Jeff Pitchell and Texas Flood
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Jeff Pitchell and Texas Flood

Wethersfield, Connecticut, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1995 | SELF

Wethersfield, Connecticut, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1995
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Interview with Jeff Pitchell by European journalist/radio personality - Blues.GR


Move over, here comes “The Pitch”
Sunday, October 15, 2006
By: STEVE ZIMMERMAN. The News Herald

While B.B. King is the recognized true king of the blues, there is a new sound emanating from the great state of Connecticut that signals the arrival of a great blues player.

From the opening chords of One Day Away, the first cut off his third CD, Heavy Hitter, Jeff “the Pitch” Pitchell establishes his newfound place as the future of blues music in the U.S.

And it only gets better from there.

Joined on When It All Comes Down by music industry veteran Dave Mason, on Unsung Hero of the Blues by the song’s co-writer Rick Derringer (Rock ‘n’ Roll Hoochie- Coo) and on the Willie Nelson country hit, Whiskey River by blues harmonica legend James Cotton, this is by far the freshest and most innovative blues music to hit the American music scene since the arrival of Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Pitchell learned about the blues from his junior high school teacher named John Sales, who was an award winning educator.

“He had about 30 kids in his class,” Pitchell said from his home during a break from touring. “And he would teach us all one song during each class of popular songs that were on the radio.”

But the class had to end due to the need for more money in the athletic department. It wasn’t until he was driving by a party in his neighborhood that he discovered the real blues.

“These hippies were having a party and they were playing B.B. King’s The Thrill is Gone,” Pitchell said. “And I knew it was something special and I was impressed by that.”

Pitchell honed his trade around the clubs in the Connecticut area, winning his first best guitarist in Connecticut award at the ripe old age of 15. Now, with his third release on Pyramid Records, distributed by EMI Records Group, Pitchell has taken his biggest step toward stardom.

“I had some opportunities to go with some blues labels on this,” he said. “But the EMI thing came up and I had to go with the best label that was going to get the music out to the people nationally.”

Signing Pitchell was a departure for the label, as they have signed only established artists on the past.

“We intend to move more in this direction with new younger artists and bands,” label president Allen Jacobi said. “Especially with performers like Jeff, where the music is timeless and appeals to a broad musical audience. It opens up a whole new market for our artists.”

Pitchell attracted several big name artists to play on his new CD, including Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.

The people I worked with on this album, like Clarence Clemons, I feel very lucky to have been able to work with the great on the album,” Pitchell said. “I learned a lot from those people.”

One Day Away, the first cut on the CD, defines just what Pitchell is as an artist.

“I would consider myself a blues rock artist,” he said. “We like to rock ‘n’ roll too but it is blues based rock. One Day Away is a song I wrote on my way home from a gig. I met this guy who was following the band and when we were talking he said he just could not get over this girl. When I asked him how long it was going to take, he told me he was a day away.

“That kept going through my head and I was trying to figure out how I was going to put that in a song. A lot of my songs originate from conversations I have with people. Once I get an idea in my head, I won’t stop until I get it done.”

Whiskey River is a surprise cut, as Pitchell is not a country player. But with the help of Cotton, he made the song into a blues cut he can call his own. His version takes the song and the album to a whole different level.

“I always loved Willie’s version of the song and was trying to figure out how to do the song and make it my own,” Pitchell said. “I had done some gigs with Cotton and I told him if he ever wanted to come in and play on my CD to come on in. We rehearsed the song a few times and put Cotton’s harmonica at the beginning to make it sounds like a train coming.”

After recording the song, Pitchell met his hero, Bo Diddley. Their conversation about Whiskey River led him to the stage with the blues legend.

“I played a couple of weeks ago with Bo Diddley and I was explaining to him that I had done Whiskey River but put a Bo Diddley beat on it,” he noted. “And he said, ‘come on up and play the Bo Diddley beat with me on stage.’ The next thing I know I am onstage in front of 7,000 people playing Hey, Bo Diddley.”

The final cut on the CD, Magic Eyes, is an ode to the late Texas blues guitarist extraordinaire Stevie Ray Vaughn.

