Tag Archives: blues

Southern Rock Icon Gregg Allman Dies at 69

Gregg Allman – Photo by Danny Clinch

Legendary Southern rock guitarist and singer-songwriter Gregg Allman passed away on May 27, 2017.

Gregory LeNoir Allman was one of the founding members of the Allman Brothers Band. Based in Macon, Georgia, the Allman Brothers Band was a pioneer of Southern rock, a remarkable mix of rock, blues, jazz and soul.

Some of the best known songs he performed include “Midnight Rider” and “Whipping Post.” The Allman Brothers Band won a GRAMMY Award in 1995 for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for “Jessica.”

We have lost a pioneering force in American music, and our condolences go out to Gregg’s family, friends, colleagues, and music fans everywhere,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy.

The family recommends that tributes to Gregg can be made to the Gregg Allman Scholarship Fund at The University of Georgia or the Allman/Lehman Endowed Scholarship at Syracuse University.

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Artist Profiles: Cindy Cashdollar

Cindy Cashdollar – Photo by Chuck Holley

 

American slide guitarist Cindy Cashdollar was born May 25, 1956. She specializes in steel guitar and dobro.

Cindy Cashdollar grew up in Woodstock, New York. She improved her skills playing with bluegrass musician John Herald; blues icon Paul Butterfield; and roots rock musicians Levon Helm and Rick Danko of The Band; and many other artists who lived in the small mountain town in the Catskills.

For eight years she performed with one of the leading western swing bands, Asleep at the Wheel. This opportunity opened the door to collaborations with country music artists such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton and The Dixie Chicks.

 

Cindy Cashdollar – Photo by Dale Haussner

 

Her debut album Slide Show includes an impressive lineup of American roots artists such as Sonny Landreth, Marcia Ball, Mike Auldridge, Redd Volkaert, Herb Remington, Jorma Kaukonen and Steve James.

 

 

Cindy was inducted into the Texas Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 2011 (the first woman to be instated) and The Texas Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

In 2017 she appeared in Mamadou Kelly’s album Politiki (Clermont Music CLE 016CD, 2017)

 

Discography:

Slide Show (Silver Shot Records, 2003)
Slide Guitar Summit (Aquinnah, 2015)

Videos:

Learning Bluegrass Dobro (Homespun Tapes)
Dobro Variations – Explorations in Minor, Swing and Rockabilly Styles (Homespun Tapes)
Learn To Play Western Swing Steel Guitar #1 (Homespun Tapes)
Learn To Play Western Swing Steel Guitar #2 (Homespun Tapes)

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Tedeschi Trucks Band Live, a Special Experience

Tedeschi Trucks Band – Tedeschi Trucks Band Live From the Fox Oakland (Fantasy Records, 2017)

With summer just around the corner many of you are planning to head off to the beach, to the mountains or to grandma’s house while others are planning backyard barbecues, family reunions or pool parties so you are in desperate need of some tunes. As luck would have it I have your smoking raging down the highway, sizzling grilling chicken and hey someone needs to get that Frisbee off the roof tunes for your summer fun. The double-CD set Tedeschi Trucks Band Live from the Fox Oakland is your ticket to some kickass, razor sharp tunes.

Fans know the Jacksonville, Florida blues/rock Tedeschi Trucks Band from past offerings like Let Me Get, Midnight in Harlem, Revelator, Made Up and Everybody’s Talkin. Their latest offering is the fruits of their labors from a 2016 live performance at Oakland, California’s Fox Theater.

Guitarist Derek Trucks explains the springboard for the recording, “We’ve been wanting to properly document the progress of this ban for a while and it really felt like we were hitting our stride and firing on all cylinders last fall.”

Guitarist and vocalist Susan Tedeschi adds, “It was special capturing the live performance from Oakland. The audience was great and the band played with passion. I am thankful we captured the band at this moment in time.”

Headed up by Ms. Tedeschi and Mr. Trucks, The Tedeschi Trucks Band is full of the usual suspects with Kofi Burbridge on keyboards and flute, Tyler “Falcon” Greenwell on drums and percussion, J.J. Johnson on drums and percussion, Tim Lefebvre on bass guitar, Mike Mattison on vocals and acoustic guitar, Mark Rivers on vocals, Alecia Chakour on vocals, Kebbi Williams on saxophone, Elizabeth Lea on trombone and Ephraim Owens on trumpet. Fans get a treat with guest musician Alam Khan on sarode on “These Walls.”

