ARMSTRONG & BAND (USA)
1. Juli, 22:00
Armstrong - guitar, vocals
Felton Crews- bass
Lukas Knöfler - drums
Raphael Wressnig - keyboards
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Guitarist, singer, and songwriter James Armstrong has a bright future
in blues music. His latest album was one of the finest electric blues
records of 2000, garnering two W.C. Handy Award nominations: one for Contemporary
Male Artist of the Year, and one for Song of the Year ("Pennies and
Picks," co-written with Bruce Bromberg and Onnie Heaney). He tours
extensively and his shows are among the best on the circuit.
son of a blues-singing mother and jazz guitar-playing father, Armstrong
got the music bug at an early age. He formed his first band in the seventh
grade and has progressed rapidly ever since. He singles out Jimi Hendrix
and Robert Cray as singing influences, and Albert Collins, Albert King,
and Eric Clapton as guitarists whose work has inspired him.
in the Los Angeles area in the early 1980s, Armstrong learned by playing
-- a lot of playing -- around Southern California's club scene. He recalls
backing Big Joe Turner during that time at Santa Monica's Music Machine,
and a similar gig with Albert Collins later on as part of a band that
included guitarist Coco Montoya. Then there was that wild gig with Smokey
Wilson in East L.A. that reinforced the image of the blues as a tough
business on a young Armstrong.
first HighTone release, 1995's Sleeping With a Stranger, drew widespread
critical acclaim as well as tremendous popularity on the European circuit.
Unfortunately, the great momentum he had going into early 1997 ended with
a stabbing attack in April of that year. During his slow recuperation,
Armstrong recorded Dark Night in late 1998. The songs on Dark Night reflected
the turmoil and introspection of that time, and they featured his debut
on slide guitar (since he had not yet regained his ability to play lead
has come back strong over the last few years with a solid schedule of
touring and physical therapy. He's once again playing lead guitar, but
he still incorporates his searing slide-guitar skills into his recordings
and live shows. Confident and re-energized, he entered the recording studio
with producer Bruce Bromberg in the late spring of 2000 to begin recording
his latest album, Got It Goin' On. In addition to the members of his regular
touring band, the sessions included keyboardist Mike Emerson, Joe Louis
Walker's rhythm section, and a special guest appearance on two songs by
keyboardist Jimmy Pugh of Robert Cray's band.
in its performance and execution, Got It Goin' On is packed with scorching
guitar work and soulful vocals. The songs cover a wide spectrum of experiences;
"I let the tone of the lyrics dictate the style of the music,"
says Armstrong of his songwriting process. "Or sometimes, I'll just
grab a title first and then go with an idea." "Pennies and Picks"
is a true story of the road. "2 Sides" was written over eight
years ago and was included in the movie Speechless (starring Michael Keaton).
"Mr. B's" is another true story, about a club in Santa Monica
where James held down a regular gig in the early '90s. "Love Will
Make You Do Wrong" is a cautionary tale about the downsides of the
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