Rory Block

Rory Block

Aurora "Rory" Block (November 6 1949, [ All Music Guide biography] ] Princeton, New Jersey) is an American female blues guitarist and singer, a notable exponent of the country blues style.


Aurora 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 constant presence of members of the Greenwich Village folk music scene, such as Peter Rowan, Geoff Muldaur and John Sebastian, made an impression on the young girl, who studied classical guitar. Around age 14, she began to be fascinated by old Mississippi Delta blues, 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), three for "Acoustic Blues Album of the Year" (1996, 1999, 2007).

Her many albums, such as "Turning Point", "Angel of Mercy" and "Tornado" have featured her own songs, while "Mama's Blues", "Ain't I A Woman" and "When A Women Gets The Blues" spend more time amongst her blues models like Tommy and Robert Johnson, and the blueswomen Lottie Beaman and Mattie Delaney.cite book
first= Tony
last= Russell
year= 1997
title= The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray
publisher= Carlton Books Limited
location= Dubai
pages= p. 94
id= ISBN 1-85868-255-X

Block continued to tour, although not as heavily as in earlier times, and she's often accompanied by her grown son Jordan Block, who also plays 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 raving critical reviews, as did 2006's "The Lady and Mr. Johnson".


*1965 "How to Play Blues Guitar", Elektra Records (artist credited as "Sunshine Kate")
*1975 "Rory Block", RCA Victor 0733
*1976 "Rory Block (I'm in Love)", Blue Goose Records 2022
*1977 "Intoxication, So Bitter Sweet", Chrysalis Records 1157
*1979 "You're the One", Chrysalis 1233
*1978 "How to Play the Blues Guitar", Kicking Mule 109
*1982 "High Heeled Blues", Rounder 3061
*1983 "Blue Horizon", Rounder 3073
*1983 "Rhinestone & Steel Strings", Rounder 3085
*1986 "I've Got a Rock in My Sock!", Rounder 3097
*1987 "Best Blues and Originals", Rounder 11525
*1987 "House of Hearts", Rounder 3104
*1991 "Mama's Blues" (live), Rounder 3117
*1992 "Ain't I A Woman", Rounder 3120
*1994 "Angel of Mercy", Rounder 3126
*1995 "When A Woman Gets The Blues", Rounder 3139 (1996 Acoustic Blues Album of the Year)
*1995 "Turning Point", Munich 145
*1996 "Tornado", Rounder 3140
*1997 "Gone Woman Blues: The Country Blues Collection", Rounder 11575
*1997 "The Early Tapes 1975-1976", Alcazar
*1998 "Confessions Of A Blues Singer", Rounder 3154 (1999 Acoustic Blues Album of the Year)
*2002 "I'm Every Woman", Rounder 3174
*2002 "Women In (E)motion" (live album), Rounder
*2003 "Last Fair Deal", Telarc Records CD-83593
*2004 "Sisters & Brothers" (with Eric Bibb and Maria Muldaur), Telarc CD-83588
*2005 "From The Dust", Telarc CD-83614
*2006 "The Lady and Mr Johnson", Rykodisc RCD 10872 [ [ Mojohand discography] ]

Festival appearances

*Long Beach Blues Festival - 1993
*San Francisco Blues Festival - 1999
*Notodden Blues Festival - 2006

ee also

*List of blues musicians
*List of contemporary blues musicians
*List of Austin City Limits performers


External links

* [ Rory Block official website]
* [ Record label biography]
* [ Illustrated 1964–1987 Rory Block discography (early recordings not shown on official website)]
* [ Illustrated Allan Block discography (Aurora's father)]

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