blues

Janis Joplin has passed into legend as a brash, impassioned soul doomed by the pain that produced one of the most extraordinary voices in rock history. But in her new biography, “Janis: Her Life and Music,” Holly George-Warren provides a deep portrait of a woman who wasn’t all about suffering.

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi
Ian Rawn

We’ve just marked the Fourth of July, and now another sure sign of summer is here: the return of the Wheels of Soul tour to Saratoga Performing Arts Center on July 14. Headlined by Tedeschi Trucks Band, the tour this year also features Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope. And if early setlists are any indication, you’ll probably see Derek Trucks sitting in with them too.

Steve Katz
Photo courtesy of the artist

Steve Katz, founding member of the legendary Blood, Sweat & Tears, and The Blues Project, will be at Hevreh in Great Barrington, Massachusetts presenting a humorous discussion about his first hand experiences with folk songs of the 60’s and the Greenwich Village scene at the time.

Steve will perform songs from that period. His stories include anecdotes about many of the musical icons of the folk, rock, jazz and blues idiom, including his performance at Woodstock.

Katz is best known as a member of the rock-pop-jazz group Blood, Sweat & Tears. Katz was an original member of the rock bands The Blues Project and American Flyer. As a producer, his credits include the 1979 album "Short Stories Tall Tales" for the Irish band Horslips, and the Lou Reed albums "Rock 'n' Roll Animal" and "Sally Can't Dance."

Rory Block
Sergio Kurhajec

PS21 in Chatham, New York presents Rory Block’s Gospel & Blues Fest Weekend, Friday-Sunday, July 20-22. 

This year the weekend focuses on “Power Women of the Blues.” The three-day festival kicks off this Friday night with an intimate solo concert by living legend Rory Block, followed by powerhouse singer Diunna Greenleaf and her band Blue Mercy on Saturday night, and on Sunday afternoon the Strait Way Ministries Gospel Choir.

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday PS21 in Chatham, NY presents The Rory Block Gospel & Blues Fest.

The festival features The Campbell Brothers, Texas Music Hall of Famer Cindy Cashdollar, a gospel choir fest featuring 4 choirs from area churches, and Rory Block herself – who joins us now.

Rory Block has committed her life and her career to preserving the Delta blues tradition and bringing it to life for 21st century audiences around the world. A traditionalist and an innovator at the same time, she wields a fiery and haunting guitar and vocal style that redefines the boundaries of acoustic blues and folk. The New York Times declared: “Her playing is perfect, her singing otherworldly as she wrestles with ghosts, shadows and legends.”

  On August 3, 2016, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will present Hannibal Lokumbe’s work for full orchestra, soloists and choir, “One Land, One River, One People,” on the Opening Night of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s SPAC residency. SPAC’s program will be only the second complete performance of the work which was commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra. The work had its world premiere in November 2015 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

Described by the composer Hannibal Lokumbe as a “spiritorio,” a term that encompasses the work’s libretto and choir elements and its influences from blues, jazz and spirituals, the work speaks to the universality of human struggle, injustice and ultimately, spirituality.

Vocal accompaniment for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance will be provided by soprano Laquita Mitchell, tenor Rodrick Dixon, and combined choirs of Morgan State University and Albany Pro Musica. Conductor Stéphane Denève will lead the performance.

The Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY will present “Journey to the Son: A Celebration of Son House” from August 26 – August 29, 2015. The celebration is made possible in part through a grant from The New York Council for the Humanities.

The four-day festival weaves together music, theatre, film, audio recordings, storytelling and lectures to celebrate Rochester’s adopted son, Eddie “Son” House -- blues singer and guitarist who lived from 1902 to 1988.

Jenni Werner is the Literary Director and Resident Dramaturg at Geva Theatre Center and she joins us to tell us more.

Ted Barron / http://www.steveearle.com

    

  A trailblazer of alt-country, a protest singer of fiery commitment, a songwriter of towering ability - Steve Earle is an artist of expansive talents. He'll be at MASS MoCA for a solo show just before the release of Terraplane, his new blues album.

Steve Earle plays the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA on Saturday, February 7, at 8pm.

    

  Three-time Grammy winner Keb’ Mo’ returns to The Egg in Albany, NY on 3/20 for a solo performance with his spirited mix of good-time country blues, soul, and pop.

In his new book, music journalist John Milward traces the evolution of blues music across American history, connecting the often long lost songs of sharecroppers to the rock and roll of bands like the Rolling Stones celebrated by white teenagers.

Bettye LaVette

Dec 13, 2012

It seems like Bettye LaVette's time has finally come. Some 50 years after her first and only hit, “My Man — He's a Loving Man,” the Detroit singer with the powerhouse voice is getting long-overdue recognition thanks in part to her no-holds-barred autobiography, A Woman Like Me, which chronicles a rugged half-century in the music business.

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with living legend Buddy Guy, one of the blues' most accomplished guitarists and the author of a new memoir called When I Left Home.