Sunday, August 2, 2009

Church...Take Me Home...Wintley Phipps

Amazing Grace History

The Creation

He is Able

No Need to Fear

It is Well with my Soul

Were you There

Monday, July 27, 2009

Been thinking a lot about Stevie Ray lately...

Here's an awesome tribute to his music:

Here's some of my favorites:

Tuff Enuff with The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Willie the Wimp :)

Matchbox Blues with Albert King

Scuttle Buttin' & Say What?

Love Struck Baby


Pride and Joy

Final Guitar Jam

Remembering Stevie Ray

Thanks Jay for giving me a cold shot of the blues tonight :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New/old stuff for ya this morning...

KoKo died and I lost it...sorry. I just had a bunch of other stuff going on and needed to grieve too. It was just like what's the point, ya know? Blues lost a great one...

So anyway I've done all that, gotten moved and a bunch of other stuff so let's move on, shall we. Just thought I'd share random stuff with you this's raining here finally and I always crank up the jukebox when it's the only way I can get through here goes.

Pat Benetar--Outlaw Blues

Bette Midler--Long John Blues be prepared..a bit racy :)

Leon Russell-- Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms :)

Gotta love here's a few more

Wild of my favorite songs the Adam Levine/Aleisha Keyes version makes me cry though...

Here's that version

Adam Levine/Alisha Keyes

well...I started out lite and i just descended into wallowing, didn't I? that's probably about all that will load on this post anyway. I'll try to be more regular with it and get back into the swing of things...Thanks for stopping by :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My hero is coming to my po-dunk town and I can't go...

A good many of you know that I have been looking for housing for almost a year now. Well, I finally found something. It's an awesome house with an awesome landlord. The problem is with our limited funds the move will take all we can manage to scrape up, so, alas, no money for tickets to see KoKo Taylor at Jubilee Jam this year. That's right, I said KoKo Taylor is coming to my town...I Can Not Believe It!

I haven't been to Jubilee Jam in many, many years because...well, if you are over 50 and have ever been to Mississippi in June, you would understand. I just don't do well standing for hours in the sweltering, humid heat. Jubilee Jam is about the only time of year that this po-dunk town gets anyone with any kind of credibility to come. Maybe I can volunteer...hey, it's an idea :)Anyway I'll leave you with a link to her Amazon page where you can hear samplings and/or buy albums and mp3's.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

B.B. King/Live At Montreux 1993/Blu-ray & DVD

Eagle Rock Entertainment is releasing a DVD of B.B. King’s performance at the Montreux Festival in 1993. It will be in stores on June 2nd!

Perhaps the greatest living bluesman, B.B. King was but a mere 68 when he appeared at Montreux in 1993 to wow the faithful. And he didn’t disappoint. Both DVD and Blu-ray contain his classic 16-song set. The Blu-ray has an exclusive three-song bonus (“Why I Sing The Blues,” “When Love Comes To Town,” and “Guess Who”) from his Montreux appearance 13 years later in 2006 at the age of 81.

Go here for a preview

Review to follow as soon as I get a copy :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sam Carr

If you have a minute, call, send a card or go by for a visit if you live close by. I imagine nursing homes in Clarkesdale aren't any different from nursing homes anywhere. The more public attention he gets from us the more private attention he will get from his caregivers.

"Sam Carr Health Concerns: The following message came to us from Geni Ward, the sister of Sam Carr: "I would like to let everyone know that Sam Carr has taken ill and is in a nursing home in Clarksdale, Mississippi:

Greenbrough Nursing Center

Room 308

340 DeSoto Avenue Extension

Clarksdale, MS 38614

Phone: (662) 627-3486

He has a blood clot in his leg, and his kidneys are beginning to fail. The doctors are treating him for the blood clot, and are giving him medicine to treat his kidneys. I would like for everyone to send up prayers on his behalf, and if anyone lives in the area, please go and visit him. Steve Kolbus has been going by to see him every day; if someone comes to see him often, they will give him better treatment. Thanks!"

