Posts by MickeyV

JELLY ROLL MORTON

The New Orleans pianist Jelly Roll Morton claimed to have ‘invented’ Jazz. That is a very large claim, but the egotistical Jelly Roll was not a man to down-play his own talents. While it is true that Jelly Roll was the first to publish a Jazz tune as sheet music, his assertion that Buddy Bolden…

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J D SHORT

J.D. Short is in nobody’s Hall of Fame, indeed his name is almost forgotten today, but he was a Blues player of exceptional quality. His clear, bright voice had a distinctive vibrato, but he could wail like a demon, moan like a dying man and suddenly switch to a fluid falsetto. He was an incredibly…

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JOHNNY YOUNG

The mandolin is a small member of the lute family, usually having four pairs of strings tuned in unison. While it may be most associated with medieval Italian music, Vivaldi and Mozart would surely fling off their wigs and boogie to the sound of Blues Mandolin played by Yank Rachell and ‘Papa Charlie’ McCoy. A…

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Kat & Co.

The Blues is like a virus, constantly regenerating and mutating into new forms, and virtually impossible to kill! Kat & Co is a distinctive collection of unlikely elements that blend to give today’s insight into a music that is 100 years old, centred around the confident, statuesque figure of Kat, who manages to combine the…

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DAN SANE

We think of early Blues performance as just a guy with a guitar or harp, pouring his heart into a solitary lament, but in reality they mostly performed in pairs, with a ‘second’ guitar propelling the tune while the ‘lead’ instrument played turnarounds and melodic lines. One of the earliest and most successful of these…

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MATT SCHOFIELD

Old folks sometimes say that the Blues is dying, but so long as new cohorts of young players are inspired to express themselves through this powerful medium, we have nothing to worry about. Matt Schofield is a young Englishman who has grasped the legacy of the Blues, and like Clapton in the 60s and Stevie…

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The British Invasion.

The United States and Britain have enjoyed (or endured) a ‘Special Relationship’ for a long time. After that Revolutionary War nastiness, we have pretty much remained ‘two nations separated by a common language’, and on the subject of War, we usually end up on the same side. During the sixties, however, there was a lot…

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SANDI THOM

Some amazingly talented people never get the chance to get their music heard, because being a great writer or performer means very little if no-one knows your work. Some people get a break by accident or design, but unless they have the talent to follow it through, they will be a one-hit-wonder or a ‘flash…

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EARL BELL

Some Blues players like BB King and John Lee Hooker made it from the plantation to the world stage, but some other great Blues talents never get heard outside their local district. Earl Bell had all the attributes to make him a star, but he had the misfortune of being born at the wrong time,…

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HOKUM BLUES

‘Hokum’ is a term applied to a kind of raunchy Blues song that was popular in the late 20s and early 30s in America. The lyrics on some of those records that sold in their hundreds of thousands were quite explicit in their references to sexual practices, prostitution, homosexuality and other things which would scare…

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