Category Blues Goodness
Diamonds from the Mines: In the service of being a little less “Blue & Lonesome” (even though we’re quite enjoying the state of mind the new LP brings, so thanks boys), we’ve rolled away the stones and cracked open our hermetically sealed, climate-controlled “RPM” vaults to peruse a handful of sparkling jewels and (thankfully) non-scuffed […]
Ultimately, despite (or perhaps because of) being bashed-about and knocked-out off-the-cuff, “Blue & Lonesome” firmly and expansively situates itself in time and place. Like most good albums, it captures and distills a mood and a feeling, a frame of mind, a state of being, and it’s a welcome, if relatively brief (at 42 minutes), escape.
If it’s a bit hard to believe that my friend and colleague Ted Drozdowski is “only” celebrating the tenth anniversary of his lava-hot, molten blues trio, it may be because the veteran bandleader and award-winning music journalist has spent close to a lifetime listening to, and writing about, the very music he’s always treasured and revered. Playing it […]
BEANO’S BLUESBREAKING BEST: When Clapton Really WAS God (And Who Created Him? Why, John Mayall, Of Course!)
To me, this is Clapton at his rawest and fiercest; his bluesiest, purest, and most exciting, channeling his hero Freddie King (and even covering a tune or two) with a bottomless bag of stinging riffs, ferocious solo outbursts, and inventive accents of color and melody.
FROM LITTLE RED ROOSTER TO HOOCHIE COOCHIE MAN: Reflections On Willie Dixon, Blues’ Biggest Songwriter, At 100
“RPM” is pausing to reflect on the Centennial of the birth of Willie Dixon, surely the greatest and single most important songwriter of modern blues, as well as an ace bassist-producer-arranger-session man, who would have turned 100 today (after battling diabetes for many years, he died of heart failure at the age of 76 in […]
Originally posted on RPM: Jonathan Perry's Life in Analog:
Buddy Guy’s blues and soul spirit reaches everywhere. Here I was today, working on assembling my Buddy Guy tribute package as a tasty tie-in and preview to his pair of local shows later this week (Aug. 2 at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton; Aug. 3 at the…
It’s almost impossible to envision the towering legacy of the Blues without the nearly as monumental legacy of B.B. King. Along with seminal originators like Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, and Muddy Waters, King’s titanic contributions to the genre — his life’s work, really — are all but incalculable. King, who died at home in Las Vegas at the age of 89 last […]
Before blues-punk deconstructionist duos like the White Stripes and Black Keys hit the big time, Cambridge Massachusetts’ Mr. Airplane Man had built a beautiful little buzz-bomb of a flying machine for two. The garage-blooze twosome comprised of singer-guitarist Margaret Garrett and drummer Tara McManus may have named themselves after a Howlin’ Wolf song during their bleary, brilliant, and all-too […]
This is my brain on records (and quite possibly the cerebral cortex of a few of you out there who also obsess about such things): I couldn’t stand Mason Ruffner giving me the cold shoulder any longer. There he was, every time I sifted through the “R” section in the bins of my favorite […]
“Jimi was so shy,” Kramer says. “He never said a word in the beginning. He was very polite, very reserved, but once he plugged in and started playing I realized, ‘this is pretty special’. I had heard a couple of singles he had done, but hearing him playing right there in the same room was a whole different ball game. But very quickly, once I established the sound that he liked, we got on extremely well and we could communicate – even though he would describe sounds to me as colors, like, ‘Man, I want it to sound kinda purple, you know what I mean, man?’ And I would come up with a sound that was purple. We inspired each other …”