The Blue Shadows Join The Rip Cat Family

Posted on January 12, 2016 by Scott Abeyta

Rip Cat Records is proud and excited to welcome The Blue Shadows as our newest family members!!

In The Blue Shadows line~up are some of the most respected and seasoned members in the Blues community. Javier Matos out front on vocals and guitar, with the original Blasters rhythm section of John Bazz on bass and Bill Bateman on drums.

They will be recording their first Rip Cat release, as yet untitled, in February at world renowned Pacifica Studios in Los Angeles.

With this inimitable line~up, the new project will follow in the roots of their early influences, as well as the music created by themselves for over four decades.

The Blue Shadows were originally formed by Bill Bateman and featured many legendary musicians such as Lester Butler, Paul Size, the Bartel Brothers (Johnny Ray and Dave Lee), and others.
Javier met Bill after Lester passed and they reformed the band. Javier had his own style with his prewar blues strengths and influences and together they forged a sound on the hardened streets of Hollywood and became part of the LA Sound that included bands like Canned Heat and the Blasters. While applying deep blues to the modern culture of the times, they respected the past..with an eye to the future.

Javier has a lengthy resume, with awards and great reviews throughout his musical career. As once signed with Storyville Records, he worked with, and was produced by none other than one of our other family members, Mr. Barry Levenson. It seems Javier was destined to create music with us.

For a more in-depth look into The Blue Shadows please visit:

Welcome to the family Javier!! And we welcome our continued ancestry with John and Bill!!

~All of us at Rip Cat Records~

The Blasters & The Innocent Sons

The Blasters- Javier & The Innocent Sons  

Mid- June saw the inauguration of a mini 8-gig tour by the Blasters at Lee's Liquor Lounge, with one of the Twin Cities favorites, Javier & The Innocent Sons opening the first four dates, including Milwaukee & Chicago. Most know how good the Blasters are, but if the Sons perform like they did at Lee's, they'll be returning with a much bigger fan base.                                         There was " Evil" going on, as Javier in stature and attitude owned several Howlin' Wolf songs ( only thing missing was a suitcase) with the band as solid as ever. Dave Larson on drums and Grant Wibben on upright bass kept the groove tight as Dan Schwalbe cranked out the guitar solos and even brought out the Schwalbe windmill! Then Javier Matos Smoked 'em with powerful vocals singing at times through the harp mic, and with dramatic stage presence befitting the music. A week following their CD release party of the outstanding " Born to Ramble", Javier showcased some of the Cd's highlights opening with " I'm not the Lad" and coming back with " Louisiana", the self-penned masterpiece with a few extra licks on the night, giving it a real Cajun feel. Bringing out the swing dancers and winding up with the title track " Born to Ramble", The Innocent Sons established themselves as the proper choice for ushering in more great American music to follow.                                                                                                    Appropriately opening with " American Music", The Blasters rocked and rolled the packed house for two solid hours, as Phil Alvin 7 crew 'tore it up' their way, with songs ranging from Johnny Pay-Check to 'Gatemouth' Brown's " Rock my Blues Away". It was an energetic performance with a vigorous Keith Wyatt putting down some killer rock' n' roll licks,the original groove of bass man John Bazz, and Bill Bateman. the hardest working drummer I have seen in a while ( when he came out with 3-16 oz beers, you knew he was going to be fun to watch). Alvin with occasional tongue in-cheek humor can still belt it out, especially when it came to " Dark Star" as the band finished off the song with an outstanding jam. Truly a great American band that must been seen " live" ; and the only thing that could have been better, would have been seeing them at the next three shows in the two classic Lake Michigan Blues towns......

-Blue Monday Monthly


The Blues are Still Blue

The Blues are Still Blue

A&E chats with Javier Matos, a local musician who's taken on a hefty chunk of Robert Johnson's catalog.


May 06, 2009

It’s hard not to respect a musician who possesses the motivation to play in three bands simultaneously and still has time to gig solo. Bluesman extraordinaire Javier Matos does just that. Mix in the fact that he plays multiple shows a week, including a residency at Palmer’s Bar, and you’ve got one busy bluesman.
Matos, a native of California, moved to the Twin Cities in 1990 to study theology. After dropping out in 1992, Matos bought a Robert Johnson CD box set and tablature and locked himself in a room until he’d mastered it.

The Blue Shadows

Javier Mattos: Vocals, electric and National steel-body guitar
John Bazz: Bass
Bill Bateman: Drums
Jack Rudy: Harmonica

By Chris Morris, Billboard Magazine, 2005

The blues, more than one wise man has said, is the easiest music in the world to play, and the hardest music in the world to play well. The Blue Shadows know how to play the blues well.

The Shadows’ history stretches back to the late ’80s, when the band was formed by Bill Bateman, drummer for the celebrated Los Angeles roots-rock band the Blasters. The original lineup included vocalist-harp player Lester Butler, latter-day Blasters guitarist Smokey Hormel (later noted for his work with Beck and Tom Waits, among many others), and bassist Jonny Ray Bartel (of the X/Blasters folk unit the Knitters).

Specializing in hard blues, the Shadows held down a fabled Monday-night club at the King King in L.A.’s Miracle Mile district, where musicians ranging from local hotshots like Dave Alvin and Gene Taylor of the Blasters, Jeff Ross, Kid Ramos, and Junior Watson to international luminaries like Mick Jagger dropped by to jam.