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A Few First Ladies of Jazz and Rhythm 'n Blues

Nellie Lutcher - Blue Skies, It Had to Be You & Let's Fall In Love
Martha Davis & Spouse - That's Life
Dinah Washington with Louis Jordan - What A Difference A Day Made & Makin' Whoopee
Ella Fitzgerald -- It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing
Count Basie & Helen Humes - I Cried for You
Sarah Vaughn -- The Nearness of You
Billie Holiday -- Fine and Mellow
posted by y2karl on Jul 30, 2013 - 13 comments

Skip James' Hard Time Killing Floor Blues

...James is, of course, overshadowed by the most famous bluesman of them all: Robert Johnson... Few can resist the legend that he sold his soul to the devil, was poisoned by a jealous lover, and died a young genius's death... Skip James' mythos is less compact than Johnson's. James survived his misspent youth, and the story of his later years provides plenty more of the kind of misery that fueled his music. Where Johnson supposedly cut a single, grand deal with the devil—trading his soul for mastery of his form—Skip James seems to have struck deal after deal and never come out ahead. In a way, James' story is the truest story of the blues: He led an open wound of a life, and all he got for it was minor-league, post-mortem stardom.
Skip James' Hard Time Killing Floor Blues

See also Mississippi John Hurt & Skip James on WTBS-FM 1964 [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jun 15, 2013 - 17 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ry Cooder – Talking Country Blues and Gospel & The Jas Obrecht Music Archive

Originally published in Guitar Player magazine in 1990, here is Jas Obrect's interview: Ry Cooder – Talking Country Blues and Gospel -- I only wish it was online when I made my Dark was the Night post. Now is it is part of the Jas Obrect Music Archive, where you can also find ''Rollin’ and Tumblin' '': The Story of a Song (See also Hambone Wille Newbern - Roll and Tumble Blues for the first recording of those lyrics) -- not to mention Jerry Garcia: The Complete 1985 Interview and Bob Dylan’s ''Highway 61 Revisited'': Mike Bloomfield v. Johnny Winter and Blues Origins: Spanish Fandango and Sebastopol among many, many others. There is quite the cornucopia of interesting, informative music articles there. Check it out--you will dig it.
posted by y2karl on Dec 24, 2010 - 8 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

bluestab's blog meets AfricanAfrican aka NegroArtist.com

Chanteur puissant à la voix rocailleuse. And here is bluestab's blog And here, via Babelfish is bluestab's blog in an English of sorts. Then, while, looking for mp3s to match the tabs, I came across the universe of African American history and culture that is AfricanAfrican aka NegroArtist.com, a site so big it has two URLs. [Billy Mays] But, wait--that's not all! [/Billy Mays] [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Oct 23, 2009 - 12 comments

O Black and Unknown Bards - Among Other Things, Regarding The White Invention of The Blues

...The narrative of the blues got hijacked by rock ’n’ roll, which rode a wave of youth consumers to global domination. Back behind the split, there was something else: a deeper, riper source. Many people who have written about this body of music have noticed it. Robert Palmer called it Deep Blues. We’re talking about strains within strains, sure, but listen to something like Ishman Bracey’s ''Woman Woman Blues,'' his tattered yet somehow impeccable falsetto when he sings, ''She got coal-black curly hair.'' Songs like that were not made for dancing. Not even for singing along. They were made for listening. For grown-ups. They were chamber compositions. Listen to Blind Willie Johnson’s "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground.'' It has no words. It’s hummed by a blind preacher incapable of playing an impure note on the guitar. We have to go against our training here and suspend anthropological thinking; it doesn’t serve at these strata. The noble ambition not to be the kind of people who unwittingly fetishize and exoticize black or poor-white folk poverty has allowed us to remain the kind of people who don’t stop to wonder whether the serious treatment of certain folk forms as essentially high- or higher-art forms might have originated with the folk themselves.
From Unknown Bards: The blues becomes apparent to itself by one John Jeremiah Sullivan. I came across it while browsing Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers On The Albums That Changed Their Lives. For Sullivan, that album was American Primitive, Vol. II: Pre-War Revenants (1897 - 1939), which is my favorite CD of the year. Which came out in 2005 while I just got around to buying it this year. Foolish me. It is a piece of art in itself in every respect--all CDs should have such production values. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Aug 6, 2009 - 50 comments

