Delaney Bramlett, 1939-2008

Delaney Bramlett, one of the legendary singer, songwriter, musician, and producers of Rock and Roll has died.

Bramlett’s musical history spans four decades. Known as a songwriter, singer and musician, he has also mentored other musicians, including Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Leon Russell, George Harrison, and J.J. Cale.

He taught George Harrison to play slide guitar. That kind of stuff.

Thank you, Delaney.

No Depression Ceases Publication

Well, crap. I liked No Depression. I was not aware of the effects of last year’s 2nd Class postage hike. [Ward Berlin via Rafé]

No Depression, the bimonthly magazine covering a broad range of American roots music since 1995, will bring to an end its print publication with its 75th issue in May-June 2008. [more]

links for 2008-02-12

links for 2008-01-21

Jaime Brockett’s Legend of the U.S.S. Titanic

I recently had the pleasure of unpacking a CD of Jaime Brockett’s 1968 album Remember the Wind and the Rain.

Boston folkie Jaime Brockett became an underground radio sensation with his epic ballad ‘Legend of the U.S.S. Titanic’, which updated the old Leadbelly song about how black prizefighter Jack Johnson had been denied passage on the Titanic because of his race to offer an, er, alternative explanation as to why the ocean liner sank (the captain and first mate were high from smoking hemp rope)! (Collector’s Choice Music)

But, to a 14 year old boy listening to Clyde Clifford’s Beaker Street on late night KAAY out of Little Rock, Arkansas, it was an essential part of growing up in rural Kansas in the late 1960s/early 1970s without feeling like you were trapped in rural Kansas in the late 1960s/early 1970s. You couldn’t get the signal until the stronger local stations went off the air.

Back when stations went ‘off the air.’

The only comparable song I can think of is Alice’s Restaurant. But, like the asterisk on the original label cautioned, “audition before airplay.” It was Nixon’s Amerika after all…

I got it from Collector’s Choice Music, but it turns out that it is more widely available.

Jazz Great, Oscar Peterson, Has Died

My Dad was a big fan of Oscar Peterson, so I knew about him early. Thank you for your music, Sir.

Oscar Peterson, Jazz Pianist, Is Dead at 82 [NY Times]

Oscar Peterson, whose early talent and speedy fingers made him one of the world’s best known jazz pianists, died at age 82. (…)

During an illustrious career spanning seven decades, Peterson played with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie. He is also remembered for touring in a trio with Ray Brown on bass and Herb Ellis on guitar in the 1950s.