“He was a huge influence on me,” Pitchell said. “I saw him play at the very beginning of his career at a Howard Johnson lounge for just rooms. And then I saw him sell out the Worster Centrum. I think about Stevie every day. His style of guitar playing is still something players are trying to figure out. I always throw a few of his style tun - News Herald Florida


eff Pitchell and the Texas Flood The Legends Live On featuring Charles Neville, Claudette King, Sheila Raye Charles and Michael Allman
Live Show Review
By Lady K
The place: Jonathan’s Restaurant, Ogunquit, Maine The date: November 13th (yep, Friday the 13th) The event: Bluesman and insane guitarist, Jeff Pitchell, brought a few friends to perform in Jonathan’s ‘listening room’, to prove that the “Legends Live On”
Jeff and his band, the Texas Flood (aka, Danny, keyboards; Dave, bass; and Steve, drums) took the stage first (Danny Fontanella received a rousing standing ovation when Jeff noted that Veterans’ Day had just passed and that Danny is a Vietnam vet).
Jeff and the guys kicked off the evening with a few rockin’ blues tunes. First, a rousing version of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny Be Good,” “An Eye for An Eye” (one of Jeff’s original tunes, which was covered by John Mayall on his Tough album) showed off some of Danny’s honky-tonk piano talents, followed by a definitely un-Willie Nelson “Whisky River” (Jeff’s version has always been Lady K’s favorite). Jeff showed off his Hendrix-licks in a guitar interlude during another of his own tunes “Gonna Have a Good Time,” before introducing Charles Neville.
Lady K adores ‘all things Neville’ and has for many decades. This show was the third time that Jeff brought Charles Neville to Maine – we hope the pattern continues. Charles doesn’t usually sing; he’s a saxophone kinda guy, but after his lead on the mostly instrumental “Ain’t No Sunshine”, the band convinced him that the blues needed his voice, so he belted out “Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On”, ably assisted by the rest of the band, and then he blew. Charles’ set ended with a rousing “Jacamo” (aka “Iko-Iko”).
Charles remained on stage (with Jeff and the band) for the rest of the evening, adding his sax to the rest of the show, which started with the appearance of Claudette King, daughter of blues hero B.B. King. Claudette has the same stage presence, bearing and mannerisms as her Dad, and she began her set with the announcement that she wanted everyone in the house to know that her dad “loved each and every one of you” (that meant misty-eyes for Lady K). It was no surprise that Claudette’s first tune was “The Thrill Is Gone”, followed by “Can You Walk Me to My Car?” and the crowd-pleasing “Rock Me Baby”. That tune got people up and dancing in the aisles, so Claudette lured a few of them up on the stage to dance with her. The woman has a ton of stage presence and radiates her joy in performing – just like her dad. One shocker-surprise was Claudette’s final tune: “Mustang Sally”! Really?!
Next up on stage was another legend’s progeny – Gregg Allman’s son, Michael (who had also been on stage at Jonathan’s previously, with Jeff and Charles earlier this year). Michael doesn’t play an instrument; he’s a vocalist (and a hip-swinger, when the mood strikes). Michael treated the crowd at Jonathan’s to a mostly Allman Brothers set, with “One More Silver Dollar”, “Soulshine”, and “One Way Out.” That meant there was lots of singing along in the audience, and crowd-swaying, humorous introductions from Michael between tunes, and, yes, some Allman hip-swinging during instrumental portions. Michael did introduce a tune that he recorded recently – “If Dreams Were Money,” a cover of a tune by Bruce Marshall, a Boston-area bluesman known to many in the crowd.
When Michael left the stage there was only one person left to meet, and that was Sheila Raye Charles (you guessed it, Ray Charles’ daughter). Sheila Raye bounced up on stage and kicked off her set – all tunes either written or made famous by her dad - with “I Got a Man” (the more womanly version of “I Got a Woman”). Sheila Ray also used altered lyrics to “Halleluja I Love Her So” so that she’d be singing about her man and “I Love Him So”, and, during an instrumental interlude, she joined the audience and boogied with the happy crowd for a few minutes. On the next tune, Sheila Raye used props – a pair of shades – along with a mischievous grin, and she raised her chin and rocked side-to-side, before breaking into “Georgia On My Mind”. Charlie Neville’s sax gave her some perfectly amazing accompaniment. A crowd sing-along resulted when Sheila belted out Percy Mayfield’s “Hit the Road Jack”. “Drown In My Own Tears” slowed things down a bit, with its sad lament, and proved to be a calm prelude to the show-stopping “It’s Alright – What’d I say?” One warning about Sheila Raye Charles – her voice will take your breath away.
Sound like a fun night? You bet! If Jeff Pitchell brings the ‘Legends Live On’ group to a venue in your ‘hood you should go – the music and atmosphere will leave you smiling for days. I promise! - Boston Blues Society/by Lady K


