12 Days of Christmas Blues | Best Blues Songs about the Holiday

Written by Jered Morin

Top 12 Blues Songs about ChristmasTired of the same ol’, same ol’ Christmas songs? Are you feeling down from all the usual schmaltzy schlock? Ready for a kick in the (musical) pants?

Here are the Top 12 Blues songs about Christmas, from vintage classics to modern renditions.

There were hundreds of songs to comb through. So the criteria to make this list was it had to:

  1. be about Christmas (obviously), but also
  2. make creative use of the holiday elements — think genre busters, twisted lyrics, and exceptional musicality

Also, with so many tunes to choose from, I had to cut ones that were maybe a touch too Swing-y, or too Soul-y, way too Hip and/or Hop , and even a few that were beyond description. It was a difficult choice.

But here they are, the 12 bestest Blues songs about Christmas to add to your holiday rotation:

Continue reading

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

vinyl-1849717_640

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.

Continue reading

Inner workings of a DJ mind | Talking with John Joven about MezzJelly ’17

It might be September but I’m still feeling the glow from my amazing trip to New York for MezzJelly Blues in July. 

Mezzjelly

An offer I couldn’t refuse

When Jered Morin first asked me if I wanted to DJ in New York, I kinda thought he was kidding. But Jered never lies, so naturally, I needed to know more.

I turned out that he and Brooke Filsinger were taking MezzJelly Blues to NYC, and I was invited to be on the team. I checked the dates and when I saw I was free I basically said ‘Yes!’ without really knowing how I was going to manage it.

I’m currently the breadwinner for my family, and I work freelance, so my time is money. DJ-ing might seem glamorous, but it never pays any of my ‘real’ bills. It does give me a little ‘pocket money’ for my never-ending music wish-list and anything left over I spend on the fun I have on my weekends away.  

Anyway… budgetary issues notwithstanding, a gig is a gig, and it’s not every day I get asked to fly to the US to DJ, so I knew that come hell or high water, I would do whatever it took to get myself there.

No Pressure

I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the DJ intro on the MezzJelly Blues website:

Continue reading