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...