many thanks to The Blues Blogger
You can check out his site HERE

It was around this time 42 years ago that Muddy Waters started working on his double vinyl release Fathers and Sons… And since today would’ve been Muddy’s 96th birthday, I want to briefly commemorate not only the album, but the man they called “Father of The Chicago Blues” on this special day.

By the time Muddy Waters’ Fathers and Sons was released in the summer of 1969, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, Woodstock took place and I was still entranced with Elizabeth Montgomery’s role as Samantha in Bewitched… On a sadder note, that was the year I lost my grandfather and almost lost my father when he had a heart attack.

Whenever I drift back to those days, I realize just how remarkable those times really were. But because I was so young, it took a while to fully comprehend its meaning and effect on me. I would later discover that through heartache came new found inspiration. The events and music of the time influenced my interest in writing. And it was albums such as Fathers and Sons that helped generate a personal soundtrack to my past. (MORE)

Posted by Jim, filed under Artist Spotlight, News. Date: November 7, 2011, 10:43 pm | No Comments »

from You Tube

One of the all-time greats of the Blues.
T-Bone Walker and the iconic “Stormy Monday“.

Fast Tube

Fast Tube by Casper

Posted by Jim, filed under Artist Spotlight, Music Video. Date: February 28, 2011, 9:53 pm | No Comments »

from The Blues Blogger

Be sure to check out The Blues Blogger website and subscribe to their news letter HERE.

Fast Tube

Fast Tube by Casper

Early Sunday Morning

The alarm accidentally went off at 5:00 am, the same time it usually does every weekday morning. Reaching quickly to stop the shrilling sound, I felt a cool sense of ease knowing I didn’t have to get up if I didn’t want to. Of course Lucille, my golden retriever was now sitting beside the bed panting and looking at me with that hopeful gaze. She had different ideas, and preferred I didn’t sleep in on my birthday.

Getting up, I carefully shut the bedroom door trying not to wake my wife TBBW. I went outside onto the deck and collected my thoughts. It was still too early for some of the projects that needed to be done, and the cool summer breeze wasn’t going to last too long today… So I loaded some tunes on my MP3 player from two of Carolyn Wonderland’s CD’s; Miss Understood from 2008 and an earlier one entitled Bloodless Revolution. I grabbed Lucille’s leash and we headed out on our morning jaunt. (more)

Posted by Jim, filed under Artist Spotlight, Music Video. Date: August 16, 2010, 1:23 pm | No Comments »

by Jim Swanson
Blues Boulevard

Have a listen to a sampling of Joe Bonamassa’s New CD “Black Rock” below. Song Clip Order is as follows: “”Steal Your Heart Away“, “I Know A Place“, “Quarryman’s Lament“, “Three Times A Fool“, “Night Life” (with B.B. King), “Blue and Evil“.

Aside from being one of the nicest, most approachable and caring musicians in today’s music world, guitarist extraordinaire, Joe Bonamassa continues his growth in creativity and pushing the envelope for his fans.

His latest CD release is “Black Rock”, an eclectic album of Blues/Rock recorded at Black Rock Studios (hence the CD’s title) on a tiny island about 200 miles Southeast of Athina, Greece. But don’t let the word eclectic scare you away.

Utilizing Greek musical instruments as well as Greek musicians, Joe pulls off every single cut with loud reckless abandon but very a organized sound.

Teamed once again with Producer Kevin Shirley, Bonamassa stretches both his creativity in his writing (five of the songs are penned by Joe) and his six string prowess to deliver a set that, from beginning to end, stands out as one of the finest albums of the year in any genre.

Plenty of Joe’s brand of Blues and Blues/Rock are there with the Otis Rush classic Three Times a Fool”; “Night Life”, where he shares both vocals and guitar licks with old pal and living legend, B.B. King; and Leonard Cohen’s “Bird On A Wire”, where Bonamassa makes this classic song his very own. He also winds up owning Jeff Beck’s “Spanish Boots” as well as John Hiatt’s I Know A Place”.

Bonamassa is also one of the last true artists who put together “an album”. Not just four or five songs that could be singles followed by several “filler songs” just to make the CD length worth the price.

