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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Nominees for the 39th Blues Music Awards



The Blues Foundation has announced the nominees for the 39th Annual Blues Music Awards, taking place on May 10th, 2018 in Memphis Tennessee, and like every year I post them for ya!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Blues meets Wu-Tang

As usual I found a nice gem for the blues; but this time from the Wu-Tang Clan.

Now if y'all don't know, I was heavy into Wu-Tang when I was a teenager. They practically raised me up; at 17 is when I found the blues and never went back. But I don't forget where I came from.

In 2005 a compilation album called 'Wu-Tang Meets the Indie Culture Vol. 1' which features members of the Wu-Tang Clan and their affiliates was released. In it, is a track called 'Slow Blues', which features Vast Aire, Byata, Wu affiliates Timbo King & Prodigal Sunn rapping over a minor blues progression, produced by Bronze Nazareth. It samples the song 'The Creeper Returns' by blues harpist Little Sonny. 

It's a great fusion between these genres, one of the better if not best I've heard. Here it is for your pleasure, and I've also posted the original song it was sampled from:



Original song:






Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Ain't Nothin' But Another Cold Day / Playlist


now THIS is the best Christmas Tree

I would like to wish you all a merry Christmas; please remember the more unfortunate who will be spending the holidays alone and in need. 

And this year I bring you another selection of Christmas blues tunes, some happy, and many sad:

Christmas Celebration - BB King



Merry Christmas - Lightnin' Hopkins



Xmas Baby - Riff Ruffin




Christmas Comes Once a Year - Albert King



Blues for Christmas - John Lee Hooker



Christmas Eve Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson



Please Come Home for Christmas - Charles Brown



Monday, December 18, 2017

Review: 'Old Friends' - Kansas City Red / David 'Honeyboy' Edwards / Sunnyland Slim / Floyd Jones / Big Walter Horton



One of the great things about blues music is that I always discover something to listen to; I've been listening and playing the blues for 17 years and I still am dumbfounded by the sheer amount of music that is available, albeit some harder to come by than others. 

This album, appropriately titled 'Old Friends' is one such gem. I've been on a binge listening to the likes of Floyd Jones, Eddie Boyd, and others in the early 50's Chicago blues as of late, and while researching music by Floyd Jones, who doesn't have much on record, I found a little album that was difficult to find on CD (but (but Amazon can print it for you), but easily available on cdbaby for a $9.99 download. 

And boy, I could not be happier with the internet.

In 1981, five of the biggest legends in Chicago blues got together in the studio, also in the city, and recorded 17 tracks. Everyone of these artists would get a few songs to lead on vocals; some new material and some old. What is the result? An unabashed, raw, in your face collection of the old-school blues in it's purest form, just that it's 30 years older. 

The assembled cast, Kansas City Red, David 'Honey Edwards', Sunnyland Slim, Floyd Jones, and Big Walter Horton, represent a certain legacy in post-war Chicago blues. Many have played with other legends like Muddy Waters, and also became legends of their own. Horton is one of the staples of blues harp, Sunnyland is a pillar of blues piano, Honeyboy Edwards of delta style acoustic guitar, Kansas Red for his drumming, and Jones, while possibly the most obscure of the bunch, had his own unique dark songwriting.

Mashing this band altogether makes for over an hour of honest to truth blues; while many of them nearing their 60's at this point, their singing and playing remains loyal to the formula. While you will not hear anything out of the ordinary, you also shouldn't expect to. 

I love the fact that this is all a live recording, as many times the band would go in and out of bars or end off time from one another, but this adds to the improvised flavor of the genre.

If you want to add an album to your whiskey drinking collection, I highly advise you get this one. Not only is it rare, but it's also like a piece of music history.

Track list: 

01 - Apron Strings
02 - Gamblin' Man
03 - 43rd Street Jump
04 - The War Is Over
05 - When I Came In 
06 - Banty Rooster
07 - Mr. Freddy Blues
08 - Over The Seas Blues
09 - I'm a Prisoner
10 - Freedom Train
11 - Lightnin' Struck the Poor House
12 - Linda Lu - 
13 - Lula Mae
14 - That's All Right, I'll Be Around
15 - Heartache
16 - Sometimes I Worry
17 - I'm Going Back Home 

This is the only video of the album on Youtube; you can listen to samples of each track in the cdbaby link above:


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

'Still Called the Blues' - Luther Allison with James Solberg


Luther Allison

This song is a rare one; although a cover of the blues-soul/funk, very 80's sounding original from Johnny Taylor (see here), is a true hardcore and raw blues you would expect from me to send out to you.

A stellar fiery performance from legends Luther Allison and James Solberg who features on the track, released in 2002 on a compilation album:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Blues Nominees for the 2018 Grammy Awards



Another year, another Grammy award ceremony. On January 28, 2018 the 60th Grammy Awards will take place in New York City.

Yesterday, the official Grammys website confirmed the full list of nominees for the event, and as usual the only nominees we care about are the blues artists!

So here you go:

Thursday, November 23, 2017

'Masters of Modern Blues' - Floyd Jones / Eddie Tayor & Friends




In 1994, a never before released compilation of recordings was brought to light; it was a 1966 session for Testament Records, involving the underrated Floyd Jones and Eddie Boyd, accompanied by some of Chicago blue's finest: Otis Spann on piano, Big Walter Horton on harp, and Fred Below on drums. 

The result is some of the most raw and emotional blues recordings ever made... and that needs to be spread out to the world for the sake of history.

Totaling 16 tracks alternating between Floyd and Eddie songs (8 each), this album is a necessary addition to any blues fan. And thanks to Youtube we have the entire album available:



Tracklist:

01. Rising Wind
02. Dark Road
03. Stockyard Blues
04. Sweet Talkin' Woman
05. Train Fare Home
06. Big Town Playboy
07. Peach Tree Blues
08. Bad Boy
09. Hard Times
10. M&O Blues
11. Playhouse Blues
12. Dark Road (alternate)
13. Feel So Bad
14. After Hours
15. Take Your Hand Down
16. Bad Boy (alternate)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Obscure Blues: '13 Highway'



Since my recent purchase of my own bluesmobile, a Lincoln Town Car, I decided to discuss a particular and relatively unknown blues song from 1938 called '13 Highway', where it discusses driving a V8 Ford (which is basically what I have) along a lonesome highway. US Route 13 is a real highway in America, that spans five states (North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, & Pennsylvania). 

It was originally recorded in 1938 by Walter Davis, which I unfortunately could not find on Youtube (it is available on iTunes though; click on the song for a preview).

It's not a blues standard by any means, since only a handful of bluesmen covered it, the most high profile being Muddy Waters (he recorded it in 1963 but wasn't released until a compilation of unreleased tracks in 1994) and played it live at The Fillmore. 

The song's lyrics go like this:

I went down 13 Highway, drivin' a brand new V8 Ford
I went down 13 Highway, drivin' a brand new V8 Ford
Oh you know I was drivin' so fast, baby I couldn't hardly see the road

Oh I was drivin' 60 miles an hour, all up and down the hill
Oh you know I was drivin' 60 miles an hour, all up and down the hill
Oh you know I was speedin' so fast, I couldn't hardly control my wheel

Don't the highway look lonesome, after the sun done gone down
Oh don't the highway look lonesome, after the sun done gone down
Oh you know you're all alone by yourself, there ain't nobody else around

Here are the only versions available online; an Eddie Boyd version exists too but again, it's not available on Youtube:


MUDDY WATERS - LIVE 1966



LEROY SIMPSON - Late 1940's



JOHN LEE HOOKER - 1991


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Just Acquired a Bluesmobile!

In the blues world, the ideal blues car is either a Cadillac, a V8 Ford, an Oldsmobile Rocket 88, or a Greyhound bus (see my post about blues transportation [here]). Basically, a huge American made land yacht; none of these puny European and Japanese 4 cylinder toys.

So in the spirit of the blues, I just acquired my own bluesmobile: A 1999 Lincoln Town Car, Signature Edition, in fantastic condition!





With a 4.6 liter V8 engine, boat measurements, and pillow-like leather seats, this is a premier vehicle to blast the blues in, and to make entrance to any gig a statement. Plus, it was for only $1,000!!

They certainly don't make cars like this anymore!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Muddy Waters' Debut Album to be Reissued on Vinyl



[SOURCE]

Back in 2012, I discussed Muddy Waters' first actual album, which was a compilation of all his successful singles. The album was released in 1958 under the legendary label, Chess Records. This album contains his major hits from 1948 to 1954.

Now, 30 years after it's last reissue, the album is set to be re-released on vinyl and digital platforms. If you want to add a great album to your blues collection, this is it! It will be released on November 10, 2017.

Track listing:
Side A
1. I Just Want To Make Love To You
2. Long Distance Call
3. Louisiana Blues
4. Honey Bee
5. Rollin’ Stone
6. I’m Ready
Side B
1. Hoochie Coochie
2. She Moves Me
3. I Want You To Love Me
4. Standing Around Crying
5. Still A Fool
6. I Can’t Be Satisfied