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  • Queen of the Blues
    of black bread bee intestines strung from a Memphis farm to Chicago voice fuller than breasts breasts fuller than two black hole moons a man is writing his life trying desperately not to objectify his inside black the way a teacher bites an apple and makes of it a room the way I dreamed Saturn burn turn in my wrist with each note you sang let me call you Cora by your Christian name let me crawl your last name Walton vast across my chest you married Pops Taylor who drove a truck and brought you in 54 all the way to Chicago hear now the scrape of the curved horn of the giant sable antelope of Angola lusted after for a hundred years this elusive beast among the chokeberry and the scutch hear the jungle scut of ivory and enormous roaring beasts and how all the lame and dead lepers I met in India lunatics in Delhi all who bled less fed than your voice filling that part of my now open heart Koko live at Sam s Fort Collins 1982 me not wanting to dance but drink instead your sinew strut your every spacious swerve how I fell

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/features/george-poems/koko-taylor-poem-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • George Kalamaras, Jimi Hendrix, Entering the Corridors of Breath
    a September dusk the lift of a goose wing sheds over fields in the sleeper s forehead A sudden snow bank that holds the wolf s slow step keeps the landscape always drifting north toward the earth toward the earth s axis A small sound measures the moist shape between a person s breath and the flesh it seeks breaking through water through the other side of a chant s exile through the pyramid you drew that day before you died the number nine drawn down within itself nine times a merman s descent But where to look for heat How the hum of a stranger s touch at dusk pieces apart the patience of womb water Fallen roots blossom an electric earth a fragrant caravan that wanders off over the bridge your blues beats through the hills of Tibet of Mars the mountains within unknown galaxies a woman s ancient hair On an island she waits for you She strokes your belly looking far back through your past into swirling textures of thought into a lotus leaf becoming the way wood slows to wheat oil to water How soul meets soul Soma it is raining Jimi Soma mani padma What floats over you in faint earth howl holds her left eye steady near your navel A thousand suns and moons spiral from inside each breath the plants ease into the rocks The ten thousand things surge from stones Volcanoes rise in the sleeper s lost blood What heat The humming clocks of harvest grain a beat in the hidden symphony against which a planetary wind defines itself becoming border Buddha fields pour through trees the galaxies of reptile embrace a wind that cries Mary a wind where each breath begins and ends and begins again dropping a deeper green

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/features/george-poems/jimi-hendrix-poem-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Roy Buchanan: The Best Unknown Guitarist in the World
    Your 53 Fender Telecaster you called Nancy your note bending staccato runs You pioneered pinch harmonics inching me toward dissolve You could hit the string then partially mute it muting me Roy You could suppress those lower overtones from my duodenum exposing the harmonics a technique not quite known back then not just to guitarists but to my own regenerative dream Your trebly signature tone took me to some shaky place inside I could die back then right there just hearing that groan But I didn t Roy because your chord kept me alive Now I m stuck imagining another cord dangling you inches above the floor Why d you do it Why d you make her call the cops in the first place Why d you stagger into that cell mad as hell at yourself for being that drunken mad Your family and friends don t believe you could ve done it I don t believe you could ve sitting here in awe of your riffs I finally saw you play not quite five years before Your wah wah tone that violin swell using only the guitar s knobs and a plectrum You lied to us Roy lied to me as you kept me alive through my own teenage bleed Your father was a sharecropper not a Pentacostal preacher as you had claimed You learned the blues in the back of a black church back home in a shack with an angry grasp And you carried that strap carried your guitar and its weight forty eight years three hundred twenty five days You gulped the amber track shot by shot sunken barroom sun to sunken barroom sun You shot us up with your needle like note with what you knew by heart that the heart of someone with that

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/features/george-poems/roy-buchanan-poem-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • One of Only Two, for Rory Gallagher, poem by George Kalamaras
    they were inked indelibly into your skin Actually into the liver Compound ventricular versicle gland acting in the formation of blood One of only two human organs with the capacity to self regenerate Beneath your red flannel plaid something was sallow as if all the ink of your world squid pressed into your shy and your almost into the well depths of your smoke throttled voice It lodged there spilling dark pearls backwards each after the other that shook like fierce maraca seeds against the gourd that said extreme nutation and one way do not enter and ask my name backwards but do the asking gently and in one of three separate voices From the alphabet rare chemical dust Interplanetary Diurnal As if the left foot of the goddess Kali firmed your chest and retracted from your duodenum each of the fifty one letters of Sanskrit script into the garland of letters hung as skulls around her neck I heard you wail with Taste on the Isle of Wight recording stalk across the coals blind yourself on each blurring seed From within each sound I heard the world dissolve From peaceful pineal gland I touched a little ground From as though a dreaming electricity a habile view There s beauty Rory in the amber lamp the one you leaned against and held as you steadied yourself for the bed The thrips at the bottom of your gut release strange thriving sounds we all know but never speak like tribal dust dialects of Upper Mongolia untranslatable Like keeping the night in a bosk Like shad scum from that gland we ve all camped in a thanage on the heath plain of your brain You did me right since I was sixteen Did us all consistent with your plight as if you

