December 29, 2008

Vicki Taylor - Out of the Blue

Vicki has long been considered one of Colorado's preeminent blues women. She is a consummate musician, proficient on guitar, piano, and fiddle, as well as a gifted vocalist and songwriter. She was a longtime member of The Mother Folkers (with Mollie O'Brien and Mary Flower), and has also toured with various bands, performing blues, country, bluegrass and jazz.
She has released two CD's, featuring blues songs in the Delta and New Orleans styles. Her last CD. “Out of the Blue”, was composed of all original blues, and jazz material.
Vicki has been a music instructor all of her life and teaches all acoustic guitar styles with an emphasis on fingerstyle blues, slide, folk, swing, bossa nova, acoustic rock, and bluegrass. On piano she teaches blues and jazz with a theory and chord based approach.
I have taken lessons from Vicki and and if you want to learn some slide guitar you should look for her in the Denver area. I believe she is still teaching at Swallow Hill.

December 7, 2008

Chris Cotton - Deep Blues Festival

Chris Cotton is a pretty cool guy. Ok, how would I know, as he's never come to my town to play a show but by the looks of this pic he plays a National Reso, so he must be cool! Besides, he does some good -n- gritty blues. His latest has just been released after much trial and tribulation, according to his MySpace site. So buy his studio releases so he can afford a tour bus!!

Chris Cotton
Deep Blues Festival
Washington County Fairgrounds
Lake Elmo, MN
01 Morgan City, Mississippi
02 banter
03 I Watched The Devil Die
04 banter
05 Heartbreaking Mind
06 banter
07 The Gamblers The Angels
08 banter
09 Black Night
Buy Chris' stuff here: Amazon and Amazon

Artist websites:

d/l: chris cotton live

November 30, 2008

Mary Flower - Blues Jubilee

Chances are that you'll find Mary Flower in the folk section of your local record shop. She did found a folk-cum-jazz-based ensemble called Mother Folkers in Denver, which was the mile-high city's leading women's folk collective; and she could look the part of a folkie "Earth mother" type. Flower moved seriously into blues over the last decade, however, and hasn't looked back since.
Born in Delphi, IN, Flower made her way to Denver at the beginning of the '70s, when she was in her twenties, and set up shop in the city's folk community; her gigs made her a name locally, and she established Mother Folkers. She always appreciated the blues, but it was a two-week period of study with Jim Schwall and Steve James at a blues workshop in West Virginia that transformed her.
Flower described herself as "consumed" by the experience, and made the decision to devote herself to the blues. She restarted her career, but initially encountered resistance, partly because she was a white blueswoman who didn't conform to expectations -- ever since Janis Joplin, white female blues performers have been expected to sound like Big Mama Thornton, which Flower didn't, Scrapper Blackwell being more of a role model. Since the early 1990s, however, she has gradually achieved acceptance, and has played places like Buddy Guy's club in Chicago as well as various festivals, where she has been well received, and tours regionally and nationally.
As a folk artist, Flower played alongside Geoff Muldaur, David Bromberg, and Ramblin' Jack Elliot. Her work in blues, however, has been strongly influenced by Scrapper Blackwell, Henry Glover, and Robert Johnson, but especially Blind Lemon Jefferson. She plays with passion, none of it forced or posed, and she has a husky voice to go with the kind of stuff she covers -- she could sing prettier than she does, but what she does seems honest. She also writes originals with a cutting, clever edge. Flower has been around about as long as Bonnie Raitt, only without the major-label record contracts, the arena and movie appearances, or the Grammy, and deserves to be known by at least as many people. ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide
Content provided by All Music Guide Copyright © 2008 All Media Guide, LLC

1. Memphis Town - Blackwell, Scrapper
2. Drown in My Own Tears - Glover, Henry
3. Me and My Chauffeur Blues - Memphis Minnie
4. Six White Horses - Jefferson, Blind Lemon
5. Broke Down Automobile - Flower, Mary
6. Carroll County Shuffle - Flower, Mary
7. Walking Blues -Johnson, Robert
8. Long-Legged Daddy - Flower, Mary
9. Wing and a Prayer - Flower, Mary
10. Jane Jane - Mary Flower, Traditional
11. Fool's Parade - Brown, Charles
12. Michigan Water - Morton, Jelly Roll
13. Hymn - Flower, Mary

Artist website:

November 29, 2008

Blind Brand X - Black Dog Blues

This is the latest release from Blind Brand X, a.k.a. Ragtime Ralph. Apparent 'real' id is RC Johnston. Who knows! All I know is he is a very generous guy that does some nice self-released material. No charge. For that reason as well as the fact that it is just plain good, I am posting it here and I hope you enjoy.

