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A Tribute to Butch Trucks 3/1/17: thoughts, photos, videos.

Last Weds. March 1, I paid tribute to Butch Trucks with a special band: my Big in China core supplemented by Andy Aledort (Dickey Betts), Peter Levin (Gregg Allman) and Junior Mack (Jaimoe). This show meant a lot to me. March in NYC has…

From the archives: Mel Daniels, Slam Old School - A classic ABA interview

I just got word that the great ABA player Mel Daniels will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this year. A well-deserved, far-too-late honor. To celebrate, here is a Slam Old School interview with Mel, conducted...several years ago. I…

B.B., Buddy, the Allman Bros, Pres. Obama and me

I was enthralled watching the live stream of last night’s White House celebration of the blues, the music which has been so central to my career and my life’s soundtrack. Mick Jagger was a big draw, of course, but he doesn’t mean that…

Jinshanling-Simatai Great Wall hike

I came across this video I made several years ago capturing the wild Wall hike I always loved to do. This time, I completed it with Jacob, then 10 or 11, my nephew Jesse, about 16, and a visiting friend Nico, 14. It was scorching hot and this…

An inside look at Chinese hoops

Once again inspired by Jim Yardley's wonderful new book Brave Dragons: A Chinese Basketball Team, an American Coach, and Two Cultures Clashing, I present my own experiences with Chinese basketball. I am in the process of interviewing Jim…

Thank you Canadians - check out this CBC broadcast

I suddenly started getting emails from Canadians; notices of new YouTube comments on "Beijing Blues" videos from Canadian readers; and CD purchase orders from Canadians. All of them said they had just heard a CBC broadcast about me, Woodie Alan…
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Inside B.B. King's breakthrough hit, "The Thrill Is Gone"

Years ago, Guitar World dedicated an entire issue to the 100 Greatest Solos Ever. As with all such lists, it was somewhat arbitrary but a lot of fun. I wrote a lot of the entries, and will be posting them here randomly, as I see fit,sometimes…

RIP Jeffrey Zaslow - updated with eulogies and links to his columns

I was devastated to hear yesterday about the death of Jeffrey Zaslow, the great Wall Street Journal columnist and reporter and the author of many best-selling non-fiction books - a remarkable four in the last two years. I never met Jeff, but…

Big in China Video

John Prine's "Great Rain", Uncle Mike's, NYC.January, 2012.

Unrest and beauty in Sichuan, China's Wild West

I have a real soft space in my heart for Western China. It's a beautiful place filled with fascinating people - many of them Tibetan. Though outside the border of Tibet,  much of northern Yunnan and western Sichuan are on the Tibetan plateau…

Butch Trucks loves Big in China

I had a pleasant surprise a couple of months ago when I randomly received an email from the Allman Brothers manager saying that drummer Butch Trucks wanted to chat with me - he had read Big in China and was really fascinated by it. This led…