Blues: The Next Generation

With apologies to Jon Landau, “I saw blues future and its name is Joe Tellmann. And Erin Coburn. And In Layman’s Terms. And a bunch of other teenagers who rocked Braxton Brewing in Covington, KY last night.”

I’m a blues fan, but must admit that my interest has waned since Stevie Ray Vaughan died. Seeing some youngsters play the blues like old souls last  night gave me new hope for the next generation of the blues.

Full disclosure: Joe Tellmann is the 15-year-old son of my good friend Dave, with whom I had the pleasure of working at 97X in Oxford, OH two decades ago. He also happens to be a preternaturally gifted guitarist who loves nothing more than practicing for several hours every day.

Erin Coburn is even younger than  Joe, she’s only 13. She looks like she should be playing with American Girl dolls instead of playing guitar, but when she plays and sings she’s Bessie Smith, Koko Taylor, Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi all rolled into one.

Both Joe and Erin attended the Pinetop Perkins Foundation Camp in Clarksdale, Mississippi this summer. According to Dave, it was an incredibly rewarding week. Last night’s gig was a fundraiser for the foundation.

The Pinetop Perkins Foundation is a tax exempt non-profit organization.  It’s mission is to provide encouragement and support for youth and young people at the beginning of their musical career; and help provide care and safety for elderly musicians at the twilight of their career.

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