Join us the next two weeks for Time for the Blues (1/15/12 & 1/22/12) as we revisit our "Unusual Suspects"--artists not normally known for the blues, like Cyndi Lauper, Rod Stewart and ZZ Top! We had a blast finding this great stuff and you'll have a blast hearing it!
John and I made a promise on the very first episode of Time for the Blues--we would find great blues in all kinds of places! And we have! We found blues in the UK, Scandanavia and Australia, in Psychedelic music and even some in Ike and Tina Turner's version of the classic bubble-gum song we like to joke about, "Sugar Sugar." However, we're still looking for the Partridge Family lost blues album! (Susan Dey not really playing the keyboards--not even plugged in!--thanks Rob Schneider, SNL 1992)
One thing we noticed is that most popular artists since the early 60's dabbled in the blues at some point--maybe because it's easy to play (but hard to master), maybe because it's so accessible or maybe because some of the tunes are traditionals and you don't have to pay for the rights to record them! Look at the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac--they built legendary careers on the shoulders of the blues giants! Where would they have been without Willie Dixon?
OK, OK--so the point is, even now we find artists trying the blues coat on and finding remarkable success! Take the Cyndi Lauper "Memphis Blues" release from 2010--it ended up nominated for a Grammy! Of course, Cyndi had the good sense to use blues legends and current greats like Charlie Musselwhite, B. B. King and Jonny Lang and she picked classic tunes like "Crossroads", "Just Your Fool" and "How Blue Can You Get?" All in all, a very nice CD we're pleased to feature in both shows!
We'll also check out early Rod Stewart blues with Python Lee Jackson (Australia again) and also with Jeff Beck from the 60's! Rod had a great snarling voice for the blues which is why he was kind of a "rent-a-singer" for these groups before his own solo career took off!
In Part 2 of "Unusual Suspects" we'll also hear from "that little ol' band from Texas"--ZZ Top. Their beards may be as long as John's (re: our Christmas show blog pic) but they started out playing some of the crunchiest blues we've ever heard! For even more fun there are some real surprise artists in Part 2 that you won't believe ever got near the blues!
We're working on some cool new shows including a tribute to the late great Hubert Sumlin! Let us know who you would like us to feature on future programs!