Monday, September 30, 2013


J. B. Hutto & His Hawks • Too Much Alcohol • 1966

Slim Harpo • Blues Hang-Over • 1960

Monday the 7th: Bob and Charlie. . . .

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ardelle, Ardelle

More downhome 50s country blues. . . .

David “Pete” McKinley • Ardelle • 1950

LP cover courtesy American Music. And, no, that’s not David Pete McKinley on the cover, it’s Baby Boy Warren.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Frankie & Johnny & Albert & Stack & Billy, part 5

Mississippi John Hurt • Stack O’ Lee Blues • 1928

Woody Guthrie • Stackolee • 1944

Fruit Jar Guzzlers (Stevens & Bolar) • Stack-O-Lee • 1928

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Drunkard’s Dream #8

Lonnie Johnson • Drunk Again • 1947

Next Monday: Wobblin’ on down the street with a blues hangover

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A lady called Mother

The Swan Silvertones • A Lady Called Mother • 1959


This story’s been told here before. Here it is again. . . . 1965. I’m driving around in my little 1960 blue Falcon, “radio tuned to rock’n’roll.” This country song keeps coming on and I immediately switch stations. What are they doing playing this kind of stuff on my station? One day I tune in just as the song ends and the DJ says, “That was ‘Act Naturally’ by The Beatles.” Whaaat?!? Well, after that, I started listening to it and, eating my prejudice for lunch, began to really like it. 
I mean, it was the Beatles, y’know? Sometime later, one of my friends played me a song he was learning on his guitar, “Buckaroo,” by some guy called Buck Owens. That was pretty fine too. Little by little. . . . Well, at some point along the way I heard Buck Owens’ original of “Act Naturally,” and became a big fan, though the Beatles’ version is still a frozen-in-time favorite. 
And how do you get Ringo to sound good? Have him sing country!

The Beatles • Act Naturally • 1965

Get it: Help!

For Buck’s original, click here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


In September 1965 the followup single to “Like a Rolling Stone” took to the airwaves. In southern California the song announced as “Positively 4th Street” was a mistakenly pressed early version of “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window.” It aired for a couple of weeks and then without fanfare a “new” version of “Positively 4th Street” quietly took its place. It sounded much like other songs recorded during the Highway 61 Revisited sessions, with prominent Al Kooper organ, and perhaps not many listeners noticed the switch. The next month Joan Baez released Farewell, Angelina, her first album utilizing the currently popular “folk rock” sound, i.e., light amplified accompaniment a la Bringing It All Back Home or The Byrds’ Mr. Tambourine Man. The album featured two new Dylan songs along with a mix of traditional tunes, songs by Woody Guthrie, Donovan and Pete Seeger, as well as two older Dylan compositions. The title track was a previously unheard Bob Dylan song with mysterious apocalyptic lyrics beautifully sung by Baez as a sad, resigned benediction.

Bob Dylan • Positively 4th Street • 1965

Joan Baez • Farewell, Angelina • 1965

Get ’em: Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits; Farewell, Angelina

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Mayeus LaFleur really cries the Cajun blues on this waltz. Sad to say, LaFleur was killed in a barroom shooting a little over a week after he made his only recordings as Leo Soileau’s singer and accordion player.

Leo Soileau–Mayuse Lafleur • Basile Waltz • 1928

Photo and biographical info from Ann Allen Savoy’s Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People, Volume 1, available from Savoy Music Center:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Drunkard’s Dream #7

“Yes, it’s me and I’m drunk again!”

Merle Haggard & The Strangers • Swinging Doors • 1966

Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five • Open The Door, Richard! • 1947

See you next week, still drunk. . . .

Saturday, September 14, 2013

In that pearly white city

Blind Joel Taggart • In That Pearly White City Above • 1931

Album cover from American Music.

