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Son House

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Son House, the legendary Delta blues singer and guitarist, was an original voice coming out of Depression era Mississippi. He embodied the isolation, poverty and alienation of the Delta, which translated into his visceral and gripping expressions, forming the bedrock of the blues idiom. His influence looms large in the annals of American popular music. House was born on the Mississippi River Delta, on a plantation between the towns of Lyon and Clarksdale. The Delta, formed by the Big Muddy's deposits of silt, is a flat belt of fertile land that has been used for farming since the eighteenth century

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Article: Profile

Roy McCurdy: From Cannonball to the Rochester Music Hall of Fame

Read "Roy McCurdy: From Cannonball to the Rochester Music Hall of Fame" reviewed by Scott Gudell


When we placed a call from New York to Los Angeles in the early part of 2021, the articulate and vibrant drummer Roy McCurdy answered and quickly connected us back to the 1950s. He told us about his hometown of jny: Rochester, New York, his early days performing with Chuck Mangione and Gap Mangione and how ...

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Article: Blues Deluxe

Fall 2020

Read "Fall 2020" reviewed by Doug Collette


Blues Deluxe is a regular column comprised of pithy takes on recent blues and roots-music releases of note. It spotlights titles in those genres that might otherwise go unnoticed under the cultural radar. Heathcote Hill “the stories we are told" 311 Music 2020 Roots-music artists too often sacrifice ...

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Article: Profile

Nancy Kelly: A Dynamic And Determined Voice

Read "Nancy Kelly: A Dynamic And Determined Voice" reviewed by Scott Gudell


Nancy Kelly has been singin,' swingin' and scattin' for a long time. Her first musical path took her into the world of classical music when she started playing by ear at age three and her mother guided her to piano lessons by age four. The Beatles arrived a decade later and she abruptly shifted her allegiance ...

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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: Interview

Dexter Payne: All Things, All Beings

Read "Dexter Payne: All Things, All Beings" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Clarinet, harmonica and saxophonist, composer and bandleader and musical globetrotter Dexter Payne is the type of musician who is most often categorized as “difficult to categorize." Profoundly influenced by physical and spiritual journeys through the cultures of America, the Middle East, Africa and Brazil, Payne's recorded output checks off every box from Mississippi delta blues to ...

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Article: Live Review

Lance Canales & The Flood At Biscuits & Blues

Read "Lance Canales & The Flood At Biscuits & Blues" reviewed by Walter Atkins


Lance Canales & The Flood Biscuits & Blues San Francisco CA May 28, 2017 Lance Canales & The Flood rolled into Biscuits & Blues on a Sunday evening with their authentic foot stompin' blues and intimate life stories. Canales, a proud son of the Central California farm region, called Fresno home. ...

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Article: Interview

Ethan Margolis: Perfect Mission of Feeling

Read "Ethan Margolis: Perfect Mission of Feeling" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Describing guitarist, composer, bandleader, producer and conceptualist Ethan Margolis as a citizen of the world barely does him or his music justice. Born and raised in jny: Cleveland (OH), Margolis left the US when he was 21 to study the art of Gypsy flamenco guitar in Spain. He stayed there for more than a decade, living ...

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Article: Album Review

Mississippi Heat: Warning Shot

Read "Warning Shot" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


My father, born in 1915 and having seen and heard such, would call Warning Shot “Roadhouse Music." More technically, this is “jump blues" employing a larger-than-average band with an unidentified horn section on a majority of the 16 selections, the longest clocking in at 5:36 and the shortest at 3:00. This is an old-fashioned recording of ...

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Article: Extended Analysis

Robert Johnson: King of the Delta Blues Singers Vol I & II

Read "Robert Johnson: King of the Delta Blues Singers Vol I & II" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski


Without a doubt, when it comes to blues music and its legacy,guitarist Robert Johnson is its preeminent performer and a key figure. For many, he is the greatest blues man of all time, certainly the most well regarded by modern popular culture. As such, his place in the vanguard of that pantheon has been secured. But ...


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