Live at the Fox Oakland is savagely good and kickass cool. Chocked full of the goodness of “Don’t Know What It Means,” “Keep on Growing,” “Bird on the Wire” and “Anyhow,” and that’s just CD 1, the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s sound is tight and razor sharp. With rocking guitar licks, sizzling rhythms, soulful vocals, sassy backing vocals and brass lines so sweet they’ll probably keep the mosquitos away, Live at the Fox Oakland is all you need to get your mojo working again. CD 2 is just as fabulous with offerings like “Leavin’ Trunk,” “Don’t Drift Away,” “I Want More (Soul Sacrifice Outro)” and the rich and rewarding “Ali.”

For fans wanting to get a little live action of the Tedeschi Trucks band should check their local concert venues because the band is currently on a U.S. tour and will have upcoming concerts in places like Philadelphia, Saratoga, Rochester, Virginia Beach, Raleigh, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Albuquerque this June and July.

It’s doubtful that Live at the Fox Oakland will make your teeth whiter, your kids smarter, help you find the love of a good woman or improve your posture – but you never know because I think I’m sitting a little straighter right now.

Buy Tedeschi Trucks Band Live From the Fox Oakland

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Artist Profiles: Bobby Rush

Bobby Rush

Born Emmit Ellis, Jr., Bobby Rush was born in Homer, Louisiana. Rush gained renown in Chicago starting in the 1950s and 60s where he performed or recorded with artists like Howlin’ Wolf, Freddie King, Willie Dixon, Little Milton and Earl Hooker.

In 1969, he recorded the hit “Chicken Heads,” which was one of the last real blues songs to find a home on R&B radio. The song, whose subject matter was slightly outside the mainstream, immediately crowned him the king of the Chitlin Circuit. It’s a scene populated by older, mainly Southern black audiences who gather to hear their music at social clubs — a very different scenario from the comparably pristine world of blues festivals.

After recording for labels like Checker, Galaxy, Ronn, Philadelphia International, ABC and LaJam, Rush recorded a series of albums for Malaco Records in the 1990s. During this period he was slowly “discovered” by white blues fans in search of something more authentically Southern and intense than the merrily rollicking music that had become the blues? mainstream. Rush, with his full-on soul band and sexy dancers, was literally in a class by himself. Word spread around.

In September of 2003, Rush was the subject of a documentary titled The Road To Memphis,” Richard Pearce’s film in the PBS series Martin Scorsese’s “The Blues.”

That same month, Bobby Rush: Live At Ground Zero (Deep Rush Visuals), was released. It’s a DVD and bonus CD soundtrack. The DVD / CD set kicks off Rush’s own Deep Rush label based in Jackson, Mississippi., and distributed by RED Distribution through Emergent Music Marketing.

I’m as excited as I’ve ever been in my entire life, and in 5 years of performing,” says Rush. “It was total chance that Martin Scorsese and Richard Pearce found out about me and took an interest. And I thank the Lord for that! And add the fact that I’m about to release my first live album and DVD. It’s like Bobby Rush is 2 years old again!

Bobby Rush: Live At Ground Zero was shot on a sultry July night at Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero juke joint in the blues mecca of Clarksdale, Mississippi. It serves as a window for the world to see what many have heard about but have not experienced unless they’ve caught Rush’s show — a true Chitlin’ Circuit revue featuring Rush’s dynamic blend of Southern soul and Mississippi blues. It is a show that has won Rush the honors of “Best Live Performer” by both the critics and the readers of Living Blues magazine in 1998,1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.

In addition to Bobby Rush: Live At Ground Zero, Rush also released Undercover Lover on his Deep Rush label that continues the musical tradition he started over the previous decade.

Bobby Rush: Live At Ground Zero also marked the comeback of Rush in the wake of a near-fatal tour bus accident that occurred in April, 21 outside of Tallahassee, Florida., in which Rush sustained critical injuries. Rush’s bus driver had suffered a sudden heart attack and drove off the road. The bus rolled four or five times. Rush was pinned to the collapsed ceiling and was extracted with a device called the jaws of life. A dancer in his band was killed. “I could have ended up paralyzed or dead,” says Rush. “There’s no reason I should have gone on living unless God had a reason. And that’s what’s inspired me to go forward.”

