Home / Tag: blues
Friday, Aug. 2, 2013

Aug. 1, 2013

As it often goes, a movie actor will take roles in family-friendly, generic, big budget films in order to finance their smaller, weirder pet projects. That sequence worked in reverse for Justin Vern
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
 Bluesmen (and women) were once mysterious figures—voices across time and space to the college students who began the blues revival in the 1960s. In decades since, those students have done their homework. Witness
Friday, April 26, 2013

"and the sun is the moon"

 From their snappy look and Romany-inspired name, one might assume Cream City Gypsys to be Milwaukee's latest exponents of the jazz genre Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli popularized so many decades ago. That's not
Friday, April 26, 2013

April 25, 2013

A simple way to distinguish the two converse personas of the Americana acts on Thursday’s Pabst Theater bill was to observe how the troubadours treated an obnoxious heckler in the third row. The slick and pensive Jason Isbell
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
 When guitarist Brian Venable of the Memphis band Lucero visits Milwaukee or Wisconsin to play a show or see friends, he’s always fascinated by the many historic and unique buildings dotting
Friday, April 19, 2013

All the Way (McCrary Sister Production)

 The McCrary Sisters come to gospel music through heredity as well as conviction. As daughters of a founding member of the seminal Fairfield Four, the quartet were reared in the ecstatic singing of the African-American church
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Inova’s series of ’60s flashbacks

 Revisit the grassroots of blues, folk and fingerstyle guitar this April at UW-Milwaukee’s Inova Gallery with the exhibition “The Avant Garde Coffeehouse Project.” In the 1960s, on the cusp of the counterculture, the Avant
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
 It’s no secret that the instruments a band uses help determine its sonic direction and can make a song work. In the case of Milwaukee band Calliope, one instrument—an organ
Friday, March 8, 2013

Rubidium (TUM Records)

 Finland is home to a flourishing circle of improv jazz musicians. The latest CD from that floating cadre opens in fractured waltz time; one could imagine a couple, weary from sleeplessness and liqueur, dancing clumsily around the tiny floor of a broken-down café. Likewise, the smudges of
Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013

The Fall and Further Decline of the Mighty King of Love (Palookaville Records)

 Whether or not the legends surrounding Phil Lee as a Cain-raising outlaw are true, his songwriting is infused with genuine grit and he sings his compositions with authenticity. His thoughts on broken love and living out of a suitcase
Monday, Feb. 11, 2013

The story of Milwaukee garage rock

 Garage rock first gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1960s and today garage bands continue to find their way into the mainstream of rock ‘n’ roll. Perfect for both fans of rock and students of history, Peter Roller’s new book Milwaukee Garage Bands: Generations of Grassroots Rock follows
Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013

For Langston

 Considered the poet laureate of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes drew on jazz and blues for rhyme, rhythm and words. His poetry is easily adapted for music and jazz guitarist Ken Hatfield heard the grooves
Monday, Jan. 14, 2013

Stone Cohen returns with classic repertoire

  Every generation numbers a minority of kids looking for music in less obvious places. In 1970, blues was often that place. In that year, a quartet of Whitefish Bay High School students formed the Stone Cohen Blues Band
Monday, Oct. 22, 2012

Bad Boy (Blind Pig)

Only a small number of blues musicians are still alive among those who were raised in Mississippi and moved to Chicago in the 1950s to contribute to the modern, electric blues sound and influence other forms of American ...
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012

The Hidden Treasures of Taj Mahal 1969-1973 (Columbia/Legacy)

 Harlem-folkie-wonder-cum-Chicago-blues-badass Taj Mahal gets the legend treatment as Columbia honors the singer/songwriter/storyteller’s back pages with a hidden treasures/stuff-we-haven’t-made-money...
Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012

33 1/3 (Telarc)

