Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Fender Guitars / Basses for 2016

Another year another NAMM show!

This year, Fender announced some new models, although I am not happy with the slim offerings. The biggest news is that they renamed the American Deluxe Series to American Elite (a throwback to the 80's and 90's for sure). The series continues the same look of the American Deluxe, with some minor upgrades, like a flatter, compound radius neck.

Also, a new series of acoustics and amps.

 They also discontinued several old models and reduced the color options on current ones (always a bad idea!).

Sunday, January 17, 2016

'Me and the Devil Blues' - A New Blues Comic Strip

My good buddy Grego Anderson over at Mojohand has informed me of his new 2016 project: a Blues music themed comic strip, “Me and the Devil Blues” - the adventures of Blind Hambone Jefferson - a modern day Blues man who wishes he wouldn’t have sold his soul to the Devil.

Below is a sample strip, go check out the full website [here]!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

'You're Gonna Need Me' - Albert King

Albert King is one of the leading staples of blues music; his guitar prowess and soulful vibe led to many players, such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, to take King as a mentor.

In 1969 he released 'You're Gonna Need Me', and while it's your cold standard 12-bar blues, he was at this phase in his career experimenting with soul; indeed, his 1972 album "I'll Play the Blues For You" featured members of Issac Hayes' band and the funk band Bar-Keys, and was a very soul/funk trip.

His guitar playing shines here as usual, in his unique reverse guitar style.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Upcoming Blues Releases to Watch Out For

2016 has only just begun, we have a huge year to look forward to for blues music!

Here's a few upcoming albums to watch out for!

1. Old Jam, New Blood - Robert Cray featuring Stevie Ray Vaughan (Live 1987)

2. I'll Play the Blues For You / LIVE - Buddy Guy

3. Luxury Hobo - Big Boy Bloater & The Limits

4. Detroit Style- Bob Seely

5Classic Chicago Blues (LIVE & UNRELEASED ) - Nick Holt, Bonnie Lee, John Primer

Monday, January 4, 2016

Continuing the Tradition: 'Dubai Jazz Fest' Ain't Got no Jazz

Happy New Year folks!

I wanted to discuss this issue as my first post of 2016 because frankly, it STILL fucking bugs me.

It is said you should let things go, to leave people be, to let them do what their own thing; and that you shouldn't let anyone bother you.

But in our case, I cannot let the Dubai Jazz Fest debacle go. The sidelining of jazz music at a show that's supposed to be it's namesake keeps going on, with no end in sight.

I wrote about this many, many, MANY times. If you are unfamiliar, let me quickly break it down for you:

In 2012, I posted a news update about Deep Purple headlining the Dubai Jazz Fest ('DJF' from now on), and at my unhappiness about that. Later, and in several posts, I showed how bad the organizers handled criticism towards them, like by deleting posts or telling people to 'deal with it'. Also, I mentioned how they were trying to broaden the scope of the event without giving us the 'jazz' portion.

In 2014, they had  jazz artists finally, but were shoved in the "Jazz Garden", a separate venue from the main stage where the 'big' artists will perform, and gave them short playing time.

So, back again this year, LOOK WHO WE HAVE:


Before you guys go apeshit on me, Chris Botti (headliner with Sting) is a jazz trumpeter, however most of his music is based on pop music. Plus Sting is with him so that doesn't count.

And Postmodern Jukebox, who mainly got famous for making viral Facebook posts on their covers of modern songs, while talented, if not gimmicky, are not hardcore enough for real jazz fans.

In 2003, Dubai Jazz Fest had FUCKING ARCHIE SCHEPP,  BILLY COBHAM, & STANLEY JORDAN for fucks sake. That is the kind of jazz we want to see. 

If I, a self-proclaimed blues and jazz fan, wants to dish out hundreds of dirhams to see such an extravagant event, it would be pretty much against what I would want out of a jazz event. 

My rant might be getting old and redundant, and falling on deaf ears. But the DJF is doing the same. 

The official website of the DJF is [here]. But until then, the real home of Jazz in the Middle East is at the Jazz at Lincoln Center - Doha, and the small hotspots in Beirut.