Mention Nashville and the first thing that enters most minds will be Country Music and the Grand Ole Opry. Then again, for true believers the city is also the nation’s centre for Bible publishing. Perhaps less well-known but in striking contrast to God and double-knit suits is that throughout the late 1940s and 1950s, Nashville was also the home of a thriving blues and R&B recording industry. Principal among the labels were Bullet, Republic, Tennessee, Nashboro and Excello, with a welter of smaller ones such as World, Mecca, J-B and Cheker.
Detroit in the 1940s and ‘50s didn’t have a thriving record industry like Chicago. Detroit artists went there because that’s where the companies were. Even musicologist Alan Lomax made just one visit for the Library of Congress in 1938, when he recorded Calvin Frazier and Sampson Pittman. Nevertheless, enterprising individuals like Jack and Devora Brown, Bernard Besman and Joe Von Battle did their best to reflect the city’s musical talent.
‘The blues come to Texas, loping like a mule,’ Blind Lemon Jefferson sang through a shower of surface noise as he made his recording debut in March 1926. He established the primacy of Texas blues musicians that continued unchallenged for the next 30 years, encompassing the likes of Henry ‘Ragtime’ Thomas, Texas Alexander, T-Bone Walker, Smokey Hogg, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown, Clarence Garlow, Lil’ Son Jackson, Lowell Fulson and Frankie Lee Sims. Other famous musicians recorded when they were passing through Texas, and that included Lonnie Johnson, Walter Davis, The Mississippi Sheiks, Robert Johnson, Roy Brown, Joe Turner, Honeyboy Edwards, Memphis Slim and Jimmy McCracklin.
The blues recording industry began in New York City and for most of the 1920s, musicians travelled from all parts of the country to make their mark in the recording studio. Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey were amongst the most popular female singers but they were soon rivaled by the likes of Lonnie Johnson, Robert ‘Barbecue Bob’ Hicks, Texas Alexander and Mississippi John Hurt. Kansas Joe McCoy cut ‘When The Levee Breaks’, justly famous in its Led Zeppelin incarnation, in the city.
People call Chicago The Home Of The Blues. It may not be where the blues came from but it s where the blues came to live. It’s the place where Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Jimmy Reed laid down the songs that inspired the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds. The blues was the bedrock on which Jimmy Page created Led Zeppelin, the band that helped to change pop music forever. Chicago was the mecca for Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Elmore James and a host of others who arrived in the city to make their fortune. The process had begun decades earlier, when record companies first came to town.
The box set attempts to present a history of the blues from the dawning of recorded music to the present day. It offers a survey of many different blues sub-genres and tangential music styles, as well as a survey of almost all the most notable blues performers over time. In 2004, the box set won two Grammy Awards for "Best Historical Album" and "Best Album Notes." That same year it was #2 on Billboard's Top Blues Albums chart.
100 songs by the Blues' biggest names from the genre's golden period of 1920-1962. This set contains the artists and songs that changed the musical landscape forever and influenced almost everything that followed. This set comes with a 28 page illustrated booklet including discographical information and an essay about this fascinating subject. The perfect snapshot for anyone interested in the genre or those wanting to know how modern rock music was formulated.
Blues-Rock with a touch of funk and soul. Digging in the blues, inspiring lyrics, female backing vocals and electric guitar solos. The song BACK TO THE DIRTY TOWN today is a worldwide classic of the fans of blues and Blues Rock. On countless playlists, on YouTube, on Spotify and radio stations this song is heard by tens of thousands of people daily. The Blues Mystery live have been titled as “the blues that makes you happy”. With their unique own style, they've mainly been playing festivals and clubs in Switzerland, Germany and France. Influenced by greats like Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters or James Brown, they compose very song oriented as for example Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top or the Rolling Stones do, they’re not stuck to the 12 bar Blues. They've released their first album THE BLUES MYSTERY in 2013, the second one called DIESEL ROCK in 2015. Since end of 2017 they’ve launched THE BLUES MYSTERY TV, giving dynamics to their YouTube channel, the first show launched was “Walter’s Blues & Rock Talk”.
Taking inspiration from Charlie Christian and Lonnie Johnson, T-Bone Walker plays with an exceptionally elegant and relaxed style, the perfect foil for Charles Brown's piano. An innovator of this caliber could only spark emulation. T-Bone Walker's influence can be heard in B.B. King, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown or Buddy Guy. Even Jimi Hendrix confessed his indebtedness. Today guitarists, like Duke Robillard, Pete Mayes or Otis Grand, still perpetuate his legacy. In 1962 he toured with the very first American Folk Blues Festival (with John Lee Hooker). T-Bone Walker subsequently performed in Europe on a regular basis, with a marked preference for France. In November 1968, Black & Blue took advantage of one of his tours to have him record the album "Feelin’ The Blues," rightly considered to be one of the best he made at the end of his career. We thought it appropriate to add a few titles from his sessions with Jay McShann and Eddie Vinson, recorded a few months later while T-Bone was doing a stint at the Trois Mailletz club in Paris. T-Bone Walker is surely the most jazzy blues musician, while McShann and Vinson are among the most bluesy jazz musicians! It was impossible for this confrontation to produce anything but success.
Female blues singer and songwriter Zola Moon was born in San Jose, CA, but her powerful song stylings might mislead listeners to guess that she was raised in the Deep South of Louisiana or Mississippi on grounds better known for producing great blues artists. She is self-taught, though she does mention numerous musical influences, ranging from B. B. King and Muddy Waters to Hank Williams and Tina Turner. Even with all of those wonderful influences, Zola Moon has worked hard to keep her sound all her own. Lost in the BluesZola Moon began her career in blues about 1983, in the San Francisco area. After seven years of performing, which helped her grow a large fan base, she finally released a debut album in 1990. It was titled Dangerous Love and recorded under the BareMoon Records label. Five years later, and with a new label, she finished work on an enjoyable sophomore offering, Lost in the Blues. It was followed in 1998 by Almost Crazy and then in 2000 by Earthquakes, Thunder, and Smiling Lighting. Some of the original blues tunes fans can sample on Zola Moon's albums are "Doll House," "Lucky Me," "I Look at the Fool," "Imagination," "Alley Cat," "Hollywood to the Hood," and "I Don't Think So."