Blues legends headline HPU benefit Jan. 12

December 20, 2013

HONOLULU — Music legends Delbert McClinton, Marcia Ball and Cindy Cashdollar will headline a benefit for the Hawai‘i Pacific University Department of Communication Student Success Fund. The concert will be Sunday, Jan. 12, 7 p.m., at the Crossroads, Hawaiian Brian’s, across from the Hawaii Convention Center. 

 Blues and country legend McClinton is a three-time Grammy Award winner. Ball has won ten W.C. Handy Blues awards and is a five-time Grammy Nominee. They will be joined by Johnny Nicholas and Hell Bent, featuring Cindy Cashdollar, the mainland’s best known touring steel guitarist. Cashdollar won five Grammys while a member of Asleep at the Wheel. 

The venerable Delbert McClinton is a legend among Texas roots music aficionados, not only for his amazing longevity, but for his ability to combine country, blues, soul, and rock & roll as if there were no distinctions between any of them in the best time-honored Texas tradition. 

Delbert McClinton grew up in Fort Worth. Discovering the blues in his teenage years, McClinton quickly became an accomplished harmonica player. It gave McClinton the opportunity to play harp behind blues legends like Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Bobby “Blue” Bland. McClinton’s harmonica was prominently featured on Fort Worth native Bruce Channel’s 1962 number one smash, “Hey! Baby” and brought along for Channel’s tour of England with the Beatles. Echoes of McClinton’s harmonica style can be heard in John Lennon’s “Love Me Do” solo. 

In the seventies, other artists started to mine McClinton’s catalog for material: in 1978, Emmylou Harris took his “Two More Bottles of Wine” all the way to the top of the country charts. His version of “B Movie Boxcar Blues” later became a part of the Blues Brothers repertoire. The Blues Brothers had earlier tried to get Delbert to be their backup band. 

In 1989, McClinton issued the comeback album “Live from Austin,” which earned him his first Grammy nomination (for Best Contemporary Blues Album). Over the next few years, McClinton placed material with stars like Wynonna, Vince Gill, Lee Roy Parnell, and Martina McBride, among others. His biggest break, though, came when he was tapped for a duet with Bonnie Raitt. The result, “Good Man, Good Woman,” brought McClinton his first Grammy for Best Rock Vocal, Duo or Group. 

McClinton capitalized with 1992’s “Never Been Rocked Enough,” which featured not only his duet with Raitt, but also guest appearances from Tom Petty and Melissa Etheridge, and his biggest hit single since 1980, “Every Time I Roll the Dice.” Later that year, he hit the country charts with another duet, this time with Tanya Tucker on “Tell Me About It.” 

In 2001, “Nothing Personal” ended up one of the year’s biggest hits on Billboard’s Blues chart; it also won him another Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album. 2014 will mark the 20th year of McClinton’s legendary Sandy Beach Blues tour cruise to the Caribbean.

Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist/vocalist/songwriter, Marcia Ball is famed worldwide for igniting a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she strolls on stage. Ball’s groove-laden New Orleans boogie and rollicking Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music fans all over the world. And, she’s also a master at transfixing her audience with an emotionally rich, passionately sung ballad. The Boston Herald says, “Ball plays masterful, red hot tracks from the Texas-Louisiana border. Her voice can break your heart with a ballad or break your back with a rocker.”

For over four decades, Johnny Nicholas’ consummate musicianship and vocal skills have graced the roots and blues music scene across the country and abroad. He has toured, performed and recorded with Blues, Americana, and Roots legends including Mississippi Fred McDowell, Robert Lockwood Jr., Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, and Roosevelt Sykes. He was a lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist with Asleep at the Wheel when they won their first of many Grammy awards.

Johnny’s band, Hell Bent, features Bruce Hughes, Scrappy Jud Newcomb, and John Chipman, with leading Austin-based Dobro and steel guitarist Cindy Cashdollar, a master of bluegrass, gutbucket blues, swampy R&B, and honky tonk. Cashdollar’s guitar can be heard on songs by Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Dave Alvin, Rod Stewart, Asleep at the Wheel, Jorma Kaukonen and Leon Redbone.

HPU’s Department of Communication (DOC) develops global citizens who appreciate and understand how the local fits into the global, and vice versa. Our students study how to communicate effectively, ethically, across multiple platforms and with people from diverse backgrounds. DOC provides a rigorous curriculum in a stimulating integrated environment that addresses the history, theories, mechanisms and techniques of communication.

The HPU DOC Student Success Fund will be used to support opportunities and experiences that benefit our students such as activities that build student and faculty community, student and faculty travel, student and faculty expenses associated with participation in student research, group projects, conferences, competitions, and equipment and materials related to student research.

Tickets are $50 reserved, $25 general admission ($20 with HPU ID) and are available at the HPU downtown bookstore (1132 Bishop St.), Hawaiian Brian’s (1680 Kapiolani Blvd.) and online at

Blues benefit for HPU