Michael Cala
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Michael Cala's Discussions

Does Twitter Have Any Utility for Musicians or Music Fans?
1 Reply

Started this discussion. Last reply by T Hanssen Dec 20, 2012.

 

Welcome, Michael Cala...

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A blog post by Michael Cala was featured

Blues Pioneer Mamie Smith Getting a Headstone - After 68 Years

Major blues musicians and singers are coming together for a six-hour music event that pays loving tribute to blues legend Mamie Smith (1883-1946)and raises funds to erect a monument at her unmarked grave. They've joined in the effort launched in early 2013 by blues writer Michael Cala to bring this forgotten, but all important blues pioneer to center stage once again. Ms. Smith's 1920 hit "Crazy Blues" made American music history and led to the discovery of icons like Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey…See More
Jun 22
Michael Cala posted a blog post

Blues Pioneer Mamie Smith Getting a Headstone - After 68 Years

Major blues musicians and singers are coming together for a six-hour music event that pays loving tribute to blues legend Mamie Smith (1883-1946)and raises funds to erect a monument at her unmarked grave. They've joined in the effort launched in early 2013 by blues writer Michael Cala to bring this forgotten, but all important blues pioneer to center stage once again. Ms. Smith's 1920 hit "Crazy Blues" made American music history and led to the discovery of icons like Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey…See More
Jun 19
Michael Cala commented on John Ellis's blog post 'Grace & Tony – November (Album Review)'
"The Asylum Mountain Gospel Choir does it for me -- a wild blend of folk, punk, blues, retrotech, and more. Their first album,  "Fighting and Onions," came to me for review a few years ago.  Blew me away in the manner that new…"
Jan 21
Michael Cala replied to Jeff Newport's discussion 'The Great Unknown'
""Lower East Side" - David Peel & The Lower East Side Band (1970)"
Jan 3
Michael Cala posted a blog post

Marshall Lawrence - House Call (album review)

Marshall Lawrence is considered one of Canada’s best finger style blues guitarists. (He’s also a psychologist with a PhD, but that has nothing to do with this review.)House Call is Lawrence’s fourth CD, and features some excellent guitar and harp playing, a nice rhythm section, surprise guests The Holmes Brothers providing backup vocals…and otherwise merely competent vocals by Lawrence. He has a so-what tenor that doesn’t seem to be able to do what his blues need – to sound bluesier, more…See More
Jan 3
Luc Onderdonck commented on Michael Cala's blog post 'Carey & Lurrie Bell – Gettin' Up (CD/DVD Review)'
"so what about CAREY & LURRIE BELL's 'Son of a Gun' recorded May 27-29 & June 1-2, 1982 at Odyssey Sound Studio, Chicago and released by Rooster Blues Records in 1984 ? one of my favourite blues records!"
Oct 29, 2013
A blog post by Michael Cala was featured

Carey & Lurrie Bell – Gettin' Up (CD/DVD Review)

This review is a positive one, but it’s also sad because Carey Bell passed away shortly after Getting’ Up was recorded (it was released in 2007).  He was 70.Carey Bell Harrington was a giant among Chicago blues harp players and is often considered the transitional link between the first generation – having learned blues harp from Little Walter Jacobs and Walter “Shakey” Horton – and contemporaries like James Cotton and Junior Wells.  Bell played in an idiosyncratically staccato “chop” style,…See More
Oct 25, 2013
Michael Cala posted a blog post

Carey & Lurrie Bell – Gettin' Up (CD/DVD Review)

This review is a positive one, but it’s also sad because Carey Bell passed away shortly after Getting’ Up was recorded (it was released in 2007).  He was 70.Carey Bell Harrington was a giant among Chicago blues harp players and is often considered the transitional link between the first generation – having learned blues harp from Little Walter Jacobs and Walter “Shakey” Horton – and contemporaries like James Cotton and Junior Wells.  Bell played in an idiosyncratically staccato “chop” style,…See More
Oct 23, 2013
Douglas Strobel commented on Michael Cala's blog post 'CD Reviews: Jelly Roll Morton and Alan Lomax: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings (1938)'
"I had the pleasure of finding one of the discs of these sessions in my home town library in the middle '60's! I heard stuff that stuck with me & I bought the Grand Piano Box version in honor of his hundredth B'Day! I had found a…"
Aug 23, 2013
A blog post by Michael Cala was featured

CD Reviews: Jelly Roll Morton and Alan Lomax: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings (1938)

