"Lifecasting the Blues," an ongoing series by artist Sharon McConnell-Dickerson, featuring (in order) cast sculptures of Paul Wine Jones, Dorothy Moore, Bud Spires, and R.L. Burnside.
Sharon McConnell became an aficionado of blues a few years ago and began a project with historic implications that has taken her to the heartland of the blues. McConnell was 27 when she was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease that has left her blind. The disability has not stopped her from continuing her career in sculpture.
McConnell’s blues project is to make as many face casts of blues greats as possible while they are still alive. She began in 2002 with John Hammond Jr….
In January 2003, she visited Othar Turner and preserved his face just five weeks before he died. His cast was made into a bronze, which she presented to his family at the Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival. Back home in Santa Fe, she made casts of Odetta and Alvin Youngblood Hart in her kitchen. While in Chicago for the blues festival, she created more casts of Koko Taylor, Bo Diddley and Eddie Clearwater.
In 2004, she continued her quest to immortalize the living blues greats, with casts of Robert Lockwood Jr., Pinetop Perkins and Honeyboy Edwards…Although you might think it would be uncomfortable to have your face completely covered with plaster except for your nostrils, McConnell says the experience is quite calming. More than one subject has fallen asleep during the procedure.
Today is Albert King’s birthday. Here’s the full session he had with Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Muddy Waters at Newport 1960
A couple of years ago at George Bush airport in Houston, I got into a conversation with an older gentleman (strangers always talk to me). He asked me what I was listening to on my iPod and I told him Muddy Waters at Newport. He said "Shit youngblood, that’s some music that’ll put hair on ya chest. That’s grown folk music. You grown now boy."
Welcome to Texas.
Documents Records reissues from Thirdman Records. (Charley Patton, Blind Willie McTell, and The Mississippi Sheiks)
The Mississippi Blues Project, produced by WXPN in Philadelphia, is a yearlong endeavor that showcases the rich musical heritage of the Magnolia State. Hear a continuous mix of the kind of rough, earthy Southern blues music you might hear in a smoky juke joint.
Photo: John Vettese
Born on this day: Chester Arthur Burnett, better known as Howlin’ Wolf
Photo by Joel Brodsky
He might only be 20 years old, but Marquise Knox is deeply entrenched in the blues tradition. He grew up with the blues, and he learned from the masters. This is very clear when you listen to him play. He’s the real deal. A musician of this caliber is rare for any age, which make his accomplishments even more more amazing, considering his youth.
His latest album (3rd one btw) Here I Am is getting rave reviews, as it should. It’s great. If you don’t have it, get it.
Click here to read a recent article on him.
Born on this day: Willie Mae Thornton, better known as Big Mama Thornton