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The Blasters: American Music

The Blasters performance above is from the first Farm Aid in 1985. I wasn’t familiar with the band, but a site visitor sent me a clip and the unfortunate news that lead singer Phil Alvin is in the hospital in Spain. The band has canceled its European tour. Here’s hoping that the situation resolves itself and The Blasters are back on the road soon.

This is from Wikipedia:

Their self-described “American Music” was a blend of blues music, rockabilly, early rock and roll, punk rock, mountain music, and rhythm and blues.

I hear a tremendous amount of rockabilly. Here are Marie Marie, I’m Shakin’, Dark Night and Long White Cadillac/Border Radio.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

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.