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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

They used to just be "The Pack"

Bluesy Canadian garage duo The Pack A.D. has put out four albums in like five years, the most recent in September of this year. [more inside]
posted by Mister Moofoo on Nov 11, 2011 - 13 comments

The H2O Gate Blues

In 1973 a struggling America was still dealing with the watergate scandal. The than 24 year old Gill Scott-Heron wrote a topical song that still applies today. It is called H20 Gate Blues.
posted by dreyfusfinucane on Oct 9, 2011 - 7 comments

Even Witches Like To Go Out Dancing

There's a new crop of Australian bands that take inspiration from old blues, but twist the music in a strange fashion. The trend may have started with CW Stoneking (Jungle Blues, Love Me Or Die), who channeled the old bluesmen despite being a young man. Its continued on to Sydney's Snowdroppers, who started out as a house band for burlesque shows and kept that dirty sensibility up with songs like Rosemary , Do The Stomp, and their signature tune Good Drugs, Bad Women (lyrics NSW). Frequent Snowdroppers touring partners Gay Paris add a Southern horror twist (House Fire In the Origami District, My First Wife? She Was A Foxqueen! ) and an antic stage energy. Some of the bands relay on gimmicks, like Adelaide's The Beards, who sing about how you should consider having sex with a bearded man and point out that if your dad doesn't have a beard, you've got two moms. The Beards recently performed at the World Beard and Mustache Championships. Horror-country-rockers Graveyard Train have picked up the torch dropped when Sydney psychobilly masters Zombie Ghost Train (Graveyard Queen) disbanded. Graveyard Train tunes like Mummy, Ballad for Beelzebub , Tall Shadow and Dead Folk Dance combine cheerful Misfits horror theming with stompy country. Most of the singers from this loose scene are joining forces in Sydney this week to pay tribute to Tom Waits.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Oct 4, 2011 - 32 comments

The Iceman aka The Razor Blade aka The Master of The Telecaster

Hours of video performance in celebration of the birthday of Texas Blues guitar master Albert Collins, October 1, 1932 – November 24, 1993.
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 1, 2011 - 19 comments

R. Crumb's Heroes of the Blues

In the 1980s, R. Crumb produced a set of trading cards called The Heroes of the Blues. [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Sep 30, 2011 - 36 comments

Noah Lewis, blowin' that harp

The year was 1929, and Noah Lewis was blowing the hell outta the harmonica. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 19, 2011 - 7 comments

William Brown - Mississippi Blues

William Brown was a man who recorded a handful of blues on Sadie Beck's Plantation on July 16, 1942 for Alan Lomax. Once thought to be the same man as the Willie Brown who played with Son House and Charley Patton--and was immortalized in Robert Johnson's Crossroad Blues--the consensus now is that William Brown was a different man, about whom we know next to nothing. Certainly, the handful of recordings we have that feature him supports this. The Willie Brown who recorded Future Blues and M & O Blues was an archetypal Delta bluesman, with both songs being stripped down versions of Charley Patton's Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues, among others, and Pony Blues, respectively. The William Brown who recorded Mississippi Blues, Ragged and Dirty and Make Me a Pallet on the Floor plays and sings nothing like that Willie Brown. That we know nothing about him and never heard any more of his music is one of the many tragedies of recorded blues. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Aug 30, 2011 - 15 comments

"Anywhere was home. Where I do good, I stay. When it gets bad and dull, I'm gone."

“Honeyboy” Edwards, the last of the original American delta bluesmen, died last night. [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on Aug 29, 2011 - 27 comments

You look to me like love forever...

