Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rest In Peace Odetta

"Odetta, the classically trained folk, blues and gospel singer who used her powerfully rich and dusky voice to champion African American music and civil rights issues for more than half a century starting in the folk revival of the 1950s, has died. She was 77.

She was admitted to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City for a checkup in mid-November but went into kidney failure. She died there Tuesday of heart disease, her manager, Doug Yeager, told the Associated Press.

With a repertoire that included 19th century slave songs and spirituals as well as the topical ballads of such 20th century folk icons as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, Odetta became one of the most beloved figures in folk music.

She was said to have influenced the emergence of artists as varied as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin and Tracy Chapman.

"The first thing that turned me on to folk singing was Odetta," Dylan once said. "From Odetta, I went to Harry Belafonte, the Kingston Trio, little by little uncovering more as I went along."

Her affinity for traditional African American folk songs was a hallmark of her long career, along with a voice that could easily sweep from dark, husky low notes to delicate yet goose bump-inducing high register tones.

"The first time I heard Odetta sing," Seeger once said, "she sang Leadbelly's ‘Take This Hammer’ and I went and told her how I wish Leadbelly was still alive so he could have heard her."

She was born Odetta Holmes in Birmingham, Ala., on Dec. 31, 1930. Her father died when she was young and she moved to Los Angeles at age 6 with her mother, sister and stepfather. She took the surname of her stepfather Zadock Felious, but throughout her career she used just her given name.

And although Los Angeles wasn't as overtly racist as the Deep South, she suffered some of the same indignities that came with being black.

"We lived within walking distance of Marshall High School," Odetta told The Times some years ago, "but they didn't let colored people go there, so we had to get on the bus and go to Belmont High School."

She attended Los Angeles City College after high school and earned a degree in music.

Trained as a classical vocalist as a child, she won a spot with a group called the Madrigal Singers in junior high school. She also realized early that despite her classical training, her options in that area were going to be limited because of the racism at the time.

By 19, Odetta had turned her attention to other forms of music and landed a part in a production of "Finian's Rainbow" as a chorus member. When the musical went on the road to San Francisco, she went with it.

The trip marked an important crossroads in her emergence as a folk singer.

She met an old friend from school who had settled in the city's North Beach neighborhood, and during a visit Odetta was exposed to a late-night session of folk songs.

"That night I heard hours and hours of songs that really touched where I live," she told The Times. "I borrowed a guitar and learned three chords, and started to sing at parties."

The traditional prison songs that she learned in her early days hit home the hardest and helped her come to terms with what she called the deep-seated hate and fury in her.

"As I did those songs, I could work on my hate and fury without being antisocial," she recalled. "Through those songs, I learned things about the history of black people in this country that the historians in school had not been willing to tell us about or had lied about."

Odetta left the theater company in 1950 and took a job at a folk club in San Francisco. She soon began to tour and recorded her first album, "The Tin Angel," in 1954. She soon caught the attention of such folk-music icons as Guthrie, Seeger and Ramblin' Jack Elliott. She was a fixture on the folk music scene by the time the genre's commercial boom came in the late 1950s and early '60s.

She played at the Newport Folk Festival, the showcase event for folk music, four times between 1959 and 1965. She also had a recording contract with Vanguard Records, which at the height of the folk music craze was the genre's leading label.

Over the years, Odetta branched into acting, with dramatic and singing roles in film and television including "Cinerama Holiday," "Sanctuary" and "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman."

But traditional folk music remained her forte.

"The folk repertoire is our inheritance. Don't have to like it, but we need to hear it," she said. "I love getting to schools and telling kids there's something else out there. It's from their forebears, and its an alternative to what they hear on the radio. As long as I am performing, I will be pointing out that heritage that is ours."

In 1999, she was awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. In 2004, she was a Kennedy Center honoree. A year later, the Library of Congress honored her with its Living Legend Award.

Information on survivors and funeral services was not immediately available."
Los Angeles Times, December 3, 2008

Playing at Newport

Cotton Fields
I used to sing this to the boy when he was in the crib, not as awesome as this though.

Amazing Grace--if this doesn't make you cry....

Midnight Special

What a Friend We Have in Jesus w/ Tennessee Ernie ford

Down by the Riverside w/ Robert Sims

Glory, Glory Hallelujah w/ Robert Sims

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Emmylou Harris

There's not a lot that you can download on youtube of Emmylou Harris, most have embedding disabled. I was on the Crook & Liars Late Night Music Club very early this morning and they reminded me of Emmylou Harris and I thank them for that :) Not that she's ever very far from my heart. I credit her with giving me my freedom as a woman way back when I wasn't yet a full grown woman, but just a child.

You can't hardly do a post about Emmylou without including Gram Parsons.

"One night in 1971 members of the country rock group The Flying Burrito Brothers happened to be in the audience. Former Byrds member Chris Hillman, who had taken over the band after the departure of its founder Gram Parsons, was so impressed by Harris that he briefly considered asking her to join the band. Instead, Hillman ended up recommending her to Parsons, who was looking for a female vocalist to work with on his first solo album, GP. Harris toured as a member of Parsons' band, The Fallen Angels, in 1973, and the couple shone during vocal harmonies and duets. Harris was quite pleased, and invested a lot emotionally in their relationship. Later that year, Parsons and Harris were working together to record a studio album, Grievous Angel. Parsons died in his motel room near what is now Joshua Tree National Park on September 19, 1973, from an accidental overdose of drugs and alcohol. Parsons's Grievous Angel was released posthumously in 1974 and three more tracks from his last sessions with Harris were included on another posthumous Parsons album, Sleepless Nights, in 1976. There was one more album of recorded material from that period of time that was packaged with the name, Live 1973, but wasn't released until 1982."

