Hello, I’m KatWoman of the Blues and proud to be a part of the fabric and history of this beautiful city (London, UK).

Singing the Blues, sometimes it feels like I’m connecting directly with my ancestors, this gives me a lifeline and reason for being.

I’m from Los Angeles, California but live in North London close to markets, venues and neighbourhood pubs that have rocked my world for the past 30 years.

I’ve chosen these artists for different reasons. But most of all, I wanted to feel them, hear them, and acknowledge how through their artistry we can see the Blues past, present and future.

1 – Big Mama Thornton – Everything Gonna Be Alright

She Reminds me of a gentle giant…so much character in her voice and like many, paved the future for some of our most popular artists.

2 – Bonnie Rait – I’m In The Mood

I remember exactly where I was and possibly the time when I first heard this song. Bonnie handles that slide guitar like she was born in a swamp!

3 – Lynn Jordan – If I Can’t Sell It

The Sassy Strong Blues singer has always attracted me. Her vocals are full of character and confidence with a story to tell.

4 – Anne Harris – Hymn For Her

Reminds me of how the “real” roots of the Blues was born. “The Blues has probably always been about whites learning from blacks, blacks learning from whites” The sound of the African instruments married the sound of European instruments… West Africancall and response” mix with European Folk music. (Read: “White people, blues music and the problem of cultural appropriation” – https://medium.com/@IRahmanJones/white-people-blues-music-and-the-problem-of-cultural-appropriation-3e61b8d25c03)

5 – Deitra Farr – In A Dark Place

Now, this Sista has got the BLUES! That rumble of the base and the cry of that harp digs into your soul. “Sometimes you have to go dark to recognize the light” Deitra Farr.

6 – Thornetta Davis – Please Send Me Someone To Love

I sing this song nearly every day…I’m waiting, hahaha! The whole package here on stage is undeniably Beautiful!

7 – Zakiya Hooker – Desconfio (mistrust)

The first time I’ve ever heard an English-as-a first language person sing in another language and still GIVE ME DA BLUES!

8 – Peaches Staten – Hoochie Coochie Woman

One of my favourite Zydeco Rubboard players and all-around Blues artist.

9 – Muddy Magnolias – Down by the Riverside

Wishing these ladies will help to bring the Blues to the forefront of popularity for our younger audiences.

10 – Southern Avenue – We’re Gonna Make It

One of our “youngins of the Blues” signed to STAXX Records. I think they will help to change the face of Blues.


Kat Pearson is a solo singer/songwriter under her own name and London-based band Kat & Co – for more info go to – Kat Pearson.

To read about Kat’s latest album My Roots please click here

To read about Kat’s previous album Blues is The New Cool with Kat & Co. please click here

 

 

 

The post KAT PEARSON’s Top 10 Blues appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

Of the many unprecedented facts concerning the coronavirus is that the increasing severity of the pandemic continues to catch the media with its pants down. From the feared freezing of computers in 2000 to the various Ebola, Swine flu, Bird Flu and other new diseases that threatened to end the world, the ever-growing plethora of news sources went way over the top in predicting Armageddon. This time, the CBS and NBC Evening News week after week would lead with stories about violent storms sweeping across the country and stranding millions in their wake. Nothing about this Chinese epidemic, or if there were a story it was buried near the end of the broadcast.

Now they’re playing catch-up ball. As a news junky, nothing makes my stomach churn more than watching the news zero in on the abject horror of the ever-changing epicenters of the pandemic. I see 18-wheelers loading bodies into freezer compartments and military trucks transporting bodies from Milan. Yet, locally in upstate New York I make my journey out of quarantine to buy milk at Stewarts and rice and soup at WalMart, and if I didn’t know better I’d think it was business as usual.

Increasingly, things are becoming far worse than Stephen King could have conjured, and the cable news stations are “breaking news” every few minutes with another horror story. About the only comic relief is watching the brothers Cuomo on CNN dual with each other about ventilators. My son Michael calls me now every few days to check in. He, better than anyone, understands my personal demon who sits on my shoulder and warns me of my impending doom, a psychosis I’ve had ever since my mom had breast cancer in 1948. But she lived to be 92. Michael gave me a reality check. This time, he said, my paranoia is not psychosis. I’m not leaving my property again until its “safe.”

