Musings from Mr. Solid.
By John Lee
It’s been eight months since the Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival happens the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May. This year is no exception!
The Fest is back. With headliners like Bob Dylan, Etta James, Fats Domino, and Bruce Springsteen and hundreds of other fine musical acts of every genre, this Fest should be a good one! If you can’t make it, you can listen to selected portions of the Fest on-line at the great community radio station WWOZ 90.7 fm. http://www.wwoz.org/ This is one of the great music stations in the world and as their “about WWOZ” section on their web site says, “Playing blues, jazz, Cajun, zydeco, gospel, latin, Brazilian, Caribbean and a whole lot more.” Do yourself a favor and check out WWOZ. I hope you dig it as much as I do.
The Great Fats Domino has a new album titled “Alive And Kickin”, and all the proceeds go to Tipitina’s Foundation-rebuilding the music culture of New Orleans. I’ve heard a short clip of the title cut and it sounds mighty fine. You can connect with the foundation thru WWOZ’s web site. I don’t know how long it’s been, but it’s been a long time since the rock and roll/R&B legend has had a new recording. Check it out!
Recently my friend, Mark Ojala, from Sitka, Alaska turned me on to a great on-line record store located somewhere in California - Blue Beat Music (www.bluebeatmusic.com). These fine folks have over 10,000 blues titles and also a large selection of roots, reggae, R&B and soul. They also have a good selection of books, magazines, and DVDs. Anybody who has Louis Jordan on their T-shirt has to be good. Another outlet spreadin’ the word. Check it out.
May Blues Birthdays
Taj Mahal - May 17, 1940
Jimmy Thackery - May 19, 1953
"Little" Walter Jacobs - May 1, 1930 (died 1968)
Charlie Patton - May 1, 1891 (died 1934)
"Blind" Willie McTell - May 5, 1901 (died 1969)
Amos "Bumble Bee Slim" Easton - May 7, 1905 (died 1968)
Robert Johnson - May 8, 1909 or 1912 (died 1938)
"Big" Joe Turner - May 18, 1911 (died 1985)
Aaron "T-Bone" Walker - May 26, 1910 (died 1975)
Electric bassist John "Mr. Solid" Lee was born in Alaska and has been active in the Seattle blues scene for about 30 years. He currently plays with the Crossroads Band. Photo by Mike Coyote.