Get this crazy baby off my head!


The Kirk Smithhart Band

The Kirk Smithhart Band - So Long - 1999 - Independent Label

A great album recorded in Memphis in 1999. This is a very good album by an extremely talented musician. The guy is a hugely talented guitar player, in the style of SRV, and definitely should be heard by a bigger audience. It seems that Kirk and his band are Beale Street regulars, and are reckoned to be a terrific live band. Unfortunately, A.O.O.F.C cannot give you any more info about The Kirk Smithhart Band, outside the few articles on this blog. This album may not be on general sale.The band also have an album released, entitled "Open Up" which may also be an independent pressing. If you do see them on sale, buy them, and any other albums the KSB may have on release, and if the band are in your area, go and see them. Music like this desperately needs more exposure. If you have any info on Kirk Smithhart, please send your comments to A.O.O.F.C


01. So Long
02. Second Chance
03. I Feel Alright Now
04. These Blues Won't Leave Me Alone
05. Slide Baby
06. Cold To The Bone
07. Home
08. Someday
09. 10 Miles To Clarksdale
10. Midnight

All songs composed by Kirk Smithhart


Kirk Smithhart - Guitar & Vocals
Leroy Clay - Drums
Tom Louis - Bass
Freddie Kirksey - Keyboards
Scott Thompson - Trumpet
Art Edmaiston - Tenor Sax


Making a name for themselves on the Beale Street club circuit is the Kirk Smithhart Band. Countless gigging has built up to give Kirk confidence in releasing independent CDs in the hopes of being recognized by major labels. Whether this pans out for this hard working young musician remains to be seen. If commercial or overall success eludes him, there will always remain that strong cult grassroots following. Those who make a pilgrimage to Memphis and catch Kirk on Beale Street will most likely buy his CD So Long. What people will get are ten original cuts showcasing a young talent too good to be put on the back shelves of the blues industry in general. "10 Miles To Clarksdale" with its long acoustic intro jams into a real juke joint shuffle you can only get from the edge of the Dockery Plantation. "Home" synthesizes the playing of Stevie Ray, Tab Benoit and Alvin Lee into a Beale Street dance fest. Small wonder that the Kirk Smithhart band were the winners of the 1998 International Blues Talent Competition, and an Albert King Award is another feather in the hat. Particularly when Kirk acknowledges King in the slow sermon of "These Blues Won't Leave Me Alone". The kid can also play a pretty mean slide. Smithhart does conscientiously avoid becoming another Stevie Ray wannabe. Even "Cold To The Bone" that waves the Vaughan flag still bears Kirk's imprint of Memphis rock and blues. Kirk knows of those lovers who want to hold each other close on the dance floor as he slows the pace down with "Someday". Drummer Leroy Clay and bassist Tom Louis are the perfect fuses for the Smithhart cannon. Guest musicians Freddie Kirksey, Scott Thompson and Art Edmaiston spike up the playing even more with B3 Organ, trumpet and sax fills that dot additional i's and cross more t's. If I ever get to Memphis again, I will be sure to check out the Kirk Smithhart Band on Beale Street. Studio efforts are always one-dimensional compared to a live performance showing where the real deals are always that. © 2003 by Gary Weeks, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved

ABOUT KIRK SMITHHART [ Taken from www.bellyup4blues.com/node/339 ]

The most important thing to know about Kirk Smithhart is that he is a phenomenal talent. A guitarist whose signature style combines the best aspects of lead and rhythm simultaneously with mood altering techniques that make something truly special of every song he performs, he plays with an ease and elegance that makes poetry of every note. In a rock arena so often driven by gimmickry to attract an audience, it is Smithhart’s simplicity, even on lightning fast solo runs, that amazes audiences. Secondly, Smithhart is a singer whose rich vocal textures connect to the musical message in a rich, meaningful manner. At times romantic, at times playful, at times dejected or wounded, Smithhart
focuses on the feeling that transcends words. You can feel the intense emotion in each note he sings. Last, but not least, Smithhart is a songwriter who penned his first tune at nine years of age. When Smithhart performs his original material, it competes on an equal basis with the popular covers he plays. Arguments have been waged over exactly what genre Kirk belongs in. While he still loves the blues that brought him attention initially, he is a rocker at heart; however, he has been known to bring out his “redneck side” just as comfortably. But as Kirk says “I am simply writing what comes out of my heart, soul, and fingers… Don’t label music... listen to music...and listen hard! “. Kirk’s talent comes naturally. He grew up in a musical family, who gigged six nights a week in Jackson, Mississippi, where they moved when he was only three months old. His father, Kirk Sr., played organ and harmonica, his mother, Paula, played piano. Both were phenomenal singers, keenly tuned into funky blues and soulful rhythm and blues music aptly suited to their Delta country life. Although Smithhart picked up the guitar when he was only eight, it was not until knee injuries plagued the high school football and baseball star that he began to hone his technique and develop his personable style. When Smithhart was 17, his father came out of retirement to join his son in forming a blues band. Three years later, the aspiring guitarist packed his bags and headed back to his birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee. A week after debuting at the Stage Stop, Smithhart’s new band entered the Beale Street Blues Society’s talent contest winning the right to represent that organization in the city’s International Blues Talent Competition. His three-piece band finished third among the 37 blues bands competing from around the world, but Smithhart, at the tender age of 20, walked away with the judges’ prestigious “Albert King Award” for best guitarist. As a result of that victory, Smithhart recorded a CD of original tunes that has sold several thousand copies on Beale Street alone. In 2001, Kirk was nominated for the “Sam Phillips Newcomer Award” at the 16th Annual Premiere Players Awards presented by the Memphis Chapter of NARAS. After releasing his second CD in the spring of 2002, Kirk is now hard at work writing yet more material for his third self release album. Having won critical approval and nationwide support from savvy music professionals, hometown fans and tourists throughout the world, Smithhart IS ready.


Chris Jones & Steve Baker

Chris Jones & Steve Baker - Smoke and Noise - 2002 - Acoustic Music

"Though we have the greatest respect for the blues' tradition, we're not purists. The only way to touch people's hearts is to play with passion and commitment." So says harmonica maestro Steve Baker, and his duo partner Chris Jones adds: "The blues has as many different faces as the musicians who have played it down through the years. We do our best tolive up to this tradition." Their music is a seething mix of folk, acoustic blues and rock'n'roll. Outside their duo, Jones and Baker have long enjoyed excellent reputations as top-class accompanists, but together they share a particularly deep musical partnership, which brings out the very best of their individual capabilities. The combination of Chris Jones' expressive voice and inimitable guitar groove - played mostly in various open tunings - and the sometimes earthy, sometimes ethereal sound of Baker's harp, creates a unique energy which is all their own. Passion and awareness of tradition without shying away from tasteful modernisms are definitely central characteristics of their style. Modern acoustic blues-based music at its best! © www.bluesculture.com

You may not have heard of these musicians, but this is music of the highest calibre, where traditional blues, folk and acoustic rock are blended into a superb album. Despite being well known in blues circles in contintental Europe, especially Germany, and having collaborated with some great musicians, the late Chris Jones, and Steve Baker, individually or collectively never really received the recognition they deserve. This is not unusual for musicians who avoid commercialism and play traditional music of this type. If you like Robert Johnson, and more modern blues in the Little Feat style, you should enjoy this album which is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Please buy Chris Jones' great "No Looking Back" and "Free Man." albums, and if you can find it, buy the great "Abi Wallenstein & Steve Baker , "In Your Face" album.


1. Soul Storm Comin' - (Jones/Sunnyland)
2. I Don’t Know Why - (Chr. Jones)
3. Bourgeois Blues - (Ledbetter/Lomax)
4. Roadhouses & Automobiles - (Chr. Jones)
5. God Moves On The Water - (W. Johnson/Chr. Jones)
6. Ain’t Got Love - (Chr. Jones)
7. Willing - (L. George)
8. If Walls Could Talk - (B. Miller)
9. Long After You’re Gone - (Chr. Jones)
10. Set 'Em Up, Joe - (Chr. Jones)
11. Cold Creature - (Chr. Jones)
12. St. James Infirmary - (Traditional)


Chris Jones - Guitars, Lead Vocal
Steve Baker - Harmonica, Backing Vocal


"Smoke and Noise" is the third album on Acoustic Music by American guitarist-singer Chris Jones and English harmonica virtuoso Steve Baker - and they just keep getting better ! For years now they have been highly rated for their individual technique and their tightness as a duo by musicians, critics and blues connoisseurs alike, but have still to break though to the wider public they undoubtedly deserve. This album is earthy, soulful, skillfully crafted music of the highest quality - a masterly fusion of traditional blues, rock & roll, folk and acoustic funk that defies classification. With only guitar, vocals and blues harp they sound like a full band - on this superbly recorded live concert in Germany, which catches all the energy and intimacy of their stage performance. There are 8 excellent new Chris Jones compositions, and great new interpretations of Leadbelly's "Bourgeois Blues", Lowell George's "Willin", Bobby Miller's "If These Walls Could Talk" and the public domain classic "St James Infirmary". © 2007 Discovery Records -Specialist Music CDs & DVDs

With refreshing directness and dynamic intensity, the live recording "Smoke and Noise" captures the concentrated energy which one of the finest and most original blues duos performing today puts over on stage. Guitarist/singer Chris Jones and harp virtuoso Steve Baker need no introduction to blues lovers - through countless concerts these two exceptional musicians have won the hearts of a growing number of fans and garnered enthusiastic press reports along the way. The combination of Jones’ expressive vocals and unmistakable picking style with Baker’s uniquely recognizable harmonica sound creates its own category of musical energy. Earthy, soulful and skillfully crafted acoustic music of the highest quality – "Smoke and Noise" is a masterly fusion of traditional blues, rock&roll, songs, ballads and acoustic funk which defies classification. © http://jazz-blues-funk.nnm.ru/chris_jones_steve_baker_smoke_and_noise

Chris Jones (guitar, vocals) and Steve Baker (blues harp) take over the "Bourgeois Town" of Fulda to lay down some live tracks in the smoke and the noise of the German "Backstage" club, covering a fruitful ten year collaboration. It's literally rock'n'roll without a band. Both are extraordinary musicians and know how to play. Both, on their own as well as blending together. Most songs have been written by Chris. They cover a wide range of styles - country blues, folk, almost rock, ballads -, and a brilliant songwriter he is at times. Additionally there's the odd by Huddie Leadbetter, Lowell George, Bobby Miller, and finally the traditional "St. James Infirmary Blues". © The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 02/2004


Christopher Paul Jones, credited on albums as Chris Jones, (November 11, 1958 - September 13, 2005) was an American musician (guitars, vocals) and composer. He was born in Reno, Nevada, but lived in Germany ever since he had joined the U.S. Army for three years. At the age of five, Jones began playing the guitar. A few years later, he decided to become a professional musician and when he was 11 years old, he got admitted to a program at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland. There he discovered the idol of his younger years, Johann Sebastian Bach, to whom he dedicated his Sonata in D. For this sonata, Jones was awarded the conservatory's Young Composer of the Year award. Shortly thereafter, he discovered the blues and started listening to Robert Johnson, James Taylor and Little Feat. In 1976, Jones joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Adenine's, Germany. During this time, the foundation for his musical career in Europe was laid. Over the following decades, he played guitar on albums of artists like Sara K., Allan Taylor and Reinhard Mey. He also toured and recorded solo and with the Blues harp musician Steve Baker. In August 2005, Jones was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in an advanced stage. He died on September 13, 2005, in Northeim, Germany. Like many American musicians, he did not have any health insurance and was not able to pay the hospital fees, but friends and other musicians helped him out either personally or by staging charity concerts. In 2000, Chris began to return to the states on a regular basis to visit various ailing family members, starting with his brother, Jan, who died shortly after. When Chris was on the east coast he would stay with friend Darin D'Onofrio and along with many shows at Darin's club, Otter Point Station, he would also play house concerts. With Allen Taylor, Chris played The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, amazing many of DC's elite with his ability to use a guitar to produce pure emotion. "If this is the end of the line, you ain't gonna hear me cryin', cause it's been a damn good run!" Christopher Paul Jones 2005. Jones' repertoire encompassed various musical styles, among them blues, country, folk and rock'n'roll. Many of his songs can't be easily placed into a specific genre. Most of the time, he played handmade Lakewood acoustic guitars and dobros.


"For years I dreamed of a series-made traditional wooden body harmonica with improved covers, assembled with screws. With the Marine Band Deluxe, this dream has finally become reality." Steve Baker is one of today's most influential harp players and an integral part of the modern harmonica scene. He was born and raised in London, England and now lives near Hamburg, Germany, where he first came in the late 1970s with the legendary jugband "Have Mercy". Steve has been a full-time professional for over 30 years and has earned an enviable reputation as an innovator and pioneer on this frequently under-estimated instrument. He has developed an instantly recognizable original style which is both expressive and lyrical, but is never merely an end in itself. It puts the music first and his playing is always directed at bringing out the best in the song rather than emphasizing his undoubted virtuosity. His subtle and rhythmically accented phrasing, combined with a rich command of timbre and tone, communicates an emotional intensity and depth of feeling which is rarely heard on the harmonica. For this reason he is often regarded as one of those players who have revitalized the instrument in Europe, and as one of its leading exponents worldwide. His unique sound draws on the blues harmonica tradition and combines it with elements from country, folk, funk, soul and jazz to create an exciting and individual fusion, which transcends stylistic boundaries while sounding totally natural. Steve Baker appears live most frequently with Abi Wallenstein & Blues Culture (www.bluesculture.com), averaging at least 50-60 shows a year in Germany and elsewhere. He is also appearing again in a duo with the excellent singer/guitarist Dick Bird, with whom he has a musical association going back over 30 years. Until the latter's untimely death in autumn 2005, Steve performed and recorded regularly with guitarist/songwriter extraordinaire Chris Jones. Jones and Baker released four critically acclaimed CDs together on Acoustic Music Records and toured in Australia, Poland, Russia and the USA as well as in western Europe. Steve has also made hundreds of recordings as a studio musician and can be heard on a wide variety of CD, film and TV productions. Since 1987 he has worked as a consultant for the worldwide leader in harmonica manufacture, Hohner, and has been closely involved in the development of several new models including the recently released Marine Band Deluxe. Steve is also a highly regarded author of harmonica literature and has written a number of instructional books. "The Harp Handbook" (Music Sales), first published in 1990 and now in its 4th edition, is considered the standard work on the diatonic harp and is often referred to as the "harmonica player's bible". The CD-ROM "Interactive Blues Harp Workshop" (1999, Voggenreiter) was the first work of its kind in this field. In 2000 and 2003 he published volumes 1 & 2 of his series "Blues Harmonica Playalongs" (available from Mel Bay in the USA/Canada and Music sales elsewhere). He is currently working on volume 3. Alongside these activities, Steve presente regular clinics in music stores and is one of the most active figures in harmonica education in Europe. In 2000 he gave the first ever course for harmonica at the renowned Schorndorf Guitar Days. Despite the initial scepsis of the organisers, his class was rapidly booked out and the harmonica course has subsequently become an essential part of the event. In 2003 Steve initiated the Harmonica Masters Workshops in Trossingen, home of the Hohner production facilities in Germany. The positive response (over 80 players from all over Europe took part) has led to sequels in 2004 and 2006. In 2004 he also gave a well attended harp course for the Mediterranean Music School in Tuscany. © www.hohner.eu/index.php?715

Amiga Blues Band

Amiga Blues Band - Not Fade Away - 1983 - Amiga

This album is a little piece of music history, because the "Amiga Blues Band" never really existed! The members of this "band" were members of other GDR blues and rock bands. The group was founded as a cover band and made this one great successful album. At the time of this release, the Amiga Blues Band were regarded as one of the best "blues bands" in the GDR. See bottom of page for info on blues music behind the "Iron Curtain." This is a 320 vinyl rip, but absolutely well worth listening to!


A1.Walkin By Myself - Jimmy Rogers
A2.Ramblin' On My Mind - Robert Johnson
A3.Crossroad Blues - Robert Johnson
A4.Help Me - Sonny Boy Williamson

B1.I Believe I'll Dust My Broom - Robert Johnson
Saxophone [Alto] - Helmut Forsthoff
Trumpet - Claus-Dieter Knispel , Dagobert Darsow
B2.Maggie's Farm - Bob Dylan
Percussion - Norbert Jäger
B3.Little Red Rooster - Willie Dixon
B4.Hoochie Coochie Man - Morganfield, aka Muddy Waters
B5.Not Fade Away - Hardin/Petty


Bass - Georgi Gogow
Drums - Herbert Junck
Guitar - Michael Lincke , Peter Gläser
Harmonica - Frank Gahler
Organ - Gerhard Laartz
Piano - Wolfram Bodag

ABOUT AMIGA RECORDS [ Extract from article by Otto, www.harpl.com/2002104477.html ]

AMIGA was the name of the record label in the GDR that released a lot of Blues records (for instance: Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, SonnyTerry and Brownie McGee, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, John Mayall, Lonnie Johnson...). there were also many Blues-musicians in the GDR, who made records and could sell them without beeing illegal like Stefan Diestelmann Blues Band or the AMIGA-Blues Band. Another source for records were the other eastern countries like Poland, CSSR, Hungary where you could buy licensed records. And in the Intershops in the GDR you had the chance to buy even the original records from the western, capitalistic world, but this was much expensive. Why should Blues have been illegal in the GDR? Like Jazz (Louis Armstrong toured in the GDR already in the fifties) the Blues has been considered as the original music and the voice of the oppressed black people in America, before it was captured by the capitalistic music industry. What more could the ideologists want? Most people in the GDR had the chance to receive TV- and radio-stations from west-germany, therefore they knew the music very well, be it Blues, Jazz, Rock, Punk or what else. The iron curtain wasn't so strong as some people may think.


Arsen Shomakhov

Arsen Shomakhov - Dangerous - 2006 - Blues Leaf Records

An outstanding blues rock album full of funky grooves and Texas shuffles, with a subtle jazzy style. The album is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. There is info on the great "Troublemaker" album by Arsen Shomakhov & Ragtime @ Shomakhov/TMAKER Buy his terrific ""Heavy Steppin'" album and support this great artist.


1. Dangerous
2. Too Hot
3. Let Me Be Your Romeo
4. You're the One
5. Low Down Shakin' Chills
6. Troublemaker
7. Rainy Drive
8. Use What You Got
9. The Arsonist
10. Don't Miss Your Train
11. Highway Cruise
12. I Don't Know
13. Beale Street Boogie

All songs composed by Arsen Shomakhov, except Track 5, by York/Busk, & Track 8 by Freddie King


Arsen Shomakhov (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Aslan Zhantuyev (bass guitar)
Sultanbek Mamyshev (drums)


People rarely associate Russia with funky blues guitar playing, but Arsen Shomakhov may change a few minds. His album, Dangerous, includes a respectable cover of Freddie King’s “Use What You Got” and many original compositions that demonstrate his legitimate chops and ardent love of the genre. Highlights include: “Let Me Be Your Romeo,” “The Arsonist,” and the title track. © 2006 ONE WAY Online. All rights reserved

"Arsen Shomakhov and his band are obviously heavily inspired by the music of T-Bone Walker...[these] cats can flat-out play! His band is extremely tight; his playing is fast and clean. The crowd was visibly shaken at first to hear such amazing blues coming out of Russia...his music was truly infectious." -WALLA WALLA BLUES SOCIETY

Arsen Shomakhov, singer & guitar player extraordinaire, is a native of Nalchik, Russia. This is his first release on Blues Leaf Records. In the past five years, Shomakhov has become a major force as a Russian blues artist, performing for Russian Federal TV, Moscow's legendary BB King Club and numerous blues festivals throughout Russia. © 1996-2008, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates


Arsen Shomakhov is a songwriter, singer and guitar player from Russia.brbrArsen Shomakhov Russian guitar player, singer and songwriter Arsen Shomakhov formed the blues band Ragtime (after the E.L. Doctorow novel) in 1991, and after relentless rehearsals in the non-blues town of Nalchik, they subsequently became one of the leading acts on the Russian blues scene. In 2001, their participation in the St. Petersburg Neva Delta Blues Festival led to a series of gigs at the best blues venues of Moscow. April of 2002 saw the release of their debut album, “Heavy Steppin’”, which led to gigs at venues such as the legendary B.B. King Club in Moscow. The album received good press and enjoyed international airplay. A performance at the All-Russia Spring 2003 Blues Festival in Moscow prompted an invitation to the first International Moscow Blues Festival in September of 2003. That same month they released their second album, “Troublemaker”, which they presented at the renowned Forte Blues Club in Moscow in December of that same year. “Troublemaker” is now considered to be one of the best Russian blues records, and was included in the Top 25 albums of the Australian “Blues Beat” program in 2003 and 2004. In February of 2005, the band traveled to Memphis to participate in the International Blues Challenge under the auspices of “blues.ru”, the Russian blues community. Listeners at the Blues City Café were stunned as Arsen tore the place up with his original songs, “Don’t Miss Your Train”, “Too Hot”, and “Dangerous”. To use the American vernacular – he killed. Arsen's third album, "Dangerous", was released on the Blues Leaf label in February of 2006, documenting this young player's ever-expanding prowess on both the guitar and in crafting original songs. Featured on playlists such as "ElectricBlues” and “Blue IceWater” Radio, Arsen continues to impress the West as a talent to watch. His move to Moscow in early 2007 places him at the center of Russia’s white-hot blues scene – the sparks are already flying, and it’s going to be a very good year. © http://radio.artistopia.com/Music/Artists/Bio.asp?ID=1351


