Upon witnessing THE IMPERIAL CROWNS...
You SHALL be left with an impression
which WILL stay with you for a good long time.
These days, there are those who feel that...
The Blues & It's People should be kept "pure"...
...locked up in a museum...
...left lifeless or living in the past.
Well, The Imperial Crowns say NO to that!
Preachin' the blues everywhere they go!!!
Michael Barsimanto doesn't just play the drums. He whups the drums. He teases the drums. He worships the drums! Knockin' hip cats out from coast to coast, and across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. He's a quiet kinda dude. He don't talk too damn much. That's because he's feelin' rhythm in the air, in nature and sounds. There's always a beat pulsing through his soul! You'll feel it too, when ya hear him do his thing. If ya can't feel it, go down to the coroner, and have yourself pronounced dead!
Keith "Foxxe" Karman is a bad cat with sharp claws! Still a young man but definitely an old soul, with as much depth and ability as any well seasoned player twice his age. Rollin' like thunder over the land, he bends himself over that bass guitar and delivers his message. The foundation is here baby! His face will break out in a cheshire cat grin as if he's even astounding himself at the bad ass shit he's layin' down! We won't even talk 'bout the response he gets from the women in the audience. You can dig that for yourself!
J J Holiday has got a big greezy sound when he plays his axe. A stone soul poet of the slide guitar, he carries the Delta in his ass pocket. He's played on all kinds of modern shit, some movies etc. But his debut was as thee unknown sideman on the last known recordings made for the now defunct Paramount label's famed 13,000 race series ( Paramount Records : Home of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Hokum Boys, Biddleville Quintette & The Jubilee Gospel Team). He was just about to embark on his solo career for their satellite label QRS, when all holy hell broke loose due to that big crash of 19 and 29. Paramount folded up shop right quick. Suddenly in those meatless and wheatless days, JJ spilt for the Windy City. He served as a "Pinko" during the 1930's labor wars. Through the 40's, he continued to accompany some of the great blues legends from those grand old days gone by and pioneered the first electric musical saw. He continued performing with it at barndances across the North Eastern US until meeting an untimely death in 19 and 58. Whilst playing during a stormy weekend hoedown, he was electrocuted in a super FREAK accident! 3 days after this, he arose in the Big Apple & opened up a little barbershop. He soon earned a reputation for shaving the best "O'Reilly" in town. He shaves 'em dry n' close folks! Circa '62, he was "rediscovered" by the TV legend Lloyd Thaxton in a Greenwich Village coffee shop. Through the 60's he played for throngs, albeit very dirty, hippies in the post-folk scenes... gave a shot at the glitter & punk scenes, but failed miserably. Back to Chicago, broke & long forgotten, by the winter of '81 he was found laying frozen in the snow round Christmas time... dead again! So who was Justin Jesting anyway? Who is Mr. Holiday's mom? Called her Grandma. Well folks, J J Holiday really knows how to raise a RUKUS! ...and a little sand too! Grandma and Grandpa will love him just as much as the teenagers too!
"I loved the music, but Lord God that man BLASPHEMES"! one dear woman said about the singer Jimmie Wood's between-the-tunes, semi X-rated, fully Pentecostal rants which often last longer than the songs. Born to movie industry parents, ("Ava Gardner shoved my face into her tits when I was just a little shaver. Ooh wee!" reports Wood). How did he wind up in Houston billed as "The Teenage Sensation" opening up for Little Junior Parker in the early '60's? Wood can't remember, but will tell you why he left Houston. "Don Robey (notorious owner of Duke Records) really wanted to sign me to his label, Back Beat, and I didn't wanna do it. He started to go for bad on me, so I pushed his ass down the stairs at the 'The Brass Peacock'. His thugs were gonna put me down for keeps, when I heard a voice say, "Be cool everybody". That was the first time I ever laid eyes on J.J. Holiday and he was holding a cannon in each hand. Those dudes backed off, we got in J.J.'s '47 Mercury, and hit the road back to LA." What holiday is this anyway? --> Who the HELL knows? Soon after that... well, the Imperial Crowns rose out of the smoldering ashes of JJ's debaucheries and Jimmie's undeniable sermons.
If ya really gotta know some of the heavyweights these cats have played with over their own careers, here's the short list:
Sam Moore, Bruce Springsteen, Greg Allman, Gus Cannon, Gladys Knight, PIL, Freddy Hubbard, Billy Preston, Mike Ness, Megadeath, Bob Dylan, Andy Summers, Andre Heller, Taj Mahal, The Blind Boys, Cheap Trick, Jean Luc Ponty, Robert Jr. Lockwood, The Blues Brothers, Ofra Haza, Bruce Hornsby, Sunnyland Slim, Beck, Wolf Mann, Charlie Musselwhite, Freddy King, Otis Clay, etc...
The history that is yet to be looks bright!
Now you know WHAT IT IS!
Frankie "Top Cat" Collins
Houston, Texas 2005
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