So during the first week in February the Blues clubs up and down Beale Street were alive with bands representing Blues Societies from around the world. As over 100 bands and 80 solo/duo acts participated in the 27th International Blues Challenge hosted by The Blues Foundation Now for the first 26 years of the Challenges existence I never heard of it (big surprise there), but I had heard of some of the IBC alumni like Tommy Castro and Susan Tedesci. This last year though I’ve listened and written about even more alumni like Eden Brent. the late Sean Costello, Albert Cummings, Delta Moon, Jason Ricci, Albert Castiglia, The Ty Curtis Band and most recently The Laurie Morvan Band! The Challenge was held over four days for the first time this year, with two days of quarter finals, one day of semi-finals and then the finals at the famous Orpheum Theater.
Been listening to this guy a lot lately. Rob Blaine was recently voted vest guitarist at the International Blues Challenge! Overall he finished in third in the Challenge. More later on his album Big Otis Blues and the Blues Challenge!
So over the last few days I’ve been listening to two albums from artists that I listened to briefly, decided I really didn’t care for them so I haven’t really listened since then. Shame on me! Both of the artists are from Texas one is a blues man, Hamilton Loomis and the other a folkie, well, actually two folkies Adam Carroll and Michael O’Connor. I listened to Loomis’ 2010 release Live in England and Carroll and O’Connor’s Hard Times.
So you start with a great rhythm section laying down that funky beat. That would be bass provided by Dave “The Butcher” Alves and drums by Donnie Hughley, add some great keyboard work from Steve “Doc” Yankee and Christain VanAntwepen and top that all off with….. what Gary von Tersch of Big City Rhythm & Blues calls
So I went from being on furlough for a week and a half to working nine plus hours a day outside! Now yesterday was fine and tomorrow looks ok, but today it was damn cold especially in the AM. Now I had a drive to the site, which was in Philly out on Lancaster Avenue, but instead of paying attention to the music playing I had to pay attention to things like traffic, traffic lights and stop signs!! Reminds me of that old Morey Amsterdam joke about walking in New York traffic being musical “you either c sharp or b flat!” Anyway what have I been semi-listening to over the last few days! Well one artist, is the one I am listening to right now and that is Shaun Cromwell , and his new release Folk-Worn Prose. Last month the album was seven on the Folk DJ Chart and over all Shaun was the number four artist!
So for the most part I was successful in finding dead people today. Well, not really dead people just their death certificates. I went to the State Archives and found about ten certificates for my wife’s extensive genealogical research. On my way there are back, I continued this week’s musical journey and listened to a little Americana, roots, blues from Damon Fowler’s latest album on Blind Pig Records Devil Got His Way and a little folk/Americana from The David Wax Museum and Brad Boyer. So all in all, it was a good afternoon!!
So In the past three weeks I’ve added a few women to my blues listening library, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Laurie Morvan in particular well after listening to her latest album over the past few weeks I’ ready to add another and possibly my favorite Shannon Curfman! Her latest album What You’re Getting Into is simply great!! Curfman a native of Fargo, North Dakota currently calls Minneapolis, Minnesota home. She recorded her first album Loud Guitars, Big Suspicions when she was fourteen! Here’s what some folks said about that album
So my search for new blues began on Wednesday at the Blues Chart of the Roots Music Report. I picked out several names I hadn’t seen before and gave them a quick listen. Three albums stood out at number 14 – Shake Your Boogie by Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, at number 29, The Todd Wolfe Band – The Todd Wolfe Band – Live and at 34 Devon Allman’s Honeytribe – Space Age Blues . I went to Rhapsody and they had the Reverend and Devon’s Honeytribe so I downloaded those albums on to the player. They didn’t have Todd Wolfe’s new album but the did have an album from 1999 Live from Manny’s Car Wash. I also threw Shannon Curfman’s album What Your Gettin’ In To. into the mix and it’s been a great two days of listening to the blues!
So the other day after I read the article on Joanne Shaw Taylor in Blues Review, I skimmed one of the articles that followed. It was an article on another powerful woman blues player Laurie Morvan and the Laurie Morvan Band. So I went to her website and saw that her most recent album Fire It Up! won the Best Self-Produced Album at the 2010 International Blues Challenge! Since past winners and 2nd place finishers like JP Blues Band and the Ty Curtis Band were both great artist I went to Amazon and bought Laurie’s album and I haven’t been disappointed!! It’s a dynamite album filled with some great blues songs and guitar playing!
So I spent the night tonight listening to a few tracks from most of the albums that I picked up today at the Princeton Record Exchange and watching the Falcons get destroyed by the Packers! I picked up a variety of albums, a few blues, some folk and bluegrass. Here they are:
Walter Trout – livin’ everyday (1999) – a blues favorite love both his vocals and guitar playing!