Great little tribute to one of the most outrageous blues acts of all time, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. He’s clearly one of the most flamboyant performers ever to don a cape and enter the stage in a coffin…
Stillwater, Oklahoma’s Blues Festival will include an amateur competition as well as scheduled pro acts.
Great video overview of the folk standard known as “stack-o-lee” or “stagger lee”, which has been performed in many, many versions over the years. It’s a great example of songs which were passed along in the oral tradition, in an era when mass communication was rare, and folk stories often were the primary source of history:
Karen Hanson tips us off on an exhibit currently at Chicago’s African-American history museum:
Nice obit tribute to one of the most influential musicians and producers around.
Blues Music Now’s obit for Les Paul:
And a nice little video tribute from Squeeze My Lemon:
Nice overview on Lonnie Pitchford, a modern Delta bluesman who has been known to demonstrate how to build a “diddly bow”, a home-made one-string guitar (which may or may not have been etymologically related to Bo Diddley’s name).
If the guys from Portishead were smokin’ weed in the alley with Captain Beefheart and “wordjazz” master Ken Nordine outside of a Jimmy Smith show, and then decided to corral Smith for a jam at Nordine’s home studio, this is what I imagine the resulting recording would sound like.
Belgian-born Fabien Van der Steppen has been brewng an unusual blend of trippy, blues-influenced music for a number of years, experimenting by weaving familiar blues elements like slide guitar and harmonica into mixes that use classic hip-hop and trance as a base. The results here are a bit uneven, but never boring, and the recording has the spontaneous, improvised feel of a jam session, with all the good and band elements that entails. Some of the lyrical ideas could benefit from further fleshing out, as some of the vocal mantras border on Nordine’s “word jazz” abstractions both in content and in treatment. A few more Beefheart-like howls, wails, and growls would spice things up.
Incursions Ostentatoires is worth repeated spins, so spark one up, kick back and chill out with FAB. There is a planned Belgian tour, and have been a number of live performances as well in the Chicago area, so keep an eye out.
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