July 1: The Late Great James Cotton was born in 1935

Distinctive wail…fat-toned style. Sheer propulsive power…Cotton can drive a song with his harp, squeezing out a flurry of notes. His true genius is his ability to select the perfect note. Cotton is a virtuoso of the blues.
– Blues Revue

Cotton is a key link on the chain of great blues harmonica players – Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Junior Wells. Sometimes he out-rocks the Rolling Stones.
– Chicago Tribune

James Cotton – Slow Blues (Angel Of Mercy / Blues in my sleep):

Continue reading “July 1: The Late Great James Cotton was born in 1935”

July 1: The Late Blues Legend Willie Dixon was born in 1915

The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling, and understanding.
~Willie Dixon

“The blues will always be because the blues are the roots of all American music.”
~Willie Dixon

Chuck Berry Inducts Willie Dixon into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

Continue reading “July 1: The Late Blues Legend Willie Dixon was born in 1915”

1961: 20 Songs Released in 1961 You Must Hear

My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed (that’s another & more complicated list)

Please feel free to publish your own favorite songs from 1961 in the comments section…

Here we go…

August 27: Stevie Ray Vaughan passed away in 1990

Stevie-Ray-Vaughan

But between sets I’d sneak over to the black places to hear blues musicians. It got to the point where I was making my living at white clubs and having my fun at the other places.
~Stevie Ray Vaughan

He was the greatest blues guitarist of his generation.
~ Mick Jagger

Stevie was always playing. After he’d get offstage, he’d get on his bus. And he had all these Stratocasters hanging there. He’d grab one and start goin’.
~Gregg Allman

Texas Flood – Live At Montreux – 85:

Continue reading “August 27: Stevie Ray Vaughan passed away in 1990”

April 4: The late great Muddy Waters was born in 1913

“Man, you don’t know how I felt that afternoon when I heard that voice and it was my own voice.” 

– Muddy Waters

“I rambled all the time. I was just like that, like a rollin’ stone.”

– Muddy Waters

Waters_Muddy_003

Wikipedia (Read more):

McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983), known as Muddy Waters is generally considered the “father of modern Chicago blues”. He was a major inspiration for the British blues explosion in the 1960s, and was ranked #17 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

In his later years Muddy usually said that he was born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, in 1915, he was actually born at Jug’s Corner in neighboring Issaquena County, Mississippi, in 1913.

One of the greatest and most influential blues artists of all times.

Got my Mojo workin, 1976:

His grandmother Della Grant raised him after his mother died shortly after his birth. His fondness for playing in mud earned him the nickname “Muddy” at an early age. He then changed it to “Muddy Water” and finally “Muddy Waters”.

muddy waters Michael choIllustration by Michael Cho

The actual shack where Muddy Waters lived in his youth on Stovall Plantation is now at the Delta Blues Museum at 1 Blues Alley in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He started out on harmonica but by age seventeen he was playing the guitar at parties emulating two blues artists who were extremely popular in the south, Son House and Robert Johnson.

You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had:

“His thick heavy voice, the dark coloration of his tone and his firm, almost solid, personality were all clearly derived from House,” wrote music critic Peter Guralnick in Feel Like Going Home, “but the embellishments which he added, the imaginative slide technique and more agile rhythms, were closer to Johnson.”

Album of the day, The Folk Singer by Muddy Waters:
muddy waters folk singer

Muddy Waters started out playing acoustic blues in the Delta, and it shows on this return to his roots, it is probably designed to appeal to the mid-1960s surge of interest in blues music, especially in the UK. It is a great acoustic blues album. You’ve got Muddy Waters and you’ve got legendary songwriter/bassist Willie Dixon, and a young Buddy Guy on lead guitar! Waters sings very strong and the sound is surprisingly clean , enjoy!

Other April 4th:

Gary Moore was born in 1952 in Belfast Ireland.

In a career dating back to the 1960s, Moore played with artists including Phil Lynott and Brian Downey during his teens, leading him to memberships with the Irish bands Skid Row and Thin Lizzy on three separate occasions. Moore shared the stage with such blues and rock luminaries as B.B. King, Albert King, Colosseum II, George Harrison and Greg Lake, as well as having a successful solo career.

Moore died in his sleep of a heart attack in his hotel room while on holiday in Estepona, Spain, in February 2011

Elvis Presley:

A taped Elvis Presley concert entitled Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii was telecast on NBC in the USA and proved to be a huge success. The total worldwide audience for the show, the first commercial worldwide satellite broadcast, amounts to over a billion people.

-Hallgeir

Sources: Wikipedia, Allmusic, Peter Guralnick – Feel Like Going Home and Robert Gordon’s wonderful book:

Muddy Waters bio

March 30: Happy Birthday Eric Clapton

 I am, and always will be, a blues guitarist.
~Eric Clapton

“I found my God in music and the arts, with writers like Hermann Hesse, and musicians like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Little Walter. In some way, in some form, my God was always there, but now I have learned to talk to him.”
~Eric Clapton

….Paul Simon writes great songs. George Harrison great songs, a lot of people, Eric Clapton produces wonderful music.
~Bob Dylan (Press Conference, July 1981)

Robbie Robertson inducts Eric Clapton Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000:

Check out: