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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 Steve James. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steve James. Show all posts

Monday, July 15, 2013

Milwalkee Blues - Steve James

Steve James (born July 15, 1950, Manhattan, New York City, United States) is an American folk blues musician. A multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, James operates in the fields of acoustic and folk blues. Without the benefit of promotion from a major record label, James has secured his fan base from consistent touring. James plays a National steel guitar, mandolin, and the banjo, having become fixated, as an adolescent, on blues music. As a teenager in New York City, James listened to his father's record collection, which included recordings from Lead Belly, Josh White, and Meade "Lux" Lewis. Following relocation to Tennessee, he met both Sam McGee and Furry Lewis. In 1977, he moved to San Antonio, Texas, and played along with various musicians including Bo Diddley, John P. Hammond and Dave Van Ronk. James' earliest recordings were Two Track Mind (1993), American Primitive (1994), and Art & Grit (1996). Bob Brozman played some slide guitar on Art & Grit, and Danny Barnes has appeared on a number of James' recordings. In 2000 the Portland, Oregon based, Burnside Records label, issued Boom Chang. Three years later Burnside released, Fast Texas, where James was accompanied by Cindy Cashdollar on steel and dobro guitars; plus Ruthie Foster and Cyd Cassone on vocals. James' own songs appeared on Fast Texas, as well as covers of work from Hop Wilson, Milton Brown, and Little Hat Jones. Cashdollar and Alvin Youngblood Hart had previously guested on Boom Chang. James' playing has also appeared on recordings from James McMurtry and Ana Egge. He has released an instructional video and contributed to Acoustic Guitar. He continues to tour around the world and incorporates teaching sessions on guitar playing techniques

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Stony Plain artist: Maria Muldaur -First Came Memphis Minnie - New Release Review

I have just received a copy of Maria Muldaur's newest release, ... First Came Memphis Minnie (available October 9, 2012). Muldaur has elnisted a virtual who's who of blues royalty including Rory Blck, Ruthie Foster, Bonnie Raitt, Phoebe Snow, Koko Taylor, Del Rey, David Bromberg, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Roy Rogers, Steve James and Steve Freund. First up is Me And My Chauffeur Blues with Muldaur on vocals and Roy Rogers on guitar. This is a really nice cover and one of Minnie's gems. Bonnie Raitt and Freund do a great version of Ain't Nothin' In Ramblin'. On I'm Goin' Back Home, Muldair teams up with Alvin Youngblood Hart for a very classic sounding duet. (Certainly one of my favorites tracks on the release). I'm Sailin' featuring Muldaur on vocals with Del Rey and Steve James on guitars shows Muladur's voice at it's best. Rory Block takes the lead on When You Love Me both on vocals and guitars. Long As I Can See You Smile, again with Muldaur, Del Rey and James is a bit more uptempo and very solid. The deliberate guitar of Del Rey on work on Lookin' The World Over is a very cool accent to Muldaur who really gets Minnie's style. Another of my favorites on the recording is In My Girlish Days performed by Phoebe Snow and David Bromberg. This track is exceptional. Muldaur and AYH are back together again on She Put Me Outdoors. Though not as effective as their earlier track together, it is still quite a nice track with addition of mandolin by Dave Earl. One of my personal favorite tracks by Minnie, Keep Your Big Mouth Shut, is performed here by one of my favorite contemporary female vocalists, Ruthie Foster, accompanied here by Steve Freund. Beautiful. The intro on Tricks Ain't Walkin' has some really nice resonator work as well as mandolin by Earl. Muldaur puts here heart into the track and it really makes the track come to life. Again a sweet guitar intro by James and Del Ray on Crazy Cryin' Blues leads to some moaning by Muldaur on one of Minnie's more soulful tracks.Koko Taylor takes it home with Black Rat Swing. This of course is a great track and features Bob Margolin on slide. Taylor lets it all hang out hear for a great conclusion toa very cohesive tribute recording.


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