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Friday, October 12, 2007

Charles Brown: I Stepped In Quicksand

Probably one of my favorite blues piano players, Charles Brown doing a classic slow shuffle in the Kansas City blues style!

Sonny Terry And Brownie McGhee: Key To The Highway

Probably the first blue record I ever had in my hands was a 45 of Browne McGhee and Sonny Terry. I didn't realize what I had because I was just a little kid, but I remember liking the music. Here Browne, and Sonny are playing a Big Bill Broonzy song, with the great folk singer, Pete Seeger playing along. BTW, I did get to meet Pete Seeger almost 20 years ago at a folk festival held out at living history farms in Des Moines. I was working security, and Pete came up and talked to me for about five minutes. He was one of the nicest persons I have ever met. I only wish I could have seen the concert, but from my position I could just hear bits and pieces of it.

An Article To Start A Discussion

I am not sure what to make of this article. There's No Such Thing As White Blues, from The Daily Tar Heel, a student newspaper from the University of North Carolina. I am not sure if the kid gets it or not. It is not a question of white, or black, so much as it is a question of who you are, and if you understand the dynamics of the past and the present. Jena is a great example of just how much farther we need to go in this country when it comes to race.

What happened in Jena (for news accounts of Jena click here) is symptomatic of a lot of the problems that plague our country. The coarsening of our political dialog, and bombastic right wing radio have allowed racial hatred to grown in this country. While they coach their language in welfare cheats, special treatment for minorities,(aka affirmative action) the crazy idea that Mexican immigrants don't pay taxes,(they pay income, sales, and if they own a home property tax) and then say that they are not racist. However, if you look at the group of people that they have the most issues with, it is people of color.

Returning to the blues, I think there is also an economic factor as well. Buddy Guy had a great song about how crazy it is for some guy who has never been poor, singing about how bad he has it! Buddy knows the blues, and it goes back to the reality of the blues. In order to play the blues you have to live the blues. This is true, because if you are singing about things that you have no understanding about then how could you possibly relate to the song? The best blues performers sing songs that come from the heart. Just read any of the interview that are linked on this site and you will see that the great ones really know the blues from personal experience.

I think the kid who wrote the article has his heart in the right place. I don't think the blues is about white or black, or green, yellow, or purple, but it is about what is in your heart, and putting some miles in your shoes! Trust me, the older you get the better you get at the blues.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Skip James: Skip's Worried Blues

Here is a great video of the legend Skip James.

Jimmy Rushing: Kc Style Blues Medley

A nice medley of KC Style blues sung by Jimmy Rushing.

Keb Mo: Love In Vain

Keb Mo covering Robert Johnson's Love in Vain.

BB King In San Deigo

BB is king of the blues, but he also a great guy. BB donates money and time for charity events. Here is an article from the Union Tribune, about King and his work with The San Diego charity group Photocharity.

Steve Miller Memorial Blues Bash.

Former Iowan, and Iowa blues Hall of Fame member, the late Steve Miller, has a memorial blues bash named for him. It takes place in Florida. Here are the details. From the Steve Miller website. Click Here to see more.

5th Annual Stephen Miller Memorial Blues Bash
October 13, 2007


The Nighthawks, Barbara Blue, Jason Ricci & New Blood, Albert Castiglia, Art Harris and the Z-tones, Damon Fowler Group, Smokin' Torpedos, Tru Bluez & The Usual Suspects.

Concert held at Space Coast Harley – Davidson / Buell, Palm Bay, Florida


Stage B Presented by

12:15 PM to 1:00 PM – ART HARRIS & THE Z TONES

1:45 PM to 2:45 PM - TRU BLUEZ



8:15 PM to 9:30 PM - BARBARA BLUE – Queen of Beale Street, MEMPHIS

Stage A Presented by

11:00 PM to 11:30 PM – Opening Comments


1:00 PM to 1:45 PM – SMOKIN' TORPEDOES

2:45 PM to 3:45PM – BILL BLUE


6:45 PM to 8:00 PM – JASON RICCI & NEW BLOOD

9:45 PM to 11:00 PM – THE NIGHTHAWKS

**Artist and times are subject to change without notice

Illinois Blues Festival Update

Illinois blues sent an email update today. Here are some blues fest coming up soon:

This weekend brings the Voice of the Wetlands Festival in Houma, Louisiana, Annual Blues and Jazz Festival in Salisbury, North Carolina, the Stephen Miller Memorial Blues Bash in Palm Bay, Florida, the Columbia Blues Festival in Columbia, South Carolina, the Elroy Bike Meet & Blues Fest in Elroy, Wisconsin and the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise leaving from San Diego, CA. Support Live Blues near you by attending one of these events!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

