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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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Showing posts with label Boo Hanks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boo Hanks. Show all posts

Friday, June 29, 2012

Music Maker artists: Boo Hanks with Dom Flemons - Buffalo Junction - New Recording Review

I just received a copy of one of the coolest traditional and Piedmont style blues recordings to hit the market in a long time. 83 year old Boo Hanks, who has played locally and worked in the tobacco fields of Virginia most of his life and Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops were recorded in 2006 and 2007 in mostly casual settings. The relaxed atmosphere and genuine love for the music comes through very strongly. Hanks has a unique vocal style and phrasing which is all but lost. The recording is made up of 12 traditional songs all which have been arranged by Hanks. The track list includes Railroad Bill; Drinkin' Wine, Spodie Odie (done by many artists but often associated with Hank Williams Sr.); Truckin' My Blues Away (a Blind Boy Fuller song); One Dime Blues; one of my favorites, Wild Geese Blues with a more serious pace (often associated with Gladys Bentley and Eddie Lang); Move To The Outskirts Of Town (which has been covered by many many artists including Big Bill Broonzy, Ray Charles and the Allman Brothers Band); Diddy Wah Diddy (written by Willie Dixon and made popular by Ry Cooder); Ain't Nobody Here But Me; Goin' Down To Cincinatti; Wanna Boogie Oogie; Girls Are Crazy About Me and My Captain Gone On Before. This is a thoroughly entertaining cd that seems to be over just as you put it in the player.If you like Piedmont style blues you can't go wrong with this great cd.
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Key To the Highway - Boo Hanks & Big Ron Hunter

I just posted Boo Hanks a few days ago. This is a highlight of Big Ron Hunter. Ron owns a voice that gives people chills. It’s the kind of voice that carries warmth and tenderness, a voice that is unmistakably his own and embodies everything that’s raw, pure and beautiful about the blues.

Born: September 3, 1953 in Winston-Salem, NC
Repertoire Summary: Acoustic Blues, guitar
Current Location: Winston-Salem, NC

More about Ron:
Ron Hunter was born in Winston-Salem, NC. His father, who was a sharecropper, taught Ron how to sing and play the guitar at a young age. Mentored by the legendary Guitar Gabriel and versed in R&B, Rock & the Blues of BB King, Ron plays both electric and acoustic guitars in dramatically different styles. From Gabe’s advice, Hunter developed his unique sound all while raising a family and working a day job. As a maintenance man, you could find Ron locked up in his closet-sized office, plucking away at his guitar and pouring out the blues.

Hunter just released his second album, the Great Unknown, which, aside from receiving praise in the Living Blues magazine, proves his mastery of the blues and folk niches.
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Friday, November 4, 2011

Step it Up and Go - Boo Hanks

Boo Hanks, a descendant of Abraham Lincoln on his mother’s side, is the greatest Piedmont Blues rediscovery in many years. He sings and plays guitar in the style of the legendary Blind Boy Fuller. At the age of 79, he made his first recording and at 82 he has enjoyed performances around home as well as Lincoln Center and Belgium.

Born: April 30, 1928
Repertoire Summary: Acoustic Blues
Current Location: Virgilina, VA

More about Boo:
James Arthur “Boo” Hanks is an acoustic Blues guitarist, who began 75 years ago, with roots in the Piedmont string band and Blues traditions. He saved money for his first guitar by selling packets of garden seeds and it was with this guitar that he began picking out the same old-time songs he heard his father playing after long days in the tobacco field.

As a young man in the 1940s, Hanks earned pocket change playing guitar at barn dances with his cousins accompanying him on mandolin and spoons. His rich musical repertoire reflects his multi-ethnic heritage (his ancestors were white, African American, Ocinneechee Indian and family folklore believes they are descendants of Abraham Lincoln’s mother Mary Hanks.)

Today, Boo Hanks lives in Virgilina, Virginia, just over the North Carolina border, a stones throw from the rolling hills where he was born. Drawing from the deep musical well of his region, Boo Hanks showcases his virtuosity in the driving time and delicate finger-style guitar of the classic Piedmont Blues made famous by Blind Boy Fuller.
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Toot Blues - Film

In the late 1980s, Timothy Duffy, a penniless North Carolina musicology student, set out to document and preserve traditional southern roots and blues music. On his travels from Winston-Salem's drinkhouse music scene, an off-the-grid hotbed of gritty traditional blues, to deep-south family run churches, he found purpose and inspiration from a cast of amazingly talented, pure and unique set of characters (the artists!!).
Toot Blues remarkably captures the true essence and talent of the artists from Guitar Gabriel, a 'homeless magic potion selling' blues genius; to Willa Mae Buckner, a snake charming elderly woman taunting delightfully raunchy blues; to Beverly 'Guitar' Watkins, a grandmother who continues to tear up the stage and play a killer electric guitar behind her head; to Bishop Dready Manning and family churning out homebrewed rockabilly-gospel; to Boo Hanks, an 80 year-old bluesman recording an album for the very first time; to blind guitarist, Cootie Stark, mesmerizing crowds world-wide while never failing to find his way home by himself.
Shortly after befriending and championing for these artists Tim quickly realized the limitations set upon them by living in poverty, not only in their struggles to survive and support their families but also their ability to afford time and outlets to continue with their deepest passions-music, by a simple twist of fate, Tim along with his wife Denise, began the Music Maker Relief Foundation.
With rare footage, interviews, and numerous live performances, the film documents these unique musicians, brought together through the Music Maker community and their shared and vital musical heritage.
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