blues Archive

The Beth Hart Interview, Part 2: “It’s just about being fuckin’ honest and real.”

Continued from Part One … Bill Kopp: Wait a minute … did you just say 65 songs? Beth Hart: Oh, yeah. At first, you know, some people are better at learning things than others. Some people have really great memory, so they can just do it. And then with other people, it takes time. But

The Beth Hart Interview, Part 1: “If we have a bad show, no one’s going to die.”

Beth Hart is one of the most popular vocalist-songwriters working in the blues idiom today. But she doesn’t confine her work to one genre. Her latest album, Fire on the Floor is all over the place stylistically, and that’s meant in the best possible way. I interviewed Hart for a story that was scheduled to

Album Mini-review: Otis Taylor — Fantasizing About Being Black

File next to Ali Farka Touré, Robert Johnson, Miles Davis Otis Taylor is one of the foremost modern-day practitioners of the blues. He doesn’t make bar-band electric blues; instead, his largely acoustic approach to the form is built upon the Delta traditions of old, delivered with a decidedly contemporary mindset. Honored recipient of a dozen

Quick Takes, Part Two

More quick-take reviews … Pop Co-op – Four State Solution Making an album via file sharing – instead of the old-fashioned method of gathering in a studio – is now a well-established practice. The title of this set refers to the approach used to make it. Steve Stoeckel’s name will be familiar to pop connoisseurs;

Album Review: The Rolling Stones — Blue & Lonesome

File next to: Eric Clapton, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon Few people expected the Rolling Stones to make a very good (and quite possibly great) album in 2016. The year of rock star and celebrity death spared Keith Richards; that itself was remarkable enough. But for Blue & Lonesome, their 23rd studio album – and their

Ana Popović: Modern Artist (part 2)

Continued from Part 1… That modern approach made itself manifest from Popović’s first American release, 2002’s Hush! Taking full advantage of her interest in – and skill at delivering – a wide array of styles, Hush! is most definitely not an album designed to pander to blues purists. The disc has a dozen tunes, three

Ana Popović: Modern Artist (part 1)

The label “hot blues guitarist” can be applied to Ana Popović in more than one way. The Serbian-born, conservatory-trained guitarist cuts an undeniably striking figure onstage with her short skirts and stiletto heels, but those visuals shouldn’t detract from the fact that she’s a skilled interpreter of a decidedly modern version of the blues. Popović

Reed Turchi: Back to the Roots

It was only last February that Reed Turchi was making a trip back to his boyhood home of Swannanoa for an album release party for Speaking in Shadows by his group The Caterwauls. Turchi was excited: new album, new band, new tour. Less than a year later, all of those things are well behind him.

Nothing But David Bromberg

David Bromberg has been making records since 1972. He’s never become a household name; that fact has more to do with his unassuming approach to music. He’s no showboating spotlight-stealer; rather than reach for fame and fortune, he’s maintained a relatively low-key profile on the music scene for decades. But those in-the-know have long sought

The Nighthawks: From Acoustic to Full-on Electric Onslaught

Since their start in 1972, journeyman blues outfit The Nighthawks have been faithfully doing their part to keep the blues alive. Though the lineup has changed – only founder-leader Mark Wenner remains from the original group – the Washington, D.C.-based quartet has consistently breathed fresh life into the uniquely American musical form. Joined by vocalist