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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 NY Times. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NY Times. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Last week, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound released their Bloodshot Records debut, Want More

Last week, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound released their Bloodshot Records debut, Want More, an 11-song collection of soul crooning, R&B horn pops, and a raw post-punk aesthetic. Metromix mentioned that the album, “Sounds like the MC5 jamming with Otis Redding’s horn section.”
Following the release of their first single from the album, “Everything Will Be Fine” (available for download below), the band has followed up with a music video for the song as well. Co-created by the band and folks at Chicago’s storied Second City, the video is a fusing of retro ‘80s Dial-A-Lawyer commercials and a narrative that brings JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound from the street to the board room.

In addition to the main video, the band also made five short teaser videos that showcase their well-intentioned but somewhat misinformed manager, Glenn Peacock.
#1 “The Interview” -
#3 “Bullies” -
#4 “Shocktober” -
#5 “The Manager” -
*STREAM>>NPR Music Song of the Day spotlighted the tune “I Got High.”
Want More 2011 Tour Dates:
The Book & Stage at the Cosmopolitan
Las Vegas
The Book & Stage at the Cosmopolitan
Las Vegas
The Book & Stage at the Cosmopolitan
Las Vegas
The Doug Fir
The Triple Door
Bottom of The Hill
San Francisco
Los Angeles
Soda Bar
San Diego
Club Congress
Crescent Ballroom
The Mohawk
Horseshoe Tavern
Beachland Tavern
The Basement
Main St. in Over The Rhine
Off Broadway
St. Louis
Black Cat
Kung Fu Necktie
Mercury Lounge
New York
Schubas Tavern
Schubas Tavern
Here’s what folks are saying:
JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound describe themselves as a post-punk soul band, but their sound is so much more expansive than that. Uptown Sound is on par with soul musicians from the heyday of the genre’s popularity. – Paste Magazine
This Chicago band’s second album is a lively set of gritty old-school soul and funk injected with some raw garage-rock aggression. An energetic blend of tight, funky rhythms, stabbing horns, keyboards and guitars accompanies frontman JC Brooks, whose impressive vocals gracefully glide between grainy shouting and smooth crooning with some spine-tingling falsetto on songs ranging from hedonistic party starters to socially conscious anthems. – Don Yates, KEXP
Neo-Soul glory. – New York Times
A cross between the Chambers Brothers and agit-punks The Make-Up, Mr. Brooks and Co. are one of the hottest US soul acts right now. – MOJO Magazine

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Deep Blues - Blues Documentary

This superb documentary vividly illustrates the enduring vitality of country blues, an idiom that most mainstream music fans had presumed dead or, at best, preserved through more scholarly tributes when filmmaker Robert Mugge and veteran blues and rock writer Robert Palmer embarked on their 1990 odyssey into Mississippi delta country. What Arkansas native and former Memphis stalwart Palmer knew, and Mugge captured on film, was that the blues was not only alive but still intimately woven into the daily lives of rural blacks.

Palmer, a former rock musician and Memphis Blues Festival cofounder best known for his bylines in The New York Times and Rolling Stone, had already chronicled the saga of Southern blues in his seminal book that provides the film's title. He's an astute guide, and Mugge underlines this role by pairing him with British rocker Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), whose avid interest in the music makes him an effective foil.

The film's real triumph, however, rests in the team's success in capturing modern day blues survivors and inheritors playing in the bars, juke joints, and barns of delta country. Palmer, who had returned several years earlier to the delta to capture these artists for his scrappy Fat Possum label, introduces us to the now-amplified but still elemental blues of R.L. Burnside, the late Junior Kimbrough, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes, and other keepers of the faith. Mugge, whose profiles of Al Green, Sonny Rollins, and other musicians probed their cultural and artistic contexts with intelligence and sensitivity, captures both the music and the milieu in crisp color footage. Deep Blues thus triumphs as a testament to the blues' deep roots and an unintentional eulogy for Palmer, who would pass away in the mid-'90s just as the gut-bucket music of Burnside and Kimbrough served notice that the blues were alive and kicking.
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Sad Streets of Clarksdale - Foster "Mr Tater" Wiley

Foster Wiley, a.k.a. ‘Mr. Tater,’ legendary street musician of Clarksdale, Mississippi, passed away on Friday, September 10th. According to friend John Ruskey, Wiley was 63 years old.

Upon hearing of Mr. Tater’s failing health, Music Maker friend Will Dawson volunteered at the Music Maker office to produce CDs for Mr. Tater. Will later informed the Music Maker Foundation that Tater received the CDs prior to his passing, and was truly touched. “The money from CD sales are now being used to cover funeral expenses,” said the the Music Maker Foundation press release. Mr. Tater, an artist who impacted many, will truly be missed.

Affectionately called “Mr. Tater” by his legion of fans, Foster Wiley was perhaps best known for his daily street performances in downtown Clarksdale as well as his late night jams at local venues like Ground Zero Blues Club, Red’s Lounge and Club 2000.

Though plagued by various physical and environmental handicaps, Wiley was rarely without a smile and always in search of his next gig or recording opportunity. As a result, his name or image often appeared in both national and international media circles, including such iconic news outlets as The New York Times, BBC, CNN, CBS and NPR. He was also a regular act at area blues festivals and featured in a handful of video documentaries.

Musicians Jimbo Mathus, Bill Abel, Will Dawson and others helped Wiley record over a dozen CDs, including the recently released “Best of Mr. Tater” on the appropriately (but coincidentally) named Music Maker label.

In the 2008 blues documentary “M for Mississippi,” the man they called Mr. Tater proudly proclaimed, “I never sing the same song twice.” He was laid to rest at Pilgrim’s Rest Cemetery in Clarksdale on Tuesday, September 14th.
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