Blues

3:08pm

Thu September 5, 2013
World Cafe

James Cotton On World Cafe

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:30 pm

James Cotton
Christopher Durst Courtesy of the artist

Harmonica master James Cotton is a giant of the blues. Born in 1935 on a cotton plantation in Tunica, Miss., he learned the instrument from Sonny Boy Williamson, who had a radio program right across the river in West Helena, Ark. After listening to the show and imitating him on a harmonica, Cotton met Williamson, who took him under his wing.

At 15, Cotton met and played with Howlin' Wolf, who took him to record at Sun Studios in Memphis. Later, while on tour, Muddy Waters asked Cotton to replace Junior Wells in his band; Cotton stayed on the road with Waters for a dozen years.

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5:19am

Sun August 25, 2013
Music Interviews

Black Joe Lewis And His Band Stay The Course, Lose The Name

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 11:22 am

Black Joe Lewis' new album is Electric Slave.
Courtesy of the artist

1:05pm

Fri August 23, 2013
World Cafe

Buddy Guy On World Cafe

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:17 pm

Buddy Guy's new double album is titled Rhythm & Blues.
Courtesy of the artist

We recorded this interview with blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy the day after he turned 77 — and he turned up early for our 9 a.m. start.

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5:57pm

Mon August 19, 2013
The Record

Albert Murray, Writer And Co-Founder Of Jazz At Lincoln Center, Dies

Writer, historian and critic Albert Murray in New York City in 2000.
Chris Felver Getty Images

Albert Murray, the influential writer and critic who helped found Jazz at Lincoln Center, died Sunday at home in Harlem. He was 97 years old. Duke Ellington once described him as the "unsquarest person I know."

For Murray, jazz and blues were more than just musical forms. They were a survival technique — an improvisatory response to hardship and uncertainty, as he told NPR in 1997: "You don't know how many bars you have, but however many of them you can make swing, the better off you are. That's about it."

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2:03am

Sun August 18, 2013
Music Interviews

A Musical Power Couple With A Dozen-Strong Entourage

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 4:07 pm

Mark Seliger Courtesy of the artist

4:18pm

Tue August 6, 2013
Music Reviews

Buddy Guy: 'Rhythm And Blues' Titan Channels Guitar Wisdom

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:25 pm

Buddy Guy's new two-disc set is titled Rhythm & Blues.
Courtesy of the artist

4:01pm

Fri July 26, 2013
Mountain Stage

Johnnyswim On Mountain Stage

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:34 pm

Johnnysmith perform on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Based in Nashville via Los Angeles, the husband and wife duo of Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez have been performing together for nearly a decade as Johnnyswim. Now they make their first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown.

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3:38pm

Mon July 22, 2013
Mountain Stage

Sonny Landreth On Mountain Stage

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:29 pm

Sonny Landreth performs on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Sonny Landreth makes his eighth appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Widely regarded as one of the greatest electric slide guitarists of all time, Landreth has been featured at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival every year since its inception.

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3:32pm

Tue July 9, 2013
The Mix

The Mix: Songs Inspired By The Civil Rights Movement

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:46 pm

The Freedom Singers make several appearances in our mix of songs inspired by the civil rights movement — a collection that ranges from 1963 to the present day.
Joe Alper

This audio is not currently available.

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7:40am

Sun June 30, 2013
Music News

Taj Mahal: Still Cooking Up 'Heirloom Music' His Own Way

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 12:46 pm

Taj Mahal is credited with helping popularize American blues over the course of his five-decade career.
Jay Blakesberg Courtesy of the artist

Taj Mahal has a degree in animal husbandry and agronomy, and planned to be a farmer. Music was just something he did.

"No matter what went down, music was always going to be a part of my life," the guitarist and singer says. "What ultimately happened is that, over a period of time, I just kind of looked around and when like, 'Wow! I'm actually making a living doing this.'"

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