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Articles by David King

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Billy Jones: The Urbanization of Delta Blues

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It's a long way from the rich, fertile delta lands of North Little Rock, Ark., to the Netherlands, where Billy Jones records for Dutch blues label Black and Tan Records, but it was a route of which he never lost sight.

Born into the segregated south, he was exposed to the driving beat of the blues when he was still an infant. In the crib, he could hear it as it permeated the walls against which he slept. This sound ...

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Tracy K: Canada's First Lady Of The Blues Harp

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Born and raised on the prairies in the small farm community of Beausejour, Manitoba, just 45 minutes east of Winnipeg, Canada, Tracy K has been performing since she was a child.

During the early sixties, when British rock groups stormed North American shores, she recalls her first introduction to the blues and how she was introduced and drawn to the early recordings of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee.

Since then, although she played briefly with a rock group at one ...

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Brent Orndorff: The Mouse That Roars

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Small isn't necessarily a bad thing. For Blue News, a three man, Indiana-based, indie band, being small and working with a restricted budget is actually a plus. Producing their first two albums for free, they have gone on to establish themselves in venues throughout the Midwest, and their music has reached national media exposure to ultimately be picked up by the documentary series Road Trip which airs on national public television.

What they have accomplished did ...

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Tim "Too Slim" Langford: A Journey Through American Music

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Listening to Too Slim and The Taildraggers is, as one reviewer put it, .".. like taking a journey through the history of American music." Absorbing everything he could at first, Tim “Too Slim" Langford, lead guitarist and vocalist for the group, today plays what he likes. Although his focus at first may have been blues, today what Langford likes may encompass everything from down home blues, to funky blues rock, Americana, southern swamp rock and instrumental guitar styles. ...

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Reverend Zen: Angels, Blues and the Crying Moon

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The New York group Reverend Zen has released its debut album, Angels, Blues & the Crying Moon (Blackjack Music, 2006), that is quickly garnering music industry acclaim around the world. Platitudes aside, Reverend Zen's true genius lies in its music. The album is everything a great album should be: melodies that hang in your head like an old friend, dead-on drum tracks, bad-ass guitar solos, and subtleties that slowly reveal themselves, supporting lyrics of wit, introspection and cultural commentary.

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A-Kube: Un-Kid-i-Fide Music For Grown Folks

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“Un-kid-ified music." Now there is a concept.

Un-kid-i-fide music is music that sounds like today's music, but with the kid's focus and vibe removed; music to which the 28 to 65 or older crowd can relate. When so much music is geared to a younger market, and much of it contains objectionable, or border-line objectionable lyrics, Asure Akhi Amen, a.k.a. A-Kube has developed a sound that is geared to a more mature market, or a market that would appreciate a ...

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Paul Gillies: More Rhythm than Stephen Hawking

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Harmonica player Paul Gillies is an extraordinary individual. He has walked up Mount Vesuvius on crutches, jet power boated in New Zealand, bungee jumped 300 feet over the River Thames, and tandem freefall parachuted from 10,000 feet. These physical feats would have taxed the average person, but Paul did them while experiencing progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a degenerative disease that has robbed him of his sight in one eye, and will eventually claim his life.

Paul began to ...

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John Lee Hooker Jr.: All Odds Against Me

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For many, growing up in someone else's shadow is daunting, particularly when that someone is a looming, legendary figure known worldwide. Eclipsed by that someone, a musician may constantly hear comparisons drawn as they try to establish themselves and their career.

This is not the case for John Lee Hooker Jr. Born the son of blues great John Lee Hooker, he acknowledges the significant contribution his father made to music, and knows he was never overshadowed by his father. Rather, ...

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Greg Nagy: Our Time Has Come

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Root Doctor had its humble beginnings in Lansing, Michigan's fertile open mic scene. Freddie Cunningham (lead vocals) and James Williams (bass, vocals) first played together as a pick-up band, but both instantly recognized their chemistry and Root Doctor was soon born.Root Doctor continues to amaze audiences and wow critics. Playing a diverse mix of classic soul and R&B, alongside traditional blues and inspired original material. Root Doctor's Been A Long Time Coming (Big O, 2005), catapulted the band ...

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Rusty Wright Blues Band: I Ain't From Mississippi

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Throughout the history of showbiz, there have been married couples who have shared the stage together. Add to that list the names of Laurie and Rusty Wright, of the Rusty Wright Blues Band (RWB) from Flint, Michigan.

Coming from a hard rock background, Rusty had always told his band mates that regardless of what may happen, when he turned forty he would go home and play the blues. So when he turned forty years of age, ...