Monthly Archives: February 2012

Hole’s Erlandson Does Cobain Book

 

Briefly reunites Hole
(part of it) for publicity events.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

On April 8 Akashic Books will publish Letters to Kurt by Eric Erlandson, guitarist, songwriter, and cofounder (with Courtney Love) of
the band Hole. Written as an elegy for his friend Kurt Cobain, the book takes
the form of 52 letters, and is an anguished, angry, and bleeding-heart
meditation on rock ‘n’ roll, sex, suicide, and the questions that follow.

 

“I see these letters as songs; a fifty-two-card pick-up,”
said Erlandson, who studied writing in the years following Hole and found
inspiration in the work of Jim Harrison, Patti Smith, and Charles Bukowski. “In
no way do I intend to glorify or romanticize Kurt’s chosen way out, nor make
light of it . . . I thought if I could sort out my struggles and
disappointments, face my demons, maybe I would be in a position to help
others.”

 

Erlandson also has events scheduled in Los
Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco which will
involve readings and, in some instances, musical performances with some of his
old Hole bandmates:

 

March 29 / Los
Angeles, CA
– Skylight Books, 7pm

 

April 5 / New York,
NY – Barnes & Noble Union Square,
7pm 

Upstairs at the Square presents a conversation with Eric
Erlandson, followed by musical performances by Eric Erlandson & Melissa Auf
der Maur

 

April 8 / Hudson,
NY – Basilica, 6pm 

Reading by Eric Erlandson, music by Melissa Auf der Maur,
Eric Erlandson, and Patty Schemel, and a screening of Hit So Hard.

 

April 23 / Los Angeles, CA – Largo,
8pm  

Special guests TBA

 

April 26 / San
Francisco, CA –
 City Lights, 261 Columbus
Ave., 7pm

 

Nick Lowe Sets Spring Tour

 

 

Follows last year’s
tour with Wilco.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Nick Lowe has confirmed his first headlining US
tour since the release of his critically acclaimed new album ‘The Old Magic’ (Yep Roc). He will be
backed on all dates by his longtime band of Geraint Watkins (keyboards), Robert
Trehern (drums), Johnny Scott (guitar), and Matt Radford (bass). Dates include
an April 25 show at NYC’s Town Hall, with additional shows to be announced
soon. See below for a full list of confirmed dates.

The tour follows Lowe’s extensive run of US dates with Wilco in Fall 2011.
Check out the BLURT review of the album – which garnered 10 out of 10 stars –  right here.

4/18 – First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
4/19 – Turner Hall, Milwaukee, WI
4/20 – Park West, Chicago, IL
4/21 – Lafayette Brewing Co, Lafayette IN
4/23 – Phoenix Theater, Toronto, Canada
4/25 – Town Hall, New York, NY
4/26 – Wilbur Theater, Boston, MA
4/27 – Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY
4/29 – Keswick Theater, Glenside PA
4/30 – Birchmere, Alexandria, VA
5/2 – Fletcher Opera House, Raleigh, NC
5/3 – Variety Playhouse, Atlanta,
GA

Die Kreuzen Announces Reunion Show

 

Legendary post-post-hardcore group sets May concert.

By Blurt Staff

Straight outta the ’80s: Milwaukee’s Die Kreuzen, a mainstay of the Touch & Go label back in the day before breaking up in ’92. Now we learn (via Brooklyn Vegan) that 3/4 of the original band, plus a new recruit, will be getting back together for the ‘Lest We Forget’ show taking place in Milwaukee on May 26.

 “OKAY MOTHER FUCKERS – DIE KREUZEN PLAYING MAY 26 TURNER HALL. BE THERE.” – that’s bassist Keith Brammer, who also writes on his Facebook page, “This reunion is not just us, it’s part of the ‘Lest We Forget’ show with a whole bunch of other great bands…We will, however, be playing
an interesting assortment of songs from early stuff to later stuff, and
it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see this again.”

 

 

Photos: Radiohead Tour Opener in Miami

 

All Photos by Tony Landa

Ed. note: Photographer Landa attended the opening date of Radiohead’s North American tour, at American Airlines Arena in Miami,Florida, on Monday night (2/27/2012). The show heavily featured material from The King of Limbs and In Rainbows, along with a sprinkling of hits, mainly during the encores. In addition, two new songs were debuted, “Identikit” and “Cut a Hole.” See the full setlist following the photos.

(above and below) Thom Yorke

Jonny Greenwood

Ed O’Brien

Colin Greenwood

Thom Yorke

Jonny Greenwood

Thom Yorke

Radiohead


Set List:

“Bloom”
“Daily Mail”
“Morning Mr. Magpie”
“Staircase”
“National Anthem”
“Meeting in the Aisle”
“Kid A”
“The Gloaming”
“Codex”
“You and Whose Army?”
“Nude”
“Identikit”
“Lotus Flower”
“There There”
“Feral”
“Idioteque”
“Separator”

First Encore
“Airbag”
“Bodysnatchers”
“Cut a Hole”
“Arpeggi”

Second Encore
“Give Up the Ghost”
“Reckoner”
“Karma Police”

 

Report: Chuck Prophet’s Bus Tour of SF

 

A Prophet, honored in his own town, returns the favor: On February 7, a
gaggle of journalists and hardcore Prophet fans toured the Bay area by bus,
then were treated to a smokin’ live set from the Prophet band, abetted by
musical guests Roy Loney, John Doe and Kelley Stoltz.

 

Text and photos by Barry St.
Vitus

 

We were somewhere around
Broderick on the edge of the Haight when the drugs began to take hold.
Actually, it was just a communal bottle of Southern Comfort and some cookies,
but more about that later. It was almost 7:30, and a cheerful, anticipatory
group gathered outside the bus at the corner of 18th and Capp
Street, wondering what the evening held in store. We were the 60 odd, and
not-so-odd souls lucky enough to score a seat on Yep Roc’s big promo tour
launching Chuck Prophet’s new release, Temple Beautiful, based
entirely on San Francisco
and places special to him. The ‘temple’ was a short-lived punk venue located in
the old Reverend Jim Jones’ People’s Temple building where Chuck saw his first
underground music shows after moving here in the early ‘80’s.

 

 

Yep Roc Records Project Manager
and event organizer, Martin Hall, clipboard in hand, checked off names as we
piled aboard. He had to make some tough calls about who would actually be among
the fortunate to get a seat, and said later he was probably the most hated man
in the city that night. Most guests were fans that entered online, with a
couple of press flunky’s and a cameraman. After the passengers got settled, he
introduced our tour guide for this musical mystery tour, KFOG personality,
Peter Finch who took over the mic. As our merry group pulled off into the
warmish San Francisco night, he highlighted what lay in store, and apologized
that Chuck himself couldn’t join us. We were then greeted by the disembodied
voice of Chuck on the little monitors above our heads, welcoming us aboard,
then presenting a video he narrated about the album, with shots of various
locations and snippets of each song accompanying them. His inspirations covered
everything from his years living in and loving the City, to historical
characters and events going back to Barbary Coast days. It entered my mind that
in those days, we would have probably been slipped a ‘Mickey Finn’ and woke up
on a ship the next morning, far from land and being handed a mop to swab the
deck or manning a bilge pump below.

 

The beauty of San Francisco and
the Bay area has long been an inspiration to the romantic and poetic, as well
as boasting a reputation for its weirdness, pure outrageousness and
individualism, dating back to early Spanish settlers and the original ‘49’ers.
It’s also a place where social outcasts, eccentrics, musicians and artists have
long flocked to feel ‘normal.’ Some are lodged in the national consciousness,
others only in local legend. Although, in recent years, due to sky-high rents,
many have been driven across the Bay to Oakland, where a vibrant new scene has
grown. That said, we’re not like the rest of the country and damn proud of it!

