Is the devil still making deals at the crossroads?

August 10, 2013

The Texas Bedford Blues Festival took place over the Labor Day weekend, Saturday, September 1 and Sunday, September 2, 2012. The music portion is part of the overall Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival. On Saturday, acts included Gibson Road Band, Jimmy Lee Reeves Band, website, Cole Dillow, and Alan Fry on the second stage; with Rastus, Southside Blues Kings, Kayla Reeves & Wes Jeans, Ana Popovic, and headliner Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band on the main stage. Sunday’s acts included Jimmy James Arnold, White Hot Soul, Sweet Jones, and Texas Cotton Kings on the second stage; with Rusty Burns & Big Wampum, Guitar Shorty, Buddy Whittingham, CJ Cheiner & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, and headliner Keb’ Mo’ on the main stage. Louisiana born Kenny Wayne Shepherd first picked up a guitar at the tender age of four. At age seven, he met guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan and began playing in earnest. Shepherd was signed to Giant Records in 1995 at the age of 17. At this years Bedford Blues Festival, the incendiary guitarist and his band played hits like “Never Lookin’ Back” and “Blue on Black”. On Sunday, three-time Grammy Award winner Keb’ Mo’ closed out the festival. Keb’ Mo’ was born Kevin Moore in 1951 and began playing and singing at an early age. His smokey voice and expressive guitar style have caused many to describe him as a living link to the Delta blues tradition. On Sunday night he performed old hits plus selections from The Reflection, his first new studio album since 2006. The Texas Bedford Blues Festival is an annual event and has featured Buddy Guy and other blues legends over the years.
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From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray-a blues chronicle

June 24, 2013

A Blues Chronicle: From Robert Johnson To Robert Cray

The Evolution of The Blues
The blues began in America. It was made popular by traditional artists like Blind Willie Jefferson, Son House, Blind Willie McTell and Robert Johnson. However, the most influential period of the blues was in the late '50s and early '60s. Electric instruments heavily dominated this blues scene. The blues artists that dominated this period were Slim Harpo, Muddy Water, Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and John Lee Hooker. In addition, it was the blues artists of the '60s that influenced the next wave of blues that included Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray and Taj Mahal.

When Electric Guitars And Amps Were Introduced To The Blues
One of the most influential aspects of the blues was the advent of electric guitars and amps. At this point in history, blues artists could take their skills to the next level with the aid of extraordinary new sounds. Thanks to technology and science, the blues become a widespread phenomenon. In fact, many blues artists of the '50s and '60s were discovered outside on the streets. There is no doubt that electric instruments were pivotal for the evolution of the blues.
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The Life of B.B. King: A Legendary Blues Master

May 6, 2013

B.B. King has enjoyed one of the most distinguished and influential musical legacies in the history of recording. He is known for prolifically touring the world and has played at least 200 shows annually for over half a century. His expansive catalog includes close to sixty albums and dozens of live releases. You may be able to view some of his world performances by ordering a TV package from www.cabletelevision.net.

A man of humble origins, the renowned blues musician was born on September 16, 1925, within the confines of a desolate cotton plantation in the outskirts of Berclair, Mississippi. His father abandoned him with his mother when he was four. This created a bleak financial situation and he was subsequently raised by his grandmother. Having already sang in the gospel choir his entire childhood, he played guitar from the age of twelve.
When he was eighteen, he began playing local blues shows at churches while supplementing his income with employment as a tractor driver. He extensively toured the south with his mentor, Bukka White. After stints in Memphis, Tennessee, he gained significant attention from his musical talent. He signed a record deal in 1949 and immediately became one of the most prominent performers in the 1950s. Within a decade, over a dozen hits were released in his name. In 1964, he earned a Grammy for a melancholy critique of the music industry named, "The Thrill is Gone." B.B. King was formally inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980.

This blues legend is still performing at least 100 shows per year at the age of 87. His personalized Gibson Es-355 electric guitar is almost equally iconic alongside him. He named it Lucille after an event in 1949. Following a gig in Arkansas, King ran into an incinerating building to rescue his guitar and narrowly survived with the instrument intact. The fire had been caused by two men who were fighting over a woman named Lucille and both perished in the flames.

The birth name given to him was Riley B. King; the moniker he is commonly recognized by was later derived from his stage persona, the Blues Boy, which was shortened to just B.B. when he achieved worldwide fame.
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The modern blues-why the blues is still relevant

May 5, 2013

If you are someone who is deeply invested in learning more about music, one genre that stands out to you may be the blues. The blues is a genre that was pioneered by black musicians, and many of the themes and beats came out of old spirituals. The blues are a genre that takes a frank look at how difficult life is, and the strength in the music is not a guarantee that things will get better but that other people feel the same way that you do.

Though the blues are very much associated with the beginning of the twentieth century, the truth of the matter is that there is a universal quality that makes this genre still current. Though modern blues musicians talk about different things, the truth is that there is still a depth of emotion to this genre that makes it relevant today. Far from being a genre that was crystallized in one moment in time, it is one that continues to come forward with us.

When you are looking for music that has themes that can resonate with anyone who has been in a hard time, take a moment to consider what the blues might have to say.
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Why Keb-mo is a legend in the making

September 22, 2012

Keb-mo is a legend in the making for quite a few different reasons. One of the reasons why he is quickly going to become a legend is because he has continued to push boundaries in the industry. The singer, songwriter and guitarist has even admitted to knowing what the boundaries of blues are.