For lots of reasons, blues music got a late start in Russia. Ever mindful of corrupting Western influence, the Soviet censorship endeavored for decades to protect the cultural virginity of the population by severely restricting contact with certain foreign musics media. When Gorbachev’s perestroika brought these barriers down, a powerful movement of youth protest appeared, organized around rock’n’roll. Although a few bands performed the type of blues that they had heard on British recordings - Eric Clapton, early Fleetwood Mac, and so forth - they were generally regarded as rockers rather than as bluesmen. But after communism, that movement disintegrated, and the various musics within it - blues among them - began to precipitate out as distinct forms with their own performers and audiences. Since that time, the music has developed from mimicry of British blues-rock, to a replication of what Russians call the “classical blues” of the Delta and postwar Chicago, to the production of a blues that is increasingly identifiable as “Russian”. Arsen Shomakhov’s musical career would be a singular example of this larger pattern. His band, Ragtime, began with a mixture of rock, jazz and blues in the late eighties, converted to covering straight blues material in the early nineties and, by the end of the decade, was adding more and more original numbers (Arsen’s) to its repertoire. The culmination of that journey has led to this CD. The range of styles included here - pretty much every blues form except the country, bottle-neck variety - handsomely showcases Arsen’s talents. His throaty yet smooth vocals particularly impress on [ name songs that appear as tracks #2, #3 and #8], leaving listeners with no clue that they are hearing a non-native English speaker working in an foreign idiom. His piercing guitar runs a gamut of inflections from funk to jazz to country-western, while never straying outside the borders of the blues itself. This CD also represents an evolution in his tone which now sports an unmistakable twanginess in both the upper and lower registry (check out the licks on track #4). Throughout, Arsen is ably supported by Bek Mamyshe on drums and Aslan Zhantuyev on bass. Arsen and his band spent over a decade in their native town of Nal’chik in Russia’s remote North Caucasus, honing the craft as bluesmen despite the fact that their geographic isolation meant that there was effectively no chance to perform in public. Their commitment to their music eventually paid off, thrusting Arsen into the top ranks of players in Moscow’s sizeable blues scene. This CD now makes his music available to an international audience, reversing the pattern of cultural imports by sending the blues back to us, from Russia with love. © Michael Urban, Author of RUSSIA GETS THE BLUES, © 2002 Blues Leaf Records A Division Loose Leaf Music Corp. All Rights Reserved.

Jubal Kane

Jubal Kane - Flying High - 2007 - Jubal Kane

A good straight boogie blues rockin' album that contains elements of the "bar rock" sound, reminiscent of many late sixties British blues "pub rock" bands, although Jubal Kane's music carries more "weight" in their sound. This album is like a mixture of Savoy Brown, especially their "Jack The Toad" album, and the driving boogie blues rock of Canned Heat. There are also shades of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and SRV. Good solid playing, very good vocals, and well written songs make this a great album for your collection. Check out the band's "Live Blues" album.


1.Blame It On Kane - S.Monti
2.Come Home With Me - F.Persson/F.Monti
3.Take Me To The River - S.Monti
4.Pit Bull - F.Persson
5.Cross Your Heart (Feat. Peter Haycock) - R.Miller
6.Heavy Load - S.Monti/F.Persson/B.W Carrigan
7.Before The Fall - F.Persson/F.Monti
8.Polk Salad Annie - T. Joe White
9.Taildragger - W.Dixon
10.High Heel Sneakers - R.Higgenbotham
11.Ladies Man - S.Monti/F.Persson
12.She's Dangerous - W.Dixon
13.Nashville - B.W Carrigan
14.Jam [Not listed on CD cover]


Fredrik Persson - Harp & Vocals
Scott Monti - Guitar & Vocals
B.W Carrigan - Guitar & Vocals
Mke Little - Drums
Michael Lannigan - Bass


"The Allman Brothers at their bluesy best, and you've got an idea of the down-and-dirty grit of a Jubal Kane show. It's all swagger and bombast, the blues as interpreted by Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker at their meanest." Steve Wildsmith The Daily Times, Maryville, TN.

"You really don't wanna miss this blues band, from the hot harp playing to the gritty guitars. They are the shit." The Empty Glass, WV.

"a throwback to the days when Peter Haycock, old Fleetwood Mac, and Muddy Waters were first recording their bare and intimately raw blues." earbuzz.com about Jubal Kane's Debut Album Live Blues.
Jubal Kane's CD, "Flying High", is a harmonica-laden straight-ahead blues rock with a southern tinge both vocally and instrumentally. Vocally we're reminded a bit of the laid back drawl of Petty, but the showcase here is the harmonica. Guitar work is solid and honest as lead lines trade with the harp. The tune, "Blame it on Kane", sings, 'if she comes home a mess, can't find her dress, blame it on Kane' above the swing blues beat. Nice. The band has a Crowes vibe in "Come Home With Me" and, again, the harp shines. A texas-blues spark is lit in "Cross Your Heart", and a production motif becomes apparent in the vocals. They are live - it doesn't sound like there was an overdub in many of the tracks which leads us to believe that many of the cuts were probably entirely live in the studio, keeping the vocal track. The vibe, whether true or not, communicates an authentic and organic feel which pushes the blues deeper into the soul - especially in "Cross Your Heart". Legendary guitarist from Climax Blues Band, Peter Haycock, lends his soul to the tune and the slow blues reminds us of FM and 'So Many Roads'. The entry into the harmonica solo is full of tension as a single high note is hung for nearly the first 4 bars and the 16 bar turnaround slow blues piece. There's a SRV feel vocally. Jubal Kane speeds things up with "High Heel Sneakers", with a particularly moving harp break - meaty and edgy. "Pit Bull" is one of our favorite tracks. The ZZish blues rock tune includes a slightly distorted vocal that emotes, 'i'm a pit bull baby, run in the streets like a junk yard dog, call you on the phone, try to get a bone, i'm a pit bull baby, don't mean maybe'. The tone continues with "She's Dangerous", another solid and 36/24/36 bag of blues tricks. The record is a journey into several rock blues idioms and is a complete altitude soaring meal. © earBuzz Review, © 2007/2008 earBuzz.com, LLC All Rights Reserved


Jubal Kane released their first album, Live Blues, October 2005 and was nominated for “Best Emerging Blues Artist 2005” by the King Biscuit Blues Festival, Helena, AR. "The Allman Brothers at their bluesy best, and you've got an idea of the down-and-dirty grit of a Jubal Kane show. It's all swagger and bombast, the blues as interpreted by Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker at their meanest." Steve Wildsmith The Daily Times, Maryville, TN. "You really don't wanna miss this blues band, from the hot harp playing to the gritty guitars. They are the shit." The Empty Glass, WV. Harmonica Player and singer Ace Andersson has played the blues from the Mississippi Delta through Memphis, TN to North Carolina, where he now resides. Lead Guitarist and singer Otis Thomas, native of Illinois. Came to Charlotte through a couple of years of playing in Texas. Rhythm Guitarist/Bass player and singer B.W. Carrigan, has played the blues for the past 40 years. Drummer Kurt Skirt is the engine that runs this Rock n Roll locomotive. Jubal Kane has come together in a band that is unique while holding true to the blues. Individually and collectively, they have opened for, or shared the stage with such blues legends as Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks, The Night Hawks, Lonnie Brooks, Room Full of Blues, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Debbie Davies and The Michael Hill Blues Mob. They are just as comfortable playing small venues or large festivals. © http://jubal-kane.com/info.htm

Rory Block

Rory Block - Blues Walkin' Like A Man: A Tribute To Son House - 2008 - Stony Plain

To quote Rory Block, "Son House was probably my greatest influence as a teenager, having spent unforgettable times with him visiting, playing music and watching him in concert. I remember sitting in the living room with Son House (he looked like he was in his fifties, but he had to be in his seventies) and playing `Future Blues' and `Walkin' Blues' for him. He got this strange look on his face and he just kept looking around and saying, `Where'd she learn to play these songs? Where'd she learn to play these songs?' I'll never forget watching him playing `Preaching Blues' on stage with his hands shaking and his eyes rolled back in his head. His passion was awesome. He told me he taught Robert Johnson how to play guitar. (Robert Johnson's style and delivery were closer to Son House's than any other player. He played a lot of the same notes, some of the same songs. I could clearly see that Robert Johnson had emulated this man, with a few touches of Willie Brown's snapping and thumping.) I love Son House because of who he was and because he had known Robert Johnson, but I couldn't find a way to express this to him other than playing the old songs for him. I was 15 at the time." 2008 All Rights Reserved. Piedmont Talent, Inc.

This great album is Rory Block's long-awaited tribute to blues giant Son House. The album features inspired renditions of 13 Son House classics. A 15 year old Rory Block met Son House in 1965 when she was already a talented guitarist. Son House was a major factor in Rory eventually becoming a modern day blues legend, gaining worldwide recognition, and five Blues Music Awards . She has recorded nearly thirty albums. One of the great blues musicians of modern times, Rory, like Paul Rishell & Annie Raines, and Tab Benoit, has done an incalculable amount of work in preserving the blues, in all it's forms. All of Rory Block's albums are HR by A.O.O.F.C. Search this blog for info on Rory, and some of her other work, and if you want to hear an album of pure brilliance, buy Rory's "The Lady and Mr. Johnson," on which she pays tribute to the great blues legend, Robert Johnson.


1 My Black Mama
2 Downhearted Blues
3 Preachin' Blues
4 Jinx Blues
5 Dry Spell Blues
6 Shetland Pony Blues
7 Death Letter
8 County Farm Blues
9 Grinnin' in Your Face
10 Low Down Dirty Dog Blues
11 Depot Blues
12 Government Fleet Blues
13 I Want to Go Home on the Morning Train


Rory Block - vocals, guitar
John Sebastian - harmonica


Leszek Cichonski

Leszek Cichonski - Thanks Jimi: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix - 2003 - Tomi

Jimi Hendrix was once quoted as saying, "When I die, I want people to just play my music, go wild and freak out, and do anything they wanna do." Well this is exactly what the great Polish guitarist, Leszek Cichonski has done with this very good tribute album to Jimi. With the help of the talented Chicago guitarist, Stan Skibby, Leszek has produced one of the best tribute albums you will ever hear. Buy Leszek Cichonski's superb "Blues-Rock Guitar Workshop Live" album for a different perspective of his playing.


Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix) 3:48
Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix) 3:51
Voodoo Chile (Jimi Hendrix) 3:54
Cocaine (J.J. Cale) 4:12
Thanks Jimi (Leszek Cichoński) 6:11
Fire (Jimi Hendrix) 3:38
Like A Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan) 5:33
Hey Joe (Billy Roberts) 5:09
Crazy Horse (Leszek Cichoński / Stan Winfield) 4:13
Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix) 8:01
Who Knows (Jimi Hendrix) 7:19


Skład: Leszek Cichoński - guitar
Stan Skibby - vocal/guitar
ANIKA - vocal
Włodek Krakus - bass
Andrzej Ryszka - drums


EXCELLENT SECOND IMPORT DISC FROM OUTSTANDING EUROPEAN BLUES/ROCK GUITARIST LESZEK CICHONSKI FEATURING 11 TRAX (55 MINUTES) OF AWESOME HENDRIX-INSPIRED HEAVY GUITAR RIFFAGE. "Thanks Jimi", the second import disc from outstanding blues/rock guitarist LESZEK CICHONSKI features 11 trax (55 minutes) of awesome Hendrix-inspired heavy guitar riffage from one of Poland's best blues/rock guitarists. His arrangements of the classic Hendrix jams are unique, fresh and interesting. With "Thanks Jimi", Leszek Cichonski has successfully crossed all musical barriers and has produced an excellent, top-shelf heavy guitar "Hendrix tribute" disc that stands up with the best of them. "Thanks Jimi" features a combination of studio and live trax that work well together in creating a true authentic Hendrix vibe. The disc also features several killer Hendrix-inspired original trax including the bad-ass hard rocking "Crazy Horse" and the outstanding title track ("Thanks Jimi", an awesome instrumental heavy guitar showcase that is full of depth and emotion - a very deep personal "musical tribute" to JIMI HENDRIX). The LESZEK CICHONSKI: "thanks jimi" disc is HIGHLY recommended to people who dig the music of JIMI HENDRIX and other classic Hendrix-inspired axemasters like ROBIN TROWER, FRANK MARINO, ERIC GALES, RANDY HANSEN, CLAS YNGSTROM & SKY HIGH, THE HAMSTERS, LANCE LOPEZ, PLANKTON, GREG KOCH, ERIC JOHNSON, MICHAEL LANDAU and other outstanding killer Hendrixy axeslingers from around the globe (third stone from the sun). LESZEK CICHONSKI is an awesome player in his own right who treats Jimi's music with the respect of a deeply rooted blues muscian and, on "Thanks Jimi", does THE MAN proud. LONG LIVE THE MUSICAL SPIRIT OF JIMI HENDRIX. © 1996-2008, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates

You've probably heard some Jimi Hendrix Tribute projects before, some good and some bad, big in production but small in overall output. It's like usual business major companies do: get some of their well known artists and let them do a Jimi song each, wrap it up and sell as much copies as possible. They know Jimi's fans will go for anything that's something to do with the legendary guitarist. When such project is released by a small company run by dedicated fans and performed by some relatively unknown but great players, then you get a material well worth a listen. And when you realize that this stuff has been produced in Poland of all places and played by some of their best musicians, you take notice and listen. And what fine effort it is! Leszek Cichonski, one of the best European blues rock guitarists is the man behind this project and he does Jimi's music justice with inspired performance which really smokes! Ably backed with top Polish musicians featuring outstanding vocals of Anika, Leszek Cichonski introduces his US fellow guitarist Stan Skibby from Chicago who handles vocals, beside putting some hot playing throughout te CD. He is like Leszek, a fabulous player who treats Jimi's songs with respect of deeply rooted blues musician. CD features well known Hendrix material and a cover of J.J.Cale's Cocaine which Leszek and Stan turn into another Jimi's burning standard! Title track, Thanks Jimi is a Leszek's emotional, personal tribute to the man and his music and it shows his feeling and gratitude to the legend. Some live tracks present what this great bunch of players are capable of! Treat yourself to some excellent stuff and try to get a copy! © Blesok 1998-2008, all rights reserved, www.blesok.com

".... With "Thanks Jimi" Leszek Cichonski has successfully crossed all musical barriers and has produced an excellent, top-shelf heavy guitar "Hendrix tribute" disc that stands up with the best of them".

"A fresh arrangement for Voodoo Chile is important news. Leszek Cichonski and Stan Skibby show a sound grasp of Hendrix tone and make credible effort to re-create his vibe..."
(Blues Revue Magazine)

A Hendrix tribute from Poland? Yes, and very impressive it is too. Guitarist Leszek, vocalist and guitarist Stan (who features on all numbers except the title track), bassist Wlodek Krakus and drummer Andrzej Ryszka are obviously and thankfully confident and assured enough not to do things note for note, and this set is totally successful for that very reason; although Chicagoan Stan looks and sounds like Jimi, this is certainly not a ‘Hendrix karaoke’ session!‘Foxy Lady’ has a powerful, sassy vocal contribution from Anika, who also crops up to good effect on ‘Voodoo Chile’ (which is actually the ‘Slight Return’), ‘Thanks Jimi’ is a slow, moody instrumental evoking Jimi’s more mellow side, and the final six titles draw loud applause from a deservedly appreciative audience. It’s good to hear ‘Who Knows’ (‘Band Of Gypsys’ being my favourite Hendrix album), but really, Hendrix lovers just cannot go wrong with this set - in fact, it would be good to hear more in this vein from these guys! © Norman Darwen, © 1998-2005 BluesArtStudio, AUSTRIA


He started early. As a twelve years-old he ....wielded a battered acoustic palying ;House of the rising sun. He spent long years at home, playing with the likes of BB King, Hendrix. In 1982 He graduated from Institiute of Protecting Atmosphere at The Wroclaw Technical University, not even thinking of music as his final destination. Now he is considered as the best Polish blues-rock guitar player. Leszek Cichonski was born on 25th Nov., 1957 in Wroclaw. He was the first in Poland to prepare an instructional course with audio tape for guitar players Blues-Rock Guitar Workshop. He is also the publisher of this material and other education products. His instructional projects and workshops together with MIDI-MAX - his publishing house - were awarded with the Bronze Medal at the International Music Fair INTERMEDIA '94 in Wroclaw. Since 1991 he's been a band-leader of his own group GUITAR WORKSHOP employing top Polish musicians as well as a promotor for Poland. In 1996 he had recorded "Leszek Cichonski & friends - LIVE" with some of the best polish guitarists: Grzegorz Skawinski, Jerzy Styczynski, Dariusz Kozakiewicz and Carlos Johnson from Chicago. Leszek Cichonski is a laureate of the Maria Jurkowska Award granted every year by the Polish Radio Programme 3 musical jurnalist for his propagation of the blues and musical education among young people.According to "Gitara i Bass" and "Twoj Blues" magazine, he is the best polish blues-rock guitarist of 2001, 2002 and 2003 year. Over a period of last five years, he has organized and played more than 150 concerts in Poland and Czech Republic with Chicago based blues players. Chicago's greats, Carlos Johnson, Sammy Fender, Pistol Pete came to Poland at different times and played with the band, Guitar Workshop. He put together Tribute to Jimi Hendrix Tour last year. Cichonski's last CD, Thanks Jimi" is his tribute to Jimi Hendrix. It features Chicago's own Stan Skibby and Anika - a very talented woman from Wroclaw.Thanks Jimi -The new Cichonski's album is the tribute to Jimi Hendrix containing such classics as Hey Joe, Purple Haze,Foxy Lady. However it's not only cover tunes that make the album. Leszek has written Thanks Jimi instrumental piece full of exciting riffs and solos as well as Crazy Horse for which the lyrics have been written by Stan Skibby. New release by Leszek Cichonski should satisfy the worshippers of blues and more. Here is a letter writen by Leszek to Jimi Hendrix - TRANSLATION FROM THE CD THANKS JIMI - "Hey Jimi ! It's a good thing to have an older brother...I was about 11 when my brother brought home a 45 and I listened to Hey Joe and Purple Haze for the first time. The next one was All along the watchtower, which literally knocked me off my feet. Each new album in our home (vinyl back then, of course...) called for a celebration. But each recording by you was a revelation. I instantly knew right then, it was something exceptional, a perfect connection between sound and emotions. It was MAGIC! I played a number of concerts with Wlodek Lola Krakus and Andrzej Ryszka celebrating your life and music in the eighties. I still remember that incredible experience. Although you have been gone now for 30 years, once again I wanted to feel your vibes through my music and capture that feeling on this recording - as a dedication to you. I played a series of dates with Lola and Andrzej again in Sept 2000. Stan Skibby from Chicago joined us. You are close to him as well. We called it A tribute to Jimi Hendrix;. People in Poland remember you very well -the crowd joined the band singing Who knows" word by word in Blue Note in Poznan ...The performance in Free Blues Club in Szczecin was recorded at the beginning of the tour, unrehearsed so to speak. It was a spontaneous jam - I certainly felt your presence that evening... Between the gigs we recorded your immortal hits Foxy Lady, Purple Haze and Voodoo Child in just three days - I hope you don't mind me getting carried away with my own arrangements... I have also prepared something especially for you - my version of JJ Cale's Cocaine. Skibby and I drifted away in our solos, and I am convinced we traveled close to ...you. ...got a natural high on Cale's Cocaine. I wonder if you like Anika in Foxy Lady and Voodoo Child? She was originally reluctant to sing Voodoo Child saying she did not feel that number, did not feel like singing it. It took me a long time to convince her to sing it...these women... Thank you for being with us all that time...Thanks Jimi... Leszek Cichonski, @ 2008. The Shywriter, www.theshywriter.com/Blues/Electric_Blues/LESZEK_CICHONSKI_FEAT_STAN_SKIBBY_Thanks_Jimi_a_tribute_to_Jimi_Hendrix.html

Atlanta Rhythm Section

Atlanta Rhythm Section - Underdog - 1979 - Polydor UK

A highly recommended album from one of the hardest touring bands of the entire Southern rock genre. This album has been underrated by many critics, possibly because it does not have the same rockin' formula as some of their earlier releases. The following review is one where the album is given due credit - [ "This is another excellent album that continued ARS' popular success and documents the band continuing to make quality music-even though the critical and popular tide that had swelled through the late 1970s had reached its peak. The album features eight original songs, one of them incorporating a well known Ashford & Simpson song. The tone of this collection is softer, as only a couple of songs truly rock out, but the songwriting and musicianship continues at the superior levels the group had established previously. While two songs would break out as singles, overall it's another superior set of tunes. The material and performances are consistently strong thoughout the album, and along with a mix of tempos create a beautiful work from beginning to end. Do It or Die provides a pop musical mission statement to open and leads into the rock of Born Ready and the blues of I Hate the Blues/Let's Go Get Stoned. While Time is Left is a musical masterpiece, and It's Only Music and Spooky gradually slow the pace and carry the set home to a personal close". © 2002-2003 - Rolling Storm Communications Corporation - All Rights Reserved ] Check out their "Dog Days" album @ ARS/DOGDAYS and their "Live At The Savoy, NY" album @ ARS/SAVOY/NYC