 A significant changing of the guard occurred at last year’s Chicago Blues Festival when Koko Taylor’s daughter, Cookie, crowned Shemekia Copeland the new “Queen of the Blues.” It’s an honor richly deserved, as Copeland...
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
 On a recent afternoon, two smiling couples emerged from Pop’s Custard (N87 W16459 Appleton Ave.) grasping turtle sundaes and root beer floats as they attempted to shield their faces from the blustering wind, while patrons seated inside the popular Menomonee Falls restaurant dined on
Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012

Live at Montreux 1975-1993 (Eagle Rock)

Her blistering voice was in good form for her performances at the annual Montreux Jazz Festival, sampled on a newly released live album. By the '70s, blues great Etta James was fronting a blues-rock band with a touch of soul organ and brass...
01.02.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Joe Uchill
It's been a long, strange year for this short, regular feature. Usually, the best media apologies fall into one of a few categories. There are apologies for the things too awful to consider ever happening, like San Francisco's Asian Week printing the story "Why I Hate Blacks" in March. There are the minor mistakes which lead to corrections far more interesting than the errors themselves, like...
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blues great shares tales from a singular life

Buddy Guy and co-author David Ritz have come up with a dazzling book, rife with details about people, guitars and historically significant musical events. When I Left Home: My Story (Da Capo) will enthrall Guy's fans as well...
Friday, May 18, 2012

The Devil Ain't Got No Music (Aria B.G. Records)

Some blues musicians learn about music from attending church as children, later bringing gospel into blues music, while others start with blues music and bring that background into their spiritual songs. The older generations of musicians were...
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Love Is

Among other things, Tweed Funk is about consistency. The Milwaukee band's sophomore album again mixes blues, R&B, salsa and what-the-funk else. Singer Joseph "Smokey" Holman shouts, growls and croons like a soul man with an urge to dance...
Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012

Feb. 14, 2012

<p><span style="line-height: 115%;">It was Valentine's Day, so Southern soul man Willie Clayton played to the ladies at his latest Milwaukee date, of course. But the effervescent crooner played the entire room with equal ap...
Monday, Feb. 13, 2012

Chasing Tha Blues (Burnside)

Amid the piquant stew of jazz, funk, soul, zydeco and R&B that is the scorching New Orleans music scene, the blues is largely relegated to the back burner. Surprisingly, there are no blues-only clubs of the likes found in Chicago, New York or Memphis...
12.21.2011 | | Posted at 05:25 PM
By Nicole
It's not an exaggeration to call the University of Wisconsin NHL University. There are 20 former Badgers currently skating in the NHL. 11 former Badgers played in last season's playoffs - more than any other college. One of the Badgers who has struggled to gain a foothold is former goalie and Hobey Baker finalist Brian Elliot. Drafted by Ottawa, he had a few chances, but never really earned the st...
Monday, May 24, 2010

Mysteries of Lightnin’ Hopkins

Like many blues singers of his time, Lightnin’ Hopkins started with a homemade guitar in the deep squalor of segregated Southern poverty, made his way to the big city, discovered amplification and became one of the rough-sawn bridges between the weird old America and rock’n’roll...
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010

The Best of the Chicago Annual

From 1989 through 1995 Lincoln T. Beauchamp, Jr., an African-American musician and writer, published a thick journal called the Original Chicago Blues Annual. OCBA included poetry and fiction but focused on interviews with blues and jazz artists along with cultural essays on the black experience in America...
Monday, Jan. 18, 2010

The Tangled Roots of American Music

Anyone interested in American music knows that the cotton fields of Mississippi were fertile ground for the blues; as the Delta soil was carried down river to New Orleans, the blues helped shape the emergence of jazz; and when the blues traveled by rail to Chicago...
12.31.1969 | | Posted at 06:00 PM