-Geni Ward"

Sam Carr

Blues Drummer & Bandleader, Dundee
The Delta

Widely acclaimed as one of the best drummers in the blues, Sam Carr was born Samuel Lee McCollum in 1926 outside of Marvell, Arkansas. His father was the influential blues guitarist and vocalist Robert Lee McCollum, who recorded under the names Robert Lee McCoy and Robert Nighthawk, but Carr didn’t meet him until he was seven years old. About a year and half after his birth, Sam’s mother, Mary Griffin McCollum, left Sam to the care of the Carr family, who adopted him and raised him on their farm near Dundee, Mississippi.

Carr’s first instruments were the harmonica and "Jew’s harp," and around age 16 he moved to Helena, his father’s then residence, where he collected money at the door during his father’s performances at the river city’s thriving clubs. During this time Carr also worked as a chauffeur and played bass for his father, who was already an established professional musician.

Between 1937 and 1940, McCollum recorded twenty-six songs under the name "Robert Lee McCoy" for the Decca and Bluebird labels, including the song "Prowling Night Hawk," whose popularity lended him the artist name "Robert Nighthawk." During this period he also appeared as a sideman on many records by artists including Sonny Boy Williamson 1, Big Joe Williams, Peetie Wheatstraw, Walter Davis and Speckled Red. On all these recordings he played acoustic guitar, but by 1942, Carr recalled, Nighthawk was playing electric guitar with a slide, an approach later documented on recordings for labels including Chess. Nighthawk (1909-1967) is relatively unheralded today, but was very influential in shaping the guitar styles of artists including B.B. King and Muddy Waters.

In 1946, when Carr was 20, he married his wife Doris and took up sharecropping in Arkansas. After a heated argument with the agent for the plantation owner, the Carrs packed their belongings on a bicycle, crossed the river by ferry, and took off for Chicago by train. They soon moved to St. Louis to live with Carr’s mother, and Carr began playing bass with harmonica player Tree Top Slim. He formed his own band, Little Sam Carr and the Blue Kings, which initially featured Nighhawk’s wife Early Bea on drums before Carr decided to take on that role.

In St. Louis, Carr played mostly in "low-class clubs" in poor neighborhoods, and in 1956 began working regularly with Frank Frost, who then played both harmonica and guitar. The pair backed Sonny Boy Williamson II for a while, and continued to perform together after they moved to Mississippi in the early ‘60s. In Helena, Arkansas they sometimes backed Williamson, Houston Stackhouse, and Robert Nighthawk.

In 1962 Clarksdale-based guitarist Big Jack Johnson joined Carr and Frost, and for several years Doris sang in front of the band. Later that year the trio made recordings under the name Frank Frost and the Night Hawks for producer Sam Phillips in Memphis, and recorded an album, Hey Boss Man, on his new Phillips International label. One of the songs they recorded for that album was "Jelly Roll King," which inspired a name the trio later occasionally performed and recorded under, the Jelly Roll Kings.

In 1966 the group returned to the studio, this time in Nashville, where they cut several singles under Frost’s name for the Jewel label. They scored a minor hit with "My Back Scratcher," a take off on Slim Harpo’s earlier hit "Baby, Scratch My Back." Although it is often assumed that the Jewel recordings featured Frost on harmonica, it was actually their frequent collaborator, Arthur Lee Williams.

The Jelly Roll Kings did not enter the studio again for over a decade, and while the group continued to play together throughout the ‘60s and the ‘70s the three men often worked outside of music. Carr drove a tractor near his home in Lula, Johnson drove an oil truck, and the famously laid-back Frost did as little as possible.

In the mid-‘70s Chicago-based blues fan Michael Frank encountered the Jelly Roll Kings playing at the Black Fox Club, owned by Big Jack, and in 1978 he recorded the group. The following year released he the Jelly Roll Kings debut album Rockin’ The Juke Joint Down as the debut release on his Earwig label. That album effectively introduced the group to the blues market, but didn’t generate enough attention or demand to keep the group together regularly as a unit.

