blues Archive

Let George Thorogood Tell You Something, My Friend (Part One)

At the appointed time, our mutual contact connected me on the phone with George Thorogood. After a second or two of line noise during which all parties adjusted to the phone call, the renowned blues/rock guitarist shouted an enthusiastic “Hello!” down the line. “Hi, George,” I replied. “It’s a pleasure to talk with you today.

Album Review: Various Artists — The South Side of Soul Street

Not meant to diminish in any way the staggering contribution Stax made to popular music, but that Memphis label was not the be-all and end-all for quality Southern soul music of the 60s and 70s. And while every time a compilation of previously-overlooked music comes out – Los Nuggetz, for example, or the deep-archival comps

A Conversation with Ray Manzarek

This feature is based on my previously-unpublished 2011 interview with the late Doors keyboardist. – bk “I used to play in a band called The Doors.” That deadpan, unprompted statement from Ray Manzarek came about two minutes into our August 2011 phone conversation. I had scheduled an interview with the keyboardist to discuss his involvement

Album Review: Blue Cheer – Rocks Europe

They didn’t call it garage when ? And the Mysterians were playing “96 Tears.” They didn’t label it punk when The Stooges sang about “No Fun.” And they didn’t use the term heavy metal when Blue Cheer released their dipped-in-acid 1967 reading of Eddie Cochran‘s “Summertime Blues.” But heavy metal is most certainly what it

The Bobby Rush Interview, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Bill Kopp: For the last decade, you’ve been releasing your albums on your own label. Do you feel like that gives you greater control over the music, the marketing, those kinds of things? Bobby Rush: It’s good for me, because now I’m in a position where I can record what I

The Bobby Rush Interview, Part One

An exemplar of soul-blues style, Bobby Rush has been an active recording artist for nearly thirty-five years. His 2000 release Hoochie Mama was nominated for a Grammy in the blues category. His latest album finds him moving more toward the sounds of his youth. Produced by multi-instrumentalist Paul Brown, Down in Louisiana is Rush’s 26th

Album Review: Albert King – Born Under a Bad Sign

Here’s one often reliable method for discerning whether an album is an important one: when you first hear it, do you recognize several of the songs via popular cover versions? I didn’t grow up with the blues; I’m the product of a white, middle-class suburban family; any “ethnic” music I heard growing up in south

Album Review: Jeff Healey – As the Years Go Passing By

Now here’s an interesting package. Compiled and released with the full cooperation, involvement and blessing of the family/estate of the late Jeff Healey, As the Years Go Passing By is a 3CD set bringing together three full concerts. Spaced almost evenly across an eleven-year span of time, these three shows – all done for broadcast

Album Review: Freddie King – The Complete King Federal Singles

Freddie King was a big man with a big guitar sound. An important figure in the history of blues, he’s also one of the most accessible artists in the genre; his influence upon rock artists has been such that when rock-tuned ears hear him, it feels right, familiar somehow. His good-timing approach owed a lot

Album Review: Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective

Seven CDs represents quite a lot of music. And all of the music on Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective was recorded in the space of six and half year years. The earliest tracks date from spring 1965, and the latest cuts were recorded in fall 1971. But the 129 tracks span an impressively wide stylistic