Sixteen-year-old guitarist Brandon “Taz” Niederauer has already enjoyed the spotlight at some of the most legendary venues in America and played alongside numerous prominent artists. But these accomplishments only scratch the surface of the raw skill and musical instincts that make the New York City-based guitarist, who’ll headline tonight’s show at Levitt AMP Utica, a true musician. For this week’s edition of our Spotlight Series, we’re bringing you 10 facts about the mind-bogglingly impressive teen rocker.
Welcome to another entry in our season-long Spotlight Series! This week we’re featuring a true living legend of Chicago blues: Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson. An architect of the rough-and-tumble “West Side” sound, Johnson has been performing on stages everywhere from Poland to Japan since the 1960s, releasing four albums and taking home a GRAMMY award in the process. Tonight, he’s bringing the blues to Levitt AMP Woonsocket.
Johnson was born in the Mississippi Delta and drew heavy influence from gospel music growing up. His family moved to Chicago in the late 1950s, just as the city was becoming the de-facto epicenter of blues music. After singing and playing bass with a few local groups, Johnson picked up the six-string and adopted the moniker “Guitar Junior” at the age of 23 when his then-bandleader, Tall Milton Shelton, turned away from music following a religious awakening. Rather than let the group dissolve, Johnson took the reins and made it his own.
Johnson established himself as one of Chicago’s top guitar talents over the next several years, and eventually caught the attention of one of the most venerated bluesmen of all time: Muddy Waters. He joined Muddy’s crew in 1972, coincidentally replacing guitarist Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson in the band. Guitar Junior toured the world with this all-star lineup for the next eight years, recording his first solo album, Luther’s Blues, while on the road in France in 1977.
When the band dissolved in 1980, Johnson created a supergroup called The Legendary Blues Band with several other Chicago heavyweights. The group famously appears in the classic film The Blues Brothers as John Lee Hooker’s backing band. Soon after, Johnson parted ways with Chicago and moved out to the East Coast, forming a new band called the Magic Rockers and further refining his sound. He contributed to the GRAMMY-winning compilation album Blues Explosion in 1985.
Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson’s raw, soulful, and thoroughly original style of Chicago blues will be on full display tonight at Levitt AMP Woonsocket. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this storied artist perform for free!
Tonight, Levitt AMP Whitesburg will be graced by international Arabic flamenco jazz sensation, Farah Siraj—who’ll light up the stage with entrancing trilingual (Arabic/English/Spanish) fusions of Middle Eastern music, flamenco, jazz, bossa, pop and more. For today’s post, we’re bringing you 10 fun facts about this renowned singer/multi-instrumentalist, whose music serves as a medium for peace and celebration of the global community’s rich diversity.
Our season-long Spotlight Series continues this week with Dwayne Dopsie (pronounced DOOP-see), a fiery accordionist from Lafayette, La. Along with his band, the Zydeco Hellraisers, Dwayne will be bringing an upbeat blend of blues, rock, and traditional Zydeco music to the stage at Levitt AMP Santa Fe this Saturday.
We have several fascinating facts about Dwayne Dopsie for you, but first let’s address a question that may already be on your mind: what is Zydeco? Indigenous to Louisiana’s Creole communities, Zydeco is a centuries-old style of music characterized by the unique combination of accordion in the forefront and washboard anchoring the rhythm section. The latter is usually worn on a vest called a frottoir that leaves both hands free for rhythmic rubbing. Most Zydeco tunes are fast-paced and eminently danceable, with two-step beats and furious bursts of accordion driving them forward.
Now, let’s get to know a musician on the leading edge of the contemporary Zydeco scene: Dwayne Dopsie!
Don’t miss your chance to see Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers live in concert this weekend at Levitt AMP Santa Fe. It’s a can’t-miss opportunity for fans of eclectic music to experience the energy of Zydeco firsthand.
Look out for The Foxies, a four-piece alternative rock band whose shimmering, ultra-danceable indie-pop sound is guaranteed to get concertgoers on their feet tonight at Levitt AMP Earlham.
Based out of Nashville, Tenn., the group consists of charismatic front woman Julia Lauren Bullock, guitarist Jake Ohlbaum, bassist Kyle Talbot and drummer Rob Bodley. The band is based out of Nashville, Tenn., but their roots are nationwide—spanning the wide-open expanse of Arizona to the tangled urban jungle of New York City. Since the 2015 release of their first single, the sparkling yet hard-hitting “Floods”, the group has quickly gained recognition for their addictive sound. Their grungy guitars, sensual vocals and fat-bottomed beats are the perfect recipe for versatile indie music—the kind that’s just as welcome on a cross-country road trip as it is on a thumping dance floor.
Now, The Foxies are providing the soundtrack for their own nationwide tour, and they’ve already stopped at legendary music festivals like Bonnaroo, South by Southwest and Sundance. Their contagious sound has earned praise from Native Mag and Nashville’s Lightning 100 Radio, and even a spot for 2017’s “Wander In Lust” on the 63rd volume of NOW That’s What I Call Music. Their latest EP, Battery (2019), includes four tracks described by Bullock as the band’s most “raw and authentic” work to date.
Listen to The Foxie’s dreamy discography here, and if you’re in Earlham tonight, don’t miss out on their live performance at Levitt AMP!
This week, we’re turning our Spotlight series to Tameca Jones, a Texas-based sensation who will be hitting the stage this Sunday (6/16) for the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series! You’ll also be able to catch Tameca next week for a Levitt AMP show in Green Bay (6/18), and later this summer at Levitt AMP sites in Springfield (7/4) and Trenton (8/8).
This week the Spotlight Series continues with the genre-busting violin/vocalist duo, Sons of Mystro—who launch the 2019 Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series tonight with their lively mix of classical, reggae, hip-hop and more! To gear up for tonight’s show, we’re bringing you 10 fun facts about this eclectic power duo! Continue reading
Today, we’re kicking off our 2019 Spotlight Series that will highlight the incredible talent gracing Levitt stages across the country. First up? Blues rock outfit Dragondeer, which is bringing their raw vocals, rambling harmonica solos and deep grooves to Ruby Hill Park, where they’ll kick off Levitt Pavilion Denver’s 2019 season! Levitt Denver concertgoers are in for a dynamite show that will have everyone swaying their hips and enjoying the nostalgia that comes along with warm summer nights. Continue reading