Thursday, February 4, 2016

New Trailer for Miles Davis Biofilm

A while back (almost two years ago) I posted about how actor Don Cheadle was seeking funding to make a Miles Davis biofilm 'Miles Ahead'; well after a long wait, the film is going to be released in theaters on April 1!

Here's the epic 2 minute trailer that was posted last night:

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

20th Anniversary Tour of 'Come Find Yourself' - Fun Lovin' Criminals

One of my all time favorite bands, and definitely one the most underrated. Their mix of blues, rock, funk, hip-hop, lounge, and the gritty mafioso urban lyrical content caught my attention instantly back in the day and I never looked back.

The Fun Lovin' Criminals are starting this year with a bang; their first album, released in 1996, 'Come Find Yourself' turns 20. And to celebrate, the boys have kicked off a massive European/Australia tour.

I am without a doubt their biggest fan from the Middle East; hopefully they set a gig in the region so I can go watch... been a dream of mine since 1997! I have all their albums and DVD's including some limited release vinyls.

Not only that, a re-release of the album has been announced which includes rare goodies, like rare takes, remixes, videos, and the like:

Go to their official page [here] and check out a classic track from the original album:

Monday, February 1, 2016

'Too Poor to Die' (live video) - Ali Sleeq & Steve Harper

A while back, I performed with new acquaintance  Steve Harper at Qout Market, and I just received the video. This was our first performance together, hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Fender Guitars / Basses for 2016

Another year another NAMM show!

This year, Fender announced some new models, although I am not happy with the slim offerings. The biggest news is that they renamed the American Deluxe Series to American Elite (a throwback to the 80's and 90's for sure). The series continues the same look of the American Deluxe, with some minor upgrades, like a flatter, compound radius neck.

Also, a new series of acoustics and amps.

 They also discontinued several old models and reduced the color options on current ones (always a bad idea!).

Sunday, January 17, 2016

'Me and the Devil Blues' - A New Blues Comic Strip

My good buddy Grego Anderson over at Mojohand has informed me of his new 2016 project: a Blues music themed comic strip, “Me and the Devil Blues” - the adventures of Blind Hambone Jefferson - a modern day Blues man who wishes he wouldn’t have sold his soul to the Devil.

Below is a sample strip, go check out the full website [here]!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

'You're Gonna Need Me' - Albert King

Albert King is one of the leading staples of blues music; his guitar prowess and soulful vibe led to many players, such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, to take King as a mentor.

In 1969 he released 'You're Gonna Need Me', and while it's your cold standard 12-bar blues, he was at this phase in his career experimenting with soul; indeed, his 1972 album "I'll Play the Blues For You" featured members of Issac Hayes' band and the funk band Bar-Keys, and was a very soul/funk trip.

His guitar playing shines here as usual, in his unique reverse guitar style.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Upcoming Blues Releases to Watch Out For

2016 has only just begun, we have a huge year to look forward to for blues music!

Here's a few upcoming albums to watch out for!

1. Old Jam, New Blood - Robert Cray featuring Stevie Ray Vaughan (Live 1987)

2. I'll Play the Blues For You / LIVE - Buddy Guy

3. Luxury Hobo - Big Boy Bloater & The Limits

4. Detroit Style- Bob Seely

5Classic Chicago Blues (LIVE & UNRELEASED ) - Nick Holt, Bonnie Lee, John Primer

Monday, January 4, 2016

Continuing the Tradition: 'Dubai Jazz Fest' Ain't Got no Jazz

Happy New Year folks!

I wanted to discuss this issue as my first post of 2016 because frankly, it STILL fucking bugs me.

It is said you should let things go, to leave people be, to let them do what their own thing; and that you shouldn't let anyone bother you.

But in our case, I cannot let the Dubai Jazz Fest debacle go. The sidelining of jazz music at a show that's supposed to be it's namesake keeps going on, with no end in sight.

I wrote about this many, many, MANY times. If you are unfamiliar, let me quickly break it down for you:

In 2012, I posted a news update about Deep Purple headlining the Dubai Jazz Fest ('DJF' from now on), and at my unhappiness about that. Later, and in several posts, I showed how bad the organizers handled criticism towards them, like by deleting posts or telling people to 'deal with it'. Also, I mentioned how they were trying to broaden the scope of the event without giving us the 'jazz' portion.

In 2014, they had  jazz artists finally, but were shoved in the "Jazz Garden", a separate venue from the main stage where the 'big' artists will perform, and gave them short playing time.

So, back again this year, LOOK WHO WE HAVE:


Before you guys go apeshit on me, Chris Botti (headliner with Sting) is a jazz trumpeter, however most of his music is based on pop music. Plus Sting is with him so that doesn't count.

And Postmodern Jukebox, who mainly got famous for making viral Facebook posts on their covers of modern songs, while talented, if not gimmicky, are not hardcore enough for real jazz fans.

In 2003, Dubai Jazz Fest had FUCKING ARCHIE SCHEPP,  BILLY COBHAM, & STANLEY JORDAN for fucks sake. That is the kind of jazz we want to see. 

If I, a self-proclaimed blues and jazz fan, wants to dish out hundreds of dirhams to see such an extravagant event, it would be pretty much against what I would want out of a jazz event. 

My rant might be getting old and redundant, and falling on deaf ears. But the DJF is doing the same. 

The official website of the DJF is [here]. But until then, the real home of Jazz in the Middle East is at the Jazz at Lincoln Center - Doha, and the small hotspots in Beirut. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 - Year in Blues

As the year comes to a close, I would like to wish everyone a bluesy new year, and for the coming year.

New Years is another day where we reflect on what we have achieved, and how we can improve. Usually, it involves getting fat and other non-completed resolutions from last year; as they say, making small hopes gives us a sort of purpose to keep going, even if it doesn't happen.

The biggest news for me this year was returning to my home city Beirut and performing at the Fete de la Musique; it was the first time in 10 years that I perform back home. 

Beirut Blues

In 2016, I'm hoping to have some music released, and looking forward to more gigs. So stay tuned to the only blues blog in town, and again you can stay in touch on Twitter and Facebook too.

Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

37th Blues Music Awards Nominees Announced

Another year, another Blues Music Awards!

The Blues Foundation has announced the date and nominees for the next annual event. It will take place, as usual, in Memphis, Tennessee, on May 5, 2016.

As for the nominees, here they are after the jump: