His powerful voice hearkens back to the days when Joe Williams was fronting the Count Basie Orchestra and Wynonie Harris was singing for bands like Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey and Cab Calloway. Yet Big Joe Maher has a style all his own as heard on his latest Severn Records recording, All Night Long, due for release November 14, 2000.
All Night Long features the music Big Joe & the Dynaflows love best: Blues, New Orleans Swing and Rock & Roll. The disc opens with the title cut where Joe tells a story about a woman who won't stop dancing. With the infectious swinging beat, its no wonder Joe's dancing lady pleads for the band to play "all night long." As with their previous release on Severn Records, I'm Still Swingin', Joe and the boys take the listener to New Orleans where they experience the second-line beat of "Down In Louisiana," and the rocking Fats-Domino-flavored version of "My Baby's Tops," which highlights Derek Houston of The Iguanas on tenor sax.
Maher reaches deep into the roots of blues on his original "Move It or Lose It" where the horn section becomes the perfect backdrop for a tasteful guitar solo by Ivan Appelrouth. Other standouts include the up-tempo "Really Breaks My Heart," a tongue-in-cheek number about a relationship gone bad and the gospel-infused "Church of Your Love" where Joe shows his tender side while Benjie Porecki lays down some soulful Hammond B3 tracks. And check out "Ham Hocks," the single that is sweeping through dance clubs in the Carolinas. It features Kaz Kazanoff (Black Top Records) on sax and is Joe's personal tribute to some of his favorite things from the south: A good woman who "gives me ham hocks, green beans and candied yams."
Growing up, the music scene of our nation's capitol was a big influence on Joe. "I used to go and hear live blues at clubs in D.C. when I was younger. Those experiences really sparked my interest in becoming a musician. That and hearing the music my dad would play around the house," recalls Joe. "I've always considered myself fortunate to have a father who loved this music. From the very first time I heard Louis Jordan playing "Caledonia" I knew I dug this music." And it would be easy for any listener to mistake Maher's "Move It Or Lose It" or "Third Class Citizen" as Jordan covers - testament to Joe's deep ties to swing, blues and big band music.
Joe has worn many hats in his career including band leader, side man and producer but it's always his first-class singing and drumming that keeps fans coming back for his infectious brand of swinging blues. As Bob Margolin writes in the liner notes "His love for Rhythm & Blues shows in every aspect of this album, as it does at his gigs. You'll enjoy The Dynaflows -- a real band who have worked together for years."
With this newest release Big Joe & the Dynaflows have certainly given fans good reason to stay up and party All Night Long!
Special Thanks: Johnnelle Gray, Earl Jones, Joe's Record Paradise, Joe Lee, Mike Hart, Sharon , Randy Santos, The Washington DC Swing Dance Society, Glen Echo Park/The Spanish Ballroom, Marc Fisher, Janine Maher, Philip Maher, Tom Baumann, Renee Baumann, David Earl & the Severn Records crew, and of course all my great and loyal fans!
If walls could talk, then the walls of the home I grew up in would wreak of Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll. I've always considered myself a very fortunate individual to have a father who loved this music that has become entrenched in my heart and soul. From the very first time I heard Louis Jordan & His Tympani Five (circa 1955) playing "Caledonia" with Mickey Baker's blistering guitar solo, I knew I dug this music. Considering I was only three years old, I guess it was all meant to be. Ever since then I've been infatuated with Rhythm & Blues whether it was B.B. King, O.V. Wright, Ray Charles, Percy Mayfield or any one of another 100 singers and or players, I wanted to keep this music that is so close to me alive.
As we start the 21st century not much has changed. I'm still out there playing and recording the music I love so. And thanks to my good friend David Earl at Severn Records who gives me the opportunity to bring you right in your own home, the same feeling I had when I first heard this great music. So sit back and get ready to party "All Night Long". - Big Joe
Big Joe Maher: Drums and Vocals Ivan Appelrouth: Guitar John Cocuzzi: Piano (Hammond Organ track 8) Steve Potter: Upright Bass Joe Stanley: Tenor Saxophone (solos on tracks 1, 4, 10)
Special Guests: Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff: Tenor and Baritone Saxophones (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11 – solo on track 8) Derek Huston: Tenor Saxophone (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11 – solo on track 5) John Jensen: Trombone (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 11 – solo on track 7) Clyde Hunt: Trumpet (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 11 – solo on track 7) Benjie Porecki: Hammond Organ (tracks 6, 9) Johnnelle Gray: Background Vocals (tracks 5, 6) Earl Jones: Background Vocals (tracks 5, 6) "The Bar-B-Q Boys": Background Shouts (track 8) Eric Lemley: Voice of "Mean Club Owner" (track 12) Sherri B. Close: Woman's Voice (tracks 1, 4)
Produced by: Joe Maher & David Earl Executive Producer: David Earl Recorded and Mixed at Omega Studios, Rockville MD Engineer: Eric Lemley Photography and Digital Enhancment: Randy Santos CD Design: Copeland Design