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.More
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!
Back 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?More
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…More
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…More
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.More
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).More
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.More
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.More
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.More