blues Archive

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

Full-on Fun: Guitarist Martin Barre’s Post-Jethro Tull World

Ask most people who the leader of Jethro Tull was, and they say, “Why, Mr. Tull, of course!” No, that’s Ian Anderson you’re thinking of. But the mainstay of that group alongside the flutist/singer was ace guitarist Martin Barre. On all but the first of the band’s twenty-plus albums, it’s Barre’s fretwork that you’ll hear.

DVD Review: Taste — What’s Going On: Live at the Isle of Wight

It happens quite rarely: I discover an album or video by a rock artist active decades ago, one who is totally unknown to me. And it’s happened now. Taste was an Irish power trio, fronted by young guitarist Rory Gallagher. Though the group wasn’t together long – in fact their recording career lasted barely two

November 100-word Reviews, Part 3

Today as my regular series of hundred-word reviews continues, I turn my attention toward the sounds of Americana. For my purposes, the term is even more loosey-goosey than the one used by the Americana Music Association: I include blues, rock, and singer/songwriter styles. And why not? Various – In their Own Words, Vols. 1 and

Album Mini-review: Buddy Guy — Born to Play Guitar

File Next to: (early) Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix No one can argue with any amount of credibility that Buddy Guy hasn’t paid his dues. Now 79 years old, the prime exemplar of Chicago electric blues can make any sort of album he cares to make. And it’s worth pointing out that bluesmen

Hundred-word Reviews for September (sic), Part 1 of 8

Time to clear the backlog of discs – worthy ones all – cluttering my office. Beginning today, and occasionally interrupted by other content, here’s a solid two weeks of hundred-word reviews. Terell Stafford – BrotherLee Love Lee Morgan was a hard bop trumpeter who recorded between the mid 1950s and 1971, mostly for the Blue