Thursday, December 31, 2015


Richard & Linda Thompson • We Sing Hallelujah • 1974

Session musicians: Richard & Linda Thompson, vocals; Richard Thompson, guitar; Simon Nicol, dulcimer; Timi Donald, drums; Pat Donaldson, bass; John Kirkpatrick, Anglo concertina/accordion; Brian Gulland, Richard Harvey, krummhorn; Royston Wood, Trevor Lucas, backing vocals; CWS (Manchester) Silver Band. London, c. 1974

Get it: I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight


Merle Haggard • If We Make It Through December • 1973

Get it: Down Every Road: 1962–1994

LP cover:

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Ann Cole with The Suburbans • Got My Mo-Jo Working 

Ann Cole, vocal; tenor sax; piano; Mickey Baker, guitar; bass; drums; vocal group. New York City, c. January 1957

Pictured: Laika the doggie cosmonaut, from a Russian matchbook cover via Dogster. For more on Laika, see her 
Wikipedia entry.

Monday, December 28, 2015


El Watson • Narrow Gauge Blues • 1927

El Watson, harmonica; Charles Johnson, guitar. Bristol, Tennessee, 28 July 1927

Sunday, December 27, 2015


Join us as we follow George and Tammy (and John and Iris) on an idyllic tour of some of the romantic capitols of the world: Rome, Athens, Paris. . . .

An Alternate 100* 
(We’re Not) The Jet Set • George Jones & Tammy Wynette • 1974

Special Blues All Kinds bonus
 (We’re Not) The Jet Set • John Prine with Iris DeMent • 1999

*“If we determined we had nothing much worthwhile to add to the conversation about a single, then that record didn’t make the cut, no matter how good it was. . . . [T]hose singles were were bumped down to “Once More with Feeling: An Alternate 100.” That supplemental list gathers, for the curious, our runners up, but, just as importantly, it presents an alternate, compressed version of the arguments made throughout the book.” —David Cantwell, Bill Friskics-Warren, “How to Use the Book” in Heartaches by the Number

Get ’em: Super Hits (the Jones and Wynette set); In Spite of Ourselves (the Prine and DeMent set)

Tammy Wynette & George Jones image: YouTube

Saturday, December 26, 2015

ODDS & ENDS Vol. 8

Granpa Joe • The Drunken Driver 

Image: internet, unknown source

Newly updated links for Woody’s “Do Re Mi,” Muddy’s “Country Boy,” and Uncle Dave & Skip’s Drunken Spree.

Friday, December 25, 2015


Steve Earle • Christmas in Washington • 1997

Get it: El Corazón


Chuck Berry • Merry Christmas Baby • 1958
(LP version)

Chuck Berry, vocal/guitar; Lafayette Leake, piano; Willie Dixon, bass; Fred Below, drums. Chicago, 19 Nov 1958

Find it: Johnny B. Goode: His Complete ’50s Chess Recordings


The Chosen Gospel Singers • No Room in the Hotel • 1954

Lou Rawls (1st lead), Sam Thomas (2nd lead), baritones; John Evans, J. T. Ratley, Preston Whitted, tenors; J. B. Randall, bass; unknown tambourine, bass drum. Hollywood, 10 February 1954

Get it: The Lifeboat

Photo: Lou Rawls (right) with Sam Cooke (left) and J. W. Alexander of the Pilgrim Travelers (second right); others unidentified. Russ and Gary’s The Best Years of Music

Thursday, December 24, 2015


 Jackie & The Cedrics • Silent Night Rumble • 1996

Get it: Silent Night Rumble / Santa Claus


Leadbelly • We Shall Be Free • 1944
with Woody Guthrie, Cisco Houston, and Sonny Terry

Get it: Leadbelly Sings Folk Songs

Album cover: All Music

Newly updated links for Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin, Hop Wilson, Robert Johnson,
The El Dorados, The Ron-Dels

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Bo-Bo Jenkins • Baby, Don’t You Want To Go • 1957

Bobo Jenkins, vocal/guitar; Robert Richard, harmonica; James “Brer Rabbit” Johnson, guitar; bass; Ted Walker, drums. Detroit, 1957

Pictured: Laika the doggie cosmonaut, from a Russian matchbook cover via Dogster. For more on Laika, see her 
Wikipedia entry.