Tim Hardin : underrated singer-songwriter of the '60s and '70s, or the most underrated singer-songwriter of the '60s and '70s? Known mostly for more famous singers covering his work, his songs were sung by a plethora of people, from Bobby Darin, Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Rod Stewart to Astrud Gilberto, Bob Dylan, Robert Plant and Echo & the Bunnymen, while he remained a very little-known but widely loved figure in folk music. He music could be painfully honest (Reason to Believe, Don't Make Promises), or slow and hypnotizing (Misty Roses). Sadly, 6 days after his 39th birthday, he died from a heroin overdose in 1980. [more inside]
posted by Drainage! on Aug 26, 2011 - 18 comments

Blues classic from a living classic

John Hammond Jr. has been keeping classic blues alive through nearly 5 decades of expressive performing and recording. He was named to the Blues Hall of Fame this year - here's a sampling why: Walking Blues performed in Paris, 2004; Come Into My Kitchen performed at at Fur Peace Ranch, 2009. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 25, 2011 - 11 comments

Happy Birthday, Mr. Hooker!

Happy birthday John Lee Hooker! Let's celebrate by listening to some of your older tunes! "Gonna take you down by the riverside, gonna tie your hands, gonna tie your feet, got the mad man blues" ... "Now the war is over, and I'm broke and I ain't got a dime" ... "You know I'm a crawling king snake, baby, and I rule my nest" ... "Gonna get up in the mornin', goin' down highway 51" ... "Well I rolled and I tumbled, babe, I cried the whole night long" ... "I feel so good, let me do the boogaloo"
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 22, 2011 - 19 comments

from hoodoo to voodoo

The hoodoo lady and the hoodoo man had a voodoo child. Uh huh, yes, yes, voodoo voodoo.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 18, 2011 - 34 comments

Finger Pickin' Good

Jimmy Murphy was a great country musician who has had less recognition than this MeFi'r feels is justified. Some of his songs are irreverent (but with precedence). Others a bit poignant, if in his signature upbeat kind of way. The man cooks. "When you get salvation you'll know it by it's tone"
posted by Jibuzaemon on Jun 28, 2011 - 7 comments

Hard Luck Guy

Say, you wanna hear a sad song? Eddie Hinton was a guitar player, vocalist, and songwriter from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Co-writer of one of the tenderest, sexiest hits of the late 60s, Dusty Springfield's Breakfast in Bed, Hinton was a key member of the world-famous Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section from 1967 to 1971 (turning down an invitation from Duane Allman to be a member of the Allman Brothers Band) who worked as a studio musician on albums by Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, the Staples Singers, and Toots Hibbert, but his early success was sidetracked by mental problems, booze, and drugs. [more inside]
posted by BitterOldPunk on May 31, 2011 - 22 comments

we're gonna need more speaker cones

He is from Miami. They are from Orlando. [more inside]
posted by anigbrowl on Apr 19, 2011 - 9 comments

Son of Dave

Benjamin Darvill, a.k.a. Son of Dave, is a one-man band of sorts, combining harmonica, vocals, beat-boxing, a rattle and foot-stomping to create his own infectious form of blues. Darvill, a Canadian formerly with Crash Test Dummies, has released four albums to date as Son of Dave, his latest and best being 'Shake A Bone', recorded and mixed by Steve Albini in Chicago, the title track used briefly in an episode of Breaking Bad. [more inside]
posted by bwg on Apr 14, 2011 - 3 comments

RIP Mr. Boogie Woogie Piano Man

RIP Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins - "It is with deep sadness that we announce Pinetop Perkins passed away peacefully at home on Monday, March 21, 2011 in Austin, TX at the age of 97." One of the last great Mississippi bluesmen, having played with Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Nighthawk, and for a number of years, the great Muddy Waters. Pinetop & friends at his 95th birthday; Pinetop Perkins with Willie Big Eyed Smith; Muddy Waters with Pinetop Perkins, 1970s [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 21, 2011 - 40 comments

Big Jack Johnson

Mississippi Bluesman Big Jack Johnson has died. His performances in the documentary Deep Blues are brilliant. He was last surviving major performer featured in the film.
posted by zzazazz on Mar 14, 2011 - 7 comments

And The iPod You Rode In On.

You wish you lived next door to Joe Bussard.
posted by timsteil on Feb 25, 2011 - 26 comments

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