If you haven't heard of blues musician Tomcat Courtney, chances are you haven't stopped by his usual hangouts at in the Turquoise Café or Café Orleans in San Diego, California. At age 78, Tomcat still entertains audiences at both clubs four nights a week with his soulful blues. Tomcat recently transitioned from stage to studio. And another blues guitar veteran, Jimmy Thackery, has a new release you'll want to hear about.
Tomcat Courtney may be the toast of the San Diego blues scene, but he has remained faithful to his Texas roots. It was in the tiny town of Downsville where he got his first taste of the blues. His father, a ragtime pianist, owned a club where such blues giants as "Sonny Boy" Williamson would come to play.
Tomcat broke into show business as a tap dancer, but later made a name for himself as a singer and guitarist in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and California. When he finally settled down in San Diego, he and his band, The Bluesdusters, became a sensation at a beachside night spot called The Teahouse, where according to Tomcat, the place was so crowded in the summertime he couldn't get off the stage to take his break.
Tomcat's long-awaited return to his Downsville, Texas hometown was the inspiration for the title track of his new CD, Downsville Blues. Of his first trip back to Downsville in years, Tomcat says he was disappointed to learn that his old house had burned down and the railroad track was now a highway.
Thackery is known as busiest bluesman
No stranger to highways and tour buses is blues guitarist and singer Jimmy Thackery.
Jimmy Thackery may not have logged as many years as Tomcat Courtney, but with his trio The Drivers, Thackery is still considered one of today's busiest bluesmen. Now 55, Thackery maintains a year-round tour schedule while managing to record an average of one new album a year.
You'll find that electric blues, R&B and even some Western swing come together on Jimmy Thackery and The Drivers' latest release Inside Tracks.