blues Archive

Album Review: Smoke Fairies — Darkness Brings the Wonders Home

The influence of American blues forms upon the music of Led Zeppelin is widely acknowledged; though they took it in a heavier direction that sometimes tended to exaggerate its more, shall we say, macho tendencies, Zep undoubtedly helped open a generation’s ears to the style. But it’s unfairly reductive to label the band as merely

Eric Gales: (More) Beyond the Blues

To listeners who have followed his work over the last new decades, it may appear that guitarist Eric Gales has evolved his technique. While quite good for what they are, the pair of albums he released in 2006-7, Crystal Vision and The Psychedelic Underground are characterized by what detractors might call overplaying. “My approach has

Hundred Word Reviews for February 2020

Time for some more quick reviews. All good stuff, all worthy of deeper coverage. And all worth your time if you’re in the mood for some new sounds. Previte / Saft / Cline – Music from the Early 21st Century Bobby Previte is a drummer whose work falls into the avant garde/no wave box. Nels

Fantastic Negrito: Never Give Up

When Fantastic Negrito emerged onto the music scene in 2015, he looked to all the world like a new, emerging artist. Winner of that year’s Tiny Desk Contest for his song and video “Lost in a Crowd,” the Oakland musician showcased a sound that built upon the blues, but that didn’t conform to most people’s

Bill Altman: It All Goes Back to the Blues

Bill Altman has a diverse and eclectic résumé. His background as a musician – primarily on guitar but including other instruments as well – includes touring and recording acts in rock, blues and other musical idioms. For more than a decade, he has been first-call guitarist at Flat Rock Playhouse; he has worked as musical

Boom Boom! More from my Conversation with Pat Travers

The following is a companion piece to my Pat Travers feature found here. Rock fans of a certain age remember Pat Travers’ hit era. The Canadian guitarist scored FM radio hits with “Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)” and “Snortin’ Whiskey,” both in the late ’70s. But he’s remained active since then; his catalog features

Pat Travers is Still Right in the Swing of Things

Pat Travers was part of a wave of late ’70s guitar heroes, artists who – in the wake of Peter Frampton’s runaway success – seemed poised to break out in a major way. But just as that started to happen, a combination of changing fashions, corporatization of rock radio and just plain bad luck blunted

30 Days Out: January 2020 #2: Jake Shimabukuro, Tinsley Ellis, The Seratones, Ashley Heath & Her Heathens

Artist: Jake Shimabukuro Venue: The Orange Peel Date: Friday, Jan 24, 8 p.m. Door: $30 Ukulele probably isn’t the first instrument that comes to mind when one thinks of powerfully rocking music. But Jake Shimabukuro is the sort of artist who can make that comparatively humble instrument work in a surprising variety of contexts. His

Samantha Fish: More Than Just a Girl with a Guitar (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … “Kill or Be Kind” is as far away as you can get from the idea of a song that’s merely an excuse for a guitar solo. I get the sense that you’ve got a confidence that you don’t have as much to prove as you did in the past. Honestly,

Samantha Fish: More Than Just a Girl with a Guitar (Part One)

Early in her career, Missouri-born guitarist and singer Samantha Fish was featured on an album titled Girls With Guitars. It’s difficult to imagine the Samantha Fish of today allowing herself to be billed that way. And though she’s won many awards in the blues idiom, Fish is determined not to be painted into a stylistic