Sleepy John Estes with Yank Rachell - Mailman Blues & African African

Sleepy John Estes with Yank Rachel - Mailman Blues
More about Sleepy John Estes
From Stephan Wirz - American Music: Illustrated Sleepy John Estes discography
See also The Tennesseean Encyclopedia - Sleepy John Estes [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Apr 5, 2009 - 9 comments

Searching For Robert Johnson: Guitar expert spots new photograph on eBay auction

...As he pored over the mass of texts and thumbnail photos that the eBay search engine had pulled up on that day in 2005, one strangely worded listing caught Schein’s eye. It read, “Old Snapshot Blues Guitar B.B. King???” He clicked on the link, then took in the sepia-toned image that opened on his monitor. Two young black men stared back at Schein from what seemed to be another time. They stood against a plain backdrop wearing snazzy suits, hats, and self-conscious smiles. The man on the left held a guitar stiffly against his lean frame. Neither man looked like B. B. King, but as Schein studied the figure with the guitar, noticing in particular the extraordinary length of his fingers and the way his left eye seemed narrower and out of sync with his right, it occurred to him that he had stumbled across something significant and rare... the more convinced he became that it depicted one of the most mysterious and mythologized blues artists produced by the Delta: the guitarist, singer, and songwriter whom Eric Clapton once anointed “the most important blues musician who ever lived.” That’s not B. B. King, Schein said to himself. Because it’s Robert Johnson.
Searching for Robert Johnson reveals not only what may be the third picture of Robert Johnson but a Byzantine struggle over his legacy as well.
posted by y2karl on Oct 9, 2008 - 29 comments

Wrath of the Grapevine: The Roots of John Fahey

So, about 9 months ago I started working on this compilation... Until yesterday, however, I hadn't seen a tracklist from the mysterious 10-cd set called the VrootzBox, so this is not a derivative work, however similar it may be...I should mention that not all of these songs are songs that he covered or copped licks from. Most of the music he has made mention to, though a few of the songs were recorded after his formative years and one or two he never would have heard. But they are presented to give an illustration of the styles he drew from (such as gamelan, which he grew up playing in his neighbor's back yard).
Wrath of the Grapevine: The Roots of John Fahey
via FaheyGuitarPlayers
posted by y2karl on Jun 1, 2008 - 12 comments

KudzuRunner's Blow Out Harmonica Lessons Sale - 'Folks, He's Giving Away The Store!!!'

Well respected as a player, instructor and scholar, Adam Gussow teaches blues harmonica online at Modern Blues Harmonica. For a fee.
On YouTube, as KudzuRunner, he also gives lessons. For free. He's put up around 145 videos now--145 videos with like about a million hits in return...
via Tom Muck's Blog
posted by y2karl on Mar 7, 2008 - 12 comments

Prewar Blues Lyrics & Dylan Lyrics Concordances 'N Stuff

The things I like best about Michael Taft's Prewar Blues Lyrics Concordance, a subsection of T. G. Lindh's Web Concordances of Pre-War Blue Lyrics and Bob Dylan Lyrics, are the listings of the lyrics by singer: A - C, D - H, J - L, M - R and S - Y. And the nice thing about the blues lyrics is you don't need to ask for a log in and password. It 's all right there. Explore and enjoy. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Mar 5, 2008 - 9 comments

