Muddy Waters: Can’t Be Satisfied

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This article appears in the May/June 2015 “Blues Issue,” now available on newsstands.  “Well the blues had a baby and they named him rock and roll.” So sang Muddy Waters on his 1977 album Hard Again. Produced by the late blues guitar icon Johnny Winter, this album was recorded after authentic blues acts took a […]

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Howlin’ Wolf: Can’t Ya Hear Me Cryin’

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This article appears in our May/June 2015 “Blues Issue.”  The legends of blues are many, but few bluesmen have left behind a larger-than-life legacy to match that of Chester Burnett, more commonly known as Howlin’ Wolf. Wolf was more than just a great blues singer. With a unique voice, an imposing physical presence and the […]

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Lyric Of The Week: The Grateful Dead, “China Cat Sunflower/ I Know You Rider”

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Deadhead or not, you have to respect any band that had the impact on popular culture that the Grateful Dead did as the 50th anniversary of the group’s formation approaches. Even though several of the founding members, including Jerry Garcia, died long ago, the interest in the band continues, and you can still hear and […]

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Tedeschi Trucks Band: The Chosen Ones

Photo By: Mark Seliger

This article appears in the May/June 2015 “Blues Issue.”  Some people gravitate towards the blues because of the emotional performances of the artists they’ve heard, the movement of the notes and chord changes, or the lyrics about the highs and (more often) the lows of life we all experience. Then there are some people who […]

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Blind Blake: Rag Mama Rag

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This article appears in the May/June 2015 “Blues Issue.” Guitar-playing blues singers of the 1920s and 1930s had a lot in common, as so many played slide guitar, and often played in open E or open G (sometimes called “Spanish”) tuning. Many were great but were coming from the same place. And then there was Arthur “Blind” Blake. […]

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Lyric Of The Week: Jackson Browne, “The Road”

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All kinds of artists have cut songs about what it’s like to be a musician playing from town to town – Simon and Garfunkel (“Homeward Bound”), Bob Seger (”Turn the Page”), and plenty of others. But Jackson Browne cut one of the great songs about the musician’s life – tracking part of it in a […]

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Review: Paul Reed Smith S2 Vela Electric Guitar

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When I first picked up the new Paul Reed Smith S2 Vela, it was kinda like, meh…didn’t seem like a real big deal. But I kept playing it…and playing it…and the next thing I knew, I was still playing it an hour later and loving it. The new offset body shape took a minute to […]

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Lyric Of The Week: Jimmie Rodgers, “Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8)”

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Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, St. Paul and the Broken Bones and others will be performing at the 62nd Annual Jimmie Rodgers Music Festival next month in Meridian, Mississippi, the home town of the “Father of Country Music” Jimmie Rodgers. For more than half a century this festival has drawn important performers and fans from all […]

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Tin Pan South Packs Them In Again

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As they have each spring for more than two decades, songwriters from all over the world flooded Nashville last week to hear and see the pros at the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s (NSAI) city-wide Tin Pan South. As always, several venues of varying sizes hosted songwriters from the obscure to the multi-platinum, as more than […]

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Lyric Of The Week: Johnny Cash, “Danny Boy”

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Lots of green beer will be drunk this week in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, and people all over the world will be singing the Irish classic “Danny Boy.” But the lyric wasn’t really written by an Irishman to begin with, and has probably been recorded by far more Americans without Irish roots than with. […]

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Lyric Of The Week: Doug Sahm, “Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone”

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For a lot of people – especially folks from Texas – Doug Sahm was more than just an everyday singer. He was a spokesman for all forms of music that Texans loved. Sahm was a multi-instrumentalist who made his first record in elementary school, and purportedly sang a song with Hank Sr. at his final […]

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The New Dylans in the New Millennium

From left, Ken Coomer, Eric Fritsch, Reese Campbell, Jim Reilley, Chris Autry. Photo by Ray Tarantino.

Nearly three decades ago, the New Dylans garnered rave reviews from Rolling Stone and the Village Voice. R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe sang their praises and they were featured on MTV and BBC Radio One. The New Dylans finagled opening slots with The Band, Shawn Colvin, Townes Van Zandt and others of serious note. Band members Jim […]

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