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Ted Drozdowski

Ted Drozdowski

Ted Drozdowski is a freelance journalist and musician living in Boston, Massachusetts. He writes about popular culture, specializing in music. His work has appeared internationally in a wide variety of publications including Tracks, Rolling Stone and Musician. Before freelancing Ted was associate arts editor at the Boston Phoenix, where he remains a frequent contributor, and an editor at Musician.

He is co-author of The Best Music CD Art and Design and appears regularly on television and radio offering commentary on music. He was a research consultant for Martin Scorsese’s PBS-TV series "The Blues" and has been awarded the Blues Foundation’s Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Journalism as well as other commendations.

Ted left the Boston Phoenix in 1997 to freelance and devote greater energy to music making. He is slide guitarist and singer for the Mississippi hill country informed blues group Scissormen, which released the EP Jinx Breakers on the Hi-N-Dry label in 2004. A full-length recording is expected in fall 2005. Ronnie Earl has recorded his songs ‘Black and White’ and ‘New Vietnam Blues’ with Kim Wilson and Irma Thomas, respectively, on vocals.

Ted’s musical resume also includes psychedelic rockers Devil Gods (Sick Little Monkey, 2001), textural experimentalists Blood Blister, John Sinclair’s Blues Scholars (Steady Rollin’ Man, 2002) and Vision Thing (Vision Thing, 1996). His wife Laurie HoffmaN is a photographer. She and Ted often collaborate on performances combining visual art and music.

List of articles in the library by artist

Aerosmith, Joe Perry: The Joe Perry Interview

Interview by Ted Drozdowski, unpublished, May 2005

TO ROCK 'N' ROLL FANS, Joe Perry's half the front line of the dynamic band Aerosmith, a position he's held since co-founding the group with ...

Luther Allison: Moonshine Blues: Luther Allison Revisited

Retrospective by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, March 1999

THE GREAT blues guitarist and singer Luther Allison once told me about an incident from his childhood that he carried as close to his heart ...

Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan: Jeff Beck & Stevie Ray Vaughan: Guitar Slingers Shoot It Out

Report and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Rolling Stone, November 1989

Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan go head-to-head on U.S. tour ...

The Black Keys: Guitarist Dan Auerbach Discusses Gear, Influences and the Latest Black Keys Album, El Camino

Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Guitar World, March 2012

His Nashville studio is full of sweet vintage gear, but Dan Auerbach isn't just a retro-obsessed guitar hound. The Black Keys guitarist gets his motor ...

The Black Keys, Lightnin' Hopkins, ZZ Top: When Lightnin' Strikes: Billy Gibbons and Dan Auerbach talk Lightnin' Hopkins

Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Guitar World, October 2012

BILLY GIBBONS AND Dan Auerbach are standing shoulder to shoulder on Easy Eye Studio's checkerboard floor, trading lazy blues licks through a battered old Gibson ...

The Black Keys, ZZ Top: Billy Gibbons and Dan Auerbach

Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Guitar World, October 2012

MISSISSIPPI FRED McDowell's haunted, woody voice sails through the air as the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach nurses a cup of coffee and flips through a ...

Jimmy Bowen and Jim Jerome: Rough Mix (Simon & Schuster)

Book Review by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, January 1998

JIMMY BOWEN is the music-biz sharpie who made Nashville's country industry what it is today -- a multi-billion-dollar-generating machine. For that, he's both loved and ...

Ruth Brown Keeps Deep R&B's Fire Blazing

Profile and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, October 1997

MISS RHYTHM is on stage working the blues, and she's got the audience on a string. Sashaying up to the microphone in the ballroom of ...

Lori Carson: Everything I Touch Runs Wild

Review by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, October 1997

IF THERE'S BEAUTY in sadness, it comes from the honest outpouring of emotions that sadness causes. ...

Kevin Coyne: Sugar Candy Taxi

Review by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, August 1999

BRITISH SINGER-SONGWRITER Kevin Coyne is a strange one. As influenced by the rough-and-tumble sounds of Mississippi blues as by his job as a counselor to ...

The Cramps, The Gun Club, Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds: Kid Congo Powers

Profile and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, September 2006

THE LATE 1970s were a time of ignition. Punk rock set a fuse that burned through every aspect of the arts, and the lives of ...

Honeyboy Edwards: Delta Delight: Honeyboy Edwards, Country Bluesman

Profile and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, May 1998

THE BLUESMAN Honeyboy Edwards got arrested in Greenwood, Mississippi, in 1936. His crime was being a black man. ...

Diamanda Galás Prepares To Perform A New Defixiones

Profile and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, September 2005

DIAMANDA GALÁS has had a talent for plucking beauty from the maw of horror for more than 20 years – right from her first solo ...

Michael Gira, Swans: Black Saint: Michael Gira Goes Solo

Report and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, May 1999

FIRST IMPRESSIONS do last, so I'll always remember Michael Gira as the "revenant black saint" he goes on to describe himself as in the lyrics ...

Godsmack: Godsmack IV

Review and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, May 2006

The idea of fall and redemption is thousands of years old, and it’s laced into the new Godsmack album, where singer Sully Erna’s lyrics spin ...

Gov't Mule: Psycheblues: Gov't Mule Don't Mess with the Fat

Report and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, March 1998

BIG, BAD-ASS blues rock. Nobody's got the nuts to play it nowadays. Not in a pop world where it's more important to sound alternative or ...

Green Day: Nimrod

Review by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, October 1997

GREEN DAY have dropped another load of Dookie upon us. By which I mean the band have made a big pile of new songs as ...

Buddy Guy, Blues Singer

Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Guitar World Acoustic, June 2003

"WHEN I FIRST heard of the electric guitar, I thought somebody was bullshittin' me," says George "Buddy" Guy. "We lived so far in the country ...

Merle Haggard: Branded Man: Merle Haggard Brings The Bakersfield Sounds East With Dylan

Report and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, April 2005

WHEN BOB DYLAN CALLS, other musicians listen. Even when they're icons and gifted songwriters in their own right. ...

Ben Harper on the Inside

Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Guitar World Acoustic, June 2003

BEN HARPER'S NEW Diamonds on the Inside (Virgin) is a fireworks display of guitar. Colorful melodies played on an array of acoustics and electrics burst ...

Dale Hawkins: Rockabilly Hipster Dale Hawkins Returns

Report and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, October 1998

DALE HAWKINS'S FIRST HIT launched two of the greatest careers in rootsy American rock. But not without a left-field nudge from famed record producer Jerry ...

Jeff Healey Band: Jeff Healey: Have Guitar, Will Sit

Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Musician, March 1989

JEFF HEALEY is the most unorthodox guitarist since Stanley Jordan. He plays seated, most of the time, with his guitar flat on his lap. As ...

John Lee Hooker: The Sound of Teardrops: John Lee Hooker

Profile and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, January 1998

HOW DEEP IS John Lee Hooker's blues? "You can't go no deeper than me and my guitar," he says. "I open my mouth, and it's ...

Joe Satriani, Mick Jagger: The Devil And Joe Satriani

Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Musician, April 1989

A Guitar Hero Strikes a Different Kind of Bargain ...

Juliana Hatfield, The Lemonheads: The Lemonheads, Juliana Hatfield: The Paradise, Boston, Massachusetts

Live Review by Ted Drozdowski, Rolling Stone, August 1992

EVAN DANDOand Juliana Hatfield make the kind of garage pop that's kept Boston's collegiate audiences enthralled since 1980, when the local favorites the Neighborhoods recorded ...

Junior Kimbrough, R.L. Burnside: Blues Chaos Theory: Burnside and Kimbrough file absentee albums

Review by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, September 1998

"OH SHIT, I can't see," said the great Mississippi hill-country bluesman R.L. Burnside as he stepped toward the microphone – just loud enough that it ...

Freddie King

Retrospective by Ted Drozdowski, Guitar World, August 2012

NOTE: This is an expanded version of a piece that was in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame's induction program in 2012: the lengthier ...

Last Exit: Johnny D's Uptown Lounge, Sommerville MA

Live Review by Ted Drozdowski, Musician, April 1990

Love at First Sight ...

Marilyn Manson with Neil Strauss: The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell

Book Review by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, March 1998

MARILYN MANSON might be a cultural liberator, but he's certainly a shameless asshole. Well, not utterly shameless. In this autobiography penned with help from Rolling ...

Metallica: Metal Memories: Ten years of close encounters with Metallica

Retrospective by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, November 1997

THE MONSTERS OF ROCK Tour in '87 was my wake-up call. Even if waking up in Akron is like rising with a hangover. ...

Mission of Burma: Burmese Days

Retrospective and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, January 2002

MEMORIES OF THE MISSION: Roger and Clint back in the days when ‘Academy Fight Song’ and ‘That's When I Reach for My Revolver’ blared out ...

Carl Perkins, 1932-1998

Obituary by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, February 1998

CATS ARE SUPPOSED to have nine lives. Rockabilly cat Carl Perkins had at least three. The first got spent in '56. As Perkins was driving to ...

Kelly Joe Phelps: Zen Guitar: Kelly Joe Phelps Heads East

Report and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, July 1999

KELLY JOE PHELPS is a traveler. With a pair of acoustic guitars in his car's trunk and notepads scattered about its seats, he drives across ...

Wilson Pickett: Still Wicked: Wilson Pickett's Raw Return

Report and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, October 1999

THE HOWL is unmistakable. Raw as fresh meat, gritty and powerful as sandblasting. That's Wilson Pickett shouting thunder over the fatback grooves of a new ...

The Pixies: Death to the Pixies

Review by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, November 1997

THE DOUBLE BILL looked great on paper: the Pixies and Throwing Muses at Avalon. Actually the Lansdowne Street club was called Metro then, back in ...

Lou Reed: Ecstasy

Review by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, April 2000

LIKE THE ALEWIFE and the manatee, Lou Reed has enjoyed a sort of protected status in the wake of punk rock. The truth is, he's ...

Kim Richey: Her Country: Kim Richey's Nashville fusion

Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, August 1999

THERE SEEM TO BE four kinds of country music these days. There's the pop stuff, a mix of up-tempo numbers and sugary ballads plied by ...

Sonic Youth: Dirty

Review by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, July 1992

IF THERE'S ANYTHING all great rock-and-roll bands – from Muddy Waters' early-'50s Chicago electric outfits to Chuck Berry's Chess session players to the Rolling Stones ...

Ali Farka Toure: Connections: Ali Farka Touré's Cross-Cultural Blues

Profile by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, July 2000

THE BLUES CAME to America in chains, contained within the hearts of the enslaved people of Africa. Two hundred odd years later it went back, ...

Stevie Ray Vaughan: Repackaging Stevie Ray Vaughan

Review by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, April 1999

YEAH, HE NEVER played alternative rock, and to him hip-hop was something the Easter bunny did. He also wore his influences like a neon suit. ...

Mike Watt: HMS Watt: Contemplating the Engine Room

Review by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, October 1997

WHAT BECOMES a punk-rock legend most? In the case of Mike Watt, it's love. His new Contemplating the Engine Room (Columbia) brims with the stuff. ...

Lucinda Williams: Lucinda's World

Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Guitar World Acoustic, August 2003

"I KIND OF MISS the days when I wasn't well known," says Lucinda Williams, "Then, I was an 'undiscovered genius' when people heard my albums. ...

List of genre pieces

Deep River: The Bounty of Alan Lomax

Retrospective by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, June 1999

THE CD STARTS with a banjo picker burning on a hoedown called 'Cripple Creek,' progresses along a chain of mountain songs to 'Arkansas Traveler,' and ...

Down-home delights: The soulful blues of Malaco Records

Report by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, June 1998

THIRTY OR 40 YEARS AGO, the Jackson-based Malaco Records would have been called a "race" label. That was the tag for outfits like Specialty, King, ...

Newport Notes: How the Jazz and Folk Festivals made history

Retrospective and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, August 1999

"WELL, THIS IS real bullshit!" yelled Eddie Condon.  ...

Producer in Paradise: Joel Dorn Revisits a Golden Age of Jazz

Report and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, April 1998

JOEL DORN describes himself as "a stand-up guy. I grew up on the street corners and in the playgrounds, and I was raised to believe ...

Robert Palmer, 1945-1997

Obituary by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, December 1997

POPULAR MUSIC has never had a better friend than Robert Palmer, the critic and musician who died l POPULAR MUSIC has never had a better friend ...

Absolute Kristal: CBGB's new punk rock label

Report and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, July 1998

HILLY KRISTAL'S MAD AS HELL and he's not gonna take it anymore. Okay, that's a slight exaggeration. But the 66-year-old hipster who owns the New ...

Hall-of-Fame Hitter: Drummer Earl Palmer gets his due

Retrospective and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, January 2000

LIKE ANY GOOD GRANDFATHER, Earl Palmer has tried to find interests to share with his grandkids. So far, coin collecting has been a favorite. It's ...

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