Photo courtesy of Rick Olivier

There are not many meaningful music genres in the world as the Blues. A genre immediately associated to the history and tradition of a great country like the United States Of America but also to the tribulations and the hard times that the originators of said genre have been through in almost a century since the birth of Blues.

From Son House to R.L. Burnside, from Muddy Waters to Howlin' Wolf, from Leadbelly to Elmore James right through the three legendary King, Albert, B.B. and Freddie, Blues has gone through many different stages and evolution, during the last century but fundamentally, Blues at its very core always remains strictly linked to those artists that have lived and breathed the genre all the way, throughout their whole lives.

Photo by Patrick Strauke

It must be a wonderful feeling, for any musician, to be able, at a certain point of their careers, to release music without any form of compromise, letting the instinct and the inspiration to fly free and allowing the artists in question to express in full their musicianship. 

This is, in many ways, the kind of feeling that Chicago-born Guitar Prodigy JD Simo is in right now. With a new album under his belt just released and called Off At 11, previously reviewed by our website and already obtaining high praises by the whole of the worldwide Music Press, it's really a magic moment for the guitarist and singer/songwriter.

It is mesmerizing how, often, music that speaks directly to the heart of people like the Blues, it does not get the right recognition and appreciation for all that the genre always stood for and still stands nowadays.

It maybe not a Popular Music chart-friendly genre but, fundamentally, if there was no Blues, there could have been no Rock And Roll, something that it is so undisputed and the majority of Rock artists openly admit.

If there is one essential thing at the core of any music artist's organizational skills, that it is time. The right time when to record a new album, when to plan to go on Tour to support the record and how to find the right time to do extra appearances as well at special occasions, such as Festivals, for example or collaborations with other fellow artists.

In the case of Irish Guitar Virtuoso Gerry Leonard, all the above get multiplied at least by ten, given the time that Leonard spends in co-writing songs, playing either as a studio and/or as a live musician and being the musical director of artists such as Suzanne Vega, Rufus Wainwright, Laurie Anderson and the late great David Bowie, among others.

In an often incomprehensible world like the music business, many artists have been forced, especially in the last decade, to work even harder to maintain their presence in a constantly changing (and, at the same time, challenging) art form that is music.

Then, there is the issue about music genres. Like the Blues, for example, that is not considered, most times, "hip" enough to get airplay time on radios or media in general. As a consequence, Blues artists have to make their marks and try to sell as many records as they can by touring the world incessantly, often self-funding themselves because their record labels wouldn't be able to provide them even with a minimal financial platform to sustain the costs of touring.

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