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Ann Rabson: 1945-2013

Not everyone is a superstar, but there are great musicians all over. Unfortunately, one of them — pianist Ann Rabson — passed away yesterday at age 67. Here is the beginning of the press release from her label, Alligator Records:

Blues pianist/singer/songwriter/guitarist Ann Rabson died on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 in Fredericksburg, Virginia after a long battle with cancer. She was 67. Co-founder of the hugely successful trio Saffire–The Uppity Blues Women, Rabson was a legendary force on the keyboards as well as being a deeply soulful vocalist. She recorded eight albums with Saffire and one solo CD for Alligator Records, and released three solo albums for other labels. Her most recent was 2012’s Not Alone (VizzTone Records). Rabson’s prodigious talent, along with her take-no-guff attitude, struck a chord with music fans around the world. Considered one of the finest barrelhouse blues pianists of her generation, Rabson — an accomplished guitarist since she was a teen — didn’t start playing piano until she was 35. DownBeat magazine said that “Rabson plays bluesy, honky-tonk piano with staggering authority.” (Continue Reading…)

This page on her site mentions what figure to be some great pianists. Above is One Meatball and below is Hopin’ It’ll Be All Right.

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Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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