TRACK INFO / COMPOSERS [ © Copyright 2002-2003 - Rolling Storm Communications Corporation - All Rights Reserved ]

1. Do It Or Die (Buie/Cobb/Hammond)-3:27 The opener is a lovely tune with a melancholy sound that is a fitting follow up to the singles from the previous album. The vocals project both strength and resignation, and provide a great centerpiece, with the instrumentalists providing a beautiful background but never stepping forward.
2. Born Ready (Buie/Daughtry/Nix)-3:54 Guitars provide the lead in as the tempo picks up. This song features some trademark breaks in tempo, but overall the intensity builds to a polished but driving closing-top quality Southern rock with a pop finish.
3. I Hate The Blues (Buie/Daughtry/Nix) / Let's Go Get Stoned (Ashford/Simpson)-7:12 This combination of songs, an approach unique in the ARS catalog, starts with a steady rolling, uptempo blues with a strong vocal and sharp, driving musical backing. Instead of shifting tempos within a song as they have done so often and well, this time there is one total tempo shift to a slower paced cover that swells into soaring vocals and musical support, and builds to a classic blues finish.
4. Indigo Passion (Buie/Cobb)-3:56 The band presents another beautiful ballad, with vocals sharing the twists and turns of life and love and a musical performances that provide a colorful background tableau.
5. While Time Is Left (Buie/Daughtry/Bailey/Nix)-5:20 A beautiful mid-tempo song that combines many of the elements that have made ARS' music unique. From the beginning, the production sets a tone and the words create a picture. The tempos shift and the instruments break out through the course of this classic, timeless song..
6. It's Only Music (Buie/Cobb)-5:33 The driving rhythm pushes the restrained sound at the beginning of the song to build throughout this examination of the band's success. A trademark break leads into guitar soloing and an uptempo verse that breaks briefly for the wishful utterance "disco go" before closing with a rousing guitar workout.
7. Spooky (Buie/Cobb/Shapiro/Middlebrooks)-4:57 A re-recording of this song that had been a hit for the Classics IV, one of the groups that was the genesis for ARS. This version is largely true to the original with a slow but steady tempo. Upgraded production techniques give this version a brighter sound, and the powerful vocals lead into some extended guitar and keyboard soloing that make this remake a classic in its own right.
8. My Song (Buie/Hammond)-3:15 The album closes with an acoustic ballad that's a rumination on how much the musician has to give of themself as a performer on a stage. The acoustic guitar and vocal perfectly capture the desire to "let this be a song for me." After all ARS had given musically up to this point, it was a request that deserved to be honored.


Bass - Paul Goddard
Drums - Robert Nix
Guitar [Lead] - Barry Bailey
Guitar [Rhythm], Backing Vocals - J. R. Cobb
Keyboards - Dean Daughtry
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals - Ronnie Hammond


Often described as a more radio-friendly version of Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers, the Atlanta Rhythm Section was one of many Southern rock bands to hit the upper reaches of the charts during the late '70s. Hailing from the small town of Doraville, Georgia, the beginning of the Atlanta Rhythm Section can be traced back to 1970. It was then that a local recording studio was opened, Studio One, and the remnants of two groups (the Candymen and the Classics Four), became the studio's house band. One of the facility's head figures, Buddy Buie, soon began assembling the session band -- singer Rodney Justo, guitarist Barry Bailey, bassist Paul Goddard, keyboardist Dean Daughtry, and drummer Robert Nix. After playing on several artists' recordings, it was decided to take the band a step further and make the group of players a real band, leading to the formation of the Atlanta Rhythm Section. Buie soon became an invisible fifth member of the fledgling band; he served as their manager and producer, in addition to providing a major hand in the songwriting department. Finding time between sessions to record their own original material (which was initially, entirely instrumental), an early demo wound up landing the band a record deal. The group's first few albums failed to generate much chart action (1972's Atlanta Rhythm Section, 1973's Back Up Against the Wall, 1974's Third Annual Pipe Dream, 1975's Dog Days, and 1976's Red Tape), but it was during this time that Justo was replaced with newcomer Ronnie Hammond, which would eventually pay dividends for the group. Although they had gained quite a bit of radio airplay down south, their record company began to put pressure on the quintet to deliver a single that would break them nationally. The demand worked -- the Atlanta Rhythm Section scored a Top Ten single, "So Into You," on their next release, 1976's A Rock and Roll Alternative, which was the group's first album to reach gold certification. But this wouldn't be the group's commercial peak, as they scored the highest charting album of their career in 1978, the Top Ten Champagne Jam, which spawned two hit singles -- "I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight" and "Imaginary Lover." To keep up their high profile, the Atlanta Rhythm Section soon became one of the hardest touring bands of the entire Southern rock genre (including a performance at the White House for then-president Jimmy Carter). But the group's commercial success would be fleeting -- it appeared as soon as mainstream rock fans embraced the Atlanta Rhythm Section, they just as quickly forgot about them. Each subsequent album -- 1979's Underdog and live set Are You Ready, 1980s The Boys from Doraville, and 1981's Quinella -- sold less than the previous one, resulting in the band's split shortly thereafter. In the wake of their split, the Atlanta Rhythm Section has reunited sporadically for tours (although only a few original members would be present), and issued their first all-new studio album in more than a decade in 1999, Eufala. Additionally, some of country-rock's biggest names have gone on to record Atlanta Rhythm Section covers -- Travis Tritt, Wynonna Judd, and Charlie Daniels, among others. © Greg Prato, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

Atlanta Rhythm Section, sometimes abbreviated ARS, is an American southern rock band. The band unofficially formed in 1970 as former members of the Candymen and the Classics IV became the session band for the newly opened Studio One in Doraville, Georgia, near Atlanta. After playing on other artists' recordings, they decided to become a true band in their own right. The members of the original band were Rodney Justo (singer), Barry Bailey (guitarist), Paul Goddard (bassist), Dean Daughtry (keyboardist) and Robert Nix(drummer) J.R. Cobb joined the band in early 1972. Justo left the band after the first album and was replaced by Ronnie Hammond. Buddy Buie, the band's manager and producer, is listed first on almost all of their songwriting credits of the band's songs. Noted Christian Music artist and southern rocker Mylon LeFevre appeared on the "Jesus Hearted People", from the band's album Third Annual Pipe Dream. Before they became founding members of Atlanta Rhythm Section, members of Mylons backup band included Barry Bailey, Paul Goddard and Dean Daughtry. While ARS didn't reach the commercial success of Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Allman Brothers, the group had a strong following in the South and charted a number of major & minor hits such as "Doraville", "I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight", "Champagne Jam", "So Into You", "Imaginary Lover", "Angel", "Do It Or Die", "Neon Nites", and a remake of a Classics IV hit, "Spooky", plus a number of fan favorites such as "Boogie Smoogie", "Jukin'" and "Georgia Rhythm". The band also influenced a number of rock and country artists, notably Travis Tritt, who recorded a cover of the ARS songs, "Back Up Against the Wall" and "Homesick". The group Shudder to Think covered "So Into You". The bandstill tours with some of its original members, playing mostly festivals and other nostalgia-themed concerts.


Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band - "Big Blues (The Songs Of Willie Dixon)" - 2003 - Houndog

The Climax Chicago Blues Band based in Stafford, England was formed in late 1968. The original members were guitarists Derek Holt and Peter Haycock, keyboardist Arthur Wood, bassist Richard Jones and drummer George Newsome. The late Colin Cooper on vocals and saxophone made up the sextet. In 1970, the band shortened its name to the Climax Blues Band. The band has released eighteen albums and has had Top 40 hits in 1976 in the UK with "Couldn't Get It Right"; and in 1981 in the United States with "I Love You". [From Wikipedia].
Like the great Canned Heat, this veteran blues rock outfit are still going strong after more than thirty years. This great album features 12 classic blues tracks written by Willie Dixon, including "Little Red Rooster," "Spoonful," "The Seventh Son" and "Big Boss Man."They are given the band's distinctive treatment, with the late Colin Cooper's trademark vocals and plenty of sax, guitar and harmonica. Like so many great bands, they are mainly remembered for one or two tracks. Their great "Couldn't Get It Right" was a big hit for the band, but dig into their catalogue and you will find many great blues and rock compositions. Buy their great "Stamp" and "Gold Plated" albums to hear the band at their peak.


1. Little Red Rooster
2. Spoonful
3. The Seventh Son
4. Third Degree
5. Im Ready
6. Wang Dang Doodle
7. My Babe
8. Im Your Hoochie Coochie Man
9. You Cant Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover
10. Big Boss Man
11. I Love The Life I Live
12. Thats My Baby

All songs composed by by Willie Dixon


Colin Cooper − Vocals, harp, saxes and Dobro
Lester Hunt − Guitar
George Glover − Keyboards
Neil Simpson − Bass guitar
Roy Adams − Drums


Led by Colin Cooper, the former frontman of the R&B unit the Hipster Image, the Stafford, England-based Climax Chicago Blues Band was one of the leading lights of the late-1960s blues boom. A sextet also comprised of guitarists Derek Holt and Peter Haycock, keyboardist Arthur Wood, bassist Richard Jones and drummer George Newsome, the group debuted in 1969 with a self-titled effort recalling the work of John Mayall. Prior to the release of 1969's Plays On, Jones left the group, prompting Holt to move to bass. In 1970 the Climax Chicago Blues Band moved to the Harvest label, at the same time shifting towards a more rock-oriented sound on the LP A Lot of Bottle. Around the release of 1971's Tightly Knit, Newsome was replaced by drummer John Holt; upon Wood's exit in the wake of 1972's Rich Man, the unit decided to continue on as a quartet, also dropping the "Chicago" portion of their name to avoid confusion with the American band of the same name. In 1974 the Climax Blues Band issued FM Live, a document of a New York radio concert. 1975's Stamp was their commercial breakthrough, and 1976's Gold Plated fared even better, spurred on by the success of the hit "Couldn't Get It Right." However, the rise of punk effectively stopped the group in their tracks, although they continued recording prolifically well into the 1980s; after 1988's Drastic Steps, the Climax Blues Band was silent for a number of years, but resurfaced in 1994 with Blues From the Attic. © Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide


Tab Benoit

Tab Benoit - Live: Swampland Jam - 1997 - Justice

The great bluesman Tab Benoit has the Louisiana bayou blues running through his veins. Tab has never deviated from his Cajun-influenced blues style, and like Rory Block, and musicians of the calibre of Paul Rishell & Annie Raines, he is one of todays great blues traditionalists, never selling out to commercialism. This is a wonderful New Orleans style soul/blues album and is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy the Tab Benoit & Jimmy Thackery album, "Whiskey Store Live," and Tab's great "Nice And Warm" debut album.


