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September 28 – October 4th Birthdays

September 28 – October 4th Birthdays

September 28 – October 4th Birthdays. This week’s birthdays include Koko Taylor, Jerry Lee Lewis, Nick Curran, Albert Collins, Nick Gravenites, Keb Mo’, Stevie Ray Vaughan. As well as Deborah Coleman, and Duke Robillard. 

KoKo Taylor – 9/28/1928

Beloved Chicago blues, soul, and R&B singer who was first discovered by Willie Dixon in the early 60’s before she made a name for herself with her 1965 recording of “Wang Dang Doodle”, which would go on to sell a million copies. The next forty plus years garner much critical acclaim.  She receives 29 Blues Music Awards, among others, in her lifetime. Her raw and intense voice influences many, from Janis Joplin to Shemekia Copeland. Lastly, she earns the title of “The Queen of the Blues.”

Jerry Lee Lewis – 9/29/1935

Known as a masterful singer and highly influential pianist. Jerry Lee Lewis is one of the early pioneers of rock and roll. He gains commercial success with hits like “Great Balls of Fire,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ on, “and “Breathless.” Known as “the Killer” and “rock and roll’s first great wild man,” Lewis also made his mark on other genres.  In 1986, he gets his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Nick Curran – 9/30/1977

Part blues and rockabilly mixed with parts of punk. Nick Curran receives comparisons to several mainstream musicians; think of T-Bone Walker sitting in with the Misfits or the Ramones. Sounds crazy, but it works. His music is on similar plains as Brian Setzer and the Stray Cats. Curran began playing drums at 3 years old which propelled him into a career of music at a very young age. He was a member of several of his father’s bands in his home state of Maine. Nick learns how to navigate through different musical styles from Ronnie Dawson who tells him “not to get pigeonholed.” Curran sees low-level success in some of his projects but passes away in 2012 at only 35 years old.

Albert Collins – 10/1/1932

Of course, this artist does not need an introduction!  Albert Collins is the “Ice Man” as well as an electric blues guitarist and singer.  Furthermore, he’s from Texas and knows how to tear up the blues!  Noted for his powerful playing, distinctive guitar style and his use of altered tunings and a capo. His long association with the Fender Telecaster led to the title “The Master of the Telecaster”.  Because of Albert Collins we have other musicians that are influenced by his style. Such as Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Cray. Need we say more?

Nick “The Greek” Gravenites – 10/2/1938

Singer-songwriter, musician, and producer known for writing the songs “Born In Chicago”. As well as “Buried Alive In the Blues” for The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Janis Joplin, respectively. James Cotton and Otis Rush also covers his music. Furthermore, he briefly joins both Big Brother and the Holding Company as well as Electric Flag as lead vocalist.

Keb’ Mo’ – 10/3/1951

Besides being a torch bearer for the “Delta Blues”.  Acclaimed Keb Mo’ has risen among the ranks of the blues world. Equally, he’s a singer, songwriter, bandleader, and multi -instrumentalist that incorporates elements of rock, jazz, and folk into his music.  Not only does he preserve the traditional “Delta Blues” but he also modernizes it.  His first album under his moniker of Keb’ Mo” netted his first Blues Music Award. Lastly, he’s receives 3 Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

Stevie Ray Vaughan – 10/3/1954

One of the most important blues artists to emerge in the past few decades. likewise, his compelling mixture of blues and rock, an invigorating stage presence, and masterful knowledge of the guitar. A highly revered Texas blues man that captivates the world and helps to revive interest in the blues with his music in the 1980’s. His musical legacy still remains as powerful today as it was when its first unleashed. To this day the guitar hero’s work continues to influence the generations that follow in his wake. Such as Joanne Shaw Taylor, Joe Bonamassa, John Mayer, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Gary Clark, Jr. having found inspiration in his music.

Deborah Coleman – 10/3/1956

Born and raised into a musical family in which she first picks up the guitar at age 8. This guitarist and singer-songwriter gets inspiration to perform the blues professionally. Shortly after attending a legendary concert that includes Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and John Lee Hooker. She begins to perform in 1985, and releases eight albums since 1995. Shortly after, she gets several nominations for numerous Blues Music Awards.

Duke Robillard: 10/4/1948

Blues rock musician and bandleader who in 1967 co-founded the blues and swing revival group Roomful of Blues. He would depart from the group in 1979 to perform with Robert Gordonas well as his out outfits. In 1990 he replaced Jimmie Vaughan as the guitarist of The Fabulous Thunderbirds and continued to perform as a solo artist. He has toured with both Tom Waits and Bob Dylan and recorded with the likes of Pinetop Perkins, Snooky Pryor, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Ronnie Earl.

That’s it for this week’s September 28 – October 4th birthdays! Be Sure to check back next week!

Keeping the Blues Alive

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