blues Archive

Album Review: The Butterfield Blues Band — East-West

Some people — musicians, listeners, you name it — get their nose out of joint when writers apply labels to music. How dare we, the thinking goes. The music shouldn’t be shoehorned into some reviewer’s preconceived notion of stylistic categories. I’m guilty as charged of said pigeonholing, and I make no apologies. I see part

Album Review: Dave Keller — Soul Changes

Preconceptions can be a dangerous thing. When I read the advances of Dave Keller‘s Soul Changes, I made the assumption that Keller would be the latest vocalist in a Memphis-flavored retro bag. And while he is in fact that, he’s much more. Taking nothing away from the fine singers who don’t play an instrument onstage

Album Review: Magic Sam — Live at the Avant Garde

Soulful blues guitarist Magic Sam (Sam Maghett) was only documented on album-length studio recordings twice in his short career. West Side Soul in 1967 and the following year’s Black Magic – both released on the venerable Delmark label – showed the electric guitarist to good effect. But quite a few live recordings (of varying fidelity)

Leo “Bud” Welch: A Long Journey, Part Two

Continued from Part One… And it is about that good music that I speak – briefly – with Mr. Leo “Bud” Welch. He has made the two-plus hour trip north to his manager’s office on Memphis’ north side specifically so that he can take my call. “I’m not Mr. Welch; I’m about thirty-one years his

Leo “Bud” Welch: A Long Journey, Part One

Every so often I’ll stumble across a story that is so note-perfect, so finely wrought, that my cynical side, the suspicious dimension of my nature is engaged. And since the arts are often home to some serious myth-making, when such stores concern musicians, I am doubly skeptical. But on the rarest of occasions, stories such

Album Review: Blodwyn Pig — Pigthology

On their two well-regarded late 1960s albums, Blodwyn Pig forged a singular musical path, one some might say paved the way for such acts as Roy Wood’s Wizzard. This is epecially true on tracks like “Drive Me” from 1970’s Getting to This. Elsewhere they sounded not wholly dissimilar to Jethro Tull; this is unsurprising in

Clearing the Backlog: Ten Micro-reviews

As the end of 2013 closes in, I look at my inbox and see a massive stack of CDs. Best as I try, I don’t always follow a first-in/first-out policy with regard to covering releases I find worthy. And while my occasional capsule reviews do help reduce the pile of CD on my desk, today

Album Review: Various — Pete Townshend’s Jukebox

UK-based Chrome Dreams has released a number of these Jukebox titles over the last few years, including titles exploring the influences upon Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and even The Grateful Dead. And while some of these artists have endeavored to do something similar themselves (McCartney’s 1999 Run Devil Run comes to mind), the

Album Review: Humble Pie — Rockin’ the Fillmore: The Complete Recordings

Ruminating on chronicles of excess, I recall that it was just about two years ago that Rhino Handmade released The Grateful Dead‘s Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings. Some 22 complete shows on 73(!) discs, you’d think it’d be more Dead than anyone cold ever want. Of course if you thought that, you’d be – like

Shuggie Otis at The Orange Peel, Asheville NC 9 October 2013 (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Once the doors opened, we entered and secured our barstools, settling in to wait for the show. Minutes earlier, the Orange Peel’s Facebook event update status had informed us that the opening act had canceled last-minute, and as such Shuggie Otis would be taking the stage earlier than usual. At this