Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Connie Hawkins & The Blueswreckers
From the age of four or five standing on a chair at a local radio station in order to reach the microphone... Connie has always been a singer... until eleven years ago her entire singing career was in church and on stages with nationally known Gospel greats... when people would refer to her they would always say... "You know... that red-headed white girl that sounds black".. and it was true. So when the kids were grown and at the urging of her husband Steve... she decided to jump into the Blues feet first... turns out it was a natural thing.... her Blues influences did not come as much from other female artists but more from her favorite male artist... Luther Allison... she's really come into her own in the last few years... take a listen and see if you don't agree...
Steve Hawkins - GUITAR/VOCAL... WRITER/PRODUCER
Steve received his first guitar from his parents at the age of eleven... it was a "Silvertone" acoustic from Sears... it just about took two hands to press the strings down on the frets... because he had taught himself how to play lead... two years later at thirteen he was asked to join the one and only dance band in his small town of Sallisaw, Oklahoma... all of the other band members were in high school and college... from there he went on to play in clubs starting at fifteen.... a few more years went by and he was ask to join one of the top regional rock bands "Rock Bottom" out of Ft Smith, Arkansas and opened for several national acts..
About twenty years ago he finally found what he was looking for musically in the Blues... early rock and R & B influences now started to meld with BB, Albert and Freddy King... he likes to write material that makes people "get up and move"...
Steve Clarkson - HARMONICA
A while back the BluesWreckers were looking for another musician to round out their lineup. As fate would have it they came across a dynamic young harp player with killer chops, excellent musical instincts, great karma and charismatic stage presence... unfortunately he wasn’t available so they hired Steve Clarkson instead.
Steve started blowing harmonica when he realized that he couldn’t play a real instrument... and when he found that to join the band he only had to pay the other members fifty dollars a month, well... he joined right away... Opportunities like that just don’t come around every day. The rest of the band is so pleased with Steve that they even let him carry all of their equipment...
Mark Broderson - HAMMOND B3
Mark was born and raised in St.Paul, Minnesota. Coming from a musical family, his brother Roger played drums, brother Paul played organ, and his sister Gloria played piano. It was inevitable that at age 10 he would take piano lessons... He gravitated towards the organ at age 12 and continued lessons until he discovered girls and soon learned that the babes love musicians.
His infatuation with the Hammond B3 came at the age of 16 when he saw a
live TV show of James brown and his band. This led to playing in many local
bands until he was asked to go on tour with a high energy 60's Rock and Roll
show... He left the music business in 1980 for a corporate gig that moved
him to Kansas City and allowed him to travel to the four corners of the
Semi-retired in 2005 he decided to take up where he left off on the Hammond B3, when asked if it was hard to pick it up again Mark said..."it's like riding a bike except I don't fall off as often"... Mark drags his B3 out to as many local jams as possible and once in a while gets out of town to play with good friends and is proud to be a member of Connie Hawkins and the BluesWreckers... Mark's style is influenced by... Seth Justman (J Giels band), Paul Schaffer, Billy Preston, Jimmy Smith and Greg Polie (Santana)
Alan Chavez - DRUMS
Pueblo, Colorado native, Alan Chavez grew up listening to his father, who was the leader of a popular Hispanic / R&B dance band. By the age of 7 Alan had learned how to play many different styles of drumming by listening and practicing with his two older brothers who were accomplished drummers performing in the Southern Colorado music scene.
Alan’s family relocated to El Paso Texas, where he started playing professionally at the age of 15. Throughout his high school and college years Alan picked up a lot of cool one nighters performing with many national artists including Trini Lopez and Dionne Warwick. Later he would be asked to play drums in the Miss Texas and Miss El Paso pageants, and national touring shows, Ice Capades, and Holiday on Ice. While attending college at NMSU, Alan got the call to join the national touring R&B band “New Mexico”, travelling and performing USO/DOD show’s in the U.S., Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Philippines and Hawaii for 3 years. After returning from the tours Alan began playing with Texas bluesman Long John Hunter, where he learned the true art of playing the blues. Looking for different scenery Alan moved to Dallas and spent a couple of years performing with the Ed Garcia Big Band as well as funk/R&B artist Richie Rich and Entourage.
Moving to Kansas City in 2007, Alan was excited to find the Kansas City Blues scene. He spent many nights attending “Jam Sessions” in Kansas City area. In the summer of 2012 Alan met Steve Hawkins at a jam and was extremely impressed with his guitar playing and rhythm and blues feel. In the spring of 2013 Alan got a late night text from a great friend and drummer who informed him that Steve and Connie Hawkins were looking for a drummer. The auditions went great and Alan is now excited to be part of the Connie Hawkins and the BluesWreckers band.
Frank Minolfo - BASS
In 2007, Frank Minolfo (aka “Frankiebass”) moved to the Kansas City area from New York where he was gigging most nights of the week. A 36-year veteran of the music scene there, he’d become first-call for bands of every genre. On any given weekend you could find Frank kicking it with a 60’s Soul/R&B band on Long Island on Friday, rocking out with an 80’s band on Manhattan’s upper West Side on Saturday, and hosting an open blues jam on Sunday. The rest of the time consisted of pick up gigs – he even squeezed in a little funk project on the side.
Frank comes from a musical family. He began playing at age 12, when his
cousins informed him that he would be their band’s bass player. He
responded, “Great! What’s a bass?”
His grandfather could play any instrument that he picked up. His father had an incredible ear and could immediately play any melody he heard note for note. Unfortunately, Frank inherited none of this musical talent and has to work very hard just to play a four string instrument.
Frank loves to gig; he brings a lot of energy to the stage. He joined
Blue 88 shortly after arriving in Kansas and did several pick up gigs with
Midnight Revue. In 2010, Frank was offered the bass chair in Saucy Jack, a
band that could be found playing almost every weekend somewhere in the
Kansas City area. He left in March 2013 and signed up with the BluesWreckers
in August. He notes, “I’m thrilled to be in the company of such great
His influences include Paul McCartney, James Jamerson, Geddy Lee, Mars Cowling, Rocco Prestia and Felix Pappalardi.
- See more at: http://www.conniehawkinsandtheblueswreckers.com/band_bio/#sthash.6tCmSTF5.dpuf