John Kessler

All Blues Host

John has worked as a professional bassist for 20 years, including a 15 year stint as Musical Director of the Mountain Stage radio program. John has been at KPLU since 1999 where he hosts “All Blues”, is producer of the BirdNote radio program, and co-hosts “Record Bin Roulette”. John is also the recording engineer for KPLU “In-Studio Performances”. Not surprisingly, John's main musical interests are jazz and blues, and he is still performing around Seattle.

His most memorable and satisfying KPLU radio moment was getting an email from Jimmy Lane, a bluesman and the son of blues legend Jimmy Rogers, who said something like “You’re playing the good stuff, keep it up!”

Pages

Blues Time Machine
12:00 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

'Dust My Broom' sets the standard for blues guitar

Elmore James

The Blues Time Machine

"I believe I’ll dust my broom" is an old saying meaning to make a new start.

With that catchy phrase, and a distinctive guitar riff Robert Johnson created an important piece of blues history when he recorded “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom” in 1936.

Read more
Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Harping for Hit Songs

The harp has lent its angelic touch to many a pop song, and we've plucked tunes from Cher, The Beatles and The Carpenters. Guest appearances from Harpo Marx and a lady who plays the harp to calm zoo animals. Really.

Here's what radio looks like...it's the shiny new VIDEO version of RBR:

Read more
Blues Time Machine
12:00 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

"Going Up The Country" and the roots of the Blues

Roots of the Blues

The Blues Time Machine

Henry Thomas is literally a link to an earlier time.

Born in 1874, his music is a patchwork of blues, rags and folk songs. His use of quills, or pan-pipes, is a relic of a nearly vanished African American tradition. Listening to Henry Thomas gives a glimpse of what music might have sounded like before “the blues."

Read more
Record Bin Roulette
12:33 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Shaken, not stirred: 50 years of James Bond

Here's the dazzling new VIDEO version of RBR:

50 years ago James Bond hit the big screen with Dr. No, and with it’s heady cocktail of intrigue, treachery and sex, pretty much set the standard for every spy movie to follow.

Read more
Blues Time Machine
12:00 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

'Help Me' goes from blues to alt-rock

Sonny Boy Williamson

The Blues Time Machine

Sonny Boy Williamson’s career had a wide range. He played with Robert Johnson in the 1930’s and with Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page in the 1960’s. His ability to span eras is a testament to the timelessness of his voice and harmonica.

Sonny Boy Williamson recorded “Help Me” in 1963, and it bears a striking similarity to the instrumental “Green Onions," from Booker T and the MGs one year earlier. It is unusual because it uses minor chords, and has a sort of dark and foreboding sound.

Read more
All Blues
7:00 am
Fri December 21, 2012

John Kessler's Top 10 Blues albums of 2012

Here are the top 10 Blues albums of 2012 according to KPLU's John Kessler, host of "All Blues" and "The Blues Time Machine" and co-host of "Record Bin Roulette".

JOAN OSBORNE:  BRING IT ON HOME,  Saguaro Road Records

Read more
Record Bin Roulette
4:31 am
Thu December 20, 2012

The Great Christmas Carol Challenge

This week we pit musical legends against upstarts and imitators.

You be the judge and jury…

Let’s start with the best selling single of all time, Christmas or not…50 million copies of Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” have been sold. Here’s the crooner singing "White Christmas":

Read more
Blues Time Machine
12:00 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

'Mercy, Mercy' and young Hendrix showcase the rhythm in R&B

Don Covay

The Blues Time Machine

This song emphasizes the “rhythm” in “rhythm & blues."

“Mercy, Mercy” or “Have Mercy” was recorded by Don Covay in 1964. It features 22-year-old Jimi Hendrix on guitar. He’s still a few years away from his own solo career, but his guitar playing is recognizable.

Read more
Record Bin Roulette
4:21 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Singing In The End Of The World

While we are planning to be here after December 21, we offer this apocalyptic episode starring some notable crackpots, as well as The Doors, REM, The Beatles and Marlene Dietrich.

Here's what RBR looks like in living, breathing color!

Watch our new VIDEOS!

Read more
Jazz & Blues
12:00 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Just a 'Spoonful' of blues ... and the rest is history

Howlin' Wolf

The Blues Time Machine

It’s a modern blues standard with roots in the 1920’s, one of Willie Dixon’s many great compositions, and it can trace its origin in part to a Charlie Patton song from 1929: “A Spoonful Blues."

Read more
Record Bin Roulette
4:34 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Our Pulchritudious Obsession With Music

Now we must tell you that "pulchritude" is a very ugly word that means "beauty". And we've got 4 minutes   of music, commercials and cartoon characters to make the point. On this trip you'll meet Joe Cocker, Stevie Wonder, Lil' Mama and some lovely Clairol shampoo models.

Read more
Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Kicking the Bucket in Song and Story

Norman Greenbaum- spirit in the sky

Read more
Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Up, Up With People !

Record Bin Roulette

Now in Vital, Vibrant VIDEO, Record Bin Roulette is ready for its close-up:

Read more
Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Vote for These Songs About Elections

Alice Cooper for President?

This is how radio looks, now that we have a new VIDEO version!

Read more
Record Bin Roulette
12:04 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Be afraid, be very afraid of these Songs

Here is the splendid new VIDEO VERSION of Record Bin Roulette. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Read more

Pages