Blues

Triangle-based musician Jasmé Kelly grew up singing in church choirs and eventually decided to pursue music as an independent musician. Kelly combines her upbringing in gospel with popular blues and soul aesthetics in her new album called "Lady Jasmé."

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. 

American Sacred Steel gospel group Campbell Brothers
kmuw

The Campbell Brothers, a New York-based sacred steel band, will be performing a reinterpretation of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme to kick off the Bull Durham Blues Festival this weekend.

Ironing Board Sam
www.musicmaker.org/ / Music Maker Relief Foundation

  Ironing Board Sam has been playing rhythm and blues professionally since he was 16 years old in Rock Hill, SC. He's now 73, living in Chapel Hill and his passion for music-making is as strong as ever. Sam is part of Hillsborough's Music Maker Relief Foundation, and he's just released a new album, “Going Up.”

This segment was originally broadcast on January 11, 2013. The following is new information:

Elizabeth Cotten conducting a guitar workshop at the 1968 Newport Folk Festival
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63204614@N08/ / flickr

In the early 1900s in Carrboro, a young Elizabeth Cotten took her brother's handmade guitar from under his bed.

She started playing the instrument upside down - with her right hand on the fret and strumming with her left hand. The young woman went on to become a famous blues and folk musician. Next weekend, Carrboro will dedicate a historic marker to honor Cotton’s legacy and ties to the town.

America's Music is a film and performance series at the North Regional Branch of Wake County Libraries.
http://www.wakegov.com/libraries/events/Pages/americasmusic.aspx

America’s Music is a film and performance series that traces the soundtrack of a nation. The program features documentary screenings and discussions about the history of 20th century American popular music from blues to Broadway and bluegrass to rock 'n' roll. 

George Higgs
Tim Duffy, Music Maker Relief Foundation

North Carolina blues musician George Higgs died on Tuesday. He was 82 years old.

Jule Brown

May 25, 2012

Mark Holland and his twin brother Michael found success in the music industry with the band Jennyanykind. They were signed to a major label in the mid-90s and in 1994, Mark created Jule Brown, a southern blues and rock persona to serve as a solo side-act to Jennyanykind.