Bobby Rush lives in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Discography:

Rush Hour (Philadelphia International, 1979)
Sue (LaJam, 1981)
Wearing It Out (LaJam, 1983)
Gotta Have Money (LaJam, 1984)
What’s Good for the Goose Is Good for the Gander (LaJam, 1985)
A Man Can Give It (But He Can’t Take It) (LaJam, 1988)
Making a Decision (LaJam, 1983)
Man Can Give It but He Can’t Take It (La Jam, 1990)
I Ain’t Studdin’ You (Urgent, 1991)
Handy Man (Urgent, 1992)
One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show (Waldoxy, 1995)
Wearing It Out (La Jam, 1996)
It’s Alright, Vol. 2 (1997)
Lovin’ a Big Fat Woman (Waldoxy, 1997)
Rush Hour… Plus (Philadelphia Intl, 1999)
The Best of Bobby Rush (La Jam, 1999)
Hoochie Man (Waldoxy, 2000)
Undercover Lover (Deep Rush, 2003)
Live at Ground Zero (Deep Rush, 2003)
Folkfunk (Deep Rush, 2004)
Night Fishin (Deep Rush, 2005)
Essential Recordings, Volume 1 (Deep Rush, 2006)
Essential Recordings, Volume 2 (Deep Rush, 2006)
Raw (Deep Rush, 2007)
Look at What You Gettin’ (Deep Rush, 2008)
Blind Snake (Deep Rush, 2009)
Show You a Good Time (Deep Rush, 2011)
Down in Louisiana (Thirty Tigers, 2013)
Decisions (Silver Talon Records, 2014)
Porcupine Meat (Rounder Records, 2016)

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Artist Profiles: Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley was an artist with legendary stature and a remarkable five-decade career. Called ‘The Originator’ for his role in the birth of rock ‘n roll and his effect on the direction of popular music over the decades. His influence reached musicians from The Beatles and The Who to Bruce Springsteen. His hits include ‘Bo Diddley,‘ ‘I’m a Man,‘ ‘Who Do You Love,‘ and ‘Roadrunner.’

Born in McComb, Mississippi in 1928, the boy known as Ellas Bates McDaniel became Bo Diddley when he took up boxing following his family’s move to Chicago in the mid-1930s.

At first, music was only as a hobby for Diddley, but after playing places like the 78 Club in the early 1950s, Diddley went looking for a recording contract. He used ‘Uncle John,‘ a raunchy song in the ‘Dirty Dozens’ tradition, for his demo, and brothers Leonard and Phil Chess of Chess Records thought it had potential. Diddley revised the lyrics ‘ naming the song after himself ‘ and used maracas to emphasize the beat and the sound he was trying to create. It took 35 takes, but they got the sound they wanted, and ‘Bo Diddley’/’I’m A Man’ became a double-sided hit in 1955. The distinctive syncopated rhythm of his self-titled song captured the primal spirit of restless youth of those times.

Diddley scored another 1955 hit, ‘Diddley Daddy,‘ and went on the road, where the ‘Bo Diddley Beat’ (bomp, ba-bomp-bomp, bomp-bomp), which became a cornerstone rhythm of rock and roll, drove audiences wild.

Songs like ‘Mona,‘ ‘Who Do You Love’,” “Road Runner,” and “You Don’t Love Me” were among the earliest examples of rock and roll close to its source material in rhythm and blues. The excitement Diddley generated onstage was noted by a young Elvis Presley, bands like the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds covered his songs, and the Animals lionized him in ‘The Story of Bo Diddley.’

The now classic album Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger (digitally remastered and expanded with five bonus tracks, reissued in 2004) came out in 1960. Diddley recorded nine originals: the self-mythologizing ‘Gun Slinger’; ‘Ride On Josephine,‘ a Berry-like slice of auto-erotica; the spelling-bee rocker ‘Cadillac’; the comic narratives ‘Cheyenne’ and ‘Whoa Mule (Shine)’; the doo-wop ballads ‘Somewhere’ and ‘No More Lovin’’; the beat-ific instrumental ‘Diddling,‘ and ‘Doing The Crawdaddy,‘ the incentive for a would-be dance craze. The lone cover was Tennessee Ernie Ford’s 1955 hit ‘Sixteen Tons.’

In July 1964, Two Great Guitars, credited to Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, was released. It included two lengthy guitar jams between the two rock and roll legends.

Bo Diddley released The Originator in October 26, 1966. The album’s title reflected his rightful conviction that he was a rock and roll pioneer.

The Super Super Blues Band, a collaboration between Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and Little Walter, was released on Checkers Records in 1969.

InJanuary 2,1979, British punk rock band The Clash started their first U.S. tour with Bo Diddley as their handpicked opening act.

Bo Diddley’s career was rewarded in January 21,1987, when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the second annual induction dinner. The members of ZZ Top were his presenters.

In 1987, Bo Diddley and Ron Wood (a.k.a. the Gunslingers) finished a North American tour with a show in New York. A recording of that performance was released as Live at the Ritz.

