The hip museum financed by gambling, curated by a Violent Femme

Violent Femme, Brian Ritchie, curates MONA FOMA We were recently in Tasmania, that one-time convict isle at the end of the earth that changed its name from Van Diemen’s Land in 1852 in an attempt to whitewash away the stain of its dark history. Today, Tasmania is home to probably the hippest museum in the… Continue reading The hip museum financed by gambling, curated by a Violent Femme

Alexis Korner: the Godfather of British Blues

UPDATED 27 July 2017. “Great piece on Alexis Korner. I personally didn’t know he was born in France. You learn something every day!” Paul Corry @thebluesfreak, London, England. 5 February 2014. BLUESMUSE 30 As a young lad, probably too young to drink, if the truth be known, I used to luxuriate in the bath listening to the chocolate-brown tones of Alexis… Continue reading Alexis Korner: the Godfather of British Blues

King Bolden and the earliest known African-American guitarists

BLUESMUSE29. Until the 1890s, when mail order catalogues made them more affordable and improved roads and rail links made musical instruments more accessible, guitars were mainly a preserve of the American middle classes. Most were much smaller than the guitars we know today, probably because they were mostly played by women. Perhaps that’s why they… Continue reading King Bolden and the earliest known African-American guitarists

The earliest known bluesman ever?

Updated 3 April 2017. BluesMuse27 Long ago, when I played rugby, there was an old guy we nicknamed Daddy Stovepipe. Daddy was a human dynamo, still turning out for the seconds or thirds every week and tackling, ferociously, anything that moved in shorts. Daddy did this well into his late 50s before arthritis cut short his career and confined… Continue reading The earliest known bluesman ever?

So, who was the first electric blues guitarist ever recorded?

BLUESMUSE26. There are two answers, really, because the first recording of an electric blues guitar was for demonstration purposes only. It was during the days when Rickenbacker was testing out the first electric guitar which guitar geeks (sorry, aficionados) will know was nicknamed the frying pan.  In 1932, a 28-year old white band leader and… Continue reading So, who was the first electric blues guitarist ever recorded?