Blues News

March 30th to April 5th

March 29th to April 4th – Birthdays!

March 30th to April 5th Birthdays. This week’s music birthdays are Eric Clapton, Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, Berry Oakley, Gary Moore and more! Check back next week!

Eric Clapton: 3/30/1945

With his work in bands such as Cream, The Yardbirds, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos and a solo career spanning five decades, the importance of Eric Clapton’s contributions to blues, rock & roll, and music in general cannot be stressed enough. Not only one of the most important musicians to have emerged from the British Blues scene of the 1960’s. But also, one of the most essential guitarists and celebrated musical icons of the last 50 years.  

Sonny Boy Williamson: 3/30/1914

Singer and master harmonica player who is a key figure in making the instrument a prominent component in the blues. Referred to as “The Father of the Modern Blues Harp”, he inspires the greatest harpists of the past 60 years. From Billy Boy Arnold and Junior Wells Muddy Waters and Jimmy Rogers. Williamson is an outstanding musician whose recordings influences generations still to this day. Furthermore, his most celebrated song is “Good Morning Little, School Girl”, in which a plethora of artists have covered. Everyone from Chuck Berry to Widespread Panic.

Norah Jones: 3/30/1979

Award-winning contemporary jazz singer, songwriter, pianist, and guitarist who has gained both critical acclaim and masses of fans worldwide. Come Away with Me, her debut in 2002, with makes her a certified star. As well as her signature mixture of jazz, blues, soul, country, and folk music to the top of the charts. Since her debut, she has since sold more than forty million albums around the globe. Even more, she gets to work with the likes of Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock, the Foo Fighters and Willie Nelson. 

Etta Baker: 3/31/1913

Hailing from North Carolina, this singer, banjo player and master Piedmont Blues guitarist plays the blues almost all her life. Learning to play music at the age of three, she spends most of her life out of the limelight. Furthermore, she only begins to record music in the early nineties, when she’s near eighty. She imparts her knowledge of the Piedmont style to such musicians as Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. In 1991, she’s the recipient of the prestigious National Heritage Fellowship award and other numerous honors from her home state.

Mick Ralphs: 3/31/1944

English guitarist, keyboardist, and songwriter who hits the British music scene in 1969 with Mott the Hoople. However people know him best as a founding member and guitarist of the supergroup Bad Company. He’s responsible for writing a number of hits, such as “Can’t Get Enough” and “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad”. Besides reunion tours for both of the aforementioned groups he also tours with the Mick Ralphs Blues Band in 2011.

Muddy Waters: 4/4/1913

Arguably the most important bluesman to emerge in the musical era that followed World War II. Rightfully revered as the “Father of Modern Chicago Blues” with the influence of the Delta flowing within. Adding the ferocity of the electric guitar, he is the pioneer and purveyor of the dominating blues of Chicago. Forming bands that acted as a launchpad for future legends, at one point or another included: Little Walter, Otis Spann. Along with Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson, James Cotton, Pinetop Perkins, and Junior Wells.

Furthermore, his 1958 tour of England is quite possibly the first instance of electrified contemporary blues that the nation experienced. Furthermore, its essential to the development of the blues and rock scene that would soon explode there. Waters goes on to produce music that inspires the likes of Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Etta James. Along with Freddie King, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, Angus Young, Tom Petty, Phish, Motörhead, and, naturally, The Rolling Stones. In short, Muddy Waters is and forever will be the Blues.

Berry Oakley: 4/4/1948

Founding member and original bassist of the legendary blues rock sextet The Allman Brothers Band. He’s responsible for introducing guitarist Dickey Betts to the other founding members of the band. While providing a solid bassline to anchor the furious, dueling guitars of Betts and Duane Allman. Tragically, he passes away in 1972. His final contributions to the Allman Brothers can be heard on the cherished Brothers and Sisters. He was only twenty-four.

Gary Moore: 4/4/1952

Renowned Irish multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and record producer who is best remembered as an unparalleled virtuoso guitarist. Moore enjoyed a lengthy and busy career, spread out over his time with Skid Row, Thin Lizzy. As well as Coliseum II, and his own celebrated works as a solo artist. He successfully spanned the genres of hard rock, heavy metal, progressive rock, and, perhaps most celebrated of all, the blues. While he’s no longer with us, his influence lives on through the likes of  Kirk Hammett, Joe Bonamassa and more.

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