Louisiana Red was a high-energy performer noted for his country-style blues and enthusiastic live performances filled with raw emotion and unpredictable guitar antics. A Different Shade of Red – The Woodstock Sessions captures that intensity resulting in what the 1983 W. C. Handy Award winner (Traditional Male Artist of the Year) described as, “the one I’ve been waiting for.”

Recorded in Woodstock, NY, at the studio of famed drummer Levon Helm (The Band), the release finds Red backed by a full band including guitarists Jimmy Vivino of Conan O’Brien fame and Brian Bisesi, plus Steve Gomes on bass and Levon himself behind the drums. The CD is a mix of electric and acoustic blues featuring several original numbers that capture Red at the height of his craft.

All Music Guide accurately describes Red’s work as “gritty, passionate and earthy,” and A Different Shade of Red – The Woodstock Sessions delivers more of that fiery blues he is noted for. “I Had a Dream” is a spirited shuffle showcasing Red’s trademark steel guitar. “Where’s My Friends?” finds the bluesman in top form trading superb vocals with searing electric slide guitar. And for fans of Red’s acoustic work, he offers up a couple of gems, “Laundromat Blues” and “Phillipa.” Other standouts include the horn- and guitar-laden “Alabama Train” and the improvisational “Blues 2001,” both driven by Helm’s funky backbeat and Red’s electrifying delivery. It is a jam-packed, 11-song CD blending the perfect balance of both classic and contemporary blues.

In February of 2012, Red passed away from complications resulting from a stroke. He left us a rich musical legacy of 50 recordings including our favorite, A Different Shade of Red – The Woodstock Sessions. RIP, Red.


Special thanks to Dora Minter, Butch, Geneva Vivino, Ann Bisesi, Doug and Peg Waltner, Joan Matthews and Steve Potter at Severn, Rocky Fuller, Eddie Bauer, Rich “Hollywood” Cervone, and David Earl for making it all possible.

On a chilly Saturday morning in March of 2001 the town of Woodstock held a surprise ceremony at the Village Green in the center of town where Town Supervisor Jeremy Wilber passed on the coveted Key to the City to Louisiana Red. And just as they did for Muddy Waters so many years ago, the town showed up as photographers re-created the scene used for Muddy’s record cover. Many of the citizens seen in the original photo have since departed. But their families remain and stood in their place marking a new era for Woodstock and the blues.


Louisiana Red: Guitar (all songs)
Levon Helm: Drums, Harp
Garth Hudson: Organ (tracks 2, 9), Sax (solo track 5)
Jimmy Vivino: Guitar, Mandolin, Organ (tracks 3, 4, 5, 11)
Brian Bisesi: Guitar
Steve Gomes: Bass, Acoustic Bass
Ola Dixon: Drums (track 11)
David Maxwell: Piano, Organ
Benjie Porecki: Organ (tracks 1 and 6)
David Raynor: Sax Solos (tracks 1, 11)


Produced by Brian Bisesi and Jimmy Vivino
Executive Producer: David Earl
Recorded at Levon’s Barn, Woodstock, NY, August 9 – 11, 2000
Engineer: Chris Anderson, Nevessa Studios, Saugerties, NY
Assistant: Julie Last
Mixed by Jim Robeson and David Earl at Bias, Springfield, VA
Mastered by Charlie Pilzer at Airshow, Springfield, VA
Photography/Digital Enhancement: Randy Santos
CD Design by Steve Potter and David Earl
Horns arranged and directed by Jimmy Vivino
Horn Section recorded at Omega Studios, Rockville, MD
Horns engineered by Eric Lemley
Horn Section – Scott Silbert/Baritone Sax, Steve Williams/Alto Sax, Pete Barenbregge/Tenor Sax, Chris Walker/Trumpet

Severn CD0016