UWM Presents A Tribute to 1920's Blues

By Russ Bickerstaff
In undergraduate school, I took a course in the history of pop music. It’s kind of surprising that courses like that aren’t closer to the core of a standard liberal arts education. An understanding of the history of contemporary pop gives one a really interesting perspective on what’s going on in the world of contemporary pop culture—makes for a much more literate graduate. Somewhere in t...
12.19.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
Ike’s Legacy: The ever-sharp Donald Fagen, everyone’s favorite half of Steely Dan, wrote a wonderful Ike Turner obit for Slate yesterday. Where other send offs painted Turner as a sinister villain, this one depicts him as a misguided and pathetic soul who never comprehended how he lost the career he worked so methodically to build: After Tina finally left in '76, Ike, already way shredded fro...
12.17.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
At her saddest, the voice of Edith Piaf was sorrow itself, intimating that love is a state of unsatisfiable yearning and life is melancholy without end. When she was ebullient, however, Piaf was a bolt of electricity. She was France’s analog to Billie Holiday and like the American jazz singer, led a troubled life and died too young. One of 2007’s great films, La Vie en Rose, has been...
11.20.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
That's like calling it David Duchovny's siganture show... The big news today: The Red Hot Chili Peppers are suing Showtime over the title of their David Duchovny series "Californication." The lawsuit alleges unfair competition, dilution of the value of the name and unjust enrichment, claiming the title is "inherently distinctive, famous ... and immediately associated in the mind of the cons...
11.15.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
The 100 Best Indie-Rock Albums Ever? Thems fighting words, but... November 15, 2007 | 03:01 PM A list of the "100 Greatest Indie-Rock Albums Ever" scheduled to appear in the December issue of Blender has gone online. The bloggers are already debating it, mostly half-heartedly, but before I dork out and join them, I'll go out on a limb and say the magazine actually did a pretty good job. Now for ...
10.08.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
As Wilco's Tuesday night Milwaukee concert at The Rave approaches, the city has been flooded in hype about the group's live show. A print advertisement deems the group, via the London Sunday Telegraph, "the world's most exciting live rock band," and a radio commercial repeats the claim. I mean this question in no way to be contentious, but does anybody believe that assertion is true? I haven't s...
11.27.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
Heavy metal, Brit pop and the Summer of Love As the holidays near, here's a reminder of the obvious: Box sets make great gifts; single CDs don't. These days, more than ever, CDs feel slight and disposable, but box sets are hefty and sustentative. They're also quite expensive, which makes them an indulgence, the type of gift people normally wouldn't buy themselves. One company in particular has ...
11.28.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
The Jonas Brothers are the tween Beatles Forget about Amy Winehouse's meteoric rise, the 50 Cent/Kanye West showdown or Radiohead's bold In Rainbows pricing plan. The biggest music news story of 2007 has got to be Disney's newfound dominance in the music industry. It's an easy story to ignore, since most childless, adult listeners won't ever be exposed to the music Disney releases through its Ho...
12.13.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
Awkward eulogies: Ike Turner's death yesterday has posed an uncomfortable dilemma for many publications: How, without being condescending, do you eulogize a man infamous for beating his wife? Here's a representative smattering of ledes published today: • Ike Turner, a music legend who paired up with Tina Turner in St. Louis to form a superstar duo, then saw his reputation tarnished by...
12.05.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
CDs: Ghostface Killah, The Hives Big doe and just "doh" Ghostface Killah – The Big Doe Rehab Now I see why Ghostface threw such a stink about Wu-Tang releasing their new album on the same day as his: It would be a shame if Big Doe Rehab were overshadowed by the Clan's long overdue reunion. That's not to say that Big Doe is a complete masterpiece—it's padded with some filler, and there's some...
10.11.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Nicole
Gone October 11, 2007 | 07:04 AM I've been less than diligent about blogging this week and it's because I finally joined the technological age and got an ipod. This means that I do nothing from the time I get home from work until the time I go to bed but download cds. I'm not even close to being done, but I've got the good stuff, so I promise I'll be back more this weekend. Nicole...
10.15.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Nicole
BCS poll out October 15, 2007 | 06:55 AM If ever there were a question about what kind of topsy-turvy upside down, wild college football season we're having, the BCS rankings that came out yesterday confirm it. We've got two one-loss teams in the top 5. Ohio State, who was not even in any Big Ten championship conversations to start the year is the #1 team. South Florida (who?) is the #2 team.The...
10.21.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Nicole
New BCS October 21, 2007 | 01:53 PM Beware Boston Collge of the curse of #2 1. Ohio St. 2. Boston College 3. LSU 4. Arizona St. 6. Oklahoma 7. West Virginia 8. Virginia Tech 9. Kansas 10. South Florida 11. Florida 12. USC 13. Missouri 14. Kentucky 15. Virginia 16. South Carolina 17. Hawaii 18. Georgia 20. Michigan 21. Cal 22. Auburn 23. Connecticut 24. Alabama 25. Penn Stat...
10.22.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Nicole
Johnny Estrada, Captain Obvious October 22, 2007 | 06:06 PM This article from the Journal-Sentinel has Johnny Estrada saying his performance this season was "pathetic". Welcome to the bandwagon Johnny, you're a little late to the party. Clearly I'm more than a little bitter about Estrada this season, and not just because he was so bored and mean at the 2nd Brewers Block Party this season. Maybe...
Friday, Sept. 26, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall - 8 p.m.

