Monday, September 1, 2014

My Review Article on Rock Era Magazine is Now Up!

I've recently teamed up with Rock Era Magazine as a contributing writer for blues related material (did you guys have any doubt?) and you can now read my review of the Muddy Waters album 'Muddy Waters Blues Band ft. Dizzy Gillespie'.

Let me know what you think! Here you [go].

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stevie Ray Vaughan 12-CD Collection Coming Soon

A 12-CD collection of the late Texas blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan will be released on October 28 called "Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection" which will include all his studio and live recordings under the Epic Label for the first time, as well as two CDs of rare tracks. 

In a word:


Modes of Transport in the Blues

The blues isn't about having it easy. You're always on the move because life doesn't stand still. Sometimes you gotta go back to your hometown, sometimes to find your woman (or man) or to go to Louisiana to meet that gypsy woman who told your mother when you was only the age of 5 that... ummm... anyways; here are a few modes of transport for the blues as described by the artists in their songs:








and of course, WALKING

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fender Rumor Mill: Classic Player Rascal Bass

Just last week I reported 2 rumored Fender basses, and here's another spotted in the wild (not confirmed officially by Fender).

ITS FUCKING AWESOME; retro and unusual for a Fender design:

The Fender Classic Player Rascal Bass (Ocean Turquoise)

Product description off of Dawsons UK:

"The new Fender Classic Player Rascal electric bass guitar has been a labour of love for Master Builder Jason Smith. Few could say that Fender runs through their veins like Smith, whose father is Dan Smith - a Fender legend in his own right. Drawing from his experience of the Fender family, and utilising his impeccable skill set, Smith has created a sublime model that is set to become a modern classic.

Short-Scale Body

The Classic Player Rascal bass features a curvy and perfectly proportioned short-scale body that revives the look and feel of vintage models. The body has been crafted using alder, a tonewood that has been favoured by Fender since the late 50s due to its delightfully balanced tonal output. Alder is capable of producing rumbling lows, punchy mids, and crisp highs, with the utmost articulation across the frequency spectrum. The stunning ocean turquoise finish is complimented exquisitely by the pearloid pickguard.

Supportive Maple Neck

Fitted to the body is a bolt-on maple neck, which offers a supportive and slender playing surface to navigate. Married to the neck is a sumptuous rosewood fingerboard, home to 21 eager frets that are adorned with white dot position inlays to guide you along in style. The neck plays very fast, allowing you to execute fingerboard gymnastics with the greatest of ease.

Classic Lipstick Pickups

In order to recreate the sound of vintage models, Jason Smith has fitted the Classic Player Rascal with three 'Lipstick' single-coil pickups in the neck, middle and bridge positions respectively. Control over the pickups comes in the form of master volume and master tone pots that are paired with a 5-way Strat-style pickup selector switch. The tonal versatility of this little beauty cannot be overstated, with a huge range of sounds waiting to be pulled out for you to play with.

Tough and Ready Hardware

The Rascal is fitted with a rugged and reliable hard tail bridge, which creates a seamless connection between the strings and body. Adjustment of each string is easy, which means that controlling intonation is straightforward. Vintage-style tuning machines maintain tuning integrity throughout each and every performance with the utmost precision. No matter how enthusiastically you play, the Rascal is more than a match for you.
As you'd expect from a guitar designed and built by a Master Builder, the Fender Classic Player Rascal electric bass guitar in ocean turquoise is one that both collectors and players can appreciate. The attention to detail shown by Jason Smith is remarkable, and as he's an accomplished musician himself, you just know the Rascal is a dream to perform with."
Here's a video demo by GAK UK:

Detroit Blues Playlist

Detroit's famous Hastings Street, where the blues is king. 

Last week I made a playlist of 10 Chicago Blues songs; and this week keeping up with the urban blues, I made a list of 10 Detroit Blues songs!

