Robert Jr. Lockwood often told writers, including this one, that he was sure that if Robert Johnson had not died so soon in life, he would have grown out of the blues and morphed into a jazz player. Robert Lockwood certainly did that, keeping one foot in the blues, the other in jazz. So did Snooks Eaglin, whose blues was based on a jazz chord structure, yet unmistakably blues.
Meet Adam Falcon, a brilliant soul from the Bronx, New York, who now makes his home in Suffern, New York, not far from New Jersey. He’s a swift acoustic player whose blues are distinctly reminiscent of players like Snooks Eaglin and Taj Mahal, players who expanded the blues horizon while keeping true to the spirit and feeling of the old blues. As bluesman Phil Wiggins said, “The blues keeps evolving. It’s not locked into a museum vault and frozen in time.” The individualist Adam Falcon is not locked down by other people’s conventions. He plays what he feels.
His mother was from Harlem and his father was from New Orleans. Adam Falcon heard Louis Jordan, Fats Domino, Snooks Eaglin, and Louis Armstrong records around the house as a kid, as well as a broad selection of African American music. As a teenager of the baby-boomer generation he had his ears open to it all: the Beatles, R&B, Motown, B.B. King, Dylan and all that music that formed sounds of the generation of the late ‘60s and ‘70s . He graduated from high school and studied music at Bronx Community College and right afterwards went on tour with the singing group Revelation, and in 1975 they opened for the Bee Gees. For years he worked as session guitarist and road-dog backing the likes of Stephanie Mills, Phyllis Hyman, and Whitney Houston. He opened for Eric Clapton at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
No wonder that his acoustic blues reflects all that. Soulful, bluesy, with jazz chords, call it a “blues infused” amalgam. In any given set he’ll play Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson and Taj Mahal songs along with his own blues compositions on his mahogany Martin and National resonator guitars. He described his music as “The mood … will take you on a ride from New Orleans to the Caribbean and drop you off somewhere in the Delta, with stops along the way.”
The songwriting bard told thecountryblues.com, “I play blues with a different groove and I like everything from reggae to Brazilian music. During my Brazilian phase I played a nylon string guitar. I switched to steel string guitar and went to a period of loving Richie Havens, Bill Withers and Ben Harper. I also love the deep blues of Robert Johnson and Taj Mahal. Blues to me is folk music from a particular group of people, whereas old country music is folk music for another group of people. It’s all music for people having a good time. I don’t label myself as a blues musician but I am rooted in the blues with different influences, of blues, reggae and soul music. That’s why they call it “roots music” after all. I just want to spread a good message. When people hear me play, I want them to feel good at that moment, to feel like someone else understands what they are going through. You can feel alienated in this world. Music should be uplifting
His own fiery compositions pack a punch and he wrote some fierce blues songs that will grab anyone’s heart and soul. The song “True Blue” that he wrote for the multi-Grammy winner George Benson was noticed by The Song Writers Hall of Fame, which bestowed him the Abe Olman Scholarship Award for Songwriting in 2007. Another composition “Like A Soldier” was used in the national television series, The Injustice Files. His powerful blues song “Woke Up Cryin’ ” (see the video below) made Falcon a semi-finalist in the International Songwriters Competition, as well landing him a nomination in the blues category of the Independent Music Awards.
You can find Adam Falcon’s CDs on CD Baby and his downloads on i-Tunes and Spotify.
He plays mostly around the New York region, with occasional trips to New Orleans. He’s a regular at top local venues: The Falcon, Daryl’s House in Pawling, The Turning Point and The Towne Crier Café in New York. He frequently opens at big venues and he has opened shows for James Cotton Blues Band, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, The Wailers, Jim Lauderdale, Tower of Power, Ruthie Foster and many more.