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Friday, September 21, 2007

Woody Guthrie: John Henry

Woody Guthrie playing one of the older blues songs, John Henry. I don't know who the other players are with Guthrie, but it is a really neat short clip of the great folk singer.


I found another video from youtube, that features Alan Lomax. What I found out is that the two players with Woody are Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGee!!! This is a nice clip worth watching again just to hear the stories about Woody Guthrie:-)

Joe Bonamassa: Bridge To Better Days

Nice clip from Dutch TV of Joe Bonamassa doing Bridge To Better Days.

Blogcritic: Joe Bonamassa, Sloe Gin

Sometimes I wonder just what the reviewers are smoking, when I wade through their reviews! This review from blogcritic (click here) is 80% about the reviewer, blogcritic, and the BC podcast. Oh yeah, and then two paragraphs about Joe's CD. Boy, I bet Joe is happy about that review:-) I haven't heard the disc, so I can't help you with any details. However, as I always say if you are a fan of Joe's buy the CD!!! Blues cats are having hard times right now. Think about how to make a living when gas is 3-4 dollars a gallon!!!! Add on top of that people that download your music for free! Personally I don't mind if you download my original music, since I need the exposure, but guys who have press already need the money. SO QUIT STEALING THEIR MUSIC!!! Steal mine instead:-)

David Jacob Strain Interview

The Corvallis Gazette Times has an article about David Jacob Strain a 23 year old delta style bluesman. I really like what he has to say about the blues, and his respect and knowledge of pre war blues. Unlike a lot of kids that I have made fun of on this blog for talking about what they don't know, this kid actually knows what he is talking about. Check out this cool interview HERE.

Blogcritic: Sleepy John Estes, Sleepy John Estes On The Chicago Blues Scene

Blogcritic has a review of a Delmark Reissue of Sleepy John Estes. This recording features Carey Bell, Sunnyland Slim, and Jimmy Dawkins. For more info check out the review from Blogcritic HERE.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Elvin Bishop: Slow Blues

Elvin Bishop playing some great slow blues. The video is a little choppy, but it is still really good for a hand held video.

James Brown: Sex Machine

I looked and looked for a blues band video from House Of Blues. Now I am sure someone has something somewhere! All of those House Of Blues, and no blues???? James Brown is as close as I could find, so enjoy the Godfather of soul at the House Of Blues.

Otis Taylor Plays Benifit For The Kids

Otis Taylor is one of the good ones. Tonight he played a benefit for Midland School. It is a private school near Santa Barbara. To read more about it, check out this article for the Santa Barbara Independent.

Ain't No Blues At The House Of Blues Take 984

I am sure my friend Dick Deluxe is singing the blues somewhere, but not at the House of Blues! (Click Here to hear Deluxe sing about the house of blues) However, Mandy Moore that great blues diva is singing at the house of blues!!!! IN Cleveland!!!! Wow! I wonder how many of dem old bluz standards she is going to sing:-) Yikes!!! Why do they even call it house of blues?????

Elvin Bishop Interview

A nice short interview with Elvin Bishop from the Kansas City Star. Bishop will be part of the blues Paw a Looza show in Kansas City. Also appearing are Little Ed and the Blues Imperials, and Blues Caravan. Read the interview HERE.

The schedule for Saturday from the Kansas City Star.

The first Blues-a-Paw-Looza, a benefit for Wayside Waifs and the Kansas City Blues Society, begins at 3 p.m. Saturday at 3901 Martha Truman Road. Satellite parking and a shuttle service will be available. The schedule: Mike Elrod’s Blues All-Stars, 3-3:45 p.m.; the Blues Caravan, 4-6 p.m.; Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, 6:30-8 p.m.; and Elvin Bishop, 8:30-10 p.m. Tickets are $30. For more information, visit or call 816-761-8151.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Naomi Mather: Smokestack lighting

hmmmmmmmmmm, I knew there was a reason I liked that other song:-) If you follow the comments then you probably know what I am talking about. BTW, I don't know who Naomi Mather is, but I like her version a lot!

Hubert Hubert Sumlin And David Johansen: Smokestack Lighting

I thought it would be easy to find a video of Howling Wolf singing Smokestack Lighting, but no such luck. So after wading through a bunch of videos I found one of Hubert Sumlin, who played with wolf, and David Johansen on vocals. Johansen who was with the New York Dolls years ago, and has been various other persona over the years, does a great job of singing like the wolf:-)

Old Town Blues Fest Lansing Michigan

Lansing Michigan, a town that truly knowns the blues, has a cool festival this weekend. known as the Old Town Blues Fest. It has some great bands, plus movies! For more information please check out their website HERE.

