The day I discovered the blues.

The day I discovered the blues.

How ironic is it that white kids living in England in the mid-1960s were more exposed to black American blues than your average white teenager in the United States? Without knowing it, in 1950s England, I’d heard the blues of Lead Belly, Leroy Carr and Little Son Joe,...
Did boogie guitar start with a 14-year-old?

Did boogie guitar start with a 14-year-old?

North East Texas. 1899. A tender-aged ‘songster’, as roaming black minstrels were known back then, had travelled from his home in Louisiana around 1899 to busk in neighbouring Texas. Whether the boy was 10, 11 or 14 depends on which birth date you believe – 1885, 1888...
First blues families: the Thomas’s.

First blues families: the Thomas’s.

George W. Thomas Jnr, Hersal and Hociel Thomas, Sippie Wallace (nee Thomas) and Bernice Edwards. Last time, we talked about the family of Henderson Chatmon, the ‘musicianer’, as musicians called themselves in the nineteenth century, from Bolton, Mississippi....
First blues families: the Chatmons.

First blues families: the Chatmons.

Is Bolton, Mississippi, the true birthplace of the blues? Anyone who knows the Mississippi Sheiks knows, at their core, were three sons of the nineteenth century ‘musicianer’, Henderson Chatmon, a one-time slave from Terry, Mississippi, noted for his brilliant violin...
Cut Clapton some slack.

Cut Clapton some slack.

Americans should stop abusing Eric Clapton.  He was a phenomenally good blues guitarist.   There’s been much hullabaloo recently on social media over racist comments made by the guitarist Eric Clapton while off his head on booze and drugs 42 long years ago. This took...
The first hard rock riffs.

The first hard rock riffs.

Updated: Oct 17 2018 Once rock music was simple. We had hard rock and not-so-hard rock, otherwise called pop. Soft rock was yet to evolve. So, when a certain rock ‘n’ roll themed restaurant first opened its doors in London in 1971, its owners named it...
AC/DC’s secret weapon

AC/DC’s secret weapon

If you like your rock hard, you love AC/DC. But how did they get such a punch-in-the-guts sound? Nothing comes from nowhere, does it? Above is a trailer for parts one and two of a superb film that tells all. It’s called “Blood & Thunder: The Sound of...