Barbecue pit master, vinyl records enthusiast, festival founder, and all around important individual to help keeping a distinct dialect of American roots music alive, Chris Johnson, has died. The quintessential fan turned organizer, through his various ventures, Chris Johnson became…
A popular local eatery, and an internationally-important music venue was vandalized Tuesday night (7-28) in Bayport, Minnesota, just east of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Along with serving award-winning barbecue (the restaurant was recently visited by Guy Fieri for feature on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives) it is one of the last remaining Deep Blues music venues in the world.
In the 12 years since Hillstomp’s inception, John Johnson, and guitar player Henry Christian have become one of the Pacific Northwest’s most well-known underground roots duos, garnering a loyal following and making fast fans from their avant-garde approach to blues that combines elements of punk, trance, and most notably, a beat that is delivered by a drum set centered around a bucket instead of a snare drum.
There are a few important events in the history of the music that led to the strong grassroots and sonic diversity that you can find linked together in the robust roots music underground. There was the revitalization of lower Broadway in Nashville in the 90’s, that meshed punk kids from all over the country in their appreciation for authentic country and blues. There was the formation of Fat Possum & Bloodshot Records. And there was the Deep Blues Festivals.
First the bad news. One of the best festivals for independent roots music, the Deep Blues Festival, is no more. Simply put, this is a tragedy. If the independent roots movement had one premier festival, this was it, and this is coming from someone focused on country more than blues. Still, bands like .357 String […]