April 22, 1995 |
Kelly Joe Phelps sat for 90 on the stage of Rex's Tavern on Thursday, and the blues rose up out of him. Guitar flat on his lap, his head bobbed in and out of a lone spotlight as the slide in his left hand shot over his knee and up the neck of his instrument, blurring notes with fluid, emotional acuity. His deep voice rolled like fresh water over a gravel river bottom, searching for a destination. "I been looking for a home, sweet home," he sang. "But I can't find one anywhere. " On the face of it, it might seem that the Portland, Ore.-based Phelps is guilty of suburbanizing the blues.
April 1, 1991 |
These days, it's not too easy to find a band that plays classic '50s-style Chicago blues, in or out of the Windy City. Sure, there are scores of outfits that cover the standard repertoire, from "Mannish Boy" to "Sweet Home Chicago. " But too often these appeals to contemporary rock audiences - based on warmed-over funk, overblown horns and high-voltage guitars - wind up diluting the source and sounding hopelessly out of date. Jimmy Rogers plays the real stuff. Rogers, who brought his All Star Band to the Ambler Cabaret Friday night, was Muddy Waters' second guitarist from 1951 to 1956.
July 22, 1986 |
The moment Stacy Walker hit the water, those who were swimming near him in Wissahickon Creek in Fairmount Park knew he was in trouble. And despite their frantic efforts to save him, Walker, 23, of Germantown, drowned yesterday afternoon in the muddy waters of the creek. Walker, his brother and two friends had gone to the falls on the creek near Ridge Avenue yesterday afternoon just to relax, said David Havlick, one of the friends. "We just wanted to get together and swim around the rocks," said Havlick, full of grief, as a diver searched for the body.
March 22, 2011 |
AUSTIN, Texas - Pinetop Perkins, 97, one of the last old-school bluesmen who played with Muddy Waters and became the oldest Grammy winner this year, died Monday at his home of cardiac arrest. Mr. Perkins was having chest pains when he went to take a nap and paramedics could not revive him, said his agent, Hugh Southard. The piano man played with an aggressive style and sang with a distinctive gravelly voice. He accompanied Sonny Boy Williamson on the popular King Biscuit Time radio show broadcast on KFFA in Helena, Ark., in the 1940s.
December 16, 2011 |
Texas guitarist Johnny Winter has had an epic career. The 67-year-old wizard has, since his 1969 start, released top-selling blues albums; produced, recorded, and toured alongside Muddy Waters (their 1977 efforts Hard Again and Nothin' But the Blues are holy books in the blues bible); and had songs written specifically for him by John Lennon and the Rolling Stones' Jagger & Richards team. His career also has had its dark side, with Winter battling serious heroin addiction and suicidal depression, both since conquered.
May 14, 1999 |
The message delivered by two Sheriff's Department dive team members to the seventh graders at Glen Landing Middle School yesterday was simple: Never swim or boat alone. Officer Stephen Jeffries, 34, ended the 30-minute presentation in the cafeteria with a message the children could relate to. "If you're messing around in pools or rivers, don't think you're cool," said Jeffries, a member of the Camden County Sheriff's Department Underwater Search and Recovery Dive Team. "Don't do it alone.
August 19, 1994 |
Let you in on a dirty little secret: I have discovered the key to life. It's mud. All you need is mud. Mud, mud, mud. Mud is all you need. This revelation came to me as I watched clips of Woodstock '94 on the news during last weekend. Here were people who had paid 135 bucks a pop, only to be drenched by torrential rains, suffer from hypothermia, wade in cesspools to use Port-a- Potties, wait in mile-long lines for shuttle buses, AND pay $35 for T- shirts. Yet they claimed to be happy.
September 10, 2010 |
One of the many highlights of The Well , Charlie Musselwhite's stirring new album, is a song called "Sad and Beautiful World. " Featuring his old friend Mavis Staples on guest vocals, it was inspired by the murder of his 93-year-old mother in her Memphis home in 2005. The key line is: "Let the blues heal what's been torn apart. " For Musselwhite, the blues more than any other music is all about healing and survival. "That's the nature of the blues," the 66-year-old singer, songwriter, guitarist and harmonica virtuoso says over the phone from a bus near Portland, Ore., while touring with Cyndi Lauper.
July 21, 1994 |
If Superman had a record collection, it would be filled with Motown and the Beatles. Batman would buy Chicago blues and the Rolling Stones. The Man of Steel would like his sounds polished, clean and on the safe side; the Caped Crusader would go for the raw, dirty and dangerous. Come Together: Motown Sings the Beatles (Razor & Tie) would be Superman's choice. Batman would go for Stone Rock Blues (MCA/Chess). Long before they were superheroes (1960, to be exact), Keith Richards met Mick Jagger in a London train station and had one thing on his mind - well, two things, actually: the Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry records tucked under Jagger's arm. The records spawned a conversation; the conversation, a rock- and-roll band.
April 15, 1994 |
Charlie Musselwhite grew up in Memphis, with the blues all around him. "It was really hot in the summer," says the 50-year-old harmonica master, who's marking the half-century with a superb new album, In My Time (Alligator), and a tour that brings him to A.J.'s Sports Bar in Levittown on Sunday afternoon for the Bucks County Blues Society Spring Fever Foot Stomper. "And we lived on this little dead-end road. There were woods at the end, and through the woods there was a creek. And over at the other side of the creek there were fields.