Confessin’ The Blues Compilation – Curated by The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have long been supporters of the Blues from before the start of their career right through to their latest album, Blue & Lonesome which featured their interpretations of the classics, many of which appear in their original versions here on Confessin’ The Blues.

Mick Jagger was an early fan of the Blues: “The first Muddy Waters album that was really popular was Muddy Waters at Newport, which was the first album I ever bought”.

Confessin’ The Blues collects together the greatest bluesmen ever and provides a perfect education to the genre. The tracklisting on the various formats have been chosen by The Rolling Stones, in collaboration with BMG and Universal and will be released on BMG on November 9.

“If you don’t know the blues… there’s no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock and roll or any other form of popular music.” – Keith Richards

The band has decided that 10% of BMG’s net receipts* from the sale of this album will be donated to Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation (A registered  US 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization).

‘Confessin’ the Blues’ cover art by Ronnie Wood

Ronnie Wood says: “That’s how Mick and Keith first got close as well, on the train coming back from college. They noticed each other’s record collection and it was, “Hey, you’ve got Muddy Waters. You must be a good guy, let’s form a band”.

Confessin’ the Blues is available to pre-order in several formats, including a two-CD set, a double LP vinyl set, and a special vinyl book pack meant to mimic the original packaging of 78 rpm records. All versions will come with liner notes from music journalist Colin Larkin, while the book pack will feature removable card prints featuring drawings by blues illustrator Christoph Mueller.

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Billy F. Gibbons – The Big Bad Blues

Billy F. Gibbons that bad hombre of Z.Z. Top fame is enamored with the blues. He is releasing a solo album, The Big Bad Blues on September 21, 2018.

The Big Bad Blues

Gibbons said in a statement about the new recording,  “The shift back to the blues is a natural. It’s something which our followers can enjoy with the satisfaction of experiencing the roots tradition and, at the same time, feeling the richness of stretching the art form.”

Fried Chicken Man.

 

Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio

Elvin Bishop’s music has been making people smile for over 50 years. A founding member of the groundbreaking Paul Butterfield Blues Band, he has performed and recorded with music legends such as B.B.King, John Lee Hooker, and the Allman Brothers. From deep down gutbucket Blues played in smoky South Side Chicago taverns, to raucous roadhouse R&B, he’s instilled all of his music with passion, creativity and a healthy helping of wisdom, wit and good humor!

Elvin Bishop

Purchase CD or online download here!

Elvin and his Big Fun Trio-mates (Willy Jordan on cajon and vocals, Bob Welsh on guitar and piano) serve up a fresh new helping of their good ‘n’ greasy blues and R&B, highlighted by the title track, a comic State of the Union address as only the blues and Southern Rock legend can deliver.  The album includes four additional new originals, Big Fun Trio takes on Elvin’s Right Now Is The Hour, Jackie Wilson’s (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher, Ann Peebles’ I Can’t Stand The Rain and more.  “Deceptively loose but always tight…the raspy chuckle in Bishop’s singing and the sharp sting of his guitar are forceful and fresh, enduring and fun.” Fresh Air, NPR 

Harlem Street Singer – Rev. Gary Davis

I watched the documentary film Harlem Street Singer about the life of Reverend Gary Davis.

His songs have interested me for years thanks to Jorma Kaukonen faithful renditions. But I didn’t know anything about the person behind those songs.

I learned that Rev. Gary Davis rose from abject poverty in North Carolina and that he was nearly blind from birth. He taught himself how to play the guitar and to improvise songs. He got married and eventually moved to New York.  He was a hardy soul who survived on the streets of Harlem as a musician. He taught guitar in order to make a living. He provided lessons right up until his death at age 76 in 1972.  Amongst his star pupils were Dave Van Ronk, David Bromberg, Bob Weir, Roy Book Binder, and Stefan Grossman. Woody Mann who was his student for four years serves as co-producer and responsible for the music for Harlem Street Singer.

Blind Gary Davis was a purveyor of the Piedmont Blues which refers to a guitar style known as the Piedmont fingerstyle.  It is characterized by a fingerpicking approach in which a regular, alternating thumb bass string rhythmic pattern supports a syncopated melody using the treble strings generally picked with the fore-finger, occasionally others.[2]

His versatility as a musician allowed him to create the intersection of blues, folk, and gospel. His mastery of each idiom truly stood him apart.

The folk revival of the 1960s jettisoned Davis’s career. He performed at the Newport Folk Festival. Peter, Paul and Mary recorded his version of “Samson and Delilah“, also known as “If I Had My Way”.

Reverend Gary Davis who never had any children of his own, proudly claimed these guitar students as his sons. Thankfully for you and I they honor his tutelage by paying it forward.

 

Thank God for Eddie Kramer

I arose early to experience in full,  Both Sides of the Sky, the third album in a posthumous trilogy featuring the best of Jimi Hendrix’s unreleased studio recordings. The Authorized Hendrix Family Edition includes a 24-page booklet filled with rare photos and detailed liner notes.  I sip my morning coffee and delve into the writings of co-producer John McDermott to increase my perspective about the significance of these 13 recordings.

Both

I’ve always admired producer and engineer Eddie Kramer. He is more than just the Jimi Hendrix archivist. NPR Music wrote a piece about him yesterday, Eddie Kramer Completes Posthumous Jimi Hendrix Trilogy With ‘Both Sides Of The Sky’

Eddie Kramer is our conduit to the artistic magic of Jimi Hendrix.

Kramer says he still hears Hendrix’s voice in his head directing him in the studio.

“He did have a tendency to describe sounds in colors,” Kramer says. “If he said, ‘Hey, man, give me some of that green,’ I knew exactly what he meant; it was reverb. Or if he said, ‘Hey, man, more red,’ I knew it was distortion. And then if it went purple, it was really stupid distortion.”

Memphis Rent Party: The Blues, Rock & Soul in Music’s Hometown

One of my favorite music authors is Robert Gordon. He just released his latest book , Memphis Rent Party: The Blues, Rock & Soul in Music’s Hometown with Bloomsbury Publishing.

Memphis Rent Party

“Robert’s feel for his subject is very similar to the subjects’ feel for their music. Blues, being the wellspring of all American music for over a century, is always worth studying. Robert does it right.” –  Keith Richards

Give it a glance. Robert Gordon, a Memphis native citizen has been writing about Memphis music and history for thirty years.

If you plan to be in LA on April 26th, this related event may be of interest to you.
https://www.grammymuseum.org/events/detail/memphis-rent-party/