His philosophy on making “albums” was explained to me by Joe during a September 2009 interview I conducted for Blues Boulevard:

“I’m really not a huge fan of listening to a CD that’s kind of put together with maybe three or four really good song and a bunch of filler”, states Joe. “I like to challenge the audience. There’s plenty of room on a CD for a little experimentation and a little self-reflection. (i.e. “Funkier Than A Mosquito’s Tweeter” from “The Ballad of John Henry”) If people don’t dig that particular track, I think there’s enough other good tracks that they can latch on to. And that’s always how I’ve made my records. There’s always a track that’s a little bit outside the box for them, but ultimately you kind of swing for the fences. Sometimes you hit a home run and sometimes you say ‘Uh, we shouldn’t have put that on there.'”

Every cut belongs on this album that flows incredibly well. Fans of Joe’s, as well as new listeners of Bonamassa’s music would do themselves a favor by sitting down and listening to this set from beginning to end. As for sequencing the songs to be entertaining, Joe told me in that same interview that,

“We recorded “The Ballad of John Henry” (title song from his previous album) first, to set the tone for the record. We didn’t just pull songs out of a hat. Hey, ya know what? I don’t care how they listen to it just as long as they dig it. But if I had my choice, I’d prefer they listened to it in the order of which we intended.”

The opening track shows what Bonamassa is about. He hits you first with the Bobby Parker penned Steal Your Heart Away”, an in-your-face powerhouse tune that, as Joe mentioned, sets the tone for the album.

Later on in the set “Quarryman’s Lament”, one of the five Bonamassa written songs, shows off Joe’s creativity as the song opens with Greek musician Thanasis Vasilopoulos on the nei, a Greek flute-like instrument that is quite reminiscent of Ian Anderson’s (Jethro Tull) playing.

The album’s ebb and flow hits hard with another Bonamassa written song “Blue and Evil” as the opening has Joe on acoustic guitar trading licks with Manolis Karadinis playing bouzouki (think mandolin or Indian instrument sarod), before that traded lick changes to Joe’s trademark Les Paul sound as all hell breaks loose. You can almost visualize Bonamassa playing and sing standing at the gates of Hell with an invitation to “come on in”.

Ending the CD and setting you down easy is a great, joyous and lilting cover of Blind Boy Fuller’s “Baby You Gotta Change Your Mind”.

As for the other musicians on the set, the usual suspects (Joe’s touring band) lend incredible creative cohesion. Carmine Rojas on Bass, Rick Melick on keyboards and Bogie Bowles on drums with appearances by “Late Night with David Letterman” and session ace drummer Anton Fig and, of course, B.B. King.

A strong suggestion for any listener who purchases a copy of “Black Rock” is to buy TWO copies. I guarantee that when you lend one out to a friend, you’ll never see it again.

Jim Swanson is a guitarist and 22 year veteran of radio.

Posted by Jim, filed under Artist Spotlight, CD Review, Music. Date: March 31, 2010, 9:21 am | No Comments »

by Jim
Blues Boulevard

Welcome to the brand new website for Blues podcasts, BLUES BOULEVARD!

To launch our new website, our first podcast is a very special audio documentary on Blues-Rock guitarist, singer and songwriter, Joe Bonamassa.

Joe was kind enough this past summer to lend some time to have a talk with us about his life and music, which to us sounds “so far, so good”.

Below you can hear the special presentation as part one. Then part two is the uninterrupted interview with Joe.

Thanks for checking us out and be sure to stop by often. Also…if you’d like to subscribe to  Blues Boulevard’s email list and get a reminder when new programs are posted, just e-mail HERE and put “Subscribe” in the subject line!

Be sure to click the mp3 player twice..slowly.

Player #1 (below) – “Joe Bonamassa – So Far, So Good” (audio documentary)
Player #2 – Joe Bonamassa interview (interview only)

Be sure to check out Joe’s website at

Eric Clapton & Joe Bonamassa at Royal Albert Hall - May 2009

Eric Clapton & Joe Bonamassa at Royal Albert Hall - May 2009

Posted by Jim, filed under Artist Spotlight, Audio documentary, Interview, Music Special, Podcast. Date: October 13, 2009, 12:24 pm | No Comments »