Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ever Loved a Woman?

Then you'd better listen to the preachin' blues by Johnny Shines and learn that if you do, 'You Gotta to Pay the Cost'!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Remembering Big Bill Broonzy

On this day in 1893, blues guitar pioneer Big Bill Broonzy was born in Mississippi. He would become one of the most prolific blues singers of all time (having over 200 recorded) in his career spanning from 1927 till his death in 1958.

He was a fiddle player, but switched to the guitar when he moved to Chicago in the 20's. From there he blossomed into a seasoned musician, and influencing many others, including the likes of Muddy Waters, who recorded a cover album of Broonzy's songs as a tribute.

Many of his songs have become blues standards, such as Key to the Highway, Hey Hey, and others.

We salute Big Bill for his contribution to the blues and to music. Below is a rare performance of "It Was a Dream":

Leisure Suit Larry's Remake Jazzy Soundtrack

I am a huge fan of old school video games (see my post on Police Quest 2), so it was a great joy to see that the old Sierra game Leisure Suit Larry is being remade by it's original creator, Al Lowe.



One of the great things about that game was the soundtrack, even though it was done on a retro 8 bit PC speaker. For the remake, Austin Wintory stepped to the helm and man the music is great! The music is inspired by the early era swing / big band jazz music.

You can stream the album on his Bandcamp page here; and if you like it, it only costs $6. The game will be released this month on Steam and later on mobile devices.

The new main theme featuring a clip from the original game is called Larry Reloaded (first track):

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Buddy Guy's Latest Album Cover Art Revealed

Living blues legend Buddy Guy has released the cover art for his latest album "Rhythm & Blues", which will be released on July 30. He's camouflaged in polka dots just like his signature Fender Stratocaster!

Buddy Guy is currently the ambassador of blues music today and it's awesome to see him perform and record even at this age!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bobby 'Blue' Bland Passes Away

Bobby Blue Bland in 2011
Source: Rick Diamond/Getty Images North America

The highly influential rhythm & blues musician Bobby 'Blue' Bland has passed away on Sunday June 24th, at the age of 83. Bobby Bland was known to be "The Sinatra of the Blues", as his style was more soulful and classy as opposed of the raw blues of the 50's era.

He was inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981, the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and recieved a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

His most famous song is 'Farther Up The Road' which hit #1 on the US R n' B chart in 1957, which you can see a live version of below.

RIP Bobby and thanks for the music!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hear 'Austin City Blues' off of Booker T's New Album

Booker T will be releasing his new album "Sound The Alarm" on the 25th of June. It is said he will be returning to the raw sound of the old days of the Booker T and The MG's, such as their 1962 classic "Green Onions".

He's teamed up with some great musicians such as Gary Clarke Jr, who is featured on the song Austin City Blues (check it below).

And get this, it will be released on Stax Records, the original label that released all his music back in the day. Should be a great release!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Muddy Waters' Home Renovation Funding Project Underway

The Muddy Waters House in Chicago is on 4339 S. Lake Park. The King of the Blues lived and jammed in this historic home between 1954 and 1974. The house has been in a state of decay for a while now. 

However, Muddy’s grandson, Steven Mckinley Monson, has just announced the “Mo Money Mo Blues” campaign to raise funds to restore the home. They are asking for $100,000. 

This is a significant landmark for the city of Chicago, as this was the man who set the blues on fire and to mass popularity. It's a shame it hasn't been taken care of in a long time. 

The campaign site is over here, and on Facebook here.

Watch the campaign video below, featuring James Cotton, one of Muddy's main band members in the 50's.

The Blues According to The Simpsons

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dust Bowl Blues

It's been a hot, dusty, messy week here in Kuwait... I can't help but think we're back in that dust bowl mood from last year.

To celebrate the dusty weather, here's Woody Guthrie's "Dust Bowl Blues" to keep us going through this...

I guess you've heard about ev'ry kind of blues,

I guess you've heard about ev'ry kind of blues,
But when the dust gets high, you can't even see the sky.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Blues From Detroit: Little Sonny

We always hear about Chicago blues, Delta blues, or Texas blues... but not so much about Detroit blues!

In truth Detroit also housed several bluesmen who moved up north from the Southern states such as Mississippi and Tennessee, much like Chicago did. Detroit was the major hub of the automobile industry back in the pre-and post-war era.  However Chicago had a much higher output of musicians and it became the center of the electric blues sound.

They are quite similar in sound and concept, and the most famous of the Detroit bluesmen is John Lee Hooker, but many others such as Baby Boy Warren, Bobo Jenkins, LC Greene, and Little Sonny, had fame.

Here's Little Sonny's debut single from 1958 called 'I Gotta Find My Baby":

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

James Cotton's New Album 'Cotton Mouth Man'

James Cotton, one of the last remaining Chicago blues legends, released his latest album called 'Cotton Mouth Blues' on Alligator Records.

Here's a snippet from the official release [site]:

"His new Alligator album, Cotton Mouth Man, is a joyous celebration of his life in the blues. Recorded in Nashville and produced by Grammy-winning producer/songwriter/drummer Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Joe Louis Walker, Susan Tedeschi), the album is a riveting, good-time musical journey through sounds and scenes from Cotton's long and storied career. With seven songs co-written by Cotton (more originals than he's ever included on one release) and Hambridge (who co-wrote five additional tracks), the stories the album tells are Cotton's own, inspired by his colorful and sometimes perilous life. Throughout the CD Cotton's blast-furnace harmonica sound and larger-than-life personality are front and center."

James Cotton is most known for playing the harp in Muddy Waters blues bands in the 50's (and reunited with him for the 1977 Grammy winning album 'Hard Again'), and after going solo, won a Grammy Award in 1996 for Best Traditional Blues Album, 'Deep in the Blues'. He stepped back a little after getting throat cancer, but now he's back in full swing!

Check out the title track off the new album, which is available now, featuring Joe Bonamassa!

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Look into the Church of St. John Coltrane

John Coltrane's 1964 album, A Love Supreme, is considered to be one of the best jazz albums of all time, and among the best of music in general.

Kristina Loring of KALW Radio in San Francisco, California, has written a very detailed and interesting article about the African Orthodox of John Coltrane. As discussed here before (see the link above), there is a church dedicated to the musical message of John Coltrane and was named a Saint by the African Orthodox Church.

Here's a quick excerpt from the article:

I would say Coltrane Consciousness is the divine formula,” Marlee-I Hand says. She has many roles in the church that range from choir singer to outreach to drummer in the band. “Acknowledge, resolution pursuance to reach the love supreme, so acknowledge god, resolve to do all you can and continually pursue everyday. That’s Coltrane Consciousness. Follow those steps, that’s it. coltrane gave us the key.

Read the full article [here], and do so while listening to "Acknowledgement", from the Love Supreme album.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

You Can't Have the Blues...

All in good fun folks :)

Today Marks Eric Dolphy's Final Concert Album

On this day in 1964, jazz great Eric Dolphy recorded what would be his final concert album, "Last Date" in Holland. He would die on the 29th of the same month.

Eric Dolphy has an unorthodox style and he was highly influential in avant-garde and free jazz; his performances with John Coltrane are now considered staples of jazz, and he became a great band leader in his own right. He died at an early age where jazz really took off in the craziest of ways.

Below is a track of the concert, called "Hypochristmutreefuzz". Don't ask, just listen.