Blues

4:58pm

Mon April 8, 2013
World Cafe

Next: Luella And The Sun

Luella and the Sun.
Courtesy of the artist

For our Sense of Place: Nashville week, we just had to showcase Luella and the Sun, which has made major fans out of Grimey's Records' Doyle Davis, other bands like Moon Taxi and NPR Music's Ann Powers.

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2:30pm

Tue April 2, 2013
World Cafe

Kail Baxley: Music From An Amateur Boxer Who Danced For James Brown

Kail Baxley.
Courtesy of the artist

When Kail Baxley was a kid growing up in Williston, S.C., James Brown used to challenge him to dance-offs. Baxley didn't win so much. He did better as an amateur boxer — his key to getting out of the small town and traveling to Europe and Africa.

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2:29pm

Fri March 29, 2013
Mountain Stage

Mose Allison On Mountain Stage

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:19 pm

Mose Allison performing live at Mountain Stage.
Mountain Stage

Legendary pianist Mose Allison has appeared on Mountain Stage four times over the years — and this is his very first performance, recorded January 15, 1989. Born in Tippo, Miss. in 1927, Allison has always straddled the line between blues and jazz, never favoring one genre over the other.

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9:43am

Sat March 16, 2013
Music News

Arhoolie Records: 50 Years Of Digging For Down-Home Music

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 1:41 pm

Strachwitz and Ry Cooder backstage at Arhoolie's 50th anniversary celebration.
Mike Melnyk Arhoolie Records

For the past 37 years, Down Home Music Store has sat on a lonely block in El Cerrito, Calif. For all that time, Chris Strachwitz has stocked the store with a treasure trove of American roots music. He produced many of the records filling Down Home's bins.

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4:03pm

Fri March 8, 2013
World Cafe

Ben Harper And Charlie Musselwhite On World Cafe

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 3:41 pm

Charlie Musselwhite and Ben Harper.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

Grammy-winning blues-rock singer Ben Harper has made 10 studio albums over the course of his career. For his latest project, he teamed up with harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite to release a collaborative album titled Get Up! Musselwhite, one of the few white musicians to gain exposure in the blues scene during the 1960s, has released 26 records and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2010.

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3:19pm

Sun February 24, 2013
Music Interviews

In 'Fulton Blues,' Corey Harris Resurrects Memories Of Southern Neighborhood

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 9:53 pm

Corey Harris' new album is titled Fulton Blues.
Courtesy of the artist

A new album by bluesman Corey Harris pays tribute to one Southern neighborhood with a particularly haunted past.

Fulton Blues is named for a district in Richmond, Va., that was once home to a large number of the city's middle class African-American families. But by the 1960s, Fulton had fallen on hard times. Its scenic views of the James River and easy access to downtown made it a target for "urban renewal," as it was euphemistically called in the Virginia Statehouse. The residents of Fulton were evicted and the neighborhood was razed.

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3:18pm

Fri February 22, 2013
Live in Concert

Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod & Robert 'Bilbo' Walker: Live In Concert

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:57 am

Mississippi native Robert "Bilbo" Walker fits right in at Philadelphia's World Cafe Live.
Joe del Tufo for WXPN

Juke-joint bluesmen Robert "Bilbo" Walker and Anthony "Big A" Sherrod know how to rock a party. Sherrod, 29, wrote the title song to the blues documentary We Juke Up In Here, while Walker (his father-in-law) is one of the most charismatic 76-year-olds you'll ever meet.

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11:50am

Fri February 22, 2013
Live in Concert

Robert Belfour: Live In Concert

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:56 am

Mississippi blues guitarist Robert Belfour performs a special show at WXPN's World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
Joe del Tufo for WXPN

The 74-year-old Mississippi blues guitarist Robert Belfour possesses a deep, earthy tone which makes his live performances enthralling and compelling. Belfour has been playing since childhood in the Mississippi hill country around Red Banks (just south of Memphis, Tenn.), where he picked up his father's guitar and learned to play. When his father died, the burden of supporting the family fell largely on the 13-year-old. He went into construction work in Memphis, playing blues on the side when there was time.

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2:03am

Thu January 31, 2013
Music Interviews

Ben Harper And Charlie Musselwhite Get Muddy

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 1:12 pm

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite's new collaborative album is titled Get Up!
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

Ben Harper grew up roaming the aisles and restoring guitars at his family's music store, the Claremont Folk Music Center. Going on its 60th year of business, the storefront in Southern California is where Harper first discovered the harmonica playing of blues legend Charlie Musselwhite.

"We had Charlie's records stacked high at my family's store and at my house," Harper tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.

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10:41am

Fri January 18, 2013
A Blog Supreme

5 Blues Songs That Feel Your Midwinter Chill

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 10:21 am

Muddy Waters, c. 1979.
Keystone Getty Images

In the Northern Hemisphere, January is typically the coldest month of the year. If we can somehow drag ourselves through the month, things will begin to turn around and we'll be on the road to springtime. But January often feels as if it'll never end.

So as we slog through the cold rain and snow, awaiting January's demise, here are five blues songs to help get us through the winter.

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