Saturday, June 30, 2012

My life is ruined

My Life Is Ruined (Land Lady) – Muddy Waters – 1953

Muddy Waters, vocal/guitar; Walter Horton, harmonica; Jimmy Rogers, guitar; poss. Willie Nix, drums. Recorded in Chicago, January 9, 1953.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Your hair is so short . . .

. . . swear to god I can smell your brains

Short Hair Blues – Kid Stormy Weather – 1935

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The right time

For a long time I felt like Margie Hendricks’s vocal was too over the top and spinning out of control. Somewhere along the way, this became my favorite version of the song. Recorded live in Atlanta in 1959.

The Right Time – Ray Charles – 1959

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Jane Birkin et Serge Gainsbourg • La Décadanse • 1971

Get it: Initials SG

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Raise my window high

Here’s the French version of  “Raise Your Window.” It’s from the same December 1934 recording session as “Blues Negres” heard last week. “Ouvrez Grand Ma Fenetre” features a growling vocal similar to the English version and an especially fine accordion intro by Joe Falcon. Many thanks to Ana at The Singing Bones for reminding me about this great record.

Ouvrez Grand Ma Fenetre (Raise My Window High)
Cleoma Falcon – 1934

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I am in the heavenly way

I Am In The Heavenly Way – Washington White – 1930

Album cover: In the Spirit No. 1 (OJL-12, 1966), front and back. One of the oldest LPs I still own, bought new c.1966, art student-defaced with red and yellow marker pens. The track is still available on Masters of the Delta Blues (Yazoo 2002, 1991).

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Blues negres

Blues Negres – Cleoma Falcon – 1934

Photo: Cléoma Breaux and Joe Falcon. Link to image here.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

One of these mornings . . .

One of the best Howlin’ Wolf tracks to remained unissued until the ’90s. How was this never a hit single in the ’50s?

Break Of Day – Howlin’ Wolf – 1956

Photo: Howlin’ Wolf, 1968. Photo by Brad Barrett, copyright © 2012.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


More nasty sounding Elko blues from Phillip Walker . . .

Phillip Walker Band • Hello My Darling • 1959

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Friday, June 08, 2012


It’s no secret that the music from one record label, Arhoolie, has informed my taste and musical sensibilities over the past 45+ years as much as or more than the 50s and 60s rock’n’roll I grew up on. That fact is reflected in many of the posts on this here blog. Had it not been for the work of Arhoolie founder and boss Chris Strachwitz I might never have heard and fallen in love with the music of Mance Lipscomb, Clifton Chenier, Fred McDowell, Flaco Jiménez, Sonny Boy Williamson, Nathan Abshire, Big Mama Thornton, Lightning Hopkins, Mainer’s Mountaineers, The Black Ace, Lowell Fulson, not to mention the tunes reissued on all the various artists comps on side labels like Blues Classics and Old Timey; the list just goes on and on and on.

So . . . there’s a feature length video documentary being made about Chris Strachwitz and his contribution to our understanding and enjoyment of this great American vernacular music and the makers need some help raising funds to finish the project. If you’re interested in being a part of this worthy undertaking, click here to read, see, and hear more.

Meanwhile, here’s Mance Lipscomb with “Willie Poor Boy” from 1964.

Mance Lipscomb • Willie Poor Boy • 1964

Thursday, June 07, 2012

As regards Madame Lazonga, Cuban Pete,
and the Rhumba Cuban all style

The Rhumba Boogie – Hank Snow (The Singing Ranger) – 1951

Illustration: detail from Li’l Abner by Al Capp, July 24, 1943. Courtesy

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Georgia Blues

Samantha Bumgarner (1878–1960) was a renowned banjo and fiddle player from Dillsboro, North Carolina, and in 1924 became the first woman to record country music commercially. She’s featured here on 5-string banjo.

Georgia Blues – Samantha Bumgarner – 1924

Photo: Ben Shahn. Aunt Samantha Baumgarner [i.e. Bumgarner], fiddler, banjoist, guitarist, North Carolina, Asheville. 1937. Library of Congress.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Since my baby left me

Heartbreak Hotel – Roger Miller – 1966

Didn’t know Roger wrote “Heartbreak Hotel” didja. . . ? I mean, that’s what you’d expect from an album called Words and Music, right?

Sunday, June 03, 2012