"Harris was instrumental in bringing attention to Parsons's vision and achievements. Harris' earliest signature song, and arguably her most personal one, "Boulder to Birmingham", written shortly after Gram's death, showed the depth of her shock and pain at losing Parsons. It was, according to her friend Linda Ronstadt, the beginning of a "lifetime effort to process what had happened", noting the number of songs written and/or performed by Harris about her life with (and without) Parsons." Wikipedia

Here is an interview with Gram Parsons on how they met :)

That's All It Took

This video emitomizes their harmony.

Boulder to Birmingham

My favorite--Til I Gain Control Again

In My Dreams

Prescious Memories w/ Chet Atkins on Mandolin

Wafaring Stranger

Another Favorite--One of These Days

Have to include this one because you can't grow up in the south without having this gospel song embedded in your soul

w/Johnny Cash

ok, that's it...have a great Sunday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Percy Sledge

My Penguin guide to the blues book is packed up at the moment so click the title link for a condensed version on wikipedia. Percy Sledge, Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson and Sam and Dave were my first introductions to the music that I so love now. I think I was about ten when I made my first discovery, but the very first songs to make a lasting impression on me were Jackie Wilson's "Higher and Higher" and Percy Sledge's "Cover Me". To date "Cover Me" is still my all time favorite song, if I have to choose one :)

Cover Me

Warm and Tender Love

Take Time to Know Her

When a Man Loves a Woman

Bring It On Home To Me

It's All Wrong But It's Alright

Percy and Rosa Sledge Live at James Ranch--got goosebumps with this one...can you imagine being married to a man that sings such love songs?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

What the Hell, Might as Well...

Here's some music for the hurricane party...

Thanks, Fitz for this one :)

Another one we all knew how to play and new the words to :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Narcissistic Indulgence

On Friday, August 22, 2008 I took and passed my licensure exam. I am now almost (I don't actually have the license in my hand yet) officially a social worker. :) I could give you a rundown of what all it took to get me to this point...but I think my having this site says it best. So if you will please allow me some self-indulgent celebration :)

Elton John--I'm Still Standing

Whitesnake--Here I Go Again--Unplugged

Jackson Browne--Doctor My Eyes

Jackie Wilson--Higher and Higher

Percy Sledge--Cover Me

Howlin' Wolfe--Built for Comfort

Howlin' Wolfe--Three Hundred Pounds of Joy

Norah Jones--Home of the Blues

Norah Jones--Drown In My Own Tears

Ike & Tina--Proud Mary :) We can all sing the Ike and the Tina parts to this song, right? or at least we like to think we can :)

The Beatles at Apple Records--For You Blue

LOL! Sorry but I just have to throw this one in here!

Kool and the Gang--Celebration and Get Down On It

ok, that's enough, helluva party though :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Marshall Tucker Band

I heard one of my favorite Marshall Tucker songs this morning and thought I would share some of this awesome band with you. There is only one surviving member of the original band but still they play on. :) This was taken from Wikipedia:

"The Marshall Tucker Band is an American Southern rock band originally from Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The band formed in 1972 with founding members Doug Gray (vocalist), George McCorkle (rhythm guitarist ), Paul Riddle (drummer), Jerry Eubanks (flutist), and brothers Toy (lead guitar) and Tommy Caldwell (bassist and front man). They soon signed with Capricorn Records and by 1973, had released their first EP, The Marshall Tucker Band.

Compared to Southern rock pioneers and label-mates The Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band had more of a country and western feel, with the flute being a key lead instrument in their sound with a lot of its parts in the higher fife/piccolo register. "Can't You See", "Fire on the Mountain", and "This Ol' Cowboy" are among their songs that received appreciable FM radio airplay, while "Heard It in a Love Song" made it to #14 as a single on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1977."

The Thrill is Gone at Volunteer Jam

Volunteer Jam--"The Volunteer Jam was the annual Charlie Daniels Band concert first held on October 4, 1974 at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee with band members Barry Barnes (guitar), Taz Digregorio (keyboards), Mark Fitzgerald (bass), Gary Allen (drums) and Freddy Edwards (drums). This was the beginning of a tradition.

The 2nd Volunteer Jam was released in the form of a movie. It was billed as the "First Southern Rock movie," even appearing in theaters across the US. The movie was re-released on DVD in 2007. Regulars at the Nashville Volunteer Jam concerts included the late George McCorkle, Jimmy Hall, Dickie Betts, Henry Paul, Dobie Gray, the late Toy Caldwell, drummer Gary Peacemaker, and others."

Everyday I Have the Blues

24 Hours at a Time--Volunteer Jam 1974

This Ole' Cowboy

Fire on the Mountain

Thanks for indulging me :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Stevie Ray Vaughn

Bernie Mac's untimely death got me to thinking about a lot of things, mostly about how much he will be missed and all the laughter he brought to the world. Then I started thinking about others that have died before their time and of coarse I thought of Stevie Ray Vaughan. So I thought I'd share some of Stevie Ray's best IMHO.

Stevie Ray and Albert King--Stormy Monday

Stevie Ray with George Thorogood with Chuck Berry at his Lifetime Achievement Award 1984--worth the 7 minutes :)

Stevie Ray and the Fabulous Thunderbirds--Tuff Enuf


Willie the Wimp

Scuttle Buttin' and Say What!

I have to throw this one in just because I love it so :) There once was a house band that played it just for me during every set :)

George Thorogood and the Destroyers Live in Clarksdale, Ms at the Juke Joint Jam

Have a Great Sunday!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Little Feat

Yeah, so in keeping with the southern, rockabilly, blues theme I've got going on here I'd like to share some of my favorite Little Feat :)

Dixie Chicken with Emmy Lou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and Jesse Winchester

Fat Man in the Bathtub

Skin It Back

Teenage Nervous Breakdown

Triple Face Boogie

Oh, Atlanta For a better version go here

Monday, July 28, 2008

Delaney and Bonnie

IMHO Delaney and Bonnie were the greatest band on earth :) They play to me and I'm sure...just for me :) In truth a great many artists that you know and love would not have "their" sound were it not for Delaney Bramlett. I have to share what I could find. I hope you enjoy it.

When the Battle is Over--Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett

Delaney and Bonnie with Eric Clapton 1969

Bonnie with Dickie Betts and Great Southern--Southbound

Delaney Bramlett trailer for performance at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Ms

Delaney and Bonnie--Living on the Open Road--great vintage pictures!

Vanishing Point--1971

Bonnie Bramlett, Michael Buffalo Smith & Friends--Come On In My Kitchen (Robert Johnson)

If you ever run across the Delaney, Bonnie and Friends remastered cd then it would well be worth whatever you have to pay for it :)

Blue Monday

Here's some "Blue Monday" blues

The Blue Voodoo--Monday Morning Blues

Fats Domino--Blue Monday

Maybe I'll add more later but right now I found something else I have to share :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Keith Taylor Sings

I was standing in the line at the pawn shop today trying to pay some bills and looked up on the wall to see a poster of Keith Taylor with a caption that said something to the effect of "if it ain't been in the pawn shop, then it can't play the blues" :)

Click the title link for a sampling of Keith Taylor. Be sure to check out the rhythm and blues section. Makes me want to move to Texas....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

John Prine, Arlo Guthrie, Country Joe McDonald

Today I am needing a great big break from the politics of the day and all the worry and such. So from time to time I just need a dose of music that made me feel good back during a time when things were more simple for me. The music of the 60's. The times were not easy but the main difference was that people cared about the issues put in front of them, whether they be right or wrong, they cared. Today I think people for the most part have been so screwed by big business that they have just decided to concentrate on survival rather than change. I hope with all my heart that this is not true but for today I think I'll just chill and have a listen to some old friends.

John Prine--Illegal Smile

John Prine--Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore

John Prine--Paradise

John Prine--1980

Arlo Guthrie--This Land

Arlo Guthrie--Motorcycle Song

Arlo Guthrie--My Peace Amen:) Long but he talks about how it was growing up with Woody

Arlo Guthrie--Amazing Grace

Embedding disabled but well worth the click here.

Arlo Guthrie and Willie Nelson--Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Embedding disabled but well worth the click here.

I could not find a decent "Alice's Restaurant that did not have the embedding disabled, but you've all have already heard it and have the all the words to all 3 parts memorized... right?

Country Joe McDonald--I Feel Like (Woodstock 1969)

Country Joe McDonald--Feel Like I'm Fixing to Die

Ok, before this turns into Woodstock revisited and never ends I'll close for now :) Have a Great Day!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dweezil Zappa

Dweezil Zappa is not considered a blues artist but he does have blues roots. I am just so amazed that he will have five performances in Southern venues that I felt obligated to include him on the blues page. Click the title link for a little wiki history. His partially completed homepage can be found here. His MySpace page can be found here. You can also hear samplings of his music at both these places. Zappa Plays Zappa tour dates can be found here. You can find an interview with Terry Bozzio on YouTube about the Zappa plays Zappa tour.

Zappa Plays Zappa--Dweezil and Frank Jam

Zappa Plays Zappa--Canarillo Brillo

See what I mean :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


So today I'm checking out Prin's Blues Page in the search engines. You know just to see how she's doing. Imagine my surprise when I found she was mentioned by Jefferson Blues Magazine...a Swedish magazine! So you know this got my curiosity going and I just had to go check it out. Pretty cool! The links took me on a journey that may take weeks from which to return. The next adventure from the magazine took me to Swedish Blues, a listing of artists, gigs, clubs etc, etc. Lord Have Mercy! If all of them are anything like Shakedown I may never return because I'll be out on the street panhandling for money to move to Sweden :) Here is an excerpt taken from their page about how it all started:

"To trace the start of how Shakedown came about we have to travel back in time. All the way to the winter of 1991-92. Because that's when Lars Gillen and Haze Norman for the first time played in the same band. This happened when Haze was invited to fill the vacant lead guitar position in the psychedelic rock band The Jukon Speakers (TJS).

During the following years Lars and Haze developed the mutual interest in collecting and playing late 60's and early 70's English blues, rock and progressive music as a sideline at rehearsals with TJS. Although TJS always played original material Lars and Haze managed to incorporate a couple of songs from bands such as Groundhogs, The Who and Robin Trower in to TJS set list. This eventually led to the inevitable conclusion: To get serious and form a new band that would pick up on those vibes, a band that would reach out to a wider audience with songs inspired by the perhaps most important 10 year period in rock history (1964-1974). However, before they got around to start this new project Haze left The Jukon Speakers in 1997 to pursue his own career as a hard rock guitarist with his group Absent Friends. This, unfortunately, put the project on a indefinite hold.

Being the only original member (from the start in 1968) Lars continued drumming with The Jukon Speakers. The remaining members of TJS had, at this point, their minds set on the recording of their fourth full length CD. And the planning for the forthcoming 30th anniversary was already in motion. But as the gigs became increasingly fewer and the new songs proved to be even less accessible for all others than the most faithful followers, those big plans started to loose their momentum. This made the somewhat disillusioned Lars direct his energy towards his record company Garageland Records instead. Still, somewhere in the back of his mind he never let go of the idea of a successful heavy blues rock band.

In the summer of 1999 the members of Absent Friends made that classic break up routine: Disagreeing over which musical direction the band should take. And after a few months of trying to patch the group back together - partly with new members - Haze finally gave it up. This left him temporarily without a band, but at the same time free to return to the original idea. So when he eventually got in contact with Lars the response was immediate. Lars who'd been waiting for an opportunity like this jumped at the mere thought and was quick to suggest that they could use TJS now almost abandoned rehearsal room to audition potential band members. With practical details like that out of the way they could focus on the important parts; like finding a suitable bass player and a singer.

Good bass players don't grow on trees, as they say. Wanting to make this perfect from the start their first thought was to try and recruit the legendary bass player and blues man Staffan Westfal, whom they both had worked with during the early 90's. They weren't too sure if Staffan could find the time away from his already more-than-busy schedule as a journalist and also with another band to support. Nor whether he had any real interest in such a project at all. Well, as it turned out they wouldn't have to worry because Staffan loved the idea. In fact, Staffan had already had thoughts about starting a new band on his own, as his old band Max Blues Band had changed directions leaning towards more soul oriented big band R & B music.

Lars, Haze and Staffan agreed upon that the sound of the new band ought to be more gritty, heavy blues and rock than anything played on the local music scene for the last couple of decades. To fill a void - if not to say abyss - in a time when swinging early 20th century white collar blues and middle-of-the-road rock'n'roll was dominant. The idea was to get the music back to it's working class roots as well as draw interest from a new younger hard rock generation. To create music inspired by bands from such a wide range as Savoy Brown, Fleetwood Mac, Cream, Mountain, John Mayall, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Steamhammer and many more. All they had to do now was to locate a singer that could match all this!!

Early one morning just a few days after that initial meeting with Staffan, Lars phoned a still half a sleep Haze and told him about a band called Lobster that he'd seen the night before. They had a guitarist/backup singer that seemed to fit the plans like a glove. Although this guy weren't Lobsters lead singer he had made quite an impression when he'd got the chance to sing a song on his own. Adding to the fact that the man played one hell of a blues guitar Lars suggested that they should at least approach him with the idea.

The chance arose by coincidence when Lars ran in to him downtown one day. First staring in disbelief when he was told that he had been targeted for the role as a lead singer the guitarist/singer, Hans Jakobsson, still became quite intrigued. Ignoring his frowning Lars continued to present the project and Hans soon realised that this was undoubtedly a chance for him to play music much closer to his heart. And as he was a big fan of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers he was already into the right frame of mind. After Hans had given his somewhat hesitating "yes" to the project Lars immediately got on the phone to the others. And a few hours later a time was set for an audition. With all four guys eager to get things rolling this couldn't happen soon enough.

A dark and damp stonewall cellar storage room crowded with old cardboard boxes and all kinds of electrical equipment. Crammed between speakers and assorted percussion and standing on cables of all colours and sizes we find our four friends ready to rock and roll. Now, it may sound as if they actually knew where they were heading already at this point. Rest assured, they were not! And if you ask them; that first rehearsal came through just one click short of a perfect disaster.

Haze says: "I think we differed too much in what we believed Shakedown would become... Although you could say that blues rock is just one genre or one kind of music we definitely aimed towards, or rather derived from, different influences: Staffan wanted us to sound like the fifties or early sixties blues or R & B of America, Hans preferred the sounds of Bluesbreakers, Peter Greens Fleetwood Mac or early Rolling Stones and me... well, I wanted to toughen it up with a bit of juicy hard rock guitar and perhaps any odd 6/4 or 9/8 time signatures a la Jethro Tull or the more recent favourites of mine Gov't Mule."

In the end Lars came to the rescue by setting the standard somewhere between the parameters of English late sixties electric blues to early seventies progressive rock. All this dictated by his hard driving beat on the drums. And just a couple of rehearsals later those initial differences was overcome and they'd transformed into the tight hard blues rock band that was to be called Shakedown.

About the name: Yeah, well, as most of you already guessed it has its origin in Savoy Browns first album: The Savoy Brown Shakedown Blues Band, from 1967. The name was chosen by Lars and Staffan as a kind of a tribute to one of the worlds greatest blues rock bands: Under the secure guidance of Kim Simmonds and the late Lonesome Dave Peverett, Savoy Brown progressed from a basic but competent English electric blues band to become an exciting blues rock mix with influences from country, jazz, folk and even symphonic music. In many respects the same wide spectrum of influences that guides the members and music of Shakedown.

In the summer of 2002 Haze Norman decided to call it a day and seek his fame and fortune in other musical projects amongst others his progressive metal band Brickplayer.
The so oft heard expression of "musical differences" had struck again.
The split was quite amicable and Haze can often be seen digging the groove and nodding his head appreciatively at Shakedown gigs.

When the band realized that Haze was in fact, leaving for good, the arduous task of finding a suitable replacement was started.
Although receiving many audition tapes from the likes of Clapton and Richards they discovered that the perfect candidate was in fact on their very own doorstep.
Patrick "putte" Berglund of Nasty music fame and a bit of a local hero was approached and offered the position.
Legend has it that he accepted with enthusiastic willingness!
And birds did sing and there was great rejoicing among the villagers as the equilibrium was restored.
Hans Jakobsson heaved a huge sigh of relief as well when it dawned on him that his shoulders, albeit broad and masculine, would not be expected to solitarily bear the burden of both lead guitar and vocal duties.
Within just a few short months of rehearsals Shakedown were once again back out gigging and entertaining the masses.

And the tale continues………"

Couldn't find any youtube videos but the link will take you to a page where you can have a listen to some of their work

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Houston, We Have Sound!

Had to remove and re-install all drivers having to do with video and sound which made for a very frustrating 24 hours but it worked and Prin's Blues Page now has sound and video with Firefox 3! I'm happy now :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Eric Bibb

Check out An Overdose of Fingal Cocoa for more on Mr. Bibb

In My Father's House

Eric Bibb at Blues and Brews

KoKo Taylor

S & C Graham Foto Design has some great pics up of KoKo Taylor at the Mississippi Blues Festival in Iowa this past weekend...go check it out!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Amazing Grace

I think this is appropriate for the 4th of July :)

Amazing Grace History/"Amazing Grace" By Wintley Phipps

Amazing Grace (Inuit)

Amazing Grace--Elvis--Blues Version

Amazing Grace--Steven Tyler

Monday, June 30, 2008

*Edit* Y'all must've thought I had lost my mind and perhaps I did momentarily...The Mary Mary video is up now :)

The first time I heard these two songs I almost broke down driving down the road on the way to work :) The version I heard of To Close To The Mirror was by Eddie Ruth Bradford and I can't find it anywhere to share it with you, but I did find SoSoBlessed's version and I have to say she does a great job. Yesterday by Mary Mary is a great song, especially if you are going through a particularly trying time in your life. The one here is a great version of it. Eddie Ruth Bradford's version can be found here for mp3:

SoSo Blessed--To Close To The Mirror

Mary Mary--Yesterday

Saturday, June 28, 2008

M for Mississippi--A Road Trip Through the Birthplace of the Blues

There is a new blues documentary coming out in the fall. Here's the info and the trailer: This timely road movie will explore the thriving underbelly of a dying American art form in the land where it began -- Mississippi.

