Updated 18 September 2016 It’s good to hear that Yusuf Islam, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, has returned to the blues influences he absorbed during his London youth, with his latest album, “Tell ‘Em I’ve Gone”. The son of a Greek restaurateur and Swedish mother, Cat, or as he’s now billed, Cat Stevens/Yusuf, grew up near… Continue reading First love is the deepest: Cat Stevens goes back to the blues
London’s Garrick Theatre UPDATED OCTOBER 6, 2016. Anyone familiar with London’s West End theatre district will know the Garrick Theatre in Charing Cross Road. Yet who would know there’s a connection between David Garrick, the famous eighteenth century actor whom the theatre’s named after, and the blues? I’d venture that only rabid blues scholars or those… Continue reading When was the word ‘blues’ first written down?
UPDATED 8 OCTOBER 2016. “A good read, my friend!” Jason Vivone @ JVivone, Kansas City, 23 October 2014. I’m currently researching mid-19th century San Francisco, working on a project that has nothing to do with historic blues or rock. However, wherever I look in life, I always hope to find something relating to early blues or popular music. And… Continue reading California’s first spirituals and the daddy of all trap drummers.
“Some nice stuff you’ve written.” Man of Music @musical_posts, Orcas Island, Washington State. 16 October 2014. If you’re interested in how blues-rock influenced the hard-rock guitar riff and eventually became heavy metal, check Code Zero Radio, times below. Jeff Beck Group in 1968. Left to right: Ronnie Wood, bass; Jeff Beck, lead; Mickey Waller, drums, and… Continue reading Part Two of Blues-Rock to Heavy Metal. Sat. 3pm CDT
Malcolm Young: one of the world’s best rhythm guitarists. Malcolm also played lead guitar on some AC/DC tracks. UPDATED 30 July 2017. Five months ago, I wrote a piece entitled, “Will Malcolm Young’s doppelganger replace him in AC/DC?” A few days ago, sadly, I had to update this to “Malcolm Young’s doppelganger replaces him in AC/DC” after the… Continue reading Even Keith Richards loves Malcolm Young. And Keith hates everything
I started this year banging on about 2014 being the 100th anniversary of the first ever recorded blues, W.C. Handy’s brassy instrumental, “The Memphis Blues”, cut in New York on 15 July 1914, by the Victor label’s house band. These days, it sounds more like old New Orleans jazz than blues, but old New Orleans… Continue reading The first recorded blues vocal is 100 years old today