Blues

photo of Lincoln Durham
Robyn Von Swank

Lincoln Durham is not afraid to reveal his demons.

In his latest album, Revelations of a Mind Unraveling, Durham delivers dark and gritty punk-blues. As a one-man band, Durham arms himself with salvaged vintage instruments like cigar-box guitars and banjos to create his Southern Gothic sound.

David Bolton

There is a kind of musician who stays true to his or her passion, no matter the cost.

They may have to hustle at side jobs to make ends meet, but they will do whatever it takes to make it to their gigs at local bars. While that narrative is somewhat romanticized, it holds true for many professional musicians.

Image of blues musician Scott Ainslie
Scott Ainslie

When Scott Ainslie was just three years old, his mother found him sitting at the piano playing melodies from records she played around the house. His proclivity toward music seemed innate, and his musical career evolved from there. He went on to learn every instrument he could get his hands on from flute to guitar, fiddle, and banjo. But he has also devoted his career to learning the deep history of American music and translating those stories to a public audience.

Neil Cribbs is a blues and Americana guitarist based in Raleigh
Staton Carter Photography

Neil Cribbs has had a full tour of North Carolina scenery in his life. He grew up in Wilmington and attended college at Appalachian State University.

He spent a few years working outside the state after college but returned home and now lives in Raleigh. Cribbs is a guitarist and singer with many musical influences including folk, blues and Americana.

An image of musician Phil Cook
Middle West Management

 

Wisconsin native Phil Cook headed south for a new home in North Carolina 10 years ago.  Since then, he has been in a band with Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, formed Megafaun with his brother Brad Cook and drummer Joe Westerlund, and has played on or produced records by everybody from Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls to Hiss Golden Messenger.

Along the way, Phil got married, had a son and settled himself deep in North Carolina's red clay.  Now he's releasing his first solo record called Southland Mission.  Fans of Megafaun will find Cook’s new music to be groovier with a more rootsy vibe than some of that band's work, but there are hints of the past in some of the vocal harmonies and instrumentation. On the whole, the album reflects a passion for southern music that’s been growing in Cook for decades.

"I had the title of the record before I had the songs written. I liked the idea that a title for a record is a theme for your life, a theme for your music, and seems to be the title of the chapter for wherever you’re at," Cook said. "To me, Southland Mission seemed like a great way to sum up being in the South for 10 years now, and longed to be in the South 10 years before that. I had built up quite a mission in my mind about, 'What was I coming down here for?' Well, it was the music."

An image of blues musician Albert White
Tim Duffy / Music Maker Relief Foundation

American music can be traced back to the blues, jazz, and many more roots music. The legacy of these roots comes alive this Thursday, June 13, with a roundup of Southern roots musicians from the Music Maker Relief Foundation.

Captain Luke
MusicMakers Relief Foundation

Captain Luke, legendary blues musician, died early Tuesday morning at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He was 87. 

 

Captain Luke, otherwise known as Luther Mayer, helped start the Music Maker Relief Foundation with Tim Duffy in the 1990s. The organization works with struggling roots and blues musicians to help preserve their music.

 

Durham artist Jon Shain is playing The State of Things.
www.jonshain.com/

  

Durham guitarist Jon Shain recorded an album of covers in 2014 entitled Reupholstered

The cover for Rick Bragg's new biography of Jerry Lee Lewis, "Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story."
HarperCollins

    

When many people think about the legends of rock and roll music, they think about The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, and so on.

Emily Musolino of the Emily Musolino Band at Motorco in Durham.
Emily Musolino Music

  

When Durham native Emily Musolino left for the Berklee College of Music, the only thing she knew she wanted to do with her life was to make music. 

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