Sunday, April 3, 2011

Swinging Into Spring With The Beehive Queen

As we swing into Spring for real here in the Northeast USA, so much is happening in the world of the Beehive Queen....

LIVE HIVE (so-called after my big beehive hairdo) Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez's first concert DVD, was shot in mid-January before a sold-out house. Special on-stage guests included Andy York (long-time John Mellencamp lead guitarist and co-producer of The Deep End) and gospel/soul singers extraordinaire The Sin Sisters, who appear with me on our Strip CD. My dear friend (and Deep End duet partner) Ian Hunter looked on from the audience. LIVE HIVE will include the first-ever appearances of two signature soul music covers, "That's How Strong My Love Is" and "Piece Of My Heart" as well as two brand-new originals slated for the next record, "The Grown-Up Thing" and "The Wish." LIVE HIVE is scheduled for June, 2011 release.

The Deep End was honored on national 2010 Top 10 lists, including those of Nick Cristiano of The Philadelphia Inquirer; Bill Holmes of Blurt and (#2 CD of the year); our friend Rich Gibson from the Ohio rock/Americana scene; and 2 picks by, including a #1 ranking.

Spring and summer appearances by Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez will include The Wolf Den at the Mohegan Sun, BOMBFest, Blues at Boscbel, MusikFest 2011, 1794 Meetinghouse, The Fairfield Theatre Company Stage One, Boston House Of Blues Foundation Room, The Branford Festival, and much more. Check out for complete concert calendar. Solo, I will join David Foster & The Shaboo Allstars plus Elvin Bishop and the James Cotton Band for the Shaboo 40th Anniversary concert.

On a mid-March evening following his induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame, I was honored to be asked by Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) to join him for an evening of duets to benefit his Healing The Gulf charity. The event took place outside New York City. It was sweet and deep. What a joy to sing with Mac at the piano!

Way back in mid-December, I hobnobbed in NYC with Neil and Pegi Young and Pegi's band The Survivors. At Brooklyn's Bell House, I took the stage with Neil to warble background vocals for Pegi. Muscle Shoals aces Spooner Oldham and Kelvin Holly of The Survivors were also on board, of course...

Following my annual pre-holiday appearance with The Saturday Night Live Band for the 2010 SNL Christmas broadcast on NBC, Christmas evening found me on stage as the special guest of Ronnie Spector at Connecticut's Mohegan Sun Casino. At this "Meeting Of The Beehives," I paid special tribute to the late Solomon Burke with his holiday classic "Christmas Presents."

I appeared in January at "Up From The Bayou" in NYC to benefit The New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, sharing the spotlight with New Orleans piano legends Henry Butler and John Gros and Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno. The sellout crowd at NYC's Sullivan Hall belied the fact that it was the evening of the winter's second-biggest blizzard.

Best of all, In May, I will travel to New Orleans to headline "Down On The Bayou III" during the 2011 Jazz and Heritage Festival, all to benefit the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic. Organized by JoJo Hermann of Widespread Panic (JoJo and I are the celebrity spokespersons for the Clinic), this year's concert will find me dueting with American Idol Taylor Hicks. A duet outing with Mac Rebennack is also planned in what promises to be a legendary night. More on that in the next blog.