Archive for the Blues Category

Tommy Castro: Free Download

Posted in Blues, mp3, Upcoming Release on July 31, 2009 by takecountryback

tommycastro_hardbeliever_400 Download “Monkey’s Paradise” from Tommy’s forthcoming Alligator release “HARD BELIEVER”

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY OF THE NEW Tommy Castro Band CD, “HARD BELIEVER”! All pre-order CDs will be signed and shipped on the CD release date, August 11.

In Session, the 1983 Live Album by Albert King with SRV to be Reissued on Jun 30 2009

Posted in Blues, Upcoming Release on June 16, 2009 by takecountryback

31371_01_KV_OCard.qxd:-LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Albert King never got the mass recognition he deserved. He always seemed to be in the shadow of B.B. But among blues guitarists and fans of the craft, he was the master.  Austin, Texas’ Stevie Ray Vaughan, 31 years King’s junior, exploded onto the scene in 1983, first as guitarist on David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” followed by his own smash hit “Pride and Joy.” When the two met onstage at Antone’s in 1973, they formed an ongoing friendship. This bond culminated with the December 1983 live recording titled In Session, originally produced for the Canadian TV concert series of the same name. The recording, originally issued on Stax Records, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s blues album chart, selling more than 300,000 units.

On June 30, 2009, Stax Records — the imprint upon which King made his most legendary recordings in the ’60s and ’70s — will reissue In Session with digital remastering and three sets of liner notes by Fantasy and Stax Records’ Bill Belmont, and journalists Lee Hildebrand and Dan Forte.

As Hildebrand points out in his notes, “Albert King wasn’t sure who it was he’d been booked to jam with on December 6, 1983 in the studios of CHCH, an independent TV station in Hamilton, Ontario, though his manager assured him he knew the young guitar hotshot. Sho’ ’nuff, Albert recognized the 29-year-old Texan immediately — not as fast-rising star Stevie Ray Vaughan but as Little Stevie, the skinny kid who’d been coming around and sitting in every time Albert passed through Austin.”

The two were flanked by the solid rhythm section of Tony Llorens on organ and piano, his brother Michael on drums and bassist Gus Thornton — the same outfit that accompanied King on his two post-Stax Fantasy albums — San Francisco ’83 and I’m in a Phone Booth Baby. And with the exception of “Pride and Joy,” Vaughan’s only vocal on the session, all of the tunes are from King’s concert repertoire. Included are “Call It Stormy Monday” (the signature song of T-Bone Walker, who hailed from Dallas’ Oak Cliff section in which Vaughan was born and raised years later), “Match Box Blues,” “Blues at Sunrise,” “Don’t Lie to Me,” “Turn it Over,” “Ask Me No Questions,” and the instrumental “Overall Junction.”

Hildebrand says that “60-year-old Albert ruled over the proceedings like a benevolent father, retaining control while allowing his guest loads of space in which to display his awesome command of the electric guitar.  Stevie avoided flaunting his prowess, however, and instead delivered some of the most deliciously restrained playing of his career, laying back when his mentor dictated, turning up the heat only when Albert deemed appropriate. The interplay between the two blues masters is uncannily empathetic . . . Albert was, in a sense, passing the torch on to Stevie.”

Forte adds, “Hearing Stevie pay homage, the pride in Albert’s eyes was impossible to hide and the gamesmanship of the situation clearly brought out some of his best playing. But in this congenial battle of the titans, no holds were barred, no weapons disqualified.”

King continued to record and tour until his death from a massive heart attack in Memphis in 1992. He was 69 and enjoyed a full life in the blues. Vaughan wasn’t so fortunate. At the height of his career on August 27, 1990, he was killed in a helicopter crash at Alpine Valley, Wisconsin. He was 35. In Session stands as their only known recording together.

MySpace Blues/Cajun Playlist for Jun 15 2009

Posted in Blues, Cajun, TCB MySpace Playlists on June 15, 2009 by takecountryback

You can listen to the playlist by visiting our myspace page ( or by clicking on the link below. Stay tuned tomorrow for more great indie music that deserves a listen!


