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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 Guitar Gabriel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guitar Gabriel. Show all posts

Friday, September 18, 2020

Music Maker Relief Foundation compilation: Hanging Tree Guitars - New Release Review

 


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release September 25, 2020, Hanging Tree Guitars, from Music Makers Relief Foundation and it's the real deal, accompanying the release of the book of the same name. Opening with Rufus McKenzie singing Slavery Time Blues, over a wailing harmonica. Very authentic blues. Bishop Dready Manning sings Hard Luck and Troubles with only acoustic guitar and hand claps. His vocals are terrific and the accompaniment solid. Guitar Gabriel is as smooth as they come on Southland Blues, a strong delta style blues. His vocal and guitar work is tight yet not over produced. Excellent. John Lee Zeigler has a really cool voice approaching the falsetto of Skip James. Worked nicely with acoustic slide, John Henry is a really strong track. Spiritual track, Get Ready is potent with The Glory Vine Sisters. Powerful voices and R&B style format makes this one of my favorites on the release. Elder Anderson Johnson does a strong spiritual blues in Glory, Glory. With only the basic of guitar accompaniment and the enthusiasm of his vocals this is a great track. Gospel track, Somewhere To Lay My Head is a real hand slapper featuring Johnny Ray Daniels and rich vocal harmonies. Wrapping the release is Guitar Slim Stephens as pure as it gets on Amazing Grace with only a simple acoustic slide as backing. This is a release that's rich in history and sweat. Excellent!


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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Music Maker Relief Foundation compilation: Blue Muse - Various Artista - New Release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blue Muse, from Music Maker Relief Foundation. This cd will accompany a photography book of the same name by Tim Duffy coming out on March 28th. Opening with an acoustic jam, The Grotto Sessions, featuring Simon Arcache on guitar, Dr. Burt, Ironing Board Sam, Etta baker, Captain Luke, Rufus McKenzie, Alabama Slim and Guitar Gabe on vocal, plus a sea of others this is raw and adventurous. Taj Mahal is up next on John Hurt's Spike Drivers Blues with his distinctive vocal and guitar styling. Very nice. Eddie Tigner is up next on vocal and piano with a great boogie, Route 66 with Matt Sickles on bass, Ron Logsdon on drums, Paul Lindon on harp and with really nice guitar runs by Felix Reyes. Excellent! No question that my favorite track on the release is Robert Finley's Age Don't Mean A Thing, the title track from the spectacular release of the same name. Dom Flemons' Polly Put The Kettle On is a great country blues with Flemons on lead vocal and harp, Ben Hunter on fiddle, Guy Davis on guitar and Joe Seamons on backing vocals. With great vocal style Algia Mae Hinton is featured on acoustic guitar and vocal performing Snap Your Fingers. Raw and pounding, I Am The Lightning, is a great track. With Willie farmer on vocal and guitar, Will Sexton on mellotron, Mark Stuart on bass, and George Sluppick on drums, this track is hot. Sweet Valentine features the beautifully harmonized vocals  of Martha Spencer and Kelley Breiding, both who contribute acoustic guitar. Very nice. Eric Clapton pairs with Tim Duffy for some real fine finger picked acoustic blues on Mississippi Blues. Guitar Gabriel's solo, Landlord Blues, is the polished edge of raw blues with solid vocals and cool guitar work. Very cool. Dripping in southern gospel, The Branchettes sing I Know I've Been Changes totally acapella. Powerful. Wrapping the release is Something Within Me featuring Theotis Taylor on vocal and piano in a very nice spiritual track with plenty of soul. This really is a super release with plenty of diverse flavor for all to savor. 

