Saturday, July 24, 2010



I jumped in last minute to DJ at FNB, closing the night with a one hour set after an entire night of great music by the fabulous Linda Maxwell.

-You Got Me Running - Sugar Pie Desanto
-Love Me Or Leave Me - The Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet
-Dark Sunshine - Dr Michael White
-Easy Blues - Lafayette Leake
-Sittin' & Cryin' the Blues - Willie Dixon & Memphis Slim
-My Handy Man Ain't Handy No More - Alberta Hunter
-I'll Be Your Sweet Black Angel - Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women
-Come On In My Kitchen - Porterdavis
-Another Man Done Gone - Irma Thomas
-Driving Wheel - Etta James
-Blues for Angel - Soul Miner's Daughter
-In the Morning Blues - Ike & Tina Turner
-Six O'Clock Blues - Eric Bibb
-That's Why I'm Crying - Koko Taylor
-Pussycat Moan - Katie Webster

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Shades of Blues (alt)
Had a blast DJing the night with Whitton Frank - she is still one of my favorite DJs to play with, and our sets always flow seamlessly. We each played 45 minute sets, and transitioned with 3-song trades. Check out Whitton's (DJ Lil'Red) setlists here

-Come On In My Kitchen - Chris Thomas King
-Flesh and Blood - The Waifs
-In The Mood for Memphis - Reni Simon
-Get Back Temptation - Ollabelle
-When the Lights Go Out - The Black Keys
-Mercy On Me - Christina Aguilera
-Let's Burn Down the Cornfield - Etta James
-Black Night - John Lee Hooker
-Blues in the Night - Ledisi
-Dark Sunshine - Dr Michael White
-Last Call - Ronnie Magri & His New Orleans Jazz Band

-Muddy Water Blues - Paul Rodgers
-She's Gonna Take Sick and Die - Collard Greens & Gravy
-Please Mr Jailer - Wynona Carr

-O Death - Tangle Eye
-So Long I'll See Ya - Tom Waits
-Back Back Train - Aerosmith

-100 Days, 100 Nights - Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
-I Put A Spell On You - Kim Nalley
-Can't Stop Thinking About You - Martin Sexton

I made an observation/realization last night. For a while now, I've seen "fusion" and blues dancing to alternative music rise in popularity. It seems as though most people are not interested in blues music any more, and as a blues DJ who plays because I love the music, I see that with a certain sadness. DJing wouldn't mean the same thing to me if I was playing a different style of music, because when you get right down to it, blues, with all its wailing, grit and soul is what makes me move and what makes me happy. But last night, I think my fears were laid to rest a little bit. Shades is an alternative blues venue, and I know many DJs that play there push themselves to find new songs or play more in fusion/pop styles than blues. Though Whitton and I were a lot more liberal with our definitions of "blues" than I know I normally am, the truth of it is that both of us played blues sets. And the dance floor loved it. 

I think a lot of what DJs are struggling with currently is identity. As the music that is "allowed" at a dance expands and we have more and more choices, it's hard to find an identity for yourself as a DJ. One thing I've found works well for me is to be decisive in my sets. If I try to cover too much ground and make everybody happy, my set will sound disjointed and I will most likely lose my dancers. Usually I pick 2-3 styles and move through those within the set, making sure that my transitions are easy to follow and I don't leave my dancers behind. And regardless of where I play, my foundation starts in blues music. Not only does this approach help me ground myself and feel more confident, but I find that it makes my sets more memorable to dancers, which definitely helps. 


Blues Union

Sorry for the hiatus - finishing up college and preparing for the move to Boston has put my DJing on the back burner for a while. But I'm back now, mostly, and hoping to get in a few sets before I move away. Here is the setlist from Blues Union when I went out to visit Boston

-Don't Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down - Eric Bibb, Rory Block, Maria Muldaur
-National Steel - Colin James
-Get Back Temptation - Ollabelle
-Blues Is My Wailin' Wall - Mighty Mo Rodgers
-Deep in the Delta - Brother Yusef
-Nobody's Fault - Rising Appalachia
-Come On In My Kitchen - Crooked Still
-Let's Burn Down the Cornfield - Etta James
-Bonnie & Clyde in D Minor - Chris Thomas King
-Please Mr Jailer - Wynona Carr
-I'll Be Your Sweet Black Angel - Saffire - the Uppity Blues Women
-Do I Move You - Nina Simone
-People Grinnin' In Your Face - Ruthie Foster
-Sugar Mama Blues - Snooky Pryor & Mel Brown
-Dust My Broom - Etta James
-Springtime Blues - Billy Boy Arnold