News / Arts & Entertainment

'Boogaloo' Bolden's New Blues Album Crosses Borders

'Boogaloo' Bolden's New Blues Album Crosses Bordersi
X
February 18, 2014 10:33 PM
For more than 30 years, trumpet player James “Boogaloo” Bolden has been working with famed blues singer and guitarist BB King. But when Bolden is not on the road with the “King of Blues” he is in his hometown of Houston, Texas, to play with his own band that is now featuring some blues by way of Mexico. VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston.
Greg Flakus
For more than 30 years, trumpet player James “Boogaloo” Bolden has been working with famed blues singer and guitarist BB King.  But when Bolden is not on the road with the “King of Blues” he is in his hometown of Houston, Texas, to play with his own band that is now featuring some blues by way of Mexico. 

James “Boogaloo” Bolden has played with everyone from Duke Ellington to Lightnin' Hopkins, but he says he has learned the most from BB King.

“He is the kind of teacher who shows you without actually saying this is what you should do," said Bolden.

BB King is now 88-years-old and still touring.  But Bolden uses whatever time off he has to play with his own band.

It helps having his new CD played on radio programs like “Howlin' the Blues,” hosted by James Nagel at Houston's KPFT FM.

“I have the real pleasure of introducing this next one: The James Boogaloo Bolden Blues Band - 'No News, Jus' The Blues,'" said Nagel. “No telling where this is going to go.  I hope it goes great places.  As we all know, BB [King] is getting up in age and James has put this band together, I guess, to prepare for the inevitable, you know, realistically.”

In a band brimming with talent, one standout is saxophone player and singer Evelyn Rubio, a native of Mexico City who has a passion for the blues.

She came to Bolden's recording session with a suggestion.

“She came into the studio, we were almost near the end of the session, and she said, 'I have another song I'd like to do.' And I said, 'Okay.' She had a little tape of it and we listened to it," said Bolden.

The song - Border Town - was written by a friend of Rubio's from the Mexican border city of Tijuana - but her sultry delivery makes it her own.  

“I have been traveling around playing the blues, trying to survive, so I really feel it, it is part of me," said Rubio.

She also recorded a Spanish version of the song for the CD, and hopes blues music will become more popular in Mexico and elsewhere.

“I respect the story of black people and how blues came up.  But let me tell you: me, as a Mexican person, it does not matter what race or color or whatever; everybody has blues stories in their life," she said.

James Bolden is happy to see this music spread internationally.

“I think it is a great thing, because the more people that play the blues, it will keep it alive," he said.

James Bolden is back out on tour with BB King now and Evelyn Rubio is preparing her own solo CD, with songs in English and Spanish, for release later this year.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

Country-pop singer, Lizzie Sider sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to perform songs from her new album, “Butterfly,” and to talk about her anti-bullying tour.