Sunday, October 19, 2014

My Precision Bass 70's Design Mod

Although I usually like to keep my basses looking as stock as possible, there's always that little modding twitch that gets to me. 

So I decided to slightly modify my Sunburst Precision Bass from a 60's design to a 70's design.

Before / After

Basically I just changed the pickup covers from black to cream, which resemble the DiMarzio pickup replacements that became very popular in the 70's and many musicians often used. Also, I changed the pickguard (scratchplate) from tortoise shell to black, which was the standard color for Fenders in the 70's.

The pickups are still the same (American Vintage '62 pickups) so the sound remains a 60's sound. 

Hope you like it and can't wait to gig with this bass on the 27th (more on that later). 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Standard of the Week: Rollin' & Tumblin'

The original 'Rollin' & Tumblin' was recorded in 1929 by Hambone Willie Newbern under the name 'Roll and Tumble Blues'. It's a great Delta blues classic that's been covered by dozens of blues and rock musicians; the most famous version is by Muddy Waters recorded in 1950.

The Original:

The song features a bottleneck slide riff, played in the key of A with open tuning. The later cover versions either feature the riff under a different name (like 'If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day - Robert Johnson) or changing the lyrics with the name song title (Rollin & Tumblin - Bob Dylan). The song is immortalized and is one of the greatest blues standards.

I mean, one the greatest lyrics ever are in this song:

Well, if the river was whiskey, and I was a divin' duck
Well, if the river was whiskey, and I was a divin' duck
Well, I would dive to the bottom, never would I come up

Here are a few versions by various musicians:

Muddy Waters

Memphis Slim with Buddy Guy

Big Joe Williams


Jeff Beck

Cyndi Lauper (great version too!)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Two More Blues Acts Nominated for the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame

For this year, The Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame announced it's nominations for the artists to be voted on to be inducted.

This time, two more blues acts are listed, them being Texas blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan and Chicago blues greats The Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

I hope that everyone votes for these well deserved artists who have given so much to the music industry; support the blues!

Listen to My Music Being Reviewed By Dubai Eye FM!

On October 9, James Piecowye from the Nightline show on Dubai Eye 103.8 FM reviewed my music, as part of the weekly Indie Jukebox program. 

You can hear the podcast below, and my part starts at 12:10. The other musicians reviewed are 

Lena Chamamyan, Jeed La Soul. and High on Bodyfat. 

Shout out to the Nightline crew for their support and positive review! 

Note: does not support mobile viewing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Post-Holiday Blues News Roundup

I hope everyone enjoyed the slaughter Eid holidays; I'm currently in the process of moving to a new apartment so I've been busy.

So here are a few things you missed while I was away:

1- B.B. King Cancels Tour Because of Illness


The 89-year-old veteran bluesman became unwell during a show in Chicago. Unconfirmed reports suggest he may have fallen or collapsed on stage.
It follows a series of negative reviews and at least one controversial show where the 89-year-old veteran was booed by audience members.
A brief statement reports: “Mr King was evaluated by a doctor and diagnosed with dehydration and suffering from exhaustion, causing the eight remaining shows of his current tour to be cancelled."

However according to his Facebook page, he's been resting and feeling a lot better. We wish the King the best and a speedy recovery.

2- Swamp Blues Hero Rudy Richard Passes Away

Louisiana bluesman Rudy Richard didn't release anything in his name, but he was the main guitarist behind Slim Harpo, on famous tracks such as 'Baby Scratch My Back'. He was 75. 

3- Blues Harmonica Legend Billy Boy Arnold to Release New Album

Chicago blues legend Billy Boy Arnold will release his first album since 2001, called 'The Blues Soul of Billy Boy Arnold' in a few weeks time, on October 21.

Billy Boy Arnold was featured on Bo Diddley's hit 'I'm a Man' back in the 50's and has never slowed down. He was nominated and won the award for 'Traditional Blues Album' this year at the Blues Music Awards

Here's a song by him while we wait for the new album to drop:

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Real Delta Blues: 'What's Wrong With You' - Robert Belfour

To see a living delta bluesman do his thing is a treat; and Robert Belfour is no exception. 

At 74, Belfour is still performing and touring and playing his deep, haunting acoustic delta blues. The Mississippi delta sound is evocative and mesmerizing, and it's unfortunate that only until recently did he achieve recognition  

Here's a live version of his song 'What's Wrong With You': 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

New Video: Ali & John - Blues Jam (How Blue Can You Get / B.B. King)

The great thing about the blues is it's improvisational nature; any two (or more) strangers can just sit and play the blues even if they never jammed together before. Just set a 12-bar progression and you're good to go!

Well this is exactly what happened yesterday morning; I had met John recently and we decided to have the morning blues and have a jam. We have never played together before, and we decided to record the first song we played.  

Below are the results! (Please excuse the crotch shots). 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

'Last Night' - Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Paul Butterfield is one of the best blues harpists, as well as one of the most successful blues musicians. The 1965 debut album 'The Paul Butterfield Blues Band' reached #123 on the Billboard charts, and is listed as number #468 on Rolling Stones 'Top 500 Albums of All Time' list.

The band features Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop on guitar, Mark Naftalin on organ, Jerome Arnold on bass, and Sam Lay on drums. It's one of the first pure blues albums by a white singer, in the Chicago blues style.

This is one of the slower tunes on the album called 'Last Night':

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

London Blues Fest 2014 Lineup

For you blues fans who live, travel, or plan to visit London should check out the London Blues Fest this year, which will be held at the Royal Albert Hall from October. 26-31.

It will feature some kick ass artists, although some aren't considered 'blues artists' by genre definition.

Checkout the festival homepage [here].

Images courtesy London Blues Fest.