Get this crazy baby off my head!


Rory Block


Rory Block - Mama's Blues - 1991 - Rounder

Rory Block is quite impressive. Ignoring the fact that she is a white woman singing older-style blues in the 1990s, Block compares favorably to many of the top country-blues artists of the 1930s. Highlights of her very enjoyable set include Robert Johnson's "Terraplane Blues," a pair of Tommy Johnson classics and two songs recorded by Bessie Smith ("Do Your Duty" and "Weepin' Willow Blues"). Block's own originals (which have intelligent lyrics) sound more contemporary (with the influences of R&B, pop and gospel being felt), which alters the general mood of the release a bit. However, even with its brief playing time (38 minutes), her CD is highly recommended as a fine example of the work of this talented blues performer. © Scott Yanow © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/mamas-blues-r88167

"I love it! I love it! She's very simply the best we have" - Taj Mahal

Rory Block has been deservedly proclaimed as one of the greatest acoustic country blues artists of our time, and a legendary blueswoman. She's highly revered throughout the music industry for her absolute dedication in keeping the delta blues tradition alive for future generations. She is loved and admired globally by real blues lovers for her sensitivity in singing the blues and for her ability to touch the human soul with her beloved music. On "Mama's Blues" she continues with her tradition of singing some of the great blues and gospel songs of yesteryear. Six of the eleven tracks are covers of songs by Paul Carter, Buddy Boy Hawkins, Wesley Wilson, Tommy Johnson, and Robert Johnson. Rory sings with her usual heartfelt sincerity, and deep love of this kind of music. Her guitar work is superb as always. Some of the artists playing on this album include guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, pianist Warren Bernhardt, and drummer Jerry Marotta. "Mama's Blues" is a short album but HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Rory's great "From the Dust" album and search this blog for more releases. Rory's "The Lady and Mr. Johnson," on which she pays tribute to the great blues legend, Robert Johnson is a marvellous album. Rest assured the Blues are safe with Rory Block


1 Terraplane Blues - Robert Johnson 3:23
2 Bye Bye Blues - Tommy Johnson 2:35
3 Big Road Blues - Tommy Johnson 3:06
4 Do Your Duty - Wesley Wilson 2:58
5 The Spirit Returns - Rory Block 3:18
6 Got to Shine - Rory Block 4:35
7 Mama's Blues - Rory Block 4:27
8 Ain't No Shame - Rory Block 4:29
9 Hawkins Blues - Buddy Boy Hawkins 2:55
10 Weepin' Willow Blues - Paul Carter 2:24
11 Sing Good News - Rory Block 4:12


Rory Block - Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic),Vocal Harmony, Vocals
Jorma Kaukonen - Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric)
Paul Gabriel - Slide Guitar
Michael Mugrage - Guitar (Rhythm)
Scott Petito, Rob Leon - Bass
Richard Bell - Piano, Piano (Electric), Synthesizer
Vinnie Martucci - Piano (Electric)
Warren Bernhardt - Piano
Jerry Marotta - Drums
Peter "Madcat" Ruth - Harmonica
Sarah Brooks - Vocal Harmony
William VanNess, Selma VanNess, Linda VanAlstyne, Reverend Lee A. Thomas, Jr., Corinne Summers, Rohan Remike, Jeanette Johnson - Choir, Chorus, Vocals
Jordan Block Valdina, Ann Pedan - Choir, Chorus


