Beth Hart: She Sure Can Sing

Beth Hart is my new blues obsession. Her voice is a burnt-honey gravel — the perfect sound for a good blues song. A couple of years ago, she was voted 20th best blues voice. (I’m not sure it shouldn’t be higher.) I found her by accident, just like all the best things in life are found. I was checking out the guitarist, Joe Bonamassa and there was this awesome woman singing with him and I was hooked. That big voice just screams the blues, and if you watch the video,…

Robert Johnson: Down at the Crossroads

I can’t think of a better subject on the eve of Halloween than Robert Johnson, the Mississippi blues guitarist who was said to have sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for learning to play guitar. It’s an old story. The myth that just won’t die. But how did this myth about a nefarious, midnight meeting at a Mississippi Crossroads between Johnson and Old Scratch that resulted in a contract, in which Johnson becomes a great guitar player and the Devil gets his soul, become the story that defined…

Skip James I’d Rather Be the Devil

It seems fitting that with the spooky holiday approaching, Skip James is today’s blues man. His music has an eerie quality that is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before, and even though it was covered by Robert Johnson (next week’s subject), no one, not even “sold his soul to the devil Johnson” had that same quality and downright, well evilish sound of Skip James. And that’s not even taking into consideration his subject matter. “I’d rather be the devil, than be that woman’s man.” Skip James was a strange man to…