So 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), and he was ranked No. 17 in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”. 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.” 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). 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.
On 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
Some 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.”
Levon Helm said the following about Alexis,
“She is one of those wonderful spirits, she’s got her arms around you; you can feel that,”
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 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:
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) 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.
One of the albums that has been on the iPhone for the last day or so is the new album from Thorbjorn Risager Too Many Roads. I have only given it a couple of listens, but so far I like what I hear. I hope to listen in a little more detail tomorrow and maybe even get to write a little more about Thorbjorn and the album, but for this early morning let’s just get a little taste of his music! Here’s a performance of the song “Precious Time”, Gotta love the band, sax, trumpet, organ ….and more….
On August 14, 2014, the British Blues Awards presentation will be held at the The Great British Blues Festival in Colne. The other day I traveled to the website for the awards and reviewed the nominees for the award for Blues Album of the Year, and the nominees are:
Big City Blues – The Hoax
Home - Aynsley Lister Band
Independence - Trevor Sewell Band
Shake The Walls – Marcus Bonfanti
Standing In The Shadows – King King
The Storytellers Daughter – Northsyde
I have heard and reviewed two of the five nominees, Anysley Lister’s Home and King King’s Standing in the Shadows. King King has won the award as band of the year in 2012 and 2013. Anyway, to get an idea of the sound of the other nominees, I traveled over to Spotify and made this playlist yesterday and gave it a listen. The two albums, that I didn’t find on Spotify were Big City Blues and Standing in the Shadows. After giving the playlist a listen I downloaded Shake the Walls from Marccus Bonfanti for a more extensive listen and I really really liked the album.
Today way back in the year of 1913 on this date James William Perkins was born in Belzoni, Mississippi. Ninety-seven (97) years later now know better by his stage named Pinetop Perkins, he won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album for Joined at the Hip, an album he recorded with Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. Perkins is the oldest-ever Grammy winner. In between he had a fantastic career that saw him play with many of the most influential blues and rock and roll performers in American history.
Perkins received numerous honors during his lifetime, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. The Blues Music Association has named their award given to the best blues piano player, the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year Award. Tonight I was thinking about writing about one of the past winners of the award Eden Brent, who has a new album out right now Jigsaw Heart. But when I came home from an errand I searched for a list of past winners of the award. and discovered that back in May dynamite blues piano player Victor Wainwright won the award for the second year in a row!!
Today is the 99th anniversary of the birth of Willie Dixon(July 1, 1915 – January 29, 1992) and I bet somewhere on almost every night of the year someone is
playing one of the 500 songs that he wrote! It could be a jazz, blues or rock artist because Willie’s songs appeal to lovers of many genres. He was one of the two artists, the other Muddy Waters, that were the most influential in shaping the sound of Chicago blues in the post World War II years, as well as, rock and roll in the 50s and 60s. I think that my first introduction to the blues of Dixon was Cream’s cover of “Spoonful”, wait maybe it was The Doors “Back Door Man” or maybe Led Zeppelin “I Can’t Quit You” but it was probably Johnnie Rivers covering “Seventh Son” and I didn’t even know it!! Well, you get the picture. Here’s a link to a list songs of Willie Dixon, along with the artists who cover them!! From Wikipedia some of the songs…..
Last Thursday June 26 was either the 121st or the 110th anniversary of the birth of Big Bill Broonzy, depending on what you believe. Most researchers believe that Big Bill was born Lee Conley Bradley in 1903 or 1904, in Plum Bayou , Jefferson County Arkansas and is one of the children of Frank and Mittie Bradley. But Big Bill told people that he was born in Scott, Mississippi. He also told people he had a twin sister, Laney. I spent all day yesterday looking at census records and other records at Ancestry.com to substantiate either claim. According to the 1910 Census Lee Bradley is listed a 6 years old as the son of Frank and Mittie Bradley. Bill’s sister Lanie is also listed and is 3 years younger than Bill! Here are Lee’s siblings as listed in the 1900 Census.