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Lineups to rock the house at Ground Zero
By: DAVID OWENS, Associate Editor
October 09, 2006

The music keeps rolling at Ground Zero Blues Club, 0 Blues Alley, this week with scheduled performances by Delaney Bramlett and Elvin Bishop.
The two rock icons will perform as part of the Ground Zero Blues Club Music DVD tapings at the nightclub. The series of concert performances has been dubbed "The Clarksdale Jook Joint Jam." Ground Zero Blues Club Music is a collective effort by Nashville, Tenn.-based Vincent Productions and the owners of Ground Zero Blues Club, attorney Bill Luckett, Morgan Freeman and businessman Howard Stovall.
Gary Vincent, owner of Vincent Productions, came to Clarksdale originally in 2003 with his wife, Carol, as consultants to the Robert Johnson estate.
Vincent was quickly attracted to the Delta city due to his love of the blues and Led Zeppelin.
"I grew up in Chicago, where the blues is really strong," he said. "You can't escape the blues. I'm also a huge Led Zeppelin fan and they were highly influenced by the blues."
In fact, Led Zeppelin was so influenced by the blues greats that they were sued by many of the musicians they idolized.
During one such visit to Clarksdale, Vincent was able to meet one of his longtime idols.
"Last year, my wife and I were having dinner with Bill and Morgan," Vincent said. "Bill got up and introduced me to Robert Plant, who was having dinner with some of his Clarksdale friends."
Vincent said the original idea behind Ground Zero Blues Club Music was to capture many of the great unknown blues artists and give them worldwide exposure.
"The more we looked at the business plan, we realized the best way to accomplish that was not just CDs, but DVDs," he said. "We were also told to couple these artists with an international star because 'nobody would buy unknown names.' It was really a business choice."
The first project, recorded last year, featured rock legend George Thorogood and the Destroyers, with blues great Eddie Shaw. Though they come from two different worlds, Thorogood revealed a respect and admiration for Shaw, a longtime friend.
Tapings continued Thursday with Jimmy Thackery and the Cate Brothers rocking the house at Ground Zero Blues Club. Delaney Bramlett will play the club Monday followed by Elvin Bishop with Little Smokey Smothers, and Pinetop Perkins Tuesday evening.
Vincent, a Nashville songwriter, said he didn't know the success of Bramlett, a native Mississippian, until he did research for this show.
"We have written 20 to 30 songs together," he said. "I never knew a lot of this stuff about him until we did research for this show. On one record, you could hear Leon Russell or Eric Clapton. All of the hottest people were in his band at one time."
Following two successful shows, Vincent said all parties involved are excited about the continued success of the project.
"We're all just walking on a cloud," he said. "Everybody has been so professional. When you put the quality of those people together, it's amazing to watch it all work. We have all (high definition) cameras provided by Canon, our sponsor."
Vincent said the group is in talks to have other big names such as Bonnie Raitt and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons perform at the venue.
"The way to entice acts like that is to show how pertinent these performances are," he said. "It's the real deal and we're going for those artists who are truly valid such as Elvin Bishop and Mississippi son, Delaney Bramlett.
"All of these guys have made a huge mark in the music industry," Vincent said. "We're already getting calls from huge artists who are starting to sniff around and see what it's all about."
Vincent said people will be please with the names announced for more shows in January.
"Blues is the foundation for so many genres of American music," he said. "Everything we hear now has been built on that foundation."
Vincent said everyone has been helpful, crediting Stan Street and wife, Dixie, for the artwork provided for the project.
"His Delta art is so much a part of the look and the feel of what we're doing," he said. "We thank them profusely. Mike Dunahue, George Thorogood's manager, was also a great mentor of this project. So much so, we made him an associate producer on the first DVD."
A special edition of the first show, featuring George Thorogood and Eddie Shaw, is currently available through Vincent. The DVD will be officially released in February, he said.
This week's shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available at Cat Head Delta Blues and Folk Art, 252 Delta Ave. For more information, call 662-624-5992.

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This page contains a single entry by fountainhead published on October 9, 2006 11:48 PM.

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