Tag Archives: Birthdays

Guitarist Paul Deano Williams

Guitarist Paul Deano Williams

Guitarist Paul Deano Williams
Richie and Paul Deano Williams on The Mike Douglas Show, March 5, 1969 (with Rodney Dangerfield and Edie Adams). Richie was invited back again 11 days after Woodstock
Guitarist Paul Deano Williams

Richie Havens

The Facebook page, Live Music Head wrote in a July 12, 2013 entry, “For better or worse, some musical careers are defined by a single searing moment in time and for Richie Havens, who died on April 22 [2013], his career will forever be linked to his appearance as the opener for the Woodstock Festival in 1969. Because the band Sweetwater, who were supposed to open, was caught in traffic, it was Havens, percussionist Daniel Ben Zebulon and guitarist Paul ‘Deano’ Williams who went on at Max Yasgur’s farm near Bethel, New York, at 5 pm on Friday, August 15th 1969. It was Haven’s improvised number, ‘Freedom,’ which he interspersed with bits from the tune ‘Motherless Child,’ with sweat staining his tunic and his feet keeping rhythm, all of it captured on the film of the festival, which will forever be his shining moment in music history.” Watch out for Paul ‘Deano’ Williams flashing the peace sign in this video [at approx 34 seconds]…

Guitarist Paul Deano Williams

Woodstock

Paul Williams is one of those many Woodstock Music and Art Fair musicians whose life story the internet has seemingly and surprisingly not included.  A google search reiterates what we already know: Williams was an integral part of Richie Havens’s early music.

And I suppose that is enough.

The West Virginia Surf Report site had a what-ever-happened-to type of piece in which  a “Tilt” replied in 2013 to another reply: About 8 years ago, I was transporting a tractor on my ramp truck to Vermont from Maryland. On my way home, I stopped at a rest stop in upstate New York. An old black guy decked out in a country/cowboy getup, had the hood of his van up. His van was packed with musical equipment. I loaded up his van on my truck and hauled him to eastern New York, somewhere above New Your City. (I may be able to find it – He gave me an address and phone number, which I can’t find at the moment..) Along the trip, he explained that he was Paul Williams, and that he now plays bass in a two piece band, playing country music in bars. He was rather old (60’s or 70’s) and I don’t know if he is still kicking or not. He told me to look him up if ever in the area again, but I haven’t been back that way since then.

Guitarist Paul Deano Williams
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Canadian Bassist Brad Campell

Canadian Bassist Brad Campell

Canadian Bassist Brad Campell

Brad Campell played at Woodstock as part of Janis Joplin’s Kosmic Blues Band. Of course, like all musicians, he’d had things happen before and many things following.

Canadian Bassist Brad Campell

Last Words

Canadian Bassist Brad Campell

Though little known in the US, the first big band Brad Campell would play with was the Canadian band, The Last Words. The original group was comprised of Graeme Box (lead guitar), Ron Guenther (drums) and Noel Campbell (piano).

According to a Barbed Wire Design article, The Last Words began in Clarkson, Ontario in 1961 as the The Beachcombers.  Began and ended after two gigs.

Then, liking Ronnie Hawkins, they became the Nighthawks.

In 1964 Noel Campell left the band, but before leaving invited brother Brad to join. Brad played bass.

Now they were The Smamokins band, but that soon changed to The Last Words.

Canadian Bassist Brad Campell

I Symbolize You

Their first single in 1965, The Laugh’s On Me / She’ll Know How, for RCA Canada received very little air play, but in 1966 they hit the Canadian charts with a Columbia release, I Symbolize You / It Made Me Cry.

In late 1966, they released their last charted single, Give Me Time / Drive A Mini Minor, again on Columbia.

Bill Dureen left the group in 1967 and the remaining members continued with three others until 1968. Next was joining “The Paupers” with Skip Prokop (Lighthouse).

Canadian Bassist Brad Campell

Janis Joplin

In 1968 he went to New York.