Robert Petway - Catfish Blues

And here we have a couple of YouTube productions, screensaverish animations of photos and lyrics to the original recordings: Robert Petway - Catfish Blues and Tommy McClennan - It's Hard To Be Lonesome. This is mostly about Petway and Catfish Blues but you can't mention Petway without mentioning McClennan, as they ran together in their time and as both did versions of Catfish, a song canonical in Delta Blues, recorded and performed by nearly everyone--Muddy Waters - Rolling Stone, for example. Petway just happens to be the first person to record Catfish, and quite possibly the person who wrote it and certainly. to my mind, at least, the person who nailed it... in the uptempo version at the very least. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Feb 28, 2008 - 8 comments

Wardell Quezergue: The Creole Beethoven

Regarding the 'Creole Beethoven' Wardell Quezergue, composer, arranger, big band leader, master of Second Line funk, who brought us Earl King's Trick Bag, the Dixie Cups' Iko Iko and Chapel of Love, King FLoyd's Groove Me, Baby, Jean Knight's Mr. Big Stuff to name but a few--not to mention A Creole Mass--and who, later in life, survived Katrina, to become, among other things of late, according to Home of the Groove's Quezergue Onstage and Behind The Scenes, a street performer in the French Quarter. His is a name that ought not be forgotten. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Feb 23, 2008 - 5 comments

Little Hat Jones - Bye Bye Baby Blues

Little Hat Jones - Bye Bye Baby Blues
Bye Bye Baby Blues Tab
Dennis (Little Hat) Jones, a Texas bluesman considered a notable of Naples, Texas. He record ten sides of his own and made nine more accompanying the very idiosyncratic and hard to follow Texas Alexander. Bye Bye Baby Blues is a very sweet song that also appears on the Ghost World soundtrack.
See also Texas Blues Guitar (1929-1935) .
posted by y2karl on Feb 16, 2008 - 7 comments

Times ain't Like They Used To Be: Richard "Rabbit" Brown, New Orleans Songster

In 1900 they were everywhere. Singing on street corners, in front of circus entrances, or just moving down the dusty roads of the South, playing anywhere a crowd might be cajoled into donating a dime to the cause. To survive they played any request--ballads, popular tunes, white hillbilly music, hymns, and the newly emerged blues. Songsters were the first folk musicians to be "professional" ...Most songsters faded into the past. A few waxed recordings, leaving a tempting glance into their world--and many questions. Such is the case with Richard "Rabbit" Brown, one of the most celebrated songsters and the only one from New Orleans to record.
Times ain't Like They Used To Be: Richard "Rabbit" Brown, New Orleans Songster--so, James Alley Blues is the song most everyone names as Brown's greatest and, now, you can play it online here. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Feb 7, 2008 - 17 comments

And something is vacant when I think it's all beginning : The Late Allen Ginsberg and Beck in Conversation

Not exactly breaking news, but still:
The Late Allen Ginsberg and Beck in Conversation
Related YouTuber: Beck on the late Allen Ginsberg
To complete the circle: Jackass by the South Austin Jug Band.
posted by y2karl on Feb 5, 2008 - 26 comments

Howlin' Wolf on the YouTube and related links

Howlin' Wolf - How Many More Years
Howlin' Wolf - Meet Me in the Bottom
Howlin' Wolf - Highway 49
Howlin' Wolf - Smokestack Lightning
Howlin' Wolf - Dust My Broom
Howlin Wolf - I'll Be Back Someday [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Feb 4, 2008 - 29 comments

Ramblin' Jack Elliott on the YouTube and Online

In more or less chonological appearance, here are examples of one of our very own still extant national musical treasures:
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Talking Merchant Marine
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - San Francisco Bay Blues
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Salt Pork West Virginia
And here, from SXSW 2006, is Ramblin' Jack Elliott & Billy Bragg - The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd
Also from SXSW 2006, Jack Elliott & Marty Stuart - Engine 143
From last year, here is Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Old Shep
and Ramblin' Jack Elliott - South Coast
And from last week's Bill Graham's Birthday Bash, here is
Phil Lesh, Jackie Greene & Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Friend of The Devil [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jan 20, 2008 - 8 comments

