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May 4 – May 10 Birthdays

May 4 – May 10 Birthdays

May 4 – May 10 Birthdays. This week’s blues birthdays features Blind Willie Mctell, Johnnie Taylor, Robert Johnson, Joe Bonamassa and Dave Mason!

Blind Willie McTell: 5/5/1898
Willie McTell is a prominent early-era Piedmont blues guitarist. He had a “smooth, laid-back tenor voice” and beautiful finger-style guitar playing. This type of playing is a stark contrast to the Delta blues which is the popular style of the day. Willie played on the streets of Atlanta, performing for whoever will listen. 

Johnnie Taylor: May 5, 1934

As a three-time Grammy-nominated American recording artist and songwriter,  Johnnie Taylor performs a wide variety of genres. Whether it’s the blues, soul, gospel, pop, doo-wop, and disco.  He’s one of the most passionate and captivating singers of his era. He records with well-known record companies like Stax, Columbia, and Malaco Records.  

Amos “Bumble Bee Slim” Easton: 5/7/1905

Amos Easton is born in Brunswick, Georgia, and after a stint in the Ringling Brother’s circus, he settles in Chicago. Furthermore, his playing style is “Piedmont Blues”. Under the name “Bumble Bee Slim” he writes and records over 150 tunes for various labels. Hindered too much by his record labels, he returns to playing in bars again.

Robert Johnson: 5/8/1911

An American blues singer, songwriter and musician. Displaying his talent with his landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937. Which features a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent. With his musical catalog he influences influences future generations of Blues musicians.

Joe Bonamassa: 5/8/1977

There are a few saving graces that are keeping Blues music alive and well. Playing professionally since the age twelve, Joe Bonamassa explodes on the scene alongside B.B. King. Not slowing down, he’s a human bullet train of the blues releasing multiple albums per year and constantly touring .

As a champion of music education, Bonamassa starts “Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation”. The organization puts on a yearly blues cruise which features upcoming music acts in the blues, Americana, and beyond.  Bonamassa embodies a rare gem in the music world. After years of hard work, he is one of the most successful blues musicians on the scene!  Happy Birthday Joe!

Dave Mason: 5/10/1946

Dave Mason got his first major start by co-founding a little psychedelic rock band named “Traffic” along with Steve Winwood. He appears on their first album Mr. Fantasy supplying guitar parts and random other instruments and part of their second album. Needless to say, Mason never really fits in with the dynamic of the rest of the band.  After leaving “Traffic”, he adds his talents on various other albums and appears on stage with many other great musicians.

Mason became friends with the blues powerhouse Jimi Hendrix and watches how his career blooms in England in 1966. He appears on the track “All Along the Watchtower,” providing 12-string guitar for the album Electric Ladyland. Mason also performs with other musicians like Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Dave Crosby, Michael Jackson, and others while maintaining his solo career. 

That’s all for this week’s May 4 – May 10 birthdays!

Keeping the Blues Alive
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