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/features/george-poems/rory-gallagher-poem-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Spread My Raincoat Down, for David Honeyboy Edwards, poetry by George Kalamaras
    to travel with Big Joe Williams but which never left you in Salida in hopping freight to Chicago or Saint Louis or the bus to Greenwood Mississippi You were there Honeyboy in 38 the night Robert Johnson drank the poisoned whiskey Three days later pumping his chest pumping your fist at the sky And that first recording of you in 42 the way you make all things rain inside us

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/features/george-poems/honeyboy-poem-page.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • John Primer, All Original, CD review
    is a very infectious track weaving greazy Hammond B3 and urban harmonica licks throughout courtesy David Ross and Melvin Harmonica Hinds respectively Although Primer s lead guitar is not always the primary focus it s his steady foundation that the band feeds on The next cut Going Back to Mississippi is a classic broom duster shuffle with Primer s vocal performance taking center stage It s very satisfying to hear an artist sing about going to Mississippi after they ve actually been born there When John sings about the South being where he belongs the conviction passion and authenticity of his vocal is evident Next up the slow slide guitar workout I Called My Baby evokes the delivery and tones of golden period Elmore without sounding derivative or rote His complete mastery of slide guitar is on display here with Primer pulling haunting and memorable melodies out of the guitar while his plaintive vocal reminds the listener of the daily struggles of Men Women and Love Everyday Makes a Change Blue Eyed Woman Say Yes Don t Say No and Keep on Lovin the Blues all speak to Primer s respect for Muddy Waters ensemble style and here his peerless pedigree is on full display On Other Man and The Woman I m Loving Primer s single string prowess is featured mixing West Side and Soul grooves to the palette Three decades and thousands of gigs spent with Willie Dixon Muddy Waters and Magic Slim wear themselves well here it s quite clear that Primer knows this material from its source At Home Alone is a slow late night grinder that weaves its minor key melodies seamlessly Primer s sinewy guitar lines coax and lead Hinds chromatic trills and Ross s rich satisfying B3 work Closing All Original is the

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/john-primer-cd/primer-all-original-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • THE CONGREGATION, Right Now Everything, CD review
    the passionate vocal stylings of the lovely and talented Gina Bloom She is backed by the considerable talents of bandmates Charlie Wayne guitar Joe DeBord bass Chuck Sansone keyboards percussion Dan Wendt drums percussion Brian Crane trumpet Nick Nottoli trombone and Eric Eiseman sax The sound is soul music on fire touched by the blues and wrapped up in the energy of rock and roll it is completely infectious It is the kind of sound that reminds us all how powerful live music can be The Congregation s debut album Right Now Everything is a rollicking affair packed with a dozen original songs about love gone wrong and the wreckage left behind all set to beats that are strong enough to rock any house in the world The blending of soul music with elements of punk and garage rock has been attempted by others but has seldom been handled so well or so convincingly Bloom really pulls the emotion out of each song and the band is equal to her intensity putting a lid on the pot until it boils over rather than keeping things at a more traditional soul simmer All the songs presented on the album work nicely with nary a clunker in the bunch Especially worthy of a listen are Real Thing You Always Told Me Terrible Things and the title track that kicks the record off The coolest thing about The Congregation is hearing them play this kind of music not with the bearing and grace of the old masters but with the something to prove grit of a young band on the way up the ladder This is not your grandpa s soul music but a new variety of the sound one based as much in loud rock and roll as in Memphis funk Right

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/congregation-cd/congregation-right-now-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • DONNA HERULA, The Moon Is Rising, DH Records, tribute to Robert Nighthawk
    s regulars in that decade Nighthawk a native of Helena Arkansas brought the driving hill country blues complete with its dark humor and storytelling to Chicago s most famous market On Moon Herula pays loving tribute to the Maxwell Street troubadour with new arrangements of some of his classic tunes as well as some of his favorite covers All twelve tracks are played in the same open tuning that allows Herula to work her slide and finger picking magic She moves deftly between chords slide and melodic single note runs with precision and authority alternating between a National Steel Resonator Triolian or Tricone guitars Rather than being monotonous the tuning helps create an ambiance that s consistent throughout the album These tunes are all related they all belong on this record together It s like sitting down with a friend and her guitar on the back porch for a Sunday afternoon hootenanny Pass the jug The CD s opening track Take It Easy Baby sets the tone with its driving acoustic guitar and backbeat supplied by Donna stomping a tambourine with her foot The tune features a couple passes by John whose unaffected country blues harp playing is featured on five of the twelve tracks The title track The Moon Is Rising has an easier more laid back feel with swirling resonator multi tracked with Inna Morris Meinkov s haunting violin to give the feel of mist rising over the river The Return Mail Blues features an almost lyrical guitar line that calls and responds to the vocal track typical of most arrangements on the disc Donnas husband Tony Nardiello adds a layer of guitar to this and four other tracks Donnas vocals are clear and youthful impassive but serious This is no barrel housing blues mama but a simply

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/donna-herula-cd/donna-herula-cd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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