He auditioned for Janis Joplin and she instructed her agent Albert Grossman to hire Brad.

He the Kosmic Blues band in late 1968. He’d eventually join Janis Joplin’s Full Tilt Boogie Band.

A Know Your Bass Player article wrote: To my ears, the Kozmic Blues Band and Full Tilt Boogie Band, with bassist Brad Campbell, were the perfect match to advance Janis’ groundbreaking artistry after she departed Big Brother & The Holding Company.

Throughout I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama (1969), Pearl (1971),  and tracks on the archival In Concert (1972) [Campell} fortified Ms. Joplin’s forays into soul and rhythm and blues on such classic tracks as “Try,” “Move Over,” “Half Moon,” and “Me and Bobbie McGee” with harmonic and rhythmic passages evocative of the Motown, Stax, and Atlantic Records session masters – who, at the time, were his peers.

Canadian Bassist Brad Campell

Post Janis

Brad returned to Canada after Janis’s death.

He’d married and begin a family.

Canadian Bassist Brad Campell

Over the past two decades he has played with several bands, onee of which was Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Campbell played banjo and did vocals for Lawson from 1993 to 1994 and played on their album Never Walk Away.

His All Music credit list.

Brad lives in Milton, Ontario.

Canadian Bassist Brad Campell
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Percussionist Bobby Torres

Percussionist Bobby Torres

Percussionist Bobby Torres

How do you get your ticket punched for Woodstock?  Many ways. For Bobby Torres it was to begin by growing up in New York City, the child of parents from Puerto Rico, and to love playing the congas.

OK, but what about becoming part of Joe Cocker’s Grease Band?

Percussionist Bobby Torres

Grease Band

Well, in 1969 [in an interview with Mike Walker] Bobby relates: I saw him in 1969 playing at Fillmore East, playing with Rod Stewart and the Faces. He had the hit “Feelin’ Alright,” which was recorded with a conga player, but when he played it live he didn’t have a conga player. So he was billed at the Fillmore East, and he went to Ungano’s where I was playing on a Monday night, and asked me if I could sit in. And I said, “Sure.””

Percussionist Bobby Torres

LA > Portland > Tom Jones

The Grease Band disbanded soon after Joe Cocker left them and Bobby Torres moved to Los Angeles for the 70s where he became a key session player and then in the 80s he moved to Portland, Oregon but was often on the road as part of singer Tom Jones’s band.

Percussionist Bobby Torres

Bobby Torres Ensemble

By the 90s, Bobby Torres was back full time in Portland and became in integral part of that city’s musical scene, both jazz and Latin, with his Bobby Torres Ensemble.

Mike Walker of Portland’s McMenamins Crystal Ballroom says that, “Bobby’s ensemble has been a monthly feature of the Crystal Ballroom’s Salsa con Sabor program, staged weekly in Lola’s Room on the building’s second floor. “

Percussionist Bobby Torres

Tito Puente

Bobby Torres wants everyone to know that his musical hero is musician, songwriter and record producer, the The King of Latin Music Tito Puente. Puente was based in New York City and Torres went to hear him play whenever given the chance.

Percussionist Bobby Torres

More recently

2009
  • inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame
  • performed for Archbishop Desmond Tutu
  • Time Magazine published “Woodstock, How Does it Sound 40 Years Later?” an article which included a photo of Bobby in performance on stage with Joe Cocker at Woodstock
2015
  • Bobby performed with the Tadeschi Trucks band to a crowd of over 25,000 people at the Lockin’ Festival in Virginia. This concert was a tribute to Joe Cocker and featured many of the original members of Mad Dogs & Englishmen.
2016

Bobby was given the Jazz Journalist’s Association Jazz Hero Award. This award is given to advocates, altruists, activists, aiders and abettors of jazz who have had significant impact in their local communities.

Percussionist Bobby Torres

Nowadays

He’s still busy…just as he’s been for decades.

Percussionist Bobby Torres

Percussionist Bobby Torres

The Letter

Percussionist Bobby Torres

 

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