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Chris Tofield: Press

For the encore, the Allmans brought out Las Vegas guitarist Chris Tofield for a rousing version of “One Way Out” with the crowd singing the chorus:“Might be your man, I don’t know.”





MUSIC:

Allman Brothers Band makes new magic in Las Vegas After 40 years, ABB continues to conjure up sonic wizardryImage



AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau, Bob Brye



The Allman Brothers Band play at the Red Rock Station in Las Vegas Sunday, May 24, 2009.



By Mark Whittington



Mon, May 25, 2009 (1:10 p.m.)



AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau, Bob Brye



Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band performs at Red Rock Station Casino, Las Vegas on Sunday, May 24, 2009.Sun Archive



The Allman Brothers Band turned back the clock Sunday night at Red Rock.

The band, touring to celebrate its 40th anniversary, put on a two-set, two-plus-hour show that reaffirmed its place in the musical firmament.

I was lucky enough to see the original band – fueled by the twin guitar lines of Duane Allman and Dickey Betts – at the Fillmore West. Suffice it to say, that night’s headliner, Hot Tuna, need not have bothered to play. The crowd wandered into the San Francisco night bathed in the Allmans’ magic.

But nine months later Duane was killed in a motorcycle accident, and bassist Berry Oakley died similarly a year later.

The band carried on. Betts’ guitar and Chuck Leavell’s piano were wonderful. But when I caught the Allmans shows, it just wasn’t the same.

So, when a friend – a young music fan who grew up on Nirvana but recently had been discovering the classic “Live at Fillmore East” – asked if the Allmans were worth seeing at almost $80 a ticket, I was tempted to give a jaded response about the old magic.

But I had seen the band a few years back, and I told him, “For 30 years, I would have said no, but this current lineup ranks up there with original.” So we decided to buy tickets and go.

The crowd – some in tie-dye, most old enough to see the originals – filtered into the pool area at Red Rock on a perfect night. No free apples. But then the Fillmore didn’t have blackjack dealers in bikinis either.

No opener either – which was a bonus.

The Allmans started the evening on time with the two songs that began its first album back in 1969 – “Don’t Want You No More” segueing into Gregg Allman’s growling vocals on “It’s Not My Cross to Bear.”

The band kept close to its roots with the Elmore James’ blues “Done Somebody Wrong” and “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’” -- from the second album, “Idlewild South.”

At 61, Allman’s bluesy voice sounds as good as it has in years, and he laid down fine organ and piano lines throughout the evening. Only he and drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson remain from the original band.

Percussionist Marc Quinones and bassist Oteil Burbridge now help power the signature cross-rhythms behind the jams.

But guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks provide the spark that rekindles the old Allmans’ magic. The two guitarist are similarly inventive but distinctive visually and sonically.

Haynes joined the Allmans when they reunited in 1989 and also replaces the late Jerry Garcia in the current version of the Dead. He wears his long brown hair flowing. He gives the band bite with his chocked back, distorted tone.

Trucks, just 29, is drummer Butch’s nephew and recently toured as the slide guitarist for Eric Clapton. He pulls his blond hair back tight in a ponytail. He fingerpicks and uses a glass slide and open tuning to coax clear, ringing tones from his guitar.

Their first real guitar battle came midway through the first set on “Woman Across the River.” Then Trucks’ guitar – played without effects – sounded like it was running backward through a loop during a magnificent solo on “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More.”

The drummers started a crazy jam as Burbridge dropped into a bass solo that seemed to resolve into “Leave My Blues at Home.” Don’t quote me on that as the music was taking me some place brand new but very familiar place at this point. I sure wasn’t listening to the lyrics.

As a cool breeze kissed the crowd, the guitarists began a soft line that flirted with the drums and everyone dropped into the distinctive opening riff of “Revival.” Gregg sang “People can you feel it? Love is in the air” to close the first set.

The fireworks between sets were a nice touch – but superfluous. The real fireworks were on stage.

