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Archive for April, 2013|Monthly archive page

2013 Jazz Fest Has Blues Music Celebrated In New Orleans

In Blues Festival, Blues News on April 27, 2013 at 2:39 pm

NEW ORLEANS — Singer John Mayer sang his hits after local-born bluesman Dr. John performed hometown favorites such as “Iko Iko” on Friday to close out the sun-drenched first day of the 2013 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

They were among the final performers on a day heavy on Louisiana-influenced music….MORE

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Chicago Blues Guitarist Jimmy ‘Fast Fingers’ Dawkins Dies

In Blues News on April 16, 2013 at 5:31 am

Chicago bluesman Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins, known for his stellar guitar playing and mellow singing voice, has died. He was 76.

Delmark Records owner Bob Koester said Friday that Dawkins died Wednesday. The cause of death wasn’t immediately known.

James Henry Dawkins was born in Tchula, Miss. An only child, Dawkins taught himself to play guitar before moving to Chicago in the 1950s.

Koester said Dawkins did not begin his music career immediately, working instead in a box factory before taking to Chicago’s streets to play for tips. He formed a band in the 1960s and began working Chicago’s blues clubs, gaining a reputation as an excellent side man and playing with such notables as Otis Rush and Buddy Guy.

Dawkins first album, “Fast Fingers,” released on the Delmark label in 1969, boosted Dawkins’ reputation, particularly in Europe and Japan, where he toured frequently. MORE

Music Maker Relief promotes Southern blues

In Blues News on April 6, 2013 at 11:02 am

In today’s world many older American music traditions have fallen into the background. Southern blues, once one of the most important music genres in North Carolina, is now only rarely acknowledged as a genre by a younger generation of music listeners. The Music Maker Relief Foundation has been working to bring attention back to Southern blues, a genre that has both directly and indirectly inspired many of the styles of music that we hear today, said Tim Duffy, founder and executive director of Music Maker. “Musicians are constantly looking toward the South for inspiration,” he added.

The organization aims to support Southern musicians, not only through finding gigs but also providing transportation, documentation and recording opportunities. Many of the artists supported by this organization are working-class, and few are professional musicians…MORE

Fleetwood Mac star helps blues singer he saw on YouTube to hit the big time

In Blues News on April 2, 2013 at 8:56 am

An aspiring blues artist who thought his dreams were finished when an accident left him partially blind has been “discovered” by rock star Mick Fleetwood, thanks to a YouTube clip.

At 16, Dan Owen nearly lost an eye when a piece of wood flew out of a machine and hit him during his carpentry apprenticeship.

He was in and out of hospital for months and had to give up his goal of becoming a guitar maker. For a while he felt sorry for himself, but then got into blues music and started gigging  — securing an opportunity to play at last summer’s British Blues Awards. MORE