Blues

One Track Mind: Dave Mason, “Dear Mr. Fantasy” from Future’s Past (2014)

One Track Mind: Dave Mason, “Dear Mr. Fantasy” from Future’s Past (2014)

Dave Mason has returned, after too long away, to his birthright in Traffic — but, interestingly, not from the typical nostaglic perspective. Instead, he’s reworked “Dear Mr. Fantasy” as a searing blues rumination, steering the psychedelic Traffic classic in a completely different direction.

Chicken Diamond – My Name is Charles ‘Chicken’ Diamond (2014)

Chicken Diamond – My Name is Charles ‘Chicken’ Diamond (2014)

When I asked Chicken Diamond what’s the name of his upcoming record, he replied, “This is simply named: ‘My Name is Charles ‘Chicken’ Diamond’. Albert Ayler style.”

Something Else! sneak peek: Joe Bonamassa, “Oh Beautiful!” (2014)

Something Else! sneak peek: Joe Bonamassa, “Oh Beautiful!” (2014)

As the reigning champ of blues-rock guitarists after Clapton’s generation, Joe Bonamassa attracts notice whenever he issues new music (and to the great delight of his fans, he does this often).

Wilko Johnson + Roger Daltrey – Going Back Home (2014)

Wilko Johnson + Roger Daltrey – Going Back Home (2014)

On Boxing Day 2012, I sat in my friend’s lounge enjoying a post-Christmas get together and the company of other friends. One of them was a music producer, and inevitably we got talking about music, groups he had managed and personalities. He told me that Wilko Johnson was doing very poorly

‘Always had a warm place in my heart’: A lost blues legend directly impacted early Hall and Oates albums

‘Always had a warm place in my heart’: A lost blues legend directly impacted early Hall and Oates albums

John Oates says a legendary Mississippi Delta bluesman who first rose to fame in the late 1920s ended up having a direct impact on the initial recordings by Hall and Oates.

Brent Johnson – Set The World On Fire (2014)

Brent Johnson – Set The World On Fire (2014)

Brent Johnson was born in south Texas, but having spent most of his life in New Orleans, he’s more of a Louisiana guitar slinger than a Lone Star State one.

One Track Mind: Jack White, “High Ball Stepper” from Lazaretto (2014)

One Track Mind: Jack White, “High Ball Stepper” from Lazaretto (2014)

A gloriously off-kilter instrumental blues from Jack White, “High Ball Stepper” advances the rootsy weirdness that made 2012′s Blunderbuss such a fizzy wonder. It will catch a groove, then devolve into a wide-open space of ruminative piano, then evolve again into a blister of smeared guitar sound. Is there such a thing as prog blues?

‘That went along with budget saving’: Steve Cropper on lost scenes from The Blues Brothers

‘That went along with budget saving’: Steve Cropper on lost scenes from The Blues Brothers

For all of the fame the Blues Brothers franchise belatedly afforded Steve Cropper, he says the original 1980 film actually had several scenes cut that would have showcased Cropper and his pipe-smoking, bass-playing bandmate in Booker T. and the MGs, Donald “Duck” Dunn.

Gimme Five: Eric Clapton favorites from Cream, Derek and the Dominoes and his solo career

Gimme Five: Eric Clapton favorites from Cream, Derek and the Dominoes and his solo career

Eric Clapton, born on March 30, 1945, apparently lost all interest in the guitar after having struggled mightily with a cheap, steel-stringed 13th birthday gift. Luckily for us, he picked the instrument up again a couple of years later, beginning a journey that would make him the only thrice inducted member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

One Track Mind: The Who’s Roger Daltrey with Wilko Johnson, “I Keep It To Myself” (2014)

One Track Mind: The Who’s Roger Daltrey with Wilko Johnson, “I Keep It To Myself” (2014)

Roger Daltrey is reborn inside this shuffling groove, as Wilko Johnson’s “I Keep It To Myself” transports the longtime Who frontman to an era that predates bombastic rock operas — or even the period when his old band put the “maximum” in R&B. No, this is primordial, way before that.