The second set began with “Sweet Melissa” as old photos of the band showed on the backdrop – Duane in his mutton chops, Berry and Dickey and the original band looking so young.

The Allmans skipped forward in time for “End of the Line” and “Rockin’ Horse.” But the 12/8 rhythms, percolating bass lines and dueling guitars remained the same, still lifting the songs into outer space. The band rewound to its roots with “Statesboro Blues” and “Midnight Rider.”

At the end, the only choice was an extended version of “Whipping Post” with the guitars soaring and finally descending back to earth after 15 minutes.

For the encore, the Allmans brought out Las Vegas guitarist Chris Tofield for a rousing version of “One Way Out” with the crowd singing the chorus: “Might be your man, I don’t know.”

So, was it worth it? My friend smiled. He got to see and hear the magic live.

I was reminded that “time goes by like hurricanes” and that an old band can make new magic happen every day.



http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/may/25/allman-brothers-makes-new-magic-las-vegas/
Chris Tofield
By Mike Varney |Guitar Player Magazine - June 2006
Age: 41
Styles: Blues/rock
Influences: Roy Buchanan, the Allman Brothers, Santana
Main Guitar: Gibson ES-335
Location: Torrington, CT
Background: Known in international blues circles as the guitarist and musical director for legendary soul/blues singer Mighty Sam McClain, Tofield co-produced, arranged, and appeared on McClain’s 2003 release One More Bridge To Cross—which was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award for Best Soul/Blues Album of the Year. As a solo artist, Tofield has released two critically acclaimed CDs—Chris Tofield (1994) and Broken Strings (2000)—and is working on his third solo CD for release later this year. Tofield is one of the most formidable blues musicians on the scene today, possessing both a distinctive voice and an arsenal of chops that can be as subtle as B.B. King, as expressive as Roy Buchanan, and as blistering as Gary Moore.
Contact: christofield.us
(this is why i keep playing.....c.t.)

hey chris, my name's sebastian. i am from bucharest. i saw your shows in big mamou and art jazz. on my way over to mamou that night i was very excited to have the chance to actually see how a blues band from usa sounds. before the concert began i was thinkin: come on, what could be so special?...we have a bunch of blues bands here in romania that are really good..and i go to blues concerts every week..what could they have that we don't? well...i was so wrong. when it all started i was hypnotized. i just couldn't believe my ears. it was by far the best concert i had ever seen. i was just sitting and listening and i didn't even move for like 5 or 6 songs..i didn't even touch my beer (and that's something). there was just so much energy and feeling coming from the stage...i did't really understand what was happening. i felt the same thing a few days later in art jazz. i sent liviu a few pictures we took at that gig. i don't know if you got them. i know you're all very busy.anyway, i just wanted to thank you guys for a great experience and a lesson on how blues should be played. you're a real inspiration to me and everyone who's had a chance to hear you play.me and a few friends we've got a blues band together and we're trying to make something out of it but it's really hard and we've been hitting bump after bump ever since we started. not many people pay attention to bands with an age average under 18.i was hoping maybe we could keep in touch and maybe you could give us a few tips and pointers on how to do things right. one of the many you touched with your music.....seby
an email from a fan. (Mar 23, 2006)
Hello Chris!

My name is Dan, I'm a friends of Dragos and Tache. I saw your show at Art Jazz Club last night and I found it just great!
First of all I want to say that I really admire you a lot, you are a wonderful artist and the way you transmit feelings through your music is inspiring. I usually listen to heavy- metal, but I must admit that from now on the blues is on my favorites list!
Keep up the good work and I'm looking forward to see you and your band play in Romania again!

Best wishes, love and respect!

Dan
an email from a fan. (Mar 23, 2006)
Classic American Blues Band to Perform Live in Stara Zagora, Burgas, Haskovo, Plovdiv and Sofia

/български текст/





PRESS RELEASE
March 23, 2005



The American Embassy in Bulgaria is pleased to announce that the Chris Tofield Blues Band will be touring Bulgaria between 27 March and 31 March. This dynamic band plays a combination of both sweet sounding originals and soulful blues standards. The tour will include live performances in five cities across Bulgaria.

