Welcome to the January 2019 issue of Black Grooves, sponsored by the Indiana University Archives of African American Music and Culture.
For our annual “winter blues” observance we’re highlighting five recent blues-based releases: Eric Bibb’s Global Griot featuring Malian musician Habib Koité and Senegalese kora master Solo Cissokho; Snooky Pryor’s All My Money Gone featuring previously unreleased studio and live recordings; The Prophet of Funky Texas Blues, aka Willie J. Laws Jr.’s Black Maria; Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne’s Inspired by the Blues; an expanded reissue of Henry Townsend’s Mule; and Roscoe Robinson’s 90th birthday tribute Turn Right and Go Straight which combines blues, soul and gospel.
Also featured this month is Harbinger Records’ Sissle & Blake’s Shuffle Along of 1950 that draws from rare, one-of-a-kind acetate discs. And, since black-eyed peas are a New Year’s Day tradition, it seems fitting to include the Black Eyes Peas’ new album Masters of the Sun Vol 1.
Other new releases include Anderson .Paak’s Oxnard that channels ‘90s West Coast funk; the Detroit-based octet Will Sessions collab with soul singer Amp Fiddler on The One; Detroit techno pioneer Robert Hood’s first release in !K7’s highly acclaimed DJ-Kicks series; and rising country artist Kane Brown’s sophomore album Experiment. Wrapping up this issue is a review of the timely book from Indiana University Press, Black Lives Matter and Music: Protest, Intervention, Reflection, and our list of December Black Music Releases of Note.