Ball And Chain Blues: 10 Prison Songs From The Document Catalogue

by D’Arcy Rix-Hayes The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with one in every 15 people in the country expected to go behind bars. According to Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow “more African American adults are under correctional control today…than were enslaved in 1850.” In many ways, slavery was … Continue reading “Ball And Chain Blues: 10 Prison Songs From The Document Catalogue”

Perry (Mule) Bradford Escorts African American Singers Through The Closed Doors Of The 1920s Recording Industry.

By Elva D. Green Perry (Mule) Bradford In 1920, Mr. Perry (Mule) Bradford, African American songwriter, minstrel, and vaudeville performer was responsible for convincing White owned Okeh Records to record the first African American female blues singer. Bradford, born in Alabama, spent years traveling the country in minstrel shows and Vaudeville where he heard many … Continue reading “Perry (Mule) Bradford Escorts African American Singers Through The Closed Doors Of The 1920s Recording Industry.”

‘You Got To Move’ A Reflection upon Rev. Gary Davis by Jonathan Oldstyle

You like the blues. That’s why you’re here, reading about Reverend Gary Davis. Maybe you like jazz as well, maybe classical music. If you want to read about someone who played jazz like Davis played the blues, you might be reading about Art Tatum. Classical, it would be Frederick Chopin. These are guys who challenged … Continue reading “‘You Got To Move’ A Reflection upon Rev. Gary Davis by Jonathan Oldstyle”

Famous Jazz Musicians of the 1930s

Introduction In the 1930s we move from the “Jazz Age” to the “Swing Era”. New York is now the Jazz Capital of the World, although other cities, such as Chicago and Kansas City, enjoy a thriving Jazz scene. With Hollywood firmly established, many of the big bands spend more time on the West coast. New … Continue reading “Famous Jazz Musicians of the 1930s”

Famous Jazz Musicians of the 1920s

Introduction A new age sprung to life during the decade following the First World War – The Jazz Age. It was a new exciting era for freedom in attitudes, fashion and music. This article will look at some of the most famous Jazz musicians of the 1920s. The hotbed for the new found freedom of … Continue reading “Famous Jazz Musicians of the 1920s”

Blind Willie Johnson

Blind Willie Johnson (1897–1945) By Bill Berry “Probably the finest slide guitar playing you’ll ever hear” – Eric Clapton, commenting on Blind Willie Johnson’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine “The greatest example of slide guitar ever recorded” – Jack White, on Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground “I’ve tried all my life – worked … Continue reading “Blind Willie Johnson”

Blues Musicians Who Died in 2019

Honouring Those Musicians We Lost In 2019 By Paul T Forrest A number of music artists passed away in 2019. Here, we pay tribute to some of those who were associated with the Blues. Ginger Baker 19 August 1939 – 6 October 2019 Ginger Baker rose to prominence with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce in … Continue reading “Blues Musicians Who Died in 2019”

10 Famous Blues Musicians

(Written by Leonardo Pereira) 1. BIG BILL BROONZY (Lee Conley Bradley; 1903 – 1958) The city of Chicago is constantly associated with the blues and its electric reinvention, but one of its pioneers actually started as an acoustic country blues performer. According to some sources, William Lee Conley Broonzy was born in Arkansas in 1903. … Continue reading “10 Famous Blues Musicians”

Fiddlin John Carson

“I can get to Hell just as quick as you can.” The Profanity of John Carson’s Fiddle  Over the course of the seven volumes of Document Records Fiddlin’ John Carson’s “Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order” the first-time listener will hear old-time, hillbilly music played with self-awareness and mastery by one of the nineteenth century’s … Continue reading “Fiddlin John Carson”

Confessions of a Vinyl Addict – Part 4

From Hull to Nashville By Gary Atkinson   Given the critical slamming I gave those first Document CDs when writing for the blues magazine, I was more than a little surprised when the reviews editor rang to say that Johnny Parth had recommended me for a job. They wanted me to write some booklet notes, … Continue reading “Confessions of a Vinyl Addict – Part 4”