Here is the lineup from the festival website:

Friday, September 21

5:00-5:35 pm — Happy Hour with Frog & the Beeftones — North Stage

5:00-6:00 pm — Happy hour - beverage tent admission free! 21+ only.

5:30-6:30 pm — Stories in the Blues: Down by the Riverside Acoustic Jam — River Stage

6:00-6:45 pm — Those Delta Rhythm Kings — South Stage

6:30-7:30 pm — Stories in the Blues: Why I Play the Blues — River Stage

7:00-8:15 pm — Old Town Blues Band — North Stage

7:30-8:30 pm — Stories in the Blues: Our Town, Our Songs, Our Blues — River Stage

8:15-9:30 pm — Reverend Raven — South Stage

9:30-11:15 pm — Harper — North Stage

11:15 pm-12:30 am — 6 Hands Down — South Stage

Saturday, September 22

2:00-2:45 pm — Messing with the Kidz — South Stage

2:00-3:00 pm — Kids Harmonica Fun Shop — River Stage

2:30-3:30 pm — BlueMovie: Born in the Honey, The Pinetop Perkins Story — Studio 1210

3:00-3:45 pm — Kathleen & the Blues Junkies — North Stage

3:30-4:30 pm — New Orleans Blues Dueling Pianos — River Stage

3:45-5:00 pm — BlueMovie: Ten Days Out ... Blues from the Backroads — Studio 1210

4:00-4:45 pm — Mike Espy Band with Yakity Yak — South Stage

4:30-5:30 pm — Delta Blues, Slide Guitar - Workshop with Stan Budzynski — River Stage

5:00-6:15 pm — Josh Boyd and the V.I.P. Band — North Stage

5:15-6:30 pm — BlueMovie: Last of the Mississippi Jukes — Studio 1210

6:00-7:00 pm — Mike Daniels Blues Drum Clinic — River Stage

6:15-7:00 pm — Stan Budzynski & 3rd Degree — South Stage

6:45-8:00 pm — BlueMovie: American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966 — Studio 1210

7:15-8:00 pm — Jan James — North Stage

7:30-8:30 pm — Joe Baldino — River Stage

8:15-9:00 pm — Root Doctor — South Stage

9:15-10:30 pm — Smokin' Joe Kubek featuring Bnois King — North Stage

10:30 pm-12:30 am — Bad Gravy Blues Jam Showcase — South Stage

Blue Shoe Project

The Blue Shoe Project is a great Blues in Schools outfit that brings some great blues players to schools. Honey Boy Edwards participated in a few of them recently. Here is an article from Pegasus News about the latest Blues Shoe Project in Texas.

Mem Shannon Article

a nice short article about New Orlean's Mem Shannon from Beach Connection net. Mem has gone from Taxi driver, to traveling bluesman! Read all about it HERE.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Louis Jordan: G I Jive

Louis Jordan doing one of his great jump blues tunes.

Black Ace

This is a really nice clip of Black Ace. Looks like it was recorded in his living room.

Fort Worth Weekly CD Reivew: Black Ace, I Am The Boss Card In Your Hand

The Forth Worth Weekly has an outstanding review of a reissue of Black Ace's I Am The Boss Card In Your Hand. What makes the review so great is that it is also great history. It tells not only the story of Black Ace, but also of Chris Strachwitz, who founded Arhoolie records. This is a must read for anyone interested in blues history. Check it out HERE.

Lyle Lovett Interview

The Houston Chronicle has an interview with Lyle Lovett. Lyle is one of those eclectic artists who can play any style. He is loved by blues, jazz, and country fans, and never disappoints with outstanding live shows. For the interview click HERE.

Blues History Class At Purdue/ Buena Vista University

Channel 18 in Lafayette Indiana has a story about a blues history class offered by Purdue University. On Thursday they are putting on a performance called, Juneteeth The Cotton Club Review. For more details click HERE.

I did receive word that my blues history class is on the schedule again for J-Term at Buena Vista University. Once again I am lining up artists to perform. I am very interested in any national artists who would like to give a short lecture to a class of 20 kids, and then perform a set for them in the school auditorium. If anyone is interested please email me at

Monday, September 17, 2007

Albert King: I'll Play The Blues For You

Concert footage of Albert King from 1989. A nice combination of blues and soul!

Muddy Waters: Long Distance Call

This is an awesome video of Muddy Waters singing about a love that is a long ways from home. Muddy's voice and his guitar always had this incredible gift for the blues. Perhaps he wasn't as technically proficient as some of his contemporaries, but he could make the guitar sing in such a lonesome way that it gives chills down your back.