In 1978 Frost moved to Greenville, where he played with musicians including Willie Foster and T-Model Ford, and was sometimes joined by Carr, who continued to live in Lula. Back in the Clarksdale area, Carr continued to play with Johnson, often in clubs owned by Johnson.

The trio was united formally on various special occasions, including for Frank Frost’s 1988 Earwig album, Midnight Prowler, Big Jack Johnson’s 1991 Earwig album Daddy When Is Mama Comin’ Home, and the 1996 PBS film documentary River of Song. The same year the trio recorded an album, Off Yonder Wall, as the Jelly Roll Kings for the Fat Possum label, and in 1998 Carr and Frost recorded the album Jelly Roll Kings for the HMG label. Carr also contributed drums to albums by Delta artists including T-Model Ford, Asie Payton, Robert "Bilbo" Walker, Paul "Wine" Jones, and Lonnie Shields.

Following Frank Frost’s death in 1999, Carr has lent his drum skills to various bands in the region, guested on albums including Buddy Guy’s award-winning Sweet Tea, and led his own group, the Delta Jukes, often with Dave Riley on guitar and vocals. The group has recorded a number of albums, including Working for the Blues (2002, Black Magic), Down in the Delta (2004, Bluesland), and Let the Good Times Roll (2007, Blue Label).

In the last decade Carr’s skills have achieved wide acclaim, with annual nominations for best drummer for Handy Awards (now Blues Music Awards) a Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts from the state of Mississippi in 2007, and multiple awards from Living Blues magazine.

-Scott Barretta
Sam Carr

2002–2008 © Mississippi Arts Commission
Intial funding for this project provided by the
Mississippi Humanities Council

You can hear some more of his tracks here here and here

Visit his MySpace page here

Down Home in Helena with Frank Frost and Sam Carr
by Andrew Cody

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Big Mama Thornton

"Early life

Thornton was born in Montgomery, Alabama. Her introduction to music started in the Baptist church. Her father was a minister and her mother was a church singer. She and her six siblings began to sing at a very early age. Thornton's musical aspirations led her to leave Montgomery in 1941, after her mother's death,[4] when she was just fourteen, and she joined the Georgia-based Hot Harlem Revue.[5] Her seven-year tenure with the Revue gave her valuable singing and stage experience and enabled her to tour the South. In 1948, she settled in Houston, Texas, where she hoped to further her career as a singer. Willa Mae was also a self-taught drummer and harmonica player and frequently played both instruments onstage.


Thornton began her recording career in Houston, signing a contract with Peacock Records in 1951. While working with another Peacock artist, Johnny Otis, she recorded "Hound Dog", a song that composers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller had given her in Los Angeles.[6]. The record was produced by Johnny Otis, and went to number one on the R&B chart.[7] Although the record made her a star, she saw little of the profits.[8] She continued to record for Peacock until 1957 and performed with R&B package tours with Junior Parker and Esther Phillips. In 1954, Thornton was one of two witnesses to the death of blues singer Johnny Ace.[9] Her career began to fade in the late '50s and early '60s. She left Houston and relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she mostly played local blues clubs.

In 1966, Thornton recorded Big Mama Thornton With The Muddy Waters Blues Band, with Muddy Waters (guitar), Sammy Lawhorn (guitar), James Cotton (harmonica), Otis Spann (piano), Luther Johnson (bass guitar), and Francis Clay (drums). Songs included "Everything Gonna Be Alright", "Big Mama's Blues", "I'm Feeling Alright", "Big Mama's Bumble Bee Blues", "Looking The World Over", "Big Mama's Shuffle", and "Since I Fell For You", among others.

Her Ball 'n' Chain album in 1968, recorded with Lightnin' Hopkins (guitar) and Larry Williams (vocals), included the songs "Hound Dog", "Wade in the Water", "Little Red Rooster", "Ball 'n' Chain", "Money Taker", and "Prison Blues".

One of Thornton's last albums was Jail (1975) for Vanguard Records. It vividly captures her charm during a couple of mid-'70's gigs at two northwestern prisons. She became the talented leader of a blues ensemble that features sustained jams from George "Harmonica" Smith, as well as guitarists B. Huston and Steve Wachsman, drummer Todd Nelson, saxophonist Bill Potter, bassist Bruce Sieverson, and pianist J.D. Nicholas.

Thornton performed at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966 and 1968, and at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1979. In 1965 she performed with the American Folk Blues Festival package in Europe.[10] While in England that year, she recorded Big Mama Thornton in Europe and followed it up the next year in San Francisco with Big Mama Thornton with the Chicago Blues Band. Both albums came out on the Arhoolie label. Thornton continued to record for Vanguard, Mercury, and other small labels in the '70s and to work the blues festival circuit until her death in 1984, the same year she was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame.

During her career, she appeared on stages from New York City's famed Apollo Theater in 1952 to the Kool Newport Jazz Festival in 1980, and was nominated for the Blues Music Awards six times .[11] In addition to "Ball 'n' Chain" and "They Call Me Big Mama," Thornton wrote twenty other blues songs.[12]


On July 25, 1984, Willie Mae Thornton died in Los Angeles of heart and liver complications, probably brought on by years of alcohol abuse which had reduced the one-time 350-pound "Big Mama" Thornton to a mere ninety-five pounds.[13] Johnny Otis conducted her funeral services, and she was laid to rest in the famous Inglewood Park Cemetery,[14] along with a number of notable people, including entertainment and sports personalities.


As an influence over the music and musicians which followed her, her importance cannot be overstated. Her name and legacy will forever remain among the very greatest of blues legends. Thornton's mighty voice, take-no-guff attitude, and incendiary stage performances influenced generations of blues and rock singers and carried on the tradition of tough "blues mamas" like Bessie Smith, Memphis Minnie, and Ma Rainey.

In 2007, in the movie Hounddog, singer Jill Scott played "Big Mama" Thornton.[15]

Thornton is also the namesake of the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls.[16]

[edit] Selective discography
Year Title Genre Label
2007 Big Mama Thornton Texas blues Vanguard
1994 The Complete OKeh Sessions 1952-55 Texas blues Sony
1975 Jail (Live) Texas blues Vanguard
1975 Sassy Mama! (Live) Texas blues Vanguard
1973 Saved Texas blues Backbeat
1970 The Way It Is Texas blues Mercury
1969 Stronger Than Dirt Texas blues Mercury
1968 Ball 'n' Chain w/Lightnin' Hopkins Texas blues Arhoolie
1967 Big Mama Thornton Vol. 2 Texas blues Arhoolie
1966 Big Mama Thornton With The Muddy Waters Blues Band Texas blues Arhoolie
1966 Big Mama Thornton in EuropeTexas blues Arhoolie" Wikipedia

Barbara Morrison portrays Big Mama Thornton in the blues musical "Howlin blues & Dirty Dogs"

Hound Dog

They Call Me Big Mama

Down Home Shakedown :)

Ball and Chain w/ Lightnin' Hopkins

Rock Me

I'm Feelin' Alright w/ The Muddy Water's Blues Band

Wade in the Water

I wasn't going to post these videos 'cause it breaks my heart to see how she deteriorated in her last years, how tired she was and in how much pain but even then she still had it, so here they are...


Hound Dog

I hope she knows how much she is truly missed...

You can find a listing of her albums here for sale

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bill Withers

Lately I've been hearing a voice that I recognized but couldn't put a name to until today. Then I kicked myself for not being able to recall it right away. How can you possibly forget the name of the man with songs like "Lean on Me", Ain't No Sunshine", "Use Me" and "Grandma's Hands"?

Bill Wither's Page on Soulwalking has this to say:

"b. 4th July 1938, Slab Fork, West Virginia, U.S.A.

Bill Withers was the youngest of six children.

His father died when he was a child and he was raised by his mother and grandmother.

Bill moved to California in 1967 after nine years in the U.S. Navy, posted in Guam and other parts of the Far East.

He then began promoting his original songs around several west coast companies.

He was eventually signed to Sussex Records, by Clarence Avant, in 1971, however, Bill still maintained a day job, at the time, fitting toilets into airplanes for Boeing!

