Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Blues, Bollywood Style

A very interesting video has surfaced which I thought I'd share with you!

Aki Kumar, an Indian bluesman, probably the first ever bluesman to come out of the country, has prepared a nice mash-up of traditional American blues with retro Bollywood pop music. He has a new album called 'Aki Goes to Bollywood' which brings the folk music of great importance together!

In the video below, he describes his passions of both the blues and Bollywood; I'd love to jam with him one day, as I self-proclaimed myself the messenger of the blues for the Middle East!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

My Official Website Launched, Album Cover Revealed

Following to my signing to Ajna Records a few weeks ago, my official website has now gone live!

You'll find some useful links, my bio, and some pictures taken by Yousef Al-Nasser.

Also, my debut album, "Gonna Die With the Blues" is set to be launched on February 13, 2017.

Here's the album cover, designed by Bachir Najjar:

Stay tuned for more updates as the weeks and months roll in, 
and thank you for supporting the blues!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Johnny Winter's Guitars and Other Items Up For Auction

some of the glorious Gibson Thunderbirds up for grabs
Guernsey's Auctioneers have put up over 30 guitars of blues legend Johnny Winter up for sale.

Johnny Winter died in 2014 and he has made a huge impact on blues and music in general. This collection is a testament to his status as a blues and rock god. Not only will there be rare guitars, but other items and novelties like hats, jewelry, posters and other memorabilia.

There will be two days of auction, one on 30 September, and the other on 1 October. You can check out the links here and here.

The proceeds will go to Winter's family.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Happy Birthday John Lee Hooker

On August 22, John Lee Hooker was born in Mississippi. Hooker was one of the most influential bluesmen of our times, having released several songs that have become blues standards, like 'Boom Boom', 'Boogie Chillen', 'I'm in the Mood', and many more.

His unusual guitar playing, emphasizing heavy bass rhythms, drive and tone, and his raspy voice, made him a force to be reckoned with. Many British rock bands covered his music and it elevated him to stardom.

In the 90's he reentered the spotlight and saw tremendous success. He died in 2001.

He was inducted to the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Enjoy an entire album of John Lee Hooker below!

Monday, August 15, 2016

So I Got a Buddy Guy Autograph

My man in Chicago, Steve Harper, went to Buddy Guy's Legends Blues Club, and met the OG himself.

Being the great guy he is, he asked Buddy to autograph his most recent Grammy winning release 'Born to Play the Guitar' and address it to me:

I now have fulfilled a dream, even if it was by proxy. Thank you Steve for this amazing gift; although I have this album on vinyl, it will be great in the car!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Signed a Record Deal, Album Announced

You can tell I'm excited.

I am happy to announce that I have signed a record deal with Ajna Records, owned and run by Nawaf Gheraibah, a highly talented and influential musician; we have previously worked together on several occasions,  the biggest one being the Bija Concert in 2012.

With this news we announced that my debut album will be released sometime in early 2017; and along the way I will be posting my progress. The album will be fully written and composed by me, and will be a traditional blues album, inspired by songs of old (as is the blues tradition!).

I do have a sneak detail though; the opening track of the album will be called 'Dbayeh Highway Blues'.

Thanks to Ajna and Nawaf for the wonderful opportunity!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

New Fender Basses for Fall 2016

New Fender bass guitars have been announced; a new Flea (of Red Hot Chili Peppers) Signature Bass, and three upgrades to old models; here we go:

Flea Jazz Bass

Deluxe Active Precision Bass Special (has a passive/active switch now!)

Deluxe Active Dimension Bass (4 & 5 string)

Deluxe Active Jazz Bass (4 & 5 string)


The Flea Bass was a nice surprise; Flea has been using his vintage Fender Jazz a lot and to make a replica of it is a sign of his true love for it. He's had many endorsements previously with Modulus, but this thing is a bare-bones powerhouse. 

Apart from the P-Bass Special, which now has a much needed passive/active switch, the other new upgrades aren't worth mentioning. I don't even know what's new about the Jazz Bass. 

Nothing too revolutionary, but with Fender you don't really need that.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Vinyl Watch: Super Super Blues Band

A few years ago I posted about this huge collaborative effort between the three blues giants Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Bo Diddley; and now the album is being re-released as a limited edition vinyl via Jackpot Records.

This historically meaningful album also features other blues giants Otis Spann, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, and Clifton James.

The vinyl will release in a limited color on August 26. I have started a small vinyl blues collection so this would be something on my radar!

Here's another song off the album, Howlin' Wolfs' 'Little Red Rooster':

Monday, August 1, 2016

'Born With the Blues' - Memphis Slim

Memphis Slim was one of the main pillars of blues in the mid-40 onwards, alongside other great blues pianists like Otis Spann, Sunnyland Slim, and Pinetop Perkins.

His major blues standard was 'Everyday I Have the Blues', which was covered by many artists.

He moved to Paris in the early 1960's and remained there until his death in 1988.

The following tune was recorded in France in 1962, in his signature mellow, late-night blues style.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

'I Smell Trouble' - Ike & Tina Turner

Ike & Tina Turner were one of the best soul / R&B performers of the 60's and 70's, before their famous break-up.

However their music was rooted in the blues; so appropriately I present you with 1969's 'I Smell Trouble', featuring none other than blues guitar hero, Albert Collins. It was on 'The Hunter' album.