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 [...]
Michael “Iron Man” Burks was the kind of bluesman who endeared everyone to him. If you didn’t fall in love with his gritty vocals and fierce guitar licks, you were captured by his humble charm and hardworking attitude.
When exploring the formidable list of Chicago’s blues divas, Deitra Farr’s name is always front and center. Versatile and energetic, her smooth and controlled voice tackles a range of genres from soul to gospel but it always remains grounded in the blues.
At The Threshold
There was a time when Grammy-winning, blues harp master Sugar Blue believed there were only certain types of music appropriate for a blues musician to play. He came up listening to and being molded by icons like Memphis Slim, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Junior Wells. By the time he was in his [...]