Houston Texas (August 9 2021) - Noted jazz vocalist Kathy Lyon (Pensacola Florida) records her latest album "Nothin' But Love" featuring tenor sax great Houston Person. The twelve song compilation was recorded at Teaneck Sound Studio, produced by Houston Person and includes Lafayette Harris Jr on piano, Peter Hand on guitar, Matthew Parrish on bass, with Vince Ector on drums. Engineering, Mixing, Mastering performed by Dave Kowalski. With such a great line up behind her Kathy's voice becomes the icing on the cake as this performer delivers from the soul and yet retains the vocal discipline required to draw inside the lines. The results of this collaboration are exceedingly enjoyable. Mr. Person's signature arrangements allow the standards to remain the familiar standards we know and love yet the instrumentation and vocals are able to breathe and produce a refreshing collection of music . This breath of fresh air is felt from the very beginning until the very end. The "Nothin' But Love" album title came about as a result of the harmony within the studio between everyone involved. Kathy shares, "It felt great, you couldn't ask for a more refined and harmonious group of musicians. It was a very memorable collaboration, the room was filled with nothing but love.
About Kathy - Some time back Kathy toured with the USO entertaining American troops abroad. At that time the money was slim and you had to pay for your own hotel. However the money was not the motivating factor for Ms. Lyon. She wanted to deliver the American sound personally to our troops serving in other lands. The first person experience in and of itself was pay enough. As she performed on those stages she could feel the welcomed reception of the songs. Kathy Lyon would go on to become an experienced jazz festival performer and graced the stages at such notable events as the Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival, Roswell Jazz Festival, Jazz By The Bay Festival, and closer to home the Pensacola Jazz Festival. Her professional abilities also extend beyond her performances as she creates original songs as well. To date Kathy has released four albums with the latest being available now, Nothin' But Love.
Keandra Scott wrote in Houston Style Magazine that Milton Hopkins is "Houston’s 1st Gentleman of the Blues" and that my friends is an excellent description of traditional blues artist Milton Hopkins.
I had the distinct pleasure of dining with Milton, his lovely wife Addie, and their close friends at this year’s Blues Music Awards. As the ceremonies began and the first act of the night took to the stage I had a ringside seat where I could see Milton watching every guitar player intently. Every time the artist on stage would reach for a chord that only professionals reach for Milton would smile. And so it went for the entire evening. Afterward I got to spend some time with him and I asked him a question in passing, "what has been the most memorable, pleasant experience you can remember?" Milton didn’t even hesitate to answer, "My time with BB King, the most gracious, kindest, caring individual you would ever want to be around. We had about eight years on that bus together, those were great years indeed." Milton told me about playing with Gatemouth Brown in the 50’s, being a session player along with Clarence Holliman at Peacock Records, and the smooth, mellow sounds of Jessie Ervine. All three had influenced Milton quite heavily in those early impressionable years but it was his touring with BB that he fondly recalls as he added, "BB is one first class guy." But I wanted to know something else. What does Milton want to deliver to his audiences and so since I was on a roll I asked him. Milton said, "Clarity, I want them to hear the clarity of every note and for them to know they are hearing and seeing someone within this genre that is delivering what they came out that night to hear."
In 2012 besides his local dates Milton also performed on the main stage at the Chicago Blues Fest, across the big pond at the Dunkirk France Blues Fest, and in Texas at the Navasota Blues Festival. In 2013 Mike Stone produced Milton’s latest CD Live at Danton’s which is available on CD Baby, iTunes, Spotify, and in Houston at Cactus Music. Just prior to that release Milton had teamed with Jewel Brown, a tremendous vocalist in her own right, and Dialtone released Milton Hopkins & Jewel Brown which is still widely available today.
For those of us that live in Houston we get to hear and see Milton and his band, The Hit City Blues Band, frequently. If you are traveling through Houston or if Houston is your destination you can always check out the Blues Hound’s Music Calendar at http://theblueshound.com/music-calendar and learn where Milton and the guys are hanging their hat that particular night.
I will always remember being at the BMAs especially kidding around with Milton about the new alligator shoes I was going to sport that night. He just smiled and was quiet. That night we all met in the lobby of the event hall and I was all smiles about to show off my new kicks when I looked down to the floor and Milton had the coolest shoes on I had ever seen, I kid you not. Dress loafers with a patent leather shine that housed this really cool looking sort of pink, purplish color. Now get this - these shoes even had a shiny gold bumper running across the toes. Man I might as well wore tennis shoes that night compared to this man’s night out on the town dress kicks. Then Diunna Greenleaf stopped by and we all put our right foot out and someone snapped a photo of our shoes. If I’m lying I’m dying.
Check out Milton’s
Live at Danton’s CD.
You’ll be glad you did!