Inspired by John Fahey, BBX wants to add to the legacy, "My goal now as then is to add to the musical foundations that Fahey created on his early Fonotone, Takoma, Riverboat and Vanguard releases...". According to some things I've read, a Ragtime Ralph recording for Takoma Records was in the works, but never materialized. RC has compared himself to Mark Fosson, an early Takoma artist that recorded for Fahey, but was never released until this latest Fahey rediscovery. By the way, I recommend the Fosson release, "The Lost Takoma Sessions", good stuff. Perhaps someday the Ragtime Ralph masters will be found/released.

All the tunes on this CD are played on a 1930's Regal wood bodied guitar. And trust me, it sounds great. Just the right amount of rattle and a lot of tone. Along with the strong originals, BBX does an excellent version of Bukka White's "Poor Boy" and a Fahey's "On the Banks of the Owchita".

Click HERE to download


August 31, 2008

William Ackerman - It Takes A Year

Review by Jim Esch
The lyrical strains of "The Bricklayer's Beautiful Daughter" (the memorable opener on William Ackerman's second album) confirm that the artist was on to something huge in popular music. Nobody knew what to call this new breed of gentle instrumental adventurism. It Takes a Year, like all the early Windham Hill albums, was a breath of pure air at a time when pop music was stuffed with commercialization and irrelevance. Ackerman adeptly blended folk, bluegrass, jazz, and classical influences into an accessible, mild-mannered hybrid style, strong on emotional expression and lyrical depth. Ackerman's solo technique is not showy, and others like Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges may have been more virtuosic in the chops department, yet Ackerman's trump card is his impressionist command of the acoustic guitar. His use of alternate tunings, overdubs, and a sensitive ear for melody helped to trademark this uncluttered sound, tuneful and rich in harmonic overtones. Some of the up-tempo numbers like "The Townshend Shuffle" have a bluegrassy flavor and, in general, the folk influences are readily apparent. But ultimately the music, much of it composed in the early '70s, stands out because it sheds the musical labels and carves its own space — deep emotional sentiments set into calm and reflective backgrounds. It's an open-ended sound, well suited to the spaces of California and the Western U.S. from whence it grew. Although the production quality varies from tune to tune making it a less consistent set than the follow-up Childhood and Memory, It Takes a Year is historically important for new age collectors because it built upon Ackerman's debut and set the mold for things to come.

Yeah, I know, wouldn't a little Blind Joe Death be better? Well this one by Ackerman is important to me because I hadn't learned to appreciate Fahey yet. Ackerman took Fahey's music and went off in his own direction, like it or not people it is true. When I heard this I thought it was amazing and like nothing I had ever heard. Fahey's music was so raw, Ackerman's stuff is well produced and I still like the sound of his early works. Eventually I worked my way back to Fahey, for that reason I suppose this work is important to me. Many people can't get past the New Age label and refuse to accept that Ackerman is a good artist. I prefer his first three works and then he clearly went off into his own music, as a musician should. You can't stay at the feet of your mentor forever. Give this one a shot!

August 27, 2008

Ragtime Ralph - Lost Blues: 1929-1934

This is the latest from the mysterious Ragtime Ralph, long ago seen opening for the one and only John Fahey. Ragtime Ralph has always shared his music freely and I hope he doesn't mind me posting it here. He did send me his limited edition CD of only 100 copies absolutely free.
This is a very good blues outing. Strictly oldtime blues, mostly fingerpicking and a little bit of very primitive stuff. He doesn't do much singing but when he does it is a low, growl. Good stuff. Hope you enjoy.

Get the music


August 22, 2008

Rene Heredia - Flamenco in the Americas

Spanish legend Sábicas has called René Heredia “the most sensational Flamenco guitarist in the United States.” His international recognition came when he was 17 and the incomparable flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya (Spain’s greatest dancer of this century) heard him play. She immediately took him to be her lead guitarist, and René toured many years doing concerts in the major capitals of Europe and the United States with the famous Amaya Ballet.
Artist website:
This is a fusion effort. Nice version of Sabicas' Fantasia Inca.
Buy Flamenco in the Americas