Click to hear: Live samples of Jumpin' Gene's music
Jumpin’ Gene’s song “Tow Truck Man” appears on the recent Willie Buck CD on Delmark Records released in November, 2012.
“We had several favorites, too. The catchy riff of “Tow Truck Man” gives way to sly, double-entendre’-filled lyrics that promise
all the women a real good time!” Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society
“The disc includes three more visits to the [Muddy] Waters songbook, but also serves up a couple of fun originals, most notably “Tow Truck Man,” written by Gene Halton,
in which Buck delivers amazingly like his master.” Marty Gunther, Bluesblast Magazine
OFF THE WALL BLUES BAND
Named after a Little
Walter tune, Off The Wall Blues Band is one of the hottest bands to storm out
of the Midwest blues scene. They are a tight five-piece band with a forceful
Off the Wall Blues Band's first CD, On the Money, was released in June, 1996 to positive reviews. At
the Fourth Annual Ribs and Blues Festival featuring Son Seals, The
il Blues Magazine from Milan, Italy noted: "An unusual and right-on melting pot, in my opinion, are these five characters who give muscle, brain and blood to the Off the Wall Blues Band...This is a jolt of life and originality in the boring discographic panorama of the past few months."
As Living Blues Magazine said, "Off the Wall Blues Band plays in an
old fashioned '50s
Jumpin' Gene Halton
has toured with Pinetop Perkins and Dave Myers, performed with Hubert Sumlin, S.P.Leary, Sam Lay, Lurie Bell, Jimmy Johnson, and Jim Schwall, and opened for Bobby Bland and Son Seals. He performed in the 1993 Zürich Jazz Festival with the Oliver Morgan Rhythm and Blues Band of New Orleans, returned to Europe in 1997 with fellow band member Lorenzo Thompson, on a tour with The Next Generation Blues Band starting in Prague...
"Halton's harmonica creaks and vibrates all over [the cd] in smoky, warm tones."--
Here's Gene performing with Pinetop Perkins in 1994
Former Muddy Waters drummer S.P. Leary once noted Gene's “great sense of rhythm.”
A photo of Jumpin' Gene appears in the 1996 Chicago Blues Calender in the month of February.
Gene performing with another former Muddy Waters drummer, Willie "Big Eye" Smith, with Nick Moss, and Little Frank: Big Eye.
Here’s Gene’s live
instrumental: Get Wet
Halton, June 24, 2000.
With Bill Nicks' Jazz Trio, August 13, 2000, outdoors on the river in downtown South Bend: Black Orpheus.
Performing in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
And Caravan with Doug Rice, 2006.
If you can read the fine print, you
can click to way back when Gene once played drums in a Dixieland Band
Sat. April 25, 2009 at The Midway Tavern
ONE TIME ONLY(until next time)PRODUCTIONS PRESENTED:
Legendary Sam Lay
with Rockin' Johnny
and Jumpin' Gene's Off the Wall Blues Band
Sam Lay drummed on the classic early Howlin' Wolf recordings on Chess records, and later with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. That band backed Bob Dylan at his controversial electric performance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival and on his album Highway 61 Revisited, also showing the range of Sam's career. He was widely featured in the seven part series on the blues produced by academy award winner Martin Scorsese. Sam will not only be singing and doing some drumming at this show, but also showing his abilities on the guitar: maybe even some Johnny Cash!
The show also featured the return of Rockin' Johnny to active gigging after six years. He's been tearin' up Chicago, and now is primed to peel the paint off The Midway Tavern walls.
Sat. May 3, 2008 at The Midway Tavern
TIME ONLY (until next time) PRODUCTIONS
He listened to and learned from, and gigged with, the great Howlin’ Wolf, who also gave him the name of Tail Dragger. The Tail Dragger’s sense of phrasing, of call and response, of freely leaving space, and of the ritual hypnotic that is the source of music’s entrancement, all deliver one to that zone wherein real music happens. As he once put it: AI just sing the low down blues and sometimes it’s like I’m in a trance...Something hits me and I’m overpowered.” See newspaper article: Good Timin' Grooves
The Tail Dragger, drummer Rob Lorenz at left, --photo by Vicky Darnell
Tail Dragger au festival d'Utrecht 1997 (photo Jocelyn Richez)
JUNE 4, 2005, kind of cabaret, CLICK:
And recorded 9/7/04, New Buffalo, MI
--Here is the band live in front of 5000 people,
from the 1998
Click here to see more on Billy Sticks Nicks
Harbor Country Blues Festival
in Three Oaks
click it! Chicago Art Expo Party
Click it! Chicago Blues Extravaganza at the Midway Tavern
twas Friday the 13th of July and the blues were at the Morris Center for the Performing Arts in South Bend
...and it was...
The band featured some of the area's top players,
including Bobby Stone, vocals and guitar,
Bill "Sticks" Nicks on drums, Little Frank Krakowski on guitar, and Jesse Lee on bass
Dig this snippet from the concert: click on Lovelight
Bobby Stone, photo by Jumpin' Gene
from a gig at The Big Easy,
featuring zydeco accordian player Guy Lawrence!
--A photo from outdoor gig at LaSalle Park, June 16, 2001:
L to R: Jumpin' Gene, "Bay-Bay" Samuel, Larry Brown, Bobby Stone (in front), Bill "Sticks" Nicks, J.D.
Click it! Chicago Blues Extravaganza at the Midway
Some of the guitarists the band has worked with
Rockin' Johnny Burgin
Kevin Shannahan, who's been touring with Jimmy Burns
and doing a number of gigs with Tail Draggerr
Mike Dotson, a seasoned Chicagoan, (when not performing with Magic Slim and the Teardrops.)
Eddie Taylor Jr., son of blues legend Eddie Taylor.
Bass player John Baker is also an experienced...
photo by Vicky Darnell
...extensively and recorded with Eddie Burks. He has also toured with another Chicago legend, former Howlin' Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin, performed in Chicago with Homesick James, Big Smokey Smothers, and Merle Perkins, and jammed with Buddy Guy and Jr. Wells, Taj Mahal, and John Hammond. Earlier Baker played gospel with Sonny Thompson, who is also known as a producer at both King and Chess records. John claims that he's never been to prison, except as a visitor.
Drummer Rob Lawrence, pictured here at Off the Wall "Chicago
Extravaganza" gig at the Midway Tavern with
Eddie Taylor Jr. and Liz Mandville-Greeson, has
performed with a wide array of Chicago musicians. He can be heard on Taildragger's most recent recording on Delmark,
photo by Vicky Darnell
Off the Wall Blues Band is booking and performing
throughout the Midwest and touring beyond
Look out for them! Booking: (574) 631-7140
click here to see the annual Off the Wall Blues Band Fan club rally !
Click here to see a photo of Little
And click to see Sonny Boy Williamson's (Rice Miller) grave
And click again to see Little Walter and Muddy Waters