UK Blues Musicians | Meet the Local Talent

12 Days of Blues-Mas 2017 | Episode #1

Written by Greg Dyke

I’ve been in the UK for almost a year now and I’ve been blown away by the live music at blues dance events!

Not just the musicians blues dancers are familiar with from having often seen them, such as Dan Nash or The Blueswater, but many less well-known artists, some of whom have only recently started playing for dancers.

I wanted to get to know them a bit better and share them with you, so I chose five to answer three short questions:

  1. Why do you play blues music?
  2. How do you classify the kinds of blues music you play?
  3. What could dancers do to improve your experience of playing for them?

I hope you enjoy their answers as much as I did!

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Blues Heroes | CeDell Davies

Fat Possom just has to be the best name for a record label ever.

They’re an American independent record label based in Oxford, Mississippi. They started out by recording relatively unknown blues artists from the North Mississippi region: their most famous being R.L. Burnside.

My personal favourite artist recorded by Fat Possum is CeDell Davies. I first heard his music when I was researching one of his fellow Possum artists Asie Payton.

The first song I heard from CeDell was the first one on this playlist:

CeDell Davies playlist on Spotify

My immediate thought was:

“Whoa, that’s a cool sound! Is that slide guitar, or something else?”

I hadn’t heard anything like it, so I had to know more.

When I looked up the biography details of CeDell Davies, I discovered why his guitar sound was so unique.

I also uncovered an incredible life story.

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DJ Tips Part Two | Collect and Select

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, they’ll forget what you did, but they’ll never forget the way you made them feel.”

– Maya Angelou

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Octoblues festival in Germany holds a special place in my heart as a warm and inclusive blues event, and I love that I’m a regular part of it.

This year Katrin and Jered’s vision for the event was to create a journey through the history of blues dance and music. As part of that I was given a chance to teach a class on DJing. It’s one of my favourite topics but I don’t get to talk about it too often. I wasn’t sure how much of an audience there would be, but I was excited to find out!

About twenty people gathered in the café bar with me on Sunday afternoon. I had a cup of tea and shared my thoughts on how to collect, organise and play a personal and authentic collection of music.

I wasn’t sure how it was coming across, but was happy to have lots of questions, so I thought it went well.

Later that evening someone told me they really enjoyed my talk, because I was clearly serious about music, DJing and teaching! That made me laugh!

When a complete stranger takes some time to say something like that, it means a lot, and I’m still smiling in recollection.

Here are my notes from the session. I hope you find them interesting.

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