Album Review – Jimmy ‘Duck’ HolmesCypress Grove – Released via East Eye Sound.

72-year-old Bentonia, Mississippi bluesman back with a new album produced by Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) with an 11-song set of raw Juke-Joint blues. First up is Holmes singing and playing solo on his variation of Skip James’ classic Hard Times.

The atmospheric Cypress Grove features Holmes world-weary vocal and hypnotic guitar riff enhanced by Sam Bacco’s hand drums and Auerbach’s droning guitar riffs which all adds pleasingly to the African roots feel. The familiar Catfish Blues is driven by Holmes guitar and vocals with Auerbach’s guitar fills and fuzzy solo adding to the ethereal feel and I’m already loving this marriage of old and new.

The production is handled well with the younger guns adding just enough extra colour to Holmes’ performance without distracting from his deep blue vocals and guitar. A funky drumbeat and guitar riff from Marcus King introduces Goin’ Away Baby which is a real toe-tapper and features a superb guitar solo.

The classic Rock Me features skittering drums and a slithering slide guitar behind Holmes haunting vocals and guitar. An unusual approach to Little Red Rooster sees a rearrangement of this familiar old chestnut featuring sax from Leon Michels.

Skip James often covered classic Devil Got My Woman features strong guitar work and passionate growling vocals from Holmes, sparse drums and a heavy bassline from Eric Deaton. The self-penned Gonna Get Old Someday features a walking bass riff and slinky slide guitar.

A nifty locomotive rhythm pushes on through Train Train as Holmes takes us on his journey. Closing track Two Women is a brooding slow blues with Holmes emotional vocals telling a tragic tale of women troubles. I understand Holmes will be touring with The Black Keys and I would love to see this pairing. In the meantime, this excellent album will get repeated plays.

Album Review by Dave Drury

For More Info on Jimmy ‘Duck’ Holmes click here

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KING SOLOMON HICKS
ANNOUNCES DEBUT ALBUM ‘HARLEM’
RELEASED: 13th MARCH, 2020
VIA PROVOGUE/MASCOT LABEL GROUP

Following the announcement of his debut album Harlem, KING SOLOMON HICKS has released another new track from the album. Harlem will be released on 13th March, 2020 via Provogue. Be sure to check out the next issue of Blues Matters, where we sit down with Solomon Hicks to discuss his debut. If you’re not already a subscriber, click the link at the bottom of the article, and don’t miss a single future issue!

The 24 year old grew up in Harlem “around a lot of great musicians,” he says. The city is synonymous with vibrancy, art and music ever since the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s. Situated in Manhattan, New York City, that period saw a creative surge sweep the neighbourhood, which included writer and political activist Hubert Harrison, entertainer and civil rights activist Josephine Baker as well as the rise of legendary jazz players such as Duke Ellington who was one of the early performers at the now world famous Cotton Club. The Jazz scene was exploding with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, and Bessie Smith all coming through the city and that was just the tip of the iceberg.  Whilst Harlem has been home to the greats such as Al Pacino, the Marx Brothers, James Reese Europe, George and Ira Gershwin, Arthur Miller, Sammy Davis Jr, Sonny Rollins…the list goes on. There’s something in the water there.

Music runs through the veins of the city, so there was no doubt that the young Hicks, who was only 6 years old when he started playing the guitar, was going to absorb those surroundings. By 13 he was on the stage at the Cotton Club, four times a week, as lead guitarist in the clubs’ 17 piece band and was already playing in legendary venues such as St. Nick’s in Sugar Hill and the iconic Lenox Lounge which Malcolm X had been a patron, and had seen the likes of Miles Davis and John Coltrane grace the stage.

