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Most Recent Castaway - 19th June, 2015
Macy Blackman (2015)

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(Photo by Bob Hakins)

Is Macy Blackman a singing pianist or a piano-playing singer? Whichever is closer to the truth, he was born in Wilmington, Delaware, began piano at an early age, mastered several saxophones, and gigged around neighboring Philadelphia. While in high school, he started a kid band called "The Evergreens", specializing in backing up R&B groups such as "The Orlons" and "Lee Andrews and the Hearts".

Having moved to New York City in the mid-1960s, Macy remained there until relocating to the Bay Area at the start of the new millennium, playing all the while in every imaginable capacity. From the mid-'70s on, he specialized in rollicking New Orleans R&B, because one its masters, drummer Charles "Hungry" Williams had turned him on to it; through Charles, Macy met and performed with Dr John.

During this period, Macy not only ran an incredibly overworked band, The Rocking Rebels, which averaged over 300 gigs per year for 14 straight years, but somehow managed to find time to get a degree in music from NYU, and to become a vocal and instrumental teacher.

Here in the Bay Area, Macy taught at UC Berkeley, where his classes explored major American musical styles, R&B, Blues, and classic jazz. He formed his band The Mighty Fines in 2003, and they've been tearing it up ever since.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Louis Armstrong Greatest Recordings Skit-Dat-De-Dat Membran
# 2 Joe "King" Oliver Louis Armstrong and King Oliver Krooked Blues Jazz Heritage
# 3 Amos Milburn Urban Blues, Vol. 2 (LP) Chicken Shack Boogie Imperial Records
# 4 Dr John Goin' Back to New Orleans Fess Up Warner Bros
# 5 Jackie Lomax Is That What You Want? (LP) Is That What You Want? Apple
# 6 Janis Joplin 18 Essential Songs Try a Little Bit Harder Columbia
# 7 The Wilmington Music School Jazz Workshop Jazz Workshop 1962 (LP) Where Am I Ken-Del Productions
# 8 Chet Baker Deep in a Dream: The Ultimate Chet Baker Collection You Don't Know What Love Is Pacific Jazz
# 9 Joe "King" Oliver Blues Singers and Hot Bands on OKeh (1924-1929) Jet Black Blues Frog
         
Book "The Tibetan Book of the Dead", or
Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"
         
Luxury Item A guitar