling into the cliche's that so many blues players do. That was the ultimate "lesson" I gained from my time performing with Mark Hodgson, and he knew that without that, I had no business being on the stage with him, or any other bluesman.

I consider Mark Hodgson a mentor, but also a dear friend, and for the past two albums I've released, Hodgson has been a guest on each, lending his encouragements, and expert harmonica playing. "Lit Up!" my latest recording and newest project, is no different. Hodgson is featured on several tunes, both acoustic and electric.

(Click to Enlarge!) Photo by Wade Caldwell

Photo by Wade Caldwell (Click to enlarge!)
On June 11th, The WildRoots and I are having the "Lit Up!" cd release party, in Daytona Beach at the News Journal Center (Main Theater) 8pm. If you want to witness some of what I've written about here, you'll come see Mark "MuddyHarp" Hodgson and I take the stage. Don't miss it, don't be late, and enjoy an awesome reunion. =)

Posted by Victor Wainwright at 1:39 AM

- Victor Wainwright

Well Mark I gotta say the HODGSON-LEE PROJECT is a peerless blues rock masterpiece!! I do not say that casually. You have reached the top of the mountain here. You are not recreating the tunes, you are possessed by them and inhabiting them at the same time. Your vocal nuances and inflection is remarkable and your guitar playing feel is the key to it all on a lot of the tunes. I don't think there are many guitarists on the planet who can get that feel on the rhythm guitar. What a band! This Chris Lee is the most perfectly matched guitarist for you I have heard (well maybe ME in Tommie and The Trucks!). Danny is always great and this drummer, WOW. My favorite- LOVE IN VAIN thats the hit! I absolutely love this version. Also love KING BEE. I have some more listening to do on it. I sure wish I could have seen it live, have not been to Florida since Dec 2007. The recording quality is also fantastic. I will put some of my review on CD BABY. This should be the top of the blues charts somewhere. Bravo, WUNDERBAR! - ROB WITHAM

Mark Hodgson and English guitarist get the blues
March 18, 2011 1:00 AM

Hodgson-Lee Project
"Live From the Athens Theatre"
**** (out of 5)
Area bluesman Mark Hodgson was playing at the Garlic in New Smyrna Beach a year ago when this English dude, toting a '64 Strat, showed up and asked if he could sit in.
Hodgson got that oh-no-not-another-one feeling: as in another wanna-be, another undercover rock star with a Jimi Hendrix fetish, another white boy who looks in the mirror and -- sigh -- sees Muddy Waters staring back.
Then Chris Lee, this guitarist from Leeds (yep, the burg where the Who recorded that live album), began strafing his Strat.
The two musicians "ended up playing for like three hours nonstop," Hodgson says. And Lee became a fixture at Hodgson's regular Garlic gig.
"Live From the Athens Theatre" by the Hodgson-Lee Project is a 17-track, two-disc CD of blues and blues rock recorded in August 2010, less than three months after Hodgson and Lee first teamed up. And it was recorded a mere 11 days before Lee's three-month visa would expire.
Was it was those end-of-visa blues that inspired Hodgson (at right in photo) and Lee (left)? Or are they two long-separated twin sons of different trans-Atlantic mothers? In any event, "Live From the Athens Theatre," with Lee on lead guitar and Hodgson on guitar, harmonica and most vocals, packs plenty of soul, grit and rumble.
Part of the sonic sorcery here is that Lee both embodies and transcends that cliche about the British white dude who grew up idolizing Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry and "all the American blues masters," as he confesses on his website.
So, when Hodgson and Lee roll out Muddy's "Rollin' and Tumblin' " and it echoes the Yardbirds' gloriously spastic rave-ups on Muddy back in the '60s, that's a good thing. After all, that's the sound of Lee tapping into his own roots: early Rolling Stones, John Mayall, early Fleetwood Mac and the other British blues forefathers that Lee also confesses to embracing -- the very ones who were bear-hugging Muddy and Willie Dixon back in the day.
The covers on "Athens" are inspired, whether it's Hodgson's satanic harp and Lee's Stevie Ray Vaughan-ish shredding on Slim Harpo's "King Bee," or a drowsy take on Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home."
But it's the originals that would implode Muddy's skull until it grew two sizes too big inside that hat of his. That's true of the song "Muddy Waters," Hodgson's paean to the master.
And it's true of "Starless Nights," a 15-minute swamp hoodoo epic. With bassist Dan Walters and drummer Billy Dean conjuring a voodoo rumble, Hodgson talks the gris-gris talk while Lee walks the gris-gris walk, tossing Hendrix-ian madness and even a dash of U2's Edge into the gumbo.
"Getting my mojo right, walk through the valley of death," Hodgson growls.
That night at the Athens, Hodgson and Lee and company weren't fearing any evil.
("Live From the Athens Theatre" is available via download for $15.99 on cdbaby.com)
Ratings: ***** classic, **** excellent, *** good, ** mediocre, * poor



(special edition)


Song titles disc 1

MUDDY WATERS (hodgson)
CAVEMAN (hodgson-lee)
LOVE IN VAIN (johnson)
ROLLIN AND TUMBLIN (morganfield)
KING BEE (slim harpo)
LOVE JONES (hodgson)
STARLESS NIGHT (hodgson-walters)

I GO CRAZY (brown)
CROSSROADS (johnson/clapton,bruce,baker)
HIPPIE SUNRISE (hodgson,lee,walters,dean)
SHE CAN’T BE LOVED (hodgson)

