Thursday, April 15, 2010
Beth KOHNEN - Knee Action Blues 2006
Small woman, big tone, San Francisco blues harmonica player, band leader, and singer Beth Kohnen delivers a 1940s Chicago speakeasy blues style that appeals to blues purists and jazz enthusiasts as well. Her main harmonica influence is Big Walter ...
Her main vocal influence is Otis Spann. Beth grew up in Pittsburgh Pa. and was a classical piano student at Carnegie Mellon University when she took up the harmonica for fun. Sometimes the things you do for fun draw you to your life's path. By 1997 she was living in San Francisco and sharing the stage as guest harmonica with blues legends Steve Freund, Rusty Zinn, RJ Mischo, Wendy DeWitt, Birdlegg, Levi Lloyd, Robert Watson, Volker Strifler, and Eric Lindell. In 2001 she recorded her first CD "Hard Hearted Woman" at Fantasy Records. In 2005 she met and formed a band with drummer/singer Willy Jordan and recorded her second CD, "Knee Action". She currently books either as a full dance band or as an acoustic duo with the fabulous Rusty Zinn. Beth's music is currently being offered by Blanche Agency Presents on their Luxury Wine Website. Her CD 'Knee Action' received highest accolades from Eugene Foley of Foley Entertainment and is receiving air play on Midnight Special Blues Radio as well as on blues radio in Belgium, Germany, and Argentina. She can be seen on the newly released harmonica film documentary "A Pocket Full of Soul". In November 2008 she played the blues in Paris, France. In May 2009 she performed at the Sierra Music Festival in Sacramento. In September 2009 she will spend 2 weeks on tour in Japan. A story from Beth: Back when I first started playing blues I looked for a teacher on the internet and discovered a Harmonica Convention in Detroit. So I bought a ticket 'cold turkey' and jumped on a plane. The next morning I walked into the packed hotel auditorium and came face to face with my future in a nutshell: I was the only woman in the room. So the years went by and sure enough, I found that in order to get gigs my music had to be a cut above the usual. Ok - no resentment here. When blues lovers hear my music their eyebrows shoot up and they start smiling. But besides my music, the other absolutely essential thing that gets me gigs is that I'm dependable, down to earth, easy to work with, and funny. The pros really like working with me. As for me, I live for the moments when we are on stage and suddenly I get a feeling that the 'old guys' are in the room --- and they are smiling.
San Francisco based blues harmonica player, vocalist, song writer, and band leader, Beth Kohnen has a sound that is both thoroughly traditional and utterly personal. Her Chicago style blues is fresh, valid and meaningful. She writes verses from her own story into the old songs the way blues artists did in the past. Beth plays as a duo with guitarist Rusty Zinn for intimate settings or with a full dance band. Beth grew up in the wilds of South Portland, Maine and studied music, art, and literature at Syracuse University. She has released two well received CD's and is in process of recording her third with Rusty Zinn. In 2008 she played blues in Paris and in the South of France and is eager to return. Rusty Zinn was nominated for the very prestigious W.C. Handy Award and his own discography includes 5 critically acclaimed recordings.
Beth Kohnen- Harb, Vocals
Rusty Zinn- Guitar
Chris Burns- Keyboard
June Core- Drums
Willie Riser- Bass
01. Jukin' With Walter' 3:32
02. Can't Hold Out Much Longer 3:06
03. Rambler's Blues 3:15
04. Don't Get Around Much Anymore 2:03
05. Don't You Know (Cant Stand Your Evil Ways) 4:34
06. Tell Me Daddy (Tell Me Mama) 3:13
07. Trouble in Mind 4:30
08. He Ain't Nowhere (She Ain't Nowhere) 2:10
09. Honest I Do 2:06
10. Jelly Roll Baker 2:54
11. Got to Get to My Baby 2:10
12. Easy 2:42