Monday, July 30, 2012

I begin to wonder, “Is poor
Elmo sinkin’ down?”

Standing At The Crossroads – Elmore James – 1955

Album sleeve here.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I ain’t gonna be no fool no more

I Got News For You – The Sunset Blues Band – 1964

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bachianas Brasileiras

Bachianas Brasileiras – The Modern Jazz Quartet – 1964

Sleeve art from Cover Jazz.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Take care of the baby . . .

Here’s a favorite Barbecue Bob tune, not originally issued (or titled) by Columbia. Yazoo Records unearthed it for a 1968 Georgia blues compilation. To these ears one of his best.

Untitled – Barbecue Bob – 1929

Monday, July 23, 2012

The National Haiku Contest

The National Haiku Contest – The Fugs – 1968

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Shall we gather at the river

Shall We Gather At The River – Dixie Sacred Singers – 1927

Dixie Sacred Singers = Uncle Dave Macon, banjo, vocal; Kirk McGee, mandolin, vocal; Sam McGee, guitar, vocal.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

O Shenandoah

Shenandoah – Pete Seeger – 1958

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One more One More Ride

One More Ride – Johnny Cash – 1958

Hear also.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kitty Wells, 1919–2012

I Can’t Stop Loving You – Kitty Wells – 1958


Devil Got My Woman

In the mid-sixties I was beginning to discover, initially through the auspices of Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones, some of the bluesmen from the twenties and thirties who had themselves been being discovered or rediscovered by young white aficionados just a few years prior, singers and players such as Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and Skip James, spurred on by the so-called “folk revival,” Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, the beginnings of suburban awareness of the civil rights movement, etc. Those singers, as well as performers who had not been recorded commercially in their younger years, such as Mance Lipscomb and Fred McDowell; blues singers who had recorded in the years following WWII, such as Lightning Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton, and Lil Son Jackson, but who had, with the advent of Rhythm & Blues and Rock’n’Roll been relegated to the sidelines. These bluesmen and women now were reaching a wider audience, probably wider than their initial commercial or local successes had allowed in the culturally segregated years prior to the white folk revival.

Skip James was one of the early greats who somehow attached his art to my heart, soul, and ears through his appearance at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival and subsequent unveiling via vinyl LP on the annual set of LPs documenting that festival by Vanguard Records. I can clearly remember bringing home the LP The Blues at Newport/1964/
Part 2, putting it on my record player, and after three fine songs by Mississippi John Hurt, who I was already familiar with, being absolutely mesmerized by one Nehemiah “Skip” James to the point that when his four songs were finished I picked up the tone arm and played those four over again and again and again. I’m sure the grooves of those four songs on side one of that LP showed more wear than any of the other tracks by John Hurt, Rev. Robert Wilkins, and Elizabeth Cotton, no easy feat.

For a firsthand account I quote here Dick Waterman, in the book Baby Let Me Follow
You Down

“One of the great recollections I have of those workshops is when Skip James came in. He was wearing a hat and a heavy jacket. . . . No one had heard him play except for the people who had discovered him. They brought him in, and he was sort of a presence on the grounds for the first day or so. . . . He was very quiet, almost mysterious. Finally it came his time on this workshop. . . .

“Skip sat down, and put his guitar on his leg. He set himself, doing a little finger manipulation with his left hand, then he set his fingers by the sound hole, sighed, and hit the first note of [“Devil Got My Woman”]. He took that first note up in falsetto all the way, and the hairs on the back of my neck went up, and all up and down my arms, the hairs just went right up. Even now I get a reaction to that note when I listen to the recording of it on [Blues at Newport]. . . .

“There was an audible gasp from the audience. That to me is what it’s all about.”

Devil Got My Woman – Skip James – 1964

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ramblin’ round

Rambling Round Your City (Ramblin’ Round) – Odetta – 1968
This Land Is Your Land / Narration – Odetta, Arlo Guthrie, Will Geer – 1970

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bastille Day

Christmas In Washington – Steve Earle – 1999
This Land Is Your Land – Freedom Sings performers & audience – 1999

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hey lolly lolly lolly

Hey Lolly Lolly – Woody Guthrie & Cisco Houston – 1940

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I saw the best minds of my generation . . . rock

I Saw The Best Minds Of My Generation Rock – The Fugs – 1965

Photo, left to right: Steve Weber, Ken Weaver, Peter Stampfel, Tuli Kupferberg, Ed Sanders. Photo by David Gahr

Monday, July 09, 2012


Banda Típica Mazatlán • La India Bonita • 1949

Get it: Mexican-American Border Music – Vol. 1

Image: Jorge González Camarena. Amapolas de Xochimilco, 1940. Galas de México.

Friday, July 06, 2012

I pawned my watch . . .

I've Got A Secret (Didn't We Shake Sugaree)
Fred Neil – 1966

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Skating in Central Park

Skating In Central Park – The Modern Jazz Quartet – 1960

Jacket image: Cover Jazz

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

One more ride

One More Ride – Hank Snow – 1951

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Manhã de Carnaval

Manhã de Carnaval – Luiz Bonfá – 1959