 

 

 

 

As the video rolled on, we
realized we were on the Bay Bridge, heading out of the City. No one could guess
where we were headed, but minutes later we exited onto Treasure Island. We were
paying a visit to the inner-illuminated, 40 ft. light sculpture from Burning Man, called Bliss Dancer, standing there with an eye-popping view of the City
behind it. We disembarked and gathered around the statue, watching it slowly
change colors – red, to blue, to green or purple. Someone downloaded an app to
control the colors and gave it a test drive, to the delight of the crowd. No
one knew that the art piece was even there. Chuck just wanted us to see it.
After clambering aboard, we headed back into town. Peter told us an anecdote
while on the bridge of how, years ago, Chuck, kayaking under said bridge, came
upon a floating bale of weed, which he later turned over to friends and was
able to finance his first record. Peter also mentioned that even though the
album has its San Francisco theme, the city’s name is never used in any of the
songs. Interestingly, Chuck still plays his old Fender Squire Telecaster that
he was given when he joined Green On Red back in 1984 at the age of 18. 

 

Soon, we were cruising down Haight Street,
where we viewed a mural at the intersection of Octavia, and then we pulled up
across from the Central Haight Market, where we were told Janis Joplin bought
her Southern Comfort when she lived nearby. Peter told the driver to pull over,
jumped out, and ran across the street, returning soon with a bag and someone in
tow. He held up a big bottle of the syrupy liquor and presented to us famous
music writer and critic, Joel Selvin! The bottle was opened and passed back for
us to all have a symbolic slug from.

 

 

Selvin took over the tour
duties, regaling us with stories from those halcyon music-scene days; pointing
out a tiny park Jimi Hendrix once played in, and about Paul McCartney’s visit
to the Airplane house, where he turned them onto Sgt. Pepper, and they turned him on to DMT. He had borrowed Frank
Sinatra’s jet to fly up from L.A. Selvin related the story of how he was
actually on the scene that fateful night the Temple Beautiful
caught fire and burned down.

 

 

 

 

Next, we wound up the torturous,
winding road to the top of Twin Peaks, where, we were told, the album cover
shot was taken. Like tourists, we filed out to the overview, taking in the city
lights splaying out far below. Suddenly, guitars started strumming from behind
us, and, as we turned, there was Chuck, wife Stephanie and James DePrato
serenading us with “Temple Beautiful” from on top of a rock wall! This was very
unexpected, and our little troupe was dee-lighted to say the least. Afterwards,
Chuck and Stephanie joined us on the bus, James driving their car back down.

 

 

 

The mic was handed over to San Francisco’s punk
sweetheart, of Avengers fame, Penelope Houston, who presented a Top 10 List of
what Chuck was most fearful of going wrong with the evening. The Southern
Comfort helped the laughs come easier on a few of those. Soon we were rolling
down 16th Street, to the ‘heart of the heart of the city,” where
Chuck pointed out where the Albion Bar used to exist, and the basis for his “I
Felt Like Jesus” song, which played over the system next. The bus ambled on
down 16th to China Basin, where the old Seal Stadium once stood, and
Willie Mays played his first local baseball games. We ended up by AT&T
Park, at Willie Mays Plaza at King and 3rd, where we tumbled out and
gathered around Willie’s statue near a stand of giant palm trees, to hear Chuck
and duo play “Willie Mays Is Up At Bat.”

 

 

 Reboarding, we hit the freeway enjoying some
musical selections that Chuck had been inspired by over the years; The Flamin’
Groovies “Shake Some Action,” Bobby Freeman’s “Do You Want To Dance,’ Garland
Jeffreys “Wild In the Streets” and Fast Floyd’s “Frog Legs Man.” Before we knew
it, we were back where we departed from and told that it was finally party
time, to large hoots from the passengers!

 

 

We were led down the street and
into a small building, with a funky, arty anti-room, with a half a dozen
battered bikes sticking out of the wall, reminding me of the Ant Farm’s
Cadillac Ranch on old Route 66.  The next
room offered a table of food, (mostly hotdog things) and a keg of San Fran’s
finest beer, Liberty ale. Very cool autographed posters from Mission of Burma,
Joe Strummer’s Mescaleros and others lined the walls. The building was a band
rehearsal spot, also rented out for parties. The spacious back room was already
pretty packed from those denied a bus seat, but welcomed to the party.

 

 

 

 

On the small stage, Chuck and Stephanie joined
the rest of the band and lit into a scorching rendering of “Castro Halloween,”
lighting up the audience. Being that this was the release day for the album,
most attendees were hearing it for the first time. After a few more songs, he
brought up ex-Flamin’ Groovies vocalist Roy Loney to join in on “Temple
Beautiful” and then, to the delight of the crowd, launched into “Teenage Head,”
“People People” and “Slow Death.”

 

 

After a break, Kelly Stoltz
joined the band for a few numbers, then Stephanie Finch strapped on her guitar
and sang a couple she and Chuck wrote for her album, Cry Tomorrow, “Don’t Back Out Now,” and “Tina Goodbye.”  Finally, John Doe stepped forward and played.
It was closing in on the midnight hour after a couple more from Chuck, but the
crowd demanded an encore, so Chuck and company complied, rolling out a personal
favorite from his youthful days down South in Nixon country (Whittier), Iggy’s “I’m Bored,” for the
finale.

 

Not one sated soul stumbling out
onto the littered South of Mission street that night was feeling anywhere near
bored, as the music was great and the band (and guest members) was flying high.
Temple Beautiful is certainly a fine
recording, but I was really struck by how damn dynamic the songs were live.
Chuck and James, both stunning guitarists, were on fire that night. I’m pretty
sure that most of the attendees felt smugly self-assured that they had just had
the privilege of participating in a bit of San Francisco history themselves. An
event that scenesters who heard about it afterwards would be saying to
themselves, “Dag! I wish I could have gone to that!”

 

The whole thing had come to fruition
slowly as Chuck discussed with the label something to do on the release date.
The usual, pedestrian, release party was trotted out, but Chuck said “Naw, this
isn’t my first record,’ and ideas were floated and finally, the guided bus tour
idea was hatched, then fleshed out, involving many friends and colleagues to
pull it off. After all, this was Chuck’s love letter to his adopted hometown, and as he put it, “this record was
made in San Francisco, by San Franciscans about San Francisco!”

 

 Probably the only thing more they could have
done to put a fine point on it, the proverbial cherry on top, was to have
waited one more week and held it on Valentine’s Day.

Louisiana Red & Fiddler Joe Thompson RIP.

 

Both bluesmen
contributed hugely to the musical landscape.

 

By Rev. Keith Gordon

 

Ed. Note: Gordon
writes about the blues at his About.com blues blog. Go there to read the full
text of these obituaries.

 

Louisiana Red (a/k/a Iverson Minter) passed away on
Saturday, February 25, 2012 in a German hospital after a brief illness. Red was
79 years old.While there is plenty of confusion about the specifics of Red’s
life, there can be no debate over the great music that the talented singer,
songwriter, guitarist, and harmonica player made throughout a lengthy career
that spanned eight decades. Red recorded his first sides in 1949 as “Rocky
Fuller” with producer Joe Von Battle; a couple of the songs would later be
licensed by Chess and released on their Checkers Records subsidiary.

 

Red toured the U.S.
frequently until his death.

 

Red hooked up with Norwegian producer and musician Little Victor to record Back
To The Black Bayou
in 2008 for Victor’s Bluestown label; the album would
be reissued worldwide by Germany’s
Ruf Records a year later. Back To The Black Bayou would earn Red a
slew of Blues Music Award nominations, and would lead to his award as
“Acoustic Blues Artist of the Year” in 2010. A collaboration with
pianist David Maxwell resulted in the 2009 album You Got To Move,
which won the duo a 2010 Blues Music Award for “Acoustic Album of the
Year.” Red teamed up again with Little Victor for his critically-acclaimed
2011 album, Memphis Mojo.