*For more articles from Keeping the Blues Alive Award-winning writer Don Wilcock, click HERE.

**Feature image David Wilcock

Album release management, PR, and graphics & merchandise developer New Outlaw is offering a weekly Virtual Gig Guide for performances in the UK.

This week’s offerings include:

Saturday 28th March – Clare Free 9:30 PM (BST) ‘Live From the Living Room

Clare Free Photo: Paul Telford-Dinsmore

Saturday and Sunday 28th and 29th March- The Isolation Music Festival 1-6 PM (GMT)

Saturday, 28 March – Lockdown Music Festival Episode 2 3:00 PM – 11.30 PM (BST)

Saturday 28 March – Iain ‘The DJ’ Ridgley‘s First Ever Facebook Showcase 12:30 – 23:00 (GMT)

Sunday 29 March – Dan Burnett live stream 6:30 PM (BST)

New Outlaw

*Feature image courtesy of the Isolation Music Festival

Blues Matters writer Dani Wilde has released a brand new single today called Howling at the Moon and it has been released via the Vizztone Label Group.

British Blues Award winner Dani Wilde burst onto the international blues scene in 2007, opening for Jools Holland at London’s Royal Albert Hall and signing to prestigious blues record label Ruf Records.

The entire audience was silenced and caught in the spell of deep emotion… she won the hearts and souls of everyone in the crowd – outstanding.” – Music News Magazine

Since then she has toured extensively (playing up to 250 concerts a year) across the UK, Europe, America, Canada and Africa charting in the blues and country charts in Europe. USA concerts have included headline shows under her own name, and performances with girl group “Girls With Guitars” alongside Samantha Fish and Cassie Taylor. The group’s 2012 record, produced by Mike Zito in Berlin, was a hit in Europe; the single ‘Bitch’ reaching the Number 1 spot in the iTunes blues charts in Italy.

In 2017, Dani signed with Vizztone Label Group to release a live in the studio album entitled “Live at Brighton Road”.

Her relationship with Vizztone continues as she reaches for new heights with the release of a brand new single ‘Howling at the Moon’.

Composed and produced by Wilde, the track takes influence from both her British and American influences: “I was listening to British artists Paul Weller and 80’s pop-soul singer Sam Brown who inspired my arrangements and vocals, as well as taking guitar influence from my American blues heroes Albert Collins and Sean Costello.” The track is about a darker time in Wilde’s life where she was “struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel having had my heart broken and stamped on – I was so lost back then but now I can look back and see that I’m a stronger and happier person today because I lived through that.”

For More Info – Dani Wilde

Dani Wilde was interviewed for Issue 112 of Blues Matters magazine and she was our featured cover artist for this edition. If you’d like a copy of this then please go to our subscription tab where you can order single copies or order your print and digital subscription. Click here for your copy.

 

 

 

The post DANI WILDE – Howling At The Moon (new single) appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

Following the widespread cancellation of tours and gigs, with associated loss of income, American Blues Scene contacted four UK and Irish blues musicians to assess the impact of this awful virus on their livelihoods. We also asked them how they are coping and what steps they are taking to continue promoting their music and engaging with fans.

Grainne Duffy: Irish singer, songwriter, guitarist

Well, of course it’s had a huge impact on my life and my husband too as we are both musicians, so it’s our employment gone temporarily (and our upcoming festivals). We were super excited about returning to Glastonbury 2020 but in the whole scheme of things it’s only a small short-term price to pay. I’m so worried for all the smaller festivals and clubs. These places have been our lifeline and keep us alive. They need to work so hard to keep going even in a good climate. I’m really hoping the governments do all they can to help and support them to stay alive.

I’m trying to stay in touch with fans out there. I’m doing videos from the studio and will hopefully do a small concert live. Even doing wee online live video collaborations with other artists has started now since the outbreak which is a positive thing. Who knows where they might lead in the future. We also have a few fun ideas for upcoming posts lined up too which I am excited about.

