Hard Time Killin Floor
December 4, 2011 12:21 PM   Subscribe

Hubert Sumlin, the legendary guitarist for Howlin Wolf, and many others, has passed away. An appreciation.
posted by timsteil (20 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
posted by mrbill at 12:31 PM on December 4, 2011

Shit. Goodnight, Mr. Sumlin.

posted by middleclasstool at 12:46 PM on December 4, 2011

RIP, dear sir.
posted by sleepy pete at 12:53 PM on December 4, 2011

Goooooooood times at Antone's, Austin's home of the Blues.

posted by ambient2 at 1:00 PM on December 4, 2011


RIP, great one.
posted by jonmc at 1:56 PM on December 4, 2011

All over the world there are guitarists who can attest to this man's humility and generosity. Thank-you, Hubert.
posted by Jode at 2:22 PM on December 4, 2011

posted by tommasz at 3:12 PM on December 4, 2011

posted by Wolof at 3:38 PM on December 4, 2011

Aw, yes, a wonderfully warm human being and a fine, fine blues musician. RIP Hubert Sumlin.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:48 PM on December 4, 2011

I had never seen that first clip (demonstrations of blues patterns), it's really wonderful. Thanks, timsteil.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:52 PM on December 4, 2011

Aww, that's a damn shame, a fine talent. Pinetop, Honeyboy, and now Hubert ...we've lost a lot of old time blues greats in 2011.

timsteil, you've put together a righteous tribute. I'm kinda conflicted here, sad that Hubert's gone, but man oh man, I am loving this post and having an Irish wake groovin on all these clips. Those interviews are priceless, his stories about Muddy and Howlin Wolf are just great. Love that clip with Sunnyland. And all the Howlin Wolf clips *swoons* - there's the kind of blues man a good girl could get in trouble over, yow.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:02 PM on December 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by elmer benson at 5:38 PM on December 4, 2011

Here is my Hubert Sumlin story, which is more my brother's story than mine. A few years back, Hubert was playing at the Blind Willie McTell Blues Fest in Thomson, GA. My wife and I drove to Augusta, where my family lives, and took my brother and my Mom to the festival so my brother could see Hubert and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith play. My brother is somewhat of a walking blues encyclopedia, and will talk your ear off about obscure bits of blues lore and trivia. We were at an angle to the stage, and could see the little tent behind it where the artists would hang out before going on stage. About mid-way through the act that preceded him, Hubert ambled his way to the tent, which was behind some ropes and pylons to keep the area somewhat secure. Seeing his chance, my Mom pushed my brother to the edge of the roped area (my brother has CP, and is in a wheel chair a lot of the time), and my brother got up and made his way to the tent. I guess from Hubert's viewpoint, he saw an elderly woman and a young man with a funny walk coming his way, and to his credit he called out to them and said hello. And for the next 10 or 15 minutes my brother got to talk blues with one of his heros, a man he considered to be a living legend. Hubert was gracious, and patient, and seemed interested to meet a young man who basically knew his life story, including who he had played with and when, in fairly exhaustive detail. I know my brother considers it one of the high points of his life. So for that, I have to say a big thank you to Hubert, and also a sad . at his passing.

As a side note, a lot of my family comes from the Thomson/Wrens area, and we're related to a lot of McTier's, which means we're probably distantly related to Blind Willie. That always makes my brother smile.
posted by ralan at 6:52 PM on December 4, 2011 [3 favorites]

Thanks for this. IMHO Sumlin created the distinct rock and roll guitar line pretty much single-handedly on this one 1961 single, Do the Do, starting with the guitar solo at 0:52. (Somebody please cover this song properly!)
posted by msalt at 7:41 PM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by Mister Bijou at 9:03 PM on December 4, 2011

Damn. His playing with The Wolf was just amazing.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:58 AM on December 5, 2011

posted by koucha at 10:54 AM on December 5, 2011


Thanks for the vids, timsteil. I saw Sumlin at the Chicago Blues Fest in 2010 (?), with the Howlin' Wolf Reunion Band, they rocked out on 'Forty Four' (here's the recorded version, 1954).
posted by Bron at 6:59 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Do the Do, starting with the guitar solo at 0:52. (Somebody please cover this song properly!)
posted by msalt

Msalt...something I just dug out of my vinyl stash, which I have been unable to find even a mention of online, is an album called "Pigus*Drunkus*Maximus" by Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs. Yes, that would be the same "Top Jimmy"David Lee Roth (he used to stop by and sit in) wrote a song about on VH's 1984. They were notorious in LA in the 80's. It is Restless Records 7222-1. May be on iTunes, but probably not. Regardless, they Do the livin shit out of The Do.
posted by timsteil at 8:08 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Probably this song on their MySpace page. Thanks!!
posted by msalt at 10:51 AM on December 7, 2011

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