TJ IN LA ... 1 YEAR AND COUNTING !!!

 

Hey, yes its been ages since i posted on here, sorry.

I've been crazy busy adjusting to life living in Los Angeles, so i totally dropped the ball with this website ... My Bad!

OK, so here's a super quick run down of things since i got here in April 2015.

Went to BMA's  4 days after arriving, played with Bob Margolin, Janiva Magness and Lisa Mann at the Hard Rock Cafe on Beale Street, met and hung out with a ton of top blues artists that i love. Janiva won a BMA.

Married janiva Magness on 7 June 2015 ... YES, you did read that right.

Booked and played a few gigs at BBQ joints here in LA throughout 2015. People here seem to like my TJ & THE SUITCASE solo act.

Been to gigs and events in Vegas, Tuscon, Pasadena, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Got asked to do some backing vocals on Janiva's last album by her mega talented producer Dave Darling. I'm on the album (LOVE WINS AGAIN) which was recorded at DOGHOUSE STUDIO'S. Been working out how to launch TJ & THE SUITCASE here in LA, and thats an ongoing learning process. Judged at the IBC in Memphis, played as a duo with Andy Talamantez, then fronted his band for a few songs, which went down very well. HAPPY! Went to a cool jam with my blues DJ friend Greg Miera where i got to see James Harman and Jr Watson play. Played my first House Concert here in LA in 2016 and it went great. Started trying to build a new website @ www.tjandthesuitcase.com, which i really suck at, so that is still being worked on (any help with Wordpress Website design etc would be much appreciated!).  There is lots more that i've donebut i dont have space to put it all on here so i'll make sure i put up regular posts from now on, PROMISE.  Now i have to get ready to go see my friend Cindy Alexander play an album launch gig. SHe's an awesome artist and lovely person so check her out. See you soon :-)

 TJ MOVES TO THE USA ... CHAPTER 2 !!!

 

YES you read it right ...and here's why.

 

As you all know, last year i launched 'TJ & THE SUITCASE' and quickly had interest from the USA.

 

Following this i visited LA to follow up on that interest, and  was then invited to be on the Legendary Blues Cruise where i made more friends and was encouraged to continue my musical journey in the USA.

 

So as you can imagine, when i got back to the UK i had some thinking to do, and have been talking to my contacts in the USA about possible future music projects, (and some acting work is also on the cards). After looking at everything i've decided that it makes sense for me too keep moving forwards and stay committed to living my dream. Yes it is a bit scary, but life is for living!

 

Later this year i'll be relocating to Los Angeles, California, USA.

 

I'm now working extra hard to make this happen.


I've had a run of 100 LIMITED EDITION BLACK & WHITE ARTWORK, NUMBERED & SIGNED by hand, copies of the TJ & THE SUITCASE EP CD's printed up, which are now available on the website 'STORE'.

This is a one off print run to help raise the funds for my relocation to the USA.

I also have 40 Posters which will all be available on the 'STORE' very soon, all of which will be NUMBERED & SIGNED by hand, with a personal message to you

.

Once the cd's and posters are sold there will never be any more printed so they are very LIMITED EDITION.

 

LTD EDTN EP's have already been sent out to everyone who donated to my Blues Cruise Funding drive as a THANKYOU gift.


Everyone who buys from this store is directly helping with my relocation to LA, so THANKYOU.

 

CHAPTER 2 promises to be very exciting, so watch this space for news!

 

IT'S TIME TO GET PACKED !!!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TJ's LEGENDARY BLUES CRUISE REPORT


OK how is it March already?


Sorry for keeping you all waiting to hear what happened on the Blues Cruise, but to be honest i needed some rest and time to process everything that happened, and what is about to happen in CHAPTER 2 !!!


So first off here's a little look inside my Blues Cruise experience.


Every day and night was packed full, so there was little time for sleep.  I spent my time helping out behind the scenes, meeting & hanging out with the other artists, checking out the bands, playing with some incredible blues artists and much more!


