blues Archive

Album Review: Eric Ambel — Lakeside

Indie cred: it’s an elusive quality, one that most artists would be pleased to possess. Indie cred connotes a level of achievement that suggests one’s work is more than ephemeral, more than disposable, worth further investigation. Once you’ve got it, if you’re the real deal, you’ll hold onto it. One fine Exhibit A for this

Album Review: Robin Trower — Where Are You Going To

It’s rare for a guitarist to change styles mid-career, but there is some precedent. Jeff Beck played one style when he was with the Yardbirds, and then headed in a sort of blues-jazz hybrid with the Jeff Beck Group and beyond. One could argue that he “found” his true style after trying different ones on

John Mayall: Bluesbreaker and Beyond (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… Considering the string of eleven albums the Bluesbreakers released on Decca between 1965 and 1969 (not to mention John Mayall‘s fifty-plus albums since then), one of the most striking qualities – beyond the sheer instrumental firepower of the various lineups – is the stylistic breadth of the music. Those records serve

John Mayall: Bluesbreaker and Beyond (Part 1)

A renewed interest in American blues gave rise to a musical movement in 1960s Great Britain. The British blues boom would launch the musical careers of countless musicians who would go on to greater fame. And with good reason, John Mayall is known as the godfather of that movement; his band, the Bluesbreakers, saw many

Reed Turchi: Back to His Roots

Though these days he lives and works in Memphis, Reed Turchi was born and spent his formative years in Asheville. Nominally a blues artist, multi-instrumentalist Turchi draws from a much wider array of styles, and his music is informed by his studio knowledge and experience. This summer Turchi and band will launch a major tour

The Challenge of the Blues

Vocalist Peggy Ratusz has long been one of Asheville’s leading blues personalities, carrying a torch for the century-old musical form. Her latest musical endeavor (with the help of musical collaborator Aaron Price) involves the upcoming 32nd annual International Blues Challenge, held in Memphis, Tenn. Monday, Jan. 26 to Saturday, Jan. 30. In the run-up to

Hundred-word Reviews January 2016: Blues and Jazz

My week-long march through my backlog continues today with quick looks at five new albums in the jazz and/or blues idioms. No! Wait! Come back! Seriously, these are way cool. Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip – Ain’t Bad Yet Finland: Home of the blues. Right? Well, of course not. But this Finnish group – led

Hundred-word Reviews January 2016: Reissues

Today’s collection of hundred-word reviews focuses on recent reissues of note. Uriah Heep – Totally Driven I’m not going to try to tell you that the turn of the 21st century was Uriah Heep‘s finest hour. Their high point was in the early 1970s, around the time of Demons and Wizards and The Magician’s Birthday

Box Set Review: George Duke — The Era Will Prevail (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Vol. 3: Feel Released in October 1974, Feel again featured bassist John Heard and drummer Ndugu alongside George Duke, but his guest artists lent a decidedly adventurous air to the disc: husband and wife Airto Moreira (the Brazilian percussionist Duke knew well through his association with Julian “Cannonball” Adderley) and Flora

Box Set Review: George Duke — The Era Will Prevail (Part One)

George Duke (1946-2013) was one of the most fascinating figures in music during the second half of the 20th century. Duke was a jazz-and-classically trained musician proficient on any number of instruments, though he is best known as a keyboard player. He got his start collaborating with French virtuoso violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, and his early