Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The History of 'Rollin' and Tumblin'

In blues and jazz, we often refer to classic songs that shaped the genre, or "standards", to get our fix or to be influenced by the legends as inspiration for our own music.

One such blues standard is "Rollin' and Tumblin", which started out as "Roll and Tumble Blues" in 1929 by Hambone Willie Newbern.

What followed was the usual bluesmen taking the standard and adding their own twist to it, such as Robert Johnson's "If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day":

The most known and recognized version is Muddy Waters', who is also credited as a writer for the song along with Newbern. This was originally released in 1950:

And since then hundreds of artists have covered this song, such as John Lee Hooker:

And most recently Bob Dylan, which I wrote an article about here:

So you see, we refer to standards and give them our own twists... and this one happens to be one of the most covered blues songs ever.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Blues Life of Baby Face Leroy

Today in 1958, Leroy "Baby Face" Foster died in Chicago suffering from alcoholism. He was only 33 years old; but this is the life of a bluesman.

He came to attention for performing in the mid-40's with the future king of the blues, Muddy Waters, and other greats such as Sunnyland Slim, Jimmy Rogers, Little Walter, and Sonny Boy Williamson.

He was a drummer mostly, but also played guitar. Along with the above musicians, they performed at clubs, and gained the attention of several record heads.

He did record a few records for Parkway, but once Muddy Waters was signed to Chess Records, he sought to do his own thing but never really caught on.

Known for being rowdy and clowny, it even shows in his vocals, as seen in his track, "My Head Can't Rest No More".

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sneak Preview of Recording Sessions

I've been recording the bass for the upcoming album of one of Kuwait's top musicians. We aren't really ready to announce the project yet though.

Avant-Garde Music Projects has also worked out a deal with said musician, and we will announce this collaboration very soon.

In the meantime, here are a few behind the scenes photos from the recording!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

'I Ain't No Iceman' - Cow Cow Davenport

Cow Cow Davenport was a blues vocalist and pianist, who was popular in the 30's. This song from 1938 features great a great horn section playing sweet jazzy blues, and of course features raunchy lyrics such as:

"I ain't no milkman : I ain't no milkman's son
But I can furnish you plenty of cream : baby until that milkman comes"

Have a mellow Sunday y'all.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

'You Gotta Move' - Mississippi Fred McDowell

This song from 1964 is one of Mississippi Fred McDowell's darkest songs. If you want to delve into salvation and contemplate, hear this song out now.

" You may be high
You may be low

You may be rich, child
You may be po'
But when the Lord gets ready
You've got to move "

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Happy Birthday Robert Johnson, King of the Delta Blues

After reading today's earlier post, I hope you did go out and read up on Robert Johnson, or heard one of his tunes.

I don't think it needs to be explained who Robert Johnson is, nor what his contributions to music are. I've mentioned them on this blog countless of times, and named his collection the best album to be introduced to blues music. He is the most authoritative force in the genre.

Today marks his 102nd birthday, and here's his classic "Crossroads Blues".

Have You Ever Heard of Robert Johnson?



Sunday, May 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Blind Willie McTell

On this day in 1898, William McTier, otherwise known as Blind Willie McTell, was born in Georgia.

Blind from a young age, he picked up the guitar and eventually became a star of his own. His ragtime blues and fingerstyle guitar playing, as well as his use of twelve-string guitars, gained him much fame in the 1930's and 40's. It later influenced many artists, including Bob Dylan and the Allman Brothers Band.

He also had a more soft, laidback voice compared to other rough, harsh blues singers of the day.

So to celebrate here's one of his later tracks called "Love Changin' Blues".

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Japanese Girl in Kimono Plays the Blues

It can't get more awesome than this; and she's got the chops too! Her name is Maki Shizusawa.