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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: blues, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 21 of 21
1. Summer Projects

It's hotter than July here in Colorado, and it's not even July yet... I'm not such a fan of heat. But I will say that summer is good for writing for me, not sure why. Maybe it's the longer days, or that the sun kicks me out of bed earlier? In any case, I'm on a roll with writing, which is nice. 2016 is my year for holing up and writing some manuscripts, so let the words stack up, please.

One of my projects has me delving into music history a little, blues history in particular. So I'm listening to all kinds of oldies to get in the mood. And I also have some new music on the playlist-- this up-and-coming band Kaleo came across my radar. I was sure they hailed from the deep south, from some town in the Alabama or Mississippi mud, because that's the sound. Turns out Kaleo is from Iceland. I kid you not. Check it out:

I like being surprised, and I like it when the universe reminds me that not everything is so predictable. I try to use that little trick in my writing, too, when I think I can get away with it.

I'm not easily surprised anymore when it comes to books. I tried to think of an example, but can't think of a single book where a plot twist blew me off my socks.

Help me out, guys: any books that threw you for a loop?

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2. i got the blogging blues

No matter how many good intentions I have, I just can't keep  my blogging up. I sometimes even forget it's here. I can Facebook, Tweet, Instagram and even Flickr, but I just can't get into a blogging habit. 
Here, I bring you some flowers to apologise. Thanks to those of you who still visit. I'm not sure why you would. I hardly ever seem to. For those of you who keep up with yours; HOW do you do it?
Flowers for sale HERE

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3. background blues...

can you guess which princess is on the easel next?

{hint-there are pumpkins involved...hence the little vine sticking out in the attached pic.}

hop over to my Facebook page for the little giveaway i have going on....

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4. A Jazz Appreciation Month Playlist

Established in 2001, Jazz Appreciation Month celebrates the rich history, present accolades, and future growth of jazz music. Spanning the blues, ragtime, dixieland, bebop, swing, soul, and instrumentals, there's no surprise that jazz music has endured the test of time from its early origins amongst African-American slaves in the late 19th century to its growth today.

The post A Jazz Appreciation Month Playlist appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. Smile

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa
Men have named you
You're so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only cause you're lonely
They have blamed you
For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile

Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there, and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa
Or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art

Nat King Cole //  Mona Lisa

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6. An Evening of Fado and a Fadista to Remember

 One of the great traditions of Portugal is the unique music called tFado. I first heard Fado two years ago in Galicia, when Maria do Ceo sang at a  restaurant in a casa rural. (I blogged about her singing HERE and HERE.)

My next Fado discovery was the great Fadista, Marisa da Luz, in Braga, Portugal.

By the time my husband and I went to Braga last year to do research on a book I am writing, we were both hooked on Fado, and we especially wanted to find a place where we could hear it. We lucked out! Mercado das Tapas offers Fado every Thursday evening and a wonderful selection of tapas, as well as that great potato and kale soup called Caldo Verde.

At Mercado das Tapas, various Fadistas perform, but when we went last year we were fortunate to hear Marisa da Luz. We liked her so much that, when we knew we were going again early this month, we requested her. There are many things that make her such a good Fadista: To begin with, she has a beautiful voice with quite a range. But she also pours such feeling into her songs, they wring your heart.

There are cheerful songs in Fado, but the majority of songs deal with life, one's soul, fate. Fado has been called the Portuguese equivalent of American Blues, and to some extent, that's true. But to me the melodies are more complex and take one by surprise. Some tell a story. Some are philosophical. Some simply express the sadness of loss at a high level of poetry. Some of the lyrics are taken, in fact, from the poetry of one of Portugal's greatest and most mystical poets, Fernando Pessoa. Normally a Fadista is accompanied by two or three musicians. One or two will play guitar, and the remaining one will play a Portuguese guitar, which sounds very much like a mandolin.

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Fado is an art form like no other, and Marisa da Luz's voice and delivery rise to the demands of it. We predict that she is a rising star Fado lovers will hear of more and more.

Elegant and dramatic
She was the main singer of the evening, but three men took turns singing Fado, too, as many Fadistas are men, and this seems to be tradition.

Beautiful voice.

Great feeling
The humorous one.
As it turned out, it was Marisa da Luz's birthday, and she was celebrating it with her friends and family. Graciously she shared some champagne with us, and she let us take pictures of the party, as well as a couple of pictures with them! And with her! A very cordial, down to earth lady.
The woman behind me on your
right is one of the owners.

She gave us champagne!

A wonderful group of people as
you can see.

I was really honored.

Thank you, Marisa da Luz, for an inspiring evening full of wonderful song.

Next week: Some of our favorite places in Braga, and a wonderful tour guide.

Meanwhile, what is your favorite music to listen to? Have you heard Fado? If so, do you like it?

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7. Illustration Friday: Racing

~Racing To Rabbit Moon~

This is the only racing Greyhounds should have to do.
Race free and happy in fields and beaches, or like this chap, racing in his dreams.

I'm trying to get back in touch with my children's book style because of a book I'm about to begin.
I have to admit this was crazy fun to paint this today!

Watercolor, graphite and gouache
 For Illustration Friday: Racing

24 Comments on Illustration Friday: Racing, last added: 10/27/2010
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8. Illustration Friday: Shades

I live in a small room on the bay large enough only for myself and my cat. The wallpaper is a lovely pattern, although quite faded. It reminds me of my Grandmother's old china pattern.
The furnishings are sparse. A cot that was meant to hold someone much smaller than myself, an old ladderback chair and one electrical outlet which sits unused.
There's a tiny window that overlooks the bay. I'm so grateful for that window! No matter how small my world is inside, that little window lets in light and hope and a promise of better days. If I were to put shades on my little window to the world I would miss so much.
So very, very much indeed.

acrylic paint, pencil, patterned paper and imagination :)

Go to Illustration Friday to see other entries from around the world!

16 Comments on Illustration Friday: Shades, last added: 3/20/2012
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9. Esmeralda


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10. How to Become Clairvoyant

When I finally got my hands on How To Become Clairvoyant, I could hardly wait to take it home and play it. I had to hear what Robbie Robertson had created, and was convinced that anything Robbie Robertson did with Eric Clapton would be good. And it is. How To Become Clairvoyant is a guitar player’s collection of songs. The songs are: Straight Down the Line: Where Robertson’s New Orleans delta affinity shines through. The man who wrote The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down displays his reverence of the spiritual south, whether it’s black magic or Southern Baptist gospel in this song. Robert Randoph, included in Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitar Players, plays a fiery solo on the pedal steel to answer Robertson;’s electric guitar solo. When the Night Was Young: My personal favourite, it’s got one of those hooky choruses that keep popping up in your head long after you’ve heard it. We had dreams when the night was young. We were believers when the night was young, We could change the world, stop the war, Never seen nothing like this before, But that was back when the night was young Angela McClusky, a native Glaswegian transplanted to L.A., replaces Richard Manuel’s vocals with hers and harmonizes perfectly with Robertson on some of the verses and all of the choruses. He Don’t Live Here No More: A song about addiction with appropriate wild guitar sounds as Clapton plays a solo on the slide guitar and Robertson surprises the listener, who is expecting a roaring electric guitar, by playing a solo on a gut-string guitar which starts with fine Flamenco picking. The Right Mistake: Of course Steve Winwood is a part of this project. He plays on three of the songs. He’s a multi-instrumentalist, named Singer of the Year in 1986 who’s been entertaining since before Clapton and Robertson had that visual spark in The Last Waltz in 1972. You can hear his organ clearly on this song which includes solos from Robertson and Clapton and Angela McCluskey’s soulful vocals. In the credits Bill Dillon is credited with playing the guitar and the guitorgan. A friend saw Steve Winwood at Bluesfest last summer and was very impressed with his live show. This Is Where I Get Off: Robertson’s first musical reference to the painful breakup of The Band wherein he and Clapton do simultaneous electric guitar solos and backup singers, Rocco Deluca, Angelyna Boyd, Daryl Johnson, Michelle John and Sharon White contribute as the song builds up to each chorus beginning, “So just pull over / To the side of the road.” Fear of Falling: “A mellow Clapton riff” is what I thought the first time I listened to this. Both Robertson and Clapton are credited with writing this song so only they know. It’s an easy going, well crafted blues based song where they both do electric solos and Clapton plays an acoustic guitar. The lyrics are sung back and forth in verses and the two men harmonize on the chorus. The lyrics give it the possibility of being a hit. Steve Winwood’s organ in the background is solid but not intrusive. The backup singers, Taylor Goldsmith of The Dawes, Michelle John and Sharon White supplement Robertson and Clapton’s harmonies on the chorus. Their blues roots shine through here. She’s Not Mine: “Anthemic” is the word which first came to mind when I heard this song, though that description sounds a bit grandiose now that I’ve listened to the song often. It’s very impressive with its strategic, distant drums, lyrical imagery and musical sound. It’s the only song in the collection which credits Jim Keltner (a mainstay for decades in the rock recording scene) on drums as well as Ian Thomas. The rest of the tracks feature Pino Palladino on bass and Ian Thomas on drums. Pino Palladino has played bass with everyone from The Who to Eric Clapton to Don Henley and Elton John, who has a Fender bass named after him. One of the best in the business. I became aware of fretless bass in Paul Young’s cover of Marvin Gaye’s Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home). I learn, all these years later, that Pino Palladino (from Cardiff) played the fretless bass on that song. Ian Thomas, also born in Cardiff, is as technically perfect as a rock drummer can get with just the right amount of emotion in his playing. Madame X: A gentle instrumental Clapton wrote. He plays it on a gut string guitar while Robertson plays electric guitar and Trent Reznor, former front man of Nine Inch Nails, adds “Additional Textures”. The song’s bridge evokes “Tears In Heaven.” Axman: In “Axman,” an homage to the tradition of the guitar slinger, Robertson names many of the old blues players, as well as Jimi and Stevie Ray, Doing the guitar solo on a song dedicated to “brothers of the blade” is an honour given to Tom Morello, of Rage Against the Machine. Won’t Be Back: A song by Clapton and Robertson, produced, as all of these songs were, by Marius de Vries, on which he plays keyboard and Eldad Guetta provides the horns. How to Become Clairvoyant: Written by Robertson, this song includes the playing of Robert Randolph on the pedal steel guitar as well as Robertson’s electric guitar with Marcus de Vries on piano. Pino Palladino and Ian Thomas provide the beat, while Dana Glover and Natalie Mendoza are the backup voices. Just when you think you’ve listened to some heavy guitar and it’s all very serious, Robbie Robertson speaks at the end of the song, “Now that would be a revelation / And I also enjoy levitation.” Tango for Django: It is natural and fitting that a guitar player’s recording contains a tribute to one of the greatest guitarists of all, Django Rhinehart. Robertson plays it on a gut string guitar as it leads with violins reminiscent of Stefan Grappelli, into a growing roll of kettle drums and on to the formal introduction of a slow tango. As he wrote a musically correct waltz for The Last Waltz, Robertson has written, with Marcus de Vries, a formally correct (I assume) tango using Frank Morocco on accordian, Anne Marie Calhoun on violin, and Tina Guo on cello in this tribute to Django. (I wonder if Henry Miller heard Django in Paris in the Thirties. I like to think he did.) There is always a texture to Robertson’s stuff, something a little wild and weird, usually in his intros. In The Last Waltz he is surrounded by extraordinary musicians so it shouldn’t be surprising that he’s again surrounded by the same. Eric Clapton isn’t named in “Axman” but he played on six of Robertson’s songs, co-wrote two and unveiled his Instrumental, Madame X, on How To Become Clairvoyant . His participation is his approval and his tribute. Even if you are not a rock guitar fan nor a fan of The Band or Eric Clapton, this collection of rock songs, sung unapologetically in rock language, is worth listening to. It has what all good rock ‘n roll has always had – surprise. They didn’t have to do it for money. Sometimes it’s as simple as two old guitar players having fun.

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11. On the move

We are on the move...again...

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12. lots and lots of BLUE....

i LOVE paint!

laying down a background of brilliant blues and various violets
©the enchanted easel 2014

a little blue eyeshadow never hurt anyone...
©the enchanted easel 2014
finishing up the fourth (and final) kokeshi this week...little Aoi.

aoi kokeshi
©the enchanted easel 2014

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13. a peek at some teamwork...

a peek at "moonlight mavens"
©the enchanted easel 2014
just a glimpse at the new *face* of the enchanted easel.  this business is my proverbial *baby*. I've built it all by myself and have done most of the legwork after not one, not two, but THREE cervical spine surgeries in the last four years. 'cause that's just how i roll. ;)

I've had the painting done for over a week but i'm doing my best to re-build a new website hosted by squarespace...which, by the way, i HIGHLY recommend. i didn't think such wonderful and cooperative corporations existed anymore. they are fantastic. it's just a matter of getting acquainted with the new site and how it works as well as adding watermarks and shrinking images for the web....mundane stuff like that. let's just say, i would rather be painting. but then again, what else is new?!

hoping to be done by the end of this coming week. if not sooner....*fingers crossed on that one* ;)

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14. Watercolour: Fish Blues

A quick break from working on college projects and Floating Lemons uploads ... decided to pick the brush up and have a bit of therapeutic fun.




I'm now wondering whether they would look good on mugs, plates perhaps ... ooo, a shower curtain! Aha, off I go to experiment a bit more.

Have a fantastic week. Cheers.


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15. the digital dark ages? machines of loving grace?

While I find that using my computer for more of my communication and cultural creations works for me, it’s more of a concern when we think of this as the model for large-scale cultural products. The National Library of Australia tells us/warns us that cultural production in Australia is predominantly in digital form. They’ve made a bold statement about the role of the library in maintaining and preserving these cultural products. It’s a strong but hopeful almost-manifesto ending with Investing in Australia’s digital heritage is an investment for the future. Well done. With that said, here’s a poem I’ve always liked from Richard Brautigan. [thanks gwyn]

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now, please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.

2 Comments on the digital dark ages? machines of loving grace?, last added: 10/20/2007
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16. On This Day In History: In Memory of Blind Willie McTell

On this day in history, August 19, 1959, Blind Willie McTell passed away.  To honor this great musician we have excerpted his biography from Oxford Music Online’s Encyclopedia of Popular Music.  When you are done reading the post check out some of his music here.

McTell, Blind Willie

b. 5 May 1901, McDuffie County, Georgia, USA, d. 19 August 1959, Almon, Georgia, USA.

Blind from birth, McTell began to learn guitar in his early years, under the influence of relatives and neighbours in Statesboro, Georgia, where he grew up. In his late teens, he attended a school for the blind. By 1927, when he made his first records, he was already a very accomplished guitarist, with a warm and beautiful vocal style, and his early sessions produced classics such as ‘Statesboro Blues’, ‘Mama Tain’t Long Fo Day’ and ‘Georgia Rag’. During the 20s and 30s, he travelled extensively from a base in Atlanta, making his living from music and recording, on a regular basis, for three different record companies, sometimes using pseudonyms which included Blind Sammie and Georgia Bill. Most of his records feature a 12-string guitar, popular among Atlanta musicians, but particularly useful to McTell for the extra volume it provided for singing on the streets. Few, if any, blues guitarists could equal his mastery of the 12-string. He exploited its resonance and percussive qualities on his dance tunes, yet managed a remarkable delicacy of touch on his slow blues. In 1934, he married, and the following year recorded some duets with his wife, Kate, covering sacred as well as secular material.

In 1940, John Lomax recorded McTell for the Folk Song Archive of the Library of Congress, and the sessions, which have since been issued in full, feature him discussing his life and his music, as well as playing a variety of material. These offer an invaluable insight into the art of one of the true blues greats. In the 40s, he moved more in the direction of religious music, and when he recorded again in 1949 and 1950, a significant proportion of his songs were spiritual. Only a few tracks from these sessions were issued at the time, but most have appeared in later years. They reveal McTell to be as commanding as ever, and indeed, some of the recordings rank among his best work. In 1956, he recorded for the last time at a session arranged by a record shop manager, unissued until the 60s. Soon after this, he turned away from the blues to perform exclusively religious material. His importance was eloquently summed up by Bob Dylan in his strikingly moving elegy, ‘Blind Willie McTell’.

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17. Blind Willie McTell

1 Comments on Blind Willie McTell, last added: 8/29/2009
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18. Blind Willie McTell

Here's a mixed media portrait of one of my favorite blues musicians Blind Willie McTell. An enormous talent from the early days of southern blues.

I'm knee deep in two new projects right now ( besides my own Harry and Silvio ). At the moment they're both at the sketching and writing phase. Both of these appeared out of nowhere and the timing couldn't be better.

1 Comments on Blind Willie McTell, last added: 9/25/2009
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19. Elizabeth Cotten

Here's a picture I did in my Moleskine sketchbook of one of my favorite singer songwriters, Elizabeth Cotten. She has a wonderful sensitive and lively way of playing. She's most famous for her song Freight Train.

2 Comments on Elizabeth Cotten, last added: 9/25/2009
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20. The Blues

I thought it would be fun to see my blue ABC/ATC's so far.
I'm having such a blast with this series trying to keep them all in shades of blue!
This week's "N" will have to go in the next batch.
Click here to see the blog and the cards by the other ladies. 
This post counts for Blooming Tuesday and Animal Wednesday!

35 Comments on The Blues, last added: 4/17/2010
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21. Blind Willie Johnson

1 Comments on Blind Willie Johnson, last added: 5/24/2010
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