Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 - Year in Blues

As the year comes to a close, I would like to wish everyone a bluesy new year, and for the coming year.

New Years is another day where we reflect on what we have achieved, and how we can improve. Usually, it involves getting fat and other non-completed resolutions from last year; as they say, making small hopes gives us a sort of purpose to keep going, even if it doesn't happen.

The biggest news for me this year was returning to my home city Beirut and performing at the Fete de la Musique; it was the first time in 10 years that I perform back home. 

Beirut Blues

In 2016, I'm hoping to have some music released, and looking forward to more gigs. So stay tuned to the only blues blog in town, and again you can stay in touch on Twitter and Facebook too.

Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

37th Blues Music Awards Nominees Announced

Another year, another Blues Music Awards!

The Blues Foundation has announced the date and nominees for the next annual event. It will take place, as usual, in Memphis, Tennessee, on May 5, 2016.

As for the nominees, here they are after the jump:

Sunday, December 20, 2015

New Photo of Robert Johnson Found, 3rd in Existence

I have previously discussed the mystique revolving around the photographic history of legendary bluesman Robert Johnson. The fact that only two photos of him exist just add to the his allure.

Well, after the recent discovery that a supposed picture turned out to be a fake, a real third one has been unearthed and confirmed.

The Houston Chronicle has stated that it was found "in an antique Winthrop desk, filled with odds and ends, bought in a 2013 auction'.

Lois Gibson, a forensic artist for the Houston Police confirmed it, and the Johnson estate has as well.

This is another great piece of history in blues music.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hear Pink Floyd Cover Slim Harpo's 'I'm a King Bee'

In a recent discovery, I found out that Pink Floyd, in their earliest bootleg recordings from 1965 (meaning they feature Syd Barrett) included a cover of the well known Blues standard 'I'm a King Bee'.

the 1965 First Recordings album

The song is [here].

It's always nice to see non-blues guys cover well known blues tunes; as a matter of fact it's not the only time the Floyd has played the blues!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The 58th Grammy Award Blues Nominees

Another year, another Grammy Awards!

The 58th ceremony nominees for the blues category (among the rest of course) have been announced yesterday, as follows:

This year we have some heavy contenders... let's go one by one:

1) Cedric Burnside is a grandson of legendary bluesman RL Burnside, and has won several Blues Music Awards in the past.

I couldn't find a studio version of his latest songs off the album so here's a live clip instead:

2) Shamekia Copeland is a blue/soul queen with a fabulous voice. She has held her own in the blues world and has won many awards.

3) Buddy Guy needs no introduction. He's the current OG of the blues world, leading the pack.

4) Bettye LaVette is a soul singer who rose to fame in mid-2000s, but has been singing and recording at a young age. She's got a versatile repertoire.

5) This last album, which I covered recently is mainly for John Primer, but various artists like Billy Branch, Gary Clark Jr., Shemekia Copeland, James Cotton, Bob Margolin are also involved. This album is a compilation of covers celebrating Muddy Waters' 100th birthday.

Personally, as a fan of old school Chicago blues, I predict this will be a toss-up between Buddy Guy and Joe Primer.

What do you think? Tune in on 15 February to find out!

Monday, December 7, 2015

'Third Degree' - Eddie Boyd

Eddie Boyd was a blues pianist, who like many of his compatriots, moved from Mississippi to Chicago in the early 1940's.

He is most known for his songs 'Five Long Years' and '24 Hours', but this song, 'Third Degree', is also one of his best. It was also co-written by the blues legend Willie Dixon.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

'Sad & Lonesome Blues' - Sunnyland Slim

Sunnyland Slim is one of the original gangstas when it comes to piano and shout blues. He was also a main pillar of early Chicago blues.

Here's a gritty tune featuring Lefty Bates on guitar, from 1955, to ease you to this lonesome month of December: