Friday, June 28 2002
Mention The Clarks to most music fans outside of Pittsburgh, and you're likely to be met with a look of blank indifference. However, the fact that the four-piece band stole the show when sharing the stage with Three Doors Down at the Iron City's IC Light Amphitheatre last summer, tells you all you need to know about The Clarks' popularity in and around their hometown.
The tag 'Soul Brother Number One', attributed to the great funk God James Brown, didn't come without him paying dues -- literally and figuratively.
Byther Smith has been a working man his whole long life, and rightly takes pride in that honest fact.
Bo Diddley is more important than the Stones, more crucial than the Beatles, more fundamental to rock as a lyricist and an instrumentalist and a conceptualist than Elvis Presley or Buddy Holly or Brian Wilson.
Mentioning his name will jumpstart memories of powerful Chicago-style soul blues that telegraphs a rhythm into the soul of any blues fan.
Longhair is the Picasso of keyboard funk.
Dixon's stature only grew with the British Invasion.
Dupree's own life, as well as his music, provide a narrative that touched on so many aspects of the 20th century African-American experience that it at times beggars belief.
The life of the New Orleans piano 'professor' who grew up playing in whorehouses and clip joints has long been the stuff of legend in both jazz and blues music.
The most telling connection between blues and boxing were the bluesmen themselves who had also been fighters. But evidence of this association can be seen elsewhere, if you happen to look in the right places. If you're lucky, there it is, staring you straight back in the face, just like the early blues and R&B posters do.
Popa Chubby is one of today's rising blues musicians and one of the blues' biggest fight fans.
Like many bluesmen -- and any boxer -- Texas guitarslinger Johnny Copeland got knocked down a lot, but he always fought hard to get back up.
Jackie Wilson will be recognized as a superb gloveman who wasn't afraid to mix it up in the corners, only to be brought down by the same habits he acquired when he was learning to harness his amazing gifts.
His tragic career will always be offered as an object lesson in power and greed (not to mention the fate of the black man in entertainment).
Comparing bluesmen to boxers is a parlor game -- okay, a saloon pastime -- worth trying once or twice.
Tuesday, June 25 2002
The record business perceived the Dolls as too dangerous, too radical, too frightening even to be in the same room with, too hard to sell. Every time Leber and I talked to record people we came across an invisible wall. Could they play as well as the Allman Brothers? What is this gender bending thing? Are they gay?
Tuesday, June 11 2002
PopMatters' own bring to the surface a dozen under-the-radar musicians who are sure to blow your mind 'and' your speakers.
Tuesday, June 4 2002
Meade was the real ugly truth. During the 1960s and '70s he grew up gay in the nowhere north Oklahoma oil outpost of Bartlesville, where football and Our Lord Jesus Christ rule the roost and homosexuality is considered unnatural and satanic. Music was his only salvation...
Monday, June 3 2002
Ahh, Gary Wilson. For the performer who is as much performance artist as he is lounge act, a pat fairy tale simply will not do. His fade into obscurity came largely because no one could understand his music; today, it still sounds light years ahead of its time and maybe not even of this planet.
Tuesday, May 14 2002
The combination of four sweaty, unassuming guys proudly displaying their heavy metal T-shirts whilst belting out a brand of classic-influenced modern rock that gave them their name, is not the conventional way a new band manages to break through in today's ultra competitive, MTV dominated music industry, but that's exactly how American Hi-Fi have managed it.