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Tash Sultana: ‘The kicks in the gut don’t hurt so much any more’
After surviving drug-related psychosis, the teenage busker-turned-overnight global sensation has found space in the pandemic to slow down

Janine Israel

17, Feb, 2021 @4:30 PM

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Bessie Smith by Jackie Kay review – a potent blues brew
This welcome reissue of the poet’s 1997 book about the ‘empress of the blues’ combines fact, personal memory and poetry to create an eloquent ‘herstory’

Kitty Empire

15, Feb, 2021 @7:00 AM

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Julia Stone, Middle Kids, Tash Sultana: Australia's best new music for February
Each month we add 20 new songs to our Spotify playlist. Read about 10 of our favourites here – and subscribe on Spotify, which updates with the full list at the start of each month

Nathan Jolly and Guardian Australia

04, Feb, 2021 @4:30 PM

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John Mayall’s teenage obsessions: ‘I lived in a tree house until I got married’
As a huge box set of his work is released, the 87-year-old British bluesman reminisces about the thrill of discovering boogie-woogie piano and buying his first six-string in Japan

As told to Dave Simpson

29, Jan, 2021 @9:00 AM

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Celeste: 'Black women singing soul, blues and jazz aren't being heard in the mainstream'
She was supposed to be the sound of 2020 until the pandemic stalled her progress. But with a relationship giving her fresh perspective for her debut album, she’s made up for lost time

Christine Ochefu

28, Jan, 2021 @3:00 PM

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Branford Marsalis: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Soundtrack review – Chicago 1927 revisited
Marsalis’s film soundtrack is an impeccable recreation of Ma Rainey’s studio sessions

Dave Gelly

23, Jan, 2021 @4:00 PM

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Tony Rice obituary
Guitarist and singer who took bluegrass in new directions by experimenting with its traditional repertoire

Tony Russell

04, Jan, 2021 @11:11 AM

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'All they want is my voice': the real story of 'Mother of the Blues' Ma Rainey
The subject of Oscar-tipped Netflix drama Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was a pioneering queer black singer who battled white producers for control

David Smith in Washington

15, Dec, 2020 @4:32 PM

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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom review – Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis share the spotlight
A formidable Viola Davis as Chicago’s ‘Mother of the Blues’ and whip-sharp Chadwick Boseman in his final screen role shine in this often stagey drama

Mark Kermode

13, Dec, 2020 @8:00 AM

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'I'm a song catcher': 60 years of Arhoolie Records, the label for a lost America
Now 89, one-time refugee Chris Strachwitz presides over one of the greatest US labels, having removed the stigma from working-class music like blues and zydeco to give a voice to the ignored

Garth Cartwright

09, Dec, 2020 @10:15 AM

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Michael Brooks obituary
Other lives: Archivist, historian and producer with a passion for early jazz and blues

Xan Brooks

29, Nov, 2020 @6:05 PM

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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom review – Chadwick Boseman glorious in his final film role
The movie version of August Wilson’s story of the blues, starring Boseman and a tremendous Viola Davis, is a ferocious opera of passion and pain

Peter Bradshaw

20, Nov, 2020 @5:00 PM

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