There's something to be said about being the offspring of good musicians, because there is another group of musicians whose fathers were movers and shakers in the blues.
Kenny Neal, Tasha Taylor and Bernard Allison also known as Raful Neal's son, Johnnie "The Wailer" Taylor's daughter and Luther Allison's son, respectively have been making names for themselves as well as keeping their daddies' music alive.
On New Year's Eve, if you want to get away from the emotional blues and find some great musical blues, just turn on your TV and find KUEN-Ch. 9 at 10 p.m. That's when you'll find a little program called "Gen 2 Blues." The channel will air "Gen 2 Blues," a show that was filmed Oct. 5, 2005, in the Royal Oak Theatre in Michigan. The concert was part of the seventh annual Motor City Blues & Boogie Woogie Festival.
Neal, Taylor and Allison cranked it up with the Phantom Blues Band, which recorded Grammy-nominated albums with guitarist Taj Mahal.
Also making an appearance during the gig is Tito Jackson, from the original Jackson 5. Jackson's father, Joe, was the group's manager, but before that job was a blues guitarist. And the talent was passed on to Tito, albeit, in a non-conventional way.
"My dad played the guitar, and when he'd put it away, he told us kids not to touch it," Tito Jackson says during an interview in the program. "One day he found out his guitar was broken. I confessed to it and got a whooping. Then he put the guitar in my lap and said, 'Show me what you can do.' I did and the next day he went to the pawn shop and bought me my first guitar."
The four musicians do their parents proud in this one-hour program, which also features interviews with fascinating anecdotes about growing up in a musical household.
The main thread that weaves the interviews together is the fact that the offspring love what their fathers have passed on to them a musical legacy in the blues.
In fact, one of the main reasons this gig and the accompanying interviews were even recorded was to preserve these performances for the future.
The American Music Research Foundation, the organization which commissioned this program, is a non-profit entity based in Farmington Hills, Mich., that documents, preserves and promotes American music, including blues, jazz, boogie woogie and rhythm & blues.
So, if you want to see some great performers and hear some soul-shaking blues, check out this program. Don't worry, like I said, it's only about an hour long. You'll be done in time to see the fireworks welcome in the new year.However, if you want more than just the performances and interviews, there is a DVD available, with 75 additional minutes of bonus features for purchase at the merchandise link at www.amrf.net.
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