 

***

 

Word also comes of the death of Piedmont bluesman “Fiddler” Joe
Thompson
at the age of 93 in his Mebane, North
Carolina home. A long-time staple of the thriving North Carolina folk and
blues music scene, Thompson was best-known as a mentor to the popular Carolina
Chocolate Drops, the elderly bluesman teaching them much of their early
repertoire of traditional songs.

 

Thompson also performed frequently with the Carolina Chocolate Drops at
regional festivals, and he recorded a live album with the band, later released
by Music Maker, at the 2008 Merlefest. While that seems to be the only album
that the revered fiddle player recorded during his lifetime, Thompson was
awarded a North Carolina Heritage Award in 1991 for his musical contributions,
and he earned an NEA National Heritage Fellowship in 2007.

 

 

First Look: New Dirty Three LP

 

 

Toward the Sun is out this week on Drag City.
Any questions?

 

BY  MIKE SHANLEY

 

It’s
been seven years since the members of the Dirty Three have produced an album,
and they began sounding like a different band. “Furnace Skies” boisterously
kicks things off with rugged free improv, pinned together by an arhythmical
loop of fuzz guitar. Jim White gets the chance to splatter all over his drums,
while a live Mick Turner drones and strums. Warren Ellis’ violin almost gets
buried under the melee, but he makes his presence known. In fact by the end of
the track, he and Turner have double-tracked their instruments and some droning
organ also gets thrown in for good measure. “Furnace Skies” sounds like Dirty
Three’s attempt to blow off the
after the seven year absence, and once they do that, they return to business as
usual.

 

Not
that the rest of Toward the Sun lacks
the excitement of the first track. The trio’s stark sound and loose,
repetitious delivery have always featured more momentum than most rock bands
that specialize in the play-two-chords-soft-play-them-loud-call-it-a-song
formula. Most of this can be attributed to their unusual guitar/violin/drums
lineup, and the way Ellis plays haunting melodies instead of riffing.
Furthermore, you can feel the enthusiasm as they play, even when a song might
be a little sloppy. White always plays like a creative jazz drummer, not just a
time keeper.

 

 


Dirty Three – Rising Below by Bella Union

 

In
addition to following their opening salvo with a tender piano ballad
(“Sometimes I Forget You’ve Gone”), the group tinkers with their sound by
having Turner and Ellis overdub extra guitars and violins in several tracks. It
beefs up the sound while also challenging the ears to figure out who’s playing
what. “Rain Song,” which sounds like a variation on the changes to “Ain’t No
Sunshine When She’s Gone,” has Ellis playing a “lead” violin and gently
plucking another, the latter blending together with Turner. On “That Was Was”
they kick out the jams again and over those power chords, it’s hard to tell at
first if Ellis stomped on a distortion pedal or Turner did. Ever the smart ones
when it comes to programming, they follow this with “Ashen Snow,” a meditation
with piano and mellotron.

 

The
time apart from one another has given the band a more expansive sound and Dirty
Three have pushed themselves to create one of the most
dynamic releases in the catalog.

 

 

Watch New Bon Iver Video

 

“Towers” also being released as 12″.

By Blurt Staff

Nabil
Elderkin
, the filmmaker responsible for Bon Iver’s epic “Holocene” video,
directed the third video for Bon Iver, Bon Iver, “Towers”:

 

 

Bon Iver – Towers (Official Music Video) from Bon Iver on Vimeo.

 

When Justin sent me a
breakdown of what certain parts/lines of the song meant to him I did my best to
decode it and curate into something simple, and hopefully the viewer can take
from it their own feeling of what the towers represent. It was shot up in
Washington state, mostly on Indian-preserved land, and our actor’s name was
Mystic. He seemed to be very tuned into the land, and when he said he was also
willing to fall into the freezing cold ocean up there (seems a bit sharky too),
I knew he was my guy.