"Planned as a weeklong journey through the birthplace of the blues, M for Mississippi seeks to capture the proverbial "real deal" in its home where it is most comfortable and authentic -- the jukes, the front yards, the cotton fields. More than just a collection of concert performances, the film will collect the sounds, the images and the feel of both the performers and their native landscape -- an environment essential to their livelihoods and inseparable from their art.

Cultivating the fertile ground between such landmark theatrical travelogues as Buena Vista Social Club and Deep Blues, M for Mississippi aims to appeal to more than just the average blues fan. By showcasing such a fascinating foreign land so close to home, the filmmakers hope to inspire countless others to make their own road trips down Mississippi's blue highways.

For more info or if you would like to contribute to this project by pre-ordering the DVD and soundtrack, please visit:"

Here's another one already done. It's a pretty good representation of the trip we took back in the fall. The first frame of him driving through the Delta is exactly how it t-i-s :) His first statement is exactly how I feel driving through the Delta, except it is the only place in this state where I feel at home.

Southern Road Trip--USA

"June 2008
Photographer Peter Kayafas has long been fascinated by the earthiness of southerners, their hospitality and their hatreds. Peter travels down the South's roads capturing the contradictions of the region.

Kayafas says, "Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker...I'd say that Highway 61 is one of the most historically relevant roads in America" /due to the number of artists and musicians who've travelled along it. Peter and travelling companion Maher uncover many incredible moments, from Big Jack Johnson on his porch playing Catfish Blues, to meeting Joanne Bland who took part in the freedom march led by Martin Luther King in the 1960s."

Embedding has been disabled but you can probably watch it here:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Morning! Feel Like Some Etta James?

Oh, I love Sunday Mornings! Especially when I have the house to myself :) Enjoy!

Excerpt from Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings(2006)pp.307-308
"Jamesetta Hawkins grew up in LA and San Franscisco, sang in a church choir and made a rowdy debut as a 16-year-old with 'Roll With Me Henry.' Moving from Modern to Chess in 1960, she recorded R&B, pop and soul and had several hits like 'All I Could Do Was Cry,'but for part of the 80's her career was hindered by drug problems. Since then, however, she has reclaimed her position in the front rank of soul-blues singers. Her recording of 'I Just Want To Make Love To You' was a surprise hit in the UK in 1995."

Something's Got A hold on Me--Live!!

Etta James, Keith Richards & Robert Cray--Hoochie Coochie Gal

Rock Me Baby--Yeah! :)

Etta, Chaka & Gladys--Ain't Nobody's Business

Take It To The Limit

Good Rockin' Daddy

At Last

Friday, June 20, 2008

Repost 6/19/08: Time for Some More Blues

Y'all should know by know that I can't go very long without a blues day :)

I can not believe this but I just discovered Norma Jean Bruso! Found her over at Cahl's Juke Joint: A rock, blues and jazz blog. "To say that Bruso has a big voice is an understatement. In the album's liner notes, Koko Taylor says Bruso sounds just like she did when Taylor was young. That's not far off."

Here you go:

Can't Shake These Blues

Then imagine my delight when I found this very endearing video about Pinetop Perkins!

Pintop Perkins at Glen Echo Down in Mississippi much as this goes against my grain in oh so many ways there was a time in my life when it came in very handy. Think upstairs neighbors, constant bitching, fighting, even during sex, which was very loud. Oh and their bedroom was right above ours. We used to get up at 5am to get ready to go to work, bleary-eyed because they kept us up all night and crank this up as loud as it would go. I don't think they ever got the message but it made us feel better :)

George Thorogood--You Talk Too Much

Then my all time favorite George Thorogood song...second husband's band used to sing it just for me every night at least two fit...I had so much fun with that one, got married on matching harleys in handpainted harley bad he turned out to be stone-psychotic-crazy :)

Bad to the Bone

Repost 6/8/08: Diddley's Last Show: Area Says Goodbye

Click the here for the article. Here's a few videos of his greatness :)

Go rest in peace now, Bo Diddley

Repost 6/6/08: Live Blues Radio and More!

"Listen to Free Online Blues Radio Stations"

Tower Records

Music Library Association--A Basic Music Library--Blues Collection

Blues Books for Beginners
Take a closer look at Reverend Keith A. Gordon, a very interesting man!

Fruteland Jackson Author and Implementor of "Blues in the Schools"

The Sutton Blues Collective
Blues Styles

Mississippi Blues Commission--The Blues Trail

Mountain of Blues

The Blues Foundation

K, I could go on with this for days :) I'll stop here for now. Have a good one!

Repost 5/30/08: I'm Tore Down, Almost Level with the Ground

Lately, I've been thinking about my I got to this point, why I always took the hard road, where I'm going from here, etc. I'm questioning whether or not I am ever going to be a social worker and if so, if I will be a good one. If not, what then?

