Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Congratulations Diunna!

My good friend, Diunna Greenleaf, and her band, Blue Mercy, is number one all over Europe! I’ve been hearing and reading about her latest CD, Trying to Hold On, and even listening to song snippets on her site, and DAMN! That woman can not only sing the Blues, she can write the Blues. So well that she’s once again been nominated for a couple of Blues Music Awards: for the Koko Taylor Award - Traditional Blues Female, and for Traditional Blues Album.

I’m going to get back to Diunna in a minute. I just moseyed over to the Blues Foundation site to look at all the BMA nominations again. Including Diunna, this year there are SIXTEEN nominees who’ve played the Boulder Outlook at least once, and they are: Tab Benoit, Johnny Sansone, Candye Kane, Tommy Castro Band, Trampled Under Foot, Samantha Fish, J.P. Soars, Eric Clapton (just seeing if you’re paying attention), Danielle Schnebelen, Lazy Lester, Keith Crossan, Lionel Young, Otis Taylor, Ben Prestage, Eden Brent, Mike Zito, and Zac Harmon. Right now I feel like I need to have a lie-down. That’s an overwhelming list of talent we’ve had the great fortune of hearing and seeing up close and personal. Wow...

Ok, back to Diunna. Anywho, I had a nice long phone chat with the Houston native late last week, and it was thrilling to share in her much-deserved excitement. Several months ago, I was having a nice long phone chat with another good friend (who also happens to be one of Diunna’s BFFs), Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, a producer on this CD, and he told me I’d need to fasten my proverbial seatbelt once I got my hands on it. He said it was one of the finest Blues records he’s heard in a very long time. Last week I had yet another phone chat with yet another Bob (who produced six of the thirteen tracks and plays harmonica on four of them), who has this to say: I’m just thrilled to be a part of Diunna’s new record. I feel it is simply brilliant. Diunna’s is one of the greatest voices in Blues today, and the songwriting on this is superb. A simply brilliant songwriter-oriented blues CD. ~Bob Corritore~
I agree with both Bobs.

I’ve known Diunna for about three years now, introduced by Bob Margolin here at the Outlook. She came out for a weekend with him as a special guest, and indeed she was. Winner of the 2005 IBC Band Category, Diunna has played with or opened for a who’s who of the Blues world: Bob Margolin, Keb Mo, Willie “Pinetop” Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, James Cotton, Carrie Bell, Big Bill Morganfield, Smoking Joe Kubek and B’Nois King, Anson Funderburge, Sam Meyers and the Rockets, Bernard Allison, Odetta, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, I.J. Gosey, Sherman Robertson, Kenny Neal, the late great Teddy “Cry Cry” Reynolds, and numerous others.

In 2008, at the legendary Blues festival, Blues From the Top, in Winter Park, CO, Diunna and I hung out the entire time. I was actually her assistant that weekend, helping her get to the merchandise tent with her CDs, making sure she was hydrated at the 9000 ft. altitude, and doing whatever necessary so she could keep her focus on the music. Right before she went on stage, she asked me to put her water bottle at the base of her mic stand. So, I climbed the stairs, glanced at the crowd, then placed the bottle at the base. As I righted myself, I caught the view of the musicians. In terms of outrageous beauty, the view from that stage can more than hold it’s own with Red Rocks (not that I’ve been on that stage, but I can still get a pretty good idea of the view. And I’ve seen photos). And I’m certain the set she and Blue Mercy delivered was uniquely energized by that Heavenly view. I cried the entire set. It was that beautiful. I should also disclose that it was just a couple of weeks after the passing of Koko Taylor, a friend and mentor of Diunna, so the set was particularly poignant.

I could go on and on as a one-woman fan club, but instead, I’ll give you the links that will have you running to join me as a willing Diunna Disciple.

This is a great review from Blues Blast Magazine: http://www.thebluesblast.com/Archive/BluesBlasts/2011/BluesBlast4_21_11.htm

Good review: http://blues.about.com/od/cddvdreview1/fr/Diunna-Greenleaf-Trying-To-Hold-On-2011.htm

I leave you with both my Bobs and Diunna at the 20th Anniversary of the Rhythm Room in Phoenix. You MUST watch the video of the them. http://bushdogblues.blogspot.com/2011/10/diunna-greenleaf-rhythm-room.html

~Honey Bee Sepeda~

1 comment:

  1. Honey,
    Thank you for the kind words and recall of some very poingnant moments. We look forward to perhaps doing a tour of Colorado sometime soon with a spellbounding stop at Boulder Outlook. Look for your copy of "Trying To Hold On" in the mail.