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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Karen Carroll, one of the top voices of our times, has passed. My prayers are with her family and friends.

I received some very sad news this week. My blues friend and dynamic singer Karen Carroll has passed. Karen had been working in Europe for quite some time and we became friends.  In 2014 Karen became ill and moved back to Atlanta to recuperate. I spoke with her a few times and she was making progress but unfortunately on March 9th after years of trouble with her health in the hospital she went peacefully. This week I spoke with Ronnie Templin, her manager/promoter, who had a very special relationship with Karen. "The most special thing I can think of is how selfless she was and how music moved her in a way that moved other people into a place of fun and all in a spiritual way. I appreciate that she was a dear friend of mine who I called my sister and she was my best friend in the world and I miss her much "

 Karen was nominated for a German Grammy for singing Vicksburg Blues that her mother, Jean Carroll, started in the family with Little Brother Montgomery. She played in the 1996 Chicago Blues Fest and also played in the 2008 Chicago Blues Festival opening for BB King. Karen had a daughter and a son, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was from the south side of Chicago and died in Macon Georgia.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, United States, Carroll started singing in church at the age of six. In her first appearance on stage, she played guitar with her mother's band at age 14. Early in her career she worked with Katie Webster and Albert King. She recorded her first song with Carey Bell on his album Son of a Gun in 1983.Ca rroll went on to tour with Eddie Lusk in Canada after performing on his album Professor Strut in 1989. She went on to play in prominent Chicago blues clubs. In 1995, she contributed to an album with five other female blues artists, entitled Women of Blue Chicago; which is still played on the radio today. She was offered a recording contract by Delmark Records in 1995, subsequently making the album Had My Fun. This was followed by another album, Talk to the Hand, in 1997. She wrote and held copyright to some of the tracks on this album.
She worked with many Chicago blues musicians, including Carey and Lurrie Bell, Rudy Rotta, Otis Grand, Angela Brown, Billy Branch, Melvin Taylor, Eddy Clearwater, Lonnie Brooks, Alvin Lee, Byther Smith and Sugar Blue.
Her album Be My Guest! was released by Indigoteam Records in 2008.
The BBC Radio 2 blues programme, the "Paul Jones Show", played several of her tracks by way of an obituary during the 28 March 2016 edition. The DJ said he had been informed of her death by the blues singer, Deitra Farr.

A member of the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame as a Master Artist. Her mother was Jeanne Carroll who was named the first lady of Blues by the mayor of Chicago in the fifties. Karen was one of those special artists with an especially rich voice. If you never had the opportunity to hear her, please check out some of her music. She was a super talent.

1 comment:

  1. You love you my beautiful sister, you are pure gold and happiness.Saying I miss you isn't enough, your message to the world goes on and I'm blessed to have had what we had, a true love that will live with me forever. Rest in peace my heart. Ronnie Templin.