RL Burnside: Big Boss Man

Classic blues from a classic bluesman! Mr. RL Burnside! BTW, the guitar player that looks lost is Dave Stewart formally of the Eurythmics. one of the keys to playing the blues is the ability to listen. Some blues cats have their own rhythm, and sense of melody. You really have to listen for them to go to the four, (musician talk for chord change) instead of just going where it is suppose to be. Some singers like John Lee Hooker might just vamp on the one chord until he felt like moving to the four chord. So you have to listen and go with the singer. In Kansas City, Little Hatch was like that, and his bands always were on top of it. It is a great way to learn the blues, because Hatch would play the same song different each time he tried it! In a way it keeps thing fresh, because you just don't know what they guy is going to do:-) However, one of the great things about playing with Jimmy Pryor, was that Jimmy had a great sense of time, and he never lost it. even when he was in his upper 80s he always was where he was suppose to be in a song, so it was very easy to play for him. Unfortunatly RL, Hatch, John Lee, and Jimmy have left us. God bless everyone of them.

Dr. Ross: Feelin Good

Nice one man delta blues band:-)

Johnny Max Band: Mercy

I don't know where this band is from. The post says United States, but I swear the accent of the singer at the beginning is either British, or Irish. Either way, they do a great version of Don Covey's Mercy, especially considering that they are really a three piece band with a lead vocalist. Nice job! They do a second song that is pretty funky following Mercy.

Ed Vadas Interview

I must admit I don't know a lot about Ed Vadas, in fact I know nothing, but I love the picture of him, and article that goes with it from the Valley Advocate! As the author states their isn't a lot of blues in the valley, but then he rediscovers Ed! Read it HERE.

Honey Boy Edwards: Blues In Schools

A nice blues in schools article from, It features Honeyboy Edwards who played a blues in schools show at Georgetown Prep school in Maryland. What is amazing about Honeyboy, is that he is still doing 100 shows a year at the age of 92! Click here to read more.

Blog Critic: Nick Moss And The Flip Tops, Play It Till Tomorrow

Click Here, for a Blogcritic review of Nick Moss & The Flip Tops new double cd, Play It Till Tomorrow. According to the review it is a double CD. One is a studio release done in a Chicago blues style, while the other disc, is a live CD.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

George Harrison: Something

Might as well finish the trifecta :-) A Cool video of George Harrison doing Something live from the concert for Bangladesh.

Wow! Here is a video of George Harrison with Eric Clapton in Japan playing Something back in 1991.

Eric Clapton: Layla

Since Eric changed up the song in the 90s, many people have forgotten that Layla was a rocking tune! Here it is in its original format.

Eric Clapton: Late In The Evening

A song of Eric Clapton that was inspired by Pattie Boyd. Boyd was married to George Harrison when Clapton met her. He fell in love with her, and Harrison let her go to marry Clapton. Pattie Boyd inspired at least three hit songs between George Harrison and Eric Clapton. Harrison wrote Something, and Clapton wrote Layla, and Late in the Evening. BTW, if you play in a band it is important to know this song if you are playing a wedding, because almost everybody wants it as their first dance:-)

Biography and review of Eric Clapton's New Book

click here for a LA Times, review of Clapton's new book Clapton: The Autobiography. You might need a membership to read the article, but the La Times is free, and worth it. Much like the New York Times, the LA Times, has some great articles. I do understand that some of you that check the right side of the political box, have this bizarre belief that both these papers are liberal propaganda, but really think about it for a moment. Both of those papers are owned by huge corporations, and large corporations are very much conservative, and big time capitalists. Don't you think that they would get rid of those nasty liberals SINCE THEY OWN THE PLACE???? I hate to tell you this, but even Hollywood is run by corporations. hmmmmmmmmm, strange world we live in isn't it??????

All I can say is get over it, get a membership, and read a great article about Clapton. It will do you good:-)

Touring The Delta

This is a great story (Click HERE)that I found on the Canadian Press site, although I think that it is really a story from the AP by Justin Norton. It is about Norton and his tour of the Mississippi Delta. It is a really good story, and Norton writes a paragraph that tells me that he knows what he is talking about when it come to the Delta blues!

I arrive in Clarksdale after a daylong drive through Oklahoma and Arkansas, passing the famed "Crossroads" of blues legend as I enter town. The Crossroads have a special place in blues mythology as the location where aspiring musicians sold their soul to the Devil in exchange for musical prowess. A bluesman could wait at a crossroads at dark for the Devil, who would take the musician's guitar, tune it, and hand it back. The musicians could then play any song they wanted.

When blues artists referred to the Crossroads, they were likely talking about any number of backroads intersections, but the story has stuck to the intersection of Highways 61 and 49 in Clarksdale.

