Former Greenfielder Ed Schmidt has messed with guitars for about as long as he’s been breathing air. I have never heard Ed play but I know he often sits in on blues jam sessions in the Columbus area. Here’s a short video of Ed pickin’ a solo at the Dolphin Lounge in June, 2012.
It is claimed that T-Bone Walker was the first blues musician ever recorded playing the electric guitar. I first saw him in a video of he and other American blues musicians on tour in Europe back in the 60s. Instead of holding his instrument in typical fashion he held it semi-perpendicular to his body about half-way between a guitar player and a Dobro player. Seemed so uncomfortable and unnatural but for him it worked. And since he was a major influence on later players, such as B.B. King, he must have been doing something right.
For the average blues fan T-Bone Walker is best remembered as the man who wrote and Continue reading They Call it Stormy Monday
CeDell Davis is not the best blues guitar player there is. He is not the best blues singer there is. Matter of fact, Cedell Davis my be just slightly better than me at playing the guitar but he has a much better excuse. He has almost no use of his fingers and hands. CeDell Davis has two things I don’t have, natural musical talent and an amazing desire to play the blues.
Davis was born in Arkansas in 1927 and began playing the harmonica and guitar at an early age. At age 10 was stricken with polio leaving him with little use of either hand but determined to find a means to keep playing music. He turned his guitar upside down and developed a very unique tuning pattern permitting him to adapt one of his mother’s butter knives as slide for changing chords. Continue reading CeDell Davis, Blues From a Butter Knife
If you have an ounce of appreciation for musical talent you’ll love the eleven minutes and fifty-nine seconds of this YouTube video of Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton playing a New Orleans inspired version of Clapton’s Layla. Put your headphones on, crank all the dials to the right, make the grand kids go stand on the porch, and just let yourself be taken over by the soulfulness of these musicians.
Most people you run into at a blues festival are only familiar with the big names in the genre. They’re all familiar with Muddy, B.B., and Buddy but they get a perplexed twist on their faces when the names R.L., Junior, or Mississippi Fred are mentioned.
R.L. is R.L. Burnside, Junior is Junior Kimbrough, Continue reading North MS Blues is Alive
The final day of the 2011 Heritage Bluesfest was threatened by rain but by the time the major acts were due to appear the rain clouds had passed, the cooling breeze picked up and the thermometer dropped a few notches.
The day’s performers of note included a group called Southern Hospitality, Kenny Neal, and the star of stars in the world of blues, Buddy Guy.
Turns out, Southern Hospitality was a brand new incarnation of Continue reading Wheeling Heritage Bluesfest, Day Three, 2011
Day two of the 2011 Wheeling Heritage Bluesfest began with some very slight rain showers but nothing like what had been predicted. By opening gate time the skies had cleared, the temperature reached the mid-eighties, and the humidity soared into the ionosphere. I decided to do explore Wheeling in the AC of my van and not got the festival until the early evening.
I arrived at the fest around 5 p.m. when Zac Harmon was just taking the stage. I found a seat in the shade, broke out my laptop and spent some time Continue reading Wheeling Heritage Bluesfest, Day Two, 2011
When it comes to music festivals I’m a relative newcomer. However, of those I have attended, the annual Wheeling Heritage Bluesfest ranks at the top. Not only is the entertainment superb but the hospitality and accommodation is even better.
The venue is in downtown Wheeling aside the Ohio River, easy to get in and out of, adequate and Continue reading Wheeling Heritage Bluesfest, Day One, 2011