Sat December 1, 2012
Marc On The Blues

Nine O'clock Blues: Eastwood's 'Piano Blues'

Last week we checked out the soundtrack album for the Martin Scorsese produced movie, Lightning in a Bottle, created for the 2003 Year of the Blues. That was only one of the films Scorsese produced for The Year of the Blues.

Back before he took up talking to furniture Clint Eastwood was a pretty darned good director and Martin Scorsese chose Eastwood to direct Piano Blues. That film starred a collection of piano greats like Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Pinetop Perkins and many more.

Eastwood says his love of piano started when his mother brought home a stack of Fats Waller records and said “This is real piano playing.” Clint definitely agreed. Eastwood’s personal tastes have long run towards Jazz and Blues because, as he says in the film, “I’ve always felt that jazz and blues were true American art forms. Maybe the only really original art forms that we have."

That’s why he was glad to be able to explore the Blues genre through a great deal of the best music plus interviews with many of the great players.

Also on this week’s show we’ll hear from an album called Time Bomb that combines Sue Foley, Deborah Coleman, and Roxanne Potvin. All of them are very fine vocalists and guitarists.  

Potvin is a 1982 born native of Regina, Saskatchewan and is a bilingual Gatineau, Quebec-based artist. At an early age she was much in demand in Ottawa area clubs, festivals and special events and it didn’t take a wider world very long to find out about her powerful voice and impressive guitar skills.

She played in Europe for the first time when she flew to France for a major festival in 2007. She has headlined the Toronto Women's Blues Review show twice and in 2008 she was nominated as Female Vocalist of the Year at the Maple Blues Awards.

I’m used to Blues artists listing a half dozen influences so I was rather amused and very impressed to find a list from Potvin that included Dinah Washington, Freddie King, Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy, John Hiatt, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Solomon Burke, Irma Thomas, Jimmy Reed, the Staple Singers, Ruth Brown, Jimmy Bryant, Charlie Christian, Lonnie Johnson, BB King, Bessie Smith and others.

All of those names are worthy mentors and an education in Roxanne’s unique sound. Be sure to catch her this week on The Nine O’clock Blues.


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