Integration of Indian music, “three seconds and you know who’s playing” saxophone, double-necked guitar and all that it implies, homegrown approaches to composition: It’s all here. But the alto saxophonist’s new album surfs on this information overload without drowning in it.
The urban blues of places like Detroit and Chicago came from country blues. Little Son Joe and his better known partner Memphis Minnie were among the players who brought the blues to the cities, paving the way for Muddy Waters and others who would follow. Memphis Minnie is known as one of the best guitarists [...]
Henry Thomas is literally a link to an earlier time. Born in 1874, his music is a patchwork of blues, rags and folk songs. His use of quills, or pan-pipes, is a relic of a nearly vanished African American tradition. Listening to Henry Thomas gives a glimpse of what music might have sounded like before [...]
Blind Willie Johnson was a bluesman and a preacher. His lyrics were spiritual, and his music was blues. Though he only made 30 recordings, his work is a lasting part of the blues legacy. Early players like Son House and Fred McDowell played his tunes, and his influence reached people like Bob Dylan and Led [...]