Christmas Eve thru the first of the year: Leadbelly • Jackie & The Cedrics • The Chosen Gospel Singers • Chuck Berry • Steve Earle • Granpa Joe • George Jones & Tammy Wynette • John Prine with Iris DeMent • El Watson • Judy Roderick • Ann Cole with The Suburbans • Merle Haggard • Richard & Linda Thompson • Richard Thompson (stay tuned)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015


Dirty Red • Mother Fuyer • 1947

Nelson Wilborn, vocal; James Clark, piano; Lonnie Graham, guitar. Chicago, 2 June 1947

Taste it: Eat to the Beat: The Dirtiest of Them Dirty Blues.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


In his book Invisible Republic, Greil Marcus refers to the singers and musicians that inhabit Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music as “the old, weird America.” As Bill Friskics-Warren counters in Heartaches by the Number, “Old, yes. Primitive, maybe. But much of the hillbilly music from that period was far from weird. . . . Still, applied to singer-banjo player Dock Boggs’s 1920s recordings, Marcus’s construct is spot-on. Boggs’s music was weird, his grinding voice the whir of a drill boring through bone, his finger-picked banjo owing more to the brooding blows of a Delta blues guitarist than to the good-time clawhammer banjoists of the day. . . .”

“As stiff a draught of hillbilly existentialism as any ever recorded, ‘Country Blues’ features only Boggs’s banjo and vocals. . . . The action [in the song] shifts abruptly between scenes of drinking, betrayal, and woe . . . until Boggs ends up in jail. . . .” To this writer, “Country Blues” has sometimes seemed like the very dark flipside to The Browns’ “The Three Bells”: “Finally, with his banjo racing ahead of him just as it has throughout his inexorable descent, he arrives at the site of his own grave. ‘Go dig a hole in the meadow, good people / Go dig a hole in the ground / Come around all you good people / And see this poor rounder go down. . . .’”

28.  Country Blues • “Dock” Boggs • 1927

Find it: Country Blues: Complete Early Recordings

Dock Boggs image: BBC

Saturday, December 19, 2015

ODDS & ENDS Vol. 8

Ronnie Hawkins • Further on Up the Road • 1964

Image: internet, unknown source

Note: Newly updated links for Mahieddine.


Lightnin’ Hopkins • Late in the Evening • 1953

Lightnin’ Hopkins, vocal/guitar. Houston, c. November 1953

Get it: The Remaining Titles Volume 1: 1950–1961

Friday, December 18, 2015


Following on from last week’s post featuring Johnnie Temple, Little Walter, and Othum Brown moving the postwar Chicago blues ball forward, this week we have Muddy Waters and Leroy Foster pushing way beyond the forties Bluebird sound with both electrifying sides of Muddy’s fifth Aristocrat single. Modern, “streamlined” lyrics and stinging slide guitar feature on the top side, with Muddy and Leroy’s tough “boogie woogie” on the flip. When we return after the holidays, we’ll hear Muddy, Walter, and Leroy team up for a storming update of the old “Roll and Tumble Blues.”

Muddy Waters • Streamlined Woman / Muddy Jumps One • 1948
“With Rythm Accompaniment”

Muddy Waters, vocal/guitar; Leroy Foster, guitar; Big Crawford, bass. Chicago, 30 November 1948

Find it: Rollin’ Stone: The Golden Anniversary Collection

Note: Newly updated links for Phillip Walker Band, Shirley & Company, Elvin Jones & Richard Davis, Dave Van Ronk, and Black Ace.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Alfred G. Karnes • We Shall All Be Reunited • 1928

Alfred G. Karnes, vocal/harp-guitar. Bristol, Tennessee, 28 October 1928

Get it: The Bristol Sessions 1927–1928

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Andre Williams (Mr. Rhythm) & His New Group • Bacon Fat • 1957

Find it: The OKeh Rhythm & Blues Story 1949–1957 Volume 2

Pictured: Laika the doggie cosmonaut, from a Russian matchbook cover via Dogster. For more on Laika, see her 
Wikipedia entry.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Nathan Abshire • Valse de Kaplan • 1976

Nathan Abshire, accordion; Dewey Balfa, vocal/fiddle; Will Balfa, fiddle; Rodney Balfa, guitar; J. W. Pelsia, steel guitar; Tony Balfa, drums/triangle. Ville Platte, Louisiana, c. 1976

Pictured: Dewey Balfa, Nathan Abshire

Monday, December 14, 2015


“Lord, they tell me that yellow corn
It makes the very best kind
But you better turn that corn into bread
And stop that drinkin’ moonshine. . . .”