The Fountainhead: Aaron Thibeaux 'T-Bone' Walker

Consider Aaron Thibeaux Walker--if anyone ever deserved the title Godfather, King or Present at the Creation, it would be T-Bone Walker. Without T-Bone, there would be no B.B. King, Albert King, no Clarence Gatemouth Brown, no Pee Wee Crayton, Johnny 'Guitar' Watson ad infinitum to every blues guitarist whoever bent a tube amplified string thereafter. For rock and blues, electric lead guitar begins with him--he invented the language and then wrote the book and style manual, too. And he wrote the performance manual as well--dancing, doing splits, playing guitar behind his back while alternating betwen slow and smoky after hour blues and swinging combo and jazzy big band jumps. For examples of him at the height of his powers, give these Coralized mp3s--Cold Cold Feeling and Strollin' With Bones--a listen. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Nov 14, 2007 - 8 comments

Honking Duck - Listen to Old Time Music from 78s

Hill Billie Blues by Uncle Dave Macon and his Fruit Jar Drinkers is under 1924 at Honking Duck. You could search that by title as well. Or you can look up by Artist as in Al Hopkins & His Buckle Busters.
Need I mention all are in RealAudio ? Hate Realplayer ? Well, as noted before, fight the power and use Real Alternative aka Media Player Classic instead. It's not exactly my favorite style of interface but they certainly do afford a large selection.
posted by y2karl on Nov 5, 2007 - 6 comments

I can't eat, I can't talk - Been drinkin' mean jake, Lord, now can't walk - Ain't got nothin' now to lose - Cause I'm a jake walkin' papa with the 'Jake Walk Blues' - The Allen Brothers

mp3s:
Jake Leg Blues - Mississippi Sheiks
Jake Walk Blues - The Allen Brothers
Alcohol and Jake Blues - Tommy Johnson (lyrics)
Articles:
"Jake Leg," about how the blues diagnosed a mysterious 1930 epidemic is a pdf scan of a New Yorker article from September 15, 2003 from here.  The Jake Walk Effect is from North Carolina Moonshine, as is The Jake Leg in Song  See also Paralysis In A Bottle (html) [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Oct 30, 2007 - 18 comments

Folktunes.org - The Folktunes Archive for teaching and learning.

Viola Lee Blues by Cannon's Jug Stompers
The House Carpenter - Clarence Ashley
Old Dan Tucker - Judge Sturdy's Orchestra
Minglewood Blues - Cannon's Jug Stompers
Coo Coo Bird - Clarence Ashley
Sally Gooden - Eck Robertson on fiddle
The Worried Blues - Samantha Bumgarner
Dark Holler - Clarence Ashley
Cocaine Habit Blues - The Memphis Jug Band
All are from Folktunes.org, a list of annotated links to mp3s at the Internet Archive with lyrics and history on each page. It's like a functional annotated academic SomeOfTheCoolest78sAttheInternetArchiveFilter .
posted by y2karl on Oct 22, 2007 - 14 comments

Country Blues Guitar Filter: Keys to the Highway: Some Country Blues Resources

CountryBluesGuitarFilter: Keys to the Highway: Some Country Blues Resources --although Weenie Juke Radio is now dead and gone, Weenie Campbell lives on, with forums, guitar lessons and linkage galore. Keys To The Highway lists lyrics and guitar keys and tunings for some notable artists. And the one for the Mississippi Sheiks is a link to the fine country blues music blog Done Gone, which has on its front page list of links just about every prewar, country blues and related site worth linking. As does Weenie Campbell. And at WeenieCampbell there are also some audio lessons in mp3 from the great guitarist and guitar teacher John Miller, these days a resident of my fair city.
posted by y2karl on Oct 20, 2007 - 5 comments

Tommy Johnson - Cool Drink of Water

Tommy Johnson - Cool Drink of Water [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Oct 17, 2007 - 15 comments

