There have been only two known photos of legendary blues guitarist Robert Johnson. Now there's a third. [more inside]
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.
...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]
Those familiar with the plaintive falsetto of Delta blues great Skip James will surely hear Skip's influence in the much lesser-known Johnny Temple's Evil Devil Blues, recorded in 1935, which features some delightfully unexpected melodic twists. And though Johnny Temple "never achieved stardom", he does have a Wikipedia page. [more inside]
Kid Bailey was a Mississippi Delta bluesman blessed with the kind of slightly gravel-tinged voice that emanates authority. His recording career was a very short one, however, consisting of precisely one day, and yielding precisely two songs. Very little is known about Bailey himself, and the identity of the 2nd accompanying guitarist on his only known recording remains a mystery, though there has been some some speculation. I've been doing a little speculating myself, regarding some of Bailey's lyrics, and any of you blues linguists who might want to help fill in the blanks, please see the [more inside]. [more inside]
Each of the following MySpace Music pages features bios and/or photos and/or videos and/or miscellaneous related materials and/or up to four songs by each of the following Delta Blues (and related) artists: Ishmon Bracey, Mance Lipscomb, Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, Charley Patton, Blind Boy Fuller, Skip James, Bukka White, Blind Willie McTell, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Robert Johnson, Babe Turner, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Howling Wolf, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Tommy Johnson, Reverend Gary Davis, Big Joe Williams, Mississippi John Hurt, Ramblin' Willard Thomas, John Lee Hooker and Oscar Buddy Woods. And here's some general Blues pages, featuring various artists: Delta Blues, Pre-War Blues and Blind Blues. You see, Delta Blues lovers, I comb MySpace so you don't have to! [more inside]
Poor Boy Long Way From Home. Momma Don't Allow. Aberdeen, Mississippi (look at him beat that National). Special Streamline (one of my favorite songs set to a compilation of old films). Plus some John Fahey, who decided to write Booker "Bukka" White a letter once, bringing him to prominence in the 60s blues/folk world. It's a YT Bukka White fest! There's some previous going on here as well.