Category Archives: Blog

The Blues Continues – Octogenarians Mayall, Rush and Guy Steal the Show

The 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is now in the books. This time around the blues tent was the place to be! Grammy winner Bobby Rush also stood out in the interview stage jamming with his producer Scott Billington on blues harp). John Mayall, the dean of British blues, regained his dueling lead guitar format with Carolyn Wonderland. And not to be left out Buddy Guy sizzled on guitar, as he took his case directly to the audience (see photo).

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May 12, 2018 · 4:02 pm

Rolling Stones Producer Jimmy Miller: 15 Things You Didn’t Know

Super producer Jimmy Miller’s fascinating back story with The Rolling Stones, Steve Winwood, Primal Scream and more..

Rolling Stones Producer Jimmy Miller: 15 Things You Didn’t Know

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New Orleans Cigar Box Guitar Fest 2018

The latest Blues Center video offers a cigar box guitar primer. It covers the 2018 New Orleans Cigar Box Festival with an interview of founder Collins Kirby and live clips from Samantha Fish, Little Freddie King, Steve Arvey, April Mae & The June Bugs and Ivor Simpson Kennedy. Find out more about Bo Diddley, the premiere cigar box player of all time. Little Freddie and Bo Diddley both hail from McComb, MS.

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Walter “Wolfman” Washington: Blues from New Orleans

Ahead of his India debut, the American bluesman looks back on his eventful career

Walter “Wolfman” Washington is a musician of unparalleled versatility. The American blues vocalist-guitarist’s roots might be in the blues—he’s been performing it for over half a century—but in the past three decades, he has also whipped up some wholesome funk and R&B. It can be heard best on his 1997 record, Blue Moon Risin’.

It is but only natural for Washington to glide between different styles of music effortlessly—he grew up in New Orleans within a family that breathed music. “It was all around me. My whole family was involved in music, including two of my uncles, [the veteran guitarists] Guitar Slim [Eddie Jones] and Lightnin’ Slim [Otis Verries Hicks].”

Next month, Washington will perform for the first time in India, at the Mahindra Blues Festival. “We want to share some of our special brand of New Orleans music with the people,” says the 74-year-old, who started his career as a teenager, playing with pop and R&B singer Lee Dorsey’s group.

Read the full story at: http://rollingstoneindia.com/walter-wolfman-washington-blues-from-new-orleans/

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The Eddie Hinton Story – Will a troubled Southern R&B genius finally get his due?

He should have been a superstar along the lines of Eric Clapton. Or John Mayer. Someone like that. As gifted as he was as a soul singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer, Hinton should have been rich and famous instead of a tragic cult hero who died broke and broken, known mostly only to hardcore Southern R&B obsessives, a man whose best recordings aren’t even in print right now.

But that’s how the hand of fate works sometimes.

After moving to Muscle Shoals, Hinton played guitar on Staple Singers, Boz Scaggs, Waylon Jennings, Mavis Staples, Toots Hibbert and Jimmy Cliff records. His playing is featured prominently on the Aretha Franklin LP “This Girl’s in Love with You.” And “3614 Jackson Highway,” the underrated covers album Cher made at Muscle Shoals Sound, bearing that Sheffield studio’s now famous address.

 

Read the full story at: http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2018/01/eddie_hinton.html

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Wayne Perkins – Alabama’s Forgotten Guitar Master

Great rundown on Wayne Perrkins work with the Rolling Stones. Perkins’ “Hand of Fate” lines are among the most thrilling in a Stones catalog rich with guitar heroics. Skying, and full of heart…Perkins also played on two other cuts from “Black and Blue,” the Stones album “Hand of Fate” appeared on: melancholic ballads “Memory Motel” and “Fool To Cry.” Not only that, R&B number “Worried About You” originally tracked during “Black and Blue” sessions and eventually released on excellent 1981 Stones LP “Tattoo You,” boasts another, cascading Perkins solo.

Perkins’ also worked at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio with  David Porter and the Soul Children,  Dee Dee Warwick, Ronnie Milsap, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, Jimmy Cliff, Jim Capaldi and  Steve Winwood. Perkins also provided lead guitar overdubs on Catch a Fire, the 1973 album by Bob Marley and the Wailers: “Concrete Jungle,” “Stir It Up,” and “Baby We’ve Got a Date.”

http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2017/10/rolling_stones_bob_marley.html

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our mission

Bluescentric.org is a nonprofit organization capturing the essential stories of New Orleans blues and roots music via oral history and digital production. Sharing the musical, cultural, and historical significance of New Orleans and its region’s music, Bluescentric.org traces paths in the blues as well as its central influence on many related genres. With an engaging and interactive multimedia and curriculum featuring new and exclusive content with legendary artists, BluesCentric passes down culture to the next generation of music fans, students, and musicians across the globe.