Here's a list of some of the great players onboard:   Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby Rush, Taj Mahal, Janiva Magness, Keb Mo, Coco Montoya, Shemekia Copeland, Tommy Castro, Victor Wainwright, Roomful Of Blues, Tab Benoit, Samantha Fish, Tasha Taylor, James Harman, Billy Branch, Gene Taylor, Popa Chubby, Johnny Sansone, Madeleine Peyroux, Mr Sipp, Cyrill Neville, Danielle Nicole, Laura Rain, George Friend ... and the list goes on ... AMAZING!


On top of that list there were artist managers, tour managers, booking agents, radio dj's, blues history experts, Blues Foundation staff, blues magazine owners, top level sound men and much more.


So there i was, on a cruise ship with some of the best American blues players on the planet, the unknown new boy British harp player, supported and funded by friends and fans, ready to jump in and do my thing.  As you can imagine, i was a bit nervous and the whole experience seemed very surreal, but incredible!


Here's just a few things i found myself doing ...


Being introduced to the cruise organisers early on day 1 and helping out,  sitting down with Bobby Rush listening to stories about his days with Chess Records, being backstage with Taj Mahal, becoming friends with Madeleine Peyroux, going to a Mexican beach with some super cool ladies including Janiva Magness and Henri Musselwhite, chatting to Keb Mo on the dock, being a guest at an artists birthday dinner which included Art Tipaldi  Bob Porter  Charlie Musselwhite Henri Musselwhite  and others, being invited to dinner at the captains table,  playing on the Pool Deck Stage on the first night with Tommy Castro, being on stage playing with Coco Montoya and his band, being invited to play on the Victor Wainwright Pro Jam and ending up blasting a harp solo down on my knee's in front of Janiva Magness, having a quiet dinner with Charlie and Henri Musselwhite, chatting about harp stuff backstage with Johnny Sansone, watching Bobby Rush own a stage, walking around the ship helping Madeleine Peyroux give away signed cd's,  hanging out in the corridor with James Harman and Billy Branch, helping out Lee Oskar's wife Sri Rome at the Billy Branch Harmonica Class, being asked to sign merch at the artist signing despite not being an official artist, being totally blown away by Laura Rain and George Friend's music, getting stopped by cruisers at breakfast and asked if i had a band of my own playing on the cruise ... Phew!


As you can see it was an amazing time, and that is just some of the things i did.


The whole cruise experience was really intense, super busy, exhausting and amazing.

It was like a year packed into a week.


Everyone was very nice to me, i was treated like on of the gang, i had loads of fun, made some great new friends and i've been told i made a great impression in general.

Off the back of this some notable people in the blues world have shown an interest in me and my music career ... WOW!


There are so many people i want to say THANKYOU  too for helping me have this incredible experience, so i've sent a special email to everyone who made donations to my Blues Cruise fund.


I must say a big THANKYOU to the fantastic American blues singer  JANIVA MAGNESS  for taking an interest in my music last year, for mentoring me, and for making it possible for me to be on the blues cruise.


My next piece of news will be about what is about to happen next, and its pretty exciting!


WATCH THIS SPACE ... CHAPTER 2 IS ABOUT TO START !!!












TJ NORTON ... LEGENDARY RHYTHM & BLUES CRUISE 2015

 

I am VERY pleased to announce that i have been invited to be on the next LEGENDARY RHYTHM & BLUES CRUISE leaving Ft Lauderdale, Florida, USA, on 18th January 2015.

 

I'm incredibly grateful and excited about this opportunity to be onboard in the company of so many fantastic award winning blues artists.

 

I've been, and still am fundraising to pay for the airfair, cruise tax etc, and were happy to say that his friends and fans have already donated enough money to pay for his flights!

 

I'm stunned and humbled by the support i'm being given and want to say a big THANKYOU to everyone.

 

Anyone wanting to help via donation can use PAYPAL with this email:

 

 

tj68demon@hotmail.co.uk

 

SUPPORT TJ - SUPPORT UK BLUES !!!

 

TJ NORTON ... LA TRIP

 

In late 2014 i was invited to visit Los Angeles to check out the blues scene and meet some of the West Coast USA blues artists i respect and admire.

 

So in November 2014 i spent a week in LA absorbed in the music i love.

The highlight of the trip was meeting multi award winning blues artist Janiva Magness, members of her band and award winning producer Dave Darling.

 

I fitted right in with the LA blues scene, making some great new friends and contacts.

 

2015 should bring some very interesting things my way.

 

WATCH THIS SPACE!!!

TJ & THE SUITCASE 

 

Last week we were one of just 3 acts to be invited to play at the Hebden Bridge Blues Festival farewell party at Hebden Bridge Town Hall.

 

The event showcased some beautiful paintings and photographs from the festival plus live music from us, Tom Attah and Half Deaf Clatch.

 

It was an honour to be one of the acts chosen to play at this wonderful event and it was great to have played at the festival a number of times over its duration.

 

THANKYOU to Jason Elliot for running a great festival for 4 years, which won 3 consecutive British Blues Awards.

 

This is me with those awards :-)

 


'Never Giving Up' ... The New EP !!!

 

Our first recorded release ( 'Never Giving Up' ) has gone to print and will be available on cd and via download very soon!

 

The first print run is only 100 cd's, all of which will be signed and numbered, so we will be taking pre-orders.

If you want one of the first 100 signed numbered cd's just email us a request with your name and address.

 

In the mean time, check out the EP tracks on Soundcloud and leave a comment.

 

THANKYOU all for your support in these early days of TJ & THE SUITCASE, it really means a lot and we cant do this without you.

 

Spread the word and enjoy the tracks ... Bless :-) x

 

https://soundcloud.com/tjnortonsolo

'Never Giving Up'


EP video shoot news!


Were very happy to say that the title track video will be made within the next few weeks, by a fantastic team of artists/photographers.


This is such great news and all will be revealed once we have a shoot date confirmed ... VERY excited !!!

TJ & THE SUITCASE

 

LIVE on the 'Schools Out' show hosted by Charles 'Chaz' Ellis on LIONHEART RADIO 107.3FM.

 

I had a fantatstic time chatting to Chaz, playing a live session, being a weatherman + listening to some great tracks on Chaz's playlist.

 

Chaz is a lovely guy with a wonderful attitude to life, so i really felt like i was spending time with an old friend.

 

Big THANKYOU to Charles 'Chaz' Ellis.

 

Check out all the shows at: www.lionheartradio.com

 

Shows are also at: http://tinyurl.com/lionheartradio

 

 

TJ & THE SUITCASE


August  4th 2014 

 

LIVE on 'Wall To Wall Blues' ... Presented by Les Young on Penistone Radio 95.7FM

 

We had a great time being featured on Les Young's show, doing a live session + chatting about music.

Les is a lovely guy + is doing a great job promoting blues + spreading the word about new blues artists.

 

You can hear the show via the podcast link.

 

KEEP SUPPORTING THE BLUES !!!

 

http://walltowallblues.podbean.com/e/wall-to-wall-blues-4th-august-2014/

 

 

 

 

TJ & THE SUITCASE

 

OK so just as i post the 'latest' live pic i get another one from the very talented FLO CAT.

 

So, check this out here or see it on the 'photos' page.

 

THANKYOU FLO CAT x

TJ & THE SUITCASE

 

Here's the latest live photo taken by the great photographer  FLO CAT.

FLO CAT really has a knack of capturing the energy and emotion of musicians while they're playing live and i love her work, so i was very happy when she came to this gig with her camera.

 

This photo was taken while we were playing inside HER CITI CAFE in Maryport @ Maryport Blues Festival.

