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The Delta Blues at Full Speed

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Robert Johnson's "The Complete Recordings" is one of the most popular blues collections ever released, and is unquestionably the biggest-selling album ever by a pre-World War II bluesman. But new evidence shows we've been listening to his music at the wrong speed.

Today, we examine how flaws in a recording and mastering process may have shaped a blues legacy. Also, jazz and cabaret up-and-comer Loston Harris joins us with his band in the studio.

This a repeat edition of Soundcheck.

Slow Down, Robert Johnson!

The handful of recordings Delta blues icon Robert Johnson made in 1936 and 1937 are among the most influential songs in music. Disciples praise his high, moaning voice and fleet-fingered guitar work. But have we been listening to them at the wrong speed?

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Loston Harris

With suave charm and an encyclopedic knowledge of the American songbook, the piano man is a time-honored figure in music. Loston Harris is carrying on that tradition, and updating it for 2010, as a mainstay of Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel.

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Rick Parker

Gig Alert: 9 Volt Circuistry with Rick Parker

9 Volt Circuistry is a trio led by trombonist and New York native Rick Parker and Israeli guitarist Eyal Maoz. Download the live version of "Improvisation 9" here.

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No Cover: Hermeto Pascoal

Multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal, at 74-years young, is a legendary and wildly experimental jazz musician beloved throughout his native Brazil. He recently played Lincoln Center Out Of Doors.

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Jim Campilongo

Gig Alert: Jim Campilongo

This San Francisco born guitarist and composer has become a city staple with a residency at The Living Room on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He performs there every Monday with his Electric Trio. Download the title track to his latest album, Orange, here.

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Pat Bianchi

Gig Alert: Pat Bianchi

Rochester, NY native Pat Bianchi has performed extensively since age of 12 and has become one of the best Hammond B-3 jazz organists around. Download his "Blues Connotation" for free right here.

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