December 10, 2010
2011 marks the 100th birthday of history’s most influential buesmen, Robert Johnson, and rockers Big Head Todd and the Monsters announced today that they are celebrating by gathering some of the greatest living blues legends to record 100 Years of Robert Johnson, an album featuring ten of Johnson’s most legendary recordings. The ad-hoc group calls themselves Big Head Blues Club.
The guest musicians are a veritable who’s who of living Bluesmen including:
B.B. King needs no introduction. He is the best selling Blues artist of all time, was named the #3 greatest guitar player of all time by Rolling Stone magazine, and he has played over 15,000 concerts in his career. King has recorded with everyone from Bono to Eric Clapton and is the face of Delta Blues to most casual fans.
Hubert Sumlin is best known for his work from 1955-1976 with Howlin’ Wolf’s band. He was named on of the greatest guitar players of all time by Rolling Stone magazine and has influenced numerous generations of guitarists. The 79 year old Sumlin is still actively touring and wowing audiences with his unique guitar style.
One of the last remaining direct links to Robert Johnson, 95 year old Honeyboy Edwards was a friend of Johnson’s and claims to have been present the night that Johnson drank what was believed to be poisoned whiskey that resulted in his death. The second-oldest touring Delta Blues musicians, behind Pinetop Perkins, Honeyboy Edwards has seen the development of Delta Blues from its birth.
Blues harp player Charlie Musselwhite came to prominence in the 1960’s and has performed with everyone from Muddy Waters to INXS. He has also been listed as the primary inspiration for Dan Ackroyd’s character in The Blues Brothers. Musselwhite has been nominated numerous Grammy and W.C. Handy Awards.
In addition to releasing 100 Years of Robert Johnson in February, Big Head Blues Club will also take the show on the road with a series of concerts called Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts. The band for these shows are Big Head Todd and the Monsters with special guests Hubert Sumlin, Cedric Burnside, Honeyboy Edwards, and Lightnin’ Malcom.
The tour dates for the Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts are as follows:
Jan. 28 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom
Jan. 29 Costa Mesa, CA Orange County Performing Arts Center
Jan. 30 San Diego, CA (2 shows) Anthology
Jan. 31 Santa Barbara, CA Campbell Hall / UCSB
Feb. 04 Austin, TX Paramount Theatre
Feb. 05 Dallas, TX Lakewood Theatre
Feb. 10 Ann Arbor, MI Hill Auditorium / U of M
Feb. 11 Chicago, IL Orchestra Hall
Feb. 12 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theatre
Feb. 13 Meridian, MS Riley Center / MSU
Feb. 16 Chapel Hill, NC Memorial Hall / UNC Chapel Hill
Feb. 17 New Bethesda, MD The Music Center at Strathmore
Feb. 18 Boston, MA Berklee School of Music
Feb. 24 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
Feb. 25 Princeton, NJ McCarter Theatre
Feb. 26 Blue Bell, PA Montgomery County Community College
Feb. 27 New Bedford, MA Zeiterion Theater
March 4 Milwaukee, WI Potowatomi Casino
March 5 Omaha, NE Holland Performing Arts Center
March 6 Minneapolis, MN Orchestra Hall
March 8 Urbana, IL Krannert Center – Tyrone Festival Theatre