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Saturday, April 21, 2007

ACK! Tommy Johnson Tribute album, dressed as Robert Johnson

Over to the far left is Tommy Johnson. next is the Chris Thomas King CD cover, and below is the famous Robert Johnson photograph

Is it any wonder people are confused! Chris Thomas King's photo looks remarkably like Robert. Now at least it has Tommy Johnson listed as the tribute, but anyone looking at it without thinking will think it is Robert. It is probably just a marketing ploy to get people who like Robert to pick up the CD. I haven't seen the CD myself so I cant comment on it, but I am sure it is good. However, this only contributes to the confusion over the two great delta artists.

Ponderosa Stomp New Orleans

Here is a music fest that I hadn't heard about. It is going on in New Orleans. Here is the info from Infozine

New Orleans, LA - infoZine - The sixth annual Stomp extravaganza is set to roll on Wednesday, May 2, at New Orleans' House of Blues, encompassing three separate stages with non-stop music from 5:30 p.m. til 2 a.m. Tickets for the Stomp are now on sale through Ticketmaster outlets and at Wednesday, May 2 rests comfortably between the two weekends of JazzFest in new New Orleans, and many Fest-goers stay late or come early to experience Ponderosa Stomp.

This year's Stomp promises to bend ears with the inclusion of many legends of blues, rR&bB, soul, garage rock, New Orleans music, traditional country, rockabilly and swamp pop. Among the featured artists are garage rock legend Roky Erickson, rockabilly wild man Dale Hawkins, legendary Muscle Shoals singer/songwriter/producer Dan Penn, R&B soprano Little Jimmy Scott, New Orleans songwriting legend Dave Bartholomew, master arranger Wardell Quezergue, Texas Tornado Augie Meyers, Texas shouter Roy Head, keyboardist extraordinaire Willie Tee, Houston blueswoman Barbara Lynn, Mississippi Hill Country bluesman Kenny Brown, chitlin' circuit kingpin Bobby Rush, Detroit guitar monster Dennis Coffey, and "Mr. Big Stuff" soul songstress Jean Knight, among dozens of others. Stanley "Buckwheat Zydeco" Dural will play the Hammond B3 organ behind many of the artists.
This sounds like a great show. If you are heading down to New Orleans you might want to catch it.

What You Can Do With Local Blues

Many people disregard the local blues band, but the reality is that the locals can be just as good as the national acts. I found that out in KC when on Saturdays Blues reigned supreme from about noon to 3am. There were jams running all day into the early evening, when the national acts took the stage around ten. Then after 3am the part moved over to Graces Barbecue where her famous all night blues jam continued in probably the worst neighborhood in KCK. It was a jam that you had to know someone to get on stage. No newbies allowed:-) Sundays continued with two to three jam sessions going to midnight or later.

Here is a article about how some local blues bands in Niagara Falls are kicking up some heat.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Charlie Musselwhite Says Hey, Hey, The Blues Are Alright

Nice article about Charlie Musselwhite and his take on the current blues scene. I really liked what he had to say about Chicago in the early 60s. Charlie was part of a group of young white musicians who would go to the blues clubs on the south side of Chicago. That group would include Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, Charlie Musslwhite, and of course Des Moines own Chicago Rick Lussie. It is true that as the 60s grew on fewer, and fewer, young African Americans listened to the blues. Soul, Motown, and later Funk and Disco, drove many young urban African Americans away from the blues. In many ways Blues was a lot like Country music. Its popularity among younger African Americans was by the 60s and 70s mostly in the rural deep south. Also I think it is important to note that many people assume that the British saved the blues in the 60s. However, if you look at the number of American artists like Bloomfield, Butterfield, Musselwhite, Steve Kats, Al Kooper, and others. Plus, bands that played on the edges of blues, like the Doors, Janis Joplin, Jimmi Hendrix, The Greatful Dead, ETC, then the argument that the British saved the blues makes about as much sense as the argument that the French saved Jazz, and trust me they really think they saved jazz!!!

Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Lineup for 2007

Here is a link to the upcoming Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues show. One of the shows features Chris Thomas King who played TOMMY JOHNSON in the movie O Brother Where art thou. Now the reason I emphasised Tommy Johnson's name, is once again poor Robert Johnson was dragged through the mud as the Argus Leader claims that Chris King was playing Robert Johnson. Anyone who saw the movie remembers that Tommy Johnson was picked up on the crossroads just after he sold his soul to the devil. Tommy Johnson did say that he sold his soul to the devil on the crossroads to learn to play the blues. Somehow over the years that story was turned around and put on Robert. Most likely it is due to Robert Johnson's song Crossroads. Robert Lockwood Jr. insisted to the end of his life that his step father never sold his soul, or talked about selling his soul to play the blues. However, typical of most reporters too busy to even Google the facts, and once again Robert is down on the ol' crossroads selling his soul to play the blues. Sad indeed.

Bernard Allison Says He Doesn't Play the Blues, or Mustang Sally

Bernard Allison in a interview with a South Dakota newspaper explains that he doesn't play the blues, and don't expect him to play Mustang Sally! I know Doc is really happy to hear that down at the BOG:-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Georgia on my Mind- Ray Charles

Brother Ray singing Georgia. I have been looking for Ray's version of Hard Times, but I have had no luck. However, this is a nice arrangment of Georgia.

John Edwards for President

After much thought I have decided to back John Edwards for President of the United States. I know that those of you from the right are probably going to get very upset, and send the emails about politics and blues, (BLAH, BLAH, BLAH,) Okay, I admit it, I am no longer afraid of upsetting you. For too many years we operated under the idea that in order to not make you mad we would stay away from politics, while we would let you spout off yours. However, I think we are all tired of the BS from the right. I like Edwards because he rises above the BS. He has a plan for health care that none of the others have even thought about doing. In fact, I have a DVD where he lays out his plans.

I think that perhaps only one other candidate from either the Republican or Democratic party is probably more prepared then John Edwards, and that is New Mexico's governor Bill Richardson. Bill Richardson has worked at all levels of government, has dealt with the North Koreans, and other thugs in the world successfully. He is probably one of the best prepared presidential candidates in the last 50 years. Unfortunately, he probably won't win because he lacks money, and recognition. However, I think an Edwards/Richardson ticket could be very, very exciting. Just remember you heard it here first!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I have stumbled on to a pretty cool site known as . Tonight I have found several reviews of some great blues CDS. If you have the time you probably need to stop by and check out some of new stuff available. Here is a review of a reissue of Steady Rolling Man, by Robert Lockwood Jr.

Nice article about Otis Taylor

Wow! Tonight is a good night for Blues in the news. Here is a very good story by Mike Zwerin about Otis Taylor's new release Below the Fold. I really like the detail and background story added to the review. Once again more reasons why the Blues lives!

Watermelon Slim Review

Click here for a review of Watermelon Slim's newest release.

Monday, April 16, 2007

J.B. Lenoir - I Feel So Good

I hope this works. Sometimes I can post this on the blog and sometimes it gets lost in cyberspace. It must get lost in the tubes somewhere:-) Anyway, this tune by JB Lenoir will cheer ya up. JB always makes me smile. He is another one of them that died much too young. He got in a car wreck in 1968 in Champiagn IL. He went to the hospital, and since he was a blackman they sent him home. He died later of internal injuries.

This is a small clip. I am also looking for Vietnam blues that he recorded in 1968. If I can find it I will post it.


Artist of the Week R L Burnside

This week's artist of the week is R L Burnside. I chose R L because his family is featured in the current issue of Living Blues. R L's legacy lives on with a large number of kids who are carrying on his work, including Iowa's own Burnside and Reed. (however, I didn't notice them in my first quick scan of the magazine) I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about people lamenting the death of the blues, but this months Living Blues is proof positive that the blues is alive and well in the Mississippi Hill country. I also caught an episode of the PBS show Globe Trekker. Normally they travel to such exotic places like Africa, the jungles of Asia, or the heart of India, but last night they were trekking across the American deep south. They stopped in Clarksdale the heart of the Mississippi Delta, and sure enough in an old juke joint was an unknown blues band belting out hard core eletricfied blues like it was soaked in Mississippi moonshine. All I can say is the Blues Lives!

Photo of the Week

This week's photo shows some of the first Iowa Blues Hall of Fame inductees. From Left to Right, Gene Jackson, the late Rick Lussie, Harlan Thomas, and George Davis. Seated is the late, great, Jimmy Pryor. this picture may have been taken during the second hall of fame induction. I am not sure, but it is a nice picture, and I also posted it on the yahoo email list. BTW, it sounds like the Hall of Fame is getting close to announcing this years inductees. I will post it as soon as it is official.