San Diego Symphony's second night of the Masterworks season showcased the power of place and personality
Garrett Harris noon, Oct. 13
Sound description: Hard-hitting, soulful blues and Americana roots music, with reverence to all the original blues men and women.
RIYL: The Mississippi Mudsharks, Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ Top, the Blasters, the Beat Farmers, the Pleasure Barons, Social Distortion, the Clash
Inception: Lakeside, 2011
Ex-Band Members: Haley Allen, Drums
Influences: Tom Waits, Wayne Walker, Hank Williams Sr., Leadbelly, Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, T-Bone Walker, Anson Funderburgh, Jimmy Vaughan, Robert Johnson, Son House, Hubert Sumlin, Magic Sam, Magic Slim, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Hound Dog Taylor, Freddy King, Albert King, BB King, Stevie Vaughan, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Tomcat Courtney, D.A. and the Hitmen, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Junior Brown, Ry Cooder, ZZ Top, Dick Dale
Formed as a working side project by Scottie “Mad Dog” Blinn while in-between recording and touring with the Mississippi Mudsharks, Black Market III (originally known as Black Market Baby) plays hard-hitting, soulful blues and Americana roots music, with reverence to all the original blues men and women.
As of 2012, Blinn says “Black Market III has become my full time band. In addition to original music, we play covers by Tom Waits, Wayne Walker, Hank Williams Sr., Leadbelly, Dead Weather, Social Distortion, and many more.”
Blinn’s tenure as frontman for the Mississippi Mudsharks includes multiple San Diego Music Awards and nominations (three wins, twelve nominations), and several European blues chart topping CDs (two #1s, a #3, and a #4 on the CrossCut Blues Chart). His twenty years of experience gigging, recording, and touring the U.S. and Europe have seen him playing with and sharing stages with Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars, Brian Setzer (Stray Cats), Dr. John, Dick Dale, and many more.
Black Market III also includes bassist Roxy Coverdale and drummer Haley Allen. A CD of originals and covers of artists like Tom Waits, Wayne Walker, and Leadbelly was released in spring 2012.
A weekly YouTube show was launched in May 2012, Black Market III: The Garage Sessions, featuring videos of Black Market III, “jamming, bullshitting, doing stuff out of left field” in Blinn’s Lakeside garage. “We might play a song out of our area [blues, roots, grease punk] but put our own take on it, like, a Black Sabbath tune. Or maybe do a Tom Waits cover, or play one of our originals.” Blinn sees the show as an inside view into a working band. “Maybe it will just be the three of us sitting in a circle and writing a song, which we’ll then actually play.”
But the Garage Sessions ultimately have a larger purpose. “We’re going to tie it in with a tour as a tool to accompany and promote our club dates.” Blinn says they have plans to organize gigs in fan garages across the country. “Like house concerts,” he says, “only greasier.”
The show, filmed in Blinn’s garage with a pair of handheld cameras and miked for sound quality, “is designed to get people watching and adding new fans, so when we come to their town we will already have a name.” He explains that, in the old days, a band road-dogged the same circuit several times over and gained fans slowly. Blinn thinks that with YouTube and cross-marketing, BMIII will have an audience in place when they show up to play.
“And we’re gonna pick bands we really dig and bring them to the garage. Tomcat [Courtney], Nena Anderson, Stephen Rey.” A European tour ran from September 2012 into October, hitting twenty cities in thirty days.
In early 2013, drummer Haley Allen left the band to play for Kiss & Yell and was replaced by North Carolina/New York transplant Gavin Glenn, who played with New York bands Red Lotus and the Jean Marx Express before moving to San Diego and joining Rat City Riot. “Haley was great, and it was sad to part with her, but she had other interests she wanted to pursue,” says Scottie Blinn.
“Gavin and I have been friends for years, and we’ve always tried getting something together. The timing was perfect. He’s solid in so many styles, and knows how to cross them over with taste and class.”
Their September 2013 release Black Roses (Double Barrel Records) was recorded, mixed, and mastered at Grease Punk Studio, in Lakeside. On its release, they did a short tour of California and into Reno and Virginia City, Nevada, before heading over to Europe for a five week tour in England, Belgium, France, and Germany. Black Roses includes covers of “Old Man” by Neil Young, “I’ve Just Seen the Rock of Ages” by John Preston, and “Keep On Loving Me Baby” by Otis Rush.
They next headed out on a European tour that ran through November 2, 2014, with stops including Belgium, Holland, Germany, and England.