310 posts tagged with Blues.
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Now the blues pile up on me, I brought it all on myself

Hey y'all! Here's your waaaaay laid back, deeeep Southern blues for the day, and contrary to the title, it's an easy pill to swallow. You dig that? OK, then, there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 5, 2013 - 8 comments

Lookee here woman, what's the matter now?

Let yourself be carried along, floating nice and easy down that slow, lazy river of American collective unconscious, when you hear Jack Owens singing Jack Ain't Had No Water.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 29, 2013 - 10 comments

“Music exists in nature to make you smarter."

Bob Brozman, the undisputed master of the National Resonator Guitar, has passed away at age 59. Ethnomusicologist, virtuoso fingerpicker, musical historian, and anarchist philosopher Bob Brozman fell in love with National’s metal body resonator guitars as a teenager and made them his life’s passion. [more inside]
posted by zaelic on Apr 26, 2013 - 34 comments

Around the Beatles: a one-off TV variety show from 1964

In 1964, The Beatles put together a one-off variety show, with musical numbers specially pre-recorded for the show, presented in the style of theater-in-the-round. Around the Beatles was aired in the UK and later that same year in the US, but never commercially released. The show includes The Beatles performing a scene from A Midsummer's Night Dream, with Paul McCartney as Pyramus, John Lennon as his lover Thisbe, George Harrison as Moonshine, Starr as Lion, and Trevor Peacock (the only actual actor in the lot) in the role of Quince. A color clip of that was posted previously, but you can watch the entire (almost) hour-long show with The Beatles' segments accompanied by seven other musical acts, on Dailymotion or YouTube, though it's in black and white. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 18, 2013 - 14 comments

3 examples of great African-American music, with commentary and analysis

Listening Guide to West End Blues by Louis Armstrong - Listening Guide to Backwater Blues by Bessie Smith - Listening Guide to Salt Peanuts by Dizzy Gillespie and His All Stars
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 11, 2013 - 6 comments

Que estando triste, cantava

Fado is a Portuguese musical genre which originated in the 1820’s in Lisbon. It has been enjoying a revival over the last twenty years, one of the most prominent recent voices being that of Mariza. In 2006 Simon Broughton did a documentary exploring the roots of the music. Via youtube, here is Mariza and the Story of Fado. [more inside]
posted by winna on Apr 6, 2013 - 13 comments

This Here is Rich Terfry: Forty One Odd Years (and a few days more)

Happy belated birthday to Jesus Murphy, Haslam, DJ Critical, Uncle Climax (NSFW audio), Stinkin' Rich (NSFW audio), Dirk Thornton, Buck 65, or as his mom called him, Richard Terfry. Born in the year of the rat, and he's a Pisces, which makes him a rat fish, but by trade, he's a turntablist/ MC/ producer/ broadcaster. Generally he makes some form of hip-hop (some NSFW lyrics), though as of late, he's been broadening his style, as heard in his cover of Leonard Cohen's Who By Fire (previously) and Paper Airplane (official "lyric" video). In tribute to his 41st birthday, there's a lot more music inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 8, 2013 - 19 comments

I believe, I believe my time ain’t long...

“Dust My Broom”: The Story of a Song
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 2, 2013 - 13 comments

Fuck You Cholly Mac!

Pig Roast. Fish Fry. Camping with the Bluesmobile. T-Model Ford’s Shade Tree. The undying Southern charm that is, Junior’s Juke Joint.
posted by timsteil on Feb 13, 2013 - 6 comments

From the Mississippi Delta to Dumfries and Galloway, and back again

Third Man Records, the US label owned by Jack White, is collaborating with Document Records to release vinyl-only remastered versions of blues artists. Document Records, run by Gary and Gillian Atkinson in Scotland, holds the largest known pre-1945 blues, jazz and country archive in the world, with 900 titles and around 25,000 tracks. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Feb 6, 2013 - 43 comments

J0hnny ''Gitar'' Wats0n - Livek0nzert 1977

On tour at the height of his powers - a Young John Watson indeed: Johnny ''Guitar'' Watson - Livekonzert 1977 [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jan 24, 2013 - 10 comments

The king of love is dead.