This song as well as two other Taggart numbers, recorded postwar and previously unknown, are available on the CD 
19 Classic Blues Songs from the 1920’s available from Blues Images.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Frankie & Johnny & Albert & Stack & Billy, part 3

Frankie and Johnny were sweethearts . . . 
Everybody knows
She paid a hundred dollars
For Albert’s suit of clothes

Confused? Well, keep listening as our young heroes run the gamut of name changes, spelling variants, and gender switches. We’ll surely come to a . . . conclusion . . . somewhere along the way as a long line of witnesses weigh in with their take on the, er, matter. Being sworn in now is William Thomas Dupree, while Charlie Feathers, Tom Darby and Jimmie Tarlton wait in the corridor.

Champion Jack Dupree • Frankie & Johnny • 1958

Charlie Feathers • Frankie And Johnny (Take 2) • 1956

Tom Darby & Jimmie Tarlton • Frankie Dean • 1930

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I been rollin’ from sun to sun

Sonny Boy Williamson • Steady Rollin’ Man • 1958

Photo by Val Wilmer via The Hound Blog.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mama don’t ’low no ! ! ! in here

Tampa Red & His Hokum Jug Band
Mama Don’t Allow No Easy Riders Here • 1929

Frankie “Half-Pint” Jaxon, vocal; prob. Cow Cow Davenport, piano; Tampa Red, guitar; Jasper Taylor, washboard; unknown, kazoo/jug. Recorded in Chicago, 23 July 1929.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Drunkard’s Dream #6

This week, we’ll be chuggin’ home brew and poppin’ tops . . . 

Roger Miller • Chug-A-Lug • 1964

The Revels with Barbara Adkins • Church Key • 1960

. . . and next week, there’ll be swinging doors and doors with only one key. . . .

Friday, September 06, 2013

Thursday, September 05, 2013

That’ll Never Happen No More

This funny song was an immediate favorite when first heard performed by Dave Van Ronk on the old Blues at Newport LP back in the mid-60s. Here’s Blind Blake’s from 1927.

Blind Blake • That Will Never Happen No More • 1927

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


Between “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and the release of Blonde on Blonde the following year, the summer of 1965 provided a lot of nourishment for a just-born Bob Dylan fan. “Like a Rolling Stone” hit the airwaves in July and in August Highway 61 Revisited was released to mind boggling effect. The rest of the summer was spent playing catch up, discovering the five albums that preceded it. There were a few more songs on the radio that fall and the following spring to tide us over until the next album arrived. A lot of fun awaited a naïve, uncultured kid opening the door (or having it opened) into a whole new previously unknown world. Another Side’s “Motorpsycho Nitemare” was funny even if many of the cultural references (Psycho, La Dolce Vita) were missed, though the absurdity of the Fidel Castro/Barry Goldwater joke registered by virtue of quick glances at the newspaper headlines before heading for the comics page in years prior; “I Shall Be Free” from Freewheelin’ was similarly funny, and Bob’s response to President Kennedy’s “growth” query, “Brigitte Bardot, Anita Ekberg, Sophia Loren, country’ll grow” was pretty easy to figure out. “When the Ship Comes In,” however, seemed a little scary, was it about a commie takeover? “Something is happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you. . . .” Ultimately the dark imagery and gallows humor of songs like “Visions of Johanna” and “Desolation Row” won out until ever diminishing returns post-John Wesley Harding found the young acolyte pitching his tent more or less permanently in the blues camp. . . .

Bob Dylan • Highway 51 • 1962

Bob Dylan • Motorpsycho Nitemare • 1964

Get ’em: Bob Dylan; Another Side of Bob Dylan

Album cover: All Music

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

In the Open

Freddy King, September 3, 1934, Gilmer, Texas

Freddy King • In the Open • 1961

Monday, September 02, 2013

Drunkard’s Dream #5

Muddy Waters and Big Crawford. What else do you need to know?

Muddy Waters • Sittin’ Here And Drinkin’ • 1948

Poppin’ tops and chug-a-luggin’ with Roger Miller and The Revels . . . up next.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

When a man gets in trouble,
every woman throws him down

Jaybird Coleman • Man Trouble Blues • 1930

“Coffee Grinder Blues,” the other side of this record, can be heard here.

Article (in Italian) and photos of LP cover artist R. Crumb can be seen here.