Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Happy Birthday John Lee Hooker

On August 22, John Lee Hooker was born in Mississippi. Hooker was one of the most influential bluesmen of our times, having released several songs that have become blues standards, like 'Boom Boom', 'Boogie Chillen', 'I'm in the Mood', and many more.

His unusual guitar playing, emphasizing heavy bass rhythms, drive and tone, and his raspy voice, made him a force to be reckoned with. Many British rock bands covered his music and it elevated him to stardom.

In the 90's he reentered the spotlight and saw tremendous success. He died in 2001.

He was inducted to the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Enjoy an entire album of John Lee Hooker below!

Monday, August 15, 2016

So I Got a Buddy Guy Autograph

My man in Chicago, Steve Harper, went to Buddy Guy's Legends Blues Club, and met the OG himself.

Being the great guy he is, he asked Buddy to autograph his most recent Grammy winning release 'Born to Play the Guitar' and address it to me:

I now have fulfilled a dream, even if it was by proxy. Thank you Steve for this amazing gift; although I have this album on vinyl, it will be great in the car!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Signed a Record Deal, Album Announced

You can tell I'm excited.

I am happy to announce that I have signed a record deal with Ajna Records, owned and run by Nawaf Gheraibah, a highly talented and influential musician; we have previously worked together on several occasions,  the biggest one being the Bija Concert in 2012.

With this news we announced that my debut album will be released sometime in early 2017; and along the way I will be posting my progress. The album will be fully written and composed by me, and will be a traditional blues album, inspired by songs of old (as is the blues tradition!).

I do have a sneak detail though; the opening track of the album will be called 'Dbayeh Highway Blues'.

Thanks to Ajna and Nawaf for the wonderful opportunity!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

New Fender Basses for Fall 2016

New Fender bass guitars have been announced; a new Flea (of Red Hot Chili Peppers) Signature Bass, and three upgrades to old models; here we go:

Flea Jazz Bass

Deluxe Active Precision Bass Special (has a passive/active switch now!)

Deluxe Active Dimension Bass (4 & 5 string)

Deluxe Active Jazz Bass (4 & 5 string)


The Flea Bass was a nice surprise; Flea has been using his vintage Fender Jazz a lot and to make a replica of it is a sign of his true love for it. He's had many endorsements previously with Modulus, but this thing is a bare-bones powerhouse. 

Apart from the P-Bass Special, which now has a much needed passive/active switch, the other new upgrades aren't worth mentioning. I don't even know what's new about the Jazz Bass. 

Nothing too revolutionary, but with Fender you don't really need that.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Vinyl Watch: Super Super Blues Band

A few years ago I posted about this huge collaborative effort between the three blues giants Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Bo Diddley; and now the album is being re-released as a limited edition vinyl via Jackpot Records.

This historically meaningful album also features other blues giants Otis Spann, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, and Clifton James.

The vinyl will release in a limited color on August 26. I have started a small vinyl blues collection so this would be something on my radar!

Here's another song off the album, Howlin' Wolfs' 'Little Red Rooster':

Monday, August 1, 2016

'Born With the Blues' - Memphis Slim

Memphis Slim was one of the main pillars of blues in the mid-40 onwards, alongside other great blues pianists like Otis Spann, Sunnyland Slim, and Pinetop Perkins.

His major blues standard was 'Everyday I Have the Blues', which was covered by many artists.

He moved to Paris in the early 1960's and remained there until his death in 1988.

The following tune was recorded in France in 1962, in his signature mellow, late-night blues style.