The Chris Tofield band is led by Chris Tofield, a seasoned journeyman musician of over 25 years who has performed with some of the top artists of the blues and rock world. Tofield, a singer and guitarist, is joined by Liviu Pop on drums and Steve Clark on electric bass.

The U.S. Embassy is bringing the Tofield Blues Band to Bulgaria as part of the Embassy’s annual support for “Sofia Jazz Peaks.” In total, the band will have six performances across the country.

Performance Schedule:

Stara Zagora 27 March 19:00 PM – Puppet Theater

Bourgas 28 March 20:00PM – Club “Alibi”

Haskovo 29 March 21:00PM – Club “Radio Bar” – Free Admission

Plovdiv 30 March 19:00PM – Drama Theater

Sofia 31 March 19:30PM – Sofia Jazz Peaks at Bulgaria Hall

Sofia 31 March 22:30PM – Jam Session at Club Back Stage

Tickets are on sale at the box offices of the different venues.

For more information please call the U.S. Embassy Information Office at: 937-5173
TOP 26 BLUES - July-August 2000 - 106.9 WCCC - Hartford, CT


____________________________________________________________
SUBJECT: TOP 26 BLUES ALBUMS - June 2000
FROM: Beef Stew, the blues guy
PROGRAM: Sunday Night Blues
STATION: 106.9 WCCC - Hartford, CT
ARTIST / ALBUM / LABEL
1. B.B. King & Eric Clapton / Riding With The King / Reprise
2. Jeff Pitchell / One Day Away / Premier Music
3. Chris Tofield / Broken Strings / CRT
4. Walter Trout / Live Trout / Ruf records
5. Smokin' Joe Kubek / Bite Me! / Bullseye Blues & Jazz
6. Big Bill Morganfield / Rising Son / Blind Pig
7. Liz Mandville Greeson / Ready To Cheat / Earwig
8. Janis Joplin / Greatest Hits Remaster / Columbia Legacy
9. Luther Allison / Live In Chicago / Alligator
10. Kenny Wayne Shepard / Live On / Giant
11. Coco Montoya / Suspicion / Alligator
12. Indigenous / Circle / Pachyderm
13. Candye Kane / Toughest Girl Alive / Bullseye Blues & Jazz
14. Bob Margolin / Hold Me To It / Blind Pig
15. Shannon Curfman / Loud Guitars, Big Suspicions / Arista
16. Maria Muldaur / Meet Me Where They Play The Blues / Telarc
17. Various / Blues Rock'It Blues Revue / Blue Rock'It
18. Various / The Golden Age Of Blue Chicago / Blue Chicago
19. Susan Tedeschi / Just Won’t Burn / Tone-Cool
20. Christine Ohlman / Wicked Time / J-Birds
21. Nelson Adelard Band / Blues Got A Hold On Me / J-Bird
22. Ronnie Baker Brooks / Goldigger / Watchdog
23. Larry Garner / Once Upon The Blues / Ruf Records
24. Deborah Coleman / Soft Place To Fall / Blind Pig
25. Mighty Mo' Rodgers / Blues Is My Wailing' Wall / GRP
26. Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughan / In Session / Stax
SNB is the #1 Arbitron Sunday night program in southern New England.
Hartford, CT is the 44th radio market in the U.S.
This Top 26 list is reported to:
R&R - FMQB - The Album Network - Living Blues - Tri-State Blues
The Blues Audience - Delta Snake News - Connecticut Blues Society
New England Blues Society - ConnCept and major labels.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sunday Night Blues with Beef Stew
6:00 pm to 12:00 midnight, eastern
WCCC 106.9 FM - 1290 AM
1039 Asylum Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105
wccc (Jun, 2000)
BEST BLUES
Chris Tofield & the
Bluesbenders: Chris Tofield, guitar, vocals * Steve Peck, drums * Greg Allen, bass.

The Bluesbenders find themselves in the same Catch 22 every other local band with a promising future discovers: You can't get a record deal without good representation, and you can't get a decent manager unless you've got a record deal. But Chris Tofield isn't losing sleep over it.

After 10 years, the Bluesbenders have one CD out, and a second one, Broken Strings,in the final stages of production. Sure, Tofield's had big label interest over the years. "Basically most of them wasted my time," says Tofield. "In this age, you don't need to rely on the labels so much any more. You get online, hook up with a good search engine and keep reinvesting in yourself. At this point I'd like to start my own label, and someone else can buy me out."

And if that doesn't happen, no matter. Tofield plans to develop his own website, with pages for the band's biography, upcoming concerts and merchandising. In the meantime, the band is touring around the country and finding plenty of steady work, playing 32 shows in the past six weeks alone.

In addition to winning the Advocate's Grand Band Slam, the Bluesbenders are also finalists in a statewide blues competition (again) and will be playing in an upcoming Middletown blues festival with CJ Chenier and Matt "Guitar" Murphy.

"I'm in this for the long haul," Tofield says. "The reason I chose the blues is the longevity of it. It's timeless music and the older you get the more validation you get with it. I can't see me playing Led Zeppelin tunes when I'm 60 years old." Bluesmen like Murphy, on the other hand, are still going strong into their 60s and beyond. And Tofield has decades to go before he reaches that point.

Copyright ©1999 New Mass. Media, Inc.
hartford advocate
Blues
Chris Tofield & The Bluesbenders

Chris Tofield, guitar and vocals
Stephen Peck, drums
Greg Allen, bass
Barry Seelan, keyboards

Caught up with Chris this week while he was in Chicago for a gig with Mighty Sam McClain playing at Buddy Guy's Club. Tofield and fellow Bluesbenders bandmate Barry Seelan have been playing with McClain for about a year on a tour that's brought them all over the U.S. and Europe. Tofield says European audiences appreciate the music and are really attentive. Tofield is planning to record with McClain and a couple of his songs are expected to be featured on that CD, which Tofield is also helping to produce. One of the highlights for Chris Tofield is that he has been able to meet and hang around with the musicians he looked up to like Bobby Blue Bland and Elvin Bishop. They now travel the same roads and festivals. When he's back home he will be once again working with the Bluesbenders on a new CD.

Hartford Advocate
Grand Band Slam home

Copyright ©2002 New Mass. Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
india blue - hartford advocate (Feb 28, 2005)
BLUES
Chris Tofield & the Blues Benders

Chris Tofield, vocals, guitar * Steven Peck, drums * Greg Allen, bass * Barry Seelan, on Hammond organ, when scheduling permits

Chris Tofield has done some big promoting of the blues in Hartford, and this is his fourth year in a row to win this category. He started his journey into the blues when he read interviews about rock guitar players like Eric Clapton, and discovered who they were listening to. When he first heard Freddie King and B.B. King, Tofield just loved the music. "It's a big quilt when you begin to see where it all came from," says Tofield.

Tofield has been playing guitar over 20 years and his vocal career began shortly after that. "To be the front man that wasn't my choice." says Tofield, "I didn't know I wanted to till I got out front. Most of the time, I really enjoy it."

Tofield and the Blues Benders did over 250 shows last year, half of them around the region. Tofield says of the Blues Benders, "It's like driving a Cadillac. The band and I have never had a cross word between us in the past 10 years. I consider myself very lucky."

About Broken Strings, the band's latest CD, Tofield says: "The way it was laid out told a story about the struggle of the musician. What you go through in the business, how hard it is to carry on a relationship, and why we do this." For Tofield, it's not about money or fame, but the joy he gets when playing this music. The number for gig info is (860) 257-7500.
hartford advocate (Jun 28, 2000)
BLUES ROCK

Chris Tofield and the Bluesbenders
Chris Tofield: guitar, vocals * Pat Nigro: keyboards * Greg Allen: bass * Steve Peck: drums

Local blues rock guitarist Chris Tofield and his Bluesbenders have been hugely popular in Connecticut for the better half of a decade. Originally from the Torrington area, Tofield is a Connecticut legend whose classic sound is familiar and inviting. "I try to give as much as I can to every show," says Tofield. "People like to hang with people that are having fun."

