Keeping The Blues Alive

Blues Birthdays: Junes 17 – June 23

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Sara Martin: 6/18/1884

Dubbed “The Famous Moanin’ Mama,” Sara Martin was known as one of the “most popular of the classic blues singers” of her time. She was born in Kentucky in 1884 and got her start singing on the African American vaudeville circuit. She began recording and touring with many popular artists of the time, like King Oliver and Fats Waller. She was most known for her tune “Tain’t Nobody’s Business if I do,” and was “among the most-recorded of the classic blues singers.”



Don “Sugarcane” Harris: 6/18/1938

Prolific rock and roll violinist for almost 40 years. You don’t really see too many violinists playing rock music, but Sugarcane Harris was among one of the best at his craft. He appeared on many artist’s albums, including John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers and Frank Zappa. He then led the band Pure Food and Drug Act in the early 70’s. Harris had a very successful career, releasing over 10 studio albums and touring for the majority of his 40-year run.



William Morganfield AKA Big Bill Morganfield: 6/19/1956

As the son of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters, it was only a matter of time before the family business would take root. Interestingly, he became interested in music rather late in life. Morganfield did not start playing guitar until after his father died, in 1983. In 1999, he made his official recording debut with the acclaimed Rising Son. Also, he would be awarded Best New Blues Artist the following year by the W.C. Handy Awards (aka the Blues Music Awards).



Lazy Lester: 6/20/1933

Early blues guitarist, harmonica player, and singer. He has written and performed many songs that have been covered by various popular groups throughout the years. In 2003, he was included in a blues tribute video by Martin Scorsese. He was “depicted, dead-center among his peers, including B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and John Fogerty.”



Grace Potter: 6/20/1983

Acclaimed singer who is known as the lead vocalist of the roots-rock band Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. She helped to co-find the now popular band in 2002. Not only is she a fabulous vocalist, but she also adds her guitar and keyboard skills to the mix. In the years since she hit the scene, Potter has received a great deal of critical praise and has been compared to both Bonnie Raitt and Norah Jones.



Don Airey: 6/21/1948

English keyboardist, vocalist, and songwriter who has been active in a plethora of genres over his 50-year career span. He has contributed talents to quite the impressive list of musical acts over the years. Some of these include: Black Sabbath, Gary Moore, Rainbow, Colosseum II, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Jethro Tull, Judas Priest, and Ozzy Osbourne. In 2002, he was made Deep Purple’s full-time keyboardist after the retirement of Jon Lord, and remains with the band to this day.

[Photograph by Frederico de Marco]


By Patrick Ortiz 


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