Jim Dickinson was a musician, producer, and writer based in Memphis. A lifelong curator and steward of American music until his death in 2009, he fronted the band Mud Boy & the Neutrons and contributed to albums by Sleepy John Estes, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Albert King, Big Star, the Replacements, and many others. [This] essay...was adapted from his memoir The Search for Blind Lemon. [more inside]
The American Folk Blues Festival 1962 - 1966; Vol 2; Vol 3 - The festival was an annual event with dozens of classic blues greats like Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters & Howlin' Wolf playing to appreciative UK audiences. "Attendees at Manchester in 1962, the first ever venue for the festival in Britain, included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Jimmy Page. Subsequent attendees at the first London festivals are believed to have also included such influential musicians as Eric Burdon, Eric Clapton, and Steve Winwood. Collectively these were the primary movers in the blues explosion that would lead to the British Invasion." [more inside]
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.
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"
You know, I want you to pick up on this. You know, these lyrics are something else. Just dig this. [more inside]
Chicago's Maxwell Street Market wasn't just a market: it was a stage that played host to many an exuberantly ragged, hard grinding blues performance. It was lively, eccentric, ecstatic. You could get there on The Happy Bus. And of course, one of the greatest musicals in the history of American cinema paid homage to the street, as the setting for a fabulous performance by John Lee Hooker of his iconic "Boom Boom". (Note: See mouseovers for link descriptions.) [more inside]
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]
Death in threes? Jonno pointed it out about six weeks ago, and I thought to myself that he was right. But man, the deaths are coming thick and fast now. The score, for those of us playing along at home, is: Musicians' deaths, 3 (John Lee Hooker, Chet Atkins and Joe Henderson), actors' deaths: 2 (Carroll O'Connor, Jack Lemmon) and Net folks' deaths, 2 (Jim Ellis and Michael Hauben. (Boozoo Chavis' passing, noted by fooljay, could be totted up in the musicians' column as well. Anthony Quinn and Joan Sims could go in the actors' column, if (like harrycaul and wackybrit, you were so inclined.)
One of the last of the blues greats has passed on. John Lee Hooker is dead at 83.