Maybe it runs in the family. The late Luther Allison played some of the best electric Chicago blues ever recorded, and these days his youngest son, Bernard Allison, has carried on in his footsteps. Like his father, Allison plays sweaty electric blues, but he also puts his own, youthful stamp on the genre, bringing in swatches of rock and funk into his sound as well...
10.27.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Nicole
Marquette is preseason #12 October 27, 2007 | 09:29 AM The ESPN/USA Today poll was released and Marquette is riding high in the #12 spot. 1. UNC 2. UCLA 3. Memphis 4. Kansas 5. Georgetown 6. Louisville 7. Tennessee 8. Michigan State 9. Indiana 10. Washington State 11. Duke 12. Marquette 13. Oregon 14. Gonzaga 15. Texas A & M 16. Texas 17. Arizona 18. USC 19. Arkansas 20. Pitts...
10.28.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Nicole
Wisconsin breaks into BCS top 25 October 28, 2007 | 08:29 PM After a command performance yesterday that no one got to see (damn you Big Ten Network!!) the Badgers edged their way back into rankings and showed up at 21 on this week's BCS standings. 1. Ohio State 2. Boston College 3. LSU 4. Arizona State 5. Oregon 6. Oklahoma 7. West Virginia 8. Kansas 9. Missouri 10. Georgia 11. Virgini...
Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008

Tonight @ the Potawatomi Bingo Casino - 8 p.m.

No longer a child prodigy (he’s just a plain old prodigy now), Jonny Lang continues to be one of the most popular contemporary blues guitarists. His most recent album, Turn Around, won a 2007 Grammy Award for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album—a curious category for him, perhaps, but an honor nonetheless. In conjunction...
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008

Tonight @ the Potawatomi Bingo Casino - 8 p.m.

