blues Archive

Album Review: Etta James — The Montreux Years

Announced in March 2021, an archive of historically significant musical recordings is now beginning to be shared with the wider listening audience. Run by Claude Nobs, the highly regarded Montreux Jazz Festival hosted some of the biggest names in jazz (and beyond) in Switzerland for its annual concerts. In a new arrangement with BMG, selected

Album Review: Christone “Kingfish” Ingram — 662

More than a century and a half after it began, and some 85 years after Robert Johnson recorded two-dozen plus songs, the blues is in good hands. While a few of the blues’ leading light – like Bobby Rush and Buddy Guy – -are still treading the boards, younger artists are showing that the blues

More from My Chat with Joe Bonamassa

I recently spoke to blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa ahead of a summer 2021 mini-tour of the West Coast. The interview formed the core of a print feature I wrote. Below is additional content from the conversation, material that didn’t make it into that story. — bk What led to this mini-tour? We did this three-piece

How Joe Bonamassa Spent His (Pandemic) Vacation

When touring musicians were forced off the road in March 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic, few thought the disruption would last more than a few months. More than 16 months later, life is only incrementally returning to something approximating normal. Ending an extended period during which its stage has gone dark, the San Jose Civic

Album Review: Tia Carroll — You Gotta Have It

Soulful and funky are handy adjectives often used to describe above-average blues. And those words deserved to be employed yet again in a review of Tia Carroll’s You Gotta Have It. With a smoky, sensual and staggeringly powerful voice, Carroll is the real deal. Her delivery positively exudes well-earned confidence. And the band is so,

30 Days Out, July 2021 #1: Black Joe Lewis, Women of Synthpop, Japanese Breakfast, Songwriters in the Round

Touring artists are getting back into the swing of things. That means that this roundup of live music in Asheville features two national acts. The other two spotlighted shows each present three local artists. A nice mix here of singer-songwriter, electronica, blues and modern pop. And though Ididn’t plain it this way, of the eight

Album Review: American Folk Blues Festival Live in Manchester 1962

Owing to a fascinating and complicated set of circumstances, for many years American musicians of color were recognized and celebrated more in the UK and Europe than they were at home. This was the case for quite a few jazz and blues artists; revered overseas, some made the transatlantic trek to appear in front of

Album Review: Chris Cain — Raisin’ Cain

Though he’s a West Coast musician based in San Jose, California, Chris Cain’s vocal and guitar styles owe a significant debt to Mississippi-born B.B. King. As showcased on Raisin’ Cain, his first album for Alligator Records, Cain’s approach to the blues is one steeped in the postwar electric tradition. Lyrically, Raisin’ Cain traffics in familiar

Album Review: David Rotundo Band – So Much Trouble

A protégé of Danish harmonica star Lee Oskar (of ‘70s funk-rock-soul group War), Canadian musician David Rotundo sings, plays harmonica and occasional guitar, and writes all of the music on So Much Trouble, his fifth album. Toronto-based Rotundo launched his first band in 1997, and was first heard on record when he released Blowin’ for

30 Days Out, May 2021 #2: Asheville Jazz Orchestra, Drivin N Cryin, Hit Dogs, Ana Popović

While it remains to be seen what exactly the “new normal” is, it indeed looks like we’re there. Mask mandates are lifted, responsible people have been getting vaccinated, and venues are feverishly booking live music. Go see and hear some! Here are four live shows happening in and around Asheville in the coming 30 days.