I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite roots tunes from various genres including blues, soul, R&B, hip-hop, and world. The tunes will represent the spirit of this blog. The music will be interspersed with Moonbaby and I chatting about all things music, culture, and life.
It should be a really fun show and I hope you’ll tune in!
What hasn’t been said or written about Queen Nina Simone? She has been called an icon, a legend, and a genius, and she is one of my favorite artists of all time and I would be remiss if I didn’t use my blogging platform to honor her music – especially her love of blues and her strong political stance. She passed away in April of 2003 and she has haunted me since.
My late father told me a story of being about 16 years old in Hollywood, I believe at the Formosa Cafe. This would have been in the early/mid 60s. Nina Simone was playing at a club and he snuck in to see her. He met her for a few seconds and she told him how adorable he was. He used to listen to her version “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” over and over, which the Animals covered a few years later. After my pops passed, I would listen to that song over and over too. It was soothing to my soul. She was incomparable and a complete bad-ass in everything she did.
Here are some of my favorite Nina tracks, starting with the aforementioned:
One of the highlights of my time at SXSW 2014 was seeing Mr. Bobby Rush (who was nominated this past year for a 2014 GRAMMY Award in Best Blues Album for “Down In Louisiana”). There is a bit of discrepancy as to his age. He told the audience he was 81, however Wikipedia says 73. According to The Encyclopedia of Arkansas Music (where he lived for a while), “Bobby Rush, known as the ‘King of the Chitlin’ Circut’…was born Emmett Ellis Jr…in 1935, however the 1940 census lists him as three years old.” It’s a mystery. But what is clear is how incredible a performer, guitar player, blues vocalist and harp player this man is. He has been on over 200 records and played with the likes of Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Bobby “Blue” Bland, BB King, and Johnnie Taylor.
Here Bobby Rush is on harmonica and vocals for a soulful cover of The Beatles “Come Together” Continue reading →