Rock Family Trees at Gallery Different

Union Jack

Gallery Different, at 14 Percy Street, London W1T IDR, in the centre of the West End, is celebrating the Olympics with an exhibition of art related to London music. And what better than Rock Family Trees? Downstairs in the exhibition you’ll find some of the signed framed limited edition prints, so you can see what they look like in real life. And if they appeal, you can order one from the gallery, to be signed by Pete who will add a personal message if that’s what floats your boat.

The exhibition, has a wealth of really exciting art, including the shocking work of Keith Haynes, former art director on Rock Family Trees TV programme. Shocking not because of the subject matter but he makes his art out of real records made of real vinyl, as in the example above. We are assured that he chooses only unplayable scrap vinyl, but still it is a challenging concept. Go and take a close look for yourself. The exhibition runs to the end of August.

Pete Frame’s Guide to the Blues Part 2

OK, so you should be in with the spirit of things now. If not, click here for a spot of revision.

So, where to next? How about Rolling Fork and Vicksburg, 45 miles apart, mostly on Route 61, skirting the Delta National Forest. And here we find two giants of the blues, Muddy Waters, born in 1915, and then Willie Dixon born the same year. But then it gets a bit murky. Robert Gordon, in his biography of Muddy Waters, called I Can’t Be Satisfied, says the correct birth date is 1913, at Jug’s Corner, Issaquena County, a few miles away. That’s the blues for you.

Here is Pete’s take:


We’ve discussed Willie Dixon before in detail, so here we’ll focus on Muddy Waters. Pete generously credits a book called Deep Blues by Robert Palmer (no, not ‘Addicted to Love’ Robert Palmer, but the superb music critic). Published in 1981, and now in its 39th impression, it is a must-read for anyone who has got this far in this post. The Library of Congress recordings that Pete mentions are available as The Complete Plantation Recordings, and include a few interviews as well as the first Muddy Waters recordings. Here is one of the first two numbers he cut: I Be’s Troubled.

Think you recognise it? This is the version you probably know better:

Pete Frame’s Guide to the Blues Part 1

mississippiOne of our favourite Rock Family Trees is not so much a tree but a visual and historical map: Mississippi, Cradle of the Blues. A remarkable account of the blues artists originating in the state of Mississippi. Here are the four short columns at the start the tree, top left:


In the coming weeks we will bring you some of the highlights of the tree. Here is one to start with, the blues artists associated with the town of Clarksdale:

We all know this born-in-Clarksdale bluesman:

But what about Brother John Sellers?

And this beautiful number from Maxwell Street Willie Davis?

Need your own copy of Mississippi Roots of the Blues? We have a special offer on the limited edition, signed Fine Art Print: £200 (including UK postage) until the end of June.

Special deals are also available on posters: A2 (420 x 594) £17.50 including UK postage
A1 (594 x 841) £22.50 including UK postage

All enquiries and orders to Jo at

And of course, if you need a copy of More Rock Family Trees you know what to do:

Jocky Wilson Says

Sad to hear of the passing of darts legend Jockie Wilson at the early age of 62.

But what does this have to do with music, you may ask? Those familiar with the British pop show Top of the Pops know the answer.

In 1982 Dexy’s Midnight Runners were in the charts with their big hit ‘Jackie Wilson Says’. Darts was huge on TV at the time, and Jocky Wilson a household name. And who was Jackie Wilson? Not known at the BBC. The stage was set, literally, for some accidental comedy. Look out for the big black and white picture of an angelic, smiling, darts genius.

Even More Rock Family Trees Auto Review

We were very pleased to receive a Google Alert pointing us to a new review of Pete’s fabulous Even More Rock Family Trees. Here it is:

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Machine-written reviewing still needs some work, it seems. But funnily enough, my neighbour did buy one as well, and he also found it very durable too. Get yours here: