Hours of video performance in celebration of the birthday of Texas Blues guitar master Albert Collins, October 1, 1932 – November 24, 1993.
A sweet pair of vintage clips from blues greats, both born on this day: Robert Nighthawk playing on a Maxwell Street stoop, c. 1964; and Brownie McGhee playing with his partner Sonny Terry at Newport Folk Festival, 1963. [more inside]
Elvis rode to fame on one of her covers and Janis got rich on her signature song, but you haven't truly heard Hound Dog or Ball & Chain until you've experienced Big Mama Thornton belting them out. A seminal blues figure who could play the harp with the best of them, she was true original. In her heyday, Willie Mae was a 6-foot tall, 350-pound, gun-toting crossdresser who led a rough and colorful life and took no guff whatsoever. Emaciated but still powerful, she gives a final raw and expressive performance of Ball & Chain and Hound Dog shortly before her death in 1984. [more inside]
Taj Mahal (sound alert) has been delighting audiences for more than 40 years since his debut with Ry Cooder in the pacesetting Rising Sons. He's a multi-instrumentalist most noted for blues, but his life's work spans gospel, Caribbean, Hawaiian and many other genres. Much respected by fellow musicians, he's a 2-time Grammy winner and official blues artist of MA. He loves to go fishin' and if you like fishing too, you can join him on his next Taj Mahal Fishing Blues Tournament, a benefit to aid southern musicians. [more Taj music inside]