Jul 302015
 

I went seeking a Blodwyn Pig performance and stumbled on this rare live performance by Juicy Lucy instead. Dig the outdoor hippie scene and see if you don’t settle on a favorite segment or image.

I did find some Blodwyn Pig, as well, which I may come back to at a later date, but the related stuff that showed up in my Bloodwyn Pig search on YouTube led me to a bevy of hippie blooz rock. Here’s a band called Taste, which seems to be a late-’60s band led by Rory Gallagher, before he became one of our friend HVB’s Guitar Tone Heroes:

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May 152015
 

BB-King

Legendary longtime Gibson guitar-mate Lucille has confirmed that blues legend B.B. King has died at the age of 89. I’ll be honest, my deep appreciation of King’s legendary blues status is limited to the standard 1-measure excerpt of the chorus of his legendary hit song, “The Thrill Is Gone,” the bit where he hits a legendary, mellow blues chord and sings the legendary line “The thrill is gone…”

I’m not proud of the fact that I’ve never tuned into the song beside that sole K-Tel ad-length snippet. I must have heard it all the way through a few times, but it made no impression on me. Whenever I saw King playing on late-night talk shows and gala events, I couldn’t get beyond the legendary, tuxedo-clad figure sweating out trills on his legendary Lucille, his eyes closed and his jowls shaking in ecstasy in response to his 2-measure lick, while seated on a chair.

My other bit of evidence of B.B.’s legendary contributions to the world of music came to me through his legendary contributions to U2‘s not-quite legendary blooz exercise, “When Love Came to Town.” Let’s face it: I couldn’t even begin to use the term “not-quite legendary” without B.B.’s 2-measure trills.

So listen, before you get mad at me and post “How dare you…!” replies, please let me know WHY I’m wrong in feeling like B.B. King was the Eric Clapton of the Blues, that is, the most highly regarded musician of his genre for little obvious evidence. I’m aware that the joke is probably on me, but I want to learn exactly why B.B. is due the following heartfelt, official remembrance:

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Oct 142014
 

In the recent discussion of the music of Gordon Lightfoot, I made a reference to Jackson C. Frank, who released only 1 album, which was produced by Paul Simon (whose birthday just happened to pass).

The album leads off with his song, “Blues Run the Game.”

Although this song mentions the blues, it is not a blues song in its structure or style. But the blues do run this particular game of Last Man Standing: How many songs can we name that are about, or mention, the blues, although they are not actually in that genre? I can think of 4. Let’s see if you all can name those songs and more.

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Nov 262012
 

I know very little about Mike Bloomfield. I know he could play. I know he appeared on some bad jam session albums with his old bud Al Kooper. I know he burned out way too soon. I’d never heard him speak until stumbling across this clip. He comes off as a good egg. I’m not happy that I’m headed back to work after a long holiday weekend and that my colleagues and I have a ton of stuff to do before the year is up, so I’ll take all the good eggs I can get to start this week. Thankfully my colleagues are good eggs too. Start your work week with a good egg.

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Nov 142012
 

In a recent discussion of the band Alabama Shakes, whose recent appearance on Austin City Limits surprisingly impressed Townsman Al and yours truly, Townsman Hrrundivbakshi asked a wholly appropriate question:

Seriously, why do us old white folks require “second coming of…” acts to really give us rock boners?

It’s a good question. These days, do I only pop a boner for the “second coming” of Farrah Fawcett and whatever other actresses turned me on when I was a teenage boy? Of course not! My dick, to keep this discussion regrettably crude, has adapted to the joys of new, good-looking actresses with their own contemporary style. What is the deal? Does new music lack tits and ass, or whatever turned us onto music in the first place?

I have no answers, at this point. Let’s discuss HVB’s question.

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Oct 052012
 

If you’re a sucker for the sound of a slide on a National resonator guitar, and you were sitting at a bar havin’ a few beers with Dylan, Robert Johnson, Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Ry Cooder, and Chet Baker, you’d have to scoot over for Chris Whitley.

Scrapyard Lullaby

Ball Peen Hammer

The Texan born Whitley, once described as looking like “Kate Moss in a wifebeater,” is one of those tragic figures whose death in his prime cemented his legendary status as a bluesman. It’s evident just from the sound of him that he has a hellhound on his trail, and he’s applied that feeling and introspection to several solo recordings as well as work with Arto Lindsay, Daniel Lanois, Cassandra Wilson, Shawn Colvin, Mike Watt, Joe Henry, and Medeski, Martin & Wood.

4th Time Around

Hellhound On My Trail (live)

There’s something confessional about his playing and his singing. When I hear his notes and his whispered croak of a voice, he seems to be finding his way as he goes. It almost seems he’s attacking each chord and note, separating them into distinct entities to mine even the most minute musical potential. His eerie recordings divulge and wrangle with his demons, and his work sounds like hard-won wisdom.

I Wanna Be Your Dog

I Go Evil

Okay, let those opinions fly.

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Russ ♥ New York

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Jun 152012
 

Russ Irwin in a New York state of mind.

I’ve received yet another unintentionally hilarious press release. Or maybe it’s just me. That second sentence is especially potent. (And
grammatically a little ambiguous, although the comma makes it mostly okay, I guess.) Ah, the life of an Oliver!

Aerosmith Keyboardist Russ Irwin’s Love Letter to NYC

The *NY Daily News* premiered Aerosmith touring member Russ Irwin’s video for his first single, an ode to his hometown called “Manhattan” from his new solo record ‘Get Me Home.’ Irwin told them about the inspirations for his “retro modern piano record that takes a lot from the blues,” and his recent appearances on *The Real Housewives of NYC. *Read more and see the official video here: http://nydn.us/NulL6g

AOL’s Noisecreep spoke with Irwin about his early career and reveals that he co-wrote Aerosmith’s next single, “What Could Have Been Love” (from their forthcoming album ‘Music From Another Dimension!’). “It’s a hard rock ballad and it’s very McCartney-ish. I think people are gonna love it,” Irwin says. Read the full interview here: http://aol.it/OAffZL

Irwin is currently on tour with Aerosmith.

Looks like there’s more to Russ’ Real Housewives influence than meets this press release!

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