Showing posts from July, 2014

Johnny Winter I Smell Trouble 1984 Part1

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Johnny Winter (1944 - 2014)

I first heard about Johnny Winter when Blues King BB King talked about him on an interview he did sometime ago. BB said; "I was playing in Chicago to an all black audience when four white guys came in. I thought it was the IRS. One of them who was very white came up and asked to sit in. At first I wasn't sure, in the end I agreed. I played really difficult, changed keys and everything but he kept up. He was really good!"

I couldn't understand why I'd never heard of him. He played the authentic blues licks like most  black bluesmen. I thought to myself this guy must be a black albino, but I was wrong. He was born into a white family of musicians from Texas USA. A multi-instrumentalist to boot, he worked with the legendary Muddy Waters and a lot of the blues greats.

Ed Vulliamy of the Observer describes him as, "the black blues-men's white blues-man." No exaggeration the…

Eulogy for Sidi

David Cruickshank gave this eulogy at the celebration of Sidi's life. It sums up the man in a nutshell:
Eulogy for Sidi

When writing to the organisers of a conference I was supposed to be attending today, and speaking at the same time as this commemoration, I found myself saying: "Siddi was one of the first Black African exponents of an educational programme in the UK, and beyond, for all backgrounds to be exposed to the cultural traditions of West Africa; drumming,dance and song, along with weaving, sculpture and story telling, were all part of the rich tapestry of subject matter he promoted. I was one of his earliest students and amidst all the upheaval and "revolution" of the early seventies, he pioneered respect and recognition in the school curriculum for these subjects, particularly for young black people across the African diaspora. His dream was to establish a cultural University housed within a self sufficient farming community in Yedji, the township of…

Master Drummer and Craftsman

Sidi Ahmed Siddy 1st Aug., 1934 - 25th June, 2014:

Laid to rest at Brookwood cemetery in Surrey, last Thursday, the late Sidi's funeral was more a celebration of his life.

Sidi Ahmed Siddy died two months short of his 80th birthday. A craftsman and master drummer of the highest calibre, when he wasn't making various African percussive instruments, he was in schools and institutions teaching students how to craft and manufacture their own instruments through recycling materials rather than chopping down trees.

Below, more pictures from Surrey. Drummers, dancers, musician friends and acquaintances joined Sidi's long term partner, together with daughters to celebrate Sidi Ahmed Siddy's life.

Back at his home, more musicians and other friends came to pay their respects.