Entries for May 2020

  • Five Questions for Fred Benedetti

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    This month we pose five questions to Fred Benedetti, get new strange stage stories from Lori Bell, Bloodstone, and Dave Sawyer, plus take a listen to two recent comps from Big Stir Records and Pacific Records. FIVE QUESTION FOR FRED BENEDETTI What’s your favorite thing about being a musician? That you can never stop learning. […]

  • Rare Records: The Birth of Black Blues and Jazz

    Black history on record started with orchestral and gospel music by groups like the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Jim Europe’s Military Band, and vaudevillians like Bert Williams, but black jazz started with Mamie Smith’s Okeh 4169 “Crazy Blues”/“It’s Right Here for You.” Both songs were described on the label as “Popular Blue Song”; the time was […]

  • Making Music in a Pandemic

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    Hello Troubadourians! There’s an old saying, some would say a curse, that goes “may you live in interesting times.” These are definitely interesting times. I never considered that we could find ourselves in a situation like the one we find ourselves in now. Regardless of your politics, I suppose it is classic American arrogance to […]

  • LARRY GRANO: Introducing Larry Grano

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    Many local roots music fans will be familiar with Larry Grano, from his decades of playing in many local pop, rock, and jazz groups. These that have included Rockola, the Eve Selis Band, Private Domain, Back to the Garden, Big Time Operator, and several others, as well as numerous studio credits on local and regional […]


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    Out of Houston, but gigging a lot locally lately (before the quarantine), the Keeshea Pratt Band is the genuine article for blues lovers. Despite the direction of the industry, there are those who still honor R&B and blues traditions that arose in clubs in the gritty blue-collar river towns in the heartland, and the KPB’s […]

  • Remembering a Gentle Soul: David Olney

    On January 18th singer-songwriter David Olney died. In the days that followed Olney received more publicity in one day than he did during his entire 50-year career. There was no mention of the variety of ways he brought songs to everyday people. No mention of the legacy of songs he left behind or the family […]

  • That Blonde Bassist JULES WHELPTON: Homegrown Rocker is Made of Music

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    She’s hard to miss. Platinum blonde hair and a presence that pleads for those watching to have fun, to jump around, to get lost in the music just like she does. When you catch Jules Whelpton live on stage or in any of her live music videos, or even just check out any photo of […]

  • Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads

    Book Review Author Greil Marcus made a name as rock critic by insisting that the tide of history is directly mirrored by the pop music of the period. This can make for exhilarating reading, because Marcus is, if nothing else, an elegant stylist given to lyric evocation. But it is that same elegance that disguises […]

  • Enlistment Blues: How I joined the Army, met Lester Young and Jo Jones, and found a career in jazz

    Jimmy Cheatham’s memoirs of life in the Army during World War II as told to Jim Trageser. Part One. Jimmy Cheatham was head of the UC San Diego jazz program from 1978-2005. He played in Chico Hamilton’s band in the 1960s, also serving as arranger. He briefly played in Duke Ellington’s band in the early […]