New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Back when Keb' Mo' shot up to number one on the Americana chart I thought man this guy is on to something. Equally when the Grammy membership supported celebrating the blues by opening a museum in Mississippi I thought there could be synergy between the Foundation and the Grammy folks. Enter Barbara Newman and the 2016 Board. Man have things moved forward folks. I noticed a marked difference in external communications when a Grammy meeting was hosted by the Chicago chapter of the Grammy organization at the Blues Music Awards this past May. If you were in that meeting room then you know the chat between the blues pros and the Grammy panel was real - I mean right to the point. Soon afterward the Grammy organization announced an expanded set of choices for those submitting blues genre. That was cool. Next I noticed that Blues Foundation Board Members were going to be at the Americana Music Association meeting this month. My point is that this board is building...
Eighty-two is not an age when most musicians feel like trying something completely new.
Not John Mayall. Earlier this spring, his guitarist couldn’t make it to a gig. So for the first time in a career that spans more than half a century, the legendary British bluesman led his band through a full show as a trio. “I’d never even thought about it until I did it,” he said in a recent call from his home in Los Angeles. “My god, looking back, I can’t remember any instance where I’ve gone any smaller than a quartet.” Now, though, it’s all he wants to do. When Mayall hits the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater on Thursday (click here for details), he’ll be joined by bassist Greg Rzab, drummer Jay Davenport, and no one else.
“They’re a really special rhythm section,” Mayall said. “We’ve been together many, many years, and it’s just the interplay and the way we work together that makes it all very cohesive.”
High praise from a man who’s best known as one of the blues’ foremost pack rats of talent...
Ann Arbor's Laith Al-Saadi was one of tens of thousands of singers who applied during the open call for "The Voice" season 10. He made the cut, guaranteeinga blind audition in front of coaches Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams and Blake Shelton.
Hemade it through the battle rounds, the knockouts, and finally to the live performance shows. He made it through week after week of popular voting, as the field narrowed from twenty to ten and then down to the final four.
And every week, the coaches, host Carson Daly, bloggers and entertainment writers would refer to Laith Al-Saadi as an unlikely success.
Laith Al-Saadi doesn'tdance. He doesn't preen. He's 38 years old, has a long beard and long hair. He doesn't sing Bruno Mars songs. Instead, he employs a powerful, well-trained voice and phenomenal guitar chops to perform authentic rock, soul and blues music.
On a show like "The Voice," that made Laith Al-Saadi an unlikely success. But it...
His newest album, If Nothing Ever Changes, has finally earned him the acclaim to match his talent.
As he nears the 50th anniversary of his first recording session, Wee Willie Walker is hotter than ever. Long the top soul singer in the Twin Cities, Walker is basking in the acclaim that greeted his 2015 album, If Nothing Ever Changes (Little Village Foundation), which was nominated for a Blues Music Award. On Saturday he and his band We "R" will heat up the stage at Petrillo.
Produced by veteran blues harpist Rick Estrin and guitarist Kid Andersen, the album has given his career a welcome boost. "It has made a big difference. Otherwise I wouldn't be in Chicago," Walker says. "That's a big festival, and without that CD I never would have even been mentioned for that."
Though born in 1941 in Hernando, Mississippi, Walker is a product of Memphis, where his schoolmates included future soul stars Spencer and Percy Wiggins as well as Ovations lead singer Louis Williams. In his early teens, Walker...
LOGAN SQUARE — Rosa’s Lounge is keeping the blues alive in Chicago, according to a prestigious award set up to honor promoters and documentarians of the classic music genre.
The Keeping the Blues Alive award was given to the Logan Square blues lounge Jan. 23 at a recognition ceremony in Memphis, Tenn., where a variety of 14 global blues outlets, from festivals to journalists and radio DJs, were honored.
“This is a great honor and a privilege, so I would like to give thanks to The Blues Foundation in Memphis and Karl Maurer for the nomination letter,” Rosa’s owner Tony Mangiullo posted on Facebook before listing many more thank you notes. “Last and definitely not least, to my astoundingly supportive patrons,” he continued. "There would be no Rosa's Lounge without any of you. For I am not alone in my love and passion for the blues. I have aimed to create a haven for blues musicians and blues lovers alike, and I know many who feel that my aim has been true.”