Grainne’s Facebook Duo Recording

Thankfully our wee boy Bobby Joe who’s one and a half keeps us entertained for the most part. We are making this a good opportunity for quality family time, nature walks, cycles, art and crafts etc. Mainly we try to exercise and take time to write and record songs that we haven’t had the chance to do. We also take time to listen to older albums that we had never got the time to enjoy and watch videos from artists who inspire us. I love reading too, I’m reading Alan Lomax, The Land Where The Blues Began. It’s a super read, very informative. I believe this will provide us with a new way of looking at and appreciating Mother Earth, slowing down a little and really appreciating our families and valuing their importance even more than we do. 

It’s the simple things in life. Maybe we all needed to press stop momentarily. Nothing really stops this modern world turning but this has and it really makes you stop and think about what’s most important in life. Hopefully we will get back to making and enjoying music together soon.

Phil Woollett: Lead singer and guitarist with the John Doe Trio

Phil Woollett on right

The Covid-19 situation is hugely disruptive and costly for us, both as individual working musicians and as a band.  From the band perspective, the entire tour designed to promote our new album Railroaded has collapsed and, with it, the impetus it would have brought to its promotion.  As an independently produced album, with no record company backing, there is also a major financial consideration, as the album cost over £2000 to produce and the majority of sales in our part of the musical marketplace still come from CD sales at gigs. We were looking to mitigate this by live streaming some gigs but the latest UK government regulations in term of group gatherings make this impossible to do.  There is potential for modern online technology to allow us to perform as a band from completely different locations and this is something that our bass player Craig is looking into.  I am also going to experiment with streaming solo sets from home and am even thinking about having a “virtual” Craig and drummer Paul, by using the album stems of their recorded parts and playing live alongside these. 

We are trying to maximize streaming opportunities for Railroaded and our debut album, Stranger. Whilst the lack of financial benefits to the recording artists are well publicized, it still allows us to get the album heard all over the world.  The financial element of recorded music tends to be of secondary consideration these days, contrary to when I first started in the business.  Back then, artists would release an album and then tour to promote it and encourage sales, which would be their primary income source.  Nowadays this has flipped onto its head, with recorded music being used to popularize artists in order to sell tickets to live shows: these now being the main source of income.  Sadly the effect of this is that artists such as Joe Bonamassa are charging large sums for tickets, which feels like it’s pricing folks out of the market, when in fact I suspect that, were the individuals to calculate how much they used to spend on albums rather than streaming etc. the costs wouldn’t be so different.

Another vital source of assistance for bands like us, during these gig-free times, is the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association (IBBA) and the likes of journalists in the written press.  They really are so important to us as, even more than streaming, writers allow our music to still get to the ears that we want to listen to it.  Especially now, it’s very easy to just think in monetary terms about the music scene (particularly if you are currently a couple of grand out of pocket as I am) but the primary purpose of John Doe Trio (and most other blues bands, I would opine) is to provide entertainment and pleasure to those who appreciate our style of music.  The blues radio broadcasters and blues journalists allow us to do this, even when we are unable to get out and perform to folks directly.  I can’t express enough how important this is to the likes of our band.

 

Brooks Williams: Statesboro Born Country Blues Singer

These are strange times indeed. My internal soundtrack is bouncing between moody Skip James, apocalyptic Blind Willie Johnson and ecstatic Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Aretha Franklin and Susan Tedeschi next, I think!  The direct impact on me is up to 60 cancelled shows. Perhaps more depending on how long this all continues. We’ve been working two years toward the release of Work My Claim (March 2020) and the celebration of my 30 years on the Road (a tour from late February to early July). I was a couple of weeks into the tour when we had to pull the plug. The grim reality is lots of money invested in PR, advertising and preparation for this tour over the last year or so, and thousands lost in just weeks through cancelled shows. I have built my career on gigging. I identify as a ‘road dog,’ if you know that expression. For me, it’s all about the face-to-face. Not only do I count on it for my livelihood, but I genuinely love it. To my way of thinking, music is all about what happens in a room with an audience. All the rest of it is just a means to get you to that room with those people. I’m old school in that way, I guess. Gigging has been the constant of my 30-year career. Now that is off the table, I’m trying to figure out a way to stay connected with my audience. They have been great before and I’m assuming we’ll find new ways to connect. 

