Nina Simone’s troubles were highlighted in the recent gripping documentary by Liz Garbus, What Happened, Miss Simone? Though Simone had her fair share of challenges, it was her incredibly resonant voice and musical genius that contributed to the gradual accumulation of legends surrounding her. These talents are bursting from the seams of “Gin House Blues,” Miss […]
Though the British blues-rockers The Animals recorded a gritty version of a song called “Gin House Blues” in 1966, the tune was originally released by Bessie Smith in 1928 under the name “Me and My Gin.” Smith, the storied blues singer of the Prohibition and Great Depression, did record another song a few years earlier that may have confused other […]
Today, the so-called British Invasion of the ’60s is remembered primarily for its flagship band, The Beatles. Another English group called The Animals—widely known for their international hit version of the folk song “House of the Rising Sun”—are unfortunately obscured by the long shadow of the former, but their screaming fans knew and loved The Animals’s gritty rock. Their […]
When we interviewed Christian Kiefer about his recent book, The Animals, the soundtrack he produced to accompany the text was still an upcoming release. Now available, the album features music by Kiefer and others such as Jefferson Pitcher, Tetuzi Akiyama, Tom Carter, Kevin Corcoran, to name a few. Taking its name from the novel’s first sentence, What […]
Writer, musician, and poet Christian Kiefer discusses his literary influences, the “beautiful, beat up, and weird town” that is Reno, and writing from the perspective of beasts in his new novel The Animals.