blues Archive

Album Review: John Lee Hooker — Whiskey & Wimmen

John Lee Hooker was one of the most important blues artists of his – or any other – generation. With a style that managed at once to be thoroughly authentic and somehow commercial, Hooker’s output has become part of the American musical lexicon. After a stint on a smaller label, Hooker signed with Vee-Jay, for

Album Review: Paul Butterfield — Live New York 1970

A blues vocalist and harmonica player extraordinaire, Paul Butterfield is most fondly remembered for his time leading the Butterfield Blues Band, an exemplar of the successful hybridization of electric jazz and blues; not insignificantly, the result of that hybrid sounded and felt a lot like rock (of the more adventurous variety). For reasons one suspects

Book Reviews: Two by Rev. Keith A. Gordon

Today I present a special Saturday blog post. — bk And I thought I was prolific! One of the leading lights among my music journo brethren has released yet another – actually, two – book in his ongoing series of criticism/review collections. With astounding regularity, in recent years the Right Reverend Keith A Gordon has

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