NEW YORK: Let Me Introduce Myself - by J. Blake

Posted on 5/12/2009 by J. Blake

Hello all,

I’m very excited to be a part of what I hope will be a very successful forum for a genre of music that I truly love. I’m assuming (or at least hoping) that if you’re visiting this site and reading these blogs that you too are passionate about one of America’s only truly original art forms.

Seeing how this is my first “blog” and the site is only in a practice/test stage at the moment, I thought it best to present a little background about myself and briefly describe the plans for my weekly column.

I am currently the ripe old age of 30 and I’ve been having a love affair with the Blues for a more than half my life. Like many fans (especially the ones of my generation) I found the Blues through what most people would consider “Rock artists”. Growing up in a household with an older brother and parents who are well versed in the Rock of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s (among other genres), at a fairly you age I was exposed to the music of artists like Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Allman Brothers and The Band. It was in my teens that music became a true passion in my life and eager to find out everything I could about these musicians that I loved, I began to read books, magazines, album cover, liner notes, anything I could get my hands on. During my research names like B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King, Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy and the ever so mysterious Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, all began popping up over and over again. There were tales of men selling their souls to the Devil in return for musical skill, guitars named after women and blistering guitar licks that shaped Psychedelic Rock and even Heavy Metal (and every other style of popular music for that matter). It was all so appealing to a teenage boy and the only logical step to take next, was to listen. Listen to the people that influenced the artists I loved. Listen to the heritage of modern popular music. Listen to short little snippets of American history. Listen to the Blues!!! I was hooked forever.

This obsession soon led to my picking up a guitar (a used Strat style Epiphone that my Dad bought me…I don’t think they even make them anymore) and teaching myself how to play it. I started with the oh so important I-IV-V chord progression & minor pentatonic scale, “mastered” (and I use that word in the loosest way possible) a ton of Blues & Classic Rock standards, shredded through the Blues based riffs of players like Richie Blackmore, Tony Iommi & Angus Young and even dabbled in a bit of jazz. I’ve stuck with it, played in several bands over the years and have now been leading one of the hardest rockin’ Blues bands in the Big Apple for half a decade!

So now that I’ve reminisced (for perhaps too long) about myself, I’d like to talk a bit about the blog. Like Mr. Mike Burton, a fellow contributor to the site, I’m not thrilled with the term blog. I too prefer the word “column”, but in an effort to keep it simple for now, we’ll stick with “blog”. As I write this I’ve had the chance to read what Mike Burton and Terrance Lape have already written for the site and I have to admit I find it exciting! To have several steady writers, of different ages, backgrounds and locations writing every week, with totally different perspectives, about different aspects of the Blues….it seems like we’re going to be embarking on a very interesting and entertaining little journey here.

What interested me in contributing to this project is the freedom we’re being offered to write about whatever we want. For me personally “Blues” is a vague notion. Yes it’s a specific style of music, but it’s also a feeling and a lifestyle. In my opinion Blues doesn’t always have to be played in a I-IV-V chord progression or in 12 or 8 bars and it doesn’t have to be played by old (or even deceased) black guys. The Blues encompasses a lot and I’d like my weekly blogs to do the same. I plan to write reviews for live concerts, CDs, DVDs and even Blues related films. Some weeks I’ll explore the work of a specific artist, or perhaps just a single song. Other weeks I may explore an artist or a work that may not seem like “Blues” to you, but it does to me. I may examine a sub-genre of the Blues or maybe the notion of the Blues itself. I might even be able to bring a few interesting interviews to the site as well.

The possibilities are endless and it’s going to be a lot of fun. So stay tuned as we all try to bring our own unique perspectives on the Blues to this site.

Come back for my next blog, Doyle Bramhall II…Mediocre At Best!!!

Keep Rockin’,

J. Blake

Check out J. Blake & The Earthquake at: as well as on Facebook.

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
Geraldo offers inteviews and reviews. You may have seen him at an Ana Popovic concert or conversed with him on her websites, as he offers administrative support with her music.

Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
Nelson offers a Friday column of blues photography and pictorial support for the interviews covered by the team.

Jim Stick in Colorado
Jim will be focusing on the Blues Festivals in the beautiful state of Colorado, and the artists that live and visit there.

Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

We head to the big state of Texas! Abby Owen, our Texas correspondent.

Another big area to cover, the West Coast with Casey Reagan, Casey will feature many artists and events on this ocean's shores.

Lastly, we have our roving blues entertainment writer,
Chef Jimi.

And of course, we will surprise you sometimes!

Internet Marketingdata recovery