Tag Archives: blues

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Forgotten Gems & Dusty Classics: Vashti Bunyan, Bob Wills, Bud Freeman, Big Mama Thornton, Robert Pete Williams

Amassing rare and forgotten music is a peculiar sort of hobby — one that slowly transforms into an addiction. It’s not that I don’t love mainstream music. It’s just that the thrill of listening to some forgotten gem that everybody else has overlooked is powerful. It also feeds into the collector’s impulse I have to...Read...
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Forgotten Gems & Dusty Classics: The Nickname Edition – Lead Belly, Bukka White, Doc Watson, Jelly Roll Morton, Hot Lips Page

Musicians tend to attract quirky nicknames, and more than a few of them stick for life. Louis Armstrong was Satchmo, Coleman Hawkins was Bean, Charlie Parker was Bird, and Lester Young was known as Prez or Tickle Toe. Sometimes they take over an artist’s identity. When Furry Lewis was asked in the 1970s how he...Read...
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Jeffertitti’s Nile – No One Music Video (w/ Jeff Ramuno & Johnny Maroney Interview)

"A lot of the symbolism is all centered around the ideas of unity and transcendence, death and rebirth, and the infinity of everything. When I first heard the song, I kept seeing this movement of traveling through multidimensional space and transforming landscapes, and the chorus was definitely always moments of opening and clarity." - Johnny...
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Blues Music: Marketing Nostalgia Using “Race Records” in the 1920s & 1930s

Folklorists like to romanticize blues music as being a pure expression of culture, but recorded blues music was carefully marketed to its intended audience from its very beginning. As early as the 1920s, music aimed at African-Americans was labeled as "race music", and the best way to advertise it was in the pages of African-American...
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Forgotten Gems & Dusty Classics: Blind Bluesmen – Willie Johnson, Willie McTel, Willie Reynolds, Gary Davis, Snooks Eaglin

The “blind bluesman” is perhaps the dominant image of the genre, and one that evokes a number of associations. As noted by scholar Joesph Witek, the idea of the “blind genius” dates at least as far back as Homer. Given that many of these musicians were extraordinarily talented, their blindness might have fed popular interest...Read...
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Forgotten Gems & Dusty Classics: Big Bill Broonzy, Mississippi John Hurt, John Fahey, Cladys “Jabbo” Smith, Lester Young

This newest list of musicians includes the Blues musician who probably did more than any other one person to jump-start my interest in older music: Big Bill Broonzy. The fun of listening to somebody who recorded seventy years ago is that you can start to piece together who they influenced and who they worked with,...
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Pickathon Festival 2013 Live Show Review (w/ Ty Segall, Parquet Courts, The Relatives, JD McPherson, Dale Watson)

A review of the Pickathon Music Festival, located on Pendarvis Farm just a short bike ride away from Portland, Oregon, is a tough thing to approach. An honest review will be one of the most favorable things you will read, because Pickathon is one of the most well-put together, intentional, everything-that-is-right-with-America musical festivals there is....Read...
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