Screamin’ Jay Hawkins Has Come Back from the Dead

  • The idea for the tribute band was inspired by Steve Bergsman's upcoming biography.
  • "I thought it would be great if I could show fans his music and what his famous shows looked like."
  • The band is not just performing the music of Screamin' Jay Hawkins but creating a time machine of one of rock's true wild men.

The great blues singer, crazy man, original shock-rock performer and the songwriter who penned the classic, “I Put A Spell on You” died in 2000. But, that was then, this is now, and jazz blues man Mike Armando, who was Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’s guitarist in the 1970s, has recreated the legendary shows with a new group, appropriately called, The Resurrection of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins Tribute Band. This show is an authentic re-creation and people attending will think they’re seeing Screamin’ Jay resurrected. Steve Frumkin of JWP Agency was so excited about the whole concept he took on the project and is now the projects booking agent for up & coming shows.

The idea for the tribute band was inspired by Steve Bergsman’s upcoming biography of the singer called “I PUT A SPELL ON YOU: THE BIZARRE LIFE OF SCREAMIN’ JAY HAWKINS,” which will be published by Feral House Publications and due for release July 2019.

“Steve Bergsman interviewed me extensively for the book, and afterward it motivated me to form the tribute band,” says Mike. “I know people will want to read about Screamin’ Jay because he truly was bizarre, but I thought it would be great if I could show fans his music and what his famous shows looked like.”

Screamin’ Jay grunted, groaned, snarled and even moaned with intestinal pain during performances. Sometimes he would appear in aboriginal dress, with a bone through his nose and casting voodoo spells. He was always accompanied by Henry, his staff topped with a skull. He sometimes performed swirled in a cloud of smoke and, most famously, he would emerge from a coffin to sing his best known song.

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins was a prolific songwriter and his huge songbook has rarely been heard outside of “I Put A Spell on You.” Mike plans to perform some of the more well-known compositions like “Constipation Blues,” “Alligator Wine” and lesser-known nuggets like “Feast of the Mau Mau.” Although some dedicated fans might prefer “Armpit #6” or “(She Put The) Whammee (On Me).”

“The hardest part of forming a tribute band was finding someone to be Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, but when I met Shakar “TheRealShakar” Brumfield, I knew he was the right person because he was an actor as well as a singer,” says Mike. “Back in 2016, he won the Apollo Theater’s “Amateur Night Making a Star” competition.” Other members of this extremely talented band include Michael Johnson on saxophone, Andrew Golba on bass, and Gene Linefsky on drums.”

The band is not just performing the music of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins but creating a time machine of one of rock’s true wild men. “In fact, Screamin’ Jay may even pop out of a coffin,” Mike says. “Let the resurrection begin.” It’s a show you will long remember.

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Mike Armando

Jazz/Blues guitarist Mike Armando was the guitarist for Screamin' Jay Hawkins in the 1970's.


https://mjajazz.wixsite.com/mike-armando

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