On April 7, 1968 - three days after Martin Luther King's assassination - Nina Simone performed the Martin Luther King Suite for the first time at the Westbury Music Festival in NY: Sunday in Savannah, Why (The King of Love is Dead), Mississippi Goddam.
posted by ChuraChura on Jan 21, 2013 - 13 comments

"He was extremely difficult to try and trade records with."

Yazoo Records was founded by J. Nicholas Perls not as a way to distribute Robert Crumb's music related artwork, but as an extension of a serious record collecting habit shared by himself and a handful of other 78-rpm country-blues afficianados. Following in the footsteps of trailblazer Harry Smith and his famous anthology, over the years Perls and a few employees (notably Stephen Calt who wrote many if not most of the brilliant Yazoo liner notes) released dozens of collections of rare sides—from the raunchy blues of Bo Carter to the Hawaiian guitar of Roy Smeck. [more inside]
posted by Lorin on Jan 18, 2013 - 21 comments

Whips, whiskey, women, work, weapons, cars and cadence. But no hockey.

Jump steady, Black Betty! Bam-A-Lam!
Yeah, Black Betty! Bam-A-Lam!
Looky yonder Black Betty! Bam-A-Lam!
Whoa Black Betty! Bam-A-Lam!
Yeah, Black Betty! Bam-A-Lam!
She's so rock steady! Bam-A-Lam!
She's always ready! Bam-A-Lam!
Whoa, Black Betty! Bam-A-Lam! [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 16, 2013 - 52 comments

Revelator is a Revelation!

You may remember this oldie but goodie from 1969: Everybody’s Talkin’ (Harry Nilsson) Now, let’s blues it UP. Zowie! Surely I can't be the last person in the world to hear about the Tedeschi Trucks Band (or can I be?).
posted by spock on Jan 11, 2013 - 22 comments

"the arts are just a part of the weapons of life"

The poet Jayne Cortez passed away this past December 28th in New York City (New York Times obituary). She started publishing her poems in the late 1960s and in the 70s began performing her poetry backed by music, first in collaboration with bassist Richard Davis, and then backed by her own band The Firespitters. Some of their tracks have found their way to YouTube: I See Chano Pozo, If the Drum Is a Woman, There It Is, Maintain Control & Economic Love Song I, Everybody Wants to Be Somebody, Takin' the Blues Back Home, Talk to Me (for Don Cherry), I've Been Searching, You Can Be and Endangered Species List Blues. Just two years ago she performed solo with her son by Ornette Coleman, drummer Denardo Coleman: Find Your Own Voice, I'm Gonna Shake and She Got He Got. In 1997 she was featured on University of California television network in the series Artists on the Cutting Edge where she read poems and discussed her work. Finally, here's a brief clip from the 1982 documentary Poetry in Motion, where she was interviewed.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 5, 2013 - 4 comments

Scenes from a Curriculum Vitae: Ike Turner & Associates

On piano at 71: Ike Turner & The Kings of Rhythm - Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
On piano at 20: Howlin' Wolf - How Many More Years
On guitar at 34 and on fire at 26: Ike and Tina Turner - Shake·A Fool in Love·It's Gonna Work Out Fine·Please, Please, Please·Goodbye, So Long [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jan 4, 2013 - 11 comments

Shit. What? Rollers. No. Yeah. Shit.

The pitch was simple: “John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Blues Brothers, how about it?” But the film became a nightmare for Universal Pictures, wildly off schedule and over budget, its fate hanging on the amount of cocaine Belushi consumed. Soul Men: The Making of The Blues Brothers.
posted by Frayed Knot on Dec 27, 2012 - 135 comments

Excello Records roundup

From the early fifties to the mid-seventies, the Nashville based Excello Records released the kind of raw blues, R&B, and rock & roll that maybe wasn't ever going to make it to the Top 40, but was full of grit and sweat and soul, for those who liked their American roots music unadulterated. Their most well-known release was probably Slim Harpo's Baby Scratch My Back, but rocking blues like Lazy Lester's I Hear You Knockin' and Leroy Washington's Wild Cherry are little unpolished gems which deserved their place on any self-respecting cheap bar's juke box. Lowdown blues like Lonesome Sundown's My Home Is a Prison also found a welcome home at Excello, as did tunes that blurred the distinctions between country/rockabilly and R&B, like Lazy Lester's I'm A Lover Not A Fighter, and latin-tinged swamp-rock chuggers like Charles Sheffield's It's Your Voodoo Working. Then there were the straight up country tunes (reminiscent of that classic early Johnny Cash sound) like Al Ferrier's I'm the Man, or rough-hewn, raucous rockabilly like Johnny Jano's Havin' A Whole Lotta Fun. In short, Excello Records was a microcosm of the sound of the South, and though their artists mostly never achieved much in the way of wider national fame, they are an important part of the patchwork quilt of American pop music history. The tunes included in this post are just the tip of the iceberg: there's so much to explore from this one amazing little label. Happy searching!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 26, 2012 - 7 comments

Xmas Eve Eve Eve 2012 Xmas Present: Johnny ''Guitar'' Watson

Some say that surf guitar started here: Johnny Guitar Watson - Space Guitar
Young John Watson's first appearance on wax: Chuck Higgins & his Mellotones - Motor Head Baby
Also back in the day: Johnny "Guitar" Watson - The Bear
And not so far back in the day - a Frank Zappa jam with Tuva throat Singers, Chieftains and Johnny ''Guitar'' Watson [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 22, 2012 - 10 comments

Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces - Let's Have A Ball, a film by Les Blanks

Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces - Let's Have A Ball, a film by Les Blanks
This is the complete show from the Catalyst in Santa Cruz in March 1987.   Via The Iwebender Channel

Love that Maria Elena.... [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 9, 2012 - 10 comments

Tina Turner, Holland 1971

"She's known as the hardest working young lady in show business today. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Tina Turner." [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Oct 26, 2012 - 10 comments

Bluesman Tommy Johnson gets some respect

Legendary Mississippi Delta bluesman Tommy Johnson is finally getting a headstone on his grave, more than a half century after his death. Recommended celebratory listening, then, is this 9-song YouTube playlist, which starts out with "Cool Drink of Water Blues" (a shining example of Johnson's quavering falsetto - "looooooord, lordy looooord") and continuing with pre-war blues classics like his "Big Road Blues", "Big Fat Mama Blues", "Canned Heat Blues" and more.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 25, 2012 - 9 comments

Who loves ya? Scott Bradlee, apparently.

Scott Bradlee is probably best known around the internet for his ragtime reinterpretation of classic 80's hits (previously), but that's certainly not the only thing he's done. There are the relatively straighter covers, for example. And then there's the other stuff. [more inside]
posted by KChasm on Sep 22, 2012 - 6 comments

"Etta James Rocks The House"

On September 27, 1963, at the New Era Club in Nashville, Tennessee, Etta James rocked the house. The result was "simply one of the greatest live blues albums ever captured on tape". [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 26, 2012 - 7 comments

Jo Ann Kelly

The rock era saw a few white female singers, like Janis Joplin, show they could sing the blues. But one who could outshine them all -- Jo Ann Kelly -- seemed to slip through the cracks, mostly because she favored the acoustic, Delta style rather than rocking out with a heavy band behind her. But with a huge voice, and a strong guitar style influenced by Memphis Minnie and Charley Patton, she was the queen. - AllMusic [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 2, 2012 - 13 comments

"If I had my own .45 'matic, I'd be dangerous too."

Dangerous Blues sung by Mr. Joe Savage (SLYT)
posted by jason's_planet on Jul 7, 2012 - 5 comments

Via Route 66, comes My Sweet Embraceable Moonlit in Vermont Lorraine by the King Cole Trio & Others

Nat King Cole Trio - Sweet Lorraine
Nat King Cole Trio - Route 66
Nat King Cole Trio - Embraceable You
Nat King Cole Trio - Moonlight in Vermont
Nat King Cole with Coleman Hawkins & the Oscar Peterson Trio - Sweet Lorraine
posted by y2karl on Jul 3, 2012 - 15 comments

Can't stand no...

I put a spell on you: a dramatic lip reading (SLYT).
posted by es_de_bah on Jul 1, 2012 - 32 comments

An interview with MaryBeth Hamilton, author of In Search of the Blues

...The cult of and luster for country blues among these record collectors came about because not only were recordings by Charley Patton, Son House, Skip James and Robert Johnson not successfully sold to African Americans, but other record collectors were not interested in them either. There were so many collectors of New Orleans jazz that not only did the recordings became too expensive to collect, they also didn't want them -- they wanted to find something that required more energy to uncover, and more energy to actually appreciate. Anyone who has ever listened to Charley Patton knows that you have to learn how to listen to him, you have to really struggle -- it is a work of archeology, really, to make out what he is saying. It is powerful, and I don't want to deny its power, but you have to learn how to hear that power, and African Americans, when these records came out, didn't necessarily hear that.
From an interview with Marybeth Hamilton, author of In Search of the Blues [more inside]
posted by y2karl on May 26, 2012 - 13 comments

Charley Patton

"Charley Patton" by Robert Crumb (recommended listening: "Down the Dirt Road Blues", "High Sheriff Blues", "A Spoonful Blues", "You're Gonna Need Somebody When You Die") (very previously) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 25, 2012 - 8 comments

A History of Zamrock: Zambia's mix of tribal patterns, heavy rock, blues and psychedelic from the 1970s

Zamrock is a largely forgotten musical movement, born from a newly independence still trying to find stability. The sound is a mix of local sounds with heavy, bluesy and psychedelic rock, usually sung in English, the constitutional language for Zambia. Unfortunately, little of the history is written, and those who were there are fewer each year. Last year, Emmanuel Kangwa “Jagari” Chanda, the co-founder and lead singer for WITCH (We Intend To Cause Havoc), was interviewed for two hours (Vimeo; transcript; source) and recorded a radio show with 14 Zamrock tracks. The South African newspaper Mail & Guardian have an article with more history and interview snippets with Jagari, whose stage name is an Africanisation of Mick Jagger's name. (via) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 21, 2012 - 16 comments

kickass Jesus music, y'all

The Rev. Charlie Jackson of Louisiana (1932–2006) was a purveyor of some of the rawest, grittiest blues music about Jesus that you've ever heard. In a TV variety show appearance on his one and only concert tour of Europe, the Reverend maintained a warm and friendly manner through a somewhat condescending interview, and went on to perform Wrapped Up, Tangled Up in Jesus with some backing vocal help from the legendary El Dorados.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 19, 2012 - 11 comments

Kitty Sings the Blues

Kitty Cat Sings the Blues (SLYT) "I woke up this morning...then I went back to sleep. Then I woke up this afternoon...and I went back to sleep..."
posted by jocelmeow on May 8, 2012 - 15 comments

The King of Kings, part II

It's 1966. A young, chubby, pompadoured, shiny-suited, Freddie King (previously) steps out onto the soundstage at a Dallas PBS station for a knockoff of Shindig, evidently aimed at the local black audience, judging by the middle-aged white jive-talking host. But the backup band leader is Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown, and there are high-school girls in Go-Go boots ready to rumble. And then, in glorious, sweating, funky, color, Freddie blows the doors off. [more inside]
posted by unSane on Apr 19, 2012 - 35 comments

listlessness, tedium, lassitude, languor

L'ennui de Henri et Henri 2, Paw de Deux.
posted by crunchland on Apr 9, 2012 - 13 comments

