Blues & Roots

Paul Butterfield Blues Band
The Rock Hall of Fame Recognizes a Groundbreaking Band The Butterfield Blues Band, East-West, 1966 Today is Paul Butterfield’s 72nd birthday anniversary. Yesterday it was announced that the Paul Butterfield...
Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Bravo RRHOF
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band is being inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame tonight in Cleveland. The Hall is 30 years old, which makes the Butterfield induction about 30 years overdue, but as...
Paul Butterfield Plugs In and Dylan Follows Suit
Phenomena at Newport: the White Blues Hero and the Folk Rock Anti-Hero July 25th marked the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan going electric at the Newport Folk Festival. The milestone is being widely commemorated,...
Paul Butterfield, Born in Chicago, 1942
Paul Butterfield in Woodstock, 1976 Paul Butterfield, who died 30 years ago, was born on December 17, 1942. Most of us who had any connection with Butterfield back then were more saddened than surprised...
Paul Butterfield: Origins of an Originator
Paul Butterfield, 1977; photo by Catherine Sebastian/CSP Images Martin Scorsese captured something of Paul Butterfield’s singular stature in the way he framed the harmonica player’s appearance in The...
Preston Lauterbach on Memphis and B.B. King
A Conversation With the Author of a Ground-Breaking Work on a Neglected Period of Music History I spoke this week with Preston Lauterbach, author of The Chitlin’ Circuit and the Road to...
Professor Longhair Centennial
My passion for New Orleans music ramped up to infatuation on July 3, 1973, when I heard Professor Longhair for the first time in Central Park.  The experience still stands as the single greatest unanticipated...
Randy Newman Declares For the One True Sonny Boy Williamson
John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson It doesn’t require more than a casual knowledge of blues to know that there were two prominent figures in the music named Sonny Boy Williamson. On his new...
Remembering B.B. King
Before it slides deep into the archives of NEPR News, here’s the commentary I voiced in memory of B.B. King on May 21. B.B. King at the Club Ebony, Indianola, MS, 1980
Robert Johnson and J.S. Bach - Harmonic Trancendence
I’d never noticed until I heard the All Things Considered report on Wednesday that two recordings I’ve listened to for years, Robert Johnson’s “Kind-Hearted Woman” and Pablo Casals’ performance of Bach’s...
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