Like so many others, the strategy is to try and keep in touch via social media. I have a new Patreon page and an email list that I connect with every week or two, but I also use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I’m filming videos of songs – deep cuts from my back catalogue, old blues songs – and beginning to post them. We’re also planning a series of live streaming concerts from my office. Additionally, I’ll be doing online guitar lessons as well. Of course I’ll keep co-writing with my collaborators – we can do that online – and figuring out other ways to stay connected with my musician friends. I’m not tech-phobic by any means, but I’ve never had a home studio or a live streaming set-up before. To be honest, I didn’t have time. Now I have the time and I have the need, so taking ‘baby steps’ learning how all this works and asking lots of questions. Many of my peers are way ahead of me here, but I’m kind of enjoying the process. It inspires me to think outside the box. We’re all being challenged to be inventive in a way we haven’t had to be before. 

I don’t really have any hobbies other than guitar, song writing and music, so those continue as part of my daily routine. I’m re-discovering reading and trying to re-learn the fine art of sitting still and being attentive to what’s around me. I’ve put the flight cases in the loft for now and have truly unpacked for the first time in I don’t know how long. Who knows what can happen? I’m also listening to my music collection again and making it a point to explore the music of other musicians, something I’ve not had the opportunity to do. I watch their videos and, in some cases, order their music. Long before thirty years ago I loved this acoustic roots music and I’m delighted to discover I still love it not only as a player but as a listener.

Giles Robson: Harp maestro both sides of the Atlantic

Giles Robson with Billy Branch (photo credit: Tim Russell)

Our first cancellation on arrival in Calais on, yes you guessed it, Friday 13th March, was for a gig that evening in Abbeville, France. We were on a double bill with Chris Bergson and Ellis Hooks. As soon as the Eurotunnel train hit Calais I got a message from my agent saying that France’s President Macron had banned events of over 100 people. Myself and the band waited in Calais for a couple of hours for final confirmation that the show was off, which inevitably came and so back we went. Slowly over the next few days it became clear that all of my work for March April and May in Europe and the UK would be cancelled. I must admit this was initially a great shock. The work was some of the best I had received in France, Romania and Holland and Spain and it seemed that we’d turned a corner this year with sold out shows in Paris and just outside Lyon. 

On a more practical level – there was the money situation which is pretty nightmarish I’m sure for all musicians and indeed any creative freelancers who are living on a job by job basis without anything saved up. The next few months will be challenging to say the least and hopefully the government will step up a bit more and help the self-employed somewhat further, and whilst I write this it looks like they will be. The one positive thing about being a professional musician is that if you’ve stuck with it and toughed it out over the years, you’re used to fighting through unexpected situations, cancellations and financial challenges that have made you stronger in the face of adversity because you have no choice if you want to carry on.

I’ve decided to use the vast amount of new free time as positively as possible to start building up my online teaching presence internationally and to try and monetize it. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for some time. I love breaking down both the legendary masters of the harmonica and writing new stuff to help with understanding different aspects of instrument and the art of playing the music. I’ll also be writing and planning my new album. That way I’ll be on top of the overall concept, songs, artwork photography etc. when the touring kicks back in. I will also be writing some articles on  blues masters of the past and also interviewing blues masters of the present for some magazine articles including Billy Branch.

I wish all my fellow musos well, and look forward to catching up on the other side of this.

 

Singer/songwriter/producer Mike Zito has teamed up with Nick Moss to raise money for out of work Blues musicians who find themselves in severe financial hardship as a result of all of their tours getting cancelled because of the coronavirus.

The project that they have set up is called Paying The Blues Forward – all artists involved will record a song and make it available to the public for FREE. In exchange, they ask for everyone’s support because every small contribution helps.

