Blue Prints

"Mr. Charlie" Frazier, host of WIZN's Blues for Breakfast radio show, gives us the low-down on the Burlington blues scene and talks about Derrick Semler's new album.

It has been a fairly quiet time on the local blues release front, though new live albums are rumored to be in the works from Seth Yacovone and the Unknown Blues Band. By the way, the new Unknown Blues Band Revue with Sandra Wright smokes! Catch em soon.

Anyone wishing to submit for the Best of Green Mountain Blues - Vol Three, the deadline for a four minute or less original on DAT us August 15th. Volumes One and Two raised $2000 for Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, so thanks to all the bands and everyone who bought a copy. You can call me at 802-434-4947 or e-mail me at for information.

Derrick Semler has just released his second album in a year's time, entitled Golden Opportunity. He uses the album's nine original tracks to look back with a touch of melancholy, but also ahead with a sense of optimism; resigned to what's done is done.

The influences of his favorites; Hubert Sumlin, Robert Jr. Lockwood and Lowell Fulson are readily apparent in the CD's smooth, quirky style. Favoring uptempo numbers myself, stand outs include "Leadfoot Annie" (the nickname Sandra Wright gave to Derrick's bassist, Diane Levine,) "Davenport, Iowa" and "Good Rockin' Mama".

Twenty-plus years after the Vermont heyday of his bands, the N-Zones and Wild Rice, Derrick is still turning out his unique blend of blues and soul. ViperHouse's Phil Carr on drums and Pure Pressure's Bruce Sklar on piano add just the right coloring to all the instruments Semler plays, resulting in yet another audio gem.

Upcoming blues show: Chris Duarte- August 5th at Metronome. Taj Mahal and the Phantom Blues band in Waitsfield at the Mad River Music Fest in August, BB King, The Neville Brothers, Dr. John and Storyville on August 30th at Sugarbush and on August 9th, Ray Charles w/ Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters at Sugarbush.

See you there.

"Mr. Charlie" Frazier is host of WIZN's Blues for Breakfast radio program and leader of the band of the same name.