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Michael Packer Blues Band "Live At Lucille's" (USA)

 Michael Packer Blues Band - Live at Lucille’s The album was recorded live on a steamy August-summer night in 2007 at Lucille’s blues club on 42nd Street, in the heart of Times Square, New York City. They came to play and smoked the tunes ‘til they owned them. “Born Under A Bad Sign”, “Sweet Home Chicago”, Willie Dixon’s “The Same Thing”, all spectacularly performed by a magical assemblage of players. Lead by Iris Music Group recording artist Michael Packer on guitar and vocals, the band consisted of Jimmy Vivino, guitar and additional vocals (he’s the Conan O'Brien TV show guitarist and Levon Helm’s musical director); pianist David Maxwell (of the James Cotton Band); Iris Music Group recording artist Sandy Allen, playing mandolin (he and Michael founded Papa Nebo and Free Beer); blues harp extraordinaire, Felix Cabrera; Ed Jackson on Bongos; Japan's finest bass player, King Bear; Billy Schroeder on drums (of Louisiana Red); and special guest blues harp and vocalist, Dave ' Snakeman ' Runyan (James Cotton protégé) performing his “Snakeman Blues”. The live recording session was engineered by Blue Note soundman Everette Ramos for Jack O’Hara. The album was produced by Michael Packer for Iris Properties, Inc. Executive producer is Alan Lorber.

This album is a companion album to the recording of the opening set, the country/folk part of the evening at, “Michael Packer/Sandy Allen Reunion - Live At Lucille’s”, performed as a reunion of Michael and Sandy, who were the founding members of their early bands, Papa Nebo and Free Beer, also released by the Iris Music Group label.

1. Driving Wheel 2. Corrina, Corrina 3. Born Under A Bad Sign 4. Jimmy's Blues 5. Sweet Home Chicago 6. As The Years Go Passing By 7. The Same Thing 8. Snakeman Blues

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MICHAEL PACKER is a singer-songwriter, guitarist who was born in New York City on December 20.1950. He did his first gig at the Bitter End in Greenwich Village at the age of 15. In 1969 he formed the group 'Papa Nebo" which included saxophonist Bob Mintzer who went on to play with the Grammy award winning "Yellowjackets". Papa Nebo recorded an album for Atlantic records. Today it is a collectors item.

Packer soon took his sound to the West Coast with buddy Sandy Allen. Playing on the streets of San Francisco during the day and The Coffee Gallery in North Beach at night, Michael met George Thorogood and was turned on to the blues.

Eventually Packer and Allen made their way back to New York where they started another project "Free Beer". Free Beer recorded 3 albums for Buddha and RCA records and toured extensively with the likes of the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Johnny Rivers, Dr. Hook, Clifton Chanier to name a few. All of the albums made the Billboard top 100 and they were well on their way.

But nothing lasts forever in the music industry and Free Beer broke up.

After the demise of Free Beer in the late 70.'s Michael opened for John Hammond Jr. and sang with the Matt Murphy Band. In 1984 in Boston he fronted a 10 piece band called "Coolstep" and opened for Huey Lewis on a New England Tour. After dropping out of the music scene in the late 80's and early 90's Michael Packer hit the skids. His drinking had escalated and he found himself living on the streets. He did a year in Rikers Island for attempted robbery but that seemed to be the turning point in his life. Even in prison he had a band. HBO did a special "The Prisoners of Rikers Island in which he appears.

Michael Packer has been sober 13 years now and life is good especially his music. He has become a well known and respected member of the New York City Blues Scene. The Michael Packer Blues Band has received rave reviews in Living Blues, Blues Matters, Blues Revue magazines for the live @ Sweet Rhythm album. A Best of Michael Packer has been released and also reissues of his earlier recordings Papa Nebo and Free Beer by the Iris Music Group worldwide. The band continues to tour. Michael Packer is currently working on his eighth album ' The Sunny Side of Me' scheduled for a 2007 release.

Michael Packer has lived the blues and now he is back playing the blues with style.

Michael Packer Band - Gotta Do What You Gotta Do

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