THE WILLIE J LAWS BAND
Celebrate The Release of "Too Much Blues"
The Fallout Shelter - 61 Endicott Street, Norwood, MA, 02062
The Willie J Laws Band makes a triumphant return to the Fallout Shelter for the first time in over 4 years...well, there was a show with the brilliant Los Texmaniacs where Willie sat in on guitar as one of the "originals" but the Willie J Laws Band hasn't performed on our stage since before the pandemic. Willie is truly the last prophet of the "Funky Texas Blues" and his shows are technically perfect while remaining immensely entertaining, enlightening, thought provoking and inspiring. He's one of those people you just love to be around and at the same time has world class talent...it's a rare combination. Joining Willie are Lenny Bradford on bass and Osi Brathwaite on drums and the inimitable Bruce Mattson on the Hammond organ and piano. This band ROCKS!! This show will feature a horn section of two master players...Mark Berney on trumpet and Brendan Carniaux on sax...this is a Willie J Laws Band iteration we haven't seen yet...the excitement on our end is just building!! So join us as we celebrate the new album by the Willie J Laws Band "Too Much Blues"
Willie J Laws Jr. – Vocals/Guitar
U S Navy veteran Willie J. Laws Jr, raised in the Gulf Coast of Texas near Corpus Christi, has over 35 years of performing experience and has traveled all over the world making music. Willie J. developed his "funky blues" guitar and vocal sound, influenced by Texas Blues and R&B/Soul, Tex-Mex Tejano/Conjunto, Louisiana Zydeco, and Country. His vocals and guitar work are stunning.
His body of concert work includes performing as the house band for The House of Blues in both Las Vegas (5 years) and New Orleans (2 years), and as well as regularly performing at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville in New Orleans. Willie J. toured both nationally and internationally with the Smithsonian Folkways/Grammy award-winning band, "Los Texmaniacs". During the course of his career his band regularly opened for BB King, Etta James, as well as Bobby Blue Bland, Hall and Oates, Warren Zevon, Johnny Winter, and The Ohio Players. Willie was mentored by, and toured with, the late Blues great and Texan, Phillip Walker, which you will hear in Willie's Texas "chicken pickin' " playing style. He has toured multiple times to enthusiastic audiences in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and Poland. As well as USO tours in the Middle East during Operation Desert Storm, and Japan. He really is beloved wherever in the world he's gone.
Willie now lives in Massachusetts and garnered a 2011 Massachusetts Blues Challenge Award, was a semi-finalist in the 2012 International Blues Challenge and prestigious Beale St King Award 2012 in Memphis TN, two New England Music Award nominations (2015 and 2016), and a 2015 Boston Music Award Nomination. He and his Boston based band toured and performed twice in Russia at the behest of the United States Consul General of St. Petersburg Russia as part of an artistic ambassadorship. In the seven years of playing in New England Willie is known as one of the foremost Blues acts of the region with a modern funky style uniquely his own. His performances are always warm, funny and entertaining, while also musically inspiring.
Willie just released a new albulm "Too Much Blues" which is receiving International attention and acclaim. His previous recording, "Black Maria" is a collection of all but one original songs, written and produced by himself, and keyboardist, Bruce Mattson. Willie is a vocalist on three of the Knickerbocker Allstars recordings, as well as New England's piano man, Anthony Geraci's album entitled "Why Did You Have To Go".
The Willie J Laws Band sound is seated deeply in Texas Roots Music, add some Funk, and Jazz influenced bass patterns, and the influence of various Afro-Caribbean drum beats, all tempered with a groove from Motown, Memphis or Muscle Shoals, New Orleans or Houston, Cincinnati or Los Angeles. The sound is traditional American roots music with a unique twist, skillfully played and performed. Come see why they are calling him the "Real Deal". Come see "The Last Prophet of The Funky Texas Blues".Lenny Bradford -bass
Odis & Helen's baby boy, known as Lenny, has been playing the electric bass since he was 12 years old. At 16, he started Classical lessons on the upright bass. Learning the French bowing technique.