Another reason why the singer is able to push boundaries is because he no longer has to release records under anybody's record label. This is because he went off and started his own label, and now he has much more freedom with the music he creates.You can find a quick rundown here

The reviews have also been pouring in, praising recent songs that the singer has released, as well as songs that he had released back in 2011. Keb-mo said that all of his songs were received quite well by fans. Even the album reviews were not bad, and Keb-mo said that he was not suprised with what some of the reviews said about his music.

Keb-mo is also a legend in the making because he has won some awards for his music. He is no stranger to winning a Grammy, and he is no stranger to taking his music to new heights.
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John Coltrane: Will there be another like him?

September 18, 2012

John Coltrane was a jazz great. Some people ask if there will ever be another like him. The answer is no. The answer is no with Miles Davis. The answer is no with Herbie Hancock and he is still alive.

People just don't have the kind of passion about jazz that Coltrane had. He came from a different time and era where the music spoke volumes. People play around with jazz right now, but more of the jazz music that is out there is secular. There aren't any bands like the band that Coltrane had. No one is doing the 8 minute drum solo. No one is playing the trumpet with a mad man type of fury that made the jazz come alive. Only Coltrane had that in him. He could do this with great ease.

Today more jazz musicians revert to vocalists and smooth sounds to get a larger following. It has been like this for many years. People don't have the same exact zest for the music in the jazz world anymore.

Lots of people love John Coltrane and his jazz movement during that era. He will not be replaced though. No one can fill his legendary shoes.
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Why America doesn’t appreciate the blues like Europe does

September 17, 2012

There is a long held appreciation for niche musical genres in Europe, especially American jazz and blues. To an extent, it was fed by the travels of earlier generations. Jazz and blues musicians began seeking out new venues in much the same way that American literary figures and artists did when they moved to Paris during the 1920's and 1930's as "the lost generation." The Harlem Renaissance was similarly appreciated by American and European creative figures from that era. Regardless of origin, the love for jazz and blues took root in Europe and it has endured.

There has always been a tendency to be attracted to what is foreign to us, whether it's the idea of vacationing in distant places, the huge surge in popularity for the "British Invasion" during the early 1960's, or even the cross-attraction for American and European brands. Of course, American jazz and blues musicians didn't travel to Europe based on abstract longing. They went for the opportunity to play to receptive audiences and to earn a living.

Jazz and blues music has always been personal and provoking and doesn't necessarily play to audiences that are enamored of what is immediately popular and accessible. The blues in America had something of a crossover resurgence during the late 1960's and early 1970's as British rock musicians collaborated with blues legends on albums such the "Howling Wolf Sessions in London" or "Fleetwood Mac's Blues Jam in Chicago". Regardless of popularity cycles in the U.S., the connection to American blues music continues abroad, where the arts in general hold validity, and historical significance.
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Has the blues run its course?

September 13, 2012

The blues are still around, but it has somewhat run its course. Much of this has to do with the artists that are no longer alive.

Johnnie Taylor and Marvin Sease were big players in the blue industry. Both of these guys could sing about the alphabet and get people to come running for them. They are both deceased now, however, and no one has really stepped up the way that these guys did.

A lot of this has to do with longevity. Johnnie Taylor had a long career that rooted all the way back to gospel music.I found some more information here. Marvin Sease has decades in the business with many albums and hit singles. There are still some industry veterans like B.B. King around to carry the torch. The problem with this is that B.B. King is old. His health isn't the best, and he number of new albums releases is getting more and more spaced out. He's losing momentum as he gets older. People will still support him for live performances, but he's unlikely to dominant the charts in album sales.

The blues is old news. Rap and pop has people spending their money, but that is honestly about it in music.
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The Bedford Texas Blues festival highlights

September 11, 2012

The Texas Bedford Blues Festival took place over the Labor Day weekend, Saturday, September 1 and Sunday, September 2, 2012. The music portion is part of the overall Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival. On Saturday, acts included Gibson Road Band, Jimmy Lee Reeves Band, Cole Dillow, and Alan Fry on the second stage; with Rastus, Southside Blues Kings, Kayla Reeves & Wes Jeans, Ana Popovic, and headliner Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band on the main stage. Sunday's acts included Jimmy James Arnold, White Hot Soul, Sweet Jones, and Texas Cotton Kings on the second stage; with Rusty Burns & Big Wampum, Guitar Shorty, Buddy Whittingham, CJ Cheiner & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, and headliner Keb' Mo' on the main stage.

Louisiana born Kenny Wayne Shepherd first picked up a guitar at the tender age of four. At age seven, he met guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan and began playing in earnest. Shepherd was signed to Giant Records in 1995 at the age of 17. At this years Bedford Blues Festival, the incendiary guitarist and his band played hits like "Never Lookin' Back" and "Blue on Black". On Sunday, three-time Grammy Award winner Keb' Mo' closed out the festival. Keb' Mo' was born Kevin Moore in 1951 and began playing and singing at an early age. His smokey voice and expressive guitar style have caused many to describe him as a living link to the Delta blues tradition. On Sunday night he performed old hits plus selections from The Reflection, his first new studio album since 2006. The Texas Bedford Blues Festival is an annual event and has featured Buddy Guy and other blues legends over the years.
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