Check Out The New Track What The Devil Loves Here:

 

Pre-Order Harlem Here

 

His full debut, Harlem is produced by multiple Grammy Award winner Kirk Yano (Miles Davis, Public Enemy, Mariah Carey), and showcases Hicks as a writer, player and interpreter. Originals such as the roadhouse ready 421 South Main, the gospel shuffle of Have Mercy on Me and the aching instrumental Riverside Drive, he rubs musical elbows with staples such as Everyday I Sing the Blues and It’s Alright, a Latin-tinged take on Blood, Sweat & Tears’ I Love You More Than You Will Ever Know, a funked-up romp through Gary Wright’s Love is Alive and a searing rendition of Sonny Boy Williamson’s Help Me that closes the album.

Hicks has been steeped in music for as long as he can remember. “It’s not like New Orleans, where music is 24 hours a day — but it’s close.” His mother also took him, as a youngster, to local nightspots, “when you’re around good musicians, it gives you that spark — ‘I want to do what you do. I want to hold my own,'” says Hicks. “But being around those types of musicians also taught me to NOT be the fastest guitar player. I wanted to be the one who knew the most riffs and drew on a lot of knowledge so I could play anything, and with anyone.”

He enrolled to the Harlem School of Arts and the prestigious educational program Jazzmobile, and while performing on his home turf, he also expanded to venues such as the Iridium, the Red Rooster, Ashford & Simpson’s Sugar Bar, Terra Blues and more. After high school Hicks began playing in Europe, opening for Jeff Beck and Ringo Starr, playing festivals in Spain and France, as well as at the Cotton Club in Tokyo, and being booked on KISS Kruise V in 2017 and on this year’s Joe Bonamassa Blues Alive at Sea Cruise. He’s shared stages with the likes of Tony Bennett, Beth Hart, George Thorogood & the Destroyers, Mavis Staples, Paul Shaffer and others. He has also performed at the United Nations in New York City, for former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, former Governor of New York David Paterson and during a New York Knicks game.

Since the 6 year old Solomon picked up the guitar, it has all led to this moment and that certainly shows on Harlem, an 11-song salute to those roots — and how the 24-year-old guitarist and singer has turned them into his own fierce and distinctive style.  “This has been a long time coming,” he says of his first major recording, “but I’m really happy with the sound and the way everybody played. This music is where I come from. It’s really special to be able to record these songs — and really important to get ’em right.”

Hicks and Yano started working on Harlem two years ago, finishing up during late 2019. “It was just about getting my own sound together,” explains Hicks, who was aided by a corps of players that includes members of Soulive, Lettuce, Jack White and Hank William Jr.’s band and others — including Foghat/Savoy Brown veteran Roger Earl “I didn’t want it to be traditional,” he says. “I wanted people to feel like they’re in a juke joint, listening to what the blues sounds like in 2019, my own spin on it.”

 

Track Listing:

1. Rather Be Blind
2. Every Day I Sing The Blues
3. What The Devil Loves
4. 421 South Main
5. I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
6. Headed Back To Memphis
7. My Love Is Alive
8. Have Mercy On Me
9. Riverside Drive
10. It’s Alright
11. Help Me

 

 

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I believe it was Robert Frost who said poguetry is a way of taking life by the throat.

Spider Stacy, tin whistle player/singer of the Anglo-Irish folk-punk band the Pogues, has been playing with the Grammy-winning Lost Bayou Ramblers since 2015 under the name of Poguetry. And cajun music is now the medium through which the Pogues songs are expressed. In 2018 the original Pogues bassist, the storied Rocky O’Riordan, also joined forces with Stacy and the Ramblers, further integrating the sonic elements of the Pogues. 

The Pogues’ faculty for blending just the right amount of Celtic folk to punk may seem like a far cry from a band steeped in Cajun traditions. But the penny whistle, ferocity and poetry of the Pogues set to the eclectic instrumentation of the Lost Bayou Ramblers — a band equal insofar as punk-imbued energy — is really a natural progression when you think about it. It only makes sense that members of UK and Ireland’s premier punk band would merge their multicultural sound with that of Louisiana’s premier Cajun band. 

The story of how Poguetry came to be started at a place called One-Eyed Jack’s in New Orleans. “We moved to New Orleans.” Spider tells me, fresh from a walk around North London. 

“Steve Zahn, who was in the tv show Treme, had a party at One-Eyed Jack’s on Toulouse Street in New Orleans. The Ramblers were playing and I went along. And they were just brilliant. Completely compelling. Within seconds, I just thought if these guys played Pogues songs it would be brilliant. I could see how it would work perfectly. I talked about it for a couple of years, and really it was kind of somebody else getting the wrong end of the stick. A mutual friend, Davis Rogan, who lives in New Orleans was talking to Michot and said, ‘Oh, you’re doing this thing with Spider.’ Because I had said to Davis that I think it would be a great idea to get the Lost Bayou Ramblers to do a set of Pogues songs. That was something I had already discussed. He got the wrong end of the stick. Louis was like, “Who’s Spider?” It kind of fell into place after that. This probably happened in 2015, not long before we did the first show at One-Eyed Jack’s.” 

Stacy has been living in New Orleans for 10 years where he feels deeply connected to the city and its denizens.

“We bought our house in New Orleans in March of 2010. A complete eye opener. It’s like nothing we had ever experienced before. There’s all the music and everything. All the things that one would say about New Orleans. They’re all compelling reasons to go there, but it’s actually the city itself and the people that were the most overriding reasons. We moved to an area where we actually found ourselves part of a community, which is something we had never experienced before.”

He continues to tell me how the reception of Poguetry has been and how it continues to grow. “It’s a funny one, really. In New Orleans it’s become something that people know what it is. At the last show we did in New Orleans at Tipitina’s, we nearly sold out. The one prior to that — we had another show booked at Tipitina’s which I couldn’t make — the Ramblers also had a really good crowd for that. Obviously they had people come to see the Ramblers anyway, but I think a lot of that was the Poguetry thing. It was interesting when we did it as a guest thing with the Lost Bayou Ramblers at the Brooklyn Bowl. That was really interesting, because it was almost like a small scale Pogues gig in terms of the audience. I think the more people become aware of it the better it’s going to be.”

Cait O’Riordan and Stacy reunited in 2018 when they both played at Shane MacGowan’s 60th birthday celebration. The special night of music and camaraderie at the Irish National Concert Hall seemed like a good time as any to bring up his latest musical endeavor. 

“I just asked her. It was immediately an attractive idea. I said we’re the Cajun band in New Orleans; I told her to check them out. I think she had probably seen stuff on Twitter and Instagram, like the actual gig. She was up for it. Shane’s birthday was the best ground to lay it on, as it were.”

The name Poguetry springs from the Pogues EP title, Poguetry in Motion. Elvis Costello produced the EP in 1986 and also their Rum Sodomy & the Lash one year prior. Another Englishman who produced a Pogues album was co-founding Clash member Joe Strummer on 1990’s Hell’s Ditch. And Strummer actually fronted the Pogues the following year. 

“He did, and he also played guitar twice on a European tour and a North American tour, prior to producing Hell’s Ditch, when Philip Chevron was ill back in ‘89, I think it was. And of course we did Straight to Hell with him as well.”

Stacy looks back on that time now as a one-of-a-kind experience having performed both Pogues and Clash songs with the patron saint of punk. “It was kind of brilliant, really,” he warmly recalls.

“It really was. I love The Clash. To actually have Joe in the band was great. I can really only play the fanboy here. Oh, look. It’s Joe Strummer on stage, with us. At one point, I remember — I think we were in Paris — I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the picture sleeve of ‘Fairytale of New York.’ It was originally a photograph of Sammy Davis Jr. looking out of a window, overlooking 3rd Avenue in New York. He’s got a glass of whiskey in his hand. What they did was crop Sammy out and put me in the same pose holding a shot glass. We made it into a shirt. We were doing this show in Paris or wherever and I just happened to notice there’s Joe Strummer on stage with me on his T-shirt.”

My favorite Pogues song has always been “Boys From the County Hell.” Something about the spaghetti western banjo intro, the attitude in Shane MacGowan’s sonorous vocals, and the dulcet shriek of Stacy’s tin whistle throughout the whole thing. So I had to know if that was one Poguetry included in their set. “We do. And there’s no whistle because I’m singing it.”

Poguetry will embark on a tour in the U.S. starting at the end of February and ending in the middle of March. 

“I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be interesting. We did the thing in Brooklyn with the Lost Bayou Ramblers back in August. We’ve taken it out of New Orleans. Prior to Cait being involved, we did a couple shows in Texas and then we had a small run. We played places like Monroe, Louisiana. We played Little Rock and Birmingham. That was properly organized, but this has a little more organization behind it. We’re possibly slightly more established now. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes and how the crowds turn out.”

Poguetry 2020 Tour
Feb 28 – Tipitina’s New Orleans, LA
March 5 – City Winery, Boston MA
March 6 – City Winery, Philadelphia, PA
March 7 – Black Cat, Washington DC
March 8 – Rough Trade, Brooklyn, NY
March 12 – City Winery, Atlanta, GA
March 13 – City Winery, Nashville, TN
March 14 – Ready Room, St. Louis, MO

 

Album Review – RICK ESTRIN & THE NIGHTCATS – Contemporary – Released on Alligator Records.

I work alongside an insufferably pompous experimental rock fan, who comes out with tosh like ‘all blues sounds the same to me anyway’ every time I argue that Einstürzende Neubauten have to be the most boring band in the world.

Hearing the new one from Rick Estrin & The Nightcats would surely change his benighted mind. Yes, blues remains the launching pad for every one of the dozen songs on the album, but there isn’t a slow 12-bar in E with six-chorus guitar solo anywhere in sight.

The title track alone starts off as a jump boogie pastiche before effortlessly incorporating elements of funk, hip hop and hard rock. Given that the band leader is now 70, that’s some going.

Resentment File gives Estrin ample opportunity to slip into his ageing hep cat with a harmonica stage persona and warn all you men out there of the dangers of getting into the bad books of the ladies.

Feminists may wish to skip New Shape (Remembering Junior Parker), a lascivious celebration of women of the fuller figure. But the lyrics are no more politically incorrect than many blues classics, and musically speaking, it’s a corker.

Other goodies include House of Grease and Cupcakin’, a brace of early-Freddie-King-meets-soul-jazz instrumentals that showcase the talents of Norway’s great Kid Andersen on guitar and Lorenzo Farrell on keys. With Derrick, D’Mar Martin on drums.

After half a century in the game, Estrin and his crew remain at the top of it.

Contemporary? They’re certainly up to date enough for me.

Album Review by DAVID OSLER

For More Info – Rick Estrin & the Nightcats 

To read a previous article about Rick Estrin & the Nightcats please click here

The post RICK ESTRIN & THE NIGHTCATS Contemporary appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

Wisconsin-bred guitarist JARED JAMES NICHOLS embarks on his first major UK tour in February 2020, and Blues Matters will be there! Be sure to check future issues for our review, and if you’re not already a subscriber, please consider following the link at the bottom of the article. The 8-date tour starts on Tuesday February 25th at the Robin 2 in Bilston and ends at the Exchange in Bristol on Sunday March 29th. Tickets are available from SeeTickets.com. “I’m looking forward to playing the UK again,” says Jared. “The last time we toured the UK, we supported Living Colour and Wayward Sons. This time we will be headlining our own shows so it’s going to be a special tour for us. We’ve been gradually building up a lot of momentum over the years, so the time feels right for a headline tour now.”

 

The tour follows Jared’s recent single Nails in the Coffin that was a popular A-listed radio hit on Planet Rock Radio. Recorded in Los Angeles, the single was produced and co-written by Mark Jackson and Ian Scott; best known for being the team behind the artist Dorothy and the hit single The Riverby Bishop Briggs. “Nails in the Coffin has many different meanings,” says Jared. “It’s about overcoming the odds, always pushing forward. Never backing down or giving up to anything or anyone.”

 


Photo Credit: © Max Knight

 

Hailed as one of the most exciting new blues rock guitarists around, Jared is no stranger to UK audiences. In 2015 he embarked on a European tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd, followed by an extensive UK tour supporting the legendary Glenn Hughes, where he won over critics with across-the-board rave reviews. He also toured with Stone Broken and opened the Planet Rock Main Stage at Ramblin’ Man Fair 2017.

 

UK TOUR SPRING 2020

TICKETS VIA: MYTICKET & SEETICKETS

Eventim (Bilston Only) | AltTickets (Nottingham Only)
Solid Ents (Grimsby Only) | Ticketmaster & Tickets Scotland (Glasgow Only)

The post JARED JAMES NICHOLS Spring 2020 UK Tour! appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

Country music star Chris Stapleton has announced that his “All American Road Show” is hitting the road again this summer and fall for an extensive tour of the U.S. The tour kicks off in Corpus Christi, Texas on March 11th.

Stapleton is joined by an all-star cast of supporting acts for various tour dates including Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Dwight Yoakam, Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell, Margo Price, The Marcus King Band, Elle King, and Yola.

This is a must see tour of the summer with that many acts supporting and will sell out quick. Tickets go on sale to the public February 7th.

Tour Schedule with supporting artists:

March 11—Corpus Christi, TX—American Bank Center#

March 12—Austin, TX—Frank Erwin Center#

March 14—Arlington, TX—Globe Life Field*

March 20—Biloxi, MS—Mississippi Coast Coliseum+

March 21—Birmingham, AL—Legacy Arena at the BJCC+

April 22—Toledo, OH—Huntington Center+

April 23—Columbus, OH—Schottenstein Center+

April 25—Lexington, KY—A Concert for Kentucky – Kroger Field†

June 4—Albuquerque, NM—Isleta Amphitheater‡

June 5—Phoenix, AZ—Ak-Chin Pavilion‡

June 6—San Bernardino, CA—Glen Helen Amphitheater‡

June 11—Bakersfield, CA—Mechanics Bank Arena°

June 12—Sacramento, CA—Toyota Amphitheatre°

June 13—Mountain View, CA—Shoreline Amphitheatre°

June 18—Boise, ID—Ford Idaho Center Arena°

June 19—Portland, OR—Sunlight Supply Amphitheater°

June 20—George, WA—The Gorge Amphitheatre°

June 25—Salt Lake City, UT—USANA Amphitheatre§

June 26—Denver, CO—Pepsi Center§

June 30—Milwaukee, WI—Summerfest at American Family Insurance Amphitheater^

July 16—Estero, FL—Hertz Arena##

July 17—Orlando, FL—Amway Center##

July 18—Atlanta, GA—Truist Park**

July 23—Darien Center, NY—Darien Lake Amphitheater##

July 24—Syracuse, NY—St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview##

July 25—Holmdel, NJ—PNC Bank Arts Center##

July 30—Scranton, PA—The Pavilion at Montage Mountain++

July 31—Philadelphia, PA—BB&T Pavilion++

August 1—Mansfield, MA—Xfinity Center++

August 6—Cuyahoga Falls, OH—Blossom Music Center++

August 7—Charlotte, NC—PNC Music Pavilion++

August 8—Raleigh, NC—Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek++

August 12—Gilford, NH—Bank NH Pavilion††

August 13—Gilford, NH—Bank NH Pavilion††

August 20—Sioux Falls, SD—Denny Sanford PREMIER Center††

August 29—Chicago, IL—Wrigley Field‡‡

October 1—Knoxville, TN—Thompson-Boling Arena+

October 2—Nashville, TN—Bridgestone Arena+

October 8—State College, PA—Bryce Jordan Center+

October 9—Atlantic City, NJ—Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall+

October 10—New York, NY—Madison Square Garden+

October 15—Columbia, MO—Mizzou Arena+

October 16—Tulsa, OK—BOK Center+ (on-sale February 14)

