By Ken Wallis, Blues & Roots Radio
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Big Bill Broonzy “Blues is a natural fact, is something that a fellow lives. If you don't live it you don't have it. Young people have forgotten to cry the blues. Now they talk and get lawyers and things.”
Well Thanksgiving is over and most Canadians turn their thoughts to Halloween and rightly so. Cause there’s always something great happening at this time of year. Example: The Smoke Wagon Blues Band is kicking off Halloween with a blues gig at the Windjammer in Burlington Friday October 27th. Music starts at 9. And even better, it’s FREE!
This band is creating a lot of attention from their latest release, Cigar Store.
For more information go to The Smoke Wagon Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/jxjxxjbdfm/
Time to Start Thinking About Going South?
Once Halloween is done, the weather can start to turn cold and most Canadians start dreaming about warm, tropical weather. Well why not combine that with some great blues?
Blues South Tours 2018
There are some great destinations that feature great blues music, and Blues South Tours has a bunch of them.
First off in the New Year, is Ixtapa Mexico, January 4th to 11th.
Performing artists are Kenny Blues Boss Wayne, Sherman The Tank Doucette, David Gogo, Cheryl Lescom, Alec Fraser Jr. and Joey Di Marco. Let’s take a peak and see if this whets your blues whistle.
Then it’s on to Jamaica man – for a week of rousing blues music entitled Jah Blues Jamaica. You’ll catch Jerome Godboo, Jay Douglas, Lance Anderson, Sil Simone, Danny Lockwood and Gayle Ackroyd.
Ok we can’t resist, let’s take a looksee.
Looking for more? Las Brisas Hotel in the port of Huatulco, Pacific Mexico for the Women of Blues, February 6th to 13th featuring Rita Chiarelli and her band Sweet Loretta, Cheryl Lescom and Sarah Smith. It’s Blues on the Beach and my oh my does it look good
Then March 1st to 8th enjoy Blues in Jamaica at Mangos Jamaica. Relax in the tropical surroundings and enjoy great blues tunes with Cheryl Lescom, Kenny Blues Boss Wayne, Chuck Jackson, Joey Di Marco, Da Blooze Bros and Dylan Wickens
And if you still can’t decide, let’s throw another one your way to totally fuzz up your blues brain.
There’s Blues in Roatan at the Mayan Princess in Honduras, March 19th through the 26th. There you can catch Chuckee Zehr, Cheryl Lescom, Jerome Godboo, Stevie Tee and Garth Vogan.
So there you have it. Five different, sun-filled blues weeks. Don’t hang around waiting for old man winter. The only shovel you’ll need at one of these spots is a small one to dig in the sand! Pail is optional.
For more information go to http://www.bluessouth.com/
A Tribute to Muddy and the Wolf
It’s a little ways away but if you can, make it out to the Tribute to Muddy and the Wolf. It happens at Hugh’s Room on December 2nd and features an all-star lineup of musicians. The event is hosted by Danny Marks and performing will be Paul Des Lauriers, Julian Fauth, Dylan Wickens, Guy Belanger and Jack de Keyzer. Tickets are $35 advance and more information is available at www.hughsroomlive.com. Don’t miss it.
So Who Was This Muddy Guy?
How about a history lesson? His real name was McKinley Morganfield and he was born in 1915 in Mississippi. According to legends he came by the name Muddy Waters because he loved to play in the swampy puddles of the Mississppi River. He had a rough childhood – his father split shortly after he was born and his mother died when he was 3. He was sent to Clarksdale to live with his grandmother.
By the time he was 5, he got his first harmonica and quickly mastered it. As a teen, he got his first guitar and taught himself to play by simply listening to Delta blues records. He enjoyed playing in front of audiences and at the age of 26 he struck out for adventure by joining a traveling minstrel tent show.
Archivist Alan Lomax who spearheaded the Library of Congress Field Recording project was so impressed by Muddy that he made sure he was the first to ever record him and his distinctive sound. After travelling around the area, Muddy decided to was time to hit the big time so he packed his scant belongings and headed to Chicago in 1943.
He played the clubs with an intensity that only Muddy could muster and a record deal from Chess Records vaulted Hoochie Coochie Man and Got My Mojo Working into smash hits and he became quite the sensation.
Muddy’s band in the early 50s featured Otis Spann playing piano, Little Walter on harmonica, Jimmy Rogers on guitar and Elgin Evans on drums. Some of the songs he recorded were with the bassist and songwriter Willie Dixon. Water’s music became well known in the U.S. and he toured England with Otis Spann where he became an international star.
His use of an amplifier at first horrified audiences and after his first performance the newspapers ran the headline 'Screaming Guitar and Howling Piano'. Now that’s the kind of press you know will make you into a star. As the years rolled on he became even more famous and his electric blues music was sought out by the rock ‘n roll establishment.
He went on to record music with Howling Wolf, Little Walter, Bo Diddley, Michael Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield, Johnny Winter and was sought out by many of rock’s musicians such as Steve Winwood. Eric Clapton was his best man when he married for the second time in 1979.
Muddy won a Grammy Award in 1971 and eventually left Chess Records and sued them for not paying him the royalties he was due. He made a special appearance at the Band’s farewell concert, The Last Waltz and he went on the win six Grammy Awards. After his death in 1983 he was inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.
Next week we’ll bring you some info on the career of Howling Wolf. Keep your fingers on the blues pulse by listening to Blues and Roots Radio!