October 26, 1995
Republican politicians, from the Big Apple's mayor to the Senate majority leader, have taken to playing petty personal games with the Mideast peace process. On Monday, Rudolph Giuliani, the mayor of New York City, expelled Yasir Arafat from a city-sponsored concert for United Nations dignitaries. The reason? Mr. Giuliani couldn't forgive the past terrorist record of the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization. This clumsy gesture might have been seen as a nod to the mayor's Jewish constituents.
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.
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.
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.
September 13, 1992 |
The sound of his electric guitar rang out over Wembley Soccer Stadium, and as 69-year-old Jimmy Rogers began to sing a song he had composed, "Walkin' By Myself," his audience sang along. As a guest performer at the Rolling Stones blues tribute in June, Rogers provided the English crowd with authentic postwar Chicago blues, a combination of tender Mississippi Delta blues and aggressive Chicago rhythm. It was the sound that he helped develop in the 1950s when he played with legendary bluesman Muddy Waters.
July 4, 1992 |
At long last the Supreme Court managed to stake out some of that elusive common ground in the ongoing abortion wars. On Monday, they issued a ruling that both sides could attack. Randall Terry, chief guru of pro-life's Operation Rescue hated this decision. And so did Kitty Kolbert, lawyer for the pro-choice forces. Standing on the Supreme Court steps, a sputtering Terry said that the three justices writing for the majority "have stabbed the pro-life movement in the back and reaffirmed the bloodshed.
July 1, 1992 |
The Supreme Court is most prolix when least principled. On Monday, the court produced 1 pound 14 ounces of opinions about abortion. It's mostly pseudo-constitutional reasoning traces back 19 years to 57 words by which the court severed its original abortion decision from the Constitution: "The right of privacy, whether it be founded in the 14th Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or,...
April 27, 1991 |
The message was sent out by the Eagles on draft day, and Andre Waters didn't need his answering machine to get it. It was delivered live and in color on national television with the 48th name announced during the NFL draft. " . . . With their second choice, the Philadelphia Eagles select Jesse Campbell, safety, North Carolina State. " Minutes later, the Eagles announced that they projected the 6-2 1/2, 212- pound Campbell at strong safety, a position Waters has held down for seven seasons.
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.