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.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Celebrate the Autumn Equinox, Jazz Style

Well Autumn is finally here today, if you're into that sorta thing.

Here are the standards 'Autumn Leaves' and 'Equinox' by Miles Davis and John Coltrane respectively to set the mood.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

U2 'Give Themselves Away' to Apple

Pun intended.

U2... probably one of the most controversial bands out there. Not because they throw feces around stage, or bounce their booty in suggestive ways, or chomp on live bats, but rather because of the polarizing love-hate relationship people have with them.

I'm on the hate side, as if it needed clarification. I hate their derivative music, Bono's ego, and anyone who calls himself "The Edge". But after their Apple collaboration, I hate them even more.

You see, musicians are supposed to be about the art, the sound, their integrity, their passion. We all diss fabricated corporate pop music of the Justin Beibers, Miley Cyruses and the like. We love 'real' music; we talk non-stop about how good music was back in the day; Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix etc. I certainly never stop talking about the Blues.

U2 polarize the population by acting corporate under the disguise of being humanitarians. Bono is considered a peace activist, but underneath those big shades, he's still a human being with greed. He spoke badly about free file sharing; but suddenly when you get $100 FUCKING million from Apple, who's to complain!?


Talk about extreme mass marketing. If I did that shit for free everyone would dump my attempts to the junk mail and call it spam. That's what I'd do.

So how is that ok U2? I also blame Apple for this stunt; but obviously it didn't work.


The internet went batshit insane.

But the scary part is how Apple has such a power over our phones. Technology scares me sometimes.

But on to the case of music integrity; these days with the all time low CD sales, dwindling digital download and streaming sales, what is an artist to do? Some people say it's the survival of the fittest, and this is what U2 has done. 

But now this could set a bad precedent. Imagine one day you have free albums delivered to your phones en mass without your consent or permission on a regular basis. 

U2 have to literally give their music away now. Maybe because their music is still pretty shit and that's the only way to get their music out there? 

How can a musician who isn't a prostitute to the music industry make ends meet? Buddy Guy's superb album 'Rhythm & Blues' sold only 10,000 albums the first week on sale, and he's considered the biggest bluesman alive right now. 

Call me paranoid, but on the technological level and the artistic level, I fear for the future.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Happy Birthday B.B. King!

On this day in 1925, Riley King, better known as  B.B. King, was born in Mississippi.

I don't really have to explain how important B.B. is in the blues and music world; he's one of the best guitarists ever (ranked 6th by Rolling Stone), and was inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

The blues sovereign turns 89 today, and he is still performing to this day. From the looks of it, he's not going to stop anytime soon; the 15 time Grammy Award-winner performed nearly 150 shows in 2013, and almost 80 so far this year.

Another birthday salute to Mr. King, one of the last remaining original blues gangsters!

Enjoy this 40 minute video of the full live show in Africa 1974:

Monday, September 15, 2014

New John Coltrane Record Coming - 'Offering: Live at Temple University'


In association with the jazz legend's old label Impluse!, Resonance Records has announced that a newly discovered live recording from John Coltrane will be released on his birthday, called Offering: Live Temple University.

Here's the description from the record label:

'Offering: Live At Temple University documents a legendary concert by John Coltrane at Temple University in his hometown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 11, 1966, six weeks after his fortieth birthday and nine months before his untimely death.

Offering, available on September 23, 2014 in a deluxe format 2-CD digi-pak, incorporates a look that is contiguous with the graphic identity of Impulse! Records, Coltrane’s exclusive label from 1961 until the end of his life. This is the first officially sanctioned release of an undiscovered, complete Coltrane performance since 2005. It captures Coltrane in exemplary form, navigating the language he had developed during the last phase of his musical path with passion and pellucid logic.

Operating at equivalent levels of invention and energy are three members of his working quintet of one year’s standing his wife, Alice Coltrane, on piano; Pharoah Sanders on reeds and flute; and Rashied Ali on drums.

Offering is emblematic of the efflorescent energies and radical ideas that Coltrane himself had much to do with bringing forth during the seven years after 1960, when he left the employ of Miles Davis to pursue his vision as a leader. There are versions of Coltrane’s 1960 hits “Naima” and “My Favorite Things,” a transformational reworking of the 1964 ballad “Crescent,” a spirit-raising rendering of “Leo,” which he had recorded on several previous occasions during 1966, and the hymnal “Offering,” which he would record on a February 15, 1967 studio session that Impulse! would release during the ‘90s as Spiritual Offering.

