I'm head over heels for these guys! Hot off their appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman last week, Vintage Trouble are burning up the Internets with their fabulosity. With stellar retro cool vocals and assertive presentation, how can you not want a little Trouble in your life? You get why, right? Even my 16 year-old son gets it. We spent the other day listening to The Bomb Shelter Sessions for a few hours and my kid says, "the singer's voice sound familiar. Why is that?" After thinking it over and running through my artist playlist, it dawned on
Recently by Joanie Hunt
Rhythm & Blues with verve and soul
Revisiting a favorite, I discover a great surprise from The Mavericks
Back in the '90s, I was transitioning from San Diego girl to Denver girl, from country back to blues and rock, from just a single gal to oh-my-God-I'm-a-mom; it seemed there was always something coming at me and I did what I've always done when life overwhelmed me: I dove deeper into music. One of my favorite bands from that time was The Mavericks. They were country. They were rock. They were a little bit of everything that scratched all my musical itches. I didn't have to make mix tapes or buy a bunch of CDs by other artists as
Ian Britt is my new Neil Finn this week
Heaven just gained another blues angel for its choir.
Roamin' and ramblin' bluesman, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, died in his Chicago home early this morning of congestive heart failure. He was 96 years old. Honeyboy had started 2011 off with a tour celebrating what would have been his late friend Robert Johnson's 100th birthday, playing up through April. Then failing health resulted in a short hospital stay, followed by the cancellation of his performance at the annual Chicago Blues Festival in June, and the announcement of his retirement in July. Edwards, the son of sharecroppers, was born in Shaw, Mississippi in 1915 and got his start as a bluesman at
Taking a look at the day's scheduled events at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festivals
I've been on the ground here in Portland for two days, pre-festival, spending time with friends and getting a sneak peek at some of the great music that will be on stage this week here at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival. Night one: A jam at a local bar called Gators. Kevin Selfe (of Kevin Selfe and the Tornadoes) led the jam with his impeccable guitar and beautiful voice. Many other fantastic locals joined in the fun, as did visiting recording artists Fiona Boyes and Pat Pepin. Fiona tore up the place with blazin' tunes, and Pat wowed the crowd
A bit of living history continues to tour and educate the masses of coming up in a time of great change, musically, socially, and technologically.
Ninety-six years ago today, David "Honeyboy" Edwards began his journey on this earth. Today, he continues down the blues highway, sharing his music and his story with all of us. Not many people in existence today can say they were friends with blues legend Robert Johnson. Guitarist David “Honeyboy” Edwards is one of them. Also notable is that Edwards is the last remaining Delta blues pioneers still touring. More than a friendship with Johnson accounts for Honeyboy’s rightful place in blues, and rock ‘n’ roll history, though. Born June 28, 1915, in Shaw, Mississippi, Honeyboy learned to play guitar from
Running in thirty directions at once, music blaring, and anticipation is overwhelming me! And I'm loving it.
Last year, I had the great honor of covering the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival alongside a friend. She needed a photographer, I needed to experience Portland in a blues frenzy. She got what she needed, and I got what I'd come for. Not only is this the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi (and how many other festivals are as big as this one with 100,000+ people in attendance each day for FOUR DAYS in a row?) and second largest festival in the nation, but it benefits the Oregon Food Bank. Last year, the festival broke all records, taking
The blues never sounded so good
Chris Cain, one of the Bay Area's greatest treasures, recently played a show here in Vegas and blew the doors off the joint. Cain is as nuanced a player as you'll ever meet. There's so much power in each note, he makes shredders look like fools. There are no limits to what Cain can do with a guitar. He plays it all, from hard rockin' to slow burnin' blues, jazz, you name it. He's as sly as can be, making your heart break one minute, and then callin' you out with your boogie shoes the next. Taking the stage
New project from Lightnin' Malcolm
I've been a fan of Lightnin' Malcolm for several years and have had the pleasure of catching him with Cedric Burnside at various festivals the past few seasons. One thing I've always enjoyed is the effortlessness of his performance: the fire in his fingers, and the slightly gruff but somehow still mellow voice. It translated well on both Juke Joint Duo and 2 Man Wrecking Crew. Both albums rank high on my list of immensely playable blues discs. They're packed with grindin' hill country blues infused with soul, funk, and a lot of attitude. As well, I witnessed Lightnin' Malcolm
More than a "Lonely Boy"
Last Friday, the music world lost the man responsible for the song we all sang along with whenever The Golden Girls came on -- Andrew Gold. Back in 1977, Gold had a minor hit with "Lonely Boy," a song I loved to hear whenever it popped up on the radio, which it did often since it reached #7 on the charts. And the following year, he released "Thank You For Being A Friend" -- the song that would later be sung by someone else and become firmly associated with those brassy, sassy broads on a sitcom. Me? I always remembered the Andrew
It's my party and I'll play what I want. And I want Rod Stewart!
The rumors are true. By tomorrow, I will be old. But I've decided I'm going to take a page out of Rod the Mod's playbook and not let that stop me. I'm sure that makes no sense to you, but living in Sin City, where everyone is (pardon the pun) forever young, it's not easy to watch those years tick up. Rod Stewart, however, has never seemed to age. The man's 66 years old and he's still rockin'. In fact, he's set to take up a residency at Caesar's Palace in August, playing everything from his early blues on up
Crazy visions swim in my head as I await the gradual absorption of heavy meds. My musical needs are many and make no sense, not even to this uneasy mind.
Between waiting for medication to work its way through my system and all the side effects to come to some sort of sensible level, I'm a wreck. Not ideal living conditions, but it sure as hell makes for intriguing musical choices. My mind wanders. My heart wants what it wants -- even if what it wants is Pink singing Led Zep, or James Brown & Pavarotti teaming up for a song. And here we are. And our little bonus:
It was a weekend of sunshine, whisky, bagpipes, drums, and a few amorous peacocks.
I can't help myself. Get me around a bunch of men in kilts and I suddenly become a whole different person. Add a little whisky and talk about inappropriate! Thankfully, I was well-aware of the family-friendly environment and I managed to somehow behave. (Okay, so I didn't actually drink anything harder than lemonade this time, but I wanted to. That counts for something, doesn't it?) The highlight of the Las Vegas Celtic Gathering and Highland Games was, for me, The Wicked Tinkers. If you're not familiar with the band, do yourself a favor and get to know more about them.
Can someone please come smack me out of this insane loop I'm in?
Most parents look at their teens with dismay and consider their taste in music to be utterly lacking in sophistication and nuance. I'm not one of those parents. In fact, I dare say my 14-year-old son has better taste in music than many adults I know. He's also a little... odd. He began singing to me the other night; songs I grew up listening to; songs I've loved. Which was all well and good, except that he sang them to me...as Sean Connery. Yes, Bond. James Bond. Sean Connery. Honestly, it was hysterical. But it caused me to re-examine exactly what
Cosmic Connection is getting play and Stoney has something to say about that
The Stoney Curtis Band isn't exactly new, but the kind of airplay Cosmic Conn3ction is getting is a nice reward for Stoney, who's been rockin' his heart out for a while now. I sat down last week with Stoney to talk about his journey and some of the surprises he's encountered along the way. Joanie: Your album was just released on March 11. What's going on? Stoney Curtis: Well, it's going great. I'm getting a lot of play, not just blues stations, but rock stations, too. It's really been nice to know the album's been received as well as it
Everything's Better With a Little Vedder
I will readily confess I was not a Pearl Jam fan back in the day. It wasn't that I thought they were horrible or anything, I just wasn't interested. The timing was bad. I was deep in my country phase, about to embark on motherhood... stuff that doesn't lend itself easily to jumping on the PJ train, you know? But that doesn't mean I wasn't aware of them or that some of Eddie Vedder's charm was lost on me. Quite the contrary. I knew, but I tiptoed away gingerly. Cut to today (I was going to say "twenty years later"
Like a fleeting dream, the fever took me away to another place, a place where J.J. Grey and Mofro danced for me.
I don't do "sick" well. Lord knows I have had enough practice in my lifetime, but somehow I've never really mastered the art of recovering from illness in an artful manner. I always wanted to be the sort who could lie about and gracefully sip from fragile teacups while those who love me look on with concern. Yeah, never happened anywhere but in a novel from the likes of Austen or Alcott and my life has never looked like anything from one of their books. Instead, I tend to curl up wherever I feel least uncomfortable and pray a stereo
Old favorites are like a warm blanket and a cup of chicken noodle soup.
I'm a terribly nostalgic person and I'm prone to playing music from my past whenever I don't feel well. If I can't have my mommy, then I'll take the enveloping warmth of songs I consider old friends. I love the song "Weather With You" from Crowded House and I particularly enjoy this version for the beautiful bass that runs through it. Next up is "Throw Your Arms Around Me," which I wish would be released on a greatest hits album. Neil's solo version is spot on and I tend to listen to it repeatedly. "Pineapple Head" was partially written
Following the long-awaited Tower of Power concert, I was reduced to giddy fan girl and met almost the whole band. Here are a few of my favorite songs...
Larry Braggs has an amazing voice and he leads Tower of Power ably to the edge, dangles them before us, and then returns us all to safety. Emilio Castillo, the actual leader of the band, is just as impressive vocally, and he's a dangerous man. Yes, indeed, he is. He riles the crowd up, gets us dancing, dancing along with us, and then tears it all away like a man possessed! Just like that, we have nothing. Except that we do. We have more music! And we have memories. Ha! Tower of Power took the stage at South Point Resort
Some songs transport you to a time and place deep within your memory bank. Other songs just take you on an out of body experience, returning you to the now only when you're fully cleansed.
My fellow BBS writer, Josh, shared his "let me lose myself" song the other day and it was a wonderful choice for many reasons. I love Shelby Lynne. Always have. But when I want to get lost, when I need to escape, when I need to cleanse my soul of all the travails of this world, I need to look no further than one beautiful and heartwrenching song from the one man I would likely stalk if given the chance (also if I weren't lazy about such things) and if I were in Italy: Adelmo Fornaciari, henceforth known by his sweeter
With or without a mouthful of honey, I'd do it all again for the love of blues and rock & roll! Especially with Stoney Curtis at the helm.
Blues rock, rockin' blues...call it what you will, I love it, but I'm also really picky about how it's done. The good news for me is that one of the best blues rockers to be released in a long time is from none other than the Stoney Curtis Band. Cosmic Conn3ction is that perfect blend of anthem rock and gritty blues. With a release date of March 8, 2011, from Shrapnel Records' Blues Bureau division, Cosmic Conn3ction does not disappoint. As a Stoney Curtis Band fan for a number of years, I've come to know and love his work and
Ain't blues for those with weak hearts
Sugaray Rayford doesn’t believe in takin’ it easy on himself or the audience. He throws himself into every performance and gives it all he has. That same approach applies to his first solo release, Blind Alley. From energetic romps to gut wrenching moans, from soulful to shouter, jazzy crooner to preacher, the man gives you a physical and an emotional workout. It’s a damn fine debut! Beginning with a spirited version of Al Kooper’s “Nuthin’ I Wouldn’t Do For A Woman Like You," Sugaray gets you on your feet for some fine booty shakin’. Then he turns around and breaks
If you're gonna sing the blues, you better sing Original Blues and you'll want to do at least half as good a job as Glenn Patrik does, otherwise you're just screwed.
One of my favorite bluesmen, Glenn Patrik, happens to reside not far from me here in Las Vegas. I'm pretty lucky that way. Seems no matter where I move, I find the artists who provide me with the kind of music that sings to my soul. But if truth must be told, I was aware of Mr. Patrik prior to my relocation to the City of Sin and Neon and LED. I'd had his previous album, Nuthin' But A Thang, and was deeply in lust with it, just as I have been recently lusting over his latest and greatest Original
Since the day that Nanny came to stay with us, we've wondered who wrote the theme song and what else they might have been responsible for.
For those of you unfamiliar with my quaint little "Two-fer Tuesday" series on previous blogs, let me assure you I will never write extensively on the music, instead preferring to let the music speak for itself. Except sometimes. Sometimes there is a story, or ten, to tell. Sometimes the story holds the presented clips together. Other times it's simply my way of explaining why it matters to me. But mostly, I will try not to write endless paragraphs and I will try more to present you with two, three, four, five, or even eight videos that appeal to me come
Life might be good, life might be tough, I'm gonna boogie anyway.
Chris James & Patrick Rynn‘s second CD, Gonna Boogie Anyway, is here and it has swept me off my feet. It’s solid, bold, and sexy. Its swagger is confident, not cocky, and that self-assuredness is what clinches the deal. The sexiness is surprising, too, because you don’t necessarily expect their steady and solid approach to carry that much sex appeal. Yet it does. James and Rynn? They’re powerful and mesmerizing. "Money Don’t Like Me” starts the party and it’s a strong, yet playful tune. James’ assertive vocals and clever lyrics tell a story to which we can all relate —
If the pot's calling the kettle black, it better do so loudly
If you're gonna be a rock band or a blues rock band, you pretty much have only a few seconds to establish yourself as such from the moment the listener pops a CD into the stereo. Kettleblack answers any questions one might have about their intent very quickly. They tell you within a few notes that they're here to rock you and they do. Before I get into the meat of the Kettleblack Live CD -- their original songs -- I'm going to address the cover tunes they've included because covers can be rather tricky. "Hard to Handle" is a
Centennial celebration of the musical legacy of Robert Johnson
Robert Johnson was born on May 8, 1911. No one could have predicted the indelible mark he would leave on this world at the time. Sure, he wasn't the first man to sing the blues, nor would he be the greatest, but during his brief 27 years on earth, Johnson's story began and it would seem that not even death would keep him from becoming one of the most influential artists the world has ever known. How much of his legend is fact we'll likely never know. Does it really matter? What we have now are 29 songs, stories of deals with the devil, and only
Golden, sweet, and thoroughly delicious
I love music that gets me up and dancing from the first note. I love music that keeps me dancing the whole album through. That’s exactly what you get with Kirsten Thien’s Delicious. From the moment I put it on the stereo the day I got it, I was dancing. I danced my way through the dishes. I danced my way through the laundry. And I danced my way through my shower. By the time I was done, I was in a great mood and off to pick up someone special from the airport. The entirety of Delicious was floating through
Warm Celtic sounds to brighten your day...
I can't confess to spending most of my days preparing for the holidays listening to random Christmas carols and the like. Let's face it, I'm not much of a traditionalist, although I do love Christmas carols and will listen on Christmas Day. However, I try very hard to put myself in a more homey frame of mind as I sit down to wrap my gifts and craft the one or two cards I may send (MAY being the operative word anymore). This refusal to give in to traditional fare means I either go the rock 'n' roll, country, or blues