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!

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!