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Putumayo's Latest: African Blues

Read on for a chance to win a 6-CD set from Putumayo’s blues and African titles. Dan Storper is the CEO and Founder of Putumayo World Music.

The blues has long been about storytelling, about raising a voice from the margins and edges of American life. As it spread from the Deep South to Chicago and beyond, the blues incorporated a powerful musical groove that has influenced music around the world.

Now, musicians are reaching across the Atlantic and finding that they have a common story to tell in shades of blue. Putumayo’s African Blues, now available in most Whole Foods Market® stores, chronicles the return of the blues to its African motherland.

It also demonstrates the burgeoning connections between West and East African musicians and performers from the blues’ traditional heartland in the US, as well as converts in Europe — and shows how these connections are revolutionizing traditions on both continents. Taj Mahal, together with the Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar, gets down and deep in a slow-burning meditation on the beauties of Dhow Countries. Mali’s Issa Babayogo brings his characteristic, sparkling knack for gritty, melodic grooves.

The ever-evolving Playing for Change band — this time featuring hip desert rockers Tinariwen and Keb Mo — reveals how globally malleable a good old 12-bar blues can be. For me, it’s like two halves of a circle. The blues’ roots are in Africa but emerged and evolved as a powerful musical style in America. Now they’re reuniting in new and exciting ways. When we worked on Mali to Memphis, we recognized the powerful connection between the bluesy music of West Africa and the Mississippi Delta.

That began my search for American and African blues and blues-influenced music and led to a series of successful CDs including Mississippi Blues, American Blues and Blues Around the World. Putumayo will contribute $5,000 from sales of African Blues to the International Rescue Committee in support of their humanitarian work helping refugees to survive and rebuild their lives. For more information, visit www.rescue.org.

Are you a blues enthusiast too? Got a favorite blues band or artist? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a 6-CD set from Putumayo’s African and Blues series. Comment by May 17th for a chance to win. We’ll choose one comment at random to receive the CDs.

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224 comments

Comments

stephanie says …

Love all the Putamayo cds! Look forward to African Blues!!

CeciliaC says …

I love all kind of music but my favorite would have to be Tower of Power and Taj Mahal! Blues is such a heartfelt music and really gets into your soul!!! I would love to add African to my collection....

Bob says …

I have been a blues fan all my life. My favorites include; BB King, Johnnie Taylor and many others.

Amy says …

Love Taj Mahal & psyched to hear this new compilation!

Susan V says …

Love all music! Since I have come to expand my repetoire to include music of the world, I would love to have these CDs as part of my collection.

lin says …

ETTA ETTA ETTA

Michele Holdsworth says …

Janis Joplin was the heart and soul of blues - saw John Lee Hooker in a Redwood City, CA bar along with another cool young blues guy - Mr. Mark Ford.

Maria says …

Love the blues sung by the wonderful Dinah Washington!

Kelly says …

B.B.King - of course!!!

Chris Rollyson says …

As a non-native Chicagoan, I have learnt to love the blues, and here's the data, direct from iPod: -Buddy Guy (esp. w Junior Wells) -Big Time Sarah -Dinah Washington -Jimmie Cotton (harmonica) -Karen Russell -Katherine Davis -Muddy Waters -Nina Simone

William says …

I love the blues. my favorites type of music.

Joanne Bianco says …

Pinetop Perkins who kept performing until his death at 97. The blues was in his soul.

Terry B says …

I was introduced to many blues artists by the British R&B bands who copied them in the 60s and 70s, but who also introduced them to a wider audience, especially in North America, where many of them were almost unknown.

H. Hamilton de Nunez says …

This collection sounds awesome! One of our favorites -- Empress of the Blues -- Bessie Smith, who later mentored Billie Holiday, another great blues singer.

lesley says …

as a teacher of fine arts, poetry and dance i turn to Putumayo on a regular basis for inspiration and education. I just developed a focus study on the African continent, exploring the arts of many of the countries and this compilation would greatly enhance the children's experience, particularly of all the connections between African and American musicality, honoring the history and the inventiveness of both. Thanks so much for the careful work you do in bringing the music of the world to all of us listeners, musicians, artists and dancers.

Brent V Moss says …

I love blues and the many of the soulful beats that come out from this music.It preaches to you sometimes like gospel it touches our soul .

Brian Serna says …

I grew up loving the Blues ever since watching the original Blues Brothers movie. I was also lucky enough to catch BB King and Keb Mo live in the last few years.

Kellie McMaster says …

My son loves the blues that he often hears at local farmer's markets and he also loves jazz too. He likes trying new music. He learned about Louis Armstrong in School, and always likes to play new music. He has a real guitar. He is six, and he will be 7 in a few weeks. He makes up his own blues songs. This would be a great birthday presents! Thanks for this opportunity Kellie

John says …

Freddie King and Buddy Guy have to be near the top of the list.

Sheila says …

Love the blues especially John Lee Hooker's "Blues Before Sunrise"...great song.

deb keilen says …

this music keeps me smiling and wanting to dance and spin and twirl!

Tim says …

Greatly looking forward to hearing this music! While not strictly blues, I've recently found the musical duo, Jamestown Revival. They are very definitely blues-inspired. Their first album is available to be streamed from their website at jamestownrevival.com Enjoy!

Liz C says …

My son loves the blues! He doesn't have a favorite artist yet but he definitely wants to explore.

Kerri Gibbons says …

I love the blues and African music , and this set of CD's would be an exciting way to share fun and excellent music with my son- so he can grow to love it too

Rina says …

Can't beat some classic Muddy Waters!

MarathonGorilla says …

I came across Congo Acoustic from Mose Se Sengo 'fan fan' a few years back while browsing a CD store. It was one of the best Jazz/blues albums I ever bought - every time I listen to it I feel cheered up.

mary says …

Eddie Kirlkand

Mary Capps says …

I absolutely adore the collaboration between Taj Mahal and Toumani Diabate! The best of both worlds!

Anne Zuparko says …

Oooh, I'd love this!

Candy says …

Jeff Beck is the best.

Melinda says …

I am so excited to hear about this CD! I am very enthusiastic about Africa - and to hear that this CD encorporates African music with blues is wonderful!! B.B. King is one of the best Blues artists in my opinion.

Karena Zevely says …

How exciting! I love the blues and African music. It will be wonderful tomhear the two intermixed!

Lanie says …

the blues makes the world go round

Ann says …

Muddy Waters. Taj Mahal. The John Mayer trio.

Amy Bryant-Kelly says …

Monster fan of the Blues here– Taj Mahal makes me glad to be sad when his music is in the air!

PAW says …

What a fantastic opportunity to win six of these fabulous CD's!! I will share them with my friends, this Putumayo music is so rich and wonderful that I think many people in Wyoming have not heard about it. This would be a good opportunity for me to share this music.. I am from Santa Fe,New Mexico, so I am a long time listener!! Thank you very much for the chance to win such a marvelous set of CD's Paw

Nicole S. says …

Robert Johnson allll the way!

Belinda Gross says …

Ray Charles,Freddie King and Jimmy Reed are some of the best in my mind. Putumayo’s African Blues would be a nice touch to my music.

Gene Ulmer says …

David Honeyboy Edwards is one of my favorites, Billie Holiday,B B King and Eric Clapton are in my favorites and I also love the Putumayo collections and would love to add this set to my library.

Rachel says …

Candye Kane is a fun blues artist I like listening to.

Susan Wilson says …

Freddy King, the Yardbirds, the Jeff Beck group,and Jimmy Read enliven my sound world with Blues...and I would love to have my world open up and be exposed to African blues! Talk about a mini-vacation to be had with the spinning of a CD! Blues my world, Putumayo!

Florence says …

I love the blues. Music from around the world would make for a well rounded addition to my collection. I also like the fact that the sales pay it forward.

Juliann Goldman says …

I don't know anything about the blues, but a Putamayo CD will certainly teach me!!

candice says …

Blues is the type of music we figure skate to sometimes. I first was exposed to blues music before I even started school and know my son enjoys listening to it also.

ltrain5 says …

I LOVE Putumayo CDs!

Ana Papakhian says …

Heard a great radio story on this CD and would love to hear it all!

Michelle says …

Junior Kimbrough, Robert Johnson and Jimmie Vaughan.

Luisa says …

I've been playing guitar for years, and really love flamenco. Then I decided to try to learn blues. I figured it's like flamenco in that it's an improvised form that's expressive and connected to the lament of a particular culture. I failed at it. Abysmally. That failure should inspire me to sing the blues. haha So I stick to listening to Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter, Etta James, and also the modern interpretations of blues like early Rolling Stones and SRV. Thanks, this is a cool contest!

Susan says …

It used to be all Etta, but life changes and now it's more the swingy-swing blues. But it's all good!

Bonnie Margolis says …

I used to hear John Mayall and The Blues Breakers, Buddy Guy, in the Village when I was a kid. Love all the Blues.....Blues is a feeling. When Taj Mahal dissed The Chambers Bros. back in MS when they were all sharecroppers kids, because they only had one pr of shoes amongst them...well, I'm sure that gave them the Blues...but they might not have been too proud to say it....but you listen to their early gospel renditions...and you can hear them singing it. Kudos for starting Putamayo records.

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