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Big Mama Thornton

Born:

Willie Mae Thornton, known popularly as "Big Mama," was not only a successful singer/songwriter in her own time, but a major influential voice in the development of American popular music with her original version of "Hound Dog." She herself was influenced by the famous blues singers of the 1920s and 1930s like Bessie Smith, Memphis Minnie, and Ma Rainey. She was a popular performer famous for exuberant shows. "Her booming voice, sometimes 200-pound frame, and exuberant stage manner had audiences stomping their feet and shouting encouragement in R&B theaters from coast to coast from the early 1950s on," according to the Encyclopedia of Pop Rock & Soul

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News: Obituary

Margie Evans, Iconic And Sophisticated Queen Of The Blues, Dies At 81

Margie Evans, Iconic And Sophisticated Queen Of The Blues, Dies At 81

Margie Evans, a legendary, international Blues and Gospel entertainer, songwriter, music producer, actress, music historian, community activist and motivational spokeswoman, who broke barriers for African American female Blues performers with poise, dignity and sophistication, died on March 19, 2021. In addition to her musicianship, Evans is noted as an activist for parity in music education as ...

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Article: Profile

Cotton Pickin' Blues

Read "Cotton Pickin' Blues" reviewed by Martin McFie


Blues began with enslaved African peoples' work songs in the cotton fields of the Deep South of America. The Slave Narrative of Mr. Sam Polite, given at 93 years of age, chronicles that life. It was written on St. Helena, a cotton producing Sea Island in the Carolinas, where Mr. Polite was born into slavery. The ...

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Article: Live Review

Tedeschi Trucks Band with Hot Tuna and The Wood Brothers at Red Rocks

Read "Tedeschi Trucks Band with Hot Tuna and The Wood Brothers at Red Rocks" reviewed by Geoff Anderson


Tedeschi Trucks Band with Hot Tuna and The Wood Brothers Red Rocks Amphitheater Denver, CO July 29-30, 2017 The Tedeschi Trucks juggernaut continues to snowball. The band's inaugural Denver concert in November 2011 was at the Fillmore Auditorium; capacity 3,000. The venue quickly shifted to an annual summer show at Red ...

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Article: Album Review

Terrie Odabi: My Blue Soul

Read "My Blue Soul" reviewed by James Nadal


Blues singers have always been scarce, maybe that's why they are so special. It requires real-life experience, intense commitment and a profound sense of emotion to interpret this music, which represents so much for so many. After paying dues in her hometown of Oakland, blues singer Terrie Odabi finally steps into the national spotlight and tells ...

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Article: Live Review

Charles Lloyd at SFJAZZ

Read "Charles Lloyd at SFJAZZ" reviewed by Harry S. Pariser


Charles Lloyd SFJAZZ jny: San Francisco, CA April 24-26, 2015 Even in the idiosyncratic world of jazz, Charles Lloyd stands apart. Born in jny: Memphis in 1938, Lloyd is a master of the tenor saxophone and flute. His ethnic mix--Irish, Cherokee, African, and Mongolian--mirrors the vast number of musical styles he ...

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Article: Live Review

Alexis P. Suter Band at Gwynedd Mercy University

Read "Alexis P. Suter Band  at Gwynedd Mercy University" reviewed by Wade Luquet


Alexis P. Suter Band Women in the Blues Gwynedd Mercy University Gwynedd Valley, PA February 7, 2014 A frozen night in Pennsylvania was made immensely warmer when the Alexis P. Suter Band took the stage at Gwynedd Mercy University in suburban Philadelphia. The bass-voiced blues diva electrified the crowd ...

172

Article: Album Review

5 After 4: Rome In A Day

Read "Rome In A Day" reviewed by Dave Wayne


Rome In A Day is the sixth recording by 5 After 4. Led by drummer/composer Vito Rezza, the Canadian jazz-fusion quartet has an appealingly varied approach. Despite some 21st Century touches, such as Rezza's playful rhythmic displacements during its theme, “10,000 Days" has a down-home funky soul sound that recalls the Crusaders circa Chain Reaction (MCA, ...

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Article: Book Review

Midnight at the Barrelhouse: The Johnny Otis Story

Read "Midnight at the Barrelhouse: The Johnny Otis Story" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Midnight at the Barrelhouse: The Johnny Otis StoryGeorge LipsitzHardcover; 264 pagesISBN-10 0816666784University of Minnesota Press2010 For six decades, Johnny Otis played just about every role you can play in the music business: musician (on drums, vibes and piano), singer, songwriter, arranger, bandleader, talent maven, ...

166

Article: Album Review

Roy Gaines and his Orchestra: Tuxedo Blues

Read "Tuxedo Blues" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Blues singers and big bands used to go together like bread and butter, but somewhere along the way the singers must have become superfluous in the minds of the leaders or the public. Nowadays, large ensembles are still happy to play the blues--be they well-known warhorses or obscure gems--but husky-voiced singers are rarely seen delivering a ...


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