Life is too short for boring music

Posts Tagged ‘Piano’

FRANKIE FORD

After WWII, New Orleans rocked to the sound of up-tempo Jump Blues, soon to be called R&B, driven by pounding piano riffs, funky drumming and light, clipped saxophones. Young men like Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis and Roy Brown laid the foundations for Rock’n’Roll when the music crossed over into the mainstream in the mid-50s. Frankie…

Read More

BOB GADDY

New York is not really a ‘Blues town’ like Memphis or Chicago, but there was always a thriving club scene in Harlem and Greenwich Village in the post-WWII years. Many Piedmont Blues players found an audience in The Big Apple, and one of those was pianist Bob Gaddy whose versatile keyboard work kept him employed…

Read More

‘St LOUIS JIMMY’ ODEN

An early Blues pianist with a dry, laconic vocal style, ‘St. Louis Jimmy’ Oden is remembered now more for his songwriting talents than for his records. ‘Goin’ Down Slow’ has been a classic, drag-out Blues piano standard for generations, and Muddy Waters recorded several of Jimmy’s tunes in the 50s. James Burke Oden was born…

Read More

LAFAYETTE LEAKE

Lafayette Leake played his versatile, expansive Blues piano on many great records in 50s Chicago, adding soulful counterpoint to Howlin’ Wolf‘s rumblings, and sharp phrasing to the spiky West-side sound of Otis Rush. Never a leader in his own right, Lafayette always seemed to know exactly what to add to a tune, and his long…

Read More

LARRY WILLIAMS

Larry Williams was a great singer, pianist, producer and songwriter, who had long and fruitful partnerships with both Little Richard and Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson. However, he also had a long term drug problem, and he died from gunshot wounds in LA at the age of 44. Born in New Orleans in 1935, Lawrence Eugene ‘Larry’…

Read More

MARCIA BALL

Texas and the Gulf Coast has produced some of the best modern music in the Blues tradition, and Austin, Texas maintains its reputation as the epicentre of the genre. Long-time resident Marcia Ball is a formidable pianist with a strong sense of swing and a sweet-toned voice to carry off her largely self-written repertoire. While…

Read More

ROBERT McCOY

Robert McCoy was an Alabama pianist who was active on the Birmingham Blues scene for over four decades from the mid 30s. He is easily confused with Robert Lee McCullum, who used the name McCoy while playing slide-guitar in St. Louis before moving on to Chicago to find fame as Robert Nighthawk. He is unrelated…

Read More

JOOLS HOLLAND

There are not many big bands gigging regularly in Britain these days, but The Rhythm and Blues Orchestra often goes on tour and thrills audiences wherever they go. The band is the brainchild of the versatile pianist and broadcaster Jools Holland, whose BBC programmes are the place to find Blues and Jazz legends, up-and-coming new…

Read More

ARCHIBALD

Archibald is not a well known figure outside New Orleans, but his style was a strong influence on younger players in the city like Fats Domino and Huey ‘Piano’ Smith. The old Blues classic ‘Stack-a-Lee’ first came to national attention on Archibald’s only hit record, but despite his lack of recording success, he had a…

Read More

‘ROCKIN TABBY’ THOMAS

Swamp Blues has the insistent, hypnotic rhythm that penetrates the listeners body like a virus and provokes inevitable symptoms like shuffling feet and swinging hips. ‘Rockin Tabby’ Thomas played guitar and piano, and sang his energetic Swamp Blues for over 50 years, becoming a legend in the Baton Rouge area, with his band, his record…

Read More