articles tagged "blues"

John Brim Interview

Friday, 7 March 2014 | Art Schuna
john brim photo

John Brim was born in Hopkinsville, KY in 1922 and moved to Chicago in 1947. He first recorded for the Detroit label Fortune in 1950 playing the guitar with his wife Grace on harmonica and taking on the vocals. Big Maceo Merriweather backed them on piano, but due to his stroke only did the left hand part. James Watkins was Big Maceo’s right hand man. He recorded for a number of labels in Chicago including Parrot, Chance, JOB and Chess. He’s probably best known for the song “Ice Cream” man recorded by Chess in 1953, but not released until 1969 on a compilation LP, Whose Muddy Shoes. This song has been covered by many others over the years. Art interviewed John Brim in November 2001 for his show. He was never happy about the quality of this phone interview and didn’t broadcast it until several years later when it was used it as part of a radio special. Brim died 2 years after this interview. more »

Chinese Horses Get The Blues

Friday, 24 January 2014 | Sybil Augustine
chinese horse

Art Schuna is planning to celebrate Chinese New Year on Two For The Blues January 25th with a whole show of blues songs about equines. more »

Commemoration of Bobby Blue Bland

Wednesday, 26 June 2013 | buzz
bobby blue bland

In commemoration of Bobby Blue Bland, Peaches Lacey interviewed Lee Parker, a musician who often collaboration with Bobby. Peaches Lacey hosts the Wednesday Buzz the last Wednesday of every month, and is also the host for Dusty Storm. more »

Sonny Mack

Wednesday, 31 October 2012 | buzz

On Wednesday October 31, our host Peaches Lacey speaks with musician and recording artist, Sonny Mack. He grew up surrounded by music, first introduced to music through his parents, and began his career professionally playing with Bobby Rush. He grew up in Chicago, but has moved back and forth between the city and Memphis, where he currently resides. He has recently released a CD under the Ecko Records label. He describes the famous Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, where he plays with his band, “The United States is a melting pot of people from all different cultures and countries…on Beale Street, you can see people from everywhere…every city in the US, and other countries…people come from Scandinavia, Japan, England, everywhere. My band plays on Beale Street five days a week and we see people from everywhere. It’s a really great experience. My band doesn’t get paid for playing, they play for tips and then get a percentage off the bar…but that goes to show you how much my guys enjoy doing what they’re doing, playing R&B, soul, and the blues…”   He speaks about the process of creating music, “the first thing, when I write, I write about life situations…things that happen to me, that I’ve seen, or that I know have happened to other people. Ideas first, and when I get the idea, I can hear all of the music and everything in my head. You get a good hook, that’s where the idea is, and you develop your song from the hook. You get your idea, then your hook, and then you tell the story.” After he develops the verses and the song, he takes it to his record company and collaborates with them until he has developed a full song. It is a process that needs to be continually worked on and added upon until the work is complete.   Sonny speak about some of his songs, including “Clean Up Man” and “Body Drain,” as well as Ecko Records and his strong relationship with the label. Says Sonny, “there’s a magazine in Scandinavia, and I’m on the cover of the magazine. And this came from my relationship with Ecko Records. They came to Memphis, visited me, they came to Church with me, and they did a photo spread and everything. They remembered me when I was in Germany playing…a long time ago. So they did a follow up…they found out I was with Ecko Records and …. more »

Henry Gray Interview

Sunday, 21 October 2012 | Art Schuna

  I first interviewed Henry Gray by phone on June 30, 2004 to help promote his performance at the Folklore Village on July 23 and the Dodgeville Blues Festival on July 24 that year and that’s the interview that is linked to this page. After doing the phone interview I decided I’d like to do a second interview to get enough material for publication. Andy Cornett, who managed and played bass in Henry Gray & The Cats band, arranged for me to meed Henry in his hotel before their appearance at the festival. Henry was the headliner and didn’t go on stage until that night. It was decided I should meet Henry at his hotel around 1 PM. I had my list of questions and a small tape recorded, I drove to Henry’s hotel with a friend of mine Dave Sear, who’s also a blues fanatic. We met Henry at his room and he answered the door in his underwear. I’m used to seeing Henry only his dapper stage performance dress similar to the picture on the left. It was a little startling seeing him in his state of undress but I quickly overcame that after we started the interview with Henry reclining in his bed and Dave and I in chairs next to him. About half way through the interview, Andy Cornett walks in and says “You’re pretty casual” to Henry. I finished the interview and it was published in Blues and Rhythm in issue 198 in April 2005. I have managed to get to several of Henry’s performances at the Chicago Blues Festival after this and every time I’ve seen him I think back to that July day in Dodgeville. Click on the title above to go to the audio interview. more »

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