John Fahey - Fare Forward Voyagers

John Fahey - Fare Forward Voyagers
John Fahey - Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Palace Of King Phillip XIV
Clips from a 2 hour performance at the Euphoria Tavern in Portland, Oregon from 1976. Among the cognoscenti at FaheyGuitarPlayers, the consensus is that these clips display Fahey in rare form on a very good night.
Apart from Fahey, Bohemia Visual Music aka Mike Nastra, the contributor of these clips, provides an interesting assortment of way too hip YouTubery offerings including, among others, Spike Jones, Dimandas Galas, Gene Krupa, Tuxedo Moon, Sun Ra, Pere Ubu and the Holy Modal Rounders.
posted by y2karl on Oct 16, 2007 - 9 comments

Here Is Jazz Old Time Online

Here Is Jazz Old Time Online
17,877 Real Audio streams of public domain jazz recordings, 17,147 of which are available as mp3 downloads for $5 for 3 months. Run a search on a favorite and see what they have. Man, all those Don Redman sides--I may just break down and get a Paypal account. Hate Realplayer ? Well, fight the power and use Real Alternative aka Media Player Classic instead.
posted by y2karl on Sep 15, 2007 - 20 comments

You want the Old Skool? You can't handle the Old Skool! You don't even have a clue what the Old Skool is! *chops down door* Here's ...Johnny!!!

Here is Uncle John Scruggs singing and playing Little Log Cabin Round the Lane in RealAudio Dial Up and DSL format. The dancing is great and I do like the walk-on kitten part, myself.

That's from the Center For Southern African-American Music Video Link Page. Their audio link page is a wonder, too with individual artists galore. But, for the real deal, check out the Various Artist compilation album pages. Those may be 20 second of so mp3 clips but, still, those Yazoo, Document and Folkways albums are the bomb and there you get a taste of what they offer. And anywhere you can hear, for example, even a few bars of Blind Alfred Reed's How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live ? or Estil C. Ball and Lacey Richardson's Trials, Troubles, Tribulations rules in my world.
posted by y2karl on Jun 29, 2007 - 9 comments

I Remember Blind Joe Death

John Fahey - 1969, Part 1
John Fahey - 1969, Part 2
John Fahey - 1969, Part 3
John Fahey - 1969, Part 4
See also The Thong Club
And Previously
Via FaheyGuitarPlayers
posted by y2karl on Jun 21, 2007 - 35 comments

Beautiful Losers

Karen Dalton - It Hurts Me, Too
Tim Buckley - Sally Go 'Round The Roses
Tim Hardin - If I Were A Carpenter
See also
The Other Side Of Greenwich Village 60's Folk Scene - Part 1
and Part 2  
more within
posted by y2karl on May 4, 2007 - 47 comments

Regarding Paramount Records

...In 1924 New York Recording Laboratory decided to expand its reach into that market by purchasing the Black Swan label. Founded in 1920 or 1921 by black entrepreneur Harry H. Pace, the pioneering company recorded everything from ragtime to grand opera, as long as it was sung by African-Americans... Paramount's biggest star was Ma Rainey, a blues moaner who influenced the legendary singer Bessie Smith... Paramount did not neglect male blues singers, who tended to be folk artists in the sense that their music was made initially for the entertainment of isolated rural communities. These included the singers and guitarists Charlie Patton... Blind Lemon Jefferson...
Compliments of the Season from ParamountsHome--where, among many other things, one can find an online copy of David Evans's biography Charley Patton in Parts 1, 2 and 3 or look at a picture of Skip James in 1932, not to mention a view of Paramount's promotion of Patton as the Masked Marvel. And that is not, as they say, all...
posted by y2karl on Dec 18, 2006 - 14 comments

The Falsettos - Skip James, Tommy Johnson, Dona Dumitru Siminica & Joe Keawe, among others

Here is a video of one falsetto singer:

