Hollywood Blue Flames
The Hollywood Blue Flames began life in 1975 as The Hollywood Fats Band, led by guitar phenomenon Michael “Hollywood Fats” Mann, and featuring what was arguably the best traditional blues line-up this side of 1954 – bassist Larry Taylor fresh from Canned Heat,Richard Innes who had recently been with Rod Piazza, Lloyd Glenn protégé Fred Kaplan on piano, and featuring the multi-talented Al Blakeon harmonica and vocals. To say they took the blues scene by storm is an understatement – they almost single-handedly ignited a West Coast blues revival that still echoes loudly to this day in every corner of the world. Whenever you hear the warm retro sounds of classic Chicago blues coupled with a swinging rhythm section and jazzy, tasty-but-nasty guitar, you’re hearing the legacy of the Hollywood Fats Band.
Sadly, Fats passed away in 1986, and the band members all went on to other successful musical ventures.
In 2005, the surviving members reunited for one of the most anticipated blues releases in years, under the banner The Hollywood Blue Flames – appropriately named, as they both ignited a revival movement, and carry the torch of the blues forward into a new millennium. And to fill the huge musical shoes of the late Hollywood Fats, there could be no better choice than Kirk Fletcher, a young man who was literally raised on the sounds pioneered by the original incarnation of this band. Fletcher plays with the taste and power that truly does justice to not only this band’s illustrious legacy, but also the blues masters who inspired them.
The Hollywood Blue Flames debut CD on Delta Groove, “Soul Sanctuary”, was welcomed with unanimous praise by blues fans around the world, as blues with both a history and a future. The band then upped the ante with heir second release, “Road To Rio”, featuring both fresh new material, and previously unrecorded songs dating back to the original incarnation of the band, once again earning accolades from all corners of the blues world, and proving once again that it doesn’t get any better than The Hollywood Blue Flames.