The story is usually associated with Robert Johnson, who hints at the diabolical on songs like "Hellhound on My Trail." But the myth of a Crossroads deal would be better attached to guitarist Tommy Johnson, who boasted about a backroads pact with a shadowy apparition. The Crossroads don't seem as menacing now with a kitschy sign of interlocking guitars marking the spot. But they are a sign that what matters here is the music - and your ability to play it well.

That is what good journalism is about. Doing your homework, and knowing what you are talking about!!

Eric Clapton Interivew

Eric Clapton interview by Matt Lauer on NBC. You can see the video, or read about it on the MSNBC website HERE.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Shemekia Copland: Who Stole My Radio

Shemekia Copeland performing a great rocking soul blues tune.

Billy Jones Bluez: Marry My Mother In Law

A really cool slow blues song from Billy Jones Bluez:-)

Young Jesse

I found a short clip of Young Jesse on Youtube! It is only a minute long, but it is nice to see he is still out there doing it!

Here is another short clip. this one is from the Rhythm Riot, which is a cool fest in
England that seeks out the forgotten blues, rhythm and blues, and doo wop artists.

Billy Jones bluez European Tour

Just got an email about the upcoming tour of Billy Jones Bluez. Those of you in Europe that read my blog need to check this guy out! This is the real deal people!!!!

European Tour Starts October 26th, 2007
Date Venue

26 Oct 2007 Club Bastion - Germany
27 Oct 2007 Elektra - Netherlands
28 Oct 2007 Blues Cruise @ De Meul'n
7 Nov 2007 Le Baladin - Italy
8 Nov 2007 Cafe Emmental - Switzerland
9 Nov 2007 Folkclub - Italy
10 Nov 2007 Cafe de Belsj - Netherlands
15 Nov 2007 Topos - Germany
16 Nov 2007 Cave 54 - Germany
17 Nov 2007 Folk Club - Austria
18 Nov 2007 Reigen - Vienna

Delta Blues Lives at The Ground Zero Club!

Ground Zero Club located in Clarksdale Mississippi, is keeping the blues alive by featuring great blues musicians from the delta. Click HERE, for an article from the National Post in Canada for an article about Ground Zero and their efforts to keep the blues alive.

Music Helps Alzheimer Patients

Not a post about blues, but an interesting discovery in Germany that music can help Alzheimer patients recover some memories. It does make sense that music has such a powerful impact on the mind. I think that sound, smell, and taste, are some very powerful senses that we know so little about. So get out those old records, and start playing them:-) (click here for the whole story from the Hindustan Times:-)

In Search Of Young Jessie

I recieved an email from a reader wanting more information about a forgotton doowop, blues singer named, Young Jessie. Young Jessie had a few hits in the 50s and has since sort of disappeared. I did a few internet searches, and came up with about the same information. If anyone knows if he is still around and performing PLEASE email me, or leave a comment! Thanks!!!


Loretta found this in a recent New Yorker online listing:


18 Commerce St., Red Hook, Brooklyn (718-797-3007)—July 13: Young Jessie, a Los Angeles-based vocalist who once sang with the Coasters and the Flairs and whose contributions to the R. & B. cannon include “Hit, Git and Split,” “Shuffle in the Gravel,” and “I Smell a Rat,” makes his first New York City appearance in nearly half a century. He’ll be joined by the legendary R. & B. figure the Mighty Hannibal. The fine local act the Dansettes will provide the backing for both and will perform a set of their own.

So at least he is still playing!! Hopefully someone can track down where he is playing this week:-)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Artist Of The Week Big Bill Broonzy

One of the coolest stories from Iowa Blues history, and Iowa State University history,(My alma mater!) is that for about a year Big Bill Broonzy called ISU, and Iowa home. In the early 50s Bill was having health problems due to the smoky clubs in Chicago. He had played a concert at ISU, and was hoping to find a job on a farm in Iowa! He wrote to a professor at ISU who found him work as a janitor. For a year Big Bill recuperated in Ames, and eventually got well enough to perform for students and faculty. Bill enjoyed his brief stay in Ames, and joked that he went to college there. Eventually Bill was offered several thousand dollars to perform in France. Once he left for France Big Bill restarted his career, and only returned to Ames to pick up his stuff. However, he died of throat cancer in 1958.

Photo Of The Week Jay Taylor Of Chilihead Records

This weeks photo is none other than the guy who made the Iowa Blues showcase sound so good. Jay Taylor, owner of Chilihead Records, recorded, mixed, and edited together around 16 two hour shows that later became the Iowa Blues Showcase. Jay did an excellent job, and if you happen to hear one of the Iowa Blues Showcase recording on my internet radio station then you are listening to his work. Jay made us all sound like pros! Be sure to click on the title of the post it will lead you to Jay's webpage.