October 10, 2016

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...

January 29, 2015

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.”

 

Of the iconic blues clubs sca...

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