Response Records: Answers to Hit Songs

Before hip-hop beefs, there were response records, also known as answer songs, usually replies to well-known songs. There are a few key eras: blues and R&B recorded music in the 1930s through 1950s, including a number of responses to "Work With Me, Annie" (1954), recorded by Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, with answers including "Annie had a Baby," and "The Wallflower" by Etta James; and Big Mama Thornton's "Hound Dog" (1953), with a quick response by Louis Innis and Charlie Gore, made a mere week after the original was released, and Rufus Thomas' "Bear Cat" (1953), Sun Records' first hit. Country, rock & roll, doo-wop and pop music picked up where the blues left off, with most activity in the 1950s to 60s. Two examples from this era are "Are You Lonesome To-night" and "Who Put The Bomp," and responses to both. The most well known from the next decade was Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" (1974), a response to Neil Young's "Southern Man" (1970) and "Alabama" (1972). Until the 2000s, no answer songs had charted as high as the original hits. That changed with Frankee's "F.U.R.B. (Fuck You Right Back)" (2004), a response to Eamon's "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)" (2003), which was the first answer song to reach number 1 in the UK. Six years later and across the pond, Katy Perry's "California Gurls" was a response to "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z. It was the first answer song to reach No. 1 in the Billboard Hot 100. More Responses inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 31, 2012 - 53 comments

The Treniers

Do you know The Treniers? Back in the 40s and 50s, they straddled the lines between jump blues, swing, early rock'n'roll, jazz dance, hep jive and comedy. They were a whole hella fun, and they happened to be the backing band for what must be the best dance performance Jerry Lewis ever gave the world. That particular clip, BTW, from a Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis "Colgate Comedy Hour" in 1954, is purported to be the first rock'n'roll performance on national television, and it may well have been.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 28, 2012 - 14 comments

Got The Space Station Blues, with apologies to musicians everywhere

Learning his return to Earth from the International Space Station might be delayed for possibly up to two months, NASA astronaut Ron Garan sings the blues from the Soyuz spacecraft that will take him home. Eventually. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Mar 19, 2012 - 62 comments

RL in '78, TJ in '83

Oh yeah. There he is, Mr. RL Burnside, in the year of nineteen and seventy eight, Independence, Mississippi, porch fulla kids, singin' about when his first wife left him, million-dollar smile on his face. And there he is again, with his guitar and amp, out by the barb wire fence, a poor boy a long way from home. These two little gems just added to the Alan Lomax Archive YouTube channel, where you'll also find some wonderful newly-uploaded clips (filmed in 1983) from fretless banjo plucker Tommy Jarrell, the toast of Toast, North Carolina.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 15, 2012 - 9 comments

Etta Baker, American musician

Guitarist Etta Baker worked in a textile mill, raised nine children, and didn’t take her music to the stage until she was 60 years old. Fortunately for all of us, she continued to play and record right up until her death in 2006 at the age of 93.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 12, 2012 - 11 comments

Music, Movies, Microcode, and High-Speed Pizza Delivery

Le Blues De Memphis — behind the scenes at STAX & FAME Recording Studios (1969) and Hollywood Blues, a 1969 Hollywood Recording Session. Just a sample of the vintage 50s, 60s & 70s music, movies, microcode and high-speed pizza delivery at Bedazzled.tv. [sacré bleu]
posted by netbros on Jan 31, 2012 - 7 comments

"You might not be able to do all the things you wish to do, but at least try to do some of them."

In the course of his life, he stepped into the ring as a Golden Gloves boxer, marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington DC and even fell victim to southern racism. It would not be until decades later as a mechanic that a customer would ask Gordon Burt Jr to play a song on his guitar.

In addition to receiving a recording deal, Dr. G.B. Burt continues to live in Alabama, but also enjoys his dream of performing on stage - an ambition that stretched as far back as the 1950s.
posted by Smart Dalek on Jan 23, 2012 - 7 comments

Drink up, y'all!