Discography

American Girl 6/12 Vizztone Records
01 Everyday
02 T-Bone Shuffle (feat J. Geils)
03 Saturday Night
04 Out in the Cold
05 I Found Me
06 Homework (feat. J. Geils)
07 Hard Drivin Man (feat J. Geils)
08 Prisoner of Love (feat J. Geils)
09 Step Up
10 My Jesus
11 Seruously
12 American Girl
13 Beautifully Broken
14 Ii Comes to Me Naturally (Bonus Track)

One for the Fans 12/06 Premier Records
Listen 1. It's All Right (4:08)
Listen 2. Not Guilty (4:53)
Listen 3. Texas Flood (9:21)
Listen 4. Stained (3:13)
Listen 5. Pearly Gates (4:32)
Listen 6. Good Time (5:15)
Listen 7. Drunk and Lonely (3:12)
Listen 8. Do Right Girl! (6:00)
Listen 9. Get Out of that Bed! (2:40)
Listen 10. Sugarman (3:32)
Listen 11. Let Me Down Easy (3:04)
Listen 12. Fool's Paradise (2:50)
Listen 13. Prisoner Of Love (3:58)
Listen 14. I Love You! (3:10)
Listen 15. Fat Freddy (3:00)
Listen 16. Christmas (3:25)
Listen 17. No Turning Back (4:33)
Listen 18. God Bless America (1:48)



Jeff Pitchell - Heavy Hitter (2002)
12 weeks on Billboard's Top 10 Blues Chart
Listen 1. One Day Away (3:41)
Listen 2. When It All Comes Down (4:28)
Listen 3. Unsung Hero Of The Blues (4:18)
Listen 4. Fat Cigars (4:06)
Listen 5. Turn The Tables On You (2:50)
Listen 6. Whiskey River (5:18)
Listen 7. Ain't Nobody's Business (4:41)
Listen 8. Out In The Cold (4:39)
Listen 9. Pitch Pitch Boogie (3:03)
Listen 10. Eye For An Eye (3:34)
Listen 11. Prisoner Of Love (4:18)
Listen 12. Heavy Hitter (4:15)
Listen 13. Hard Money (3:28)
Listen 14. My Babe (2:56)
Listen 15. Magic Eyes (5:08)

Label: Pyramid/Orpheus (EMI)

Also Available:
Title:
Face To Face
Label:
Premier Records
Year:
2001 1. Baby I Know
2. What's Wrong
3. Face To Face
4. Whiskey River
5. I Ain't Got No Rhythm
6. Your Magic Eyes
7. My Love 8. Out In The Cold
9. Spirits Will Rise
10. Prisoner Of Love
11. Love Letter
12. Mother Earth
13. My Lonely Road
Title:
One Day Away
Label:
Premier Records
Year:
1999 1. One Day Away
2. Unsung Hero Of The Blues
3. Keep My Head
4. Too Sorry
5. Baby Blues
6. Ain't Nobody's Business 7. Pitch Pitch Boogie
8. I'd Rather Be Blind
9. More Fat Junk
10. Let Me Down Easy
11. Pipedream
12. When It All Comes Down
Title:
Fat Cigars
Year:
1997 1. Eye For An Eye
2. Fat Cigars
3. One Hand
4. Whole Lotta Lovin
5. To Know You is To Love You
6. Angel In Black 7. My Babe
8. Drinkin Good Wine
9. Dinnerbell
10. Blue Guitars
11. Good To Be Home





