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The Homemade Jamz Blues Band is More Than Kids Using Mufflers for Guitars. Honest.

The Homemade Jamz Blues Band, from Tupelo, Mississippi, consists of three Perry siblings: Lead guitarist Ryan, bass player Kyle and drummer Taya.

There are three interesting things about the group. The first is their youth. When they signed with NorthernBlues Music, a Canadian label, Ryan was 16, Kyle was 13 and Taya was 9. A nine-year-old girl as a professional drummer. You don’t see that every day.

The second interesting thing is that the lead and bass guitars are made of car mufflers, which I suppose gives a new meaning to the term “auto-tune.” Ryan tells the story in the first couple of minutes here.

The third thing is that this is not a novelty act. They are young, they use mufflers for instruments — and they are very good. Not just good for a bunch of kids with car instruments. Very good, period. And Ryan’s guitar has a nice sound.

Here is the band’s website. Above is “Gotta a Bad, Bad Feeling” and below is “Who Your Real Friends Are.”

Editor’s note: It occurred to me the day after posting that making a muffler into a guitar actually is as far from a novelty as it’s possible to get. The adaptation of things in the environment to produce sounds is at the very heart of music’s early evolution. Another example of this being done in modern times is the music of the unfairly forgotten Washboard Sam.  

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Reading Music

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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.

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