Skip James - Devil Got My Woman

More music by and information about Skip James, a Romanian gypsy named Doma Dumitru Siminica, leo ki'eki'e singers Richard & Solomon Ho'opi'i and other Legends of Falsetto within...
posted by y2karl on Dec 14, 2006 - 29 comments

Johnny [YouTube] 'Guitar' Watson

Johnny 'Guitar' Watson on the YouTube:

Ain't That a Bitch
A Real Mother For Ya
Gangster of Love
Superman Lover
I Want To Ta Ta You Baby
Special Boogie
More Inside
posted by y2karl on Nov 10, 2006 - 18 comments

John Fahey at Rockpalast - Hamburg Uni, Hamburg, West Germany - 1978-03-17and otherwise on YouTube

John Fahey in concert: Beverly (aka Indian Pacific Railroad Blues) Poor Boy (Which is a variation on Booker White's Poor Boy Long Way from Home)
posted by y2karl on Oct 22, 2006 - 19 comments

folkstreams.net - A National Preserve of Documentary Films about American Roots Cultures

Folkstreams.net has two goals. One is to build a national preserve of hard-to-find documentary films about American folk or roots cultures. The other is to give them renewed life by streaming them on the internet. The films were produced by independent filmmakers in a golden age that began in the 1960s and was made possible by the development first of portable cameras and then capacity for synch sound. Their films focus on the culture, struggles, and arts of unnoticed Americans from many different regions and communities. The filmmakers were driven more by sheer engagement with the people and their traditions than by commercial hopes. Their films have unusual subjects, odd lengths, and talkers who do not speak "broadcast English." Although they won prizes at film festivals, were used in college classes, and occasionally were shown on PBS, they found few outlets in venues like theaters, video shops or commercial television. But they have permanent value...
folkstreams.net Currently streaming are the films The Land Where the Blues Began , Cajun Country , Jazz Parades: Feet Don't Fail Me Now , Talking Feet: Solo Southern Dance: Buck, Flatfoot and Tap , Ray Lum: Mule Trader and Pizza Pizza Daddy-O , among many others.
posted by y2karl on Oct 6, 2006 - 14 comments

John Smith Hurt: An Interview and the Mississippi John Hurt Blues Foundation

Here is the Mississippi John Hurt Blues Foundation, the website, which is the creation of one Frank Delaney of Spokane. There's a great deal of guitar related material and a page of mp3's by fans, which includes several interesting originals by one Fred Bolden, a grand nephew. I always knew he had a son who played guitar and wondered why no one had ever tried to record him. Now there is a grand nephew playing, if nowhere near as sublimely as his great uncle, in roughly the same style.

Here is an interview of John Hurt from 1963, courtesy of Stefan Grossman's guitar video empire. It is a real delight.

Consider this a follow up to this post. Not all of the links there are good. The Mississippi John Hurt Guitar Tab Book, for instance, is now available only in PDF format but well worth the download. And here is an illustrated discography of John Hurt by another Stefan, Stefan Wirz, a subject of yet another post back in the day.
posted by y2karl on Oct 4, 2006 - 19 comments

Etta Baker 1913-2006

Etta Baker 1913-2006
posted by y2karl on Sep 25, 2006 - 19 comments

y2karlTube - Simply Beautiful

Clarence Ashley - The Coo Coo
Skip James - Crow Jane
Howlin' Wolf - How Many More Years
Son House - John the Revelator
Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys - Close By
Houston Stackhouse & Joe Willie Wilkins - Cool Drink Of Water
Muddy Waters - Honey Bee
Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys - Lone Star Rag
Mississipi John Hurt - You Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley
Maybelle & Sara Carter - Cannonball Blues
Al Green - Simply Beautiful
Enjoy. Note that, too, save for Mississippi John Hurt, there is more by each of the above artists linked on each clip's page.
The first is via FaheyGuitarPlayers, the rest were all in a day's surf. On dial-up, even.
posted by y2karl on Sep 20, 2006 - 73 comments