“Your Clothes” by Linsey “Hootchie Man” Alexander
“It’s Getting To The Point” by Sonny Kenn
“Hard Drivin’ Woman” by Sharrie Williams & The Wiseguys
“Change Is Gonna Come” by Lightning Red
“Never Far Behind” by Moreland & Arbuckle
“Deep in the Delta” by Brother Yusef
“Sweet Tooth” by Davin James
“That Train” by Chainsaw Dupont
“My Fault To Stay” by Trampled Under Foot
“Cold Wind” by Buck69
“Brown Liquor” by Sweet Betty
“Tired And Lonesome” by Coen Davis
“Can’t Let Go” by Sean Costello
“Box Car No. 9” by Guitar Red


“Like a Real Cajun” by Waylon Thibodeaux
“Mardi Gras Song” by Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole
“Port Barre Stomp” by The Doc Marshalls
“Zydeco Train” by Donna Angelle & the Zydeco Posse
“Je Veux Avec Toi” by The Pine Leaf Boys
“Zydeghost” by C.J. Chenier
“Prends Courage” by Feufollet
“Nuttin But A Couillon” by Bayou Boys
“My Toot Toot” by Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys
“Tu M’As Fait Rire” by Beausoleil
“Promised Land” by Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie
“Josette” by The Zydepunks
“La Toussaint” by Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys
I’m Gonna Love You Anyway” by Buckwheat Zydeco
“Super T” by T-Broussard & the Zydeco Steppers

Tour of Chicago Blues

Posted in Blues, Recommended Links with tags , on June 13, 2009 by takecountryback

Thanks to Annie for pointing me in the direction of this multimedia presentation.  Well worth setting the time aside to watch this one.

Main Site:

Chicago Blues


Koko Taylor Passes at age 80

Posted in Artists, Blues, RIP on June 4, 2009 by takecountryback

“Blues is my life,” … “It’s a true feeling that comes from the heart, not just something that comes out of my mouth”

Chicago blues icon Koko Taylor died Wednesday afternoon at age 80, after surgery May 19 to correct a gastrointestinal bleed.

    “She was recovering slowly but surely, and then she had a real bad night,” said Marc Lipkin, a spokesman for Taylor’s longtime Chicago-based label, Alligator Records. Taylor was recovering from her surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital when she died.

She had performed only weeks earlier at the Blues Music Awards ceremony in Memphis, Tenn., where she received her record 29th Blues Music Award .

More here

RIP Snooks Eaglin

Posted in Blues, News, R&B, RIP, Video, YouTube on February 21, 2009 by takecountryback

Original Link

BEE BRANCH | Although Snooks Eaglin, the amazingly eclectic New Orleans guitar player who died Wednesday at the age of 72, was truly one of a kind, his music was deeply rooted in the funk and rhythm and blues of the Crescent City.

Blind since childhood and with amazingly long, gnarled fingers and fingernails, he could pick just about anything and was, indeed, known as the “Human Juke Box” for his ability to play nearly any requests shouted out from the crowd, including “Malaguena,” more about which in just a minute.

Snooks never travelled much, meaning that roots music aficionados had to come to him, most often in recent years at the Mid City Rock ‘n Bowl, where he was a mainstay for the last two decades, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, most of which I’m sure he played, usually accompanied by the great bassist George Porter, a founding member of the Meters. The pictures here are of the two at Snooks’ last Jazz Fest gig last year.

My most memorable encounter with the rollicking, rocking Snooks was a couple of years ago when we went to hear him at the Parrish, the House of Blues’ intimate upstairs room on Decatur Street. There wasn’t much of a crowd, so we were able to belly right up to the stage only a couple of feet away from Snooks, who was sitting in a folding chair.

At one point, a young woman tapped me on the shoulder and asked if Snooks was “a dirty old man” because he had used a racy euphemism in a song; seems her yuppie date had clued her in on what the word “trim” meant in context and she assumed the worst about the small, bent, sightless man behind the guitar.