No longer a child prodigy (he’s just a plain old prodigy now), Jonny Lang has continued his reign as one of the most popular contemporary blues guitarists. His most recent album, Turn Around, won a 2007 Grammy Award for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album—a curious category for him, perhaps, but an honor nonetheless...
10.28.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Nicole
Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun honored October 28, 2007 | 08:39 PM Prince Fielder was the NL recipient of the Hank Aaron award and the Players' Choice Award for most outstanding NL player this week. The Hank Aaron Award is voted on by the fans and honors the top offensive player in each league. Alex Rodriguez won the AL award. From Reuters.com: Nearly 400,000 votes were cast at MLB.com, the offici...
10.30.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Nicole
Geoff Junkins: No longer a Brewer (also, CoCo filed for free agency) October 30, 2007 | 09:55 PM The Brewers finally did what we all figured would happen and declined the $9 million dollar option on Geoff Junkins today. This article has some interesting quotes, but the most important detail is buried way at the bottom. From ESPN.com MILWAUKEE -- Geoff Jenkins enjoyed a solid year as the Milwau...
11.20.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Crime of Dispassion The Devil in the Details November 20, 2007 | 08:23 AM Robberies often go wrong but the jewelry store heist at the center of Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is about as bad as bad gets. The robber expects an easy time with the old woman behind the counter, never imagining she'd pull a gun and shoot, sending him through the glass front door to die on the pavement among the sh...
11.20.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
House of British Television November 20, 2007 | 08:52 AM A strange thought has become widespread, striking many people in the last decade: television has gotten better than the movies! Well, not all television or all movies, but between "The Sopranos," "House" and "Law and Order," it seems that intelligent writing and character development had begun to migrate from big screen to small—especia...
11.21.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Enchanted by Romance Love and the City November 21, 2007 | 08:59 AM Someone mixed up in the production of Disney's Enchanted had at least one interesting idea. Within the constricted boundary of a comedy meant for children and their sitters, Enchanted wants to say something about romance versus rationality in contemporary love. In the battle between mushy heart and clear heads, Enchanted falls ...
11.25.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Clooney at Last November 25, 2007 | 09:20 AM George Clooney has come to represent the survival of socially and politically engaged filmmaking in Hollywood. According to entertainment writer Kimberly Potts, he's also The Last Great Movie Star, the title of her new book, published by Applause. It's never a bad thing to scrutinize any claim for first and last—publicists and pundits as well as pol...
Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008

Tonight @ the Summerfest grounds - 9 p.m.

There's something about the blues that keeps many of its legends healthy and active well into old age. Buddy Guy, for instance, still performs with unprecedented energy for a man now in his 70s, and he still plays a brand of electric blues—which was no small influence on the British and American rockers of the 1960s . . .
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008

Tonight @ Cathedral Square Park - 6:30 p.m.

If you like your blues music as unfiltered as a strong, menthol cigarette, then chances are Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys will be right up your ally. This Milwaukee group, a perpetual Wisconsin Area Music Industry award favorite, plays raw blues marked by burning rhythms and fiery harmonica. They boys . . .
Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Aug. 15, 2008

   Johnny Winter slowly walked onstage, joining his band as they warmed the crowd up. He looked like a Texas blues specter, dressed in black, his cowboy hat shadowing his eyes, his face framed by long, white hair, his arms covered with fade...
Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall - 8 p.m.

After distinguished stints backing blues greats John Mayall and Albert Collins, guitarist Coco Montoya finally took a stab at his own solo career in 1995, and he’s been recording steadily ever since. Though he cut his teeth with sharp, electric riffs, on recent records he’s fall into a softer, more soulful sound a la Robert . . .
Friday, Aug. 15, 2008

Tonight @ the Turner Hall Ballroom - 8 p.m.

After more than 40 years on the road and a career colored by both hard knocks and critical accolades, Johnny Winter is considered a vintage blues artist—one short step away from the status of personal idols such as Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. Winter, along with his brother, fellow musician Edgar Winter . . .
Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008

Tonight @ Cathedral Square Park - 6:30 p.m.

Jazz purists who blast the weekly Jazz in the Park concert series in Cathedral Square Park for not booking enough traditional jazz music will find plenty of fodder to complain about tonight, when the jazz series welcomes… a blues band. The area smooth, electric blues combo The Back Alley Band take the stage . . .
Monday, Aug. 11, 2008

Online Exclusive

One would think that a 64-year-old blues musician who performs sitting down due to ongoing recovery from a hip broken in 2000 wouldn't be hard to track down. But it took several weeks and numerous trans-Atlantic phone calls before Johnny Winter finally surfaced in a club in a suburb of Rome, Italy. Winter and his three-piece backup band were on the last leg of a southern European tour, having just finished a late-night set performed before what the Albino blues guitarist thought was a fairly reserved crowd . . .
Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008

