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A look back at the funky, psychedelic, soulful 70s in Nigeria

According to the Daptone Gold compilation liner notes (auto-playing music, click on "Biography"to read the notes), written by Pitchfork contributor Douglas Wolk, "the world capital of soul" has moved from the US ("between Memphis and Detroit, with occasional stopovers in New Orleans, Cincinnati and elsewhere") in the 1960, to Lagos in the 1970s, then it went into hiding, finally reappearing in Brooklyn, with Daptone Records. Let's go back - why Lagos in the 1970s? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 18, 2014 - 10 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bobby Charles, Singer, Songwriter, National Treasure 1938-2010

Bobby Charles 1938-2010. Songwriter, musician's musician and cultural treasure, he died on last Thursday in Abbeville,Lousiana. In the 1950s, he wrote Fats Domino's Walking to New Orleans, Bill Haley and the Comet's See You Later, Alligator and recorded for Chess records. His eponymous Bearsville album recorded in Woodstock in 1972 has been described as the best Band album released under another name.(Check out Small Town Talk there.) He appeared as well in the Band's farewell concert filmed as The Last Waltz. He made an enormous contribution to American popular music. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jan 19, 2010 - 25 comments

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

"She was a rock star," recalls Ira Tucker Jr., who grew up watching Tharpe with his father's gospel group in the 1940s and '50s. "You know, like Beyonce today and people like that. That's what Rosetta was to us." Sister Rosetta Tharpe wasn't the first one to bring black popular music into the church. (Here's the great Arizona Dranes playing barroom honky-tonk piano on the gospel side I Shall Wear a Crown in 1927.) But her fierce stage presence and her original blend of gospel, boogie-woogie, swing and smoking hot blues guitar was a crucial forgotten influence on what we now recognize as rock and roll. (Many more recordings inside. Enjoy!) [more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone on Jul 21, 2009 - 20 comments

クレイジーケンバンド!

The Crazy Ken Band! Cool and Hot! Swinging horns! Groovy chicks! Fast cars! Danger! Crazy! CRAZY! [more inside]
posted by ardgedee on May 25, 2009 - 5 comments

The Green Manalishi with a two prong crown

Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, formed with some former members of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers played some amazing blues-rock from 1967-1970 (long before Fleetwood Mac's descent into '70s wuss-rock). "Like it this way", "Oh well", "Rattlesnake Shake", "Shake your moneymaker" and the original version of "Black Magic Woman". Peter Green struggled with drugs and mental problems, penning "The Green Manilishi with the two prong crown" shortly before leaving the band. [more inside]
posted by 445supermag on Mar 28, 2009 - 42 comments

BPDG

Baby please don't go, baby please don't go, baby please don't go down to New Orleans, I love you so, baby please don't go.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jun 12, 2008 - 24 comments

Rockabilly Rundown

Whole Lotta Shakin' - a PRI documentary series on the history of rockabilly, hosted by Rosie Flores.
posted by Miko on Apr 26, 2008 - 14 comments

"Put your boob in my scotch. Come on, put your tit in my drink."

Bob Log III plays distorted trash grimey blues slide guitar with his hands, he drawls through a telephone attached to the bubble face of the motorcycle helmet he wears, and he drums with his feet. He is known to ask women to stir his scotch on stage with their breasts, which is sadly Not currently Safe for Work. Sometimes he asks them to sit on his knee, bouncing up and down on the blue glittery jump suit he wears whenever he plays. [more inside]
posted by 6am on Oct 11, 2007 - 47 comments

Nick Cave, the Black Crow King, is fifty today

NickCaveFilter: Fifty years ago this very day, Nicholas Edward Cave [previously] crawled from the womb and started to plot.  At 16 he formed his first band which evolved quickly into the Boys Next Door [Shivers].  This in turn mutated into the Birthday Party (1980) who terrorised the post-punk soundscape in Australia and the UK [Release the Bats | Nick the Stripper].  The Birthday Party relocated to England and in 1984 the band imploded in an orgy of drugs and booze.  Shortly after Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were born [The Ship Song - video & solo live | The Mercy Seat - video & live | Where the Wild Roses Grow], and 23 years and 11 studio albums later (not to mention a best selling book, a great screenplay, some acting and several soundtrack projects) he is still going strong.  But, instead of sitting on his musical laurels he decided to get back to basics and, in 2006, grew a huge moustache and formed Grinderman – a four piece with a primeval hybrid Birthday Party/Bad Seeds sound [No Pussy Blues | Honey Bee].  Fellow Mefites, I ask you to raise a glass to Mr. Cave… And, especially if you are not familiar to his work, don’t forget to “look inside” for my primer on the enigma that is Nick Cave, one of the finest song-writers on the face of this miserable planet. [more inside]
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar on Sep 22, 2007 - 98 comments

The blues had a baby and they called it rock & roll

John Lee Hooker performs Gloria and It Serves Me Right to Suffer with Van Morrison; I'm in the Mood with Bonnie Raitt; The Healer with Santana; Boogie Chilluns with the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton; and Roadhouse Blues with Jim Morrison & the Doors (audio only). [Also, Muddy Waters, Etta James and more blues legends & rock combos inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 5, 2007 - 25 comments

The Theiving Magpie: Jimmy Page's Dubious Recording Legacy

The Theiving Magpie: Jimmy Page's Dubious Recording Legacy [more inside]
posted by anazgnos on Jul 23, 2007 - 92 comments

my dear mother left me, when I was quite young....

Al 'Blind Owl' Wilson was one of the more interesting characters on the 60's music scene. A contemporary (and fellow traveler) of John Fahey, and student of blues history and with Bob Hite, the founder of seminal 60's blues-rockers Canned Heat (youtube video of Wilson and the Heat featuring the Owl on vocals) . A painfully introverted man who suffered from depression and addiction throughout his life, Wilson had a light touch and lack of histrionics uncommon among his blues-revival contemporaries. He died by his own hand at 27. Blind-owl.net is a loving and comprehensive tribute, featuring many rare interviews and photos.
posted by jonmc on Mar 22, 2006 - 11 comments

It was raining the day mama picked me up from prison

So You Think You Hate Country Music? Then listen to this. The roots of American country music may surprise you. In this series of NPR programs, trace the gradual development of real country music through the first half of the 20th century. Learn how a woman's instrument of the late 1800s, the parlor guitar, became the the central symbol of country and rock; see how African-American musical forms like gospel and blues meshed with the development of country and early rock and influenced the traditional forms in turn; listen to German-Mexican hybrids of accordian style; find out why women had so many honky-tonk torch songs to sing in the late 40s. The series contains hours of content (narrative, interviews, music tracks), and a multitude of excellent links for deeper digging.
posted by Miko on Feb 2, 2006 - 111 comments

The King of the Jukebox who disturbed the status quo

The King of the Jukebox who disturbed the status quo They called rock music jump blues during the World War II era, and this amazingly talented clown was its master, with over fifty Top 10 R&B hits -- eighteen reached #1 -- between 1942 and 1951. Chuck Berry identified with him "more than any other artist." James Brown said, "He was everything" and considered him one of the earliest rappers. A pioneer of music video, the first black artist to cross over from the "race" market to a white audience and a central link between big bands and rock, he was a primary influence on Bill Haley, Ray Charles and B.B. King, who once said, "I wanted to be like him." Rest in peace, Louis Jordan. [Dozens of one-minute song clips here]
posted by mediareport on Jul 10, 2002 - 11 comments

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