With influences ranging from Miles Davis to the Allman Brothers, it is no surprise that the Bluesbenders' music is suitable in biker bars and jazz clubs alike. "I'm not just a blues player," Tofield points out. "I'd be just as comfortable playing an Iron Butterfly tune as I would be playing B.B. King." This sort of flexibility is what sets Tofield and company apart from other blues bands in the area.

Tofield also humbly credits the band for his success. "I'm very lucky to have the band that I have," he says. "I couldn't do it without them. They're not only bandmates, they're friends. It's at the point where it's very intuitive on stage. I know what they're gonna do, they know what I'm gonna do...If I go off in a different direction, they're there. I think I've got the best rhythm section in the state."

Chris Tofield and the Bluesbenders are currently recording a followup to Tofield's self-titled debut CD.
hartford advocate1997 (Jun 25, 1997)
Mighty Sam McClain One More Bridge To Cross Mighty Music

This is the album to acquire for those of you in need of a Bobby Bland fix. McClain has put together a strong CD that while acknowledging his debt to Bland is an asset to any collection. The songs are written or co-written by McClain and the band with Mr. AudioQuest, Joe Hardin, and Jean Jacques Milteau helping out. And what a band it is. Chris Tofield supplies some of the tastiest soul blues guitar licks I've heard in some time, contributing mightily to each song without overpowering or showboating. Horns and backup singers are there when necessary. This incorrigible blues fan thinks that McClain can overdo his religious side but he does not do that here, as "The Other Man In The Band" and "If It Wasn't 4 Da Blues" attest. He is in exceptionally fine voice throughout. If you can't find this CD, go to http://www.cityhallrecords.com/.
john valenteyn - toronto blues society (Feb 3, 2003)
Blues speaks right to the heart and soul of all listeners. Mighty Sam McClain sings ONLY from the heart and soul directly to yours. What a tremendous feeling!

On 'One More Bridge to Cross' CD, you will find the song 'The Other Man in the Band' (#10 on the cd), this is the most extraordinary blues song I have EVER heard. Mighty Sam's vocals are outstanding, sultry at times. The lead guitar action is totally spectacular, those bluesy notes jump right into your heart, chill you to the bone and touch your soul so deeply that you may even shed a tear or two. I strongly suggest you get this CD...the song 'Are you Ready for Love' (#6 on cd), this baby is a mover, along with Mighty Sam's vocals and that dynamic guitar action, you will hear some of the most outstanding heavy keyboard blues action that is quite capable of groovin' you all night long. A total awesome groovin sound. Then go to 'Thought I Heard your Voice' (#9 on cd), you will hear some good ole blues and the dynamic background vocals of Conchetta Prio will surely put you on the edge of your seat, she has a beautiful and very powerful voice.

The spectacular musicians that back the Mighty Sam McClain on the 'One More Bridge to Cross' CD are:

Chris Tofield - guitar
Dave Smith - bass
Jim Arnold - drums
Barry Seelen - keyboards

And you can't but notice the hot, sultry sounds of the horn section. And this is credited to 'The Mighty Horns':

Pat Herlehy - sax/horns
Mark Paquin - trombone/sax/horn
Trent Austin - trumpet
Conchetta Prio - background vocals



Being the blues lover that I am, I was totally taken away by this CD, this is superbly engineered. The vocals are exceptional and Mighty Sam has a wide range of levels. And the instruments are in my opinion the absolute BEST, the horns are powerful and oh! how beautiful the sound, the rhythm section is right there and in the pocket, the sound that out of the keyboards will raise the hair on the back of your neck, and the lead guitar action is hot, powerful and strong and will leave you with chills to the bone. The blues is suppose to reach down deep into your soul and when this happens, then that part of the musician/artist has gave you what they felt. This is exactly what the Mighty Sam McClain group has done for all listeners on this CD.

