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ARTICLE: FROM FAR AND WIDE

Blues Starter Kit

Read "Blues Starter Kit" reviewed by Ed Kopp

If you're just beginning to explore the blues, here's a list of 70 suggested artists and recordings, some old and some new. These picks should get anybody's mojo workin' overtime, but purists will note some flagrant omissions. Unfortunately, many deserving artists had to be excluded for brevity's sake. For a more thorough guide to blues artists ...

ARTICLE: FROM FAR AND WIDE

A Brief History of the Blues

Read "A Brief History of the Blues" reviewed by Ed Kopp

When you think of the blues, you think about misfortune, betrayal and regret. You lose your job, you get the blues. Your mate falls out of love with you, you get the blues. Your dog dies, you get the blues. While blues lyrics often deal with personal adversity, the music itself goes far beyond ...

Blues

Read "Blues" reviewed by Ed Kopp

The blues is the progenitor of most popular music in America, but it hasn't always gotten the respect it deserves. The recorded history of the blues proves the point. Prior to World War II, very few white people had ever heard any authentic blues music. Up until the late 1950s, blues labels could only afford to ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Great Northeast Blues Festival

Read "Great Northeast Blues Festival
" reviewed by Ed Kopp

James Cotton and Elvin Bishop heated up a cool, cloudy night in downtown Syracuse, N.Y., during the final two performances of the Great Northeast Blues Festival on Saturday, August 14, 1999.Performing on a stage set up in the middle of Erie Blvd. in Syracuse's Clinton Square, Cotton and Bishop played to a subdued but varied ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks: Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks Vol. 1/Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks Vol. 2

Read "Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks Vol. 1/Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks Vol. 2" reviewed by Ed Kopp

If you like jazz vocalese, doo-wop, old-time soul, gospel, South African township music, or any combination of the aforementioned, you will probably love these two CDs by Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks. Together these separate releases provide a comprehensive overview of the group's recorded legacy. Makeba and the Skylarks were one of the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Sheer All Stars: Indibano/Live @ the Blues Room

Read "Indibano/Live @ the Blues Room" reviewed by Ed Kopp

The Sheer All Stars belong on that short list of contemporary jazz bands (along with the Pat Metheny Group, the Yellowjackets, and Bela Fleck and Flecktones) whose music is both accessible and sophisticated, a rare combination in pop-jazz. The All Stars are a jazz supergroup comprised of musicians who record for Sheer Sound, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

West Nkosi: Sixteen Original Sax Jive Hits

Read "Sixteen Original Sax Jive Hits" reviewed by Ed Kopp

Before he died from injuries sustained in a car crash in 1998, West Nkosi produced hit records for renowned South African bands Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens. A household name in South Africa, Nkosi was best known as a producer, but he also achieved popularity as an alto saxophonist and pennywhistler.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Johnny Moeller: Johnny's Blues Aggregation

Read "Johnny's Blues Aggregation" reviewed by Ed Kopp

In 2000, many young blues artists issued retro-sounding recordings featuring analog production techniques and '50s-style instrumentation. For instance, CDs from Sean Costello, Kid Ramos and Rusty Zinn all sounded very pre-1960s. Now Texas guitar-slinger Johnny Moeller (Darrell Nulisch, Lou Ann Barton) also mines the past on his new release Johnny's Blues Aggregation, a soulful collection of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Robert Bradley's Backwater Surprise: Time To Discover

Read "Time To Discover" reviewed by Ed Kopp

Robert Bradley is a 50-year-old blind blues singer from Detroit who's become an unlikely crossover success. Bradley's latest album Time To Discover has made a lot of pop critic's top 10 “Best of" lists for 2000, and deservedly so. This is a funky release that's part blues, part '70s-style soul, part classic rock. The album is ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Johnny Adams: There is Always One More Time

Read "There is Always One More Time" reviewed by Ed Kopp

The late Johnny Adams sang with as much soul as Bobby “Blue" Bland and as much cool sophistication as Nat King Cole. Unfortunately the New Orleans native never achieved the same level of fame as either of those great artists. Adams scored a couple of regional soul hits in his younger days ("I Won't Cry," “Reconsider ...


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