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Soundposts

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

Category: Blues
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.

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0 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!

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0 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?

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0 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…

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0 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…

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0 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.

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0 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).

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

October 29, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Sir Mix-a-Lot on Ayron Jones | Q&A

Sir Mix-a-Lot.
Sir Mix-a-Lot.

Sir Mix-a-Lot.

Sir Mix-a-Lot met Ayron Jones a year and a half ago and decided to produce Jones’ debut album, “Dream,” out today. Mix-a-Lot is also opening for Jones at his album release party this Saturday at Neumos. I had some time to talk with Seattle’s hip-hop godfather last week as he drove through a lonely stretch of Montana. Our conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Tell me your first impression of Ayron. You saw him in the University District about a year and a half ago, right?

Sir Mix-a-Lot: I walked in and the first thing I remember them doing, without knowing I was there, it wasn’t a showboat move, he did a solo. The crowd wouldn’t gather around, so he walked through the crowd, up to the bar, ordered a drink and was still in the middle of a solo. And the whole crowd kind of went around like a magnet, and fell in love with the group right there.

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0 Comments | More in Blues, R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: Ayron Jones and the Way, sir mix-a-lot

October 29, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Ayron Jones’ raw “Dream” shows promise | New Recordings

"Dream" by Ayron Jones and the Way.
"Dream" by Ayron Jones and the Way.

“Dream” by Ayron Jones and the Way.

Ayron Jones and his mentor, Sir Mix-a-Lot, don’t like to define Jones’ music with labels like “blues” or “hybrid rock.” They don’t necessarily welcome comparisons to the giants that have influenced Jones, namely Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix.

But it’s hard to listen to Jones’ debut album, “Dream,” without hearing the ghosts of the past — and without viewing the album as the next evolution of the blues, a way for it to stay relevant to a new generation. “Dream,” self-released today and produced by Mix-a-Lot, is a fiery, raw blend of blues and rock that makes the familiar seem new. 

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

October 29, 2013 at 5:33 AM

Ayron Jones and his ‘dream’ come true | Concert Preview

Ayron Jones at the Gibson Guitar Showroom. (Mark Harrison)

Ayron Jones at the Gibson Guitar Showroom. (Mark Harrison)

It figures that Anthony Ray, better known by his hip-hop handle Sir Mix-a-Lot, is constantly inundated with requests to check out new artists. When you’ve won a Grammy and have one of the most instantly recognizable rap songs ever recorded, it goes with the territory.

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0 Comments | More in Blues, R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: "Dream", Ayron Jones and the Way, Concert Preview

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