There is no way to pick favorites on this CD, you will need to hear this CD for yourself.

To Purchase CD's and get more information on the Mighty Sam McClain, visit Mighty Sam's website at: http://www.mightysam.com


Muzik Reviewz 05/2003
M. Rudy
m. rudy - southbound beat magazine (May 1, 2005)
http://listen.at/sablues

South Australian Blues Society

Australia

David Stoeckel

February 2003



Here is a CD that is good for the spirit. Sam's journey through life has taken him from cotton fields ...to the Apollo Theater ...to the park bench ...to resurrecting his career ...to founding his own management. When he says "to the homeless, downtrodden, broken spirited people all over the world ...there is hope, you must keep the faith" you know that its a message founded on the personal resolve of his spirit. How does this spirit express itself in his music? Through raw, disquieting, angst ridden blues perhaps. No! Through some velvet smooth SOUL! Deep resonating vocals are set to a rich, well mixed BIG sound featuring ...HORNS# of course. Must say that Chris Tofield's guitar work is also a feature of the album. If your spirit is jaded, not just by the woes of the current political climate but also by the rawness of delta blues and the brashness of electric blues then here is a welcome respite for you. 60 minutes of mature, beautifully crafted, heart 'n soul felt music courtesy of Mighty Sam McClain and the band*.
David Stoeckel - South Australian Blues Society (Feb 3, 2003)
Blues
Chris Tofield and The Bluesbenders

Chris Tofield, guitar and vocals
Steven Peck, drums
Greg Allen, bass
Barry Seelan, keyboard


Chris Tofield and the Bluesbenders have won this category five years in a row. Tofield says the reason is because they have outlasted everybody else, still going strong after 12 years together. (I can attest that is not the only reason they have won.) Tofield is back out gigging after he injured his hand in a motorcycle accident last year. Tofield and the Bluesbenders will be at Ocean Beach in New London opening up for Leslie West and Mountain on Aug. 4. Broken Strings is their latest CD. They are currently working on a live CD and a studio recording that they hope to have out by Christmas.
india blue - hartford advocate
" One of the thrills of my life was singing with Bobby Bland three years ago, " says Mighty Sam McClain. " I’ve always admired the man. I patterned my singing on him — getting the big voice to come up from way down in the belly. To have him acknowledge me by asking me to join him on stage was such an honor. I thank God for that. "

McClain treasures his photos of that August day when Bland, who was already a major hitmaker in the ’60s when McClain was just beginning his career, invited him to the stage at the Portsmouth Blues Festival. Their duets under the summer sun were nothing less than an epic event — a pairing of two of the finest traditional soul and blues singers alive.

But, hey, even respect and admiration have their limits. Since McClain released his latest CD, One More Bridge To Cross, on his own Mighty Music label a month ago, his album has been running neck and neck with Bland’s new Blues at Midnight (Malaco). " I’ll see a radio station’s chart and one week he’s #1, " says McClain. " The next week it’s me. Then he’s got it again — and then it’s me. In the Living Blues charts, we’re battling for position and I’ve got #5. This has happened before when we’ve both put out albums, and I’ve always said, ‘Let Bobby get it. He’s been at this a lot longer than I have. He inspired me; he deserves it; give it to Bobby.’ But not this time. This time I want to beat his ass! "

And McClain, a Louisiana-born singer blessed with the kind of rich-toned, towering voice and chops that once-great American independent record labels like Stax and Atlantic were built upon, may succeed. After all, he’s worked his own ass off since the late ’80s rebuilding a career that crumbled the first time around. He entered the national music scene in 1966 with a cover of Patsy Cline’s " Sweet Dreams " that scored on the R&B charts and took him to Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater. Then he spent two decades coming to grips with his life and his art, battling alcohol, homelessness, and failed relationships before at last finding himself. Beginning with 1993’s Give It Up to Love, McClain has released a series of first-rate albums that have won him a strong international fan base and enabled him to put a series of unhappy dealings with record labels behind him by taking matters into his own hands.

