We Heart Blues Music

This photo of Robert Johnson is one of my favorites and truly captures the spirit of the early, “Deep South” Blues, and is probably one of the most recognized images representing this era.

Robert Johnson’s guitar, songwriting and vocal skills have gone down in history as a major influence of many musicians throughout the years, including Muddy Waters, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Winter, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, and many more.

Our country has such a rich heritage immersed in the Blues genre, and there are many forms and styles – too many to detail in this short (ish) blog post.  I wanted to touch on a few of these styles by showcasing some of our upcoming Blues acts playing at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis and at Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore over the next several months. We hope you’ll share in our enthusiasm!

Tinsley Ellis w/ Arum Rae
Tuesday, May 14
Rams Head On Stage

Hard-rocking blues-soaked guitarist/vocalist/song-writer Tinsley Ellis sings and plays with the energy and soul of all of the great Southern musicians who have come before him. Ellis attacks his music with rock power and blues feeling, following in the tradition of Deep South musical heroes B.B. King, Freddie King, Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes. Atlanta Magazine declared Ellis “the most significant blues artist to emerge from Atlanta since Blind Willie McTell.”

Arum Rae’s rock and blues influenced melodies lure the audience into a trance. As she plays, the room falls silent except for her sultry voice and electric guitar. Musically infused by Patsy Cline and Leonard Cohen, as much as by Bach and Hank Williams, she’s able to concoct a soul & dance revival, which delicately plays all over the full sonic spectrum.

Southern Culture On The Skids w/ Little Toby Walker
Thursday, May 16
Rams Head On Stage

While not specifically falling into the category of “Blues”, if you have a listen, you’ll most definitely hear the Blues influence. SCOTS’ music is a quintessentially Southern-fried amalgam of rockabilly, boogie, country, blues, swamp pop, and chitlin circuit R&B, plus a liberal dose of California surf guitar and a hint of punk attitude.

If you come to this show (as you should), be prepared to be in the presence of fried chicken:

It has become became a crucial part of their live performances, whether it’s used in eating contests or tossed into the audience – if this has peaked your curiosity, then you must come see them.

And opening up for SCOTS is Little Toby Walker, of whom Bob Margolin, Guitarist for the last Muddy Waters has this to say:

“As a blues guitar player, I am stunned and in awe of Toby Walker’s pickin’! Add to that his fine songs and singing and friendly presentation, and it’s obvious that Toby Walker is one of the most enjoyable artists in today’s Blues World.”

Matt Schofield
Friday, July 19
Rams Head On Stage

On Friday, July 19 we welcome back British guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Matt Schofield. He is widely regarded as one of the most distinctive and innovative guitarists to have emerged on the world scene for several generations. He is rated in the top ten British blues guitarists of all time (Guitar & Bass Magazine), putting him in the company of such iconic names as Eric Clapton and Peter Green.

Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore has TWO incredible Blues infused shows coming in August:

Frampton’s Guitar Circus Featuring Peter Frampton and B.B. King w. Sonny Landreth
Thursday, August 8
Pier Six Pavillion

Peter Frampton:

Following his critically acclaimed new album Thank You Mr Churchill, Grammy®-winning guitarist and songwriter Peter Frampton will embark on a world tour this summer celebrating his multi-platinum-selling live album Frampton Comes Alive!, performing the legendary album in its entirety.

Peter Frampton then:

Peter Frampton now:

B.B. King:

Throughout the 1990’s as well as the 1980’s, 1970’s, 1960’s and 1950’s, there has been only one King of the Blues – Riley B. King, affectionately known as B.B. King. Since B.B. started recording in the late 1940’s, he has released over 60 albums many of them considered blues classics.

Sonny Landreth:

Sonny Landreth’s 11th album, bearing the fittingly evocative title Elemental Journey, is something very different from the Louisiana slide wizard. Released on his own Landfall the album is Landreth’s first all-instrumental effort and his most adventurous work to date.

George Thorogood & Buddy Guy
Tuesday, August 13
Pier Six Pavilion

George Thorogood:

According to Stephen Thomas Erlewine’s write up on All Music Guide, George Thorogood is “a blues-rock guitarist who draws his inspiration from Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor, and Chuck Berry, George Thorogood never earned much respect from blues purists, but he became a popular favorite in the early ’80s through repeated exposure on FM radio and the arena rock circuit.

Thorogood’s music was always loud, simple, and direct — his riffs and licks were taken straight out of ’50s Chicago blues and rock & roll — but his formulaic approach helped him gain a rather large audience in the ’80s, when his albums regularly went gold.”

Buddy Guy:

Buddy Guy is the Shakespeare of blues guitar, channeling its basic elements into a unique language with universal appeal. He’s the Houdini of blues guitar, doing things that ought to be impossible and making them look easy. He put Chicago blues on the map, and then proceeded to conquer the rest of the world.

How can you argue with that?

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