1. Let Love Take Control 5:24
2. Ain't Gonna Do It 5:14
3. Moon Coming Over the Hill 2:59
4. Too Many Dirty Dishes 7:53
5. Keep on Moving 3:52
6. Heart of Stone 7:44
7. Gone Too Long 4:35
8. Garbage Man 5:01
9. Crawling King Snake 4:41
10. Louisiana Stule 4:37
11. It Takes a Long Time 5:07
12. Hot Tamale Baby 6:07

All songs composed by Tab Benoit, except Tracks 4, by Albert Collins, 11, by Tabby Thomas, Tab Benoit, & 12 by Clifton Chenier, Tab Benoit


Tab Benoit - Vocals & Guitar
Doug Therrien - Bass
Allyn Robinson - Drums
Henry Gray - Piano(4)
Raful Neal - Harmonica(8)
Chubby Carrier - Accordion(12)
Tabby Thomas - Vocals(11) & Guitar(11)
Jumpin' Johnny Sansone - Harp(9) & Accordion(10)

Recorded at: House of Blues, New Orleans, Louisiana, Feb 22, 1997and Grant Street Dance Hall, Lafayette, Louisiana, March 8, 1997


This is by far the best album this Louisiana blues/swamp-rocker has come up with to date. Benoit is playing with basically a three-piece, with Doug Therrien on bass and Allyn Robinson on drums. The rest of the sound is filled in by various guests, some exceedingly strong Louisiana players. Therein lives both the problem and the strength of this disc -- the sound is a bit thin when there's no guest taking up some space. Only on the slow burner "Heart of Stone" and "Gone Too Long" does the basic band fill up the airwaves. The music is good, but without that fourth player, it doesn't have enough density. When there is another player, the sound is as gritty and raw as they come -- Cajun-based blues with a swampy sensuality. Benoit's singing and guitar playing have taken giant steps forward and are up there with the best. © Bob Gottlieb, All Music Guide

Tab Benoit was born on November 17, 1967, in Baton Rouge, LA. One of the most impressive guitarists to emerge from the rich bayous of southern Louisiana in recent years, bluesman Tab Benoit serves as an inspiration to other aspiring players of the region. A guitarist who himself progressed naturally from classic rock and country to the blues, Benoit holds the belief that the next generation of guitarists will likewise discover the style that motivated him to pursue a musical career. "The blues are the roots of all American music," he expressed to Billboard magazine's Steve Graybow. "As people grow older and form their own opinions, they go back to what's real--and the blues is as real as it gets. When you are young, you want everything to be make-believe, but as soon as you get older you want something more tangible." Content in his youth to play more popular music until a friend loaned him an album by Buddy Guy, Benoit redirected his energies and set out to recreate the older bluesman's deep-rooted emotion, adopting Guy's style and researching with intensity the blues tradition. Shunning those who were not receptive to a white man just out of his teens playing blues guitar, Benoit decided to follow his own path. And it was his blues rather than rock and roll that earned him his first record deal with Justice Records, for whom he recorded his debut album, 1992's Nice and Warm. Since then, he has gone on to record five more albums, including two in 1999: Homesick for the Road and These Blues Are All Mine, for the Telarc and Vanguard labels, respectively. Born on November 17, 1967, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Benoit grew up in the nearby oil and fishing town of Houma, where he still resides today. Musically, he was exposed early on to traditional Cajun waltzes and the country music broadcast on his hometown's only radio station. Benoit's father was a musician the family home was filled with various instruments. Falling in love first with the drums while a Catholic school student, Benoit soon switched to guitar because the only gigs to land in rural Louisiana were held in churches and at church fairs, and organizers would not allow loud drums to be played at these events. Nonetheless, Benoit felt grateful for a chance to play. "Yeah, what I really loved was drums," he admitted in an interview with Rebecca West of the Blues On Stage, "but it doesn't matter what I play: it's music." Despite his initial reservations, Benoit took to the guitar with little guidance, and within no time, his natural gift became evident. In fact, he claims that he barely remembers learning to play at all. "It was my ninth birthday when I got my guitar. [But] I was a guitar player and there really weren't any good parts in Cajun music for guitar, just strummin' rhythm chords," he recalled, as quoted by the Womp Blues website. "I had a book that showed you how to play chords. After I learned the first three, I got rid of the book." However, Benoit would not discover his true passion--the blues--until his teens. "When I heard John Lee Hooker and B.B. King, I thought, 'That's what I've been looking for.' I always played music, but that's when I saw that this kind of playing came easy to me. I never sat down and tried to learn scales, I just enjoyed playing what I felt," he continued. From that moment on, and against his parents' advice, Benoit set about a career in music. Upon graduating from high school he played guitar in every type of band around, including country and rock, in order to hone his skills, even though blues music remained his first love. Consequently, every time he took the stage, hints of the blues came through. Whether playing music at weddings, local Cajun festivals, or 1950s-style rock and roll shows, Benoit seemed happy just for the chance to play. Like many modern-day bluesmen, Benoit found it difficult to find an audience accepting of his style and grew increasingly discouraged. Fortunately, a trip in 1989 to New Orleans to see Albert Collins perform proved to be a life-affirming experience. And he soon looked toward Collins and other blues aficionados--among them Tabby Thomas, Raful Neal, and Henry Gray--for inspiration. "These guys are playing from a different era," he told Womp Blues. "Every note that they play means something. Every note has a specific purpose and place, so one note can say a lot more than a lot of notes can say." Financial constraints and family pressures forced Benoit, albeit reluctantly, to attend college and place his musical pursuits on hold. There, he pursued another lifelong interest: flying. "I took all the courses first to get my certified flying license. And I was playing on weekends to pick up money," he recalled to West. Then, after coming in third at a blues jam contest in New Orleans, Benoit's music, too, began to take flight. Impressed by his performance, Justice Records invited the hopeful blues guitarist to participate for the compilation Strike a Deep Chord: Blues Guitar for the Homeless alongside such artists as Dr. John, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, and Johnny Copeland. Signing with Justice, he released his solo debut, Nice and Warm, produced by Randall Hage Jamail, in 1992. Contributors for the set included Gregg Bissonette on drums, Steve Bailey on bass, and Paul English on keyboards. Along with a record deal, Benoit also finally gained his father's approval. "Well, now he says he taught me everything I know. Once I got a contract it was all different. Of course no one where I came from had ever made it as a musician before. He was trying to keep me from having to give up something I loved," said Benoit to West. Although Benoit did not break any new ground with his subsequent albums, all of his efforts showcase a traditional, yet fresh and understated style, and critics marveled at his dexterity on the Fender Stratocaster guitar. "With tone as thick as gumbo and licks as fiery as a tablespoon of cayenne pepper, singer/guitarist Tab Benoit may be the hottest thing to come out of Louisiana since Chef Paul Prudhomme," Guitar Player once commented about his abilities, as quoted by Benoit's official website. "Influenced by Buddy Guy's intensity and Albert King's gutsy punch ... Benoit's mellow Big Easy personality contradicts the tear-your-head-off intensity of his performance." After the release of What I Live For in 1994, Benoit returned in 1995 with Standing on the Bank, which revealed a more authentic feel than his previous albums and solidified his position in the blues world. Here, he enlisted a rhythm section comprised of Greg Rzab on bass, and Ray Allison on drums, both borrowed from Buddy Guy's band; the album also featured a duet with country great Willie Nelson. Recorded live in the studio in two days on a two-track tape, a method and a throwback to the days of old Benoit felt would give the album more spontaneity, Standing on the Bank indeed showed a cast of musicians completely on their toes. In 1997, Benoit released Live: Swampland Jam, his personal favorite because he considers himself more of a live performer than a recording artist. Recorded during two sold-out shows in Louisiana, this live set of songs, none of which appeared before on his studio albums, won applause for its raw-sounding blues. Following his successful stint with Justice, Benoit in the late-1990s signed with Vanguard Records. In 1999, he released These Blues Are All Mine, an album featuring five original compositions as well as new takes on songs by Albert Collins, Albert King, and Hank Williams. Benoit recorded the record at Sugar Hill Studios in Houston, Texas, the oldest studio in the state. "We broke out the old tape machines and played live, just like we'd be playing at a gig. The energy just built and built so that everything we played was a keeper," Benoit said to Womp Blues. Earning rave reviews, the effort led Wall Street Journal contributor Craig Havighurst to comment: These Blues Are All Mine "spills over with emotion and fiery playing, captured with a vintage recording studio's ambience. You'll have to keep reminding yourself this is a new release and not a rediscovered master tape from a contemporary Magic Sam or Buddy Guy." An important factor of his success, stresses Benoit, is touring to bring his music to his fans coupled with the ability to keep each performance fresh. "Music changes all the time," he explained to West. "It changes every time I play it. I'm just there. It's coming through me." © Laura Hightower , © 2008 Net Industries - All Rights Reserved


Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Tab Benoit makes his home near New Orleans in Houma, LA. Born November 17, 1967, he's one of a handful of bright rising stars on the modern blues scene. For most of the 1990s, he's been working each of his records the old fashioned way, by playing anywhere and everywhere he and his band can play. Unlike so many others before him, Benoit understands that blues is not a medium in favor with 50,000-watt commercial rock radio stations, so as a consequence, he's worked each of his releases with as many shows as he can possibly play. Since the release of his first album for Justice, Benoit has taken his brand of Cajun-influenced blues all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Nice and Warm, his debut album for Houston-based Justice Records, prompted some critics to say he's reminiscent, at times, of three blues guitar gods: Albert King, Albert Collins, and Jimi Hendrix. Although the hard-working, modest guitarist scoffs at those comparisons, and doesn't think he sounds like them (and doesn't try to sound like them), Benoit doesn't appear to be one who's easily led into playing rock & roll in favor of his down-home blend of swamp blues and east Texas guitar-driven blues. Talk to Tab at one of his shows, and he'll tell you about his desire to "stay the course," and not water down his blues by playing items that could be interpreted as "alternative" rock. Despite the screaming guitar licks he coaxes from his Telecaster and his powerful songwriting and singing abilities, Benoit's laid-back, down-to-earth personality off-stage is the exact opposite of his live shows. Benoit's releases include Nice and Warm (1992), What I Live For (1994), Standing on the Bank (1995), and Live: Swampland Jam (1997), all recorded for Vanguard. Benoit then moved over to the Telarc label for These Blues Are All Mine (1999), Whiskey Store (2002, with Jimmy Thackery), Wetlands (2002), and The Sea Saint Sessions (2003). In 2004, Benoit released Whiskey Store Live, recorded with Jimmy Thackery on the support tour for Whiskey Store. 2005 saw the release of Fever for the Bayou on the Telarc label. 2005 also saw Voice of the Wetlands come out on Rykodisc. Another album from Telarc, Brother to the Blues, appeared in 2006. Power of the Pontchartrain followed in 2007. Considering that many of Benoit's records have surpassed the 50,000 mark, he's well on his way to a career that could rival the kind of popularity the late Stevie Ray Vaughan enjoyed in the late '80s. © Richard Skelly & Al Campbell, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

Tab Benoit (born November 17, 1967 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States) is a blues guitarist, musician and singer. He plays a style that is a combination of Swamp blues, Soul blues and Chicago blues. He plays Fender guitars and writes his own music compositions. Benoit graduated from Vandebilt Catholic High School in Houma, Louisiana in May, 1985. In 2003, he formed an organization promoting awareness of coastal wetlands preservation known as "Voice of the Wetlands." A guitar player since his teenage years, he hung out at the Blues Box, a music club and cultural center in Baton Rouge run by guitarist Tabby Thomas. Playing guitar alongside Thomas, Raful Neal, Henry Gray and other high-profile regulars at the club, Benoit learned the blues first-hand from a faculty of living blues legends. He formed a trio in 1987 and began playing clubs in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. He began touring other parts of the south two years later and started touring more of the United States in 1991- and he continues to this day. Benoit landed a recording contract with the Texas-based Justice Records and released a series of well-received recordings, beginning in 1992 with Nice and Warm, an album that prompted comparisons to blues guitar heavyweights like Albert King, Albert Collins and even Jimi Hendrix. Despite the hype, Benoit has done his best over the years to maintain a commitment to his Cajun roots— a goal that often eluded him when past producers and promoters tried to turn him and his recordings in a rock direction, often against his better instincts. These Blues Are All Mine, released on Vanguard in 1999 after Justice folded, marked a return to the rootsy sound that he’d been steered away from for several years. That same year, he appeared on Homesick for the Road, a collaborative album on the Telarc label with fellow guitarists Kenny Neal and Debbie Davies. Homesick not only served as a showcase for three relatively young but clearly rising stars, but also launched Benoit’s relationship with Telarc that came to fruition in 2002 with the release of Wetlands —arguably the most authentically Cajun installment in his entire ten-year discography. On Wetlands, Benoit mixes original material like the autobiographical “When a Cajun Man Gets the Blues” and the driving “Fast and Free” with little-known classics like Li’l Bob & the Lollipops’ “I Got Loaded,” Professor Longhair’s “Her Mind Is Gone” and Otis Redding’s timeless “These Arms of Mine” (Tab’s vocal style has long been influenced by Redding). Later in 2002, Benoit released Whiskey Store, a collaborative recording with fellow guitarist and Telarc labelmate Jimmy Thackery as well as harpist Charlie Musselwhite and Double Trouble—the two-man rhythm section of bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that backed Stevie Ray Vaughan. Benoit, in 2003, released Sea Saint Sessions, recorded at Big Easy Recording Studio (better known among musicians in the region as Sea Saint Studio) in New Orleans. In addition to Benoit and his regular crew—bassist Carl Dufrene and drummer Darryl White—Sea Saint Sessions includes numerous guest appearances by Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Cyril Neville, Brian Stoltz and George Porter. That same year, Benoit and Thackery took their dueling guitar show on the road and recorded a March 2003 performance at the Unity Centre for Performing Arts in Unity, Maine. The result was Whiskey Store Live, a high-energy guitar fest released in February 2004. Benoit's 2005 release is Fever for the Bayou,which also includes guest appearances by Cyril Neville (vocals and percussion) and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux (vocals). In 2006 Benoit recorded " Brother To The Blues" with Louisiana's LeRoux. The album was a bit more countrified but still was nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album. There is nothing country about his live rendition of these songs however. Tab was owner of Tab Benoit's Lagniappe Music Cafe, situated in the downtown district of Houma, Louisiana. He is also founder of an organization known as "Voice of the Wetlands," providing an awareness of the receding coastal wetlands of Louisiana.


Valerie Wellington

Valerie Wellington - Million Dollar $ecret - 1984 - Rooster Blues

"Valerie Wellington came onto the blues scene relatively late," said harmonicist Billy Branch, a longtime friend of Ms. Wellington's. "But she accomplished a lot in a short period of time. She developed not just a love for it {blues}, but a general resp0ect for it." Ms. Wellington performed regularly in such local clubs as Kingston Mines, Rosa's, Artis' and Blues Chicago. She recorded three albums on the Chicago B.L.U.E.S. and Alligator labels. She also appeared in several films and documentaries, including "Survivors," a 1984 tribute to the late blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield with Bob Dylan, Dr. John and other artists, and "Great Balls of Fire," a 1989 movie on Jerry Lee Lewis' life starring Dennis Quaid, in which she portrayed 1950s blues singer Big Mabell. "Million Dollar $ecret! is a great rockin' "straight-from-the-heart" blues album fron the late Valerie Wellington. This great blues singer was influenced by blues greats like Bessie Smith, Ray Charles, Ma Rainey, and Koko Taylor. She released an album in 1991, "Life in the Big City," but it was nowhere near the standard of "Million Dollar $ecret." Had she lived, there is no doubt that she would have become one of the great blues singers. Read the LP sleeve notes for more detailed info on Valerie Wellington, and for music in a similar vein, check out Koko Taylor's brilliant "Deluxe Edition" album @ KOKOT/DEE


Down in the Dumps - Lana Wilson, Wesley Wilson
Million Dollar Secret - Helen Humes, Jules Taub
Independent Blues - Valerie Wellington
Cold, Cold Feeling - Jessie Mae Robinson
Smokestack Lightning - Howlin' Wolf
Dirty No-Gooder's Blues - Bessie Smith
My Baby Treats Me Like a Stepchild - Valerie Wellington
You Can't Have My Monkey - Valerie Wellington
Bad Avenue - Walter Williams
Love Don't Love Nobody - Roy Brown
Wild About You - Elmore James, Joe Josea [Bonus Track on 1995 CD Re-Issue]
Voodoo Blues - Valerie Wellington [Bonus Track on 1995 CD Re-Issue]


Valerie Wellington (Piano), (Vocals)
Nate Applewhite (Drums)
Casey Jones (Drums), (Vocals)
John Littlejohn (Slide Guitar)
Magic Slim (Guitar), (Vocals)
John Primer (Guitar), (Vocals)
Aron Burton (Bass), (Vocals)
Nick Holt (Bass)
Billy Branch (Harmonica)
Sunnyland Slim (Piano)


Wellington is a powerful yet subtle vocalist, backed by some of the best Chicago blues players, including Sunnyland Slim, Billy Branch, Casey Jones, and Magic Slim & the Teardrops. The CD reissue contains two bonus tracks. © Niles J. Frantz, All Music Guide


Valerie Wellington took the Chicago blues scene by surprise in 1982, perhaps not forgoing her classical training as an opera singer as much as using it to enhance her work in the blues. As a blueswoman she fit right in, not only becoming a regular in the blues clubs but also compiling an impressive theatrical resume for her portrayals of Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith -- women who, like opera singers, learned to project their voices without microphones. The influence of Koko Taylor was also evident in Wellington's blues approach, which combined classic vaudeville-era blues with hard-driving Chicago sounds. Her power-packed voice was heard on only a few record releases but was featured frequently in TV and radio commercials. Valerie Wellington was only 33 years old when she died of a brain aneurysm. © Jim O'Neal, All Music Guide

Rory Block

Rory Block - From the Dust - 2005 - Telarc

The following articles say it all about this album from the living blues legend, Rory Block - “Bottom line: there’s nobody like Rory Block. For the past 30 years she has taken the blues and revered, studied, interpreted, lived, stretched, remade, and returned to them in all their stark simplicity, all the while planting them in her soul and grafting them onto herself like a skin. Rory Block is the blues. From the Dust, her second offering for the Telarc label, is a gritty, in-the-cut, inspired acoustic collection that showcases Block’s exemplary skills as a guitarist, songwriter, and yes, singer. In listening to Block’s own songs here, one can hear the actual historical blues tradition write itself into the new century.” © All Music Guide 'album pick' : “[Rory Block] may have grown up in Greenwich Village, but Lord knows she’s got some Southern roots...Today, she’s arguably the greatest acoustic slide guitarist around.” -- © Tuscaloosa (AL) News : “From the Dust possesses an internal organization more fully formed here than on Block’s previous recordings...This is a quite seminar on finger-style guitar picking. Ultimately, From the Dust is a spiritual journey, one that does not flinch.” © AllAboutJazz.com

One of the great blues musicians of the 20th & 21th centuries. Like Paul Rishell & Annie Raines, Rory has done an incalculable amount of work in preserving the blues, in all it's forms. All of Rory Block's albums are HR by A.O.O.F.C. Search this blog for info on some of her other work.


From the Dust - Rory Block
One Way Down - Rory Block
The Gate - Rory Block
David Had the Blues - Rory Block
Big As Texas - Rory Block
High Water Everywhere - Charley Patton
I Be Bound - McKinley Morganfield
Stones in My Passway - Robert Johnson
Dry Spell Blues - Son House
Fargo Baby - Rory Block
Runaway Dog - Rory Block
Take a Train - Rory Block
Remember - Rory Block
Unprecedented Quiet - Rory Block


Rory Block - Guitar & Vocals


Bottom line: there's nobody like Rory Block. For the past 30 years she has taken the blues and revered, studied, interpreted, lived, stretched, remade, and returned to them in all their stark simplicity, all the while planting them in her soul and grafting them onto herself like a skin. Rory Block is the blues. From the Dust, her second offering for the TelArc label, is a gritty, in-the-cut, inspired acoustic collection that showcases Block's exemplary skills as a guitarist, songwriter, and yes, singer. In listening to Block's own songs here, one can hear the actual historical blues tradition write itself into the new century. Block's own songs stack up tight against Charley Patton's "High Water Everywhere," Muddy Waters' "I Be Bound," and even Robert Johnson's classic "Stones in My Passway." She doesn't need to write reverentially or referentially because she has the lyrical, compositional, and spiritual fortitude to bring the murky stuff up and out it to the listener unfiltered. The brief, ringing slide run that introduces the title track is the opening of a door. "From the Dust" is a manifesto, a foot-stomping testament to Block's pedigree through the grit of human experience, heartbreak, and transcendence. The rollicking open-tuned gospel-blues of "One Way Down" offers a candid view of personal surrender. "David Had the Blues," with multi-tracked backing vocals and finger popping by Block, is what Rev. Gary Davis might have sounded like if he had been born a woman in the mid-20th century. The three covers all come sequentially in the middle of the set, almost as a suite. In the grain of Block's voice and dynamite playing one can hear the ghosts of the tradition whispering, very much alive in the heart of the heart of the country blues, seeking to impart their cautionary difficult truths to yet another generation. "Dry Spell," with its killer bottleneck work, is a sultry moaner, while "Fargo Baby" spits and sputters, riding the rail of its bassline like a train. The sheer spooky haunt of "Remember"'s intro transforms itself into a paean of acceptance and is one of the most affirming gospel tunes to come out of the genre since the 1950s. The disc whispers to a close with "Unprecedented Quiet," a stirring, gently moving instrumental that underscores the emotional range of all that has transpired here. From the Dust is impure blues poetry by one of the music's few living legends. © Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