On Offering, Resonance Records achieves the highest possible audio quality, using direct transfers of original master reels from a location recording by Temple’s WRTI-FM, remastered at 96kHz/24 bit, that were tracked down by Coltrane scholar Yasuhiro Fujioka.

The immense life-force that animates the proceedings on this November 1966 evening in Philadelphia belies the declining state of Coltrane’s health. It is still difficult to grasp and to accept that he was firmly in the grip of the liver cancer that would still his voice on July 17, 1967. As co-producer Ashley Kahn states in his liner notes, “Coltrane was pointing the way forward for generations of players to come, pushing the music to exhilarating, spiritual heights that caught most by surprise. In 1966, that wasn’t what jazz performances were about—not yet.”

Recorded November 11, 1966
Mitten Hall, Temple University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Featured Artists:
John Coltrane – soprano & tenor saxophones, flute & vocals
Pharoah Sanders – tenor saxophone & piccolo
Alice Coltrane – piano
Sonny Johnson – bass
Rashied Ali – drums'

During this time of his career, Coltrane's sound became very harsh, dissonant, and almost unlistenable; according to a small review and worthy article called 'What if Jazz Giant John Coltrane Had Lived?', it's almost very difficult to pin down.

You might like Coltrane for his older works like Blue Train or My Favorite Things, or maybe his later work up to A Love Supreme, or even to his transcendent music of Ascension and beyond, but no matter what, he truly changed jazz and music several times over.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

B.B. King Talks About the Letter 'B' on Sesame Street

Sesame Street has a special place in many of our hearts; we grew up to it, and loved all the characters and their positive message to kids.

Among the celebrities to join the fun, blues legend B.B. King came on the set and made a segment on, of course, the letter 'B' to comic effect.

It's quirky, but hey, it's for the kids! And teaching the blues to kids is always a good idea!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

'Dengue Woman Blues' - Jimmie Vaughan

Jimmie Vaughan, while being known as the older brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan, is also a Grammy award winning bluesman, winning 2 Grammys with Stevie and 2 solo: one for the 1996 song "SRV Shuffle" and one for his 2001 solo album "Do You Get The Blues?" 

His style is more laid back and more in the soul / R&B genre, but it's still deep blues. He even has a Fender signature Strat!

This song is off of the soundtrack of the 1996 film 'From Dust Till Dawn'. If you don't know what dengue means, it's a disease caused by mosquitoes. So stay away from me dengue woman!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

'If Trouble Was Money' - Albert Collins LIVE

The Master of the Telecaster, the Iceman Albert Collins, was known for his unique guitar playing and obscure tuning (open F# minor or some shit like that) and his high pitched Telecaster sound known as the 'icepick' sound. That sound is playing the Tele on the bridge pickup with the tone all the way up.

His soul / R&B touches also made him stand out along the bluesmen.

Here's one of his signature tunes called 'If Trouble Was Money':

Monday, September 8, 2014

I'm Now Part of TRIPLEW.ME's Artist Roster

Shameless self-promotion here, but you can now find me on the creative community website under the Makshoof Music tab; I'm also the only person in the 'blues' category (not like there was any doubt!)

You can read my bio, hear my tracks, and see my videos up on my profile page [here].

Thanks to for their interest and support! You can also see the dozens of musicians and artists from the Middle East on that site so please take a look!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Watch Paul McCartney Jam With Some Old Bluesmen and... Johnny Depp

Paul McCartney released a video on his official Youtube channel few days ago, showing backstage jamming with some old bluesmen and Johnny Depp, when he was filming the video of 'Early Days', off his new album called... NEW. 

This almost 30 minute jam session has some serious blues goin' on. The bluesmen playing are Roy Gaines, Al Williams, Dale Atkins, Henree Harris, Motown Maurice, Lil Poochie and Misha Lindes. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Otis Spann Covers Muddy's 'My Home is in The Delta' and Features Him on Guitar

Muddy Waters' essential album Folk Singer from 1964 is considered one of the best blues albums of all time; with it's haunting acoustic sound (which by this stage Muddy was known to be an electric blues performer.).

One song on the album is the reflective and homesick laden song 'My Home is in The Delta', where Muddy yearns:

Well my home's in the delta,
Way out on that farmer's road.
Now you know I'm living in Chicago,
And people, I sure do hate to go.
Now you know I'm leaving here in the morning,
Won't be back no more.

The version below comes from long time pianist for Muddy's band and also one of his closest friends, even to the point that Muddy called him his brother, Otis Spann, who covered it on his 1967 album 'The Blues is Where It's At', featuring none other than Muddy on signature slide guitar while Spann takes the lead vocals.

Sip your bourbon and mellow out on this one:

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].