I came across a YouTube video tonight that about explains where I'm at right now, but it also brought up a great childhood memory. The very first album I ever bought was Fresh Cream. It was and is without a doubt the album that shaped my listening history and started me on my quest for more and more blues. There are no words to explain what came over me the day I heard that album. Back in the day you used to be able to go to a record store and go into a listening booth and actually play an album before you bought it. I will never forget it. My girly, girlfriend and I had ridden the bus to spend the day downtown going to the movies, the Hollywood Sweetshop and generally trying to see what trouble we could get into. We were about 13, I think. My mother had given me $20 and specifically told me to bring back change, and she meant it too. The only reason she gave me the $20 was because she didn't have the $3 that she normally would have given me to spend the day downtown and that was probably all she had until payday. Of coarse we didn't go to the movies or the Hollywood Sweetshop, we went straight to Capitol Records because that is where all the serious rocker guys hung out. It's so funny now because that was a time when everyone, yes even me, knew how to play "House of the Rising Sun" on guitar. Easy song, I know :) I walked into Capitol Records, dragging girly girlfriend who was painfully, kneeshakingly (that's probably not a word) shy. I had to hear the music, I had to be around it.

There it was, the most awesome music I had ever heard. I don't know what came over me, all I knew in that moment was that I had to have that album. Seventeen dollars of my mothers money. Oh, boy I was going to be in trouble. It wasn't that I didn't care...I was in love. I caressed that album cover the entire way home. You get the picture, don't you?

The first thing out of her mouth was "where's my change?" I don't remember exactly what I said but I know it was typical teenage, rambling. I do remember saying "but mom, you just have to hear it" and proceeded to play it for her...loud :) Now here you have to understand that my mother loved music also, so I got it honest, but she loved classical...Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Offenbach. I will never forget the look on her face. She looked at me like I was some sort of green alien being, shook her head and just stared at me the entire time the album played. I will give her credit though, she listened to the entire thing and she did not make me take it back(yeah, you could even return music, back in the day even if it had been opened), even though I said I would and meant it. I was not a callous child and I did know that was all the money she had. God, how I miss that woman. There has never been another person that understood me or knew me or believed in me like she did, except my own child, who at the moment is hovering and rushing me off the computer so he can go check his facebook stuff. So I'll leave you with what this post started out to do...share the YouTube video of Clapton's version of I'm Tore down :)

Repost 5/26/08: An Overdose of Fingal Cocoa: KoKo Taylor

An Overdose Of Fingal Cocoa: Koko Taylor

Awesome blues site!

Repost 5/21/08: Blues News

Taken from Mudcat's MySpace page:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Willie King’s Annual Blues Blast deep in the woods of Old Memphis

What: Willie King's 11th Annual Freedom Creek FestivalWhere: Old Memphis, Alabama in Pickens CountyWhen: May 30th and 31st, 2008How much: $6 on Friday, $12 on Saturday

Willie King's Annual Blues Blast deep in the woods of Old Memphis

Willie King's 11th annual Freedom Creek Blues Festival will take place this year on Friday, May 30th and Saturday, May 31st near Aliceville, on Old Memphis Road in Old Memphis, Alabama. Gates open at 4:00 p.m. on Friday and 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. Both nights go till late! Free camping is offered on site.

Starting as a small, local event, the Freedom Creek Festival has grown to an internationally renowned festival, attracting audiences from across the nation and overseas. Known for its warm welcome and outstanding blues performances, this is a unique festival set in the backwoods of the Alabama Black Belt. Local juke-joint musicians perform along with national and international acts, combining to make an outstanding display of blues talent - all in the peaceful setting of rural Pickens County.

This year's festival features an outstanding roster of premier blues artists including headline acts Jerry Portnoy, the legendary Sam Lay, Willie King & The Liberators, Cedric Burnside and Lightenin Malcolm and Mudcat, along with Highlander, Alabama blues women Carroline Shines, Debbie Bond, Shar-Baby and Sweet Claudette, plus Alabama blues talent "Birmingham" George Conner, Jesse Daniels, Rev. Little, Julian Conner, Taylor Moore, Caleb Childs, Grapevine, Robert, Alex, and more! The festival promises to be an explosive celebration of the blues, deep in the land from which it is was born!

Admission to the festival is a suggested donation of $6 on Friday and $12 on Saturday, in support of the Rural Members Association. For further information, check out the web site at, email to or call (205) 752 6263.

The Freedom Creek Festival is presented by the Rural Members Association (RMA), a non-profit organization located in Old Memphis, Alabama, that seeks to preserve traditional local culture and assist the community in Pickens County. Founded by Willie King in 1983, RMA's Freedom Creek Blues Festival brings all walks of life together once a year, allowing local musicians to display their musical talent alongside national and international acts and bringing much-need attention and interest to this underserved area of the Alabama Black Belt.

The festival has been endorsed by attracting sponsorships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Music Maker Foundation, the Black Belt Community Foundation and other generous supporters, plus assistance from the Alabama Blues Project. This collaboration of national, state and local organizations and individuals makes a delicious community gumbo everyone can get a taste of!

Willie King's 11th Annual Freedom Creek PSA

Willie King's 11th Annual Freedom Creek Blues Festival will be held in Pickens County, Alabama on Friday, May 30th and Saturday the 31st. This year's outstanding lineup includes Jerry Portnoy, the legendary Sam Lay, Willie King and the Liberators, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcom, Mudcat, Carroline Shines, Sweet Claudette, Debbie Bond, Shar-Baby, "Birmingham" George Conner and many, many more! Admission is a suggested donation of $6 on Friday and $12 on Saturday in support of the Rural Members Association. For more information please phone (205) 752-6263, email or check out the web site at

This festival is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Black Belt Community Foundation and Music Maker Foundation with assistance from the Alabama Blues Project.

Repost 5/5/08: Fifth Annual Congressional Blues Festival

Click the here to rock out! See almost the entire concert! OMG! Macavine Hayes, Captain Luke, Albert White, Sara Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, Mudcat, Beverly "Guitar" Watkins, Big Ron Harper, Elvin Bishop, Big Ron Hunter and Albert White, The Robert Cray Band.

Click the #5 button to see the most awesome Mudcat! The band that saved my life when my son was about three or four. Another story for another's long :)

Repost 4/28/08: Blues Jam '08

Please click the title link for more information on the Blues Jam '08. Blues Festival Guide Magazine and Online Guide may be found here. Robert Johnson Blues Foundation links and resources page can be found here.
More lyrics can be found here.

