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, April 28, 2008

Sweden's Slidin' Slim and "One Man Riot"

Artist: Slidin’ Slim
Title: One Man Riot

Writer: Rick Galusha

In vein that crosses the music and playing of Watermelon Slim with the marketing chutzpah of The Black Keys, the latest release by Swedish born and bred, ‘Slidin’ Slim,’ entitled, “One Man Riot” is a respectable release from an artist who is most incongruous to the sound. You see, while the sound is well replicated of a steel body Blues slide guitar, “Slim” is young, white and Swedish. But his album is neither cliché ridden nor trite. It takes some listens but its fun and much like the highly regarded releases by that Oklahoma trash hauler Watermelon Slim – it does preserve a sound that is the antithesis of commercial and does so in a way that is, well, fun.

On the second track, ‘Devil in Disguise” Slim creates a sonic curtain to sing against using a unique picking to create an impression of mystery and danger. Quite literally this could be a Watermelon Slim album…except that it isn’t. Even the vocal accents are similar.

This isn’t an album that most people are going to run out and pick up. It too similar to Watermelon Slim; however, if given exposure it’s a good solid effort that fills a highly niched genre. Like most “white” players this record is easy to listen to and has a lyrical sort of pop sensibility to it: rather than the harsh cutting ‘delta sound’ of early recordings.

For sometime Sweden has been putting together nice blues based albums including serving as a recording base for Eric Bibb and others. If you’re interested in getting a feel for the blues outside of these United States this may well be an excellent example. Other than sales off the stage or due to some expatriate interest, I can’t see this album seeing much domestic success albeit a very solid record by a talented up n’ comer.

Miscellenous Thoughts about technology and websites

Tech Column 2

While it’s self evident, it hadn’t dawned on me until recently that consumers of digital information are highly niched and want to be able to buffer, or hold, information until they are ready to process it. Traditional mass media vehicles such as newspapers, television and radio are learning how to set aside their content for later consumption. Buffering is an aspect of convenience that consumers have come to expect. For nearly twenty years I have hosted a three hour blues/ Americana radio program. By ‘podcasting’ Pacific Street Blues at www.podomatic.com listeners can tune in whenever they want as well as download the podcast for increased portability. No longer are consumers necessarily tied to the radio for a specific program at a specific time. It’s the same with newspapers. While the Omaha World Herald requires you to register in order to get full access to their content, The Wall Street Journal, for example, require readers to pay a fee for full access to their content. I recently signed up for access to ‘The Newcastle Evening Chronicle” on-line newspaper to read about events and stories in faraway Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. That they are able to get nearly $15 a month is incredible. So I get what I want, when I want it – interesting.

Another example of fantastic technology is a website, ‘www.tuned.mobi.com.’ Interestingly I haven’t been able to get the site to come up on anything other than a cellular telephone. The PC version is http://www.radiofeeds.co.uk/pda/ . This site allows listeners to tune into radio stations throughout the English speaking world including; Ireland, The United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. Admittedly there’s no longer any special with listening to radio throughout the world on the internet. Between ‘towered’ radio and internet only radio there are literally tens of thousands of choices. BUT, driving to work this morning I listened to Shannonside Northern Radio from Roscommon, Ireland (about midway between Dublin and Galway). The good news is that commercial Irish radio is as mundane as commercial American radio although news briefs on the lottery, a lorry wreck and Mrs. Fitzgerald’s broken fence was interesting. More so than music programming, I find call-in or talk radio the most interesting.

While not for everyone, another awesome music site for fan’s of rock music golden period is www.WolfgangsVault.com. The site is home to legendary rock promoter’s Bill Graham’s legacy and host live tapes from concerts he promoted as well as many of the now nearly mythical ‘King Biscuit Flower Hour’ series and a country music series called, ‘Silver Eagle.’ This is truly an amazing site which includes ‘Bitches Brew’ era recordings from Mile Davis, Led Zeppelin shows from 1969, Lou Reed concerts from ’73 to ’86, Vintage era Pink Floyd and more. There are interviews as well as original articles from ‘Cream Magazine’ as well as contemporary articles on today’s music. Listener’s are required to register and downloads of select concerts are also available. From obscure Yardbirds recordings to the band Kansas live at Omaha’s Civic Auditorium (July 21, 1982) – this site is a gold mine for musical exploration. There are rare and authorized merchandise, links to EBay auctions and an adjunct to look-up pending concert dates. This site has limited ability to broadcast on cellphones.

Wolfgang’s Vault now includes a vanguard music site called, ‘Daytrotter.’ In addition to editorial content regarding modern bands the site includes more than 800 songs that can be streamed or downloaded for use on your PC or portable listening device. The music you want, when you want it and at a price that’s hard to argue with (free).

What’s clear in all this is that using ‘free’ music as bait to build on-line traffic is not going to wane anytime in the near future. Much like the demise of CDs, one wonders if giving away music is wise. As CD stores have learned, if the perceived value of solid goods is eroded, if music becomes a commodity, then the value of “music” plummets. The increased niche listening habits coupled with the lowered perceived value seems to be spurring local music hubs.

Listen to the Pacific Street Blues podcast

Since 1989, twenty years ago, Pacific Street Blues has been broadcasting in the Omaha, Nebraska market.

Yeah, its a blues based radio program but we play Americana and other respectable forms of roots music as well as the sporadic archival Classic Rock track.

PS Blues is not for "purists" per se' but I reckon most folks over the age of 30 will enjoy it.
Your thoughts and input are appreciated at KIWRBlues@gmail.com.

Here's the link....

Thanks for listening...