Today @ the Naga-Waukee Park in Delafield

Been down ever since your baby left you? Then heal your wounds this weekend at the Waukesha BluesFest at Naga-Waukee Park in Delafield. Today’s line-up include The Bel Airs, Altered Five, The Jim Liban Blues Trio, Hounds Tooth and headliner Popa Chubby, who closes out the festival with a set of blistering . . .
Friday, Aug. 8, 2008

Today @ the Naga-Waukee Park in Delafield

Been down ever since your baby left you? Then heal your wounds this weekend at the Waukesha Blues Fest at Naga-Waukee Park in Delafield. Tonight’s line-up includes The Groove Hogs, Tarbox Ramblers, The Danny Miller Band, The Robert Allen Jr. Trio and headliner Doyle Bramhall, the blues singer . . .
Sunday, Aug. 3, 2008

Tonight @ the Jazz Estate - 10 p.m.

As the Jazz Estate’s resident blues musician, guitarist Matt Hendricks has a lot of ground to cover. While sometimes overshadowed by another regularly billed Estate giant, Evan Christian, Hendricks is no less talented when it comes to guitar. With a repertoire including Mississippi John Hurt, and other blues . . .
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Singer to Be Reckoned With

Take out the amateur, needlessly placed poems by Tyehimba Jess in mawkish, embarrassing praise of Lead Belly and we have a perfect book. Lead Belly: A Life in Pictures (Steidl) is not merely a picture book at all, but is rife with brilliant essays and era-specific memorabilia that portray the complexity of the man who just might be America’s finest folksinger – because he sang anything and was no purist. Every song that came his way turned into his version and, in many instances, his copyright, from “Happy Birthday To You” (covered by the world) to “Good Night, Irene” (covered by Frank Sinatra and hundreds more).
11.28.2007 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Nicole
From the "Ooh Damn!" files November 28, 2007 | 12:40 PM Within hours ofresigning his job at Arkansas on Monday, Houston Nutt becamse the new coach of the Ole Miss Rebels. I'm so excited we do not lose the lunacy that is Houston Nutt! Nicole...
Thursday, July 17, 2008

American Music and a Milwaukee Tradition

Since 1998, the Garfield Avenue Festival has shined a spotlight on local music while dishing out some of the best soul food in the city. After modest beginnings as a blues festival, the free event has grown each year, offering more food vendors, more street performers, more visual artists, more activities and demonstrations for young children and more music. The festival, which runs from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 19 on Garfield Avenue between 4th and 7th streets, now attracts about 15,000 people a year . . .
Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This Week in Milwaukee

HEALTH @ The Borg Ward Collective, 7 p.m., Thursday. Partnered with the Canadian electronic duo Crystal Castles, HEALTH recorded one of last year’s sharpest singles, the disorient ing, Orwellian “Crimewave.” Left to their own devices, though, the Los Angeles group is more of a conventional noise-rock band than that dark dance track suggests, heavy on rusty guitars and cacopho nous drums.
Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tonight @ the Marcus Amphitheater

Born in Milwaukee, educated in Madison and famous the world over, Steve Miller nonetheless seems an unlikely candidate to headline the Marcus Amphitheater. After all, his last single to top the charts (“Abracadabra”) came more than a quarter-century ago, and he hasn’t released a studio album since 1993’s Wide River.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
It’s not hard to get Kenny Wayne Shepherd to talk about cars, especially the Detroit muscle machines of the early 1970s. The Shreveport, La., blues musician, in fact, seems to have as much respect for Chrysler and Plymouth products from the V8 era as he does for some of the blues giants that inspired the searing, rapid-fire guitar riffs that have become his trademark. “I grew up with Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars,” says Shepherd, 31. “As an adult, I’ve had the chance to indulge that interest.” Shepherd’s passion for high-performance autos led him to join the 2008 Hot Rod Power Tour, a public driving event sponsored by Hot Rod magazine that left the Arkansas State Fairgrounds . . .
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

