Monday, December 5, 2016

Blues Summit: SRV, Albert King, BB King, and Paul Butterfield Share the Stage

The Sky Is Crying, captured live at the Ebony Showcase Theater, Los Angeles, California on April 15, 1987.

And the sky did cry, seeing all these legendary bluesmen share the stage for an epic show.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Blues With a Message: 'Do Right Blues' - Big Bill Broonzy

Big Bill Broonzy, one of the major influencers in early Chicago blues, made a big name for himself from the late 1930's until his death in 1958. 

His folk blues style was the basis for many later blues musicians, such as Muddy Waters, and his legacy lives on with many of his songs becoming blues standards.

Sometime in the early 50's he traveled to Europe and made a great living touring there, resulting in a few albums. This song is recorded in Paris, France sometime in 1956 or so. The song holds a message, to be a good, kind person, to get equal treatment by others.


Monday, November 14, 2016

'Riverside Blues' - Otis Spann

Otis Spann was one of the main pillars of Chicago blues piano; he was also one of the mainstays of Muddy Waters' Blues Band from 1952 until his untimely death in 1970. 

Otis released a few albums as a solo artist in the 60's and has played with many of the big blues giants like Howlin' Wolf to Bo Diddley. 

He was known to play solo piano in mellow moans and expressive voice, and this song from his 1966 album "Good Morning Mr. Blues" symbolizes that:

Monday, October 24, 2016

'Trouble in the Morning' - John Brim

John Brim was a Chicago bluesman who didn't discover fame until late in his career. His most famous song 'Ice Cream Man' was covered by Van Halen on their first album in 1978, leading him to more fame.

He recorded for several labels, including Chess. He died in 2003.

Here's a classic Chicago style blues by Brim for your enjoyment:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Chuck Berry Announces First Album in 38 Years

Chuck Berry, the legendary blues and rock guitarist, has announced on his official website in celebration of his 90th birthday, that he would be releasing his first album in almost four decades.

From the description:

"Comprised primarily of new, original songs written, recorded and produced by the founding rock and roll legend, ‘CHUCK’ is Berry’s first new album in thirty-eight years. It was recorded in various studios around St. Louis and features Berry’s longtime hometown backing group – including his children Charles Berry Jr. (guitar) and Ingrid Berry (harmonica), plus Jimmy Marsala (Berry’s bassist of forty years), Robert Lohr (piano), and Keith Robinson (drums) – which has supported him for over two decades on over two hundred residency shows at the famed Blueberry Hill club. More details about ‘CHUCK’ and other Berry-related events will be revealed in the coming weeks."

This is very exciting news, and I look forward to hearing some new music from Chuck; if you live under a rock, Chuck Berry was one of the main pre-cursors to rock n' roll, with many of his tracks making it to the top of the charts. As a side note, did you know Muddy Waters introduced Chuck to Chess Records? The rest is history!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Double Performance This Weekend!

As a great start to the musical season, I'll be performing not once, but twice, this Thursday at Al-Sadu House.

This event is a casual get together, organized by Khaleejesque Magazine, in collaboration with Jumo Coffee.

The first set will be my own blues set with my mates Hashim Al-Nasser and Tarek Kabbani, and then with our superband The Watertowers as the closing set.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

'My Baby's Gone' - Frank Edwards

This is a rare tune from Georgia bluesman Frank Edwards, which was recorded by Music Maker Relief Foundation, who have recorded for many blues musicians to help them pay their bills and receive recognition and proper management. 

This comes from a compilation album called "The Last & Lost Blues Survivors".

Enjoy this raw deep blues from an old-school bluesman.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Buddy Ayache: A Blues Success Story

Every once in a while you see a shining glimmer of hope in an inspiring individual in this world; today it's my good friend and blues brother, Buddy Ayache, otherwise known as "Buddy Blues". He has taken his music and the blues from Beirut to Orlando and has positioned himself to be a formidable force in the blues scene there. He has released an album and is playing almost everyday. He also won 2nd place at a blues battle of the bands there. 

You see, my story with Buddy starts when we were neighbors, when I was in AUB (he was still 16 when we met 23), we got together and he was very curious to hear the music I was playing after blasting it in the house. After I told him about the blues and gave him a few pointers about guitar etc, he took off with a great passion that I haven't seen in a long while. 

He rose the ranks of the local scene and eventually landed himself in the USA, where he enjoys a popular following and is very active. I am very proud of Buddy and I'm very happy I was able to inspire and assist someone with the music we call the blues. If only one person got the message I preach it's enough for me, and I wish Buddy more great success in the future moving forward. 

Buddy will also be featuring on my debut album "Gonna Die With the Blues" so stick around for that!

Here's Buddy's official music video "Wrong Side of the Blues", followed by a short documentary about his story, featuring a few blurbs about me (shamless plug):

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!