Saturday, February 7, 2009

CL contributor Hal Horowitz honored for Keeping the Blues Alive

Posted By on Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 11:30 PM

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By James Kelly

Creative Loafings freelance music writer Hal Horowitz was honored today (Sat., Feb. 7th) in Memphis, TN at the 25th annual International Blues Challenge sponsored by the Blues Foundation, receiving the prestigious “Keeping The Blues Alive” award for Journalism. Horowitz has been writing for various Georgia-based publications since 1994, and is also a contributing editor to Blues Revue. Horowitz is especially proud of the award, offering, “when I see who has won in the past. But mostly I'm humbled that what I do strictly for the love of it has touched others enough to take notice. That's just a bonus.”

Horowitz sees the blues as a reflection of everyday life, and is not surprised at the genre’s continuing popularity. “It speaks universal truths that are, like all the best roots music of any genre, timeless. When has there ever been a time when people didn't get the blues? Like most music, it adapts to changes but at its heart is a truth that can't be found in most pop. People often respond to that.”

When asked to cite some essential blues artists, he responds, “John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and the entire Chess stable from the 60s. Willie Dixon. Stevie Ray Vaughan. Johnny Winter and Jimi Hendrix. But you can find blues in the music of Miles Davis, Sly Stone, John Coltrane, Bob Marley, even the Velvet Underground and R.E.M. It's a music that knows no color or age boundaries. I hear blues in U2 and Coldplay."

In spite of all the changes in the way music is sold these days, Horowitz is sure some things will never change. “Live music, especially blues, thrives in the concert environment. There will never be a replacement for the feeling generated when a musician or band is firing on all cylinders in front of an appreciative crowd.”

(Photo courtesy of Hal Horowitz)

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