Mark Hummel – Appeared in the 2019 Ottawa Blues Festival, Calgary Blues Festival and Edmonton Blues Festival.
Harmonica man/singer/songwriter/band leader/author/impresario Mark Hummel was born in New Haven, CT but moved to Los Angeles. Hummel took up an interest in blues harp & rock-blues music in high school but soon discovered the originators like Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson & Little Walter. Soon after, Hummel frequented the Ash Grove club on Melrose Ave. in LA where he saw (in a three month period) three blues legends he would later work with on a regular basis; Charlie Musselwhite, Brownie McGhee (w/Sonny Terry) & James Cotton. By 1985 Mark Hummel’s Blues Survivors hit the road full time & continue till the present (Hummel’s memoir, “Big Road Blues: 12 Bars on I-80” recounts many road exploits). In 2014 Blind Pig Records released “Remembering Little Walter” (a recording of a Hummel Blues Harp Blowout.) The CD was nominated for a Grammy Award and won two Blues Music Awards. Hummel’s latest CD “The Hustle Is Really On” features Golden State – Lone Star Blues Revue and won Best Traditional Blues Album of the year at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Tennessee.
Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout™ started on a Sunday night in 1991 at Ashkenaz in Berkeley with four harmonica players – Rick Estrin, Mark, Dave Earl and Doug Jay. Each player performed a twenty to thirty minute set and everyone jammed together with Hummel’s Blues Survivors as backup. Over the next five years it grew to become a multi venue event around California and included bigger names like William Clarke, Norton Buffalo and Paul DeLay. By the year 2000 the Blowout was headlining Yoshi’s in Oakland as a four night show with Rod Piazza, Kim Wilson, Rick Estrin, James Harman and Billy Branch. These shows were recorded for Mountain Top Records.
Since then it’s become a who’s who of older and younger players, black, white, male and female, national and international. From icons like Bobby Rush, Kenny Neal, Snooky Pryor, Carey Bell, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, John Mayall, John Hammond, Little Sonny, Lazy Lester, Billy Boy Arnold, Sam Myers, Corky Siegel, Magic Dick, Huey Lewis, Lee Oscar, Jerry Portnoy, Howard Levy and Paul Oscher to younger players like Sugar Ray Norcia, Jason Ricci, Son Of Dave, Aki Kumar, Curtis Salgado, Kenny Neal, RJ Mischo, Sugar Blue, Annie Raines, Carlos Del Junco, just to name a few.
Mark Hummel has won 2 times for his by the Blues Music Awards committee.
Guitarist Billy Flynn first came to the stage through Jimmy Dawkins as a seventeen year old guitarist venturing to play also with Mighty Joe Young, Luther Allison and Sunnyland Slim. In the ’80’s he continued with Pinetop Smith, Wily Perkins and Calvin Perkins in the Legendary Blue Band.
More recently Billy recorded on Beyoncé’s Grammy winning version of “At Last” from the film Cadillac Records. Flynn played on the entire soundtrack. Billy’s newest recording is on Delmark Records and has received rave reviews. In addition to his own work Billy has worked and recorded with Snooky Pryor, Willie Kent, Billy Boy Arnold, Bryan Lee, Kim Wilson, Willie Kent and many others while touring domestically and across the world.
The rhythm section will be RW Grigsby – bass player and Wes Starr – drums . Both are from the Mark Hummel Golden State – Lone Star Blues Revue.