Aurora "Rory" Block has staked her claim to be one of America's top acoustic blues women, an interpreter of the great Delta blues singers, a slide guitarist par excellence, and also a talented songwriter on her own account. Born and raised in Manhattan by a family that had bohemian leanings, she spent her formative years hanging out with musicians like Peter Rowan, John Sebastian, and Geoff Muldaur, who hung out in her father's sandal shop, before picking up the guitar at the age of ten. Her record debut came two years later, backing her father on The Elektra String Band Project, a concept album. She met guitarist Stefan Grossman, who, like her, was in love with the blues. The pair would often travel to the Bronx to visit Reverend Gary Davis, one of the greatest living bluesmen. At the tender age of 15 Block left home, hitting the road in true '60s fashion and traveling through the South, where she learned her blues trade at the feet of Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt, her greatest influence, before ending up in Berkeley. It was there that she developed her slide technique (she uses a socket wrench as her slide), but she didn't record until 1975, when she released I'm in Love (a compilation of earlier material, The Early Tapes 1975-1976, appeared later). After two records for Chrysalis, she recorded the instructional How to Play Blues Guitar for Grossman's Kicking Mule label, and later moved to then-fledgling Rounder, with whom she enjoyed an ongoing relationship. She toured constantly, often playing as many as 250 dates in a year, which kept her away from her family -- she'd married and begun having children in the early '70s -- but developed her reputation as a strong, vibrant live performer, and one of the best players of old country blues in America. In 1987 the best of Block's Rounder cuts were compiled on Best Blues & Originals, which, as it said, featured her interpretations of blues classics and some of her own material. Two of the tracks, released as singles in Belgium and Holland, became gold record hits. In addition to her regular albums, Block made a series of instructional records and videos, as well as a children's record, Color Me Wild. Although she had been performing for a long time, the plaudits didn't really begin until 1992, when she won a NAIRD Award for Ain't I a Woman, a feat repeated in 1994 and 1997. In 1996 she began winning W.C. Handy Awards, first for Best Traditional Album (When a Woman Gets the Blues), and in 1997 and 1998 for Best Traditional Blues Female Artist. In 1997 she was elected to the CAMA Hall of Fame, and in 1999 she received yet another Handy Award, for Best Acoustic Blues Album (Confessions of a Blues Singer). Block continued to tour, although not as heavily as in earlier times, and she's often accompanied by her grown son Jordan Block, who also plays on her albums. She remained busy in the early part of the 2000s, releasing six albums, including a live recording. 2005's From the Dust drew raving critical reviews, as did 2006's The Lady and Mr. Johnson, an album that sees Block taking on select songs of her musical hero, idol, and biggest influence, Robert Johnson. A digital video disc, The Guitar Artistry of Rory Block, was issued in 2008. © Chris Nickson © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/rory-block-p276/biography


Rory Block (born Aurora Block, November 6, 1949, Princeton, New Jersey) is an American female blues guitarist and singer, a notable exponent of the country blues style. Block was born in Princeton and grew up in Manhattan. Her father, Allan Block, ran a sandal shop in Greenwich Village in the 1960s, and the constant presence of members of the Greenwich Village folk music scene, such as Peter Rowan, Geoff Muldaur and John Sebastian, made an impression on the young girl, who studied classical guitar. Around age 14, she began to be fascinated by old Mississippi Delta blues, listening to old albums, transcribing them, and learning to play the songs. At age 15, she left home to seek out the remaining blues giants, such as Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis and Son House, and hone her craft in the traditional manner of blues musicians; then she traveled to Berkeley,California where she played in clubs and coffeehouses. After retiring temporarily to raise a family, Block returned to the music industry in the 1970s with middling success until signing with Rounder Records in 1981, who encouraged her to return to her love for the classical blues form. Since then she has carved out her own niche, releasing numerous critically acclaimed albums of original and traditional songs, including many Robert Johnson covers, including "Terraplane Blues" and "Come on in My Kitchen". Block has won five W. C. Handy Awards, two for "Traditional Blues Female Artist" (1997, 1998), three for "Acoustic Blues Album of the Year" (1996, 1999, 2007). Her many albums, such as Turning Point, Angel of Mercy and Tornado have featured her own songs, while Mama's Blues, Ain't I A Woman and When A Women Gets The Blues spend more time amongst her blues models like Tommy and Robert Johnson, and the blueswomen Lottie Beaman and Mattie Delaney. Block continued to tour, although not as heavily as in earlier times, and she's often accompanied by her grown son Jordan Block, who also plays on her albums. She remained busy in the early part of the 2000s, releasing six albums, including a live recording. 2005's From the Dust drew raving critical reviews, as did 2006's The Lady and Mr. Johnson.