Rory Block sings and plays the country blues like an Oklahoma whirlwind kicks up the dust. She’s a force of nature that needs to be reckoned with. Block doesn’t just strum the guitar, she slashes at the strings with one hand like she’s like she’s chopping firewood while the other goes up and down the neck like she’s strangling a chicken. Except that description suggests she’s not in control, and Block always serves as the guitar’s boss. The New York City child (born in Princeton, N.J., raised in Greenwich Village) learned how to play firsthand from some of the old masters, such as Rev. Gary Davis, Son House, and Mississippi John Hurt. Block’s raw and raspy voice suggests a lifetime of experience, and indeed she’s been singing and playing the blues for more than 30 years. The first 13 cuts on From the Dust feature Block making a lot of noise all by herself. She provides all guitar and vocals, although she does overdub and multi-track her voice and instrumentals. Although the acoustic tunes range in dynamic character, they all share an intensity of delivery. That doesn’t mean the songs are always serious. While she does sing about death on “One Way Down” and “The Gate”, Block shows off her lighter side on the goofy “Big as Texas”, which concerns a road trip home that seems to take forever, and the shaggy dog tale of conmen and deals gone wrong, “Fargo Baby” ("By the way, good luck running down the street in your underwear / Hey, isn’t that a dream somebody had?"). Speaking of dogs, Block admits she is obsessed by them. On the liner notes she dedicates the disc to dogs, not just her four pets, but to all dogs everywhere. “If I had the means, I’d have every lost and unwanted dog on Earth rescued and showered with love,” she writes. “Maybe someday it will be my privilege to help on a larger scale with land and resources required to make a difference.” Block’s song “Runaway Dog” has her singing lines every dog owner says to his/her pet, while her ringing guitar licks expresses her love for the animals. Block penned all of the tunes, with the exception of a four-song suite of Delta Blues found smack dab in the middle of the disc. Her versions of Charley Patton’s “Highwater Everywhere”, Muddy Waters’ “I Be Bound”, Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Passway”, and Son House’s “Dry Spell Blues” reveal Block’s deep connections to the blues tradition. Unlike, say, Eric Clapton’s dry note-for-note renditions of past classics, Block makes them sound fresh and new by putting them in her own voice. She makes these tunes a part of her as much as the air she breathes and the water she drinks, and they come out just as naturally. “David Had the Blues” is the disc’s most engaging tune lyrically. Block’s take on the psalms as blues numbers seems right on the mark and suggests that she sees her compositions as a sort of prayer. She frequently employs Biblical imagery in her music, especially on the six minute long “Remember”, which reveals the close and profoundly rooted connections between the blues and spirituals. She sings about the loss of her son, recalls how others have suffered even worse tragedies, and that “God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that we may be saved.” Block sermonizes as if she’s a street corner preacher, like the Reverend Davis from who she learned. Her robust guitar playing helps turn her invocations into art. The last cut, “Unprecedented Quiet”, is the only non-blues tune on the disc and the only instrumental track. As the title suggests, the song is peaceful, but quiet is too strong a word to describe it. The song is as noisy as a babbling brook, with guitar notes plucked out of the air while a melodic line flows in the background. From the Dust reaffirms Block’s status as today’s best country blues player. She has already won multiple W.C. Handy Awards for her previous efforts. The country blues as a distinctive musical style has been around for about 100 years, and Block keeps the musical genre alive and vital in the 21st century. She kicks off the dust and takes it out of the realm of old 78 rpm records as she incorporates it into the soul of her being. © Steve Horowitz, © 1999-2008 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.

Rory Block, one of the great acoustic blues guitarists and musical preservationists of her generation, digs deep into the blues tradition on her latest Telarc CD, From the Dust. Driven by Block’s soulful and fiery guitar/vocal attack and her impeccable rhythmic sense, the album seamlessly merges distinctive original material from her own pen with timeless classics from some of the great bluesmen of the early and mid-20th century. The result is a stripped-down recording—unfettered by extraneous instrumentation or superfluous arrangements—that reaches into the core of the human experience and bears witness to it in the most honest and intimate way possible. The album’s opening tracks have a distinctly spiritual sensibility. The title track addresses the universality of the blues—a form of musical expression that transcends race, gender, fashion and generation—while “One Way Down” and “The Gate” both explore the profoundly humbling power of death. Block inserts a lighthearted interlude into the set with the midtempo “Big As Texas,” a whimsical ode to the Lone Star State and the endless miles and hours it takes to drive through it. Dead center in the sequence are a quartet of Delta blues classics that showcase Block’s mastery of the old masters. Throughout Charley Patton’s “Highwater Everywhere,” Muddy Waters’ “I Be Bound,” Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Passway” and Son House’s “Dry Spell Blues,” her visceral connection to the Delta blues tradition is undeniable. In the home stretch of the set, “Fargo Baby” provides a rhythmic and driving chronicle of the darker, seedier side of Americana—from dirty deals in rural North Dakota to the plastic artifice of the Hollywood hills. On the more wholesome side, “Take a Train” uniquely juxtaposes a chugging backbeat with melancholy lyrics as a tribute to an earlier, simpler way of life. “Unprecedented Quiet” is an instrumental piece wherein Block swerves away from her trademark traditional acoustic blues sound and instead takes a chiming, atmospheric detour that makes for the ideal set closer. “This CD is like a recurring dream about an old house I used to live in,” Block says in her liner notes. “I am moving from room to room with a deep sense of nostalgia, each one so familiar and yet so new. In excitement, I say, ‘This is fantastic, look at all this space...I never realized this house was so big! Where are all these rooms coming from?’ I am filled with joy knowing that I am going to be able to create new areas for different purposes, that the possibilities are limitless.” Take a look inside Rory Block’s house and listen to the stories she conjures From the Dust. © Telarc International Corporation

“On her second Telarc release (her nineteenth record), Block’s acoustic guitars and her well-expressed vocals shine on all tracks...Block is steeped in tradition on From the Dust and possesses the innate ability to get her listeners to ponder what her music preaches.” -- Living Blues

“Her blues are deep and that fact is more than evident on her current offering, From the Dust...Block’s still got it.” -- Frets

“On From the Dust, slide guitar virtuosa Rory Block has both feet in the blues and at least one hand on the Bible. Her artistry provides a bridge between the spiritual hymnal and the ‘devil’s music’ as which the blues has long been branded. Original material such as the title track, ‘The Gate,’ and ‘David Had the Blues’ evoke Scripture against the deep groove of Block’s propulsive guitar playing, while ‘Remember’ represents a personal testament to the power of faith.” -- Amazon.com

“With her long, honey-blond hair and sexy black lingerie, Block offers no clues that inside From the Dust is one of the most remarkable acoustic blues albums in recent years.” -- Chicago Sun Times

“Block’s new album, titled From the Dust (Telarc), combines fine original tunes with country blues numbers by Charlie Patton, Muddy Waters, Son House and Robert Johnson...the CD is a strong combination of elemental acoustic blues and Block’s genre-crunching original tunes.” -- Herald Sun (Durham NC)

“Veteran delta blues flame-keeper Rory Block’s slide guitar and vocal chops are the real thing—strong, potent stuff.” -- Boston Herald

“…she remains among the best contemporary interpreters of historic blues fare. Her version of Son House’s ‘Dry Spell Blues’ is magical, as is the cover of Muddy Waters’ ‘I Be Bound.’” -- Nashville City Paper

“Rory can take you from the point of shedding a tear in one song to shouting with joy and wanting to move to the music in another that she is generating from her soul…I have never in my life heard a woman play/sing and deliver the blues so pure and convincingly, with authority but ever so softly.” -- Bluzharp.com

“Be sure to check this out for some seriously great organic, roots music.” -- Midwest Record Recap

“Block rocks, and if you’re unfamiliar with her music, From the Dust is as fine a place as any to get acquainted.” -- Guitar World Acoustic

“In short, the CD captures Block as an evolving artist, continuing to nurture and grow her considerable instrumental prowess. More than that, she shares an evolving spirituality, a wry and self-deprecating humor and a fierce commitment to the founders of country blues. No contradictions from Rory Block on this CD. All the pieces fit, perfectly.” -- Merrimack River Current (MA)

“Blues torch bearer Rory Block relies on her dramatic voice and sterling guitar picking for the solo acoustic set From the Dust (Telarc). But with pristine engineering and a little self-overdubbing, that's plenty to make this a great-sounding and important album. Spirited Block originals ‘One Way Down’ and ‘The Gate’ have the authentic air of ancient blues and gospel tunes, while a decidedly modern approach makes ‘David Had the Blues’ something else again. Songs by Son House, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and Charlie Patton are included.” A. -- Knight Ridder Newspapers

“Her fret work is superb, the slide blends and swoops and links and sings as her voice tells you stories bright and dark of good and bad and an atmosphere is carved out that will fill your room and your head and last long after the CD is finished. Her treatment of the classics is exemplary and sympathetic but gives a new vitality to them. Her own songs are like soft pastels and big, big hard and beautiful landscapes, getting carried away, you bet...so can you...here is one super album.” -- Blues Matters UK

“Consisting of 10 originals and four classic covers, From the Dust finds Block effortlessly singing and playing the solo acoustic blues that is in the very fiber of her being...The legends of the blues who inspired her must be smiling down from above.” -- PlayBluesGuitar.com

“For the veteran fan, you know that Block is considered by most to be the reigning queen of traditional acoustic and Delta-slide Country Blues, hearkening back to the likes of Charlie Patton, Son House, Robert Johnson, and Mississippi John Hurt… Overall, there is an abundance in this great-sounding CD to make it one of the most notable contemporary acoustic Blues albums in a long time.” -- BluesWax.com


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. © Chris Nickson, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

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.


Rory Block (born as 'Aurora Block', November 6, 1949) is an American female blues guitarist and singer, a notable exponent of the country blues style. Rory Block was born in Princeton, New Jersey 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 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 moved to California where she played in clubs and coffeehouses. After retiring temporarily to raise a family, Block returned to the music business 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. Block has won four W. C. Handy Awards, two for "Traditional Blues Female Artist" (1997, 1998), and two for "Acoustic Blues Album of the Year" (1996, 1999). © Mojohand. 2001. All rights reserved