Blues

5:01pm

Fri December 14, 2012
World Cafe

Gary Clark Jr. On World Cafe

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 4:58 pm

Gary Clark Jr.
Courtesy of the artist

Gary Clark Jr.'s new album Blak and Blue is his major-label debut, but the blues guitarist is hardly a newcomer. Clark made his first album at 17, and by then he'd already spent several years hanging out in the blues clubs of Austin, Texas.

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1:03am

Sat November 17, 2012
Music Interviews

Vintage Trouble: Rock 'N' Roll Finds Its Soul

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 7:48 am

Vintage Trouble recently reissued its 2010 debut, The Bomb Shelter Sessions.
Courtesy of the artist

Vintage Trouble has enjoyed a pretty quick rise since forming just two years ago.

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4:17pm

Thu October 25, 2012
Music Interviews

Gary Clark Jr.: A Blues Wunderkind Grows Up, Breaks Out

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 9:05 am

Gary Clark Jr.'s new album is called Blak and Blu.
Frank Maddocks Courtesy of the artist

It's been a while since pop-music writers have heaped praise on a blues guitarist as the next big thing. But that's what's happened with Gary Clark Jr., who's just put out his first full-length album on a major label. It's called Blak and Blu.

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12:49pm

Fri October 19, 2012
Music Reviews

Gary Clark Jr.: A Raucous Blues Shout

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 10:49 pm

Gary Clark Jr.'s Blak and Blu is an eclectic romp through the blues.
Frank Maddocks

On his major-label debut Blak and Blu, you can hear the roar in Gary Clark Jr.'s blues guitar, and in his vocal throughout "Bright Lights." It's one of the few straight-up blues songs on what is essentially an introduction to one of the most highly praised young blues guitarists in recent times. While Clark comes out of a blues tradition, he's also a twentysomething who's taken in all of contemporary music.

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3:45pm

Tue October 9, 2012
Music Reviews

Shemekia Copeland Embodies The Blues On '33 1/3'

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:25 pm

Shemekia Copeland's new album is titled 33 1/3.
Sandrine Lee Courtesy of the artist

Shemekia Copeland says she didn't really find her singing voice until her teen years, when her father, the late blues guitarist Johnny Copeland, began suffering from health issues. On her new album, 33 1/3, she finds a different kind of voice — one that's eager to participate in a national dialogue.

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8:03am

Mon October 1, 2012
The Mix

The Mix: The Mississippi Blues Project

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 1:39 pm

Mississippi-born harmonica player Big George Brock performs at the Philadelphia Folk Festival.
John Vettese

This audio is no longer available.

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12:03pm

Sat September 22, 2012
Music Interviews

Elliott Sharp: 'Blues Is A Feeling'

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 3:36 pm

"Blues is a feeling, and it exists cross-culturally. It always has existed, and it always will. It's part of being human," says musician Elliott Sharp.
Courtesy of the artist

In the 1980s, Elliott Sharp was the height of New York City cool, a central part of that town's experimental music scene. His creations were inspired by advanced mathematical concepts. He tuned his guitars according to the Fibonacci Sequence and wrote challenging pieces inspired by fractal geometry.

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2:03am

Sat September 22, 2012
Music Interviews

Kid Koala: All Roads Lead To The Blues

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

Kid Koala's new album is titled 12 Bit Blues.
Corinne Merrell Courtesy of the artist

Eric San, who goes by the name Kid Koala, plays the blues. But just as Kid Koala isn't a traditional blues name like Blind Lemon Jefferson or Doctor Ross the Harmonica Boss, he isn't a standard blues man.

Kid Koala is a DJ. Big turntables, fast hands, scratching old-fashioned vinyl records — the whole deal. Now, he's taken that DJ equipment and produced a "turntable blues" album titled 12 Bit Blues.

So how did a Canadian DJ discover the blues, exactly? San says it all happened in high school.

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2:06pm

Tue September 18, 2012
World Cafe

Sidi Toure On World Cafe

Sidi Toure.
Johnathan Crawford Courtesy of the artist

Sidi Touré is a Songhai singer-songwriter from the city of Gao in northern Mali. Though he grew up in a royal family, he sings the blues elegantly and in his own native language; interestingly, Touré has said he'd never heard American blues music until after his first album was released.

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6:21am

Sun August 19, 2012
Music Al Fresco

A Honky-Tonk Duo Takes The Piano Outdoors

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 2:41 pm

Pianist Kirby Lee Hammel and drummer Jake Alexander perform as Clangin' & Bangin' at an Oakland farmers market.
Nina Thorsen KQED

Weekend Edition continues its series on the sounds of music al fresco with a musical act founded on a very inconvenient choice. You'd think a street musician would want to travel light when selecting an instrument — say, a ukulele, a violin, maybe a guitar. But a piano?

"It's about 300 pounds," says Kirby Lee Hammel. "Only one pulled muscle in the last year and a half, I think."

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