Category Archives: Blues


Steve Krase: Buckle Up – for a rockin’ blues ride!!

Buckle UpThe title of the new album from Steve Krase is Buckle Up (featuring Trudy Lynn) and that’s just what you should do before you listen to the album!  Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride!  The worst thing about the ten track album is that it’s only 39 minutes long! The album had me from the opening rocker “Jolene” right on through to the closing track – an instrumental titled  “Now”, and there were not many times during the album that my feet were not in motion!

Buckle Up is the second album from Krase, who was born in New York, educated at the University of Akron in Ohio, where he graduated with a degree in geology. After graduation Krase has spent time in California, Louisiana, and for the last 20 years he has called Texas home. During his years in Texas, Krase has played blues harp for Jerry Lightfoot and the Essentials and Matt Leddy and the Meatcutters.  Based on what I have heard on Buckle Up, he played that harp pretty damn well!!

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Today in Music – September 16,1925 – “Blues Boy” Riley King is born!!

B B KingSo today is the 88th birthday of probably the greatest blues musician of all time and certainly the one whose been at the top of his craft the longest, B.B. King!! First, here’s  the obligatory background information from Wikipedia, like he needs and introduction:

Riley B. King (born September 16, 1925), known by the stage name B.B. King, is an American blues musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No. 6 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time (previously ranked No. 3 in the 2003 edition of the same list),[1] and he was ranked No. 17 in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”.[2] According to Edward M. Komara, King “introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that would influence virtually every electric blues guitarist that followed.”[3] King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname “The King of Blues”, and one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” (along with Albert King and Freddie King).[4][5][6] King is also known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career appearing at 250-300 concerts per year until his seventies. In 1956 it was noted that he appeared at 342 shows. King continues to appear at 100 shows a year.
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British Blues 2014 Album of the Year winner – Standing in the Shadows from King King congrats!

The British Blues Music Awards were held last Sunday night, I will review the total list at some point today and write about the winners, but for now here is a post I wrote after listening to the album Standing in the Shadows from King King, which won the award for Blues Album of the Year. I have also reviewed the two runners up Aynsley Lister’s Home and Shake the Walls from Marcus Bonfanti!!

Standing in the Shadows

So it’s always pretty neat when I listen to an album, like I did with Standing in the Shadows from the blues band King King, are blown away, and then go to their website and read that they were the winners of the Best Band & Best Album at the British Blues 2012 Awards!! They are also Winners of ‘Best Band’ & ‘Best Album’ – Blues Matters Writers Poll in 2011!! Hailing from Glasgow King King is fronted by guitarist Alan Nimmo, formerly of the award-winning Nimmo Brothers. As I listened to the album, I heard tracks that went from all out blues ballads to funky blues… from the band’s Facebook page..

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One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer, Please cause it’s John Lee Hooker’s birthday!! (August 22, 1917)

John Lee HookerOn this day – August 22 –  in 1917 in Coahoma County near Clarksdale, Mississippi John Lee Hooker one of the most influential blues musicians across several generations was born. From Wikipedia

John Lee Hooker (August 22, 1917 – June 21, 2001) was a highly influential American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist.

Hooker began his life as the son of a sharecropper, William Hooker, and rose to prominence performing his own unique style of what was originally a unique brand of country blues. He developed a ‘talking blues’ style that was his trademark. Though similar to the early Delta blues, his music was metrically free. John Lee Hooker could be said to embody his own unique genre of the blues, often incorporating the boogie-woogie piano style and a driving rhythm into his blues guitar playing and singing. His best known songs include “Boogie Chillen’” (1948), “I’m in the Mood” (1951) and “Boom Boom” (1962), the first two reaching #1 on the Billboard R&B chart. Continue Reading

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Shake the Walls

British Blues from Marcus Bonfanti – Shake the Walls – and he does!!

When I first reviewed the nominees for the 2014 British Blues awards one of the many nominees whose name I was unfamiliar with was MarcusShake the Walls Bonfanti. So I downloaded and put his most recent album, the one that is among the nominees for Blues Album of the Year Shake the Walls, on the iPhone, where it has been in my regular rotation ever since. If I had a vote for the Best British Blues album, it would most likely get my vote! While Bonfanti may be unfamiliar to me, he certainly isn’t unfamiliar to the lovers of British Blues. Bonfanti won the award for Best Acoustic Performer in 2013 and took home the Best Songwriter award in 2012! This year in addition to his nomination for Blues Album, Bonfanti is also nominated for the following awards…..

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Love the Way You Roll from The Alexis P. Suter Band – You’ll Love the Way She Does!!

Alexis P SuterSome voices are made for the blues among them is Alexis P. Suter leader of the aptly titled Alexis P Suter Band!  Alexis who calls Brooklyn NY has IT when it comes to the blues and it on display in full force in the band’s sixth release Love the Way You Roll The Blues Music Association agrees, in 2012 she was a nominee for the Soul Blues Female  Artist of the Year. I don’t think that the nomination will be her last and it won’t be too long before she wins the award!! The first time she shared the stage with B.B. King he said this about Alexis…

“It’s a rare thing to share the stage with great talent like that young lady.” 