“No,” I said firmly, “he’s a guitar player.”

Then I asked him to play “Malaguena,” which I knew was in his repertoire, but which elicited a snorting, condescending laugh from the young woman’s boyfriend. My request did, however, put a smile on Snooks’ grizzled face.

“I learned that song off an old Carlos Montoya record,” he said of the great Spanish Flamenco guitar player. “Carlos could play!

“Burn, Carlos, Burn!” he shouted as he began a virtuoso rendition of the classical piece, which wiped the smirk right off that yuppie’s face.

At least one set by Snooks Eaglin some time during the week has been a long-standing tradition for our Jazz Fest sojourns, the next of which is now only a few weeks away.

But it won’t quite be the same this year knowing Snooks won’t be playing somewhere around town.

Taj Mahal’s diversity through the decades

Posted in Blues on October 24, 2008 by takecountryback

Original Link

Rubies are the traditional gift for couples celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, the gemstone symbolizing the eternal flame that binds them together. When Taj Mahal celebrated the 40th anniversary of his self-titled 1967 debut, he wasn’t fixated on precious stones, but he wanted to speak to the fire that has burned inside him since his first gigs fronting frat band the Electras in 1961. “I never did anything for the 10th, 20th, or the 30th anniversary, and here we are at the 40th anniversary of my first record,” the 66-year-old blues and roots music legend says. “I thought it was time to look back on what we’ve done and bring some friends along for the ride.

The ride is Maestro, a diverse 12-track set of soul, blues, reggae, rock, and funk released last month that reflects the East Bay resident’s insatiable appetite for musical discovery. Born Henry Saint Clair Fredericks to a jazz pianist father of Caribbean heritage and a schoolteacher mother from the Deep South, Mahal was introduced early to the popular music of the ’50s as well as a healthy dose of artists from the Mississippi Delta, Latin America, Hawaii, Africa, and the Caribbean. “My father and his parents were proud of their roots and wanted me to be aware of my connection to Africa,” he remembers.

In the same way that the music on Maestro speaks to Mahal’s history, its guests were familiar names from his nearly half-century in music. The Phantom Blues Band, the group he fronted for his two Grammy-winning records (Señor Blues in 1997 and Shoutin’ in Key in 2000) return for four tracks, while long-time friends Los Lobos and daughter Deva Mahal back him on reggae duet “Never Let You Go” and Lou Willie Turner’s “TV Mama.” Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers guest on “Black Man, Brown Man,” marking the third generation of Marleys Mahal has worked with, dating back to Bob Marley’s appearance on 1974’s Mo’ Roots. “Everybody on this record — people who played, people handling production, everyone — at one time or another has talked to me about doing something together,” Mahal says.

Maestro kicks off with “Scratch My Back,” a tribute of sorts to Otis Redding, one of Mahal’s earliest influences. After graduating from college in 1964, Mahal headed west for California, forming the Rising Sons with guitarist Ry Cooder and opening for Redding at the Whiskey A-Go-Go in Los Angeles. “Otis had these great big ballads like ‘Pain in My Heart’ and ‘Chained and Bound,'” Mahal recalls. “Nobody did ballads like Otis did ’em. I just hope I can interpret [his music] in a way that adds a little bit of me to the song.”

Although Maestro features Mahal’s takes on tunes by Redding, Fats Domino, Willie Dixon, and Lou Willie Turner (wife of Big Joe), it doesn’t come off as some decrepit covers record. “Strong Man Holler” and “Slow Drag” are quintessential Taj Mahal classics, while “Dust Me Down” is a dirty, chugging rocker written by Ben Harper, whom Mahal first met in the ’80s through Harper’s grandparents, who own the Folk Music Center and Museum in Claremont. “When [Harper] first came on the scene, folks assumed because he was a black guy that played guitar that he had to be into the blues,” Mahal says. “But Ben branched out and done his own thing. It’s not that he doesn’t love the blues, but he’s curious about other music too. He reminds me a lot of myself when I was his age.”