Both styles are pretty much the same, but Chicago blues is the more prominent of the two. Detroit is just as gritty, but being the city of Motown it was overshadowed. The biggest name in Detroit blues is John Lee Hooker.

So strap in and dig the sound of the big city somewhere around Hastings Street and the Black Bottom neighborhood:

10 - 32-20 - Doctor Ross

9 - Hard Hearted Woman - Eddie 'Guitar' Burns

8 - Have Blues Will Travel - Calvin Frazier

7 - Soft Pillow - Joe Weaver

6 - Stop Breakin' Down - Baby Boy Warren

5 -  Freak Blues - Andre Williams

4 - I'll Get Over You - Johnnie Bassett

3 -  I Cried My Last Tear - Alberta Adams

2 - 10 Below Zero - Bobo Jenkins

and finally, a full album from John Lee Hooker, Urban Blues:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Some Voodoo Items Used in the Blues

Previously on the blog I wrote about Voodoo and it's relationship with the blues; check that post out for a brief history about it, along side some blues songs with voodoo references in them.

For today, I'll highlight some of the voodoo items that are mentioned in blues songs, to bring a more visual representation of the blues imagery to life, and some of their uses:

Or a mojo bag, used to create a magic spell or effect by combining several ingredients in it.

Used to bring the bearer positive effects, even though the black cat is usually seen as a sign of evil. 

From the plant of the same name, given by legends of folk hero John The Conqueror; used in many combinations in creations of spells or curses. 

From the old school term meaning to cast a voodoo spell, this dust is mostly made up of dirt from a graveyard, used to harm others when mixed in a mojo hand.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Two New Fender Artist Basses All But Confirmed

I always post rumors and sneak peaks for upcoming Fender guitars and basses. And today is no exception!

Chicago Music Exchange has posted 2 pics on their Instagram, but Fender has still not officially announced them:



Not particularly interesting on Dee Dee's bass; it's just a white Precision Bass which every punk bassist in existence used (Paul Simonon, Sid Vicious etc). One can easily mod a P-Bass to look exactly the same. However it will be made in Mexico and therefore will be cheaper.

As for Clayton's bass, I really hate U2 with a passion but the bass itself is sweet; Sherwood Green is an awesome vintage color and matching headstocks are always welcome! However there is no neck binding which is strange for a Jazz Bass with block inlays!

What do you think of these upcoming basses?

10 Selected Chicago Blues Songs

By the late 1940's, the Chicago blues scene was growing fast; many of the migrating musicians from Mississippi and other Southern states started finding fame by bringing the blues to the big city. By the late 50's, it was set in stone and dozens of bluesmen made their mark on music history. The urban blues sound shaped rock music and the world was never the same again.

There cannot be a definitive top 10 list of Chicago blues, but I've come up with a list that should satiate your musical needs:

10 - I Can't Quit You Baby - Otis Rush

9- Hoodoo Man Blues - Junior Wells 

8- Sweet Home Chicago - Magic Sam

7- Juke- Little Walter 

6- Evil -Howlin' Wolf

5- Blues Don't Like Nobody - Otis Spann

4- That's All Right - Jimmy Rogers

3- Big Boss Man - Jimmy Reed

2- Too Wet to Plow - Johnny Shines

1- I Just Want to Make Love To You - Muddy Waters

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Video of Snake Oil Blues - My Original

This song is an original of mine; you can download / stream the studio version [here].

Snakes and shit

This video is a low-res version of a snippet from the upcoming documentary called 'Heated Melodies' by Lebanese filmmaker Naseem Nakad.

Look out for more news on that subject soon, and I hope you enjoyed this spontaneous performance.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Whiskey Man Blues - Scrapper Blackwell

Scrapper Blackwell was an important bluesman, most notably accompanying Leroy Carr as guitar-piano duo in the 20's. 

This song fits with an article I wrote previously called 'Booze and the Blues: 10 Blues Songs About Alcohol' on Project Revolver.