Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Duwayne Burnside - The Future of North Mississippi Blues

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Duwayne Burnside is one of 14 children born to legendary North Mississippi musician R.L. Burnside and his wife, Alice.Duwayne Burnside was born in the late sixties in Senatobia, Mississippi and grew up hearing his father, R.L. Burnside, and family, as well as neighbors play music; guitar driven Mississippi hill country blues.Duwayne became an outstanding rhythm player with the ability to blend with all styles of music and any musician. He has been a frequent performer with the North Mississippi Allstars since the early 1990s, when that group, fronted by Luther and Cody Dickinson, formed. The young Burnside learned his first few guitar licks and chords from his father, but proved a quick study and soon began playing with local club owner Junior Kimbrough and the Soul Blues Boys. Growing up in Holly Springs, he was close to Memphis, and as soon as he was able to get to Memphis, he did, and soon had the chance to sit in with Little Jimmy King, Albert King, B.B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and others. Duwayne also began playing in his Dad’s band, Sound Machine Groove, where he further honed his skills as a guitarist and showman. He recorded for Hightone and Fat Possum Records with his father’s group before moving to Memphis, where he opened his own club, Burnside Kitchen and Grill, near Highway 61. He booked the music, cooked the food, sold the beer, and had his own band perform there on a weekly basis. In 1998, Duwayne traveled to Los Angeles to record his first album, Live at the Mint, as Duwayne Burnside & the Mississippi Mafia. After returning to Memphis, he decided to take a break from the bar business and settled back home in Holly Springs. In 2001, he joined the North Mississippi Allstars on-stage for the first time in Birmingham, Alabama, and that led to incessant touring with the band. He recorded with them on their third album, Polaris, and is featured on two of the group’s EP’s. In 2004, he opened another version of the Burnside Blues Cafe in Holly Springs and formed a new band that fused soul blues with hill country blues. His albums under his own name include Live at the Mint (1998) and Under Pressure (2005), both for B.C. Records. An album celebrating his father’s life and music remains in the works. One of the last things he asked his father to do — R.L. Burnside passed at age 80 in 2005 — was sing with him at the massive, popular Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee. Burnside continues to tour, helping to keep the North County, Mississippi hill-style blues flourishing. Richard Skelly, Rovi

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Reverend KM Williams at the 2012 Pickathon

Pickathon 2012: Reverend K.M. Williams Posted by Aaron Sharpsteen on August 7th, 2012 at 12:22 PM / 1 Comment Reverend KM Williams at Pickathon 2012. Photo by Aaron Sharpsteen Reverend K.M. Williams seemed to bring some Texas heat with him when he came to play Pickathon over the weekend. On Saturday he brought the blues to the Galaxy Barn in the afternoon. While his traditional Texas blues were certainly searing and authentic, the real highlight of his performance was the way he handled a classic instrument, known as the diddley bow. While pulling out the contraption, made out of a cigar box, a hand made pickup, and a broomstick, he explained its African origins and how it made its way into blues music. The tone produced by the diddley bow was incredibly fuzzy and rich, and he played it expertly, leaving many of those in attendance feeling close to blessed.

Reverend KM Williams - Hard Times Everywhere - Pickathon Beardy Session from Natural Beardy on Vimeo.

Monday, October 1, 2012

T-Model Ford - Boss of the Blues

James Lewis Carter Ford (born c. 1920, Forest, Mississippi, United States) is an American blues musician, using the name T-Model Ford. Unable to remember his exact date of birth, he began his musical career in his early seventies, and has continuously recorded for the Fat Possum label, then switched to Alive Naturalsound Records. His musical style melds the rawness of Delta blues. with Chicago blues and juke joint blues styles.Ford's year of birth is between 1921 and 1925. According to his half-sister (still alive in Tennessee), he was born in 1922.Starting with an abusive father who had permanently injured him at eleven, Ford has lived his entire life in a distressed and violent environment, towards which he is quite indifferent. Ford, an illiterate, had been working in various blue collar jobs as early as his preteen years, such as plowing fields, working at a sawmill, and later in life becoming a lumber company foreman and then a truck driver. At this time Ford was sentenced to ten years on a chain gang for murder. Allegedly Ford was able to reduce his sentence to two years.According to music writer Will Hodgkinson, who met and interviewed Ford for his book Guitar Man, Ford took up the guitar when his fifth wife left him and gave him a guitar as a leaving present. Ford trained himself without being able to read music or guitar tabs. Hodgkinson observed that Ford could not explain his technique. He had simply worked out a way of playing that sounded like the guitarists he admired - Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. Ford toured juke joints and other venues, for a while opening for Buddy Guy.] In 1995, he was discovered by Matthew Johnson of Fat Possum Records, under which he released five albums from 1997 to 2008. Since 2008, Ford worked with the Seattle-based band, GravelRoad. The project began as a single event, with Ford needing assistance to play the Deep Blues Festival in Minnesota in July 2008. GravelRoad, longtime fans of Ford and performers already scheduled for the festival, agreed to provide support for a ten-show US tour for Ford through July. Ford had a pacemaker inserted at the end of that tour, but appeared on stage again with GravelRoad in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He suffered a stroke in early 2010, but despite difficulty with right-hand mobility, managed to complete a successful tour with GravelRoad. This tour concluded with an appearance at Pickathon Festival. Ford and GravelRoad opened the third day of the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, in New York over Labor Day weekend, 2010, curated by American independent film-maker Jim Jarmusch. GravelRoad backed Ford on his 2010 and 2011 albums, The Ladies Man and Taledragger, both released by Alive Naturalsound Records.