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Obit: Danny Kalb, Blues Guitarist (1942-2022)

Stilly River Sage 22 Nov 22 - 12:36 PM
GerryM 22 Nov 22 - 04:15 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Nov 22 - 05:27 PM
Thomas Stern 23 Nov 22 - 08:51 PM
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Subject: Obit: Danny Kalb, Blues Guitarist 1942-2022
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Nov 22 - 12:36 PM

Posted by Michael Kornfeld on the Facebook announcement page (Contents of obit posted here to keep the text, in case the original web page disappears).

Danny Kalb, best known as a co-founder of the seminal band the Blues Project but who cut his musical teeth as part of the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early 1960s, died of cancer on November 19, 2022. He was 80.

From AcousticMusicScene.com:

Danny Kalb, best known as a co-founder of the seminal band the Blues Project but who cut his musical teeth as part of the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early 1960s, died of cancer on November 19, 2022. He was 80.

One of a number of musicians who helped to spur interest in the fusion of blues and rock music during the 1960s, Kalb credited Son House, Mississippi John Hurt and Skip James among his influences. He co-founded the Blues Project in the mid-60s; its original lineup also included fellow guitarist and vocalist Steve Katz, Andy Kulberg (bass & flute), Roy Blumenfeld (drums, and Tommy Flanders (vocals). Keyboardist Al Kooper later joined the group, replacing Flanders, and can be heard on the group’s debut release Live at the Café Au Go Go on Verve/Folkways. The album was recorded at the then-popular Greenwich Village nightclub at which the group frequently performed. Among the album’s tracks were covers of songs by folksingers Eric Andersen and Donovan. The Blues Project veered into more psychadelic blues-rock-oriented music by the time of its follow-up release, Projections, and would record one more album before disbanding. Kalb reincarnated the group with a different lineup in 1969, after Katz and Kooper left to form Blood, Sweat and Tears. However, Kalb reunited with Kooper for a recorded concert at Greenwich Village’s iconic The Bottom Line in 1969.

After leaving the Blues Project, Kalb turned to solo work, taught guitar, performed with the Danny Kalb Trio, and released several albums – both studio and live recordings – into the 2000s. He and fellow guitarist Stefan Grossman recorded an album entitled Crosscurrents in 1968, while Katz joined the two for a 2007 release entitled Play a Little Fiddle. Kalb’s last recording, Moving in Blue, was released in 2013 and featured various sidemen and guest artists.

Prior to the Blues Project, Kalb was a solo artist and session guitarist who performed and recorded with such notable folk artists as Judy Collins, Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs. Kalb, who started playing guitar at age 13 and was attending the University of Wisconsin when he met and befriended Dylan while the two were performing at local coffeehouses. In 2013 Kalb told AM New York that “Dylan crashed with me for a few weeks in Madison on his way from Hibbing, Minnesota to New York.” He recalled that “We had so much fun, I dropped out and followed him.” Kalb was part of a live recording with Dylan that aired on New York City’s WBAI in 1961. He can be heard playing guitar on Ochs’ first official album All the News That’s Fit to Sing (1964) and on Collins’ Fifth Album (1969).

A protégé of Dave Van Ronk, Kalb joined the Mayor of MacDougal Street’s band, the Ragtime Jug Stompers, in 1963. Also in the band were guitarist and blues ethnomusicologist Sam Charters and multi-instrumentalist Artie Rose. During 1963-1965, Kalb also recorded with the True Endeavor Jug Band featuring Charters and Artie Traum, with Charters as the New Strangers, and with Rose and Barry Kornfeld as The Folk Stringers.

Born in Brooklyn, New York on September 19, 1942, Kalb grew up in Mount Vernon, a Westchester County community just north of New York City. Diagnosed with cancer several years ago, Kalb died at a Brooklyn nursing home. He is survived by his brother Jonathan.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Danny Kalb, Blues Guitarist 1942-2022
From: GerryM
Date: 22 Nov 22 - 04:15 PM

Thanks for posting the obit. The Judy Collins album came out in 1965, not 1969.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Danny Kalb, Blues Guitarist (1942-2022)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Nov 22 - 05:27 PM

very sad to hear that.
Another boyhood hero gone.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Danny Kalb, Blues Guitarist (1942-2022)
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 23 Nov 22 - 08:51 PM

RIP

I enjoyed The Blues Project albums back in the day. Initially released on the VERVE FOLKWAYS label, later changed to VERVE FORECAST.

Elektra issued an album titled THE BLUES PROJECT - NOT the later
Blues Project (band) -
EKL 264/EKS 7264 - The Blues Project - Various Artists [1964]
Bob Landy, who appears on this album playing "Treble Piano" on the track "Downtown Blues," is really Bob Dylan, with the letters of his last name scrambled.
Obviously, this album is not to be confused with the Al Kooper/Steve Katz group of the same name that recorded for Verve/Forecast; the only thing this album and the later band had in common was Danny Kalb. It is possible, however, that the Kooper/Katz group was named after this LP.
Dave Ray
Eric Von Schmidt
John Koerner
Geoff Muldaur
Dave Van Ronk
Ian Buchanan
Danny Kalb
Mark Spoelstra


In the UK The CAFE AU GO GO album was reissued with bonus tracks,
c.2004 by Acadia/Evangeline.

The Blues Project's last hurrah was at the Monterey International Pop Festival held in Monterey, California, in June 1967. By this time, however, half the original line-up was gone. Kooper had formed his own band and played at the festival as well. Katz left soon thereafter, followed by Kalb. A fourth album, 1968's Planned Obsolescence, featured only Blumenfeld and Kulberg from the original lineup, but was released under the Blues Project name at Verve's insistence. Future recordings by this lineup would be released under a new band name, SEATRAIN.


KEYHOLE xxxx                              CD 2014
Live at the Matrix September 1966


FLYING HORSES Records Ltd. FC 013          LP 1982
[43 East 50th Street New York - New York 10022]
BLUES PROJECT
1981: The Last Reunion.... But Not The Least
Al Kooper, keyboards, guitar & vocals
Danny Kalb, lead guitar & vocals
Steve Katz, guitar, armonica & vocals
Andy Kulberg, bass
Roy Blumenfeld, drums.
Recorded live at The Bonds, New York 17MAR1981
Produced by J.R.

Thomas.


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