The search for a young guitar savior has flummoxed the blues for years. Glimpses of hope appeared here and there over the last decade, only to be buried among the millennial musical confusion. But none carried as much promise and pedigree as Gary Clark Jr. A fixture on the storied Austin music scene since the […]
Wayne Baker Brooks has always been a rebel. While most blues musicians were weaned on a steady diet of classic blues, he also listened to house music, ’80s rock, and hip-hop. While most scions of blues legends gain musical schooling from the masters themselves, Brooks is self-taught. And while most musicians regularly perform riveting examples […]
With the decidedly testosterone-filled focus of contemporary blues, it’s easy to forget that the genre was popularized at the beginning of the last century by a handful of spirited women. Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ethel Waters, and Ida Cox all helped usher in the era of recorded blues records and Memphis Minnie, with her finely-honed […]
There’s no question that the blues serves as the foundation for traditional American music genres, but it’s easy to forget that it doesn’t necessarily have to take a musical form. The blues can flow through words, movements, and sensibilities. It can inform literature, dance, visual art, and theater. The eta Creative Arts Foundation illustrates this […]
Belting out lyrics with pleasing raspiness and punctuating them with kicks, Peaches Staten sings with the conviction and sass of a seasoned blues singer. She prowls the stage like she’s scraped her way through swamps and gutbucket bars to snag recognition. Except she hasn’t.
The Chicago Blues Fest has been restored. For the last five or six years, the fest didn’t do the greatest job of spreading the blues spirit. Weak lineups, uninspired themes, and budget cutbacks all conspired to make the world’s largest free blues festival not so exciting. But 2012 wiped all of that away.
Much has been discussed about the direction that blues will take as the genre enters the crossroads of redefining itself while the last of the Delta bluesmen pass away. The past few decades have introduced more rock into the traditional blues sound, but soul has always been a more devoted offspring.
The legacy of Muddy Waters looms over Chicago blues with a vivid, unforgettable presence that serves as the standard for what defines the genre. Appearing: March 31st at Buddy Guy’s Legends with The Chicago Blues Angels and Eddie Taylor Jr. From his swaggering vocals to the fierce slide-guitar riffs that electrified the blues, there are […]
Hubert Sumlin was one of the greatest blues guitarists of his generation. Famous for the explosive guitar riffs that he produced as a member of Howlin’ Wolf’s band, Sumlin influenced such rock-guitar gods as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Keith Richards. His 80-year journey began in the Mississippi Delta and took him across the world […]