Over the years, Cleopatra has made it something of a specialty of theirs to release tribute albums to popular artists, but 2012's Black on Blues: A Tribute to the Black Keys feels a little different than its predecessors – not as rushed, almost bordering on the carefully considered. Of course, that impression may just be a reflection of the presence of the Iggy Pop and Ginger Baker duet on "Lonely Boy," a collaboration that pays back some dividends as the melody is perfectly suited for Iggy and Ginger swings with nonchalant assurance……
When Frank Ace plays the blues on his guitar, it is a rich sound that is smooth and demonstrates his mastery of a technique that has become his recognizable signature. Catching the beat from Kenny Burrell's jazz, and Chet Atkins' country/western. As a child, Frank learned to play country/western under the unlikely tutoring of rodeo cowboys who came to his stepfather's boots and saddle shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He developed his love for the blues when he later lived with his grandparents. "Back then, my grandmother defined the blues for me, and I've never forgotten it," says the Arizona native. "You didn't have to have the words. Blues is a feeling; it comes from way down inside." When he attended Phoenix Union High School, he was making big bucks for a 17-year-old.
With the exception of the late Amos Milburn, all of the artists presented here have proved to be survivors. None of them is young any more and each has suffered years if not decades of neglect and hardship. But on the brighter side, Charles Brown and Floyd Dixon are now receiving the sort of recognition and honours that equal and perhaps in some ways surpass the fame they enjoyed in their heyday. As for H-Bomb Ferguson, bis own resurgence has ensured that his wigs are made from the best materials.
Ah, Beale Street. lf you‘re into the blues, there are locations that conjure with the imagination. In Chicago, it‘s Maxwell Street, in Detroit, Hastings Street, in Los Angeles, Central Avenue. But for longevity and romance, incident and especially music, most bluesfans would set their feet on Beale Street‘s weaving sidewalk in any decade between the 20s and the 50s. Not that many white people did until the latter decade, for the area was as lawless as it was libidinous. Authorities left Beale Streeters to their own devices, sending in the wagons after dawn to clear away the bodies accrued from another night‘s misadventures…..