Bo Diddley received the Lifetime Achievement Award in February 29,1996, at the seventh annual Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Awards in Los Angeles.

A Man Amongst Men, his first major-label album in many years, was released April 1996, on Code Blue/Atlantic. Renowned rockers, including Keith Richard and Ron Wood, contributed to it.

Bo Diddley’s music has appeared on major films and TV shows, including Trading Places (1983), Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll (1987), Blues Brothers 2 (1998) and “The Sopranos.”

In24, Bo Diddley was inducted in the Blues Hall of Fame.

The veteran musician suffered a stroke on Sunday, May 13th, 2007 which left him hospitalized. He died on June 2, 2008.

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Artist Profiles: Blind Boy Fuller

Blind Boy Fuller Fulton Allen, also known as Blind Boy Fuller, was one of the most influential and popular Bluesmen of the 1930s. Born in Wadesboro, in southern North Carolina in 1908, Fuller was one of the pioneers of the Piedmont style of Blues that helped define the sound of the Southeast Atlantic coast of the United States.

He recorded an impressive collection of songs in a short span from 1935-1941 on his National steel guitar. He was a master of deep Blues, but was best-loved for his Ragtime influenced hits like “Rag Mama Rag,” “Trucking My Blues Away,” and “Step It Up and Go.”

Partial Discography:

Remastered 1935-1938 (boxed set)
Truckin My Blues Away (Yazoo Records )
Get Your Yas Yas Out (Snapper Music)
Complete Recorded Works 1
Blind Boy Fuller 2 (boxed set)
The Guitar of Blind Boy Fuller
Complete Recorded Works 2
All the Published Sides
Rough Guide To Blind Boy Fuller (World Music Network, 2015)

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Bluesmen Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ Announce New Album and Tour

Celebrated blues musicians Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ have announced an extraordinary, full-band tour in support of their first album as a duo, ‘TajMo’ (Concord).

‘TajMo’ is a historic collaboration between two generations of blues masters, joining their remarkable talents for the first time ever on an album of original songs and covers, featuring guest appearances from Bonnie Raitt, Joe Walsh, Sheila E. and Lizz Wright. The album was self-produced by the duo.

TajMo Tour Dates

May 30 – Fort Collins, CO – Lincoln Theater
Jun 1 – Denver, CO – Denver Botanic Gardens
Jun 2 – Boulder, CO – Chautauqua Auditorium
Jun 4 – Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte Gardens
Jun 6 – Tucson, AZ – Fox Theatre
Jun 7 – Scottsdale, AZ – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Jun 10 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl (Playboy Jazz Festival)
Jun 13 – Modesto, CA – Gallo Center for the Arts
Jun 15 – Napa, CA – Uptown Theater
Jun 16 – Saratoga, CA – Mountain Winery
Jun 18 – Seattle, WA – Benaroya Hal
Jun 20 – Sunriver, OR – John Gray Amphitheater
Jun 22 – Chico, CA – Laxson Auditorium
Jun 23 – Berkeley, CA – The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall
Jun 24 – Tahoe, NV – Montbleu Casino Resor
Aug 9 – Washington D.C. – Lincoln Theatre
Aug 10 – Wilkes-Barre, PA – The F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts
Aug 16 – Portsmouth, NH – Prescott Park
Aug 17 – Albany, NY – The Egg
Aug 18 – Hyannis, MA – Cape Cod Melody Tent
Aug 19 – Cohasset, MA – South Shore Music Circus
Sept 6 – Minneapolis, MN – Hennepin Theatre Trust
Sept 7 – Skokie, IL – North Shore Performing Arts Center
Sept 9 – Kettering, OH – Fraze Pavillion
Sept 10 – Ann Arbor, MI – Michigan Theater
Sept 12 – Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater
Sept 14 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater
Sept 17 – Santa Fe, NM – Santa Fe Opera House
Sept 20 – Dallas, TX – Strauss Square – AT&T Performing Arts Center
Sept 22 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater
Sept 23 – Houston, TX – House Of Blues
Sept 24 – New Orleans, LA – Orpheum Theater
Sept 29 – La Grange, GA – Sweetland Amphitheater
Oct 1 – Charleston, SC – Gaillard Center
Oct 3 – Wilmington, NC – Cape Fear Stage
Oct 4 – Durham, NC – Durham Performing Arts Center
Oct 6 – Boone, NC – Schaefer Center
Oct 7 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
Oct 21 – 28 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise

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Artist Profiles: Shemekia Copeland

Shemekia Copeland – Photo by Carol Friedman

Charon Shemekia Copeland was born April 10, 1979 in Harlem, New York City. She is the daughter of famed blues guitarist and vocalist Johnny Copeland

At only 19, Shemekia Copeland released her debut recording, Turn the Heat Up! (1998). A year later, she appeared in the movie Three To Tango, while her song “I Always Get My Man, was featured in the film Broken Hearts Club.

