Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Otis Rush - 1956-1958, His Cobra Recordings published a review of Otis Rush's "1956-1958, His Cobra Recordings":

For Rush, the impact he made started almost as soon as he walked into a studio to lay down his first sides as a leader in 1956. That's when he started a brief but very fruitful stint with fledging Cobra Records and put to wax some smoking sides that can stand alongside anything Chess Records was putting out during that time.

Rush didn't put out a proper album until the late sixties but these seminal Cobra recordings have been collected about twenty years ago into a compilation, Otis Rush, 1956-1958: His Cobra Recordings. On it are Rush's afflicted vocal and Willie Dixon- or Rush-penned songs which already puts these blues in the top tier category.

Read the full review.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Otis Rush

More on the Otis Rush Blues Trail Marker in Neshoba County: Blues Trail marker to honor Otis Rush

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Otis Rush - Blues Trail

On Thursday, December 6, 2007 at 10:00am, MDA Tourism Heritage Trails Program, the Mississippi Blues Commission and the Philadelphia/Neshoba County Community Development Partnership will honor blues legend, Otis Rush.

The ceremony will take place at the newly restored train depot located at 256 West Beacon Street in downtown Philadelphia, Mississippi. Otis Rush and his family will be present.

Rush is regarded as one of the premier blues artists of the past 50 years. He has been cited as a guitar hero to many performers, bands, and fans, including Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Rush was born in a rural area near Philadelphia on April 29, 1935, according to family sources. (Biographies often give his birth date as 1934, but no birth certificate exists.) His blues came to fruition in Chicago in the 1950s, but was shaped by the hardships and troubles of his early life in Mississippi. He was raised by his mother, Julia Boyd, in a family so poor that Otis had to wear the same clothes to school every day, and when the plantation boss summoned him to work the fields, he had to forgo school. As a teenager, Rush got married and moved to Chicago, leaving Philadelphia from the train station where the Mississippi Blues Trail marker will be unveiled.

More BB

The Times-Tribune (Penn): "WILKES-BARRE — The King of the Blues was in the house at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on snowy Sunday night, and his presence alone raised the temperature to the sizzlin’ hot mark.

On B.B. King’s return trip to the Kirby Center, he once again mesmerized an auditorium full of people with his basic three-note riffs that can humble the most seasoned rock guitarist. Approximately 1,200 people sat enthralled for 90 minutes as the legendary blues man proved why he continues to be the consummate showman.

Mr. King’s congeniality with his audience is practically unsurpassed in any musical genre....Mr. King coaxes and nurtures his guitar named “Lucille” so that even the most subtle note can be heard in the farthest corner of the Kirby Center with resounding clarity....The angst in Mr. King’s songs was earned over his 82 years. And the love, well, the love speaks to his experiences too, both from the mother in his family and the women in his life. To either, B.B. King speaks with a reverence that you have to appreciate....Watching B.B. King still do his thing on stage at the Kirby Center on Sunday night, one thing is for sure — the thrill is definitely not gone. Actually, in some ways, it’s stronger than ever...."
(Read the Full Story Here)

Times-Leader (Penn): BB King was given a lifetime achievement award from the Grammys, almost a symbolic way of saying his career was done. But he’s still recording and still playing – 20 years after receiving that award. “I’m kind of glad they was off a little,” King said last week from a hotel room in Binghamton, N.Y.

He had a farewell concert last year, saying goodbye to his fans overseas. But he’s still touring the states, and he is playing a show at the F. M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre at 7 tonight. Opening is Lex and Joe’s Blueswing. Retiring doesn’t seem to be in the 82-year-old’s future....

He was working on a plantation in Mississippi driving a tractor-trailer and making $22.50 a week. On the weekends, he would sing gospel on street corners.

“People would praise me, pat me on the head and shoulder and say, ‘Keep it up, son; you’re going to be something,’ but they wouldn’t do no tipping,” he said. “And I noticed that when people came by and asked me to play blues, they would give me a nice tip. I would make more money on a Saturday evening playing than I did in a whole week of driving tractors.”