Cross Road Blues

©(1978) 1990, 1991 Lehsem II, LLC/Claud L. Johnson
Administered by Music & Media International, Inc.
I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
Asked the lord above "Have mercy now
save poor Bob if you please"
Yeeooo, standin at the crossroad
tried to flag a ride
ooo ooo eee
I tried to flag a ride
Didn't nobody seem to know me babe
everybody pass me by
Standin at the crossroad babe
risin sun goin down
Standin at the crossroad babe
eee eee eee, risin sun goin down
I believe to my soul now,
Poor Bob is sinkin down
You can run, you can run
tell my friend Willie Brown
You can run, you can run
tell my friend Willie Brown
(th)'at I got the croosroad blues this mornin Lord
babe, I'm sinkin down
And I went to the crossroad momma
I looked east and west
I went to the crossroad baby
I looked east and west
Lord, I didn't have no sweet woman
ooh-well babe, in my distress

Hellhound On My Trail

©(1978) 1990, 1991 Lehsem II, LLC/Claud L. Johnson
Administered by Music & Media International, Inc.
I gotta keep movin
I gotta keep movin
Blues fallin down like hail
Blues fallin down like hail
Umm mmmm mmm mmmmmm
Blues fallin down like hail
Blues fallin down like hail
And the days keeps on worryin me
theres a hellhound on my trail
hellhound on my trail
hellhound on my trail

If today was Christmas Eve
If today was Christmas Eve
and tommorow was Christmas Day
spoken : Aow wouldn't we have a time baby

All I would need my little sweet rider just
to pass the time away huh huh
to pass the time away
You sprinkled hot foot powder mmmm
mmm around my door
all around my door
You sprinkled hot foot powder
all around your daddy's door hmm hmm hmm
It keep me with ramblin mind rider
every old place I go
every old place I go
I can tell the wind is risin
the leaves tremblin on the tree
tremblin on the tree
hmmm hmmm hmm mmm
All I needs is my sweet woman
and to keep my company hey hey hey hey
my company

Repost 4/10/08: God Bless Danny Federici--May he rest in peace

Repost 4/02/08: Piano Blues Musicians

Fitzgerald over at Squeeze My Lemon is doing a series on piano blues musicians. Awesome! Thanks Fitz! Thought you all might want to go check it out :) Be sure to check out the sidebar for other great posts.

Repost 3/31/08: It's about time for another "blues artist" post

I get a great many visitors from CrossroadsClub27, mostly from European countries looking for blues or at the very least expecting to find a similar site to CR27. No, I have to tell them that site is one of a kind. I do pick a blues artist from time to time and review their history and music. I do have much blues related content to the left in the finetune player if you would like to have a listen.
Today I am trying to decide who to review. I love Howlin' Wolf almost as much as I love KoKo Taylor. Then, I love B B King too, especially with Bobby "Blue" Bland or with other friends. There are so many I love I am having a difficult time deciding. This is why when you come to visit you probably think WTF because I haven't mentioned the blues in awhile. Sorry, I've been on the political soapbox as of late. :) I think later on in the week it will be Howlin' Wolf. I promise to be more regular with it in the future, k? Oh, and thanks to Ark over at CrossroadsClub27 for all the traffic...'preciate it :)

Repost 3/22/08: Happy Easter!

I was looking around today for something to share with you since I can't share the meal or the music that we will enjoy later today :) Hope you and yours are having a great Easter!

Oh, Happy Day--Sister Act 2--I couldn't resist :)

I remember the first time I ever saw this, I was grown and I cried like a baby :) Just like every family reunion I ever went to...

Repost 3/21/08: Some songs the I took with me down my path to social work ...

These songs will be forever with me...they are part of my soul...not blues, but a part anyway :)

Jackson Browne--Doctor My Eyes

Whitesnake--Here I Go Again

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young--Teach Your Children

that's enough for today :) :)

Repost 3/16/08: Now if I just had a man... :)

I had a man once that loved this song and we loved our Sunday mornings :)

Repost 3/14/08: My Sweet Lord...

Edit: Deleted all but "My Sweet Lord" They were making my page load way to slow :) Hope you enjoyed it while it was up :)

It's been a long, long week. Thank you my sweet Lord for helping me get through it....

My Sweet Lord

And since I finally figured out how to share youtube videos with my faithful readers and George Harrison has been on my mind lately, I think I'll share some more :)

I feel better now :)

Repost 1/19/08: The Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings--KoKo Taylor

There are new additions to the "sites/blogs of interest" section. Please check them out, they are wonderful blogs written by social workers. Since I haven't found a job yet and need something to fill up my time when I'm not pavement pounding I've decided to take excerpts from The Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings, written by Tony Russell and Chris Smith with Neil Slaven, Ricky Russell and Joe Faulkner, 2006. Since KoKo Taylor is my favorite blues singer of all time I've decided to start with her. She can be found in The Penguin pages 631-633.

"Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, Cora Walton was drawn to the blues by hearing it on local radio stations. At the age of 18 she moved to Chicago, where she sang in clubs. Her recording career began 10 years later and was encouraged by Willie Dixon, who got her on to Chess. In 1965 she had a hit with 'Wang Dang Doodle', a Dixon song previously recorded by Howlin' Wolf. Since the '70's she has been one of the most popular artists on the US and international blues circuits and has won several awards. She appears in David Lynch's 1990 film Wild at Heart."


