blues Archive

Album Review: Jimmie Vaughan – The Pleasure’s All Mine

Among the wider population, Jimmie Vaughan is known as the older brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan, as the founding guitarist in the Fabulous Thunderbirds and for his work with that group during its most high-profile period. But blues aficionados have long appreciated the Texas-born musician for the music he has made under his own name

30 Days Out, April 2021 #2: Ashley Heath, Day & Dream, Hustle Souls, Travers Brothership

Well, it looks as if live music has now truly returned, after a fashion. Social distancing remains in effect, but the warmer weather opens up opportunities to enjoy live music in (relative) safety. For this welcome-back edition of 30 Days Out, I’m focusing on all local acts. Artist: Ashley Heath and Her Heathens Venue: The

Album Review: Alabama Slim — The Parlor

When key rock musicians acknowledged their debt to blues figures in the 1960s, many of those bluesmen found themselves with a new and younger audience. Their belated wider recognition came just in time, as many were well into their middle years or beyond. Now, a half century later, most all of the blues giants have

Album Review: Selwyn Birchwood – Living in a Burning House

Even before the shrink wrap is off Selwyn Birchwood’s third album, it’s telegraphed that the package represents a more serious offering than what has come before. From its title to the photo of the steely-eyed guitarist, Living in a Burning House establishes a vibe miles away from the youthful, smiling Birchwood of his 2014 major-label

Kirk Fletcher’s Pathway to (and Through) the Blues, Part Five

Continued from Part Four … Fletcher celebrated his 45th birthday in December 2020; that’s still relatively young to be taking a look back at one’s life journey. But in some ways – though he clearly has many years ahead of him – that’s what My Blues Pathway represents. The ten-track release on Cleopatra Blues stands

Kirk Fletcher’s Pathway to (and Through) the Blues, Part Four

Continued from Part Three … I’m Here & I’m Gone was Fletcher’s attempt at making what he calls “a sort of business card, so I could get gigs.” Looking back on that record, he believes that he wasn’t quite ready to make an album. “I can hear my youth and my love for blues, but

Kirk Fletcher’s Pathway to (and Through) the Blues, Part Three

Continued from Part Two … When Fletcher was 13, an affiliated congregation invited him to play guitar with their youth choir. He recalls thinking, “Okay, someone wants me to come join something else. It’s not just at the church where my parents and everybody I know is.” He looks back on that opportunity as an

Kirk Fletcher’s Pathway to (and Through) the Blues, Part Two

Continued from Part One … Even as he grew to adulthood and launched a career as a professional musician, Fletcher would remain in California – not in Compton, though – for many years. When he wasn’t touring, he could be found back in the Los Angeles area; his daughter was born and grew up there.

Kirk Fletcher’s Pathway to (and Through) the Blues, Part One

An edited version of this feature was published previously in Living Blues. Frequent Blues Music Awards nominee Kirk “Eli” Fletcher is known as a lead guitarist, but he considers himself a “born accompanist.” That perspective is in large part the product of his musical roots, playing electric guitar in gospel church services led by his

Album Review: Nora Jean Wallace – BluesWoman

Greenwood, Mississippi born and raised, Nora Jean Dawkins has been steeped in the blues and gospel. Her performing and recording career commenced in the ‘70s and includes a tenure in Jimmy Dawkins’ band. After a decade-long hiatus during which she raised a family, she returned to music in 2002. She went on to release a