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BOOK REVIEWS

Bill Dahl's The Art of the Blues: A Visual Treasury of Black Music’s Golden Age

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The Art of the Blues: A Visual Treasury of Black Music's Golden Age Bill Dahl 224 Pages ISBN: # 978-02263966992 University Of Chicago Press 2016 A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring... There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again. --Alexander Pope Except when it doesn't, and we believe we know all; ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thornetta Davis: Honest Woman

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Twenty years might seem like a long time in between records, but for blues singer Thornetta Davis, it's always been about getting it right. Started to sing at age fifteen, joined several bands as vocalist, released Sunday Morning Music in 1996. Fast forward to today and Honest Woman reveals Davis as a mature, commanding vocalist, introspective composer, and demanding producer. Long before Motown, Detroit had an illustrious history associated with the blues going back to the days of Hastings Street, ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge

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Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge Martin Hawkins 416 Pages ISBN: # 978-0807164532 LSU Press 2016 James Moore, AKA, Slim Harpo, was a musician that existed at ground level. In his heyday, one was as likely to see him exiting the Excello Records in Nashville, TN one day and driving a truck in New Iberia, LA, the next, then walking into J.D. Miller's recording studio in Crowley, LA, while working on ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Landon Spradlin, Jack Mack, Tom Craig, In Layman Terms, Bobby Rush, and the 2016 International Blues Challenge

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For two music genres often thought dead or near death, the blues and jazz continue to be two densities attracting talent for interpretation. The blues has been due a resurgence since the death of Stevie Ray Vaughan, and is likely to take off in the wake of the Rolling Stone's Blue and Lonesome (Polydor, 2016). Here is the front end of what is sure to be 21st Century blues deluge. Landon Spradlin No More Blue ...

PROFILES

Duane Allman at 70: A Reflection

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The actor James Dean once said, “If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live after he's died, then maybe he was a great man." James Dean is perhaps the charter member of a modern subset of such individuals who, due to modern technology, live on in the consciousness of others. They remain frozen in time--ascendant, vibrant, and youthful. When you think of James Dean, chances are you can visualize his magnetic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials: The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials

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For more than 25 years, Lil' Ed Williams and his three-piece Blues Imperials have been as rock-steady in their roster makeup as they have musically. Since the late 1980s, singer-guitarist Williams has been backed by Michael Garrett (second guitar), James “Pookie" Young (bass) and Kelly Littleton (drums). That kind of longevity in a band can lead in two directions: heightened understanding and interplay, or stagnation. On their new Alligator release, The Big Sound of Lil' Ed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Rush: Porcupine Meat

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They don't call Bobby Rush the King of the Chitlin' Circuit for nothing. With an extraordinary discography, and legendary status as an enthusiastic live performer, Rush was recognized in 2015 with a fifty year, retrospective box set, titled “Chicken Heads," by Omnivore Recordings. Returning to his home state of Louisiana, and recorded in New Orleans, the octogenarian singer stays true to his southern funky blues style on Porcupine Meat, his debut release for Rounder Records. Rush is also ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jon Cleary at The Ardmore Music Hall

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Jon Cleary The Ardmore Music Hall September 2, 2016 Jon Cleary's albums are chock full of indisputable funk steeped in jny: New Orleans tradition, fine musicianship and stylized songwriting but the real mojo is in seeing him and his Absolute Monster Gentlemen live. His album Mo Hippa Live captures this electricity as well as any recording could hope to but in the flesh, the amperage is considerably higher. The music that flooded ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Buddy Guy: Can't Quit The Blues

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The absolutely splendid Buddy Guy box set Can't Quit the Blues is worth (re)visiting on a number of fronts, the most immediate of which is that this icon of the blues has once again elevated his contemporary profile opening for Jeff Beck on tour during the summer of 2016 . But El Becko is only one of Guy's most devout admirers: Keith Richards and Gary Clark Jr. span generations to offer props to him for fashioning the course of their ...


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