Bukka White: Please Don't Put Your Daddy Outdoors

Bukka White performing for a small group of players, and is joined by Howling Wolf.

The Late Willie Tee Interview And Obit

Louisiana Weekly has a cool interview with the late Willie Tee. It also includes an obit as well. It is a nice article to remember one of the good ones. Read it all HERE.

Muslim Influence On The Blues

The Saudi Armco World, (Click HERE)has an interesting article about Muslim influence on the blues. At this point I am not sure what to make of it. Certainly Islam was around Africa at the time Europeans were gathering West Africans and transporting them to the Americas. However, I do believe the author is making one mistake comparing a call to prayer song, and a work song as evidence. The work song that they have certainly sounds similar to the call to prayer, but it is also an anomaly as a work song. In other words, it has the structure of a work song, but its melody and vocal are different from a lot of the work songs that I have heard. Yet, anything is possible when dealing with a music that has roots so far down, and so long ago, that it is probably impossible to tell where they start.

Blogcritic: Big Mama Thorton, Big Mama Thorton

It appears that Vanguard has reissued some Big Mama Thorton songs. For a full review check out dependable Blogcritic HERE.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Taylor Hicks: People Get Ready

Terry tipped me off to this video. A timeless song that many blues bands have covered, originally by Percy Mayfield.

Artist Of The Week: James Morrison

I stumbled onto this kid while watching Ballykissangel videos. Okay, I know very unblues like, but hey I like Ireland ok!!!!!!!!! So anyway, I saw this fan video, and I really like the music, so I followed up on it, and found this kid who is a soul singer in England named James Morrison. This is some good stuff, so enjoy the videos located at the left side of the blog.

Photo Of The Week: Jody Bodley And Dewey Cantrell

Okay, so my friends can be a little weird:-) This is Jody Bodley and Dewey Cantrell playing probably 8 years ago at one of the Central Iowa Blues Society pub crawls. I think the band was Blues Bureau. These two characters can really put on a show. Jody has a voice like Janis Joplin, and Dewey is a master guitar player who has a pretty decent voice himself. The two of them still play in Des Moines. Occasionally as a two piece but mostly as a band.

Blues Historian Review: Robben Ford, Truth

This is the first review of a blues disc here at Blues Historian, so lets start!

Robben Ford's Truth, is an outstanding disc for your CD collection. It is a nice mix of blues rock, soul, and jazz/blues/rock/fusion. Perhaps blues purists use to shuffle, shuffle, slow blues wont find something here for them, but for the rest of us who like good music, this disc is great.

The disk really takes me back to the late 70s when bands were still experimenting with combining blues, jazz, and rock. This disk is very much like Climax Blues Band's Reel to Reel, or any of the great albums put out by Blood Sweat and Tears after the mid 70s. This disc, and those albums features complex arrangements, with incredibly tight bands that could make seamless transitions from blues to jazz to rock. Ford has a great mix of Musicians that truly know how to craft a song, and mix it up with something more than the old standby shuffle, followed by a slow blues.

I like Lateral Climb, which is probably the only real blues song on the disc. It is a contemporary blues shuffle, that rocks out with the best of them. I imagine that Lateral Climb is probably the cut for the blues radio shows. If not it should be. A song that I really like that for some reason has been panned by the critics, is Riley B King. This is a nice mellow blue eyed soul tune. I can even imagine James Taylor singing this one in his hey day. I have never understood why a good pop tune can be panned so universally, and yet be so good. I suppose that critics and their tin ears just don't get it. Most of them have never played an instrument, and have no clue what goes into making music, but they have listened to hours of music so I guess that makes them an expert. I think it is too bad, because Riley B King, is a nice song, and a heartfelt tribute to BB King. One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor is an old Paul Simon song, that also features the vocals of the amazing Susan Tedeschi. I must admit that my current upstairs neighbors have made this song almost a theme song of my current situation:-) Tedeschi vocals really add a lot to the song. Her voice just bleeds soul! Moonchild Blues ends up the set of songs. It starts out as a pretty typical blues tune, but towards the end it veers into more a jazz fusion song, which is pretty interesting. It really is a lot like the whole album a pleasant mixture of some great music.

So does this album rate in the top of the blues pantheon of blues recordings. Nope, probably not, but is this the type of CD that you want in your car or CD changer at home on high rotation. YUP!! This CD sits in my car and I listen to it as I travel all over Iowa. It is one of those albums that may never get any real recognition, or a lot of airplay, but it will probably be one of your treasured albums (if it they were still vinyl that is:-) that you will play until the groves wear out:-)