A “Towers” 12″ and digital single will be out on March 6th with John Prine cover
“Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow)” as the b-side. The cover was originally
recorded for the John Prine tribute album Broken Hearts and Dirty
Windows
.

Tour Dates:

03/03/12 Perth, AU – Perth International Arts Festival @ Red Hill Auditorium
03/06/12 Adelaide, AU – Thebarton Theatre
03/08/12 Melbourne, AU – Sidney Myer Music Bowl
03/10/12 Victoria, AU – Golden Plains Sixxx @ Meredith Supernatural Ampitheatre
03/11/12 Sydney, AU – Sydney Opera House
03/12/12 Sydney, AU – Sydney Opera House
03/13/12 Sydney, Au – Sydney Opera House
03/15/12 Brisbane, AU – Tivoli Theatre – SOLD OUT
03/16/12 Brisbane, AU – Tivoli Theatre – SOLD OUT
03/17/12 Brisbane, AU – Tivoli Theatre – SOLD OUT
04/12/12 Las Vegas, NV – The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas w/All Tiny Creatures
04/14/12 Indio, CA – Coachella Festival
04/17/12 Davis, CA – Freedom Hall at UC Davis w/All Tiny Creatures SOLD OUT
04/19/12 San Francisco, CA – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium w/All Tiny Creatures
04/21/12 Indio, CA – Coachella Festival
04/22/12 Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl SOLD OUT
04/23/12 Tucson, AZ – TCC Arena w/Feist
04/27/12 New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
05/21/12 Edmonton, AB – Northern Alberta Jubilee
05/22/12 Calgary, AB – MacEwan Hall
05/25/12 Burnaby, BC – Deer Lake Park
05/27/12 George, WA – Sasquatch Music Festival
05/29/12 Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte Garden Ampitheater
05/31/12 Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Ampitheatre w/Feist
06/07-10/12 Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Music Festival
07/07/12 Roskilde, DK – Roskilde Festival
08/08/12 Helsinki, FI – Flow Festival
08/10/12 Goteborg, SE – Way Out West Festival
08/11/12 Oslo, NO – Oya Festival 

 

Charles Bradley Documentary To Premiere

 

Soul dynamo will have doc unveiling at SXSW
in Austin;
watch trailer, below.A full spring tour will concurrently unfold.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Charles Bradley
will be turning up at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, the Sasquatch
Music Festival, Mountain Jam, and more this year. The 63-year old “Screaming
Eagle of Soul” is currently on tour in the US
and will soon head to Australia
and Europe. See full tour itinerary below.

 

Meanwhile, the new documentary Charles Bradley: Soul of America follows Bradley’s journey
during the months leading up to the release of his January 2011 debut album,
the critically acclaimed No Time for
Dreaming
. (It’s reviewed here at BLURT.) The 74-minute
documentary directed by Poull Brien
will have its world premiere at SXSW this year. Visit www.charlesbradleyfilm.com for the trailer and more, and see details on screenings below.

 

 

 

 

CHARLES BRADLEY: SOUL OF AMERICA – SXSW Screenings

Mar 09 – Alamo Ritz 2
(World Premiere) – 9:00PM -10:14PM

Mar 10 – Violet Crown 2 – 1:45PM – 2:59PM

Mar 16 – Alamo Ritz 2 –
2:15PM – 3:29PM

Mar 17 – Alamo Lamar C –
7:00PM – 8:14PM

 

 