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Led Zeppelin’s New Orleans Connection

Led Zeppelin in 1977, photo by Jim Summaria

From their phoenix-like rise from the Yardbirds’ ashes in 1968 until the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, Led Zeppelin ruled from atop Mt. Olympus as gods of rock. The British quartet of singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones and Bonham defined heavy metal while dabbling widely in folk, psychedelia and pop styles. In the days before MTV and the internet, large parts of a band’s history fell below the radar. So, while Zep’s blues background may be well known, its relationship with New Orleans and 1976 track “Royal Orleans” could do with a recap.

The Royal Orleans Hotel

Infamous for their ability to party, Led Zeppelin naturally fell in love New Orleans, making it a hub for regional tours. The song depicts the aftermath of a 1973 show at the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium. “Royal Orleans” and references the French Quarter hotel (now called The Omni Royal Orleans) at which the band stayed during their frequent trips to New Orleans. The lyrics harken back to a chaotic evening on Bourbon Street in May of 1973.

Rumor has it that John Paul Jones took a woman up from the hotel bar to his room, unaware that “she” was a transvestite. Subsequently, someone fell asleep while smoking and caused the room to go up in flames. John Paul Jones rejected parts of the story but relented that the room did catch fire, as firemen tore down the doors and took axes to the quaint hotel space. The lyrics joked:

New Orleans queens
Sure know how to schmooze it
Maybe for some that seems alright
When I step out, strut down with my sugar
She’d best not talk like Barry White

The band continued to enjoy the city for years to come. However, in 1977 shortly before a show at the Superdome, Robert Plant got the life-shattering news of his 5 year-old son Karac’s death from an infection. Led Zeppelin never played in the USA again with their original lineup. In the intervening 4 decades, both Page and Plant have returned to the blues for inspiration as they have often been spotted in local clubs and shops. In 1998, Page and Plant released a blues rock update called Walking into Clarksdale.

Atlantic Records promo man and Memphian, Phillip Rauls vouched for the Led Zeppelin’s blues fixation. “They always wanted to talk about blues music and Memphis music…” The remaining band members have only reunited a few times since the death of John Bonham. In 2007, they resurrected their mammoth sound to commemorate the record executive who signed them, Ahmet Ertegun with a full-length show. That lineup with heir apparent extraordinaire on skins, Jason Bonham (John’s son), might have carried on and made a bank. However, Plant has stuck to his solo career with great success including 3 grammy wins in 2008 for the T-Bone Burnette-produced Raising Sand with Allison Krauss. Page meanwhile has kept Led Zeppelin’s catalog in tip-top shape by overseeing a complete reissue series (each with a bonus album of studio and live tracks) released in 2015. The smoke from the heady days of the 1970’s may have cleared, but Led Zeppelin’s passion for New Orleans and the blues did not fade away.

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Gil Scott-Heron: Bluesologist

Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron was one of the most influential spoken-word poets of late 1960s and early 1970s. His post-beat poetry concerned a wide array of urban socio-economic, political, and racial issues. The ‘Godfather of Rap’ absorbed stylistic inspiration from Langston Hughes, Malcolm X and Huey Newton. A self-described “bluesologist” concerned with the traditions of blues and jazz music, he was born in Chicago, and grew up partly in Tennessee and the Bronx. Worldly and wordy from a very young age, he published his first volume of poetry at the age of 13. While attending Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, he started the band Black & Blues with musician/producer Brian Jackson.

The ‘revolution’ began when Heron recorded his well received debut album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox on Flying Dutchman Records in 1970. The album opened with the hip anthem “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” which derives its name from a catchphrase used by African-American activists during the 1960s. The next year, Scott-Heron recorded Pieces of a Man, marking a shift to a funkier-sounding yet more structured album. In 1974, Scott-Heron and Jackson released their collaborative album Winter in America on Strata-East Records, which retrospectively became their most critically-acclaimed work. Winter in America delivered a combination of blues, soul and jazz with his rapping and often melismatic singing. These early works of Gil Scott-Heron were seminal to styles of music such as hip-hop, neo-soul, and contemporary jazz.

http://www.westword.com/music/gil-scott-heron-a-bluesologist-cultural-anthropologist-and-black-icon-5702821

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Jason Isbell at the Joy

Setlist for Saturday October 22, 2016 at The Joy Theater in New Orleans. A ton of soul from the Muscle Shoals maestro and plenty of 400 company and Drive by Truckers material and a John Prine cover to boot.

Jason Isbell at the Joy Theater in New Orleans, LA

Jason Isbell at the Joy Theater in New Orleans, LA

Go It Alone
Flying Over Water
Different Days
24 Frames
Something More Than Free
Decoration Day
Speed Trap Town
The Life You Chose
Traveling Alone
Codeine
Elephant
Alabama Pines
Cover Me Up
If It Takes a Lifetime
Stockholm
Never Gonna Change

Encore:
Storm Windows (with Josh Ritter)
Super 8
Children of Children

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