Friday, May 31, 2013

In misery

Strangled, high-pitched vocals in waltz time, soloing fiddles, accordions, and steel guitars . . . as therapeutic as any gutbucket blues. . . .

Huey Meaux-Andrew Cormier & The Rambling Aces • Dans Les Misere
vocal: Rodney LeJune • 1958

Photo: “The Rambling Aces with Andrew Cormier (accordion), Rodney LeJune (drums), and Huey Meaux (emcee), 
c. 1962.” Johnnie Allan Collection via Floyd’s Early Cajun Singles 1957–1960, Ace CDCHD 743, 2007.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Time is drawing near

Brother George & His Sanctified Singers
I See The Sign Of Judgement • 1939

Brother George & His Sanctified Singers, on this recording, are: Bull City Red, lead vocal, washboard; Sonny Terry, 2nd vocal; poss. Sonny Jones, 3rd vocal, guitar. (The “Brother George” moniker was also used on religious-style recordings by Blind Boy Fuller and Brownie McGhee during the same period.) Recorded in Memphis, July 12, 1939.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Blind Willie McTell’s most well-known song is probably familiar to many music fans with even a passing interest in the blues, but I was recently reminded of how new and out of context “Statesboro Blues” sounded the first time I heard it on the album The Country Blues which Folkways issued as kind of an aural appendix to Sam Charters’ book of the same name. This flashback arrived courtesy of Aki Kaurismäki’s 2011 movie Le HavreIn it the character Idrissa, a young African refugee, plays it on the ancient record player in the house of Marcel Marx, who is trying to help Idrissa avoid deportation. Via this “new” setting, I heard it with fresh ears and was happy to rediscover a great song I had taken for granted for decades.

Blind Willie McTell • Statesboro Blues • 1928

Get it: The Best of Blind Willie McTell

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art?

Elvis Presley • Mona Lisa • 1959

Image: the “alternate,” Isleworth Mona Lisa. Prob. Leonardo da Vinci, c1503

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


When Sam Cooke left the Soul Stirrers to sing pop music, Johnnie Taylor was drafted in from the Highway QCs to replace him, just as Cooke had been similarly picked from the QCs to take over for R. H. Harris when he left the Stirrers. Through all the changes, second lead Paul Foster held steady; that’s him taking over after Johnnie’s passionate vocal in the last minute and a half of “Out on a Hill.” The flip of this record is “The Love of God,” another great Taylor lead, and one of my all-time favorite Soul Stirrers sides.

The Soul Stirrers • Out on a Hill • 1958

click on song title to listen

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mamou Blues

Austin Pitre & Evangeline Playboys • Mamou Blues • 1961

Friday, May 10, 2013

Come, if you ( . . . )

Lightning Hopkins • Jesus, Would You Come By Here • 1969

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Knowin’ we’ll never love again

Wynn Stewart – Jan Howard • We’ll Never Love Again • 1960

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Les maringouins s’après manger . . .

. . . Mais laisse les bons temps rouler.

Beausoleil • Les Bons Temps Rouler Waltz • 1987
David Doucet, guitar & vocals

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Monday, May 06, 2013

I’ll remember April

André Previn’s Trio Jazz • I’ll Remember April • 1958

LP sleeve: トミー・フラナガン愛好会

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Mt. Healthy Blues

Lonnie Mack • Mt. Healthy Blues • 1969

LP sleeve: LP Cover Art

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Friday, May 03, 2013

Spanish Fandango

Bill Boyd & His Cowboy Ramblers • Spanish Fandango • 1938

Thursday, May 02, 2013

You don’t have to go

Big Jay McNeely • You Don’t Have To Go • 1963
George Smith, harmonica

LP sleeve: Discogs

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

D.P.R.B. Nos. 17 & 18

Surf music before The Ventures, from New Jersey and New Mexico respectively.

The Viscounts • Harlem Nocturne • 1959

The Fireballs • Bulldog • 1959

Get ’em: “Harlem Nocturne”: The Golden Age of American Rock ‘n’ Roll Volume 7; “Bulldog”: The Best of the Fireballs

Label photo: 45cat

Happy May Day