We have had a busy year, teaching country blues at Berklee, traveling to Minneapolis to teach and play for a group of 450 Music Therapists, and playing gigs with our growing band, Mojo Rodéo (pronounced Ro-DAY-oh). We've just posted a video of the band on YouTube (and on our "Video" page) singing 5-part harmony on a Junior Wells and Buddy Guy song, "Little by Little." We've always been privileged to have great musicians in our band and well as great people we can learn from. With the tremendous talents of bassist Brad Bensko, guitarist Sarah Rogo (both former Berklee students of Paul's) and vocalist Christie Flemming, we are exploring a veritable catalog of American roots music styles and their offshoots, from blues and folk to honky-tonk, pop and "oldies."
Roots will be the main course from June 24-26 at Berklee's American Roots Music Weekend, a 3-day intensive workshop for students aged 15 and up. Players of all levels of experience are welcome. The weekend features ensemble work, jams and small group study with a faculty that includes fiddle masters Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky and Matt Glaser, Celtic Harpist Maeve Gilchrist, banjo genius Tony Trischka and jazz wizard Matt Munisteri. We are honored to be part of this amazing gathering and are working hard to come up with a list of PG-13 blues songs.
We have a couple of public concerts confirmed for this summer: August 1 we're returning to the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley, MA for an intimate acoustic show; August 8 Annie is playing a gig with the Mystix at Maudslay Park in Newburport; And on Friday, August 28, we'll both be sharing the stage with folk-rock icon John Sebastian at Johnny D's in Somerville.
In between we're playing a few birthday and retirement parties. This still leaves several open dates that would be perfect for playing at a BBQ. Feel free to contact us if you would like to arrange some summer entertainment in your own backyard!
We are looking forward to basking in the warm weather and pursuing some studio projects before the start of the next semester at Berklee. Wishing you all the joys of summer and hoping to see you in any season, in or out of doors.
Best to all,
Annie and Paul

Paul's Blog - Remembering Angelo Dundee

In 1978, I had a little band, and occasionally this horn player would sit in with us. He was going out with Angelo Dundee's niece. He got some tickets for all of us to go to the Hynes Auditorium in Boston and watch Sugar Ray Leonard fight a 10-round exhibition match against the Welterweight Champion of New England, Dick Ecklund.

"Steady" - Remembering Jerry McCain

Jerry McCain died this week in his hometown of Gadsden, Alabama. I heard about it on Facebook, but it must have been on the wind. I had just been talking to one of my students about him. The previous week we had started working on “Steady,” the downhome harp instrumental widely regarded as a standard, and I told him some stories about going to Gadsden to visit Jerry, or Mr. McCain as I quaveringly called him, in 2009.


Today's the day! We've arrived at the official 'Talking Guitar' CD release week (CDs and downloads are available now from our website store) and our official CD Release Celebration happens today, May 6 at Temple Isaiah in Lexington, MA. The evening will kick off with a party catered by the award-winning Blue Ribbon Bar-b-que with BBQ-appropriate beverages. Other culinary and musical adventures will follow.


Paul Rishell Talking GuitarAvailable now from Mojo Rodeo Records
"Talking Guitar delivers exactly what its title and its creator's reputation promise: lucid translations of prewar records and expert insight into what made them so good. After hearing Paul Rishell's blues, you'll have a hard time denying the power of such bare, organic, and emotive sound."

Alabama Bound1

(Annie is traveling by train and other conveyances to Mississippi and St. Louis to teach and perform at various harmonica workshops, "jam camps" and festivals this week and next. The following road blog is a work in progress.)
Day four,Tallapoosa, GA, Alabama State Line

Alabama Bound

(Annie is traveling by train and other conveyances to Mississippi and St. Louis to teach and perform at some harmonica workshops, "jam camps" and festivals this week and next. The following road blog is a work in progress.)
Day four,Tallapoosa, GA, Alabama State Line

And A One...

A few musings on the change of seasons as time yanks us forward like a puppy on a leash: Musicians are in the business of keeping time.  With or without formal training, we need to recognize the difference between quarter notes and triplets, "swing time" and "straight eighths," and revere the existence of a "pocket."  Ironically, many of us are chronically tardy for real-world appointments, and frequently have empty pockets.  

February 2013

Greetings from the future as we never imagined it in the past...

The deadline to vote in the 2013 Blues Awards is less than 2 weeks away! Voting is open to Blues Foundation members only but it's easy to join and not expensive, and the Foundation supports a number of great causes, including help with musicians' medical expenses and the construction of a Blues Hall of Fame Museum. You can join and vote on their website:

New Classes:

"Talking Guitar" garners 2 BMA Nominations!

(December 2013) We are honored and delighted to share the news that Paul Rishell and "Talking Guitar" have received 2 nominations for the Blues Foundation's Blues Music Awards, in the Acoustic Artist and Acoustic Album categories. Though the duo of Rishell & Raines has been nominated dozens of times and won the award (formerly called the W.C. Handy Award) for Acoustic Album of the Year in 2000 for their Moving to the Country CD, this is Paul's first nomination as a solo artist.