If ever a simple Youtube video told you everything you needed to know about a particular up-and coming-artist it is Ben Poole’s unforgettable live rendition of the classic Temptations track “I Know I’m losing You.” Poole’s version announces its sinister mission with a searing riff that cuts as deep as Dennis Edwards’ icy vocals from…

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There are many spectacular guitar players, using many diverse styles and countless hours are spent debating which is best (a pointless exercise as Kenyan, Columbian, Blue Mountain and Black Ivory are all excellent coffees, and which is ‘best’ is just a matter of taste.) Jimmy Thackery has built a long career on his wide-ranging guitar…

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The story of the Blues might be summed up by the tale of a kid who sits twanging a ‘diddley bow’ in some rural Delta backwater, who fulfils his dreams by moving to the big city and playing alongside the biggest Blues Legends. Surprisingly, there are still one or two of these characters around, and…

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Chantel is a sweet girl’s name, of French origin, which is associated with ‘song’ but an older meaning links it to a mountainous area and means ‘rock’, so the omens are good for Chantel McGregor, because that is just what she does. With her long blonde hair and a taste for evening dresses, it’s hard…

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There has been more than one Blues player called Guitar Shorty, but something they have in common is a talent for showmanship. Jimi Hendrix‘s brother-in-law is still using that name over on the West-coast for his backflipping, flash-guitar stage act, and others may have used it too, but an older Bluesman with an similar ‘larger-than-life’…

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The records made by Amédé Arduin in the 30s are at the very heart of the Creole French music of Louisiana. Played by white folks, it is called ‘Cajun’ and played by black folks it is known as ‘Zydeco’, but everyone who hears it knows that it is superb, French-based dance music. Amédé was a…

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The ‘Mississippi Saxophone’ was the name given to the Blues harp when players in post-WWII Chicago, following the lead of Little Walter, started blowing their big, horn-like solos through a microphone. That broad juke-joint sound is alive today, and can be heard in the playing of younger men like Billy Branch, who learned first-hand from…

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The Blues has got to make you smile once in a while, even if it is just to keep from cryin’, but a night out with Little Charlie and the Nightcats is the kind of stimulant that cures most ills, and the medicine has been available for almost forty years. The main ingredient is Rick…

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Roy Gaines was born on 1934 in Waskom, Texas and brought up in Houston. There was music in the family, as his older brother Grady played sax as a session musician for Don Robey‘s Peacock Records, and later joined Little Richard‘s band The Upsetters. Roy started out playing piano, but switched to guitar because he…

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Once in while, a guitarist comes along with a fresh, new style that expands the possibilities of the instrument. Robert Johnson, Elmore James and Jimi Hendrix are men who took the guitar into new territory, but among Folk guitarists, Joseph Spence is another pioneer who took the music forward. With a dazzling, virtuoso instrumental technique,…

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