Her second album, Wicked, released in 2000, received three Handy Awards (Song of the Year, Blues Album of the Year, Contemporary Female Artist of the Year) and a GRAMMY nomination. Two years later, New Orleans R&B legend Dr. John stepped in to produce her third recording, Talking To Strangers (2002). Afterwards, Copeland released The Soul Truth in 2005. The album was produced by celebrated Stax guitarist Steve Cropper (who also played on the CD), and featured a mix of blues, funk and Memphis-style soul.

Shemekia Copeland joined Telarc International for the February 2009 release of Never Going Back. This new chapter in the Shemekia Copeland story represents a crossroads on her ongoing artistic journey – a place where numerous new avenues are open to her. While she will always remain loyal to her blues roots, Never Going Back takes a more forward view of the blues, and in so doing points her music and her career in a new direction.

I’ve had success in my career, and I’m happy with that,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to continue to grow. In order for an artist to grow – and for a genre to grow – you have to do new things. I’m extremely proud to say I’m a blues singer, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only thing I’m capable of singing, or that’s the only style of music I’m capable of making.”

She added: “I want to keep growing. My main goal when I started this was that I was going to do something different with this music, so that this music could evolve and grow. I got that idea from my father. He didn’t do the typical one-four-five blues. He went to Africa and worked with musicians there. He was one of the first blues artists to do that. I want to be the same way. I want to be innovative with the blues.”

Discography:

* Turn the Heat Up! (Alligator Records, 1998)
* Wicked (Alligator Records, 2000)
* Talking To Strangers (Alligator Records, 2002)
* The Soul Truth (Alligator Records, 2005)
* Never Going Back (Telarc International, 2009)
* Shemekia Copeland – Deluxe Edition (Alligator Records, 2011)
* 33 1/3 (Telarc, 2012)
* Outskirts of Love (Alligator Records, 2015)

Web sites: www.shemekiacopeland.com

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Mamadou Kelly Meets Cindy Cashdollar

Mamadou Kelly – Politiki (Clermont Music CLE 016CD, 2017)

Superb Malian guitarist Mamadou Kelly skillfully combines Saharan desert blues with American blues on Politiki.

In addition to his regular band, BanKaiNa, Mamadou Kelly invited American musicians such as award-winning steel guitar master Cindy Cashdollar, Susie Ibarra on drums, Jake Silver on bass, and Dan Littleton on guitars.

Politiki is a remarkable combination of West African and American blues genres featuring outstanding guitar work.

Buy Politiki

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Artist Profiles: Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters – Got My Mojo Working

Born in Issaquena County, Mississippi as McKinley Morganfield in 1913,Artist Profiles: Muddy Waters was deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta blues. He got his nickname as a result of a childhood predilection for ‘playing in the muddy waters.’

He started playing harmonica at nine, but later switched over to the guitar. The teenaged, tractor driver Muddy Waters spent his free time absorbing the music scene of Clarksdale, Mississippi. There, he learned from two of Mississippi’s iconic bluesmen, Son House and Robert Johnson.

Muddy soon joined up with Silas Green and his traveling show, before plying his guitar in St. Louis and finally returning home. It was back in Mississippi that Muddy met with John and Alan Lomax, where he performed songs for the pair and their folk recordings for the Library of Congress recordings.

Muddy made two extraordinary decisions at that point; he joined many making the great migration north to Chicago in search for factory work and he plugged his guitar. Muddy plugged his guitar into an amplifier to be heard over the clattering masses of the Chicago club scene and it’s that sound that changed blues music forever.

Electrified blues soon spread to the streets of Chicago and Muddy found club work and started recording for Columbia and Aristocrat (later to become Chess Records).

Muddy Waters inspired numerous blues and rock musicians, including Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray, Peter Green, and the Rolling Stones.

Muddy Waters discography is quite extensive. The following boxed sets include some of his most iconic recordings: Original Album Classics: Hard Again / I’m Ready / King Bee; The Chess Box: Muddy Waters; Chess Singles Collection – Muddy Waters; and King of Chicago Blues; and Got My Mojo Working.

Muddy Waters died April 30, 1983.

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