SCHULTZ BAND FEAT. FINIS TASBY (USA)
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Born in 1954 in New York City, Alex Schultz grew up surrounded by the emerging rock and roll cultural revolution of the sixties, but quickly became immersed in that city’s legacy of great jazz music. Studying with legendary guitarist George Barnes and later at Boston’s Berklee College of music laid groundwork in jazz. Early exposure to BB King, James Cotton and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band had planted the seeds of a life- long love of blues music.
Armed with this combination, Schultz moved to Los Angeles in 1979, pursuing pop music’s fickle fortunes. However, he was soon drawn back to the roots music he loved. Establishing himself as both a bass player and guitarist on the roots music scene, Schultz’ first high profile gig was 2 1/2 years with early Rock and Roll / Rhythm and Blues pioneer Hank Ballard & the Midnighters. This provided some early road experience as well, including playing Antones in Austin Texas in 1986.
Soon followed a historic stint with legendary Los Angeles harmonica master William Clarke. With Clarke, Schultz played and recorded with Guitarist Smokey Wilson, recorded what became WC Handy winning Alligator album “Blowing Like Hell”, and made appearances on all 4 of Clarke’s Alligator releases. During this period Schultz was meanwhile playing with just about everyone on the Los Angeles roots music scene, including Coco Montoya, Debbie Davies, Finis Tasby, Steve Samuels, Rob Rio, and countless others. Next began a 7 year, 5 record association with Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers. This gig took Schultz around the world numerous times including gigs in Australia, Japan, and all over Western Europe and Scandinavia. Recordings included two albums on Black Top records in the early ‘90’s and the classic “Live at BB King’s” recorded in Memphis. Schultz left the group in ‘95 to pursue other projects and the next was a three year collaboration with blues rebel Lester Butler (ex- Red Devils harmonica and vocals ) which resulted in the HighTone album “13 Featuring Lester Butler” and 4 European tours. Concurrently Schultz appeared on two Delmark releases with old New York friend Tad Robinson, and recently has been touring with Tad and they are completing a self-produced project. Since ‘95 Schultz’s free-lance work has resulted in many recordings and tours, with a wide variety of roots music included in the mix, including collaborations and recordings with Italian harmonica player Egidio ‘Juke’ Ingala, jazz/ blues keyboard player Benjie Porecki, Washington DC jump blues masters Big Joe & the Dynaflows, etc. The early years of the new century have seen Schultz collaborating and guesting with many European and American Artists. Recent recordings have been Frank Goldwasser’s ‘Blu Ju’ disc on Crosscut, the latest disc from BB & the Blues Shacks also on Crosscut, and the solo disc from young Italian guitarist Enrico Crivellaro.
In October 2004 Schultz´s album “think about it” was released on “Severn Records”.
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Powerhouse blues vocalist Finis Tasby was born in Dallas, Texas in 1940, and grew up immersed in the vital Texas blues tradition. As a teenager got his first professional music experience as drummer with the swinging local combo The Blues Blasters.
By the early 1960s he'd switched instruments, and was playing bass and singing backup with local legends The Thunderbirds, working regularly with Z.Z. Hill, and also backing Clarence Carter, Lowell Fulson, and Freddie King on regional tours. By the mid '60s Finis had stepped out in front of the band, and began establishing his reputation as one of the most soulful blues singers on the circuit. In the early 70's Finis moved to Los Angeles, and picked up where he'd left off in Texas. As a bass player, he worked with many of the greats, including B.B. King, Percy Mayfield and Big Mama Thornton. But it is as a vocalist that Finis really comes into his own, and in the '70s he made his first recordings as a front man. It was during this period that he also formed a lifelong friendship with blues great John Lee Hooker, with whom he often performed locally. Finis' reputation as a strong and soulful singer reached new heights with the releases of several CDs, including "People Don't Care" on Shanachie, from which three songs were used in the film "The Babysitter".
In the late 1990s Finis began his alliance with Rand Chortkoff, when Rand independently produced Finis' CD "Jump Children", which was released to wide acclaim on the Evidence label. (Finis also recently released the CD "Tribute To John Lee Hooker" on the small Kon Kord label.) Finis and Rand have worked closely since then on several other recording projects and numerous live performances, culminating in the formation of The Mannish Boys.