Mike posts regular updates on their GoFundMe page and lists the artists who have received money, and who has signed up to receive the next amount raised, he hopes to give each band $1,000 to help feed their families. If you can spare a few dollars then they’d be extremely grateful.

This is also the first track from Mike Zito’s quarantine-recorded album Quarantine Blues – he has been in total lockdown and self-isolation for 14 days now following a cancelled tour and he wrote and recorded this during those days to help support his own band members and their families. The GoFundMe link to directly help Mike Zito and band is here.

“This recording will not be available via distribution, or on iTunes or Amazon, it will only be available through my website for download or cd. Every dollar you give to this project will go directly to myself and my band members: Matt Johnson, Doug Byrkit and Lewis Stephens. It is solely to offset the loss of our current tour and make creative use of our quarantine. This process will begin Monday, March 16th and be completed on March 30th for your listening pleasure. I will post live videos of the process and let you share in the experience. We will offer some very special opportunities for those who can give more and give this music to the world in return. We know it’s crazy right now and we don’t feel right begging for your assistance when those in more need may require help. So we wanted to offer you something special for your support. Something that is real and right now. We are musicians and that’s what we do, we create and perform music, so we will make music for you and anything in return will be much appreciated. God bless and please be safe!” said Mike.

The following statement is from Mike & Nicks GoFundMe page…

Many of my musician friends are out of work during this pandemic. Not just a little out of work, completely out of work.
Not everyone is comfortable asking for assistance or maybe tech-savvy to do online shows or streaming. This is all VERY new to everyone.

I started a “Quarantine Blues” recording project to help feed my family and truly help my band members who were coming home with nothing after a large cancelled tour. The band and I have committed 10 original songs available for FREE to the world and in return, we were given much-needed support from our fans and the Blues community.

Now, we are extending this campaign to our large Blues community.
We are asking artists that are in need of assistance to contribute a song for this project and in return we are going to try and raise $1000 each for the artist and their band members. We feel this is a time of need,
but we want to give back with what we do best – music.

We have a list of musicians and bands that are in serious need right now and they are each going to contribute new music to the project.
We will announce an artist and band in need and once the amount of money has been reached, we will then announce a new artist and band…and so on.

PLEASE if you are a working, professional Blues genre musician that is out of work and in need and would be interested – please contact Mike Zito or Nick Moss to get on the list.

PLEASE if you can share – share what you can – if you cannot share financially, please share the campaign with your family and friends.

We are hopeful that the end result here will be hours of new and wonderful music that can help us all come closer and ease some
anxiety and give a little hope.

Sincerely,

Mike Zito and Nick Moss 

The GoFundMe page link for Blues musicians is here.

The GoFundMe link to directly help Mike Zito and band is here.

 


 

The post PAYING THE BLUES FORWARD Needs Your Help! appeared first on Blues Matters Magazine.

Los Angeles based blues rock band Robert Jon and the Wreck will release Last Light on the Highway on May 8. The album was self-produced by the band and recorded in the United States and Australia. The band has released its first single titled “Oh Miss Carolina.”

TRACK LISTING

  1. Oh Miss Carolina
  2. Work It Out
  3. Can’t Stand It
  4. Tired Of Drinking Alone
  5. Do You Remember
  6. This Time Around
  7. Don’t Let Me Go
  8. One Last Time
  9. Gold
  10. Last Light on the Highway (Pt. 1)
  11. Last Light on the Highway (Pt.2)

The band is also set to begin recording a new live double LP as it tours this summer.

The song “Don’t Let the World Get You Down” by Mike Zito is available today (March 27) via SoundCloud for streaming and free download. The video for “Don’t Let the World Get Down” was created by Zach Zito.

“I had been playing with these 3 chords and this title for a month leading up to this life changing event,” Zito says. “I knew I liked the simple melody and the meaning behind the saying. Little did I know the world would literally change in the next 30 days. When I got home and began my quarantine, this is the first song I wrote and it wrote itself in minutes. I am so proud my son Zach stepped in and created a music video that shares the emotion of this song. I truly hope people will hear the song and follow the advice I have been giving myself. Don’t let the world get you down……”

But wait, there’s more!

