Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Joe Thompson 1918 - 2012

Today we mourn the passing of old time fiddler Joe Thompson. Joe, who passed away yesterday at the age of 93, was an African-American traditional musician who, along with his banjo playing cousin Odell Thompson, did much to keep a unique American string band tradition that was largely ignored by the mainstream music media alive. Joe was born in Orange County, North Carolina, in 1918 where he learned his fiddle style and repertoire from his father. He received the National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship in 2007, and was a mentor and inspiration to the contemporary African-American string band, The Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Joe Thompson 1918 - 2012   R.I.P.

Monday, February 6, 2012

R. Crumb: The Complete Record Cover Collection

Back in the early 1970s I used to follow the adventures of Mr Natural and Schuman the Human in R. Crumb's  Zap Comics. The other day, while surfing the web, I came across this interview with Mr. Crumb promoting a new book of his album cover artwork. In the piece Crumb talks about his love of old time country, blues, and jazz music while a video illustrated with his wonderful artwork plays.

The book came out this past November. Check it out as well as his earlier collection,
Heroes of Blues, Jazz, and Country,
which comes with a great companion CD of music from the golden age of recording.