y2karl's 78 RPM jukebox-o-rama

For murder ballads, here's your Mississippi John Hurt's Louis Collins and your Grayson & Whitter's Ommie Wise. Then, for some early white blues bottleneck guitar, here's your Frank Hutchison's K. C. Blues. Not to mention Charley Patton's Screamin' And Hollerin' The Blues. All courtesy the Internet Archives 78 RPM tag. where there is way more--like Bix Beiderbecke's first record, Davenport Blues, Louis Armstrong's Ain't Misbehavin' and Geeshie Wiley's Last Kind Words, among many others. Then, for more, Nugrape Records has an mp3 page. The standout there, at least for me, is Gus Cannon's Poor Boy Long Ways From Home. As for their namesake, the Nugrape Twins, well, the Archive has the mp3 of I've Got Your Ice Cold Nugrape. And don't let me omit mentioning PublicDomain4U. They have Mississippi John Hurt's Frankie, for one. Tyrone's Record and Phonograph Links will lead you to more 78 RPM goodness. And don't forget the inestimable and erudite vacapinta first directed us to Dismuke's Virtual Talking Machine.
posted by y2karl on Aug 25, 2006 - 48 comments

Turtle sex, chiropractic death, and peyote under the pillow: a year-by-year account of American primitive guitar

...Record collectors are typically thought of as irascible loners, but in the Washington of the ’50s and early ’60s, there existed a group of scruffy young blues and folk fans who could’ve given the Illuminati a run for their all-seeing eyes. They thought of themselves as the guardians of a tradition the rest of the world had either forgotten or misinterpreted. They adopted fake names. They invented strange mythologies. They hatched plans to bring their favorite historical figures back from the dead--or at least back from the commercial oblivion to which the music biz had consigned them. But most of all, they inspired admiration and awe. Though they never used the term themselves, this bunch of vintage-78 obsessives was known by others as the East Coast Blues Mafia.
The Thong Club
via FaheyGuitarPlayers

posted by y2karl on Jul 13, 2006 - 20 comments

The Vera Hall Project and Songs by Vera Hall

Vera Hall was a black woman born near Livingston, Alabama at the turn of the century. She grew up in a supportive family and community, but in difficult, poor rural living conditions. At a young age, Hall became a respected and devout member of the church, and remained so for the rest of her years. But after leaving home, she also fell in with more worldly crowd, for whom blues, craps, and alcohol were the entertainments of choice. The tension between these two spheres-- that of spirituals and the church, on one hand, and that of blues and the juke-joint, on the other-- is a theme that recurred throughout her life and infused her music. She drew upon both perspectives to cope with and overcome her life's perennial difficulties; sadly, it was dotted with tragedy: she lost both parents, a sister, a husband, a daughter, and two grandchildren-- all before she herself passed away in 1964 at the age of 58.

The Vera Hall Project [+}
posted by y2karl on Sep 17, 2005 - 5 comments

Dark Was The Night--Cold Was The Ground by Blind Willie Johnson

Ry Cooder once said Dark Was The Night--Cold Was The Ground was the most soulful, transcendent piece of American music recorded in the 20th Century. Unearthly and music of the spheres were common descriptions long before both became fact when it was included on a golden record was affixed to the star bound Voyager space probe. My first encounter with Dark Was The Night was while watching, and then listening to the soundtrack album of, Piero Paulo Pasolini’s The Gospel According To St. Matthew--or as it is known in Sicily kickin' Bootsville, Il Vangelo de Matteo--which is, in my humble opinion, the Greatest. Jesus. Movie. Evar. Ironically, coincidentally and serendipitously, it was an apt choice by Pasolini, as the hymn from which Blind Willie Johnson's wordless moan derives is a song about Christ’s passion—his suffering and crucifixion. (Continued with much more within)
posted by y2karl on Sep 15, 2005 - 67 comments

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