On Monday, March 30, Zito’s album, Quarantine Blues will be available in its entirety, absolutely free via SoundCloud.

Of the album Zito says, “While flying home from Europe after all of our tours being cancelled, I decided the band and myself would record a free album for our fans. Individually we have been quarantined for 14 days and this idea of writing, producing and releasing an album in the 14 day period seemed like quite an effort and a distraction for us. In return fans from around the world contributed to our Godfundme and it has been an amazingingly rewarding experience.

I hope our fans enjoy the album and the music we have written.

I followed no rules, I wrote what I was feeling regardless of style or genre and used my feelings of fear, hope, love and rebelliousness to fuel my creativity.

I have collaborations with LA Guns and Guns n Roses founding member, Tracii Guns on the song ‘Don’t Touch Me’ and several songwriting efforts with my label partner Guy Hale.

I left the ‘rules’ on the floor and followed my heart.

I think these are some of the best songs I have written in years.”

“Don’t Let the World Get You Down”

Mike Zito

*Feature image Scott Lukes

British Blues Award winner Dani Wilde reaches for new heights with the release of a brand new single, “Howling at the Moon.”

This track shows the impressive range of her hauntingly beautiful vocals as well as her bluesy guitar playing. Composed and produced by Wilde, the track takes influence from both her British and American influences: “I was listening to British artists Paul Weller and 80’s pop-soul singer Sam Brown who inspired my arrangements and vocals, as well as taking guitar influence from my American blues heroes Albert Collins and Sean Costello.”  

The track is about a darker time in Wilde’s life where she was, “struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel having had my heart broken and stamped on – I was so lost back then but now I can look back and see that I’m a stronger and happier person today because I lived through that.”

Wilde burst onto the International blues scene in 2007, opening for Jools Holland at London’s Royal Albert Hall and signing to prestigious blues record label Ruf Records.

Since then she has toured extensively (playing up to 250 concerts a year) across the UK, Europe, America, Canada and Africa charting in the blues and country charts in Europe. USA concerts have included headline shows under her own name, and performances with girl group “Girls With Guitars” alongside Samantha Fish and Cassie Taylor. The group’s 2012 record, produced by Mike Zito in Berlin, was a hit in Europe; the single “Bitch” reaching the Number 1 spot in the iTunes blues charts in Italy.

In 2017, Wilde signed with VizzTone Label Group to release a live in the studio album entitled Live at Brighton Road. Her relationship with VizzTone continues as she reaches for new heights with the release of this brand new single.

Get the single here.

Dani Wilde

*Feature image Philip James

Decades ago, a magazine – I think it was the New Yorker – ran a cover showing a map of the United States with New York City on the east coast and L.A. on the west coast with nothing in between. The arrogance of that point of view has always been something that I as an upstate New York resident have wanted to distance myself from just as I distance myself as a music journalist from racial prejudice. Blues music knows no color other than its name.

The state of Florida has now declared they will not let anyone from New York City enter the state without going through a 24-day quarantine, and I’ve heard from (unreliable and unconfirmed) sources that they may extend that quarantine to anyone from anywhere in the state. I do a lot of work with the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Arkansas and love the people I work with there who have none of the damn Yankee prejudices I expected to find when I first worked with them. But as New York continues to be the hornet’s nest of this pandemic, I’m wondering if I’m going to become a leper to people in the south.

I have a friend who was told he was out of work at a supermarket here in New York State because he was 70 years old. He got the job back a day later because his boss had misinterpreted what that boss thought was a law against anyone 70 or older working because we (I’m 76) are more likely to die from the coronavirus. My friend said he felt like his short-lived dismissal was the contemporary equivalent to being Jewish in Germany and having to wear a star.

I’m in a category now that potentially limits my prospects in life. I’m old and I’m from New York. I think this pandemic will result in a new order that floats all boats, but right now I have a new understanding and empathy for what African American artists have always gone through navigating the music business.

*For more articles from Keeping the Blues Alive Award-winning writer Don Wilcock, click HERE.

**Feature image David Wilcock