After graduation from High school, He went to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, graduating with Class of 1980. Being versatile in many styles, Lenny has played with Bo Diddley, Marilyn Maye, Betty Wright, Joe Bataan, Bobby Sanabria, Solomon Burke, Denny Laine, and toured extensively with Entrain, James Montgomery Band, and Joe Louis Walker. In addition, for 32 years he has been the bass player in the National Center of Afro-American Artists production of Black Nativity by Langston Hughes. This runs at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Boston every December. Lenny was also a Boston Public School teacher. Teaching music to grades 5 through 8 for seven years.
Music has taken him all around the world, and across the continental US. His musical talent has taken him to Turkey, Australia, Europe, Canada, Panama, the Caribbean, and China. Lenny (fondly known as “LB”) is the most recent addition to the Willie J Laws Band.
Osi Brathwaite - drums
Osi started playing drums when he was 3 years old, learning and playing in the “Pan Yard” where steel bands hone the traditions of Trinidad-style rhythms. Osi’s Trinidadian father was the leader of the highly competitive Boston Metro Steel Orchestra, with Osi playing the drum kit at a young age, keeping time for the popular steel band orchestra that included 60-80 steel “pan” players. Osi began his professional career at the age of 11 years old, playing for churches and Reggae clubs throughout Boston and Cambridge. His credits include playing with Atlantic Clarion Quartet, Jah Sprirt, Shadow (calypso/soca performer from Trinidad), Baron (calypso from Trinidad), Warrior King (reggae from Jamaica), Denise Belfon, and Boston’s own gold platinum singer/songwriter/national gold platinum recording artist Margo Thunder.
Now a master of the drums with an explosive style. Brathwaite has taken his drum skills into the blues scene, the Caribbean scene, the funk scene, and the rhythm and blues scene. An incredibly versatile musician with a heart of gold. He has played with Willie J Laws Band since 2013, including the two tours of Russia as part of a musical ambassadorship program arranged by the US Consul General of St. Petersburg.
Bruce Mattson – keys
Pianist and Hammond B3 player Bruce Mattson is a graduate of Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music and a former member of the Gregg Allman Band.
Bruce has worked as a live performer, session musician, and songwriter with a wide range of artists including his own jazz/blues ensemble the Bruce Mattson Band, New Orleans R&B quintet the Mattson Medeiros Band, funky Texas blues artist Willie J Laws Jr, Allman Brothers Band drummer and founding member Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, New Orleans R&B saxophonist Dr. Charles Neville, blues rock guitarists Jon Butcher and Chris Beard, Chicago Blues singer Nora Jean Wallace, blues/R&B singer Toni Lynn Washington, and many others.
Bruce began his career in music as a guitarist, joining his first band at the age of 12 and playing professionally by the age of 13.
Bruce and his songwriting talents are a major contributor to the last three albums recorded by Willie J Laws Jr.
Joining us Oct 13th is:
Trumpeter Mark Berney’s areas of musical interest meet at the crossroads of jazz, classical, rock, and world musics. He has recorded and toured internationally with the Skatalites, Itzhak Perlman, Andy Statman, and the Klezmer Conservatory Band, and has performed in some of the most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Hollywood Bowl, and the URI Fine Arts Center. Berney appears on over 30 recordings, jumping between genres with groups including the BT ALC Big Band, Soulshot, Pressure Cooker, Babaloo, and the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. He has also appeared on stage with Aretha Franklin, Slightly Stoopid, Jamie Cullum, and the Eugene Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Marin Alsop.
Brendan Carniaux - saxaphone
Brendan is saxophonist and educator from Rhode Island. At the heart of his artistic vision we find a resolute dedication to expand his musical philosophy, which focuses on the process of combining the expressions between improvisation and contemporary composition. His solos are imbued with a depth of purpose, a sense of patience and a willingness to venture into the unknown. Carniaux is an integral element of the creative music scene in New England. As part of various ensembles he has toured the United States, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg. He has recently released a trio recording featuring Ryan Carniaux on Trumpet and Max Goldman on Drums. This recording is a unique mixture of contemporary composition and improvisation in trio and duo settings. In the summer of 2021 he is prepared to release a new album of creative improvised music as part of a new trio (formed during the Covid 19 pandemic) featuring Jeff Platz on Guitar, Max Goldman on drums and Brendan Carniaux on Saxophone and Clarinet, the album is tentatively titled With Orbit.