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John Lee Hooker: The Modern Recordings

John Lee Hooker's deep, dark and powerful Modern recordings announced the arrival of a singular artist who simply had no peers.

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10 Songs for the Next Rolling Stones Album

A few nuggets the Stones can consider when they record a follow-up to their all-blues album Blue & Lonesome.

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Wartime Blues

I should’ve posted this on Veterans Day, but I didn’t come up with the idea until I heard a piece on NPR about the Doolittle Raid during World War II. Led by James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, the raid [...]

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King of the Independents

Here’s a re-post from 2009 that looks back at one of America’s greatest independent labels, Cincinnati’s King Records. Its huge catalog includes seminal recordings by some of the most [...]

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John Lee Hooker: The Modern Recordings

I’ve been intimidated by the idea of writing a post on John Lee Hooker. It’s like trying to write a 500-word essay on modern cinema. Or thinking just one reality show is enough to document the [...]

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Meet The Coppertone

Writing about dead blues guys is a fairly thankless pursuit. I’ll do a post on someone like Pee Wee Crayton and hear crickets. And just when I’m ready to fold up my tent and leave this virtual [...]

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Thanks, But I’ll Do It Solo

Don’t get me wrong… I like to hear John Lee Hooker do the boogie over a driving beat or Allen Toussaint comp behind a funky New Orleans horn section or Thelonious Monk make seasoned jazz [...]

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King of the Independents

In the early 1980s, I lived in Cincinnati and edited one of those free entertainment newspapers you see blowing through the streets of big cities throughout the country.  The following piece [...]