Featured artist: COLIN LINDEN
Despite not being anywhere near a household name, Colin Linden has Blues credentials in spades.
As a precocious 11-year-old back in 1971, he approached Howlin' Wolf at a club in Toronto before the legendary singer was slated to perform.
For some reason, the Wolf took a liking to young Colin, sitting with him for three hours just talking Blues.
The two would remain good friends over the course of the next five years (when the Wolf passed away), during which the elder bluesman continued to impart musical wisdom on his unlikely protégé.
Since then, Colin has built
up an impressive resumé behind the scenes as a producer.
He has produced (and played on) albums for Bruce Cockburn, Colin
James, Lucinda Williams, Sue Foley,
Ray Bonneville and John Thibodeau. He also co-produced
and performed on tribute albums for Mississippi John Hurt and
Howlin' Wolf, the latter earning a Grammy nomination. In 2000,
he received a call from his good friend T-Bone Burnett, who asked
him to come to a film set to teach a young man how to play the
blues guitar. Not only did Colin teach the actor how to play,
but he also ended up playing a version of "Hard Time Killing Floor
Blues" that was used in the film. That film is titled 'O Brother
Where Art Thou?'.
Not to say that he hasn't found
time for his own music. He has a half-dozen solo studio releases
to his credit, the best and most recent of which is Big Mouth.
On this, the title track, we get a glimpse of his impressive gifts.
The lyrics are all his own and his phrasing is exquisite. Also,
refreshingly , his voice is devoid of the rehearsed affectation
that less confident contemporary bluesmen feel the need to project.
His fluid, deft guitar work manages to be playfully spontaneous
without even a hint of sloppiness; the sign of a guitarist for
whom playing is akin to breathing. The slow-building arrangement
is full of surprising little twists and turns and keeps the listener's
ear on its toes while the growling bass and shuffling drums worm
their way to nether destinations.
SIX DEGREES OF
and written by Emanuel Pordes
a curiosity that begins in the delta and extends to the stratosphere,
Emanuel Pordes is a blues lover for whom the addiction to 12 bar
has no downside. Where there's good blues to be had, whether it
be old, lost, neglected, co-opted, or buried under the charts,
that is where he likes to be. He
produced Six Degrees of Blues at WGRE 91.5