Monday, October 27, 2014

The Best of Jazz Album Art

From Paste Magazine

Paste Magazine has published an article showcasing selected jazz album cover art that they consider to be the best. They show how early artists had a lot more creativity since they did stuff without a computer to aid them.

If you are into design, art, or jazz music then this is for you! And now that I saw the 'Relaxin' with The Miles Davis Quintet' album on there I might as well put that record on and browse more art!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cream Bassist Jack Bruce Passes Away at 71

The music industry lost one of the greatest musicians yesterday. Jack Bruce, the voice of the band Cream of who he was also the bass player, passed away at the age of 71 in his town of Suffolk, UK.

Cream was one of the very successful blues-rock bands of the 1960's, with Eric Clapton also being in the band. They released four solo albums and were inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame.

Jack Bruce also enjoyed a successful solo career as well as playing as a session player with major artists like Ringo Starr and Frank Zappa.

He will be truly missed for his musical contributions. Here's the 1967 hit 'Sunshine of Your Love' by Cream:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UN Day Concert

Once again, I'll be performing alongside Nawaf Gheraibah and other fine musicians, this time for the UN, at the UN Day concert.  

I'll have some pictures up once the show is done!

Here's what Nawaf had to say about the concert:

"I have the privilege to be performing alongside my colleagues and friends at the United Nations Day "UN DAY"
On the 27th of October at the UN Building in Mishref, Kuwait.
UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.
24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday."

Oil Man - Big Jack Johnson

Big Jack Johnson was an oil truck driver, hence the nickname "The Oil Man"; he was discovered in the mid-seventies and in the 80's and 90's was very active musically with acclaimed albums.

He passed away in 2011 at the age of 70; but his music lives on as one of the top contemporary blues artists, with a raw edgy blues sound.

Here's one of his signature tunes called "Oil Man":

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Live Event: Cozmo Spraybox (update: postponed)

UPDATE: "The concert portion has been postponed due to reasons beyond the organizers control; the show is still on but the new date will be announced later"

I'll be performing this Friday the 24th of October for the opening of the Cozmo Spraybox, the first ever graffiti park in the Middle East. 

There will be many other performers ranging from hip-hop, rock, and other great treats. I'll be opening the show with a blues set, so come on down and show your support for local artists!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

My Precision Bass 70's Design Mod

Although I usually like to keep my basses looking as stock as possible, there's always that little modding twitch that gets to me. 

So I decided to slightly modify my Sunburst Precision Bass from a 60's design to a 70's design.

Before / After

Basically I just changed the pickup covers from black to cream, which resemble the DiMarzio pickup replacements that became very popular in the 70's and many musicians often used. Also, I changed the pickguard (scratchplate) from tortoise shell to black, which was the standard color for Fenders in the 70's.

The pickups are still the same (American Vintage '62 pickups) so the sound remains a 60's sound. 

Hope you like it and can't wait to gig with this bass on the 27th (more on that later). 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Standard of the Week: Rollin' & Tumblin'

The original 'Rollin' & Tumblin' was recorded in 1929 by Hambone Willie Newbern under the name 'Roll and Tumble Blues'. It's a great Delta blues classic that's been covered by dozens of blues and rock musicians; the most famous version is by Muddy Waters recorded in 1950.

The Original:

The song features a bottleneck slide riff, played in the key of A with open tuning. The later cover versions either feature the riff under a different name (like 'If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day - Robert Johnson) or changing the lyrics with the name song title (Rollin & Tumblin - Bob Dylan). The song is immortalized and is one of the greatest blues standards.

I mean, one the greatest lyrics ever are in this song:

Well, if the river was whiskey, and I was a divin' duck
Well, if the river was whiskey, and I was a divin' duck
Well, I would dive to the bottom, never would I come up

Here are a few versions by various musicians:

Muddy Waters

Memphis Slim with Buddy Guy

Big Joe Williams


Jeff Beck

Cyndi Lauper (great version too!)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Two More Blues Acts Nominated for the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame

For this year, The Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame announced it's nominations for the artists to be voted on to be inducted.

This time, two more blues acts are listed, them being Texas blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan and Chicago blues greats The Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

I hope that everyone votes for these well deserved artists who have given so much to the music industry; support the blues!

Listen to My Music Being Reviewed By Dubai Eye FM!

On October 9, James Piecowye from the Nightline show on Dubai Eye 103.8 FM reviewed my music, as part of the weekly Indie Jukebox program. 

You can hear the podcast below, and my part starts at 12:10. The other musicians reviewed are 

Lena Chamamyan, Jeed La Soul. and High on Bodyfat. 

Shout out to the Nightline crew for their support and positive review! 

Note: does not support mobile viewing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Post-Holiday Blues News Roundup

I hope everyone enjoyed the slaughter Eid holidays; I'm currently in the process of moving to a new apartment so I've been busy.

So here are a few things you missed while I was away:

1- B.B. King Cancels Tour Because of Illness


The 89-year-old veteran bluesman became unwell during a show in Chicago. Unconfirmed reports suggest he may have fallen or collapsed on stage.
It follows a series of negative reviews and at least one controversial show where the 89-year-old veteran was booed by audience members.
A brief statement reports: “Mr King was evaluated by a doctor and diagnosed with dehydration and suffering from exhaustion, causing the eight remaining shows of his current tour to be cancelled."

However according to his Facebook page, he's been resting and feeling a lot better. We wish the King the best and a speedy recovery.

2- Swamp Blues Hero Rudy Richard Passes Away

Louisiana bluesman Rudy Richard didn't release anything in his name, but he was the main guitarist behind Slim Harpo, on famous tracks such as 'Baby Scratch My Back'. He was 75. 

3- Blues Harmonica Legend Billy Boy Arnold to Release New Album

Chicago blues legend Billy Boy Arnold will release his first album since 2001, called 'The Blues Soul of Billy Boy Arnold' in a few weeks time, on October 21.

Billy Boy Arnold was featured on Bo Diddley's hit 'I'm a Man' back in the 50's and has never slowed down. He was nominated and won the award for 'Traditional Blues Album' this year at the Blues Music Awards

Here's a song by him while we wait for the new album to drop: