Articles by: S. Victor Aaron

Howlin’ Wolf – Ain’t Gonna Be Your Dog (1994)

It’s not hard to imagine that Howlin’ Wolf, born Chester Arthur Burnett (1910-1976), was a man who was better known and made a greater impact than the U.S. president he was named after. His influence is greater than any Chicago blues man save for friend and sometimes rival Muddy Waters and the homage to his music can be heard beyondRead More

One Track Mind: Bonnie Raitt, "Give It Up Or Let Me Go" (1972)

by Pico Writing about underpublicized blueswoman Rory Block has got me thinking about another blues lady who needs no introduction at all. Everyone knows and respects Bonnie Raitt so much that her gender has long ago ceased to raise questions as to whether she can play with the big boys. Nowadays she just kicks most of these guys’ asses. SteadilyRead More

One Track Mind: Corey Harris – Basehead (1999)

by Pico Several years ago I read an article interviewing Robert Cray. In it he was asked about which up and coming blues artists he was listening to and he mentioned Eric Bibb and Corey Harris. Being a fan of Mr. Cray, I naturally had to check out these aspiring artists to see what the fuss was about. After givingRead More

Studebaker John – Between Life And Death (2004)

by Pico When you look at the blues scene today, some of the best out there can do one or two things well. Studebaker John, however, is a quadruple threat. He can compose, sing, play guitar and play blues harp, and do all of these things better than most. The only other bluesman I can think of with that muchRead More

One Track Mind: North Mississippi Allstars, "51 Phantom" (2001)

by Pico Much like jazz, most young people get introduced to the blues from artists who mix it with a more mainstream type of music, which usually means rock. Twenty years ago Stevie Ray Vaughan’s music was the gateway to the straight blues while the young Jonny Lang led the way there near the turn of the millennium. Today’s bluesRead More

Mr. Mister – Welcome To The Real World (1985)

Love is so strangeHow we change from day to nightLove is so strangeHow we change from black to white The music of our childhood and early adulthood…it seems that no matter how crappy the music is of the time, there’s still a strong, lasting connection to it. Recently I’ve been listening to some of the albums I’ve used to blastRead More

One Track Mind: Robben Ford, "Lovin’ Cup" (1999)

Poor Robben Ford, he’s just too dadgummed good for his own good. Both a versatile and virtuosic guitar player, Ford can sound at home in so many different styles that he’s often struggled to find one that would give him an identifiable imprint. To be sure, everyone who knows guitar knows that Robben is a god, but is he aRead More

Soulive – Break Out (2005)

> by Pico Jam bands seem to come in all kinds of flavors. The Allman Brothers took blues-rock, mixed it with soul and jazz and stretched it out. Grateful Dead was into a psychedelic kind of folk while Phish was known for their eclecticism and thrived on absurdity. Virtuosos Derek Trucks and Jonas Hellborg use the extended form as aRead More

One Track Mind: Ray Charles, "Night Time Is the Right Time (Live)" (1958)

by Pico Ray Charles had been such a fixture on the American music scene for so long, it’s still hard to reconcile the fact that he’s been gone for over two years, now. True, it’s been a long time since he had a bona fide hit but his presence permeated our culture through the music of others. But y’all alreadyRead More

Laura Nyro – Live at the Bottom Line (1988)

by S. Victor Aaron Ever put in a CD for the first time not expecting any fireworks from the music contained within and find yourself surprisingly blown away by it? That’s how it was for me the first time I listened to Laura Nyro’s Laura: Live At The Bottom Line. Now, my expectations weren’t low because I had some lukewarmRead More