Sunday, July 30, 2006

The duet of the decade


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I'm beginning to like Alan Specter...

...finally a Republican who has conscience. In midst of the stems cell veto and the immoral war in the Middle East, Specter's gesture is an oasis in muddled waters.

We'll see if Bush learns his first lesson (in 6 years).


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another writeup

Dave W. of wrote the following about me on his website:

"Henry "Sonny Boy" Chung To Return To Hong Kong

Every few years, if you are lucky, you meet someone who makes a deep impression on you. For the past year Henry Chung has done just that for us. Dubbed the number 2 harmonica player from Hong Kong, behind William Tang, Henry has been cruising the local blues scene for about 4 years. It's been our honor to be a small part of this honorable man's journey. In a mere 4 years Henry has become an encyclopedia of the blues. He has played alongside just about everyone in the Region while being the featured harmonica player for Clarence "The Bluesman" Turner. Henry has put together lineups that bring out the fans as well as musicians. Before he leaves Henry will perform at several great events including another gig with the legendary Bob Margolin on Friday August 18 at a venue that will soon be announced. This is a MUST SEE event that will cap an awesome run for "Sonny Boy".

We hope Henry will consider MD, DC, and VA his second home. Thanks to email and the Internet Henry will only be a couple clicks away. But the pleasure of having him right here in Maryland can't be replaced by technology. Henry's excellence needs to be witnessed in person. For that reason we hope from the heart he will make the occasional trip back to this Region to visit and make music with his fans and friends.

Be safe dear friend, you are greatly appreciated."

I'd like to thank Dave for writing the above. Out of all the criticisms and praises I've gotten in the past 4 years, this was the closest to the truth. I started from being booed and kicked out of jam sessions to sitting in as a sideman of Jesse James Brown to becoming the No. 2 man in the Clarence Turner Band to playing alongside some of the best blues players in the Mid-Atlantic Region. What a dream! I've often said to people, "My work is complete in the United States." What more can a poor boy want? I'm sitting on the top of the world.

I've had my fair share of critics, many of whom want me to improve, for which I'm deeply grateful. Some of whom, however, criticize me for the sake of criticism and never saw me perform. I ignore the latter.

There are many people I'd like to thank, but I'm afraid I might forget a few: Lee Hailey for bringing me out of the Vegas Lounge jam session to meet Jesse James; Jesse James for letting me sit in and play the harp in a real setting; Pam Bricker for her angelic voice, lovely manner, and constant encouragement; same goes for Wayne Wilentz and Jim West and the U-Topia folks; Tim for pointing me in the right direction for playing the harp; Tommy Chung for giving me the opportunity to sit in with him in Hong Kong; Bill Heid for coining me "Sonny Boy" and teaching me everything about the blues; Big Joe Maher for enlightening me with his impeccable knowledge of the music and helping me reach a higher level of excellency by willing to play with me; Dave & Becky Weatherford & Jane Dunie for their constant support and unbending encouragement; Bob Margolin for being excited and going out of his way to help me reach my goals; last but not least, Clarence "The Bluesman" Turner for picking me up from the gutter, nurturing me, being patient with me, and going through all the good and bad times with me in the last 4 years. Without Clarence, there would not be HSBC.

My official farewell gig is on Aug 4 at Bohemian Caverns. But come to Shilla Bakery this Saturday (July 22) for kicks, and bubble tea! Please!


Monday, July 17, 2006

Just when I thought my music career was at an all-time high...

...I stumbled upon this on Washington Post online the other day - A review that was published back in February 2006 about CTBB's performance at Blues Alley.

Here's the review:

"A Cure for the Blues - By Louise Pierce

I only wish I could have been there in person to see the Clarence Turner Blues Band deliver this swinging performance of "I'm Tore Down" at Blues Alley. The interplay between Turner's guitar and Henry Chung's harmonica must have really moved the crowd. Chung's playing takes flight on the choruses and his soulful stylings on the harmonica push the other soloists to keep up. Then Turner's wailing guitar takes over while the rhythm section channels some classic Clapton blues."

See the original post.

How come no one saw this when it came out? No one told me or Clarence about this? Life's just strange. This review defies all the negative reviews about me in the past years. Thank you Washington Post for validating what Clarence and I have done in the past few years.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

In the company of greatness

The last few weeks have been monumental in my life. A few ups and downs, but ultimately I landed a gig with the great Bob Margolin.

Not only was Bob a long-time member of the legendary Muddy Waters Band, he also won a W.C. Handy for Best Blues Guitarist in 2005. His bandmate, Mookie Brill, won a Handy (or Blues Award) in 2006 for Best Blues Bassist. I was both honored and pleasantly surprised to know that I'd be working with these two "cream of the crop" cats. Rounding up the lineup are the always reliable Big Joe Maher and Bill Heid. This is indeed my dream come true. Seven years ago, I was listening to Bob on my favorite Muddy Waters and Johnny Winters records. Seven years later, I'll be playing an official gig with my idol. Bob is a gentleman, for he's very excited about the gig and often checks in with me. As Muddy Waters says, "I'm Ready!" And I'm ready to have fun!

To brush up my blues vocabulary, I got hold of a Bob Margolin All-Star Blues Jam CD and also go back to my roots, Muddy Waters, to study the depth and nuances. I'm more than excited to be in the presence of this fine musicians. To top that off, I'm honored to be listed on Bob's website. It's a thrill to see my name surrounded by the all-time greatest blues players ever like Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Calvin "Fuzz" Jones, Nappy Brown, and Hubert Sumlin. Not bad for a 28 y/o Hong Kong native who started playing the harp only 6 years ago.

I'm in the company of greatness.

I got accepted to the PCLL program, which means I'll be back to Hong Kong for good. School starts in September. This is the last month for me to make enough dough and play enough music and have enough fun because the next month will be all about packing.

This is not the time to assess my success and failure in the U.S. There have been ups and downs, but I've been very fortunate to be exposed to such a free country. I've experienced liberty, freedom, and ultimately, the fall of the Roman Empire. Yet, the blues saves my soul from sinking, and religion has made me strong. I have more love than I can give.

In any case, this is all about finishing everything you do in an art form. Style and sttitude are key. I still use my motto, "I disrespectfully agree." That's me. You can't change that.

Now comes the advertisement (they did not pay to endorse my attitude):


Monday, July 03, 2006

Zidane beat Brazil again!

France 1, Brazil 0. Cause for celebration!


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