New Year's Eve is fast approaching, and for lots of folks that means... drinking. Plenty of drinking. And since there's no shortage of singers and songwriters who've had a little something to say about that particular topic, maybe some of the following tunes can serve as an appropriate soundtrack to your own joyous (or not?) imbibing of spirits. For example, there's... Jimmy Liggins with his succinct rendition of Drunk, and there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 30, 2011 - 67 comments

You shall Hear things, Wonderful to tell

A decade on, the Coen brothers' woefully underrated O Brother, Where Art Thou? [alt] is remembered for a lot of things: its sun-drenched, sepia-rich cinematography (a pioneer of digital color grading), its whimsical humor, fluid vernacular, and many subtle references to Homer's Odyssey. But one part of its legacy truly stands out: the music. Assembled by T-Bone Burnett, the soundtrack is a cornucopia of American folk music, exhibiting everything from cheery ballads and angelic hymns to wistful blues and chain-gang anthems. Woven into the plot of the film through radio and live performances, the songs lent the story a heartfelt, homespun feel that echoed its cultural heritage, a paean and uchronia of the Old South. Though the multiplatinum album was recently reissued, the movie's medley is best heard via famed documentarian D. A. Pennebaker's Down from the Mountain, an extraordinary yet intimate concert film focused on a night of live music by the soundtrack's stars (among them Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Chris Thomas King, bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley) and wryly hosted by John Hartford, an accomplished fiddler, riverboat captain, and raconteur whose struggle with terminal cancer made this his last major performance. The film is free in its entirety on Hulu and YouTube -- click inside for individual clips, song links, and breakdowns of the set list's fascinating history. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 22, 2011 - 107 comments

my baby left me, start'd me drinkin' on christmas day

When most folks think of "Christmas music" it's doubtful that their next thought will be "the blues", but along with "my baby" or "bad luck" or "leavin' in the morning", bluesmen have long included Christmas as lyric inspiration. Which bluesmen? Well... Sonny Boy Williamson, Freddie King, Blind Blake, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, Little Milton, B.B. King, Smokey Hogg, Charley Jordan, and last but certainly not least, one of the most influential early bluesmen, Blind Lemon Jefferson.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 20, 2011 - 23 comments

The Rhythm Wreckers with Whitey McPherson

Here is Whitey McPherson yodeling his heart out:

The Rhythm Wreckers - Never No Mo' Blues
The Rhythm Wreckers - Blue Yodel No 1 (T For Texas)
The Rhythm Wreckers - Brakeman Blues
The Rhythm Wreckers - Blue Yodel #2 (My Lovin' Gal Lucille)
The Rhythm Wreckers - St. Louis Blues
The Rhythm Wreckers - Old Fashioned Love In My Heart [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 19, 2011 - 6 comments

The jive is hip, don't say hep, That's a slip of the lip, let me give you a tip - Don't you ever say hep, it ain't hip, NO, IT AIN'T!

Three Soundies and one collage:
Handsome Harry The Hipster - Harry "The Hipster" Gibson
4-F Ferdinand - Harry "The Hipster" Gibson
Opus 12EEE - Harry "The Hipster" Gibson
Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs Murphys Ovaltine ? - Harry "The Hipster" Gibson
That last song would prove to be his undoing. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 16, 2011 - 14 comments

Hard Time Killin Floor

Hubert Sumlin, the legendary guitarist for Howlin Wolf, and many others, has passed away. An appreciation.
posted by timsteil on Dec 4, 2011 - 20 comments

Deeply Crazy

One's a spine-tingling howl of alienation gleaned from a spaghetti western. One's a bluesy transatlantic barnstormer that turned a young British singer into an icon of soul. Both feature powerful voices in unconventional styles mulling over intense feeling. And together, thanks to mash-up artist Divide & Kreate, they make for one of the best remixes out there [.mp3]. There's a similar mix with Cee Lo if you're so inclined, or check out the dueling cover by Upstart to hear the vocals beautifully intertwine. Mash-ups previously on MeFi.
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 17, 2011 - 10 comments

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