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Exploring the Blues of Son Seals – Live – Spontaneous Combustion – on his birthday August 14th (1942)

On this date in 1942 blues guitarist and singer Frank “Son” Seals in Osceola, Arkansas. I must say that I have never been a big fan of Son SealsSon Seals I have one Seals album on cassette Live and Burnin‘ and have enjoyed it whenever I play it. A birthday is always a good tine to learn more about a musician and listen to their music.  So this is what I learn about Son Seals today…..

His father Jim “Son” Seals owned a small juke joint  in Osceola, where Son began his professional music career as a drummer with Robert Nighhawk at the ripe old age of 13! Later he switched to guitar and by 16 he was performing at the local upper echelon club T-99 beside “Little Walter” (Seals’ brother-in-law). At the T-99,  he also shared the stage with the likes of  Albert King, Rufus Thomas, Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, and Rosco Gordon. From Wikipedia:

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The Safari Rediscovers British Blues Music Award Nominee Aynsley Lister’s Home!

Get Ready to Rock

Coming up on August 24th is the British Blues Music Award Ceremony….one of the nominees for blues Album of the Year is Home from Aynsley Lister.


Here’s my post from earlier this year about the album……   So in 1984 across the pond in Leicester, England an eight year old Aynsley Lister was given his first guitar. By the time 1989 rolled around the 13 year-old played his first gig and had a band. When he turned 18 he opened for Buddy Guy and had self-released two albums of his own material. He also caught the eye of Thomas Ruf and he was signed to Ruf Records a union that would produce seven albums and two DVDs over the next ten years! Now the rising young guitar slinger was playing along side of Walter Trout, John Mayall and Robert Cray, not bad eh? His music appealed not just to blues fans but he also started to gain rock music fans that allowed him to play festivals with bands like Fun Lovin’ Criminals. So while firmly rooted in the blues, his branches reached the rock crowd. This led to his being the only British artist to be named in  in Classic Rock magazine’s “Top 10 Contemporary Blues Artists”, alongside John Mayer, Derek Trucks and Joe Bonamassa!! In 2008 he left Ruf and moved to Manhaton Records and released two more highly acclaimed albums Equilibrium and the Tower Sessions. The later album was  voted ‘Best Live Album’ in the 2011 Blues Matters Writers Poll!!  Now with all that said I want to know why did it take so long for me to find this guy? And yesterday when I did it took a recommendation from Spotify to point him out!! I know all the people he’s played along with, well except, for the Fun Lovin’ Criminals, but yet he has remained hidden from me! Anyway, Home is a great album. His guitar playing blends so nicely with his fine vocals. His guitar work is what I call “tasty” just a the right level, enough that you can see he’s great, but it’s not there just to be there, but there to complement the music! So check him out – As for me I have about twelve albums of his back catalog to check out because i think this is the start of a great audial friendship!! any recommendations as to where to start? Here’s Aynsley performing the title track from the album Home

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This Date in Music – August 7, 1937 – Blues Guitarist Magic Slim was born!!

On this date August 7th in 1937, Morris Holt, better known as Magic Slim was born at Torrance, near Grenada, Mississippi. Magic Slim followed Muddy Water and Howlin’ Wolf to Chicago and became a force in the Chicago blues scene. I discovered his music when I started the blog Me, Myself, Music and Mysteries. Here’s my post about Magic Slim from 2o1o…..after this post Slim released one more album Bad Boy (2012) prior to his passing in February of 2013. From Wikipedia….

Slim died at a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 21, 2013 at age 75. He had health problems that had worsened while he was on tour several weeks earlier.[8] His manager had stated bleeding ulcers had sent Slim to the hospital, but that he also suffered from heart, lung and kidney problems

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Happy 78th Birthday to Buddy Guy! It’s been a year since he released Rhythm & Blues?

Rhythm and Bues

Originally posted on July 30, 2013……

Last year on his birthday Buddy Guy released he album Rhythm and Blues. Boy, could another year have flown by so quickly! (I must be having lots of fun because they keep flying by more quickly-right!)  Yes it has and on this date in 1936, Buddy Guy was born. For those of you non-blues fans here some background on Buddy from Wikipedia:

George “Buddy” Guy (born July 30, 1936[1]) is an American blues guitarist and singer. Critically acclaimed, he is a pioneer of the Chicago blues sound and has served as an influence to some of the most notable musicians of his generation, including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. In the 1960s Guy was a member of Muddy Waters’ band and was a house guitarist at Chess Records. He can be heard on Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor” and Koko Taylor’s “Wang Dang Doodle” as well as on his own Chess sides and the series of records he made with harmonica player Junior Wells.

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