Sometimes, intent and opportunity mesh so perfectly it seems that there just might be a divine plan.  That's exactly what transpired when Ferdinand Joseph Lamothe wandered off the streets of Washington D.C.  into the Library of Congress's Coolidge Auditorium one warm May day  in 1938.  He was intent on speaking to someone whom he believed had the power of righting what he viewed as a skewed history of American jazz and restore his rightful place as the prime mover, the Emperor of Jazz.The very…See More
Aug 20, 2013
Michael Cala posted a blog post

CD Reviews: Jelly Roll Morton and Alan Lomax: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings (1938)

Sometimes, intent and opportunity mesh so perfectly it seems that there just might be a divine plan.  That's exactly what transpired when Ferdinand Joseph Lamothe wandered off the streets of Washington D.C.  into the Library of Congress's Coolidge Auditorium one warm May day  in 1938.  He was intent on speaking to someone whom he believed had the power of righting what he viewed as a skewed history of American jazz and restore his rightful place as the prime mover, the Emperor of Jazz.The very…See More
Aug 19, 2013
Michael Cala posted a discussion

A Headstone for Mamie Smith, 1920s Blues Singer

I am a professional music critic and writer about blues music for Blues Revue, Sing Out! and other publications.  I am also researching a book about blues singer Mamie Smith (1884-1946)  and her composer, Perry Bradford, and their contribution to getting African American blues and jazz music recorded in 1920.  In my research,  I learned that Mamie -- singer of the first recorded blues, titled, "Crazy Blues" -- is lying in an unmarked grave in an African American cemetery on Staten Island since…See More
Jul 28, 2013

Michael Cala's Blog

Blues Pioneer Mamie Smith Getting a Headstone - After 68 Years

Major blues musicians and singers are coming together for a six-hour music event that pays loving tribute to blues legend Mamie Smith (1883-1946)and raises funds to erect a monument at her unmarked grave. 

They've joined in…

Continue

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 3:30pm

Marshall Lawrence - House Call (album review)

Marshall Lawrence is considered one of Canada’s best finger style blues guitarists. (He’s also a psychologist with a PhD, but that has nothing to do with this review.)

House Call is Lawrence’s fourth CD, and features some…

Continue

Posted on January 3, 2014 at 1:30pm

Carey & Lurrie Bell – Gettin' Up (CD/DVD Review)

This review is a positive one, but it’s also sad because Carey Bell passed away shortly after Getting’ Up was recorded (it…

Continue

Posted on October 23, 2013 at 6:00am — 1 Comment

CD Reviews: Jelly Roll Morton and Alan Lomax: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings (1938)

Sometimes, intent and opportunity mesh so perfectly it seems that there just might be a divine plan.  That's exactly what transpired when Ferdinand Joseph Lamothe wandered off the streets of Washington D.C.  into the Library of…

Continue

Posted on August 19, 2013 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

CD Review - The Cash Box Kings "Black Toppin’"

It’s 2013, and most of the blues and R&B performers who once recorded for labels like Vee-Jay, Specialty, Chess, Aladdin, Duke and Peacock have departed for hopefully happier shores. However, the music that once emanated from these…

Continue

Posted on May 16, 2013 at 7:30am

The Death of Meaning and Mystery in Overplayed Music

On another part of this site, Joanna Colangelo posits a poetic appreciation of the quintet of 1960s-70s Canadian and American…

Continue

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 7:00pm — 22 Comments

CD Review - Sterling Koch "Slide Ruler"

Even if the playing on Sterling Koch’s Slide Ruler CD wasn’t so good, the artist’s oddball selection of some powerful cover tunes is a welcome surprise.  For example, the last time we heard steel guitar duo Santo and Johnny…

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Posted on March 10, 2013 at 7:30pm

CD Review - Precious Bryant "The Truth"

Precious Bryant passed away this week on January 12th, 2013 at the age of 71.  She was on a par with Etta Baker as a virtuoso performer, interpreting everything from trad tunes to classic…

Continue

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

CD Review - Samantha Fish "Runaway"

When he wrote, “You’ve Got To Suffer If You Want To Sing The Blues,” bluesman David Bromberg wryly addressed the ostensible need for long (and preferably sad) life experience to play blues. However, if you’re 22 years…

Continue

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

CD Review - Midnight Shift "Rhythm Rockin' Boogie"

For a long time now, Pennsylvania has been home-growing fine blues bands like Bad Influence and the electrifying Del Ray Blues. Now comes Midnight Shift, a rocking, versatile group of thinking bluesmen led by a fine songwriter and blues…

Continue

Posted on January 6, 2013 at 9:30am

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At 3:33am on January 10, 2013, Karin Wright said…

Indeed! Thank you accepting my friends request Michael.

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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.