 

THANKYOU FLO CAT x

TJ & THE SUITCASE ... EP NEWS !!!

 

The first recording is being mastered right now, so will be available very soon via download and on cd.

It's an EP called 'NEVER GIVING UP', which is the title track.

 

The EP will have 5 tracks, made up of 3 originals and 2 covers.

 

A video shoot for the title track is being planned now.

 

More news soon!

TJ & THE SUITCASE supporting KIRK FLETCHER

 

YES, we now have details of our support slot on the first KIRK FLETCHER UK TOUR.

 

Cant even begin to explain how excited we are to be supporting this fantastic blues guitarist!

 

THE MUSICIAN, LEICESTER. LE1 2DE.

TEUSDAY 28th OCTOBER

8pm Doors.

 

www.themusicianpub.co.uk

TJ & THE SUITCASE - MARYPORT BLUES FESTIVAL 

 

We now have a date, venue details and our stage time for our first date at MBF.

 

FRIDAY 25th JULY

THE GOLDEN LION

10pm Stage Time

 

www.maryportblues.co.uk

www.thegoldenlionhotel.org.uk

 

We will also be out busking in Maryport during the daytime so come say hi.

See you there :-)

 

 

 

 

TJ & THE SUITCASE ... NEW REVIEW

 

Recently we stepped in to fill a last minute cancellation spot at the DUCK N DRAKE in Leeds, and Johnny A at www.bunternet.wordpress.com Blog was kind enough to review the gig while he was there.

 

There are lots of great Blogs that review gigs etc now so we fully support anyone who is taking the time to produce their own Blog that includes music reviews.

 

It looks as though they enjoyed the gig, so go check it out!

 

www.bunternet.wordpress.com

 

( THANKYOU JOHNNY A )

 

 

TJ & THE SUITCASE EP RECORDING

 

Recording for our first EP has started!

 

The EP will have 5 tracks, including 2 blues covers and 3 originals.

 

TJ did the first recording session last week at  RHYTHM INC in Barnsley, under the expert direction of guitarist, producer and studio engineer ARI RANNUS.

It went really well and the guys managed to get 3 tracks down.


The second recording session is this week, which should see the last 2 tracks layed down.

 

The EP will have 5 tracks, including 2 blues covers and 3 originals.

 

More details soon!

 

 

 


MARYPORT BLUES FESTIVAL

 

TJ was recently contacted by Debra from MARYPORT BLUES FESTIVAL, after a close friend of hers recommended 

TJ & THE SUITCASE as a 'must have' act for the festival.

 

Although the festival is fully booked this year Debra has offered TJ & THE SUITCASE a reserved busking spot and has set up a couple of gigs for them at this years festival.

 

TJ & THE SUITCASE will be out busking on the streets of Maryport on Friday 25th July, and will be playing gigs over the weekend.

 

Dates, times and venue details will be confirmed on our 'Gig' page asap.

 

TJ would like to thank BUZZ and DEBRA for adding him to the list of great acts at this fantastic blues festival.

 

www.maryportblues.co.uk

 

TJ & THE SUITCASE - On The Streets NOW!

 

Yes, TJ & THE SUITCASE are now out on the streets busking, using the new ROLAND STREET CUBE EX.

Yesturday they were in Leeds City Centre from 12 - 6pm, and the people of Leeds were loving the blues.

 

TJ has always felt at home playing on the streets so he's really pleased to be taking TJ & THE SUITCASE 

out to entertain the public.

You will be seeing them live on the streets of Leeds, Whitby and York to start with, and then anywhere else that they have a gig.

 

Listen out for them on a street near you SOON!

 

 

 

 

 

TJ & THE SUITCASE supporting KIRK FLETCHER

 

Were very pleased to announce that  TJ & THE SUITCASE will be supporting the fantastic KIRK FLETCHER on one of his dates on his first UK Tour.

 

KIRK FLETCHER from the USA is known as one of the top modern blues guitarists in the world today, and TJ is a big fan of his.

KIRK was a member of the world renowned blues band 'THE FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS', has worked with a big list of top blues artists, has recorded a number of his own albums, and is signed to Delta Groove Productions.

KIRK will be backed by the great KATIE BRADLEY BAND featuring top UK blues artistsKatie Bradley and Dudley Ross.

 

If you love the blues you NEED to get tickets to one of these gigs, and if you can make it to Leicester you'll also get to see TJ & THE SUITCASE ... BONUS !!!

 

Date confirmed @ The Musician, Leicester on Teusday 28th October 2014.

TOM ATTAH and the BAD MAN CLAN


Here is one of the brilliant shots from our first photoshoot.

Were really pleased with the results, and are blown away that the superb CHRIS M SAUNDERS agreed to shoot our band photo's.

CHRIS is a top professional photographer with a big list of celebrity names on his CV, so were not suprised at the quality of the photo's.

Check out his other fantastic photo's on his website: www.chrismsaunders.com

 

Festival dates are already coming in, so keep an eye on the 'GIG' page for dates and times.

 

TJ NORTON is a Bad Man !!!

 

 

 

TJ & THE SUITCASE artwork is here !!!

 

We are very pleased to announce that all of our artwork will now be designed and produced by the fantastic

MARTIN F BEDFORD.

 

Martin's artwork caught TJ's eye some time ago, so TJ made it his mission to get Martin on board.

 

This is the first  TJ & THE SUITCASE poster designed by Martin that you will be seeing advertising our gigs, and it will soon be available to buy in limited numbers, (with a hand written personal message from TJ by request).

 

Watch this space for more awesome artwork designed for us by Martin, and check out Martin's website for  other great artwork:

 

 www.martinfbedford.com

 

TJ would like to say a big THANKYOU to Martin F Bedford :-)

 

 

 

KIRKSTALL FESTIVAL

 

TJ & THE SUITCASE has just been booked to play this great festival in the grounds of the beautiful Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds.

They will be playing on the new 'Busking Stage', which is perfect for their one-man-band blues act.

TJ is really looking forward to playing this festival, as its not often you get to play a gig within the grounds of an ancient Abbey on a summers day.

 

Check out the details here: www.kirkstall-festival.org.uk

MAY 2014

 

ROLAND STREET CUBE EX has arrived!

 

TJ & THE SUITCASE will be out on the streets very soon.

Were starting in Leeds, then were off to York, this spring and summer.

TJ tested this new busking amp as soon as he got it a few days ago and it

was really easy to get the whole solo kit running through it.

 

Check out all the details on this great new battery powered amp at:  www.roland.co.uk

 

'TJ & THE SUITCASE' IS HERE !!! 

 

APRIL 2014 

 

TJ has a new hamonica driven one man band solo act called ... TJ & THE SUITCASE

 

Going back to his days of playing for change on the streets, the act consists of TJ singing, playing amplified harmonica, suitcase drum, home made tambourine foot pedal and telling stories from the road that relate to the songs.

 

3 demo tracks were recently recorded very quickly to give everyone a rough idea of  how the act sounds, first photo shoot is done, a video shoot is being planned and the first gigs went down incredibly well.

 

TJ says he started it because he wanted to get back to basics with a more intimate act where he could get the audience more involved, and share stories of the experiences he's had on the road that have influenced his music.

 

Photo's and gig dates will be on here SOON !!!

 

( FREE DOWNLOAD of the 3 Demo Tracks is available on the 'Music' page of this website). 

 

ROLAND UK love TJ & THE SUITCASE

 

APRIL 2014

 

ROLAND UK have just added TJ to their 'ARTIST' roster.

 

TJ is blown away by this news, and is really happy to have some support from a company that makes great products and works hands on with musicians.

 

TJ will be taking TJ & THE SUITCASE out onto the streets this Spring and Summer, using the new ROLAND Street Cube EX and BOSS effect pedals.