Read It! Escaping The Delta, by Elijah Wald

Escaping the Delta-COVER-01-CI’ve read a lot of music biographies and histories, but Escaping the Delta, by Elijah Wald, might just be the best. Wald dissects the way we look at the blues today, versus the way Americans looked at it┬áback when it was fresh and new (the early 1900s). The differences are startling. Perhaps most interestingly, he reframes our perception of the King of the Delta Blues, Robert Johnson…or at least, the man the Columbia public relations department claimed was the King of the Delta Blues on a 1961 record album. Continue reading

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Found! The Soul Of B.B. King

soul of bb king-v2Most of us know of bluesman B.B. King from his one hit, The Thrill Is Gone (1970, originally penned in 1951 by Hawkins and Darnell). But King produced a lot of LPs before that. ┬áThere are no liner notes on Custom Records CS 1052 “R&B Series,” a stereo LP released sometime in the 60s. So I don’t know who the band is, but the horn section and organist are cookin’. The LP is apparently a mish mash of several sessions mushed together on one LP. It sounds like it, too. Continue reading