Colin Linden (Artist)

Behind the scenes of the music I’ve come to enjoy there are some people putting it all together. I’ve come to realize that well may be the reason I love one album over another. Some are such influences that they deserve a book being written about their efforts and experiences. Colin Linden is one such person.

Colin has appeared on over 400 recordings accompanying such greats as Bruce Cockburn, Bob Dylan, Keb Mo’, T Bone Burnett and Emmy Lou Harris. He has also produced over 100 albums including several by Bruce Cockburn, Colin James and Sue Foley.

I was also introduced to two amazing songs which I found by looking up Colin’s contributions to tribute albums. Big River by Johnny Cash, I just love that E to Em strum, and Dry Bones Dance by Mark Heard. For Dry Bone’s dance Colin’s acoustic version is also worth a listen. I think that cool riff is something like this:

Colin is a great solo performer as well and as proof I present my favorite Colin Linden tune. Check this out:

Colin’s influence reaches far and wide and certainly appeals to my taste in music. I’ll be adding more about Colin and the band I’ve seen him perform most often which is Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Here are some links to Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and the original band members Colin Linden, Steven Fearing and Tom Wilson. The group started as a super group of Canadian performers for a tribute to Willie P. Bennet who passed away when he was 56. Another great performed who I had the privilege of crossing paths with. Now if you ever get a chance to see Blackie and the Rodeo Kings DO IT! Probably the best concert I ever saw was on their Kings and Queens tour where they rolled out one special guest after another.

Thanks Colin, Steven, Tom and Willie P for all the hours of enjoyment I had listening to your tunes and thanks to you all for reading this post. I hope it was fun and you go on to discover lots more of the music from this gang.

Boom Boom

Boom Boom is just and awesome song by John Lee Hooker. Wikipedia actually refers to it as a blues standard even though it was written in 1961. Now I though something had to be way older than that to be a standard but hey, there is no denying this is one of the most recognizable tunes out there. Here is a link to an early recording of it so you can see how this song sounded.

John Lee Hooker was famous for his presence as he led his group through free flowing blues where he improvised frequently. Boogie Chillin’ and Crawlin’ King Snake come across like this too but Boom Boom, well, it just nails it. Nothing shows this better than his performance in the Blues Brothers movies. I mean check this out:

This rendition is was out there like Thelonious Monk or Miles Davis but blues not jazz. I think this really shows the progression as John Lee Hooker’s style evolved. Now while John Lee Hooker was taking his sound this way many people were recording John Lee Hooker songs in a more commercially appealing way. The best example of this must be In 1965 the Animal’s recorded an initially more commercially successful version of Boom Boom and with their release the song went commercial and is probably the one we all recognize.

I was thrilled to find this awesome lesson online and learn that Boom Boom is surprisingly easy to play. I think it’s a little fast but then it is the Animals version and apparently John Lee Hooker’s original was 168 beats per minute.

Hope you all got a guitar out and enjoyed that. Thanks to Bruce Lindquist for that fun guitar lesson.

Thanks to John Lee Hooker, The Animals and all of you for checking out this post.

Colin James

Colin James followed a musical trajectory from rock to blues with a few creative diversions along the way. Seems a natural progression not unlike my own. There is a great story from Wikipedia how Colin James got his break when the opening act for Stevie Ray Vaughn didn’t show up. Anyway I saw a show in a pub at Whistler B.C. where he played Voodoo Thing and this video brings me right back there.

As time passed Colin James gravitated more to the blues as did I . With fond memories of Voodoo Thing burned in my memory I was thrilled to find National Steel in the blues section of the record store.

If you’re looking for a list of blues artists to check out the original artists on the track list from National Steel on Wikipedia.

The most recent tune I found by Colin James left me speechless. Well almost, all I can say is thank you Colin James.

Sean Costello

If you’re not familiar with the awesome electric guitar blues of Sean Costello you’re in for a real treat. Whenever I hear Sean I’m always blown away by the tone he got from his guitar. His tone reflects what many other top guitarist would be happy to claim as their finest moments. Here is a great example:

There are only eight Sean Costello albums and three were released posthumously.

Sean Costello was born April 16, 1979 and died April 15, 2008 one day short of his 29th birthday. Sean is being remembered by his label Landslide Records with a new release called Sean’s Blues – “A Memorial Retrospective” with many great Sean Costello tunes by various artists. It’s an interesting title considering the 12 previously unreleased tracks. Oh and the tune “Don’t Pass Me By ” is not on the album!

Now here’s a little mystery I’m hoping someone can solve for me. The track “Don’t Pass Me By ” is not on the album, even though it is the title of the album. Seem’s its owned Tone-Cool Records and they seem to have disappeared. Anyone know what happened to them?

Don’t forget – this tune is not on a Landslide CD and what happened to Tone-Cool ?

Sean’s career started early with his first album coming out when he was just 16 years old. His career was short but he certainly was rocketing to the top while he was with us. Sean played constantly in concerts and bars playing as many as 300 gigs in a year. He played with many of the greats including B.B. King, James Cotton and Buddy Guy. He spent some time with Levon Helm and was fast tracking to modern day blues royalty while accompanying Susan Tedeschi who is now part of the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Tony’s Acoustic Challenge

I took the acoustic challenge a couple years back. I have to say it improved my dexterity and speed but it never translated into music for me. If you’re looking for something to take the boredom out of practicing with a goal to develop technique, speed and dexterity and break through to a new level of playing this is a great site.

Personally I’m a little old to worry too much about such things and just want to make music.


It’s been a year since I was a member of JamPlay. The site is packed full of a ton of content. Songs and courses of all sorts. That said there are a ton of songs out there and I struggled to find ones I really felt I wanted learn. The teacher led lessons never worked for me. When you’re learning from a teacher its nice to be able to say this song not that one. You can’t really do that and since I assume the lessons are progressive I found myself learning songs I didn’t want to learn to make progress. I can recommend this site to anyone looking to learn songs and likes the selection of song specific lessons.

I’ll probably be back at some point in time for another year as I’m sure they have added more content but right now I’m taking a different approach. These days I find songs I love and learn them, not songs I can learn to see if I love them.

Jerry’s Guitar Bar

Jerry’s guitar bar is an awesome collection of song specific lessons. There are even some free ones. The lessons cover strum or picking patterns and seem quite true to the original songs to my ear. The full lessons include a play through the song and tabs. Here is a sample of the lesson part from youtube.

I have to say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every lesson I’ve downloaded from Jerry’s guitar bar. Do yourself a favor and pick up a free lesson and learn a new song. Here is the link:

Jim Brynes

If you’re looking to kickback with some fine acoustic blues Jim Brynes may be just what you’re looking for. Here is a fine mellow take on the classic Crossroads Blues

Here is another great cover. Now I love Doc Watson but I just like things a little raw like Jim Brynes does here.

Maybe I like the less polished sound because I can imagine playing it myself. So speaking of playing tunes here is a sort of cool lesson for this song that also provides some useful insight as to what it takes to learn a song like this.