Blueszangeres en gitariste Rory Block is met recht een levende legende. Ze treedt al tientallen jaren over de hele wereld op (in het verleden onder andere op Pinkpop), werkt samen met mensen als Mark Knopfler en Bonnie Raitt, heeft meer dan twintig albums op haar naam staan, en won op haar terrein alle prijzen die er te winnen zijn. En wie een nummer als Lovin` Whiskey kan schrijven, weet hoe het leven in elkaar steekt. Block is een markante vrouw, die met haar innemende persoonlijkheid zowel het publiek in kleine zalen als festivalbezoekers aan zich weet te binden. Collega en soulmate Bonnie Raitt roemde Blocks muziek als "de meest bezielde binnen traditionele en moderne blues".
Aurora "Rory" Block (born November 6, 1949, Princeton, New Jersey) is an American female blues guitarist and singer, a notable exponent of the country blues style.
urora Block was born in Princeton and grew up in Manhattan. Her father, Allan Block, ran a sandal shop in Greenwich Village in the 1960s, and the influence of the Greenwich Village folk music scene, such as Peter Rowan, Maria Muldaur, and John Sebastian, tempted Block to study classical guitar. At the age of 14, she met guitarist Stefan Grossman, who introduced her to the music of Mississippi Delta blues guitarists. Block began listening to old albums, transcribing them, and learning to play the songs. At age 15, she left home to seek out the remaining blues giants, such as Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis and Son House, and hone her craft in the traditional manner of blues musicians; then she traveled to Berkeley, California where she played in clubs and coffeehouses.
After retiring temporarily to raise a family, Block returned to the music industry in the 1970s with middling success until signing with Rounder Records in 1981, who encouraged her to return to her love for the classical blues form. Since then she has carved out her own niche, releasing numerous critically acclaimed albums of original and traditional songs, including many Robert Johnson covers, including "Terraplane Blues" and "Come on in My Kitchen". Block has won five W. C. Handy Awards, two for "Traditional Blues Female Artist" (1997, 1998) and three for "Acoustic Blues Album of the Year" (1996, 1999, 2007). She also won NAIRD awards for "Best Adult Contemporary Album of the Year" in 1994 for Angel of Mercy and again in 1997 for Tornado.
Angel of Mercy, Turning Point, and Tornado were filled with her self penned efforts. However, Mama's Blues, Ain't I A Woman and When A Women Gets The Blues, featured songs written by Tommy Johnson, Robert Johnson, Lottie Beaman, and Mattie Delaney.
Block continued to tour, although not as heavily as earlier, and she was often accompanied by her son Jordan Block, who also played on her albums. She remained busy in the early part of the 2000s, releasing six albums, including a live recording. 2005's From the Dust drew decent critical reviews, as did 2006's The Lady and Mr. Johnson.
Winner of five
WC Handy Blues Music Awards
"... Rory Block is currently stretching the limits...
hugely talented... She is one of our national treasures."
The New York Blues & Jazz Society
“Rory Block is the blues... one of the music’s few living legends.”
All Music Guide album pick
"A living landmark, the finest contemporary purveyor of the
Mississippi Delta Country Blues tradition..."
"...one of the world's most important preservers of the roots of American music...
a national treasure in the form of an uncompromising mature blues artist."
"Her playing is perfect, her singing otherworldly as she wrestles
with ghosts, shadows and legends."
The New York Times
"...Rory Block is one of the greatest living acoustic blues artists... she can
hold her own with the legends who inspired her."
"If you like music steeped in tradition and genuine feeling, this is your woman."
- People Magazine
"Some of the most singular and affecting Country Blues anyone, man or woman,
black or white, old or young, has cut in recent years."
"Rory Block has been an inspiration to me since we started out years ago. Her guitar playing, singing and songwriting are some of the most soulful in traditional and modern blues."