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Musician

Jimmy Reed

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Blues music has had its individualist performers with powerful, poetic feeling, tremendous instrumental virtuosity, or a unique sound. But if the tradition ever had its Everyman, it would be Jimmy Reed, the most popular Chicago blues performer of the 1950s and early 1960s. Jimmy Reed had a guitar technique that rarely varied, and his vocals were relaxed to the point where hearers couldn't always understand the words he sang. Yet Reed found a groove and stuck to it, creating a sound that any blues fan could identify after hearing only a few seconds of his music. That sound, moreover, influenced nearly every rock music ensemble that had a blues element in its style

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Article: Blues Deluxe

Winter 2022

Read "Winter 2022" reviewed by Doug Collette


Blues Deluxe is a regular column comprised of pithy takes on recent blues and roots-music releases of note, spotlighting titles in those genres that might otherwise go unnoticed under the cultural radar. The Ronnie Wood Band Mr. Luck: A Tribute to Jimmy Reed Live at the Royal Albert Hall BMG

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Article: New York Beat

Voices of Mississippi at Jazz at Lincoln Center

Read "Voices of Mississippi at Jazz at Lincoln Center" reviewed by Nick Catalano


The research into music programming for concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center has always been top-notch, providing important informational fodder for reviewers. Perhaps none has been as significant and revelatory as the material used for the February 25-26 concerts with a truly seminal group--Voices of Mississippi. The origin and nature of the blues and ...

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Article: Album Review

Bob Dylan: Springtime in New York 1980-1985: The Bootleg Series, Volume 16 (5CD)

Read "Springtime in New York 1980-1985: The Bootleg Series, Volume 16 (5CD)" reviewed by Doug Collette


Generally speaking, revelations abound within the various installments of The Bootleg Series, Bob Dylan's ongoing archive initiative, and Volume 16 is no exception. But in listening to Springtime in New York, 1980- 1985, the epiphanies come in slow bursts, flashing over the course of the five CDs to generate a cumulative momentum that reaches a flash-point ...

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Article: Album Review

Grateful Dead: Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses)

Read "Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses)" reviewed by Doug Collette


Grateful Dead, the second album of concert recordings released by the iconic band for Warner Brothers Records, resides squarely in the sweet spot between the expansive likes of its corollary, Live Dead (Warner Bros., 1969) and the economical studio recordings this group issued in between, Workingman's Dead (Warner Bros., 1970) and American Beauty (Warner Bros., 1970). ...

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Article: Album Review

New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers: Vol. 2

Read "Vol. 2" reviewed by Doug Collette


The New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers Volume 2 is replete with the same instinctual camaraderie and musicianly savvy as its predecessor. Likewise culled from sessions recorded in 2007, this sequel is decidedly not comprised of mere leftovers or otherwise sub-par tracks originally left unreleased. On the contrary, the alternately upbeat and reflective atmosphere reaffirms the ...

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Article: Album Review

Ramsey Lewis & Urban Knights: VII

Read "VII" reviewed by Phillip Woolever


Back in 1995, an executive named Carl Griffin at Ramsey Lewis' record label reportedly conceived the idea of forming a jazz “super group" around the well-established Chicago pianist. The resulting all-star project, deemed Urban Knights, featured Grover Washington Jr. and a rhythm section with Omar Hakim and bassist Victor Bailey, who'd worked together in the early ...

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Article: Film Review

Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different

Read "Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different" reviewed by Walter Atkins


Betty Davis Betty Davis: They Say I'm Different Native Voice Films 2018 The incisive documentary Betty—They Say I'm Different chronicled the humble beginnings and explosive career of the '70s trail blazer, composer and vocalist Betty Davis. Her bold music and incendiary stage persona was light-years ahead of the existing social ...

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Article: Album Review

Jimmie Vaughan: Baby, Please Come Home

Read "Baby, Please Come Home" reviewed by Doug Collette


Jimmie Vaughan has never risen to the level of stardom his late brother Stevie Ray Vaughan attained, but the elder sibling hasn't been any less loyal to the blues during the course of his career. Founding and maintaining the Fabulous Thunderbirds since 1974 (quite a bit prior to the renaissance of the genre his younger and ...

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Article: Album Review

Tony Joe White: Bad Mouthin'

Read "Bad Mouthin'" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


You might not recognize Tony Joe White by name but chances are you recognize his songs. A musical lone wolf born and raised on a Louisiana cotton farm about twenty miles from the nearest town (Oak Grove), White's unique blend of country funk and blues proved fertile for soulful singers from Elvis Presley ("Poke ...


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