  • The Chess Years--Her first, recording alongside the likes of Walter "Shakey" Horton, Robert Nighthawk, Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon, etc.
  • KoKo Taylor--Similar to The Chess Years. Taylor's first single for Checker, 'I Got What It Takes/What Kind Of Man Is This' exhibited a promisingly strong, if undisciplined singer. A year and a half later, her pugnacious reading of Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle" confirmed her as one of Chicago's most exciting new talents. Much of that talent was betrayed by her subsequent checker sides. Taylor's star would only shine clearly when she got away from Dixon and the Chess studios.
  • South Side Lady--Taylor might have left Chess but she still relied on the repertoire she had developed there: she sings four Dixon songs, including two versions each (one studio, one live) of 'Twenty Nine Ways' and 'I Got What It Takes'.
  • I Got What It Takes--A simple menu of old-fashioned, home-cooked blues such as 'Blues Never Die' and the Elmore James derived 'Happy Home,' with a couple of side-orders of Southern soul like 'That's Why I'm Crying' and a surprise dessert of the country song 'Honky Tonk'.
  • The Earthshaker--a good moody reading of Little Milton's 'Walking The Backstreets'. but most of the other pieces are uppish in tempo, with nods to Dixon in 'Spoonful' and a remade 'Wang Dang Doodle'.
  • From The Heart Of A Woman--has a stronger flavor of Southern soul in the Ann Peebles or Irma Thomas manner. Criss Johnson is a forceful addition and remains so on Queen Of The Blues, unfazed by the star guests whom alligator brought in to spice up the dish.
  • Queen Of The Blues--this album marked a shift away from soul repertoire towards swaggering blues like 'Queen Bee' and 'I Cried Like A Baby'. That and the albums title suggest that Taylor and her people were focusing on establishing her as the reigning blues diva.
  • Live From Chicago-An Audience With The Queen--undeniably something fresh in Taylor's output, as it captured some of the flavor of a club gig (at Fitzgerald's in the chicago suburb of Berwyn), but the price of this novelty, for fans who had invested in her previous records, was a great deal of familiar material; she had recorded six of the ten tracks on alligator albums alone.
  • Jump for Joy--was made soon after the death of Robert 'Pops" Taylor, KoKo's husband and road manager and a popular figure on the blues circuit. No doubt it was coincidental that her first album of the '90s felt like something of a new start. She or her co-producers eliminated old blues and soul standbys, matching fresh material with less conventional settings, including horn arrangements by Gene Barge and inventive interventions by Criss Johnson, back as sole guitarist except on 'It's a Dirty Job' a duet with Taylor and Lonnie Brooks.
  • Force of Nature--Taylor is joined by Carey Bell on 'Mother Nature' and Buddy Guy for 'Born Under A Bad Sign'. Guest appearances were becoming a routine feature of her records.
  • Royal Blue--Taylor is joined by pianists Johnnie Johnson and Ken Saydak. Kenny Wayne Shepherd on 'Bring Me Some Water' and B. B. King on 'Blues Hotel'. In a quieter collaboration Taylor sings her own 'The Man Next Door' partnered only by Keb' Mo' on harmonica and National guitar.
  • Deluxe Edition--draws from all eight of Taylor's previous Alligator albums, adding 'Man Size Job', a previously unissued track from the Royal Blue sessions. The hour long program naturally embraces crowd-pleasers like 'I'm A Woman' (KoKo's answer to Bo didley's 'I'm A Man') and 'Wang Dang Doodle', the latter the studio version from The Earthshaker in improved sound but with half a minute of Abb Locke's closing tenor solo knocked off. 'Born Under A Bad Sign' from Force Of Nature is also docked by about a minute and a half, to its advantage." (Penguin. (2006) pp 631-633)

But KoKo says it best on her own site, KoKo Taylor, Queen of the Blues.

"Blues is my heart. That’s my heart. This album is hard core blues, down in the basement, far as you go. This album is the kind of blues I was listening to down South and when I first came to Chicago.

I came to Chicago around 1951, straight out of the country. We came up here on the Greyhound bus. Couldn’t sit in the front of the bus; ain’t nobody black sit in the front. If you ain’t white, you go in the back and sit. We came with 35 cents in our pockets and a box of Ritz Crackers. That’s all we had to our names. Didn’t know where we was gonna stay. Didn’t have no money. Didn’t have nothing but us. We were just in Chicago, so we’re happy about that, cause we wanted to leave the South.

The South was rough and it was tough, but we was rough and tough too. I was picking cotton, chopping cotton, milking cows, feeding hogs and chickens. And going out catching rabbits to cook for our dinner. Or else eating hoecakes sopped in molasses for breakfast, dinner and supper. I went through what they call hell and high water. It wasn’t nothing nice and it wasn’t nothing easy that I had to go through down South.

When I got to Chicago, it wasn’t easy either. The first job I had was cleaning white families’ homes, taking care of their children, washing their clothes, ironing, cooking, whatever they wanted done. I wasn’t making but like five dollars a day.

But on Saturday night, me and my husband went anywhere there was blues. The music back then was great. It was exciting to me—I thought Chicago was heaven. We didn’t miss nary a Saturday night. We’d go to Sylvio’s or Theresa’s to see Howlin’ Wolf or to see Muddy Waters, Little Walter or Shakey Horton. We didn’t go to no clubs playing that fancy music. Everywhere we went was a blues club. Nothing fancy, nothing beautiful. It was just a hole in the wall where a bunch of us was in there listening to the blues, dancing, drinking, talking loud, doing everything else. It wasn’t a place you had to sit up and look pretty, be cute and use a certain language and say something a certain way.

I didn’t know all the famous blues musicians lived here. Right after I came to Chicago I found out that this is the city where all the guys do their recording. They seemed like regular folks, country folks like me, but they were stars. That’s the way it was with Wolf and Muddy and them. People looked at them as big stars because they was recording artists, and that made them special. But they stayed down to earth, like I do.

That’s why I like blues, because it tells a true story, a down to earth story. It’s not only something about my life; it reaches out to a lot of people. Maybe something to lift you up or help bring you out of this rut you’re in.

I love singing the real, old school blues. It gives me a feeling to sing them type of blues. That’s old school. That’s me.
- Koko Taylor"

You can have a listen on her site which after the introduction will take you to a page with a link to her MySpace page where you can hear the woman's awesome voice for yourself! Oh, Lord, to be able to sing from the soul like that!! :)