Monday, December 22, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Blind Uncle Gaspard • Mercredi Soir Passé • 1929

Blind Uncle Gaspard, vocal/guitar. Chicago, c. 26 January 1929

Photo of Alcide “Blind Uncle” Gaspard: Yazoo Records via The Old Weird America

In the next ten days on BAK we’ve got the usual mix of soup to nuts (or mice): Jackie DeShannon, Phil Alvin, and Freddy King; we’ll turn the heat up on Christmas day, and then finish out the year with music from Jimmy Murphy, Jimmie Rodgers (and friends), The Fireballs, Roy Rogers, Frank Stokes, and the Old South Quartette. . . .

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Here’s a tasty little Saturday night bonus from the truly great Lonnie Johnson. From his sixties “comeback” period, this is one song from a fruitful 1960 session featuring Lonnie and his old cohort Elmer Snowden, that produced one Bluesville LP and years later a CD filled with outtakes that are just as good as what was issued in 1960.

Lonnie Johnson with Elmer Snowden • Blue and All Alone • 1960

Lonnie Johnson, vocal/guitar; Elmer Snowden, guitar; Wendell Marshall, bass. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 
5 April 1960.


Lowell Fulson • River Blues, Pts. 1 & 2 • 1948

Lowell Fulson, vocal/guitar; Martin Fulson, guitar. Oakland, 1948

cf. Smokey Hogg, Mance Lipscomb, and Johnny Shines.

Friday, December 19, 2014


In October 1929 Edward Thompson recorded six sides at the Gennett studios in New York City. All were issued on the Paramount label, two 78s crediting Thompson as Tenderfoot Edwards. One of the Tenderfoot Edwards records, the top side of which you can hear here today, didn’t survive the decades in as good shape as the other two, but the good folks at Blues Images worked their magic and it is now quite listenable, if a little rough. For me, it’s the very best of all his sides, with great bent-note guitar figures set to a loping beat, and a sly vocal, sounding to my ears a bit unlike most of his other records. When his other two 78s were reissued in the late sixties he was believed to have been an Alabama artist but in recent years he’s thought to have been either from Georgia or Florida. Whatever, his six recordings are really fine and again, this one tops them all!

Tenderfoot Edwards • When You Dream Of Muddy Water • 1929

When You Dream Of Muddy Water” and its flip side “Up On The Hill Blues” are both on 24 Classic Blues Songs from the 1920’s Vol. 11 in the best sound we’re likely to hear unless another copy in better condition turns up!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


in the name of J-e-s-u-s
to v-i-c-t-o-r-y
I am f-r-w-e

The Maytals • Hallelujah • 1963

Album cover: Reggae Discography

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Trouble I love
Peace I do despise
I whip the devil every mornin’
Just to get my exercise

Johnny Shines • Milk Cow’s Troubles • 1970

Johnny Shines, vocal/guitar. Altadena, CA, November 1970

LP cover: Testament 2221, first pressing. Photo copyright © 2014 by Brad Barrett. Used with permission.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


“Instrumental accordion music was the traditional dance music of the rural working people in the border area [of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and Northern Mexico] and continued to be popular and sold widely via records throughout this period [of the 1940s and 1950s] and is still in demand today. Los Hermanos Cardenas (the Cardenas brothers) grew up on a ranch south of Reynosa, Tamaulipas playing for family and friends which they continue to do today and in much the same style popular several generations ago. Chencho Cardenas has always played a two row accordion and both brothers take great pride in playing traditional material in the traditional way.” —adapted from Chris Strachwitz’ 1978 liner notes to Texas-Mexican Border Music Vol. 13: Norteño Acordeon – Part 3 – South Texas and Monterrey, N.L. – The 1940’s and 50’s (Folklyric 9020)

Hermanos Cardenas • El Delfo • c. early 1950s

Chencho Cardenas, accordion; Lupe Cardenas, bajo sexto; E. Gutierrez, bass. Recorded c. early 1950s