October 17—Lincoln, NE—Pinnacle Bank Arena+ (on-sale February 14)

October 22—Lubbock, TX—United Supermarket Arena+

October 23—San Antonio, TX—AT&T Center+ (on-sale March 27)

 

“ALL-AMERICAN ROAD SHOW” SPECIAL GUESTS:

#Jamey Johnson and Yola

*Willie Nelson & Family, Jamey Johnson and Yola

+The Marcus King Band and Yola

†Willie Nelson & Family, Sheryl Crow and Yola

‡Dwight Yoakam and The Dirty Knobs with Mike Campbell

°Margo Price and The Dirty Knobs with Mike Campbell

  • Sheryl Crow and The Dirty Knobs with Mike Campbell

^Sheryl Crow

##Sheryl Crow and Kendell Marvel

**Hank Williams Jr., Sheryl Crow and Kendell Marvel

++Elle King and Kendell Marvel

††Elle King and Nikki Lane

‡‡The Highwomen, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and The Dirty Knobs with Mike Campbell

Chris Stapleton

 

INSIDE THIS EDITION OF BLUES MATTERS MAGAZINE….

Dani Wilde

Featured cover artist, Blues Matters contributing writer, and Belle of British Blues – Dani Wilde gives us the low down on her career, motherhood and more.

PLUS INTERVIEWS WITH…

Katarina Pejak, Ina Forsman & Ally Venable

3 internationally renowned blues ladies who have all been on a Ruf’s Blues Caravan tour and we hear about their favourite moments of the show, about their latest albums, and about what’s coming up for them all in 2020!

—————–BM—————–

Marcus Malone & Innes Sibun

Read about how Marcus Malone and Innes Sibum have Come Together with an exciting new album full of power and purpose.

—————–BM—————–

Terry Robb

Terry Robb is Confessing his Dues…

Find out more about this US acoustic blues master in this edition of Blues Matters.

PLUS Jimmy Carpenter, Ruby Turner, Caroline Shines, Sonny Landreth, Geraint Watkins, Albert Cummings, Graham Lilley, Debbie Bond and much more!

Amazing features in issue 112…

Articles include Phenomenal Blues Women with Elizabeth ‘Libba’ Cotton, Clarksdale Blues, Blues Down Under Pt. 4, Roots and Fruits, 50 Women in the Blues – a new book by Jennifer Noble, and Billy Price in his own words.

The post Issue 112 Out Now! appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

Six-time Blues Music Award-winner (including the 2019 award for the “Acoustic Artist of The Year”) Rory Block announces the release of the second installment in her “Power Women of the Blues” album series with Prove It on Me, coming March 27 on Stony Plain Records. It follows the critically-acclaimed 2018 release of her first CD in the series, a tribute to the legendary Bessie Smith titled A Woman’s Soul.

Block was recently nominated for another Blues Music Award – “Traditional Female Blues Artist” (AKA – The Koko Taylor Award) – for the upcoming BMAs in Memphis in May. “I am incredibly honored to be nominated for ‘The Koko Taylor Award,’” she said upon hearing the news. “I met Koko in Germany years ago when I opened for her. We crossed paths again at various times on the road, where she began to introduce me as ‘Little Miss Dynamite.’ It means the world to me to be nominated in a category that honors her memory and her incomparable, historic legacy. I feel as if she is not gone but remains among us- supporting, encouraging, and cheering on the next generation of blues women.”

“Power Women of the Blues” is a project that had been simmering in her imagination for 54 years Rory told the media upon the Bessie Smith album’s release. “It has been my longstanding mission to identify, celebrate and honor the early founders—men and women—of the blues. This series is dedicated to the music of some of my all-time favorite iconic female blues artists, many of whom were shrouded in mystery during the sixties blues revival, while the recordings of others had simply disappeared.

