THE HOLLYWOOD BLUE FLAMES "DEEP IN AMERICA" (2 DISC)
RELEASE DATE: 01/19/09 / CATALOG
DISC 1: 14 TRACKS / DISC 2: 12 TRACKS
Al Blake: vocals & harmonica
Fred Kaplan: piano
Larry Taylor: bass
Junior Watson: guitar
Kirk Fletcher: guitar
Richard Innes: drums
*Michael “Hollywood Fats” Mann: vocals & guitar
“The Blue Flames are a crew of consummate professionals, with a total command of the genre.” – Blues & Rhythm Magazine
“This is a band that does full honors to the past and in their very dedication to replicating that sound with a new, modern approach to the blues that still casts a long shadow today.” – Blues In London
“It’s easy to hear right from the first notes that as great as this band was before, they’re absolutely DEADLY now.” – Real Blues Magazine
Since arriving on Delta Groove The Hollywood Blue Flames have been hailed as the true torch bearers of classic blues in the modern age. Their unyielding and steadfast dedication to the art form has set the benchmark standard by which all other musicians must strive towards in order to obtain mastery within the traditional blues genre. The band’s original inception dates back to the early 1970’s with the formation of the Hollywood Fats Band, led by the brilliant, first-rate guitarist Michael “Hollywood Fats” Mann. Their one and only album, the self-titled “Hollywood Fats Band” released on PBR Records in 1979, laid the blueprint for modern day era West Coast Blues and is widely considered a landmark album of the genre.
Following Fats’ premature death in 1986, the band laid dormant until the release of “Mr. Blake’s Blues” on Blue Collar Records in 1997. Released under the banner of Big Al Blake & The Hollywood Fats Band, the recording reunited all four surviving members of the Hollywood Fats Band including Al Blake, Fred Kaplan, Larry Taylor and Richard Innes, along with top-flight guitarists Kid Ramos and Junior Watson. Years later, upon hearing the young emerging guitar virtuoso Kirk “Eli” Fletcher, Blake rechristened the band as The Hollywood Blue Flames and incorporated the blossoming talents of this promising new guitarist. Their 2005 Delta Groove debut “Soul Sanctuary” received unanimous praise and earned a Blues Music Award nomination for Comeback Album of the Year. A sophomore release, “Road To Rio,” soon followed, surpassing critics and fan expectations alike as the band delivered another solid effort, only this time with the inclusion of a bonus disc containing previously unheard live performances of the original Hollywood Fats Band. The Hollywood Blue Flames were again recognized by another Blues Music Award nomination honoring them with Historical Album of the Year. “Road To Rio” also landed the #5 spot on Living Blues Magazine’s Top 50 Blues Recordings of 2006.
“Deep In America” follows true to the formula of the band’s previous two-disc set, “Road To Rio,” once again throwing open the vaults and treating fans to a virtual treasure trove of classic archival material obtained from two different eras of the band. Disc one gathers together a collection of recordings by The Hollywood Blue Flames featuring stellar support from guitarists Kirk Fletcher and Junior Watson, all drawn from various studio sessions over the years with previously unreleased material that includes outtakes, alternates and some newly recorded songs. Disc two contains more vintage live recordings taken from a variety of source materials by the original Hollywood Fats Band, showcasing the amazing talent of Hollywood Fats and the evolution the band was undergoing before his untimely death in 1986. “Deep In America” stands as a testament to the strength and power of a band whose music continues to burn ever so brightly after igniting that very first flame more than three decades ago.
Produced by Al Blake • assistant producer: fred Kaplan • Executive producer: Randy Chortkoff • Creative fulfillment president of delta groove music: robert fitzpatrick • All songs recorded and mixed by Joe Bellamy at Peace In The Valley, Arleta, CA (2004-2009) • Except “The Hip Hoppin’ Toad” & “The Hushpuppy” - Recorded and mixed by Joe Bellamy at Peace In The Valley, Pioneer, CA (2009) • Mastered by Tim Frantz (Mountain Dog Music, Ojai, CA) • original paintings by Miriam Hospodar • Design & Photography by Joshua Temkin • Vintage Hollywood Fats Band photo courtesy of Larry Taylor • Liner Notes by Miriam Hospodar • Radio & Promotions by Jody Best • Retail by Jeff Fleenor • delta groove Business affairs by Malcolm wiseman