News / Arts & Entertainment

'Boogaloo' Bolden's New Blues Album Crosses Borders

'Boogaloo' Bolden's New Blues Album Crosses Bordersi
X
February 18, 2014
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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 266 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Saxophonist Craig Handy has an exciting new band called 2nd Line Smith, which combines the organ-jazz repertoire of Jimmy Smith with the “second line” rhythms of New Orleans parade music. Craig Handy joins "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten at Washington’s Bohemian Caverns jazz club to talk about the music and perform with the band.

Blogs