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 Alberts” and every hard rock fan needs to watch… Continue reading AC/DC’s secret weapon

The ABC of blues.

America’s Gift’s index – A, B and C. In case you think America’s Gift is a stodgy old history book, the eBook version has been described as a lightening read, a bit like the Matrix, I’m told. At 11 inches by eight and a half inches and an inch thick, America’s Gift is bigger than your average… Continue reading The ABC of blues.

Blues 100 years ago: from America’s first female guitar hero!

My second last post (a great title for a mournful bugle solo, eh?), promised to tell you about the American guitarist, Helen Louise Ferera, who had a hit with ‘Palakiko Blues’, exactly a century ago, in 1917. The track, a Hawaiian guitar duet with Helen Louise’s husband, Frank, is one of the earliest recordings of… Continue reading Blues 100 years ago: from America’s first female guitar hero!

First slide guitar blues. Who, when & where?

Nobody knows for sure when slide-guitar playing first slid silkily onto the world’s music scene. The 26-year-old Kentucky blues guitarist, Sylvester Weaver, was first to record slide-guitar blues, as we know it today, using a knife, in New York City, in November 1923. Louisville blues diva Sarah Martin, 38, had chosen her Louisville compatriot to… Continue reading First slide guitar blues. Who, when & where?

Earliest Electric Guitar Blues.

There’s a bit of a misconception about the first electric guitar blues put on vinyl, with ‘Hittin’ the Bottle’ often being put forward as the earliest. This 1935 track featured the Texan multi-instrumentalist, Eddie Durham, playing his blues-nuanced guitar through a home-made guitar amp for saxophonist and swing bandleader, Jimmy Lunceford. Well, such sources are… Continue reading Earliest Electric Guitar Blues.

Shein Die: the mystery photographer keeping blues alive

Updated March 2021, on sadly learning of her death. An obituary is below. Who he or she is, I don’t know. They prefer to remain anonymous. But what they’re doing, obviously as a labor of love, is exploring the Mississippi Delta, recording for posterity some of today’s disappearing blues treasures. This mysterious figure goes by… Continue reading Shein Die: the mystery photographer keeping blues alive