" On the previous albums, I had two days to record the whole thing, " he explains. " There were no overdubs. It was all live. If something wasn’t quite right, I was told there wasn’t enough money to go back and fix it. Then the labels would hardly buy any ads, and they’d just mail the CDs out and not be promoting them. For One More Bridge To Cross, I spent 10 or 12 days in the studio over two months and got everything to sound the way I wanted it to. "

And that’s damn good. McClain’s vocal performances are gripping as ever, whether he’s essaying the pure gospel number " Open Up Heaven’s Door " or laying down raw phrases on a funky shuffle like " If It Wasn’t for the Blues. " Preparing for the album also involved some house cleaning, but his new horn section is as tight and sharp as the players one hears on Al Green’s classic Hi Records sessions. Guitarist Chris Tofield also does a stellar job, with a sharp, flexible tone that ranges from traditional weeping blues lines to the Santana-like phrases of " What’s Your Name. "

McClain brought in a female backing vocalist, Conchetta Prio, for the first time, and the Boston-based veteran of commercial sessions gives him perfect support. Thanks to skillful overdubbing and her grasp of harmony singing, she’s a one-woman choir of angels on the sacred numbers that have increasingly become a part of McClain’s calling as a songwriter, and an earthy female yin to the yang of his masculine presence on the secular tunes.

Now based in Epping, New Hampshire, the 60-year-old belter is pleased that One More Bridge To Cross is getting the kind of marketing campaign he’s always wanted for his albums. Of course, he and his wife, Sandra, are responsible for it, supervising their small team and doing much of the work themselves, from mailings to radio to follow-up calls to bookings. McClain can afford to do this thanks largely to the success of " New Man in Town, " which found a home on Ally McBeal and has since been licensed to a number of corporate clients, including a European bank, for ads.

Reflecting on his career, he says, " It’s been a lot of work and a lot of bullshit and a lot of hard times and some good times, but it’s all been worth it to get to this point. At 13 years old, I left home with nothing but my own hurt and my pride, and now I’m in charge of my music and my business and my life and I have a wonderful woman to share it with and a lot of great people helping me. I thank God for all this every day. "
TED DROZDOWSKI - boston phoenix (Oct 3, 2005)
Mighty Sam McClain "One More Bridge To Cross" Mighty Music Records
Sam is a beautifully expressive soulful singer and is paired superbly with guitarist Chris Tofield's intuitive guitarist lines. Sam is very popular in Europe, and will surely make it over here more frequently. The album features 9 self penned, confident outings in a set list of 13 with some moving vocals nice balanced between Tofield's telling licks, and some subtly arranged horns that suggest a blues man at the height of his powers. Play this album, polish the music hard, and you will come up with a gem of the blues man!
pete feenstra - PETE'S PLAY LIST
For the encore, the Allmans brought out Las Vegas guitarist Chris Tofield for a rousing version of “One Way Out” with the crowd singing the chorus:“Might be your man, I don’t know.”





MUSIC:

Allman Brothers Band makes new magic in Las VegasAfter 40 years, ABB continues to conjure up sonic wizardryImage



AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau, Bob Brye



The Allman Brothers Band play at the Red Rock Station in Las Vegas Sunday, May 24, 2009.



By Mark Whittington



Mon, May 25, 2009 (1:10 p.m.)



AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau, Bob Brye



Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band performs at Red Rock Station Casino, Las Vegas on Sunday, May 24, 2009.Sun Archive



The Allman Brothers Band turned back the clock Sunday night at Red Rock.

The band, touring to celebrate its 40th anniversary, put on a two-set, two-plus-hour show that reaffirmed its place in the musical firmament.