“I also want to mention that the direction of my career essentially took on a new focus when I decided to begin the ‘lifetime retrospective’ projects, starting with ‘The Mentor Series’ (6 CDs specifically celebrating the rediscovered blues masters I met in person as a teenager). Now ‘Power Women of the Blues’ is the newest series of tributes dedicated to great founding women of the blues. The reason these tribute series are particularly relevant to Stony Plain Records is because they have all of them on their label, and that’s a project exclusive to Stony Plain. I signed with them and started with the Son House tribute, and so on to the current series.”

Prove It on Me is an important step forward for Block. On it she finds a new more mature voice uniquely her own while paying homage to some of the groundbreaking blues women of a bygone era.

“With this new recording I decided to celebrate some of the great female artists who were not as well-known as Bessie Smith (with the obvious exception of Ma Rainey and Memphis Minnie). Women of that era were certainly not given support to leave home, children and families to hop a freight train and go from bar to bar,” Rory explains. “Society really would have frowned utterly on that, and women knew it. They didn’t have permission to go out there as much as men did. Their recorded material might have been left in the back of an archive somewhere, and perhaps not widely promoted as a result. Some of their recordings probably got swept under some rug somewhere, and many great women artists essentially disappeared. Still other voices did make it through, people like Big Mama Thornton, Rosetta Tharpe, Sippie Wallace, and some of the women who sang jazz like Ella Fitzgerald, and also gospel, like Mahalia Jackson. Knowing the above, my goal with Prove It on Me was to bring to light some of these great talents who for whatever reason did not become as famous.”

On Prove It on Me she erases the decades, breathing fresh life into Ma Rainey’s version of the title cut and Memphis Minnie’s “In My Girlish Days” interjecting them with both a sass and sensibility in a clarion call torn from today’s headlines. Plus, she introduces us to some women who got lost in the rewriting of a musical history that figuratively buried some of the best female singers of the ’20s and ’30s with “He May Be Your Man” by Helen Humes, who replaced Billie Holiday in the Count Basie Orchestra in 1938; the attitude dripping “If You’re A Viper” originally released by a Chicago singer known as The Viper Girl Rosetta Howard; and “I Shall Wear A Crown” by blind gospel singer Arizona Dranes.

Prove It on Me also includes the original song, “Eagles,” that has a very special, personal meaning to Rory. “The words to ‘Eagles’ are directly from my life, with one single line for someone else as mentioned in the liner notes,” she confesses. “My book addresses my childhood- but even then I did not detail things in full and left many things unsaid. Just didn’t feel necessary or a good idea at that point.”

The Blues Foundation has said of Rory: “Today she is widely regarded as the top female interpreter and authority on traditional country blues worldwide.” While Barry Kerzner wrote in American Blues Scene: “A proponent of the Country Blues style, she has kept the roots of that style, and playing of the early masters alive, vibrant, and most importantly, relevant.”

In a career that has thus far produced 36 albums and numerous world tours, Rory Block’s fabled odyssey finds her at the absolute height of her talents, and at the top of the touring world as the premier voice of today’s acoustic blues guitar, renewing the promise of long forgotten blues women of the past and adding new energy that’s a piece of her heart. “My husband, Rob and I, we talk about it a lot,” she admits. “We jump into the car every day and listen to whatever we just recorded. That’s what gives us energy. That’s what gives us purpose. I think to myself if I’m ever not recording, there’s going to be some kind of dropout to my life. There’s going to be some kind of void. I always have to be surrounded with music to feel the energy I need to live. I mean, its energy, its spirituality. I live and breathe music.”

Pre-order Prove It on Me here: https://smarturl.it/proveitonme

Rory Block

*Feature image Sergio Kurhajek

Miami based guitarist Bluhauz has released a music video for his debut single, “Purify My Soul.”

Bluhauz tells Blues Rock Review, “Purify My Soul was born from a desire to come back to the blues and for a long time I had a vision to mix it with “dancy” drums. The lyrical concept comes from years of giving in to temptations and now wanting to attract pure energies. This can apply to us all.”