CHARLES BRADLEY Tour Dates

Mar 09 Adelaide, AU – Adelaide Festival

Mar 10 Melbourne, AU – The HiFi

Mar 11 Victoria, AU – Golden Plains Festival

Mar 12 Brisbane, AU – Powerhouse

Mar 14 Perth,
AU – The Bakery

Mar 16 Sydney, AU – Factory Theatre

Mar 17 Victoria, AU – Mossvale Festival

Mar 18 Melbourne, AU – Corner Hotel

Apr 05 Washington,
DC – 9:30 Club  +

Apr 06 Charlottesville,
VA – Jefferson Theater  +

Apr 07 Virginia
Beach, VA – The
Jewish Mother +

Apr 09 Carrboro,
NC – Cat’s Cradle +

Apr 10 Asheville,
NC – The Orange Peel +

Apr 11 Charleston,
SC – The Pour House +

Apr 12 Athens, GA – Georgia
Theatre +

Apr 14 Ft.
Lauderdale, FL –
Revolution +

Apr 15 St. Petersburg, FL – Tampa
Bay Blues Festival

Apr 17 New Orleans,
LA – Tipitina’s

Apr 18 Nashville,
TN – Exit/IN

Apr 19 Atlanta,
GA – The Masquerade

Apr 20 Birmingham,
AL – WorkPlay Theatre

Apr 25 Casablanca,
Morocco – Royal
Golf d’Anfa

Apr 26 Paris,
France – La
Cigale

Apr 27 Brussels,
Belgium –
Botanique Orangerie

Apr 28 Groningen, Holland – Rhythm and
Blues Night

Apr 29 Copenhagen,
Denmark – Vega

May 01 Hamburg, Germany –
Gruenspan

May 25-May 28 – George,
WA – Sasquatch Music Festival

May 31-June 3 – Woodstock,
NY – Mountain Jam

Jun 07 – Jun 10 – Manchester,
TN – Bonnaroo Music & Arts
Festival

Aug 10 – Helsinki,
Finland – Flow
Festival

 

# with Little Barrie

+ with The Budos Band

 

Louisiana Red & Fiddler Joe Thompson RIP.

 

Both bluesmen
contributed hugely to the musical landscape.

 

By Rev. Keith Gordon

 

Ed. Note: Gordon
writes about the blues at his About.com blues blog. Go there to read the full
text of these obituaries.

 

Louisiana Red (a/k/a Iverson Minter) passed away on
Saturday, February 25, 2012 in a German hospital after a brief illness. Red was
79 years old.While there is plenty of confusion about the specifics of Red’s
life, there can be no debate over the great music that the talented singer,
songwriter, guitarist, and harmonica player made throughout a lengthy career
that spanned eight decades. Red recorded his first sides in 1949 as “Rocky
Fuller” with producer Joe Von Battle; a couple of the songs would later be
licensed by Chess and released on their Checkers Records subsidiary.

 

Red toured the U.S.
frequently until his death.

 

Red hooked up with Norwegian producer and musician Little Victor to record Back
To The Black Bayou
in 2008 for Victor’s Bluestown label; the album would
be reissued worldwide by Germany’s
Ruf Records a year later. Back To The Black Bayou would earn Red a
slew of Blues Music Award nominations, and would lead to his award as
“Acoustic Blues Artist of the Year” in 2010. A collaboration with
pianist David Maxwell resulted in the 2009 album You Got To Move,
which won the duo a 2010 Blues Music Award for “Acoustic Album of the
Year.” Red teamed up again with Little Victor for his critically-acclaimed
2011 album, Memphis Mojo.

 

***

 

Word also comes of the death of Piedmont bluesman “Fiddler” Joe
Thompson
at the age of 93 in his Mebane, North
Carolina home. A long-time staple of the thriving North Carolina folk and
blues music scene, Thompson was best-known as a mentor to the popular Carolina
Chocolate Drops, the elderly bluesman teaching them much of their early
repertoire of traditional songs.

 

Thompson also performed frequently with the Carolina Chocolate Drops at
regional festivals, and he recorded a live album with the band, later released
by Music Maker, at the 2008 Merlefest. While that seems to be the only album
that the revered fiddle player recorded during his lifetime, Thompson was
awarded a North Carolina Heritage Award in 1991 for his musical contributions,
and he earned an NEA National Heritage Fellowship in 2007.