Early & Roots Rock

Content related to the earliest days of rock and roll and more modern artists who recall those early styles.

New Music from the Strokes on the Way

It's been a good 5 years since we had new music from the band that brought the sounds of 60s garage rock back to the mainstream, but they're coming back with new music this spring. That's right, the Strokes have recently announced that their new album, tentatively titled “Angels”, is supposed to be released March 21 2011.

The Soul of Rock and Roll Mourns the Passing of Bo Diddley

Yesterday was a truly sad day for rock and roll as one of it's original founding members passed away. Bo Diddley died yesterday of heart failure after months of ill health at the age of 79, and so I thought I would take today to mourn his passing, offer condolences to his family and friends, and more than anything celebrate his music, and lasting contributions to rock and roll.

Rock and Roll Pioneer Ike Turner Passes Away at 76

There was some sad news on the rock and roll front yesterday when the iconic Ike Turner passed away at 76. Although he was probably more well known unfortunately for the negative reputation he earned of being abusive and having serious drug problems, Ike Turner was also one of the original rock and roll pioneers in the early 50s playing both piano and guitar ( being one of the first to utilize the guitar's whammy bar as a key to his sound), and was also integral in developing the talent of Tina Turner and bringing her into the spotlight.

It Ain't Easy, Long John Baldry and the Birth of British Blues: A Book Review

Sometimes when I read about rock and roll history I'm amazed at how haphazardly mainstream history elevates some figures to iconic status, but leaves others to linger in obscurity. The same is true of mainstream success which can often have little to nothing to do with the actual influence a particular artist has on others or even the quality of the music.

A Brief Look at Screamin Lord Sutch on the Eve of Halloween

When it comes to obscure names in rock and roll history, what about Screamin' Lord Sutch? Would you believe that he at one time enlisted the help of such big guitar names as Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Ritchie Blackmore? A name like Screamin' Lord Sutch and the names of these guitarists might have you thinking that he was a blues guy, but you'd be wrong.

Chet Atkins Plays Live: Guitar Picking Excellence

As someone who's primarily into rock and roll, you might find it odd that one of my big influences as a guitarist is Chet Atkins. I've never much been into the country twang, but in fact, it is due to the incredible picking of Atkins (along with Jimmy Page and a few others), that I can finger pick and hybrid pick at all. I find that Chet Atkins is one of the more overlooked guitarists by younger folks (people like me actually), but his playing is beyond stellar, into the insanely good category in my opinion.

Scotty L and the Demon Pig Trio: Great Name, Great Blues and Rock and Roll

When it comes to blues, I like just about all of it. Each artist's take on the classic blues ideas are unique, but some are more unique than others. Those truly unique ones are the artists that tend to really stick in my mind. A week or two ago I had one of the readers of the Soul of Rock 'n' Roll recommend to me a blues band they caught at the House of Blues in Atlantic City. This band is just that... complete unique... and indeed they have stuck in my mind.

Remembering the Sonics: The Roots of the Roots of Punk

Back when I was first digging into "garage rock" and discovering that punk music was NOT what the mainstream was referring to with that term, I happened across a band called the Sonics. At the time I was just starting to listen to bands like the Stooges, the New York Dolls and the Sex Pistols, tracing the rock and roll lineage back from modern rock bands like the Strokes and the Hives. The Sonics seemed to have the same energy, raunch, grit and swagger even though they predated all of those bands by a few years and the modern ones by 40 or so.

Chuck Berry Back in the Good Ole Days: Johnny B. Goode

In these modern days of rock and roll, with so many different variations and styles it's easy to forget where everything started. It's especially easy for people like me who have never known days without rock and roll and have never known days before the rock and roll greats existed. To keep that in mind I like to listen to some of the early greats and just bask in their glory soaking it in.

Deep Folksy Blues and Rock and Roll from the Darrin James Band

August must have been the month of vaguely folk-ish singer/songwriter music because it seemed as if every suggestion I received for the Soul of Rock 'n' Roll was in that genre or at least close enough to it that I would associate it with that label. That's not necessarily a bad thing as there were some great artists, some of whom have already been featured, but still, after a while it did get a little repetitive.

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