Photos

Bio

Jeff Pitchell reminds many fans of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, BB King...but most of all he is a top drawing, best selling artist whose explosive guitar playing & impassioned vocals have drawn rave reviews from fans and critics in the USA and Europe alike for simply playing music that Jeff himself has written in the rock/blues genre. Jeff has won awards for "best singer" "best songwriter" "best guitarist" "best blues show" "best band"  Has been elected to CT BLUES HALL of FAME! etc. & Jeff has been fortunate to have performed  with legendary artists  such as The Allman Brothers  at the Beacon Theater in NYC with Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks....(see video U-Tube) & Jeff is currently performing with Michael Allman, son of Rock Hall of Famer Gregg Allman;  the legend Charles Neville, who has won his own GRAMMY(!); Claudette King, daughter of the another legend B. B. King; Sheila Ray Charles, daughter of the one and only Ray Charles , voted the 2nd best singer of all-time! Tyrone Vaughan, nephew of Rock Hall of Famer, Stevie Ray Vaughan! Duane Betts, son of Rock Hall of Famer, Dickey Betts! Jaimoe, one of original founders of Allman Brothers & Rock Hall of Famer! .The show is called "Legends Live on!" which has repeatedly sold out throughout New England! Charles Neville of the legendary Neville Brothers,  has gold/platinum records in 6 different countries! ...J. Geils is a man who has sold 10s of millions of CDs and recognized as one of the best guitarists ever.. Jeff & J. sold out 37 shows in 8 different states!! Another key to Jeff's talents is ..he was asked by  movie star James Woods to write songs for a movie,  some of those songs were released  in a CD entitled American Girl! J Geils has been quoted on the radio as saying "Jeff Pitchell is one of the best guitarists and singer in the USA"..In CA, Jeff teamed up with Phil Lesh (one of the founders of the Grateful Dead) & this performance can also be seen on You Tube!

What we believe sets Jeff apart from most others.is (1) his dynamic stage presence and (2) national recognition shown by Jeff's Heavy Hitter CD (Pyramid/EMI) being listed on the national Billboard Charts as #7 for 12 weeks and the majority of the songs were written by Jeff (3) Jeff having the capability to adapt his performances to the type of audience he is performing for (spectacular theater show, danceable and singable, background, etc.!) and (4) Jeff winning two song writing awards from the Great American Song Contest and the International Songwriting Contest (ISC) where one of the judges, John Mayall, renowned blues legend, now includes in his World Tour one of Jeff's songs "An Eye for an Eye" and Mayall recorded this song on a CD to add to Jeff's honors. Jeff has been contacted many times to be a special guest of another legend...BB King! In addition, Jeff has formed a "special" band to perform which consists of Tommy Shannon, founding member of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Storyville, & the Arc Angels, Simon Kirke, founding member of Bad Company, Free, and touring member of the Beatles' Ringo Starrs' ALL-STARR band, & Joe Bouchard, founding member of Blue Oyster Cult!

Jeff has appeared on national TV and radio, being asked by the Boston Red Sox to sing & play at Fenway Park, and being asked to appear on the Don Imus MNBC television & radio show. Jeff has collaborated with Rock Hall of Fame'r Rick Derringer and written songs with him, and "guitar dueled" live on stage with not only Rick, but Kenny Wayne Sheppard  (see Jeff's website), & Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers (see You Tube), J. Geils, Johnny A. , and recorded with the late great legend, Clarence Clemons..You can see the DVDs for free on Jeff's website www.jeffpitchell.com! Jeff has also played through out the US & Canada with The Commitments from Ireland! Most important of all, Jeff has sold out the majority of his gigs & has attracted over 149,000  fans to his my Myspace site.  In addition, his email registered fan base is now over 25,000 and has over 16,500 fans/friends on Face Book over two different sites! Jeff won the "best guitarist" award in the State of CT at the tender age of 15 and he has continued to wow audiences through out the US, Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean.. Jeff won, in a vote of six states, The Best Blues Show, in the New England and has also won "Best Musician/Band" in CT. Jeff performs at private parties, corporate affairs, has written and recorded a children's album, & has performed at a variety of festivals....but his trademark, is consistent ....... overwhelming positive audience reactions!!!

Band Members