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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

Category: Blues
April 21, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Old sounds made new at the Tractor | Concert review

St. Paul and the Broken Bones played the Tractor Tavern Saturday with Radio Raheem.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones played the Tractor Tavern Saturday with Radio Raheem.

Neo-soul band St. Paul and the Broken Bones’ first time playing in the state of Washington was Saturday, and a sold-out crowd at the Tractor Tavern rewarded the Birmingham, Ala., band for their journey by showering them with affection.

It was a night of old sounds made new, especially with Seattle band Radio Raheem opening things up. They’re a quirky outfit that mashes together everything from 80s music and a little rap with a little neo-soul/funk vibe. It’s a mouthful, but it’s reflective of the band’s multiple influences, all built around highlighting frontwoman Josie Howell’s commanding vocals. 


Comments | More in Blues, R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: radio raheem, st. paul and the broken bones, Tractor Tavern

January 10, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Blues greats pay tribute to Sonny Boy Williamson | Concert preview

(l-r) John Mayall, R.W. Grigsby, Rick Estrin, James Harman, June Core, Mark Hummel. (Nick McCabe)

(l-r) John Mayall, R.W. Grigsby, Rick Estrin, James Harman, June Core, Mark Hummel. (Nick McCabe)

Across the tracks and down a country road outside Tutwiler, Miss. — where W.C. Handy first heard a country bluesman playing a song Handy later published as “Yellow Dog Blues” — stands a modest shrine at the edge of a field often visited by blues fans — the grave of the great harmonica player Sonny Boy Wiliamson II.


Comments | More in Blues | Topics: John Mayall, Mark Hummel, Rick Estrin

December 27, 2013 at 5:10 PM

7 wildly different top 10 album lists of 2013

Whether you’re into the Seattle scene, hip-hop, jazz, dance, pop, country, Americana, punk or world music, it’s been a great year for music. Below is a collection, in alphabetical order (by writer) of The Seattle Times’ 2013 Top 10 lists.

It’s remarkable how few artists made more than one writer’s list — Arctic Monkeys, Pearl Jam, The Head and the Heart, King Krule, Shelby Earl, Migos (warning: language), Young Thug, Earl Sweatshirt and ILLFIGHTYOU — and none made more than two. That speaks to the wide reach of our contributors, but also to the fragmented taste pockets in music these days.

We hope you see something here you loved but also something you haven’t heard yet. Because that’s what it’s all about. Finding the best new stuff, every year.

Happy New Year!



Comments | More in Americana, Blues, Country, Dance, Folk, Jazz, R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop, The Bonus Track | Topics: Top 10 2013

December 13, 2013 at 4:28 PM

A book and recordings by Dave Van Ronk, the fascinating source for ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

Dave Van Ronk bookBack in the early ’60s, when every musician I knew, including me, was trying to learn guitar so we could play folk songs like Bob Dylan or blues like Lightnin’ Hopkins, one of the guys we all copied was Dave Van Ronk, the bearded finger-picker with the brawny, salt’n’pepper voice whose life story has now inspired the Coen Brothers’ poignant new film about the early-’60s Greenwich Village folk scene,  “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

Why did we like Dave?


Comments | More in Americana, Blues, Folk | Topics: "Down in Washington Square", "Inside Llewyn Davis", "The Mayor of MacDougal Street"

November 23, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Taj Majal brings ‘sweet country blues’ to holiday run at Jazz Alley | Concert review

The holiday season is here, which means traditions like Frangos, The Nutcracker at McCaw and the carousel at Westlake. But perhaps no Seattle holiday tradition is more welcome than Taj Mahal’s annual Thanksgiving stand at Jazz Alley, which started Friday with a wonderful show. This is the 18th Thanksgiving Mahal has played Jazz Alley. He may…


Comments | Topics: Concert Review, Taj Mahal

November 19, 2013 at 5:30 AM

Eric Clapton live at Crossroads | New Recordings

This two-CD set captures 29 of the performances from the Crossroads Festival last April in New York. Eric Clapton puts this festival together every two years to benefit his drug-treatment center, and usually it’s been outdoors. This year he moved the fireworks inside to Madison Square Garden and even included local boy Robert Cray, who…


Comments | More in Blues, Rock/Pop | Topics: Crossroads, Eric Clapton, live

November 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM

The Voice power rankings for Tuesday’s show | TV review

Jacquie Lee. Photo by Tyler Golden/NBC.

Jacquie Lee. Photo by Tyler Golden/NBC.

It was another night of live performances on NBC’s “The Voice” singing competition, and this time it was up to team members singing for Christina Aguilera and Cee-lo Green to prove they deserve to stay.

Among those singing for their lives Tuesday was Stephanie Johnson, a Tacoma resident. Final voting results (the live rounds are controlled by viewers’ votes) from this week’s round are set to broadcast Thursday.

See where Tuesday’s contestants were able to land on our power rankings and then check out our coverage of Thursday’s show with updated complete rankings to reflect who was able to hold on to a spot.


Comments | More in Blues, Country, General news, R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Cee-lo Green

November 3, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Ayron Jones elevates his game at Neumos Saturday | Concert review

Ayron Jones burns through a solo Saturday at Neumos. Photo by Owen R. Smith.

Ayron Jones burns through a solo Saturday at Neumos. Photo by Owen R. Smith.

As Sir Mix-a-Lot’s electric set of some of his biggest hits came to a close Saturday at Neumos, the Seattle hip-hop legend reminded the crowd that the night did not belong to him.

Instead, the sold-out show was to celebrate Ayron Jones and the Way’s debut album, “Dream,” released on Oct. 29 and produced by Mix-a-Lot. Jones plays a fiery brand of Seattle rock that does its best to defy definition, even if it’s essentially the blues with some grunge window dressing.

Jones used his 80-minute set to prove that it doesn’t matter what you want to call his music. His raw, soulful voice and his explosive six-string acrobatics kept the crowd transfixed as he ripped through his best album cuts and covers (some obvious, like “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) and others like “Georgia On My Mind,” not so much).


Comments | More in Blues, R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: Ayron Jones and the Way, Jimi Hendrix, Neumos

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