RED, WHITE and BLUES
I'm so glad to have the opportunity to celebrate my mother. She is still going strong at 98, working on updating her self-published autobiography, a three volume illustrated set covering her life to age 90. She continues to be a patron of the arts, a lover of music, and a big influence on me and my brother Allan, an investigative journalist, and my sister Marilyn, an actor.
Also noteworthy this Thanksgiving weekend is that the election cycle is over and the country survived it. Through the recent embattled Presidential and Congressional elections, at some point folks of every political stripe had the blues, and admittedly some still do. Despite the result of President Obama’s re-election but with a deeply divided Congress, the nasty, bitter partisan rhetoric has toned down, as politicians realize they have to get on with the business of solving our country’s problems. Through all that battle, the music we heard on the campaign trail and at election night events was nearly all rooted in the Blues. The honest human reflection of it inspires people because its voice is ours. Blues music and its musical offspring bring people together and remind them of our potential in the face of tough times. People of an incredibly diverse array of ages, ethnicities, cultures, and political backgrounds, show up at blues clubs, buy cds, and go on Blues cruises. Blues music embodies the American experience and the human experience equally.
The Earwig Music catalog has in the past and continues now and into the future to work hard to maintain a body of work representative of this rich cultural diversity. Maintaining a formidable legacy of the Blues and its offshoots, from footage of Honeyboy Edwards playing live in color on a silent film held in the Library of Congress to our latest releases, American creative expression is something the Earwig label proudly supports and reflects.
Here is a little history for blues hounds: the first band, recorded on Earwig in 1978, was the Jelly Roll Kings, an African-American blues trio, known for its unique mix of Blues, soul, and country and western tunes. Early on, Earwig released jazz albums by Pittsburgh jazz artists Carl Arter – piano genius and contemporary and harmony teacher of some of the biggest names in jazz — and Tiny Irvin, a soulful vocalist who toured with Dizzy Gillespie when she was 18. Over the years Earwig has released new recordings by many African-American musicians extremely significant in the history of the Blues, including Sunnyland Slim, Homesick James, Little Brother Montgomery, Louis Myers, Honeyboy Edwards, Walter Horton, the Jelly Roll Kings, Jimmy Dawkins, and many lesser-known yet equally talented musicians such as Aron Burton, Lester Davenport, Johnny Drummer, Travis Haddix and John Primer.
These musicians in turn influenced subsequent generations of musicians, also well represented on Earwig. Liz Mandeville, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Rob Stone, Scott Ellison, and the newest artists on Earwig – Albert Bashor, Guitar Mikey and Tommy McCoy — all cut their teeth wood-shedding on the recordings and playing in the bands of their elder influences.
Earwig Music was also in the forefront of African-American storytelling recordings, which are closely related to the blues traditions. Some of the foremost storytellers in the world recorded for Earwig, including Jackie “The Story Lady” Torrence, Bobby Norfolk, and Alice McGill.
In 1993 Earwig also recorded Laura Simms, a pre-eminent cross-cultural storyteller. Her Earwig CD, Making Peace – Heart Uprising, continues to be relevant as a conflict resolution and enlightenment tool, relevant to all the conflicts in the world. And for those folks who prefer to dance their cares away, in 2011 Earwig released its first world music CD – Jutta & the Hi-Dukes On The World Beat. This CD is a mix of eastern European folk dance music which will get the listener up dancing.
Order all Earwig cds and other music merchandise now on Earwig’s website
In honor of my Mother’s 98th birthday and the choosing of our 44th President, Earwig has a time limited special, now through November 30. BUY ANY 2 CDS AND GET A THIRD FOR 98 CENTS. Enter this coupon code when ordering on the Earwig website, www.earwigmusic.com or mail it in with your order. EWA98C1112.
Earwig cds and tracks are also available on many download sites, including Itunes.com, CDbaby.com, Amazon.com and Emusic.com. Watch for Special Offers such as this Mom’s 98th Birthday Deal in Earwig blog posts, newsletters, and on Earwig’s social media sites such as Facebook.
P.S. Also, check out the videos on our Earwig Music Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/earwigceo?feature=mhee
and on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Earwig-Music-Company/83753478122
See you on the blues highway at http://earwigmusicblog.com/
Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving, fine food, convivial company and great tunes.