....After 14 Grammy Awards and 50 years of professional musicianship in his pocket, he stays humble because there was a time when King was Riley B. King, a young man who played on the street corner for anyone lucky enough to pass by. Now he’s a legend, still playing for anyone lucky enough to see him....“I keep telling myself when I get to a place where I can’t handle myself, when I can’t be independent, when people stop buying my CDs, yes, I will retire. Other than that, I will wait for the Great One.”
(Read The Full Story Here)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Trumpet Records - Blues Trail

A Mississippi Blues Trail marker was unveiled Saturday at the former downtown Jackson site of Trumpet Records....Willard F. and Lillian S. McMurry launched the label from their retail store, the Record Mart, in 1950. The first releases by Mississippi blues legends Sonny Boy Williamson No. 2, Elmore James, and Willie Love appeared on Trumpet. Trumpet also recorded gospel and country music....Trumpets biggest hit was "Dust My Broom" by Elmore James, recorded in 1951. (Read The Full Story Here) [Picture is of the now raised Trumpet Records at 309 Farish Street, Jackson]

Jimmie Rogers Legacy

From Mississippi Public Broadcasting: Most country music fans don't realize it, but an important anniversary is fast approaching. Eighty years ago a frail, former railroad worker from Meridian recorded the first country hit record. As MPB's Ron Brown tells us, that's the day the county music industry was born. (Audio Link Here)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Blues Trail: Trumpet Records

This Saturday, November 17, 2007 the MDA Tourism Heritage Trails Program, the Mississippi Blues Commission and the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau will unveil a marker honoring "Trumpet Records" at 309 North Farish Street in Jackson, Mississippi at 10:00 AM.

Read more about Trumpet Records in this piece from the Clarion Ledger: The beat goes on: Miss. Blues Trail marker celebrates Trumpet Records.

In other Blues Trail News: Filmmakers touring the Delta- Blues Trail will be part of visit

"The Color of Blues" Photography Exhibit

Join fellow blues artists and enthusiasts at the opening reception of "The Color of Blues" photography exhibit this Friday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Schimmel's Fine Dining, 2615 North State Street in Jackson, Mississippi. The full color exhibit, which opened for the nationally acclaimed Smithsonian's American music roots "New Harmonies" exhibit, features the work of Mississippi photographer Marianne Todd. The exhibit features such artists as BB King, Bo Diddley, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Bobby Rush, Sam Carr, Patrice Moncell and the legendary House Rockers. The reception includes live entertainment by blues musician Chris Gill. Come out for a cultural evening, light hors d'oeuvres and some great blues music and visual art.

BB King

The Press & Sun-Bulletin of Binghamton, NY reports on a recent BB King show:

"I've been around a long time. I'm a blues man, but I'm a good man, understand," B.B. King sang to about 1,000 people who attended his concert Thursday night at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton [NY]...."Let me apologize again about laughing. Blues music's not supposed to do that," he said. At 82, King's show is as much about his jokes and storytelling as it is about classic songs such as "The Thrill is Gone," which closed out the 90-minute regular set.

King sat in a chair for the entire show, weaving stories and songs as if he was talking to his grandkids. And he makes you feel as if you are one of his grandkids. His infectious smile looms into the crowd as he comments, "It's been said people from Mississippi talk too much. I'm from Mississippi."

Then before launching into a story he settles the music lovers by telling them, "I'm gonna work ... trust me."
(Read the full story here.)

Also, this news: the BB King Museume to Expand

News Round-Up

The Elvis is Alive Museum is moving from Missouri to Laurel, Mississippi.

No response from Kid Rock means no show for Mississippi child with dwarfism.

The Jackson Free Press has this profile of Jackson bluesman Louis Arzo Youngblood: "Youngblood, better known as “Gearshifter” due to his day job driving gravel trucks, is seeing growing interest in his take on the blues and is racking up performances at some high-profile music festivals." (Louis Arzo Youngblood)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mississippi Delta, Birthplace of the Blues

---Associated Press Travel: Mississippi Delta: Birthplace of the blues

---Wyman brings Blues to the Borders: Former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman has been passing on his passion for the Blues...His latest work is a music documentary - Bill Wyman's Blues Odyssey - where he follows the historic trail from New Orleans to the Mississippi Delta and on to Memphis.

---28 filmmakers and producers from Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Houston, Denver, New Orleans, Chicago and Ghana, West Africa, will be in Jackson, Mississippi Nov. 11-16 for the 2007 New Media Institute to document the Mississippi Delta and her impact on the Blues. (Washington Post: Film Teams To Trace Stories of Miss. Delta) (Clarion Ledger: Institute, filmmakers to document birthplace of the blues)

Mississippi Blues Trail Update

Bo Diddley performs during McComb Blues Trail marker celebration

Bo Diddley honored (video)

Locative Media and Geo-tagging the Delta Blues Continues

WJZD is stop on state's blues trail

Tommy Johnson: shining light on legend

Flower Pickin' Festival

Flower Pickin' Fest fetes Man in Black

Flower Pickin' Festival has great potential

After blues tonight, Cash in


North Mississippi Allstars Shake Hands with "Hernando"