He then secured an immediate hit with his debut single, 'Ain't No Sunshine'.

Produced by Booker T. Jones, with Stephen Stills among the guest musicians, this fine performance was a million-seller, a feat emulated in 1972 by two more excellent releases, 'Lean On Me' and 'Use Me'.

In 1974, his song 'Let Me In Your Life' became the title track of an album for Aretha Franklin.

In 1975, Bill moved to CBS Records.

Withers' light, folksy / soul continued to achieve further success with 'Make Love To Your Mind' (1975), the sublime 'Lovely Day' (1977, a single revamped by a remix in 1988) and 'Just The Two Of Us' (1981), an excellent duet with saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. that earned the two artists a Grammy award in 1982 for the Best R & B performance.

Bill also guested on tracks by the Crusaders and Ralph MacDonald, with 'Soul Shadows' and 'In The Name Of Love', respectively.

In 1985, he released 'Watching You, Watching Me' for CBS, which featured the popular track 'Oh Yeah'.

After that release he toured in the same year with background vocalists James Varner and Lynn Roderick.

At one of these concerts these background vocalists were spotted by show producer Stan Sheppard, who persuaded them to form a group, who later became the soul band By All Means.

Bill also performed on a 'Quiet Storm' tour over the following two years alongside artists including the late Phyllis Hyman, Cherelle and Gerald Albright.

'Lovely Day' re-entered the UK pop charts in 1988 as a result of its use in a British television commercial, reaching the Top 5.

A professional performer, Withers remains a skilled songwriter, whose melodies have been recorded by various bands, including Creative Source, Margie Joseph, Thelma Houston, The Winans and The Blossoms.

These days Bill can be found working as a gardener in his local neighbourhood!


Just As I Am (Sussex 1971)

Still Bill (Sussex 1972)

Bill Withers Live At Carnegie Hall (Sussex 1973)

+Justments (Sussex 1974)

Making Music (Columbia 1975)

Naked And Warm (Columbia 1976)

Menagerie (Columbia 1977)

Bout Love (Columbia 1979)

Watching You Watching Me (Columbia 1985)

Still Bill (1993)

Ain't No Sunshine (Ariola Express 1997)

Top Bill (AMW 1999)"

Here's Bill Withers for your listening pleasure:

A Great Interview with Bill Withers

Grandma's Hands

Ain't No Sunshine

Kissin' My Love

mmm mmm Hello Like Before

Lean on Me

Use Me

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bettye LaVette

Well, crap. Since HBO is being so stingy with the Betty LaVette/Jon Bon Jovi video from the Inaugural celebration, I wanted you all to know that The Kennedy Center is not being so stingy and are allowing enabling of her performance there honoring The Who and singing Love Reign O'r Me. It highlights Betty's voice and emotion extremely well. Have a listen. But hey, guess what? You can find the video on Bettye's homepage here. For her biography go here. Cool, huh?


You can find her interview on NPR here What a history lesson! It's 20 minutes long and pricelessly worth every minute! Thanks Fitz!

Take Me as I Am--I love this one :)

He Made a Woman Out of Me


Let Me Down Easy

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pete Seeger

I grew up loving folk music. From Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Buffy St. Marie, Peter, Paul and Mary, Woody Guthrie and many others led me to my love of the blues. Click the title link for Mr. Seeger's Wikipedia page, which includes the two previously unsung verses from This Land is Your Land" a Woody Guthrie song.

Honestly, I thought surely Pete Seeger had passed on until I watched HBO's Obama's Inaugural Celebration. I first lost it when Bettye LaVette and Jon Bon Jovi did the duet "Change is Gonna Come"

then tears kept on rolling down my face through the program until Pete Seeger took the stage. The man is 90 and frail and did not have a coat on but you could almost see his chest bursting with pride as he was up on stage with his grandson, Tao Rodriquez-Seeger and Bruce Springsteen. Thank God the program was almost over when they came on. I don't think I could have stood much more. If you haven't seen this HBO program check your local listings they are re-running it. I'm going to post the Bettye Lavette/Jon Bon Jovi and the Pete Seeger videos on here but if they disappear because of copyright issues they can probably still be found on youtube.