Well, God he may not like all that drinkin’ and stuff, but I bet he sure does like that chunky lap steel ol’ Rev. Johnson's a-playin’. We sure do.

“I wasn’t talkin’ about anyone, I was just singin’ my song. . . .” 

Reverend A. Johnson • God Don’t Like It • 1953

Get right: Get Right with God: Hot Gospel


Looks like we’re on a South Africa kick around here lately. Or sounds like to be more accurate. So enjoy ’em if you wanta, we think you’ll like ’em. Regular same-o same-o programming to resume shortly. . . .

Transvaal Rockin’ Jazz Stars • Swaziland • 1958


Here’s a wild little rhumba to start your week, from South Africa’s Merry Blackbirds. . . .

Merry Blackbirds Orchestra

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Of today’s musical pairing Bill Friskics-Warren writes in HBTN, “Country music and the blues have always been close kin.” He quotes Howlin’ Wolf via Peter Guralnick’s Feel Like Going Home as claiming that “the yodeling of Jimmie Rodgers was the source of his hair-raising wail. . . . Yet Wolf’s trademark howl also owes a debt to Tommy Johnson . . . [whose] lilting 1928 recording of ‘Cool Drink of Water Blues’ provided the blueprint for Wolf’s . . . ‘I Asked for Water (She Gave Me Gasoline),’ right down to its lupine moan.” Friskics-Warren goes on to describe some of the similarities and differences between Rodgers’ and Johnson’s take on the blues and who might have influenced who as “academic hairsplitting,” “. . . What’s truly uncanny, though, is the resemblance between Johnson’s crying, field holler-inspired falsetto and Rodgers’s blue yodel, singular devices that each man tacked onto the end of vocal lines to heighten their emotional impact.”

35.  Blue Yodel • Jimmie Rodgers • 1928

36.  Cool Drink of Water Blues • Tommy Johnson • 1928

Get it: The Essential Jimmie Rodgers; Find it: When the Sun Goes Down: Walk Right In

Photos: Wikipedia

Saturday, December 12, 2015

ODDS & ENDS Vol. 8

Roll over John Coltrane and tell Pharoah Sanders the news. . . .

Elias Litos & Lazaros Rouvas

Get it: Five Days Married & Other Laments: Song and Dance from Northern Greece (1928–1958)

Image: internet, unknown source


Here’s one by the great Simon “Mahlathini” Nkabinde and the Mahotella Queens. Mahlathini, who was known in South Africa as “The Lion of Soweto” sounds to these ears an awful lot like a close cousin to Howlin’ Wolf. . . .

Mahlathini Nezintombi Zomgqashiyo
Kwa Volondiya • c. early 1980s

Find it: The Lion Roars

Photo: Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens, 1988. (left to right): Hilda Tloubatla, Nkabinde, Nobesuthu Mbadu, Mildred Mangxola. Source: Wikipedia


L. C. Williams • Hole in the Wall • 1948

L. C. Williams, vocal; Lightnin’ Hopkins, guitar. Houston, 1948

Friday, December 11, 2015


We last heard from Johnnie Temple in Skip James mode on our mid-thirties segment. Here he is in 1947 blasting his way into the fifties. We also present the top side of Little Walter’s first record, accompanying singer/guitarist Othum Brown on a version of “That’s All Right.” Interesting that these are both essentially acoustic performances but they roar like the electric Chicago blues bands looming just around the corner. . . .

Johnny “Geechie” Temple • Olds ‘98’ Blues • 1947

Little Walter J. & Othum Brown • Ora-Nelle Blues • 1947

Johnny Temple, vocal/guitar. Chicago, c. 1947

Othum Brown, vocal/guitar; Little Walter, harmonica; Jimmy Rogers, guitar. Chicago, 1947

Find ’em: Chicago Boogie! 1947

Original LP cover: Discogs

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Thelonious Monk • We See • 1954

Thelonious Monk, piano; Frank Foster, tenor sax; Ray Copeland, trumpet; Curly Russell, bass; Art Blakey, drums. Hackensack, New Jersey, 11 May 1954

