LIVE: “A History of the Blues” @ Sand Lake Center for the Arts, 6/1/13

Sonny Speed and the Resonators with Holly & Evan
Sonny Speed and the Resonators with Holly & Evan

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

The blues is a musical genre spawned by spirituals, work songs and field hollers from the South. But it’s also the forefather of so many more contemporary American roots music forms, from rock & roll to jazz to R&B.

And last Saturday night, the Saratoga acoustic blues duo Low ‘N Lonesome and their friends traced the history of the blues from the ’20s to the dawn of rock & roll in a sprawling, across-the-years concert at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts in Averill Park.

Developed by Low ‘N Lonesome’s Phil Drum, the premiere of “A History of the Blues” also featured Sonny Speed & the Resonators and Holly & Evan, while Ray Giguere guided the audience along on the journey with his narration.

From its Mississippi Delta origins – with songs by Charley Patton, Skip James, Son House and Robert Johnson – to the city blues of the ’20s (featuring great female vocalists like Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey and Memphis Minnie) to electrifying urban jump and Chicago blues (Louis Jordan, Muddy Waters), the grand span of the blues was presented with expert playing and singing by all of the musicians involved.

A history lesson never sounded so good…

Old Blues
Yellow Dog Blues
One Dime Blues
That’ll Never Happen No More
South Carolina Rag
Statesboro Blues
Pony Blues
Hard Time Killing Floor Blues
John the Revelator
Me and the Devil Blues
Crossroads Blues
Stack O’Lee Blues
St. Louis Blues
Me and My Chauffeur Blues
How Long, How Long Blues
They Call It Stormy Monday
Rollin’ and Tumblin’
Hoochie Coochie Man
Crossroads Blues

Rob Adkins
Rob Adkins
Holly & Evan
Holly & Evan
Phil Drum of Lone & Lonesome
Phil Drum of Low ‘N Lonesome
Ray Giguere
Ray Giguere
Sonny Speed
Sonny Speed
  1. wanda callagy says

    Very nice, Rudy! sorry I missed it!

  2. Ed Conway says

    Great recap and photos of a great evening, Rudy. The audience really seemed to love it with a standing ovation and cries for an encore.

  3. CarolLynn Langley says

    I booked Low ‘n Lonesome not because I’m personally a great fan of the blues, but because they came highly recommended and of course I realize that there are a lot of blues lovers out there who would be potential audience members. It absolutely amazed me to find that I was completely enthralled from beginning to end with both the music and the narration. These musicians are not only knowledgeable, but incredibly talented and well deserved the standing ovation they received!

  4. Kathy says

    Enjoyed the History Of Blues show very much! The song selection and performance by all of the musicians for the periods of time they were representing was simply AMAZING! Yes, ovation and encore – well deserved! (Great photos and review Rudy Lu for

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