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
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.
How English convicts from Australia terrorised Gold Rush San Francisco and California. By Paul Merry It’s been two months since my last post, so let me apologise. My excuse is: I’m busy making a film about how English convicts from Australia ran riot in Gold Rush California, between 1849 and 1852. It’s not about historic… Continue reading When English convicts ruled San Francisco.
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!
Every now and again, bands or individuals come along who, you feel, have that special something. The Nashville-based blues-rock band, The Bloody Nerve, is one such act, seemingly on the cusp of a deserved breakthrough, but more about them in later posts. Another super-talented blues-rock artist I’ve been keeping an eye on hails from that… Continue reading Coming soon. New Carlos Wilde tracks.
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?
I’ve just re-read one of the seminal books on the evolution of rock & roll, 47 years after I first obtained it, so if that doesn’t date me, nothing will. Perhaps I was given it by the author. I simply can’t remember. When I say ‘evolution’, I mean the history of rock music from the… Continue reading Iconic rock book, but no rock prophesy.
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.
UPDATED November 23 2017 The difference between rock ‘n’ roll and rock & roll (or rock and roll)? For a long time now, it’s been fashionable to describe great rock music as rock & roll. But have you ever wondered when this second era of rock & roll began? And have you noticed the general… Continue reading When did rock & roll get hip again?
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