When Bob "Jawbone" Zabor, a one-man blues band from Detroit, played a 2004 live session on John Peel's BBC radio show, the DJ declared him "almost a definition of what I would like this programme to be about". Peel played nearly every track of Jawbone's homemade CDR on the show and immediately invited him for another live session - but died before that offer could be made good. Jawbone, who still struggled to find gigs in America, released a couple of official albums here and remained a cult favourite on the UK circuit until 2008, when he suddenly dropped out of sight. Now he's back with his first new songs in over a decade and this exclusive PlanetSlade interview telling the full story. [more inside]
Exactly 100 years ago, Harry Pace founded America's first Black-owned record label. Black Swan Blues, my 2014 book telling his extraordinary story, inspired Jad Abumrad & Shima Oliaee’s new Radiolab series The Vanishing of Harry Pace. Over the past 12 months, we've been able to gather a lot of fresh information about Pace and Black Swan, so I've produced a expanded edition of my book which you can buy here. As a little bonus for PlanetSlade readers, I've also posted a new website essay called A Georgia Lynching, which tells the full story behind an incident Black Swan's Ethel Waters mentions in her autobiography.
Atlanta band Brother Hawk is basically a family, anchored by childhood friends. Until two years ago, there was literal family in the band. Then Joe Brisendine, harmonica player and the singer’s dad, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. I wrote in Immersive Atlanta about the love and loss that surrounds their album The Clear Lake and their new follow up EP.
Dr Poopy's Medicinal Jam is a weekly live stream of live music, running every Tuesday evening from 7.30pm to 9.30pm UK time. Vibe leans generally towards acoustica / Americana but you never know. [more inside]
In July this year, I started reviewing blues CDs and similar material for fRoots, the UK's leading folk music and world music magazine. With its editor's permission, I've now posted the first four installments of this work on PlanetSlade, which covers releases by Ian Siegal, Big Head Blues Club, Pokey LaFarge, Meschiya Lake, Jack Blackman, The Lil’ Band O’ Gold and Charles Shaar Murray. More reviews will follow as my arrangement with fRoots permits.
Riffing on an old idea/joke that came up in Metatalk today, I've put together this little blues name generator. Because why should Leukemia Sweet Pepper Tyler have all the fun?