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Friday, October 12, 2012

BOOGIE - Henry Gray & Guitar Gabriel

Robert Lewis Jones (October 12, 1925 – April 2, 1996), known as both Guitar Gabriel and Nyles Jones, was an American blues Musician. Gabriel's unique style of guitar playing, which he referred to as "Toot Blues", combined Piedmont, Chicago, and Texas blues, as well as gospel, and was influenced by artists such as Blind Boy Fuller and Reverend Gary Davis. After hearing of Guitar Gabriel from the late Greensboro, North Carolina blues guitarist and pianist, James "Guitar Slim" Stephens, musician and folklorist Tim Duffy located and befriended Gabriel, who was the inspiration for the creation of the Music Maker Relief Foundation. Gabriel wore a trademark white sheepskin hat, which he acquired while traveling and performing with medicine shows during his late 20s. Gabriel was born in Decatur, Georgia, moving to Winston-Salem, North Carolina at age five. His father, Sonny Jones (also known as Jack Jones, James Johnson, and as Razorblade for an act in which he ate razor blades, mason jars, and light bulbs) recorded for Vocalion Records in 1939 in Memphis, accompanied by Sonny Terry and Oh Red (George Washington). Sonny Jones also recorded a single for the Orchid label in Baltimore in 1950 (as Sunny Jones). His family, who grew up sharecropping, shared a talent for music. His great-grandmother, an ex-slave, called set dances and played the banjo; his grandfather played banjo and his grandmother the pump organ; his father and uncle were blues guitarists and singers and his sisters sang blues and gospel. In 1935, Gabriel's family moved to Durham, North Carolina, where he began playing guitar on the streets. Between the ages of 15 and 25, Gabriel traveled the country playing the guitar in medicine shows. During his travels, he performed with artists such as Bo Diddley, Lightnin' Hopkins, Louis Jordan, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, B. B. King, T-Bone Walker and Jimmy Reed. In 1970, Gabriel went to Pittsburgh and recorded a single, "Welfare Blues," as well as an album, My South, My Blues, with the Gemini label under the name "Nyles" Jones. The 45 became a hit in Pittsburgh and Cleveland and though the album sold well, Gabriel never saw any royalties. Disillusioned and embittered by the music business, Gabriel returned home to Winston-Salem where he continued playing music, but expressly for his community, at churches, homes, clubs, "drink houses," and even at bus stops when children were returning home from school. The album, My South, My Blues was reissued in 1988, on the French label, Jambalaya, as Nyles Jones, the Welfare Blues. Tim Duffy and Guitar Gabriel in Utrecht, 1991 In March 1990, musician and folklorist Tim Duffy began searching for Guitar Gabriel. After being directed to a drink house in Winston-Salem, Duffy met Gabriel's nephew, Hawkeye, who took him to meet Gabriel. Duffy and Gabriel forged a friendship, and began performing under the name Guitar Gabriel & Brothers in the Kitchen, later recording the album, which was released on cassette, "Do You Know What it Means to Have a Friend?" on their own Karibu label. During this time, Duffy would assist the impoverished Gabriel by providing transportation, paying bills, and providing food for him and his wife, but realized that there were many more musicians like Gabriel who were in need of the same assistance, and who were still capable and willing to record and perform. In 1994, Tim and his wife, Denise Duffy founded the Music Maker Relief Foundation. Through this foundation, Gabriel was able to perform in professional venues, including the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and made several trips to Europe. Gabriel died April 2, 1996, and is buried with his guitar (per his request to Duffy) at the Evergreen Cemetery in Winston-Salem, North Carolina “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Guitar Gabriel


Robert Lewis Jones (October 12, 1925 – April 2, 1996), known as both Guitar Gabriel and Nyles Jones, was an American blues Musician. Gabriel's unique style of guitar playing, which he referred to as "Toot Blues", combined Piedmont, Chicago, and Texas blues, as well as gospel, and was influenced by artists such as Blind Boy Fuller and Reverend Gary Davis. After hearing of Guitar Gabriel from the late Greensboro, North Carolina blues guitarist and pianist, James "Guitar Slim" Stephens, musician and folklorist Tim Duffy located and befriended Gabriel, who was the inspiration for the creation of the Music Maker Relief Foundation. Gabriel wore a trademark white sheepskin hat, which he acquired while traveling and performing with medicine shows during his late 1920s.
Gabriel was born in Atlanta, Georgia, moving to Winston-Salem, North Carolina at age five. His father, Sonny Jones (also known as Jack Jones, James Johnson, and as Razorblade for an act in which he ate razor blades, mason jars, and light bulbs) recorded for Vocalion Records in 1939 in Memphis, accompanied by Sonny Terry and Oh Red (George Washington). Sonny Jones also recorded a single for the Orchid label in Baltimore in 1950 (as Sunny Jones). His family, who grew up sharecropping, shared a talent for music. His great-grandmother, an ex-slave, called set dances and played the banjo; his grandfather played banjo and his grandmother the pump organ; his father and uncle were blues guitarists and singers and his sisters sang blues and gospel.

In 1935, Gabriel's family moved to Durham, North Carolina, where he began playing guitar on the streets. Between the ages of 15 and 25, Gabriel traveled the country playing the guitar in medicine shows. During his travels, he performed with artists such as Bo Diddley, Lightnin' Hopkins, Louis Jordan, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, B. B. King, T-Bone Walker and Jimmy Reed. In 1970, Gabriel went to Pittsburgh and recorded a single, "Welfare Blues," as well as an album, My South, My Blues, with the Gemini label under the name "Nyles" Jones. The 45 became a hit in Pittsburgh and Cleveland and though the album sold well, Gabriel never saw any royalties.Disillusioned and embittered by the music business, Gabriel returned home to Winston-Salem where he continued playing music, but expressly for his community, at churches, homes, clubs, "drink houses," and even at bus stops when children were returning home from school. The album, My South, My Blues was reissued in 1988, on the French label, Jambalaya, as Nyles Jones, the Welfare Blues.
Tim Duffy and Guitar Gabriel in Utrecht, 1991

In March 1990, musician and folklorist Tim Duffy began searching for Guitar Gabriel. After being directed to a drink house in Winston-Salem, Duffy met Gabriel's nephew, Hawkeye, who took him to meet Gabriel. Duffy and Gabriel forged a friendship, and began performing under the name Guitar Gabriel & Brothers in the Kitchen, later recording the album, which was released on cassette, "Do You Know What it Means to Have a Friend?" on their own Karibu label. During this time, Duffy would assist the impoverished Gabriel by providing transportation, paying bills, and providing food for him and his wife, but realized that there were many more musicians like Gabriel who were in need of the same assistance, and who were still capable and willing to record and perform. In 1994, Tim and his wife, Denise Duffy founded the Music Maker Relief Foundation. Through this foundation, Gabriel was able to perform in professional venues, including the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and made several trips to Europe. Gabriel died April 2, 1996, and is buried with his guitar (per his request to Duffy) at the Evergreen Cemetery in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
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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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