Blues Break

Monday - Friday, 2pm - 4pm

Hosted by Michael Bourne

Michael draws from his encyclopedic musical knowledge to assemble a vast collection of artists from every corner of the blues world. 

Show Archive
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Southside Johnny — singer and harmonicat, "the Godfather of the Jersey Sound," a sidekick of Bruce Springsteen, an inspiration for Jon Bon Jovi — is performing with the Asbury Jukes this Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Enlow Recital Hall of Kean Stage

He came by to have fun talking with Michael Bourne, and to play some blues live in the WBGO performance studio. 

Here's a video of Johnny and pianist Jeff Kazee playing an impromptu tune, "New Jersey Tomato Blues." 

Doug MacLeod
courtesy of the artist

Doug MacLeod is a definitive troubadour. He travels. He sings. He tells the stories of the songs. And he's a terrific guitar player.

Albert King, Albert Collins, Joe Louis Walker, Son Seals, and Coco Montoya all have recorded MacLeod's songs, and his own newest album of songs and stories is Break The Chain.

He's playing at Queen's Brewery (Thursday 8/23) in Ridgewood, NY, and at The Town Crier (Friday 8/24) in Beacon, NY.

Lonesome Blues is a play about blues legend Blind Lemon Jefferson, one of the best-known and best-selling blues artists of the 1920’s. His emotional singing was powerful, and nobody played guitar like Lemon. He rarely played in strict danceable time, and his sometimes whimsical, sometimes dramatic guitar often burst every which way. Lemon’s playing and singing is in the DNA of all the blues artists who came after him. Lonesome Blues imagines him on his last night, only in his mid-30’s, dying in the cold of Chicago, remembering highs and lows of his life.

Selwyn Birchwood's new album, Pick Your Poison, is a soulful collection of genre-bending blues and roots. Birchwood, a guitarist and vocalist, recently dropped by the Blues Break for a live in-studio performance — and sat down with host Michael Bourne to talk more about this new album and his current tour.


Coco Montoya's latest album, Hard Truth, covers a variety of emotions. From songs about gambling and drinking to warnings about how "The Devil Don't Sleep," it contains the kind of direct storytelling the blues is famous for.

Listen to Montoya with host Michael Bourne on the Blues Break, where he talks about this new album, upcoming performances, and the inspirations behind his music.

 

Rob Paparozzi is a virtuoso of the harmonica, and played a box full of harps — different sizes, different keys — when he came to WBGO for a talk on Michael Bourne’s Blues Break. He’ll be the featured soloist on May 11 when the New York Philharmonic performs Henry Mancini’s score to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, along with a screening of the film.

 

Paparozzi recently played in the City Center Encores revival of Roger Miller’s musical Big River: Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He’s also performing with a reunited Blues Brothers band. 

Marcia Ball is an old friend to WBGO's Performance Studio and Steinway B. When she plays solo, she fills the room with her busy left hand and raspy Southern-twinged voice - you don't miss a band at all. But Marcia's been leading a band for decades now.

She says though she never really mentored in a traditional sense, she always surrounds herself with superior musicians. "I have people in my band who can guide me musically."