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Archive for the ‘Blues News’ Category

Buddy Guy: ‘I Worry About The Future Of Blues Music’

In Blues News on August 3, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Buddy Guy is the blues, and he’s our connection to a genre that’s embedded in the history of America. But it’s a sound the guitarist fears is fading.

Born and raised in Louisiana without running water or electricity, Guy tells NPR’s David Greene, “They got some mosquitoes in Louisiana that can almost lift you out of your bed,” which made his parents a little upset when he started tearing the metal wire off the screen door. He was trying to build a guitar… click here for more

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The Paul Butterfield Blues Band Impacted A Generation of Young Musicians

In Blues Harmonica, Blues News on August 15, 2013 at 10:39 am

For many white Blues musicians starting out in the 1960s and drawn in by Beatlemania, entry to the genre was led by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

American Blues singer and harmonica player Paul Butterfield was, in the words of one of his most famous recordings, ‘born in Chicago’ in 1942 (though the song says “19 and 41”). Paul was raised in the long time home of Barak Obama, Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. He attended a private school and studied classical flute with Walfrid Kujala of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

While that is hardly a standard background for the making of a Blues legend, it was pretty difficult to avoid the Blues in Chicago in the late 1950s…MORE

Rick Estrin Keeps Nightcats on the Prowl

In Blues Harmonica, Blues News on June 21, 2013 at 8:25 pm

It’s not just that Rick Estrin is making a name for himself with Rick Estrin and the Nightcats — it’s that it’s finally the right name.

For about 30 years, Estrin, who performs tonight at Montgomery’s Kiwanis Park, was the frontman for Little Charlie and the Nightcats.

“Because I was the face of the band, about 60 percent of the audience would see me and go, ‘Hey Charlie,’ and I’d just go, ‘Hi, how are you doing.’ ”

But when Charlie — that would be guitarist Charlie Baty — retired in 2008, Estrin took over the group. Five years later, not only have there been major awards, booked concert tours, and critically acclaimed albums, but Estrin said people are actually figuring out who he is. MORE

Why the Blues are Blue

In Blues News, Blues Psychology on May 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm

When you listen to a lively Mozart piece in a major key, what colors do you see? If bright yellows and oranges swirled in your mind, it wouldn’t surprise a group of scientists at the University of California, Berkeley.

Their new study found that people associate upbeat, major-key music with lighter, more vibrant yellow-toned colors, while slower music in minor keys actually gives people the blues. MORE

Inhaling the Blues: How Southern Black Musicians Transformed the Harmonica

In Blues Harmonica, Blues News on May 5, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Sneak Preview: Classic Harmonica Blues

What inspired this album?

As a teacher, I found the harmonica to have one of the most interesting traditions. When African Americans picked up the instrument in the 20th-century, they completely transformed it into something it had never been intended to be played as in Europe. To me, that is such a remarkable demonstration of the power of tradition. You don’t just take and play an instrument the way it was built to be played. The music is inside you, and you take that instrument and you try to recreate the way you think music should be played. That’s what African Americans did. MORE

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

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

Guitarist Johnny Winter’s ‘Roots’ album with brother Edgar Winter

In Blues News on March 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm

It took more than four decades. But Johnny Winter was finally able to go back to his roots.

In 2011, Winter released “Roots,” an 11-song collection of blues-rock standards featuring collaborations with Vince Gill, John Popper, Warren Haynes, Sonny Landreth, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and his brother, Edgar Winter, among others… MORE