Author Archives: Mike Greenblatt

About Mike Greenblatt

A longtime music journalist, Mike Greenblatt is a contributing editor with Goldmine magazine.

Koko Mojo Records digs up the past and throws it in your face

Get ready all you hep-cats ‘cause there’s reason to celebrate. The good folks at England’s Koko Mojo Records have assembled the kind of compilations that are almost too delicious for words. But you don’t need words to get on down and dance your fool self crazy…which is exactly what I did!

Blind Willie Johnson: God Moves On Water

“God Moves On the Water” was recorded by Blind Willie Johnson for Columbia Records in New Orleans when representatives from the great label of the North went on a field expedition throughout Louisiana to try and find regional talent. It’s safe to say they hit the jackpot with the blind singing songwriting preaching Texan.

Dr. John’s “Gris-Gris” Turns 50

Mac Rebennack was run out of his native New Orleans when he was 28 and told to never come back. In Los Angeles, after becoming the go-to guy of recording sessions, he rechristened himself Dr. John, The Night Tripper, and recorded his debut as a solo artist, one of the greatest albums of all-time, 1968’s “Gris-Gris.” Dr. John, now 77, goes over all the fine ingredients that make up this 50-year-old album.

Class of 2018: Dire Straits

Dire Straits, led by Mark Knopfler, an unassuming singer-songwriter with a sandpapery Dylanesque voice and the kind of lead guitar chops most electric ax men would sell their souls for, proved one didn’t have to listen to what else was going on in the music business to be successful.

Jazz-Rock Fusion, Hillbilly Boogie, Alligator Blues, Canadian Craziness, Louisiana History and a Living Legend

This month’s batch of sound takes us back to the swamps of 1950s Louisiana, modern-day Chicago, a certified legend in John Mayall, a rollicking debut from Big Shoes (made up of members of the bands of Bonnie Raitt, Etta James, Taj Mahal and Delbert McClinton) an outrageous Canadian septet, Living Fossil, and don’t forget the man they call Hristo.

A Byrd still flying high

As one of the original members of The Byrds, Chris Hillman was a distinctive figure in the formation of the country rock genre. His Tom Petty-produced solo album, ‘Bidin’ My Time,’ proves the musical energy is forever there.