Dan Walters-bass, vocal
Billy Dean-drums,vocal
Chris Lee – lead guitar, vocal (king bee, crossroads, clearly now)
Mark muddyharp Hodgson-lead vocals, guitar, harmonica
Karen Clancy Hodgson-vocal on Amazing Grace

Recorded live at the Athens Theatre, Deland, Fl, August 1,2010

MIXED BY- Gil DuBois: 386 405 5732

House Production: Rush Vitalie-386-295-2652

Executive Producer: Jim Kelsey
Produced by Mark muddyharp Hodgson & Chris Lee

© 2010 Fugitive Poet Music
All arrangements by Mark muddyharp Hodgson & The Band


This recording is dedicated to the memory of Christa Kelsey



Mark muddyharp Hodgson

• Born April 9,1953, Detroit, Michigan
• Family moves to Daytona Beach, Fl., July 1959
• Attends St. Paul’s Catholic School September, 1959 – 1968
• Attends Father Lopez High School 1968- 1971
• 1968 discovers Harmonica and begins listening and copying Harmonica Players, Al Wilson of Canned Heat, Paul Butterfield, John Mayall and Sonny Terry
• 1969 Forms Tommy and the Trucks with Rob Witham on guitar and Tom Darnell on bass playing Drums to fill out lineup emulating the music of the Rolling Stones and Creedence Clearwater Revival
• 1969 Plays first paying job at the local Elks Lodge: 10 dollars a man
• 1970 Forms new band, Junction, with Rich Gibbs, Joe Berardi, Steve Shanholtzer, Mike Peeper, and Benny Jackson, fronting the group on lead vocals and harmonica covering songs from B.B. King, Derek and the Dominoes, J.Geils, Deep Purple, Canned Heat, Paul Butterfield, Muddy Waters among others
• The group plays local gigs and parties and places Leadership role on Hodgson for first time as Job Contractor and Band Representative
• 1970 continues exploration of Blues History while discovering “On The Road” by Jack Kerouac
• 1971 Graduates Father Lopez and attends Daytona Beach Community College on Full Baseball Scholarship, studying Photography at Southeast School of Photography
• Writes paper for Music Appreciation class on Igor Stavinsky whose music would become major influence
• 1971 Becomes member of Armstrong Brothers Band, with Doug and Steve Armstrong, Rob Witham and Joe Letter, playing Harmonica and singing lead vocals on three songs, How Long Blues by Leroy Carr, Half Step Uptown MississippiToodoolu and Truckin’ by Grateful Dead. The band would hold down the House Job at the Days Inn in Ormond Beach, fl…breaking all Bar Receipt Records. This group would become a major influence for years to come because it combined Bluegrass and Rock, Pop and Blues that would pre date The Alternative Music style by at least a decade. Songs by the Kingston Trio, Bill Monroe, Vassar Clements would share the bill with The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie etc…and .were played to a young 20 year old crowd using Banjo, 12 String guitar, Electric Guitar and Bass along with the harmonica acting as fiddle and keyboards. Hodgson studied Charlie McCoy and Vassar Clements licks in combination with the Blues of Paul Butterfield and Sonny Terry giving birth to a unique style of harmonica playing utilizing the “Clean Acoustic Sound” as opposed to the “Dirty Amplified Sound.”
• 1972 The Armstrong Brothers move to Gainesville to attend University of Florida putting the band in limbo. Hodgson moves with the group but is soon disenchanted with the lack of time spent on moving the band ahead.
• 1972 hitchhikes to New Orleans living on the street
• 1972 Hodgson has everything stolen from him on Bourbon Street including a hand made harmonica bandellaro crafted by Charles Beck.
• 1972 After a dismal experience in New Orleans, Hodgson hitches back to Daytona Florida with a “case of the blues” finding employment as a debt collector.
• 1972 Hodgson purchases 1968 Plymouth Belvedere and heads to Louisville, KY on a tip from owner of collection agency to hook up with Guitarist/vocalist Will Perryman who had a minor regional single “Under My Thumb”
• 1972-1974 Hodgson moves to Boston working with Strayte Tayste Blues Band performing with Luther ‘guitar jr.’ Johnson at The In-Square Men’s Bar, The Speakeasy, and meeting Muddy Waters along the way
• 1974-1976 Hodgson moves to Fayetteville, Ark with Tim Alexander of Asleep At The Wheel Fame, working with The Cate Brothers (Union Man) and meeting Levon Helm
• 1976-1983 Hodgson moves to NYC travelling back and forth between Florida and the Northeast working the clubs and performing in 2 off-off Broadway plays, “BOY ON THE STRAIGHT BACK CHAIR and BUS STOP
• 1983-1985 Hodgson moves to Nashville as a writer with COMBINE MUSIC/TENNESSE SWAMP FOX MUSIC as a songwriter
• 1985-1990 Hodgson moves to Daytona Beach, FL operating MAC’S FAMOUS BAR and working with Noble thin man Watts and Bob Greenlee in association with KINGSNAKE RECORDS
• 1990-2000 Hodgson works all the hot spots in the area especially as House Band at the Famous BOOT HILL SALOON from 1995-2000
• 2001-2007 Hodgson moves to Richmond, Va. Raising his son, Anthony and travelling back and forth to Florida, taking care of his mother and working steady around the state
• 2007 Hodgson move to New Smyrna Beach, FL working full time at The Garlic as solo performer, marrying Karen Clancy and raising her daughter Emily


Born in Detroit, grew up in Daytona Beach, Mark’muddyharp’Hodgson, started listening to the music through the influence of the British Invasion. John Mayall and the Rolling Stones provided the LP’S that would turn the 12 year old on to the wonderful world of the 12 b