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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 The Original Honeydripper. Roosevelt Sykes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Original Honeydripper. Roosevelt Sykes. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

New blues releases from Blind Pig Records!
American roots music label Blind Pig Records returns to its traditional blues origins with the release of new titles from Shawn Holt and the Teardrops and Roosevelt Sykes.

Shawn Holt & the Teardrops   "Daddy Told Me" Shawn Holt is the son of the late legendary blues master, Magic Slim. After twenty-four years and ten releases as Magic Slim's label, Blind Pig Records is very proud to announce the debut recording by Shawn Holt & the Teardrops, Daddy Told Me.  John Primer, a distinguised and long time member of the Teardrops, is a special guest.
When the blues world mourned the passing of Magic Slim this past spring at a tribute at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, Bill Dahl of the Chicago Blues Guide wrote, "'A Night For Magic' commenced in true torch-passing fashion with Slim's guitar-wielding son, Shawn Holt, leading a second-generation lineup of Teardrops that proved conclusively he has what it takes to maintain the family legacy."
Magic Slim & the Teardrops have probably been nominated for the Blues Foundation's "Blues Band of the Year" award more times than any blues band playing today - including eight times in the last ten years. You can't become a Teardrop until Magic Slim says you're good enough.  Shawn Holt became a Teardrop last year shortly before his dad died.
The high energy, hard-driving sound of the Teardrops is still alive and well with Shawn, a chip off the old block, fronting his old man's band.  Shawn's booming vocal presence is more than a little reminiscent of his father's, and his guitar playing, while similar to Slim's, exhibits a broader mix of classic and contemporary influences. Combining a couple of his Dad's songs and other songs associated with him with five of his own originals, Shawn shows himself more than capable of leading the Teardrops into a new era.
Roosevelt Sykes   "The Original Honeydripper"
Considered by many to be the father of modern blues piano, Roosevelt Sykes enjoyed a career that spanned some sixty years. In 1929, at age 23, he was one of the earliest blues pianists to record. In the following decades he went on to became a very prolific recording artist, a highly successful bandleader and later, a popular solo artist. He was a pioneering pianist responsible for the classic songs "44 Blues," "Driving Wheel," and "Night Time Is the Right Time."
The Original Honeydripper was recorded live in 1977 in the small basement blues club of the Blind Pig Café in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was recordings and performances such as this that led to the formation of Blind Pig Records. Originally released on LP, this re-issue, with improved sound quality, also contains two original outtakes, "St. James Infirmary" and "Don't Talk Me to Death," that have been marvelously resurrected.
The selections span the length and breadth of Roosevelt Sykes' career and the times in which he lived.  Featuring Roosevelt's own musical hybrid of ragtime and country blues piano, these solo performances capture Sykes as the consummate entertainer who truly delighted in singing and playing piano for lively, appreciative audiences.  As All Music Guide said, "This label can really be counted on to do a fine job on documenting an artist. For a recording of this artist in his later years, one can't really do better than this set."

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Blind Pig Records: Roosevelt Sykes - The Original Honeydripper - New Release Review

I have just received the new reissue of The Original Honeydripper, a live recording of Roosevelt Sykes made in 1977 in the small basement blues club of the Blind Pig Cafe. This is a great spontaneous recording capturing Sykes in stride, opening with Cow Cow Blues featuring his pounding piano riffs and hootin' and hollarin' singing technique. On Drivin' Wheel, Sykes settles into a 12 bar roll with great vocal phrasing and piano presence. An earlier unreleased super rendition of St James Infirmary really highlights Sykes ability to play with sophisticated intensity complimented by his sense of seriousness. On Ray Charles' What I Say, Sykes adds his own flavor crossing back from Charles' style and his own barrelhouse style. On boogie track I'm A Nut, Sykes has the crowd rockin' and cheering. Always a crowd favorite, Viper Song is a great story track giving Sykes a great venue to showcase his vibrant personality and light handed fingers on the keyboard. Another unreleased track, Don't Talk Me To Death, is a great addition to this original release showing Sykes in control of the crowd and exhibiting some of his best vocal and key work on the release. Early Morning Blues is one of my favorite tracks on the release showing just the perfect balance between Skyes' powerful vocal and piano. Closing the release is Dirty Mother For You, a fun filled boogie track with Sykes leading you through the innuendo. This is a great documentation of one of the blues piano greats. If you don't already have a copy, now is the time!

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This is not a track from the release but does show Sykes in action: