Rory Block at the MerleFest 2014
|Birth name||Aurora Block|
|Born||November 6, 1949|
Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.
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 Greenwich Village folk music scene, such as Peter Rowan, Maria Muldaur, and John Sebastian influenced 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, such as "Terraplane Blues" and "Come on in My Kitchen".
Angel of Mercy, Turning Point, and Tornado included mostly original compositions. However, Mama's Blues, Ain't I a Woman and When a Woman Gets the Blues featured songs written by Tommy Johnson, Robert Johnson, Lottie Beaman, and Mattie Delaney.
In 2010, Block released her autobiography in .pdf format and a limited print run titled When A Woman Gets The Blues.
Rory Block has won six Blues Music Awards, two for "Traditional Blues Female Artist" (1997, 1998), three for "Acoustic Blues Album of the Year" (1996, 1999, 2007), and the 2019 "Acoustic Artist of the Year". 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.
- Block, Rory When A Woman Gets The Blues (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 14 April 2011, ISBN 1456520296)
|1967||How to Play Blues Guitar||Elektra||324||Credited as "Sunshine Kate", with Stefan Grossman, reissued in 1978 as Kicking Mule 109|
|1975||Rory Block||RCA Victor||0733|
|1976||Rory Block (I'm in Love)||Blue Goose||2022|
|1977||Intoxication, So Bitter Sweet||Chrysalis||1157|
|1979||You're the One||Chrysalis||1233|
|1981||High Heeled Blues||Rounder||3061||Recorded at Bearsville Sound Studios, Produced by John Sebastian|
|1984||Rhinestones & 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|
|1990||Color Me Wild||Alcazar||1003||Children's album|
|1992||Ain't I a Woman||Rounder||3120|
|1994||Angel of Mercy||Rounder||3126||1994 Adult Contemporary Album of the Year|
|1994||Women in (E)motion||Tradition & Moderne||107||Live, 1988|
|1995||When a Woman Gets the Blues||Rounder||3139||1996 Acoustic Blues Album of the Year|
|1996||Tornado||Rounder||3140||1997 Adult Contemporary Album of the Year|
|1997||Gone Woman Blues: The Country Blues Collection||Rounder||11575|
|1997||The Early Tapes 1975-1976||Alcazar||111|
|1998||Confessions Of A Blues Singer||Rounder||3154||1999 Acoustic Blues Album of the Year|
|2002||I'm Every Woman||Rounder||3174|
|2003||Last Fair Deal||Telarc||CD-83593|
|2004||Sisters & Brothers||Telarc||CD-83588||With Eric Bibb and Maria Muldaur|
|2005||From the Dust||Telarc||CD-83614|
|2006||The Lady and Mr Johnson||Rykodisc||RCD 10872||2007 Acoustic Blues Album of the Year|
|2008||Blues Walkin' Like a Man: A Tribute to Son House||Stony Plain||SPCD 1329||First release in the Mentor Series.|
|2008||Country Blues Guitar - Rare Archival Recordings 1963-1971||Guitar Workshop||SGGW103||With Stefan Grossman, reissue of How to Play Blues Guitar plus 16 additional tracks|
|2011||Shake 'Em on Down: A Tribute to Mississippi Fred McDowell||Stony Plain||SPCD 1344||Second release in the Mentor Series.|
|2012||I Belong to the Band: A Tribute to Rev. Gary Davis||Stony Plain||SPCD 1359||Third release in the Mentor Series.|
|2013||Avalon: A Tribute to Mississippi John Hurt||Stony Plain||SPCD 1369||Fourth release in the Mentor Series.|
|2014||Hard Luck Child: A Tribute to Skip James||Stony Plain||SPCD 1373||Fifth release in the Mentor Series.|
|2016||Keepin' Outta Trouble: A Tribute to Bukka White||Stony Plain||SPCD 1393||Sixth release in the Mentor Series.|
|2018||A Woman’s Soul: A Tribute to Besse Smith||Stony Plain||SPCD 1399||Power Women Of The Blues series.|
|2020||Prove It On Me||Stony Plain||SPCD 1409||Power Women Of The Blues series - Vol. 2|
- Pinkpop Festival, Netherlands - 1989
- Long Beach Blues Festival - 1993
- San Francisco Blues Festival - 1999
- Notodden Blues Festival - 2006
- Kemptville Live Music Festival - 2017
- "Rory Block - Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
- "Rory Block Official Home Page!". Roryblock.com. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
- "Born to the Blues". Archive.is. 2008-11-24. Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 94. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
- McKay, Robin. "BLUES MUSIC AWARDS". Blues.org. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
- "2019 Blues Music Awards Winners Announced". Antimusic.com. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
- "Rory Block Resume". Roryblock.com. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
- Block, Rory (4 June 2013). "Avalon: A Tribute To Mississippi John Hurt". Stony Plain Records. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- Grego Anderson. "Rory Block Discography". Mojohand.com. Retrieved 2009-10-25.