Joe Weaver, Alberta Adams, Johnny Bassett
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Joe Weaver was a teenager when his family moved to Detroit. While attending Northwestern High School, he quickly established himself as one of the better musicians around town, playing all of the amateur contests around the city (according to Joe usually finishing second to Little Willie John) and hooked up with a budding guitarist Johnnie Bassett. The duo in turn teamed with Jesse Ulmer Jr. and drummer Calvin Andrews and formed the Blue Note Orchestra, which became the house band at Fortune, backing such acts as Andre Williams & the Don Juans, The Five Dollars, Nolan Strong & The Diablos, and Nathaniel Mayer. Blue Note Orchestra recorded with Deluxe and Fortune record labels and Joe was a session musician for the fledgling Motown label, backing up such greats as the Miracles, Martha Reeves, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. Besides studio work Joe was also a house musician at Club Basin Street, one of the hippest clubs in the city, he played piano on the road with the Four Tops, worked in Florida with Nancy Wilson and played blues gigs with Bobo Jenkins and John Lee Hooker.
When it became too difficult to balance performing and family responsibilities, Joe put his musical career on hold and put in thirty years at Ford Motor Company. Now retired and reunited with two long-time musician friends, Kenny Martin and Stanley Mitchell, Joe is regularly playing and recording again. As Joe says, We were there before Motown and we are still here now. We are the Motor City Pioneers."
At the 2003 Great Lakes Folk Festival, Joe Weaver is backed up by veteran musicians RJ Spangler (drums), Paul Carey (guitar), Ben Luttermoser (bass), Keith Kaminski (saxophone), and Martin Simmons (piano).
During the 2003 Folk Festival, look to see Joe Weaver performing as part of the Detroit Blues Revue
with Alberta Adams
and Johnnie Bassett