Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Monday, January 21, 2008

'04 Grammy ramblings and errant mublings

Blues Grammy Nominations

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I suppose it's appropriate that in this year's Grammy nominations, 'The Blues' was category #13. As I scrolled down the extensive list I had the impression that the categories were ranked according to sales: so blues comes after Gospel, Tejano, and Mexican. Reflecting on population trends, this is kinda tell isn't it? There are two "Blues" fields in the Grammy's;

Category 64 - Best Traditional Blues Album (Vocal or Instrumental.) includes;
Me And Mr Johnson, Eric Clapton, [Reprise] Baby, Don't You Tear My Clothes, James Cotton, [Telarc] Blues With A Vengeance, John Lee Hooker, Jr., [Kent Records] Blues To The Bone, Etta James, [RCA Victor] Ladies Man, Pinetop Perkins, [M.C. Records]

See any names you recognize? What I see is a lame attempt by people that are clearly out of touch, particularly with the Blues genre, nominating names that are in their comfort zone. No effort was made to really uncover the field and discern actual trends or talent. Remember, these are the folks that gave Jethro Tull the ‘Heavy Metal’ Grammy the first year that category was awarded. ANY artist on the Fat Possum record label are more deserving in this category than anyone actually nominated, except possibly Pinetop Perkins; however that album relies heavily on pop star guests. Sure Cotton & Etta were the scene, “back in the day” but her voice is shot and he’s a thin vapor of his once great glory. Clapton? Much like Bob Dylan, Clapton has rested on his laurels for too long and is no longer capable of breaking new ground or taking the art form forward. And who in the hell is John Lee Hooker Junior? Next year they are probably going to prop up Muddy Water’s son! At least Jimmy Rodgers son, Jimmy D. Lane has a credible album out that he’s touring behind it. While California label misfits nominate clichés that fit into their naïve world I believe the Blues is as vibrant as it’s ever been and if anyone on this dopey nominating committee had taken the time to think… However judging from the method by which they’ve managed this industry into the (messed)-up mess it’s in at the moment it’s clearly too much for ask a bunch of fashionably “Recovered,” self-centered, elitists to make credible nominations. Much to their black rimmed glasses, tinted hair and squared toe black shoed shock – they really are out of touch and need to step out of the way to allow the next generation in.

Category 65 - Best Contemporary Blues Album (Vocal or Instrumental.)
N'awlinz Dis Dat Or D'udda, Dr. John, [Blue Note] Keep It Simple, Keb' Mo', [Epic/Okeh] What's Wrong With This Picture?, Van Morrison, [Blue Note Records] Sanctuary, Charlie Musselwhite, [Real World] I'm A Bluesman, Johnny Winter, [Virgin]

This list of nominations is a bit better. I’ll predict Johnny Winter wins: his health has been bad and this will be an effort to recognize him before its too late. Keb Mo is a genuine artist and this album is good although he’s had better. Charlie Musselwhite is a groundbreaking force of nature that has graduated to the top of the class. Van Morrison? All I can say is, “What’s Wrong With This Picture?” And while I appreciate his volume of work I was shocked to see Dr. John’s latest included but God bless him none-the-less.

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