(Backbeat), by Josh Alan Friedman

During a long career as a music writer, studio gopher and musician, Josh Alan Friedman came to know some prominent singers, songwriters and musicians. Their colorful recollections and insights are collected in Tell the Truth Until They Bleed. Especially interesting are the stories told by Dr. John, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller . . .
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Rhonda Begos keeps a full schedule, typically performing several times a week, but Summerfest is her true busy season. With each successive year, the singer has secured more and more bookings at Milwaukee’s signature music festival, and this year will be her most active yet. She’ll be performing at least nine times, doing two gigs with her R&B band, Midnight Groove, and four with the kid-themed group EROCK, in addition to appearing . . .
Monday, June 9, 2008

Tonight @ the Potawatomi Bingo Casino - 8 p.m.

It’s easy to take B.B. King for granted. For 60 years the elder statesman of blues has been touring rigorously, and even as he entered his 80s he barely slowed down. It was a sobering moment, then, when he announced his “farewell tour” in 2006. Fans who had gotten used to seeing him annually were forced to imagine . . .
Monday, April 28, 2008

Missing out on the blues

Just 11 pages into In Search of the Blues (Basic Books), author Marybeth Hamilton comes right out and attempts to shatter accepted visions of Mississippi Delta blues purity. She desperately wants to play the iconoclast. “In fact,” she begins, “the Delta blues was not born in the bars and dance halls of Mississippi. That Robert Johnson and Charley Patton came to dominate blues history owes more to elusive mediators and shapers of taste.
Friday, April 18, 2008

Hernando (Songs of The South)

The North Mississippi Allstars’ roots are deep in the Robert Johnson American blues catalog, as shown in the group’s 2000 debut, Shake Hands With Shorty. The band earned a formidable reputation for its live performances while touring in supporting roles and at festivals. They fit a niche between other blues rockers like the Black Keys and jammers like Dave Matthews Band. Tours also led to collaborations with artists such as R.L. Burnside, Robert Randolph and Medeski, Martin & Wood, so it’s not surprising that the band’s music has evolved and changed with each release. Their last album, 2005’s Electric Blue Watermelon, a collection of mostly upbeat tracks, earned them a Grammy nomination.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall 8pm

Southern-fried guitarist Eric Sardinas, a Californian rocker who professes a deep love of all things blues, from traditional Delta to amplified, Chicago electric blues, plays an 8 p.m. show at Shank Hall tonight. He’s appearing behind his just-released new album, Eric Sardinas and Big Motor, a cocky collection bound to win over Black Crowes fans.
Monday, Feb. 4, 2008

Tonight @ Potawatomi Bingo Casino - 8:00 PM

Perhaps the most popular modern accordionist outside of Weird Al Yankovich, Stanley Dural Jr. (better known to fans, of course, as Buckwheat Zydeco), continues to earn good will for his cheerful funk and blues records. Most recently . . .
Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008

Getting Old: Live (Uvulittle Records)

Madison-based blues singer/guitarist Jim Schwall proves that getting old doesn’t mean getting soft around the edges. In fact, one-half of the revered Siegel- Schwall Band—and more recently, a member of Marques Bovre’s latest group, SoDangYang—bursts . . .
Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008

Today @ Liquid Johnny's

If you like your blues music as unfiltered as a strong, menthol cigarette, then chances are Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys will be right up your alley.
Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007

Robert Cray's concerts spotlight his band

Fans who have seen the current edition of the Robert Cray Band know that one of the real attractions is listening to how the four band members play together, support each individual instrument and serve each song.
Monday, Dec. 31, 2007

Tonight @ Potawatomi Bingo's Northern Lights Theater - Midnight

Robert Cray, one of the true greats of modern blues, vexed purists in the '80s by smuggling traces of pop and soul music into his records, but Cray ultimately won over most critics with his adroit songwriting and emotive guitar work.