blues Archive

Chocolate Samurai: More from My Conversation with Fantastic Negrito (Part One)

Thanks to my friend and former bandmate Jeff Japp, I discovered the music of Fantastic Negrito right around the time he released his stunning – and eventually Grammy-winning – debut, The Last Days of Oakland. I’ve also been lucky enough to see him live onstage no less than three times, and I’ve had at least

Fantastic Negrito: ‘These are My Friends’

This feature appeared previously in SF Weekly — bk When Xavier Dphrepaulezz reinvented himself as Fantastic Negrito, his self-described “black roots music for everyone” struck a chord with the listening public. While he had released an album in the ‘90s as Xavier, the life-changing aftermath of a serious auto accident in 1999 led to his

Elvin Bishop and Charlie Musselwhite: Birds of a Feather Make Blues Together

This feature appeared previously in SF Weekly. The musical careers of Elvin Bishop and Charlie Musselwhite have followed similar paths. Both were raised in America’s heartland: Bishop in Iowa, Musselwhite in Tennessee. Both white musicians developed a deep and abiding love for the blues, eventually relocating to Chicago. After establishing themselves as formidable players –

Elvin Bishop: Still Struttin’ His Stuff at 78 (part 2 of 2)

Continued from Part One … Bill Kopp: Had you been playing guitar before you moved to Chicago in 1960? Elvin Bishop: I was fooling around with it in Tulsa. But it was hard to find anybody that really knew how to play the blues. I had learned a few chords, but it was basically like

Elvin Bishop: Still Struttin’ His Stuff at 78 (part 1 of 2)

Today, October 21, is the birthday of blues guitarist Elvin Bishop. He came on the scene with Chicago-based Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the ‘60s. The eventual Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (2015) and Blues Hall of Famer (2016) went on to a prolific and creatively fertile solo career, though his fame outside the

Here Comes Charlie Musselwhite!

Renowned blues harp (or harmonica, if you like) player Charlie Musselwhite was born in Mississippi, raised in Memphis, and headed to Chicago to follow the blues. His landmark 1966 LP Stand Back! Here Comes Charley [sic] Musselwhite’s Southside Band is an exemplar of the powerful Chicago blues style. He has won 14 Blues Music Awards,

30 Days Out, October 2020 #2: Pretty Little Goat, Natti Love Joys, Marcus King Trio, Jane Kramer

Welp … looks like we’re back to live, in-person concerts. After a fashion, that is. All of the shows spotlighted in this edition of “30 Days Out” are socially-distanced in one manner or another. One’s a drive-in show (concertgoers stay in or near their vehicle). Another is an outdoor lawn concert. Another is in a

Album Review: Parish Hall — s/t

One of the longest lists that exists is the one noting recordings that were overlooked because there was simply too much good music already happening. It’s a delight – especially for a listener who enjoys musical styles whose time has (officially, any way) come and gone – to discover a long lost, previously unheard gem

Adi the Monk: The ‘Cosmic Thread” Running Though His Music

Asheville’s music community features an impressive number of unique personalities. But it’s safe to say that only one has a personal history that includes a period spent as a Vaishnava monk. Ādi Puruṣa Das performs and records as Adi the Monk, making instrumental music that – on the surface at least – has little to

Album Review: Franck L. Goldwasser – Sweet Little Black Spider

The 1980s were not a rich era for the blues. But the decade wasn’t without highlights. Artists like Joe Louis Walker and Arthur Adams were prominent on the scene. And older artists like Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins and Charlie Musselwhite were still wowing audiences and cutting records. And French-born guitarist Franck L. Goldwasser (then known