Get it: Monk

Album cover: London Jazz Collector

Wednesday, December 09, 2015


Nineteen fifty-seven, that was the year that was, so to speak. Laika the Sputnik 2 cosmonaut, Peyton Place and the integration of Central High school, “I Like Ike” and Elvis Presley from the waist down on TV. It was also the “Call of the Wildest” in the musical entertainment field as this week’s song selection will show. The Browns were riding high off their big hit “The Three Bells,” Slim Harpo was the King Bee if not the King of Rock’n’Roll, we learned to do the “Bacon Fat.” Our Top Ten for this feral period also includes some fine rhythm & blues by Bobo Jenkins, Ann Cole, Slim Harpo and Sam Butera; more very exciting rockabilly hits by Bonnie Guitar, Sleepy La Beef, Ray Harris and Hank Snow. And that’s not meant to exclude the great Louis Armstrong and his rendition of the ever popular tale of Mack Macheath. And of course we have Elvis Presley, hot off the Sullivan show. So stay tuned, don’t touch that dial, and we’ll take you on a musical excursion through that penultimate year of the fifties, 1957.  
—Irving Snird, disc jockey emeritus, radio entrepreneur, and liner note writer    

Louis Armstrong & His All Stars • Mack the Knife • 1957

Louis Armstrong, trumpet/vocal; Trummy Young, trombone; Edmond Hall, clarinet; Billy Kyle, piano; Arville Shaw, bass; Barrett Deems, drums. New York City, 28 September 1955

Get it: The Essential Louis Armstrong

Pictured: Laika the doggie cosmonaut, from a Russian matchbook cover via Dogster. For more on Laika, see her 

Wikipedia entry.

Monday, December 07, 2015


We come now to our “lucky 7” installment of the Blues What Am. And I am gratified as well as considering myself lucky to be here presenting this latest batch of hot rhythm & blues to you, the highly esteemed listening audience. This month our programmers have culled a number of obscured as well as a sprinkling of well known favorites as they trawl slowly through the BAK vaults. We are happy to feature recordings by performers such as the rare Harvey Hill String Band, El Watson’s very exciting train blues, a naughty one by one of the Red brothers tempered by a reprimand from the guitar slinging reverend, Anderson Johnson. We hope this latest compilation will take you, in the words of Bobby Blue Bland, “farther up the road” and will deposit you in your favorite “rocking chair.” —Melvin Cowznofski, furthermost blues authority and disc jockey (emeritus)

Harvey Hill Jr. • She Fool Me • 1953 
“Music by Harvey Hill String Band”

Harvey Hill, vocal/guitar; with harmonica; guitar; drums. Detroit, c. 1953

Sunday, December 06, 2015


Tho’ this record was originally released on Brunswick as a 78 rpm “single,” many of us first heard it on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music set of LPs originally issued by Folkways in 1952. Primal early American “country” music. . . .

An Alternate 100*
East Virginia • Buell Kazee • 1927

*“If we determined we had nothing much worthwhile to add to the conversation about a single, then that record didn’t make the cut, no matter how good it was. . . . [T]hose singles were were bumped down to “Once More with Feeling: An Alternate 100.” That supplemental list gathers, for the curious, our runners up, but, just as importantly, it presents an alternate, compressed version of the arguments made throughout the book.” —David Cantwell, Bill Friskics-Warren, “How to Use the Book” in Heartaches by the Number

Get it: Anthology of American Folk Music

We’ve got a particularly exciting week ahead of us here on Blues All Kinds. So stay tuned and don’t miss great tunes by Harvey Hill, Fred Neil, Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Johnny Temple, Little Walter & Othum Brown, and Elias Litos & Lazaros Rouvas.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

ODDS & ENDS Vol. 8

Ry Cooder • Quicksand • 2011

Ry Cooder, vocal/guitar/bass; Joachim Cooder, drums; Lucina Rodriguez, Fabiola Trujillo, backing vocals.

Image: internet, unknown source

Friday, December 04, 2015


Joseph Shlisky • Omar Rabi Elozor • 1920


Dr. Clayton’s Buddy (Sunnyland Slim) • Illinois Central • 1947

Sunnyland Slim, vocal; Blind John Davis, piano; Big Bill Broonzy, guitar; Ransom Knowling, bass; Judge Riley, drums. Recorded in Chicago, 10 Dec 1947.

Find it: When the Sun Goes Down, Vol. 4: That’s All Right

Photo: Sunnyland Slim and Sonny Boy Williamson. Blues All Kinds collection

Wednesday, December 02, 2015


Maria Callas • Ebben? ne andrò lontana • 1954

Get it: Maria Callas Sings Operatic Arias

LP cover: Discogs

This is the last installment of our “Girl Groups” series (until it resumes in March). . . . Join us next Wednesday for another Dinosauric Preception Roadmap Blues special surveying the latest and greatest from 1957, hosted by Laika the cosmo dog.