Category Archives: Blues

Happy Birthday, Lightnin’

My favorite Lightnin’ Hopkins number:

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Your Woman Gone Too?

James Baldwin (1962): In all jazz, and especially the blues, there is something tart and ironic, authoritative and double-edged. White Americans seem to feel that happy songs are happy and sad songs are sad, and that, God help us, is … Continue reading

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Albert Murray, RIP

Blessings on Albert Murray, who died on Sunday. He devoted a good part of his writing life to reminding us of the complexities of being an American and celebrating the culture, especially the blues, that makes our lives worth living. … Continue reading

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Bobby Blue Bland, RIP

Ever since I first heard him on “Good Morning, Blues,” an early morning radio show in Atlanta, Bobby Blue Bland (who died at 83 on Sunday) has always been to me the quintessence of rhythm and blues. That voice! A … Continue reading

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The Messiah Will Come Again

It’s pretty rare to hear a rock guitarist who can really tell a story. Roy Buchanan, the man who taught Robbie Robertson to play, is an exception. For some reason I’ve been listening to an old record of his. I … Continue reading

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The Chord of a Coffin

There’s a nice piece in the NYRB about Charles Mingus and the recent box set The Jazz Workshop Concerts: 1964-5. Mingus composed—as he did most things—his own way. He was well versed in theory and composition, yet he used notation … Continue reading

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You know what I’m talking about . . .

Our friend Chris Liebig, who has a blog where he says shockingly sane things about school, has been recommending our blog as well as gently nudging us to post things on a more regular basis in January. Knowing that Chris … Continue reading

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