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True Blue from Ellis Kell
Argus/Dispatch blues columnist


In recognition of The Blues ongoing impact on music and cultural history, both in America and around the world, the United States Congress has proclaimed the year 2003 as the "Year of the Blues". For more information, visit: on the web.

Click here for your chance to win concert tickets to see THE NEVILLE BROTHERS at the Adler Theatre on Sept. 7th!


True Blue Book Review: "Joe Cocker - The Authorised Biography," by J. P. Bean (Virgin Books, London)

As a follow up to last month's feature on Joe Cocker in concert, we have received, read and thoroughly enjoyed his new biography from Virgin Books of London. For Cocker fans old and new, this is one you won't be able to put down. J. P. Bean's up to date biography of the legendary Joe Cocker must rank as one of the finest and most vital rock chronicles ever written. From the first pages on, the reader feels as if they are walking right along side the singer and his mates during the early days in Sheffield, England, and travelling on down the road through his rise to fame in the pubs and clubs of Europe. We're then swept off (via imaginery helicopter) through the rock and roll dreamscape of Woodstock, and into the madness of the Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour that would leave the artist completely disenchanted and disenfranchised with the music business. Beyond the abuses, through good times and bad, Joe Cocker emerges as one of the most enduring figures in rock and roll history. This biography does as much or more visually than any film documentary ever could, in delivering a comprehensive and inspired story of one of music's most passionate, powerful voices. Joe Cocker is a true blue survivor, and J. P. Bean's telling of his story is essential rock history! Released in August by Virgin Books in England, this new biography will be now available this month from .

News on The Detroit Blues.

John Resch and The Detroit Blues recently recorded at least some of tracks in Des Moines this past month that will be included on a new live CD they currently have in the works. The band's brand new studio CD "We Get Around" is now out and available direct from the bandstand at The Detroit Blues' area gigs, or by visiting the band's fine web site at . Congrats and kudos to Detroit Blues on their newest disk, and another new one on the way!

Recommended New Blues Fer Youz.

"Black Pearls," Eric Sardinas (Favored Nations) Produced by the legendary Eddie Kramer, this new disk was done entirely live, without the aid of digital magic. Sardinas blends the traditional with contemporary flavors and elements into a new and vital brand of blues-rock. Ferocious finger-picking and passionate playing in some of the most dynamic new blues out there today. For more on Eric Sardinas, visit on the web.

"Triple Trouble," Tommy Castro, Lloyd Jones and Jimmy Hall (Telarc) This new collection from three of the hottest bluesrockers in the business today, backed by SRV's notorious Double Trouble band (Reese Wynans, Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton), reels, rocks, rolls and boogies on down the line with classic funk and soul. Reviving and rearranging signature tunes of James Brown, Johnny Winter, and even Lennon & McCartney, along with Castro, Jones and Hall's own unique contributions, this disk offers a wide variety of hot new tracks. For more on this and other Telarc releases, visit on the web.

"Vanthology," Various Artists (Evidence Music, Inc.) Sometimes these things work - sometimes they just come out contrived or mediocre at best. This one hits the mark. Classic Van Morrison tunes are delivered in with new gusto and unique interpretations. Artists featured include Little Milton, Otis Clay, Bettye Levette, Son Seals, Syl Johnson, Bobby Patterson, William Bell, Henry Butler and more. Great new tracks, and a great tribute to Van Morrison! For more on this and other Evidence releases, visit on the web.

"Exile on Blues Street," Various Artists (Telarc) This is another interesting collection, which pays tribute to the landmark 1972 Rolling Stones album "Exile on Main Street." New interpretations of Stones material from such artists as Tommy Castro, Jimmy Thackery, Joe Louis Walker, Otis Taylor, Deborah Coleman, Lucky Peterson and Tab Benoit make for some tasty new blues renditions and arrangements. Deborah Coleman's treatment of "Happy" is our favorite track on this new disk. For more on this and other Telarc releases, visit on the web.

Don't forget to bookmark True Blue on your web browser; the current column, along with all our archived pieces, are online now at: . That's all there is, and there aint no more! Until we meet again at this crossroads, peace, love and blessings to all and...

Blues to 'ya!

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