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…

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Firstly, there are TWO Smokey Smothers! Like the case of Sonny Boy Williamson, two men were playing the same instrument, and using the same name at the same time, but this time it was in the same town, and sometimes they even played in the same band! We will call them Big Smokey and Little…

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In the sixties, ‘Swinging London’ was full of extroverted, colourful characters, and one of the brightest was Zoot Money, the merry prankster who led The Big Roll Band from behind his huge organ. In a long career, where he has always rolled with the punches, Zoot embodies an irrepressible spirit that celebrates the good-time vibe…

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Millions of young music fans got their first taste of Blues guitar played with a soulful slide by Jack White of The White Stripes. His adaptations of Son House‘s songs were a central plank of the Detroit garage band’s early repertoire, and Jack’s love of that original Blues has informed much of his work. Since…

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When a child shows a talent beyond their years, some call them a prodigy, but many slip into obscurity. When Billy Preston performed Fats Domino‘s hit ‘Blueberry Hill’ on TV with Nat ‘King’ Cole, while just 11 years old, anyone could see the kid was a born entertainer, but he went on to spend his…

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Good-time Blues Rock was one of the offshoots of British music at the end of the 60s, and The Faces were at the forefront of the movement. Bass player and songwriter Ronnie Lane was the heart and soul of the band and when they split, he went on to explore some musical byways of his…

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Bayless Rose was a Kentucky guitarist and singer who recorded several Ragtime-style Blues tracks for the Gennett label in 1930. His articulate, ‘Piedmont’ picking got him some session work, and his occasional use of a slide is reminiscent of the Memphis guitarist Walter ‘Furry’ Lewis, who had been recording since 1927. Not much is known…

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Whispering Smith was a Lawman who brought justice to the railroads in the Old West in a 1906 novel that bore his name. The book was made into a film in 1926; remade by Hollywood in 1948 with Alan Ladd; and in 1961 it returned as a network TV series starring Audie Murphy. Meanwhile, down…

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Cajun and Zydeco are the folk music of the Louisiana and East Texas Creole French-speaking community, with the difference between the two tags being largely down to the skin-colour of the players. Before the music went national and then global, Gulf-Coast radio stations played the records of local players Iry LeJeune, Clifton Chenier and Nathan…

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Mick Abrahams is a British Blues-Rock guitarist who was a founding member of stadium band Jethro Tull, in their first incarnation on the late 60s club scene. His desire to follow a path towards progressive Blues led to a split with Ian Anderson, the formation of Mick’s band Blodwyn Pig, and a lifetime of touring…

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