Blues

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Hidden gem: Caroline's Jazz Club

Published May 4, 2018

Although jazz is at the heart of this corner club, a visit to Caroline's - located inside an 1880 building - offers more than music.

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Port Washington music fest salutes Paramount Records centennial

Published Aug. 30, 2017

This year, Port Washington's Paramount Music Fest celebrates the centennial of the birth Paramount Records, which was founded there in 1917 (the recording studio later moved to Grafton), and which released sides by the likes of Charlie Patton, Son House, Jelly Roll Morton and "Ma" Rainey.

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Mary White, Milwaukee's first woman of the blues

Published Oct. 17, 2016

Spending her days spent as a supervisor of operations at MATC, Mary White also maintained the title of first female blues singer in Milwaukee. She has long since retired from her full-time position - but her more highly recognized title will remain.

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Getting the dirt on the Rep's "Low Down Dirty Blues" with Felicia Fields

Published March 21, 2015

Early on in the 2014-15 season, the Milwaukee Rep staged "The Color Purple." It's a show actress Felicia P. Fields knows very well; after all, her turn as Sofia in the Broadway musical scored her a Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical back in 2006. It's another familiar show, however, that brings Fields back to Milwaukee: "Low Down Dirty Blues," a celebration of classic blues at its deepest and dirtiest.

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Blues takes center stage to honor harp king Liban's 50th anniversary

Published Oct. 13, 2014

Liban has had quite a 50 years. He's been up and down and up and down and up. He's faced substance abuse, charlatan promoters, empty promises, dark and dingy clubs, big stages, European tours, the death of a loved one, some racial uncertainties and eventually his present state of comfort. If that sounds like a blues song, it's because his life has been like a great tune.

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First name Tweed: Area blues band Tweed Funk launches third disc

Published April 5, 2014

In honor of the seven new original tunes on "First Name Lucky," the new CD by Milwaukee blues outfit Tweed Funk, we hit guitarist J.D. Optekar with seven questions about the WAMI Award-winning band, which has released three records in three years.

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JJ Cale was super blue

Published July 30, 2013

John Sieger remembers JJ Cale, who died last week at the age of 74.

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Six questions for The Smoking Flowers

Published July 25, 2013

Nashville duo Kim and Scott Collins are bringing a heady melange of rock, blues, country and some serious Southern Gothic attitude to the Down and Over Pub, 2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., tonight.

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On the trail of bluesman Blind Blake in Milwaukee

Published April 20, 2013

For years, no one knew what became of legendary and influential bluesman Blind Blake. But a couple years ago, Grafton's Angela Mack Reilly found not only where Blake spent his final years, but where he died and is buried. Here's her own diary of discovery.

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Siegfried singing the blues with his new band

Published Jan. 3, 2013

Misha Siegfried and his band are known for running one of the most enduring jams in the city, every Monday night and the Up and Under Pub. They'll release their second CD this month, a collaborative effort that will showcase a whole new side of the blues.

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Blush gets new ownership

Published Dec. 18, 2012

Sarah Brucker is stepping down as the owner of Blush Beauty Boutique at 249 N. Water St. The boutique's two retail locations will remain open with new owner Jhousy Leon.

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Altered Five's second disc shows a band earning its reputation

Published Dec. 12, 2012

Milwaukee's Altered Five knows that blues is about the vibe and for the group's members - bassist Mark Solveson, singer Jeff "JT" Taylor, keyboardist Ray Tevich, drummer Scott Schroedl and guitarist Jeff Schroedl - that feeling is a mix of traditional blues with a healthy dose of R&B and other styles. The band officially releases its second CD with a gig this week.