We Shall Overcome

With Peter, Paul and Mary singing Where Have All the Flowers Gone

With Buffy St Marie Cindy

The Power of Song--PBS Awesome!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So, My Heart is Broken...

I know I've neglected this blog for awhile now but I just found out today about the passing of Delaney Bramlett, teacher to most of the great blues players of today and include George Harrison, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Gram Parsons, Leon Russell, Dave Mason and Rita Coolidge, among others.

He met Bonnie in Los Angeles in 1967, and they married seven days later. They formed Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, acknowledged as the first rock ‘n’ roll traveling road show.

"Bramlett was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi[2] and after a stint in the United States Navy, moved to Los Angeles, California. There he established himself as a singer-songwriter, writing with fellow musicians Joey Cooper, Mac Davis and Jackie DeShannon. Bramlett also became a regular on the U.S. television show Shindig! as member of the show's house band, the Shindogs. During this time, he also worked with J.J. Cale, who was his first guitar player, and Leon Russell and released some unsuccessful solo singles.

Bramlett's musical history spans four decades. Known as a songwriter, singer and musician, he has also mentored other musicians, including Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Leon Russell, George Harrison, and J.J. Cale.

Over the years, some of his songs have reached "standard" status, such as "Superstar" originally titled, "Groupie Superstar" which was co-written with Leon Russell and has been covered by scores of artists, (recorded most recently in 2006 by Usher and in the past by Luther Vandross, The Carpenters and many others).

Bramlett's other hits included "Let It Rain," which was co-written with and recorded most notably by Eric Clapton; and "Never Ending Song Of Love" which has appeared on the soundtracks of the films, RV and A Good Year. "Never Ending Song of Love" has been recorded by more than 100 artists, including Ray Charles, and Patty Loveless and Dwight Yoakam.

Eric Clapton joined Delaney, Bonnie & Friends on tour[3], Bramlett produced and co-wrote songs for Clapton's first solo album, "Eric Clapton". Clapton still credits Delaney for pushing him to sing and teaching him the art.[4] Bramlett produced King Curtis' last LP[5], which had two hit singles: "Teasin'" and "Lonesome Long Way from Home". He produced an assortment of artists, such as Etta James, Elvin Bishop, John Hammond, Dorothy Morrison (of "Oh Happy Day" fame), and The Staple Singers.

George Harrison had his first slide bottle placed in his hand by Bramlett, who taught Harrison how to play slide guitar, which led into a gospel jam that resulted in Harrison's hit "My Sweet Lord"[6]. Bramlett wrote, recorded, or appeared on stage with many notable performers, including Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix[7], Janis Joplin, Dave Mason, Billy Preston, John Lennon, The Everly Brothers, Spooner Oldham, Steve Cropper, Billy Burnette, Mac Davis, Dennis Morgan, and his own daughter, Bekka Bramlett. In 2006 Bramlett was one of the duet artists on the Jerry Lee Lewis album Last Man Standing[8], singing and playing guitar on "Lost Highway".

Producer Jerry Wexler, the founder of Atlantic Records, says some of the best music he ever heard was played by Duane Allman and Bramlett on deck of his home in Long Island[5],New York. The two musicians remained friends until Allman's death in 1971.

In 2008 Bramlett released his first CD in six years, A New Kind of Blues.[9]

On[10] December 27 at 4:55 a.m., Bramlett died from complications of gall bladder surgery. He is survived by his widow, Susan Lanier-Bramlett and three daughters, Suzanne, Michele, and Bekka Bramlett and a son, Dylan Thomas."


Here is a tribute... all I could find on YouTube.

At Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarkesdale, MS

Kulak's Woodshed

Rise Up--Photo Montage at Ground Zero

My all time favorite blues song is a Robert Johnson original "Come on in My Kitchen"

Going Down the Road Feeling Bad

With Eric Clapton in 1969

Living on the Open Road with Duane Allman

Where There's a Will There's a Way

If you want to read more go here

Rest in Peace, dear friend...