I was lucky enough to see the original band – fueled by the twin guitar lines of Duane Allman and Dickey Betts – at the Fillmore West. Suffice it to say, that night’s headliner, Hot Tuna, need not have bothered to play. The crowd wandered into the San Francisco night bathed in the Allmans’ magic.

But nine months later Duane was killed in a motorcycle accident, and bassist Berry Oakley died similarly a year later.

The band carried on. Betts’ guitar and Chuck Leavell’s piano were wonderful. But when I caught the Allmans shows, it just wasn’t the same.

So, when a friend – a young music fan who grew up on Nirvana but recently had been discovering the classic “Live at Fillmore East” – asked if the Allmans were worth seeing at almost $80 a ticket, I was tempted to give a jaded response about the old magic.

But I had seen the band a few years back, and I told him, “For 30 years, I would have said no, but this current lineup ranks up there with original.” So we decided to buy tickets and go.

The crowd – some in tie-dye, most old enough to see the originals – filtered into the pool area at Red Rock on a perfect night. No free apples. But then the Fillmore didn’t have blackjack dealers in bikinis either.

No opener either – which was a bonus.

The Allmans started the evening on time with the two songs that began its first album back in 1969 – “Don’t Want You No More” segueing into Gregg Allman’s growling vocals on “It’s Not My Cross to Bear.”

The band kept close to its roots with the Elmore James’ blues “Done Somebody Wrong” and “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’” -- from the second album, “Idlewild South.”

At 61, Allman’s bluesy voice sounds as good as it has in years, and he laid down fine organ and piano lines throughout the evening. Only he and drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson remain from the original band.

Percussionist Marc Quinones and bassist Oteil Burbridge now help power the signature cross-rhythms behind the jams.

But guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks provide the spark that rekindles the old Allmans’ magic. The two guitarist are similarly inventive but distinctive visually and sonically.

Haynes joined the Allmans when they reunited in 1989 and also replaces the late Jerry Garcia in the current version of the Dead. He wears his long brown hair flowing. He gives the band bite with his chocked back, distorted tone.

Trucks, just 29, is drummer Butch’s nephew and recently toured as the slide guitarist for Eric Clapton. He pulls his blond hair back tight in a ponytail. He fingerpicks and uses a glass slide and open tuning to coax clear, ringing tones from his guitar.

Their first real guitar battle came midway through the first set on “Woman Across the River.” Then Trucks’ guitar – played without effects – sounded like it was running backward through a loop during a magnificent solo on “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More.”

The drummers started a crazy jam as Burbridge dropped into a bass solo that seemed to resolve into “Leave My Blues at Home.” Don’t quote me on that as the music was taking me some place brand new but very familiar place at this point. I sure wasn’t listening to the lyrics.

As a cool breeze kissed the crowd, the guitarists began a soft line that flirted with the drums and everyone dropped into the distinctive opening riff of “Revival.” Gregg sang “People can you feel it? Love is in the air” to close the first set.

The fireworks between sets were a nice touch – but superfluous. The real fireworks were on stage.

The second set began with “Sweet Melissa” as old photos of the band showed on the backdrop – Duane in his mutton chops, Berry and Dickey and the original band looking so young.

The Allmans skipped forward in time for “End of the Line” and “Rockin’ Horse.” But the 12/8 rhythms, percolating bass lines and dueling guitars remained the same, still lifting the songs into outer space. The band rewound to its roots with “Statesboro Blues” and “Midnight Rider.”

At the end, the only choice was an extended version of “Whipping Post” with the guitars soaring and finally descending back to earth after 15 minutes.

For the encore, the Allmans brought out Las Vegas guitarist Chris Tofield for a rousing version of “One Way Out” with the crowd singing the chorus: “Might be your man, I don’t know.”

So, was it worth it? My friend smiled. He got to see and hear the magic live.

I was reminded that “time goes by like hurricanes” and that an old band can make new magic happen every day.



http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/may/25/allman-brothers-makes-new-magic-las-vegas/