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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MUSICBLITZ Press Contacts:
Paul Breton / Calvin Fleming
mPRm Public Relations
323-933-3399
pbreton@mprm.com / cfleming@mprm.com


MUSICBLITZ AND LEGENDARY BLUES MUSICIAN TAJ MAHAL CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH THE LAUNCH OF BLUESBLITZ WEB COMMUNITY

BluesBLITZ Features Exclusive Streaming Video Workshop on the History of the Blues, Hosted by Taj Mahal


Also Features Exclusive Free Music Downloads from Taj Mahal, Koko Taylor, Sugar Blue, Mississippi John Hurt, Harlem Slim, Tab Benoit,  Bobby Womack and others

LOS ANGELES-January 31, 2000-To celebrate February's Black History Month and the profound influence of the blues on American music and culture, MUSICBLITZ, in collaboration with Grammy Award-winning blues artist and noted musicologist Taj Mahal, today unveiled BluesBLITZ. This blues-oriented Web community is available online at www.bluesblitz.com or through www.musicblitz.com

"As a musical style, the blues is rooted in the hardship, repression and
slavery of African-American people. That is where the music began," said Taj Mahal. "What is more important is that the people and the music have triumphed over hardships and adversity in an alien culture and a strange land. Blues music has become the soundtrack to the lives of music lovers everywhere, regardless of language, religion, or spiritual persuasion. It is an honor, and it gives me great pleasure, to work with MUSICBLITZ to further connect with blues fans all over the world."

The second in a series of genre-specific Web communities from MUSICBLITZ, BluesBLITZ pays homage to blues music and the various cultural and regional influences that helped it evolve. Blues fans can find free new recordings and Internet-exclusive downloads from prominent artists such as Taj Mahal, Koko Taylor, Sugar Blue, Mississippi John Hurt, Harlem Slim, Tab Benoit and Bobby Womack at www.bluesblitz.com. 


Additionally, the Web site features an exclusive streaming video workshop on the history of the blues, presented by Taj Mahal. He illustrates the music's evolution and the different signature sounds of each American region by playing, singing, and demonstrating the different musical techniques that were unique to each period in blues history. He also passionately discusses the history of Blues Melancholia, Delta Blues, Mississippi Blues, Classic Piedmont, West Texas Style, Chicago Blues and Blues on the Rails. The video workshop is available online at www.bluesblitz.com/workshop. 

The BluesBLITZ Web site also offers the only critical guide to the best free blues recordings from anywhere on the Internet, as determined by professional freelance music critics and MUSICBLITZ's own editorial staff, as well as interviews, historical articles, a glossary of slang, an event listing, a guide to blues radio shows around the world, and much more. 

"The blues is the story of America," said Bryan Glover, Executive Vice President of MUSICBLITZ. "In order to help people truly understand and appreciate this special part of our heritage, we felt it was important to work with an expert such as Taj Mahal to present the music in the proper cultural aesthetic and historical context. By introducing BluesBLITZ during Black History Month, MUSICBLITZ is honoring a distinctly American style of music and the artists and fans who are dedicated to keeping its spirit alive."

Throughout Black History Month, MUSICBLITZ will donate a pre-determined dollar amount for each song downloaded from the BluesBLITZ Web site. These donations will benefit the Blues Foundation Black History Month charity. Additionally, MUSICBLITZ will donate five personal computers to the organizations of Taj Mahal's choice, including one Native American school, two African-American schools and two Afro-Caribbean schools. 

"It is important to me that the youth of the world have equal access to the
Internet," added Taj Mahal. "It is in this spirit of remembrance and hope for a better future - forces that are embodied by the blues and BluesBLITZ - that we are making these contributions."

About MUSICBLITZ
Based in Los Angeles, MUSICBLITZ is a consumer-oriented music company that is redefining the relationships between consumers, artists and record labels. The company combines traditional record label artist development and off-line marketing practices with technology-enabled distribution. MUSICBLITZ funds established artists to record new singles and then features this exclusive music in the form of free downloads on its site, www.MUSICBLITZ.com, and in its genre-specific communities. www.MUSICBLITZ.com offers music fans the only critical guide to free and legal music downloads from anywhere on the Internet. For more information about MUSICBLITZ, please visit www.musicblitz.com

Editor's Note:
BluesBLITZ features exclusive singles from the following artists. These songs can be downloaded for free either at www.bluesblitz.com or www.musicblitz.com.

Taj Mahal: Artist, singer, songwriter and noted musicologist who has played a vital role in the preservation of the blues and African-American roots music. In 1997 he won a Grammy Award in the Contemporary Blues category for "Senor Blues." He also won W.C. Handy Awards in 1991 for Acoustic Artist of the Year, and in 1994 for Traditional Album of the Year.

Koko Taylor: Known as "The Queen of the Blues," Taylor won a Grammy Award for Traditional Blues in 1984. She has received W.C. Handy Awards for Traditional Female Artist of the Year (1992, 1993 and 1999), Entertainer of the Year (1985) and Vocalist of the Year (1985 and 1995). She has been honored with the W.C. Handy award for Contemporary Female Artist of the Year 13 times.

Sugar Blue: A respected blues harmonica musician, Sugar Blue has recorded with Rolling Stones and many others. He earned a Grammy Award for Traditional Blues in 1984 for his work on Koko Taylor's "Blues Explosion."

Tab Benoit: A critically acclaimed blues guitarist, Benoit has made a name for himself playing a personalized mixture of electric blues, rock and roll and Cajun R&B. Benoit has produced four albums and his songs have been heard on such TV shows as Northern Exposure, Melrose Place, Party of Five, and Baywatch Nights.

Harlem Slim: Profoundly influenced by the likes of Robert Johnson, Johnny Shines, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Boy Fuller and Blind Blake, Harlem Slim is deeply dedicated to the preservation of 1920s and '30s-style acoustic blues. His debut CD, Delta Blues & Piedmont Ragtime, features note-perfect renditions of classics by Johnson, Shines, McTell, Bukka White and W.C. Handy, as well as some impressive compositions of his own. 

Bobby Womack: A soul music legend, Womack has racked up several dozen R&B hits during the course of his four-decade career, and has collaborated with the likes of Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, Janis Joplin, George Benson and Rolling Stones. Though not a blues singer by definition, Womack's new track, "Do Anything For U," reveals that blues idioms are still very much alive and well in the context of modern R&B.

Mississippi John Hurt: Essential listening for any fan of acoustic country blues, Mississippi John Hurt's gentle, ragtime-inflected guitar picking profoundly influenced the folk music boom of the early 1960s.

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