MP3 Michael Amburgey and Bobby Hanson - Honky Blues
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15 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Acoustic Blues, FOLK: Folk Blues
Michael Amburgey and Bobby Hanson first played together in 1972 as an acoustic blues duo called the Back Door Men. Pioneers of the Coastal Empire's burgeoning blues and rock scene of the 1970s, Amburgey and Hanson were a major influence on many Savannah musicians of their genre and era. Bobby and Michael are members of the Savannah Folk Music Society and play at the Society's First Friday concerts several times a year.
Speaking of their new CD release "Honky Blues," Bobby Hanson says, "Michael and I are thrilled to finally have these songs on a CD. Some of the songs are new, and some were written in 1972 and 1973. If anyone wants to know where we're coming from musically, listen to the lyrics of the song 'Honky Blues.' That says what we're all about. We felt that way in 1972, and we still feel that way today."
Michael started playing music during the folk music revival of the 1960s. At that time, his primary influences were Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, as well as the Koerner, Ray & Glover records. He began playing in rock bands while in high school, mostly covering English groups. At age 18, he was exposed to jazz through Ken Palmer, one of the finest jazz musicians Savannah has known. As well as teaching him, Michael credits Ken with giving him a feel for the music and the mentality of the different periods.
Michael met Bobby Hanson in the early 1970s, and through Bobby's vast record collection was exposed to a wide range of music, primarily country blues. Before long, the duo was playing songs by Papa Charlie Jackson, Washboard Sam, Leadbelly, Willie McTell, Blind Blake and Gary Davis among others.
Best known in music circles as the harmonica player with the legendary JoJa Band, Bobby Hanson began playing music with Michael Amburgey in 1972. While most of their contemporaries then were attracted to hard rock, Amburgey and Hanson were attracted to something a little different.
When asked how this came about, Bobby responded, "Michael and I were crazy about people like the Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Blake, Willie McTell, Blind Boy Fuller, Tampa Red, Leadbelly and others in that style. We learned many of their songs and wrote quite a few of our own. For some reason, we found guys like Big Joe Williams more interesting than Rod Stewart."
Bobby and Michael also played together in a blues/R&B/rock band called the Easywalkers, a forerunner of the JoJa Band. The Easywalkers also included Steffens Clark and Jimmy Maddox, who later played in the JoJa Band with Bobby.
Bobby retired from playing music professionally in 1982, but he has been very active since then in church music. Although gospel music remains his primary focus, Bobby did take part in the November 16, 2003 JoJa Band Reunion concert at Armstrong Atlantic State University.
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