Wednesday, 22 August 2018 08:15

Aretha And The Guitarists: 1967-1969



Duane Allman and Aretha in the studio

Aretha Franklin, throughout her career, recorded with stellar jazz and rock musicians.  From 1967, when she began her phenomenal run of hit R&B singles on Atlantic Records under producer and Atlantic VP Jerry Wexler, through 1969, she had three memorable moments with equally memorable guitarists, two of whom became iconic in their own right.

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 My review of 84 year old British blues pioneer John Mayall's "Three For The Road," recorded live in Stuttgart, Germany in 2017.

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Saturday, 09 September 2017 10:54

Don Williams: Requiem For A Gentle Giant


Last year, following a powerful run of Top Ten and # 1 singles that began in 1974 and didn't end until the 90's, Don Williams, who died at 78 on Friday after a brief illness, announced his retirement last year, the year of his Country Music Hall of Fame induction.  After a period of inactivity, Williams had resumed his recording career for the Sugar Hill label in 2012, working with longtime co-producer Garth Fundis, retaining the trademark Williams sound of his glory years.  He recorded two albums for them.

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Host Rich Kienzle takes a  special look at the five-CD soundtrack to the American roots music documentary American Epic.  He examines seven songs from the collection that have had longevity, and shows the difference between the modern, better known versions.

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On a cold January 17, 1971, some friends and I, all of us attending Pitt (Greensburg campus) blew into the Syria Mosque to see Little Richard, then in the throes of a revival, including repeated appearances on network talk shows where he'd snap "Shut up!" at the audiences and his two opening acts.

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Monday, 31 October 2016 09:12

The Eric Clapton Lawsuit Over 'Alberta'


Amid the election comes a story that at least distracts from the rank toxicity around everyone. The estate of the late Mississippi blues singer-composer-guitarist Armenter "Bo" Chatmon (1893-1964), whose performing name was "Bo Carter," is suing Eric Clapton and several other entities, including , Warner Music Group, Rhino Music, MTV and its parent company Viacom for $ 5 million in lost royalties.

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 Scotty Moore and Elvis Presley are names forever joined in history, Scotty, Elvis's first guitarist, died yesterday at 84 in Nashville, where he'd resided for over half a century. From Presley's first Sun recordings in July 1954, until the singer entered the Army in 1958, and for a brief time after his 1960 discharge, Scotty's bopping, snarling and slashing guitar framed Elvis's vocals on everything from "That's All Right (Mama)" to "Hard Headed Woman" (from King Creole).

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B.B. King, widely acknowledged as the King of The Blues, in hospice care for only a couple weeks after his health failed, died in his sleep at 9:40 PM Pacific Time. He was 89. He had been in failing health for a while, but for me, the loss feels personal, even though I never crossed paths

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Saturday, 25 October 2014 21:10

Jack Bruce, Bassman: 1943-2014

Jack Bruce's death at 71 from liver disease was not totally unexpected, but his continued activity belied any problems. The legendary, groundbreaking bassist had been in uncertain health for some time. He made history with Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker as part of the blues-based trio Cream, one of the bands who became a foundation Metal music. But Bruce's contributions went far beyond, into blues and jazz fusion as well.

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This week's "Believe Your Ears" Music Podcast reviews a new CD and DVD package by British country and rock guitarist Albert Lee, known for his work with Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton, The Everly Brothers, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings and an impressive solo career.

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