Photo courtesy of Greg Logan

There is no point in trying to deny that we have all, at a certain point of our youth, made big dreams about life. It's part of our DNA and we can't help it. For most of us, those dreams, through the years, settle into a more common everyday's dynamic, with bills to be paid, a family to look after etc. 

For some others, though, those dreams become a wonderful reality. If you are a musician in your teenage years and you find yourself in a world where you get to grow up surrounded by the attention and the consideration of artists of the stature of B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughan and have someone like James Brown writing his thoughts about you on the sleeve notes of your debut album, that means that you might be someone really special.

During our lifetime, we all strive to get to a point where we are comfortable with our existences and with our hopes and dreams. The latter, perhaps not completely fulfilled but, at least, with the awareness that, during the years we got to know ourselves a bit better through life's many experiences.

The way we build said awareness may vary, depending what we do for a living and often dictated by circumstances arising through the years in our personal lives.

Photos by Jim Arbogast

1977 has been a magic year for music in general but, for Blues and Blues/Rock, a very special one. Some of the most formidable and talented guitarists and singers/songwriters of the current generation were born, coincidentally, all in that same year, all elevating enormously, through their musicianship and in the last three decades especially, a genre that was lacking in creativity, after the passing of inspirational and pivotal artists of the genre like Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Gary Moore, among others.

Undoubtedly, one of the finest Blues/Rock artists emerging from that special year for music, is New Jersey-born Pedal Steel Guitar master Robert Randolph. Since 2001, together with his band called The Family (the name is not coincidental, being the band members all related to Randolph), this eclectic and ultra-creative artist has brought to the contemporary Blues/Rock table exciting new ideas, by adding to the genre an explosive combo coming from Randolph's musical roots, strongly rooted into Gospel, Funk, Soul and Church Music in its entirety, the kind of music the American artist grew with.

There is a marvelous sounding word, in Brazilian language, that translates the feeling of what we call in US, UK and even in Italy, Nostalgia. That word, in Portuguese/Brazilian, is translated Saudade. A word often connected to Latin music coming from that part of the world and present in many lyrics of songs from poets of traditional Brazilian music, from the late great Joao Gilberto to Antonio Carlos Jobim or from Caetano Veloso to Toquinho, just to mention a few.

But Saudade is also something that can relate to other music genres, something that, in later years, London-based Punk/Rock trio Yur Mum have found out by themselves, when they decided to get together and form this highly energetic band. When (at the time) Brazilian guitarist and now drummer Fabio Couto and his partner (in music as in personal life), singer/songwriter and bass player Anelise Kunz met Hungarian guitarist Akos Gado in London, there was a unanimous desire to form a band that would fully express Couto and Kunz’s desire to get back from a more direct and raw sonic expression of their artistry as musicians and fulfill Gado’s rock’n’roll dreams.

Photos from Internet Archive

Often life takes many of us through unexpected paths and journeys. Journeys which are not pre-designed in the slightest by us but it just happens that, sometimes, we people suddenly find ourselves, at a point of our existences, to start swimming in deep waters, facing tough times and difficulties that really make or break us.

The music business has witnessed, through the years, stories of many artists struggling with personal issues of different sorts, some of them, unfortunately, embarking a journey of no return, others, like the highly talented Blues/Rock guitarist, singer/songwriter and producer Mike Zito, battling their way back to life after, in Zito's case, defeating his personal demons displayed under forms of alcohol and drug addictions. 

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