"...Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues, in the middle of the pouring rain. W.C. Handy, won't you look down over me?"-Marc Cohn's 1991 song Walking in Memphis
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Today is the birthday of George "Buddy" Guy (born July 30, 1936). He is a five-time Grammy Award-winning blues and rock guitarist and singer. Known as an inspiration to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and other 1960s blues and rock legends, Guy is considered an important exponent of Chicago blues. He is the father of female rapper Shawnna and son Michael.
I would love to have written a long and lengthy post on him, but to tell you the truth I've been beat to the punch. I really enjoyed reading my online friend blues blogger's recent Buddy Guy post. And I hope you will too.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I've been trying to put together a list of all the blues on MySpace pages that I have come across. I like going to the MySpace pages of blues musicians because you can listen to their music as well as get other info on them. Like their touring schedual, and who knows they may be online at the same time that you are.
Here are a few pages (in no particular order) that I have come up with so far;
Shemekia Copland's MySpace Page
Koko Taylor's MySpace Page
Robert Cray's MySpace Page
KebMo's MySpace Page
Muddy Waters' MySpace Page
Robert Johnson's MySpace Page
Charley Patton's MySpace Page
Memphis Minnie's MySpace Page
Homemade Jamz Blues Band's MySpace Page
B.B. King's MySpace Page
John Lee Hooker's MySpace Page
Albert Collins' MySpace Page
Howlin' Wolf's MySpace Page
I plan on updating this list, organizing it better and giving you all a better idea of what these pages have to offer, in a month or so. But if you know of any blues musicians that have MySpace pages but are not on my list please let me know.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Today is the Birthday of a couple of prominant blues men.
Up first is Junior Kimbrough, who was born on this day back in 1930. He passed away after having a strok on January 17, in 1998.
Born David Kimbrough in Hudsonville, Mississippi, Kimbrough lived in the North Mississippi Hill Country around Holly Springs. He recorded for the Fat Possum Records label. He was a long-time associate of labelmate R. L. Burnside, and the Burnside and Kimbrough families often collaborated on musical projects. This relationship continues today. Burnside called Kimbrough "the beginning and end of all music." This is written on Kimbrough's tombstone outside his family's church, the Kimbrough Family Church, in Holly Springs.
Beginning around 1992, Kimbrough operated a juke joint known as "Junior's Place" in Chulahoma, Mississippi, which attracted visitors from around the world, including members of U2 and The Rolling Stones. Kimbrough's sons, musicians Kinney and David Malone Kimbrough (two of Kimbrough's rumored to be twenty-eight children), kept it open following his death, until it burned to the ground on April 6, 2000.
All Night Long
Sad Days, Lonely Nights
Do The Rump
Most Things Haven't Worked Out
God Knows I Tried
Meet Me in the City
You Better Run: The Essential Junior Kimbrough
Sunday Nights: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough
The Black Keys - Chulahoma (Songs written by Kimbrough and performed by The Black Keys)
Check out Junior Kimbrough @ MySpace.
It is also the birthday of Mike Bloomfield. A blues musician from Chicago who was one of the original members of the Paul Butterfield Band.
On February 15, 1981 Bloomfield was found dead in San Francisco in his parked car. According to his friends, the size of the heroin dose that killed him meant that he probably did not drive to this spot and overdose, rather that the lethal dose had been administered somewhere else and he had been driven to this spot to avoid complications for his drug-ingesting cohorts. The official cause of death was ruled an accidental drug overdose.
Michael Bernard Bloomfield (July 28, 1943, Chicago, Illinois — February 15, 1981, San Francisco California), an American musician, guitarist, and composer, born in Chicago, Illinois, became one of the first popular music superstars of the 1960s to earn his reputation entirely on his instrumental prowess. Respected for his fluid guitar playing, Bloomfield, who knew and played with many of Chicago's blues legends even before he achieved his own fame, was one of the primary influences on the mid-to-late 1960s revival of classic Chicago and other styles of blues music. In 2003 he was also also ranked at number 22 on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Tampa Red - Don't Tampa with the Blues Photographic Print
Buy at AllPosters.com
You can read about the interesting life of Tampa Red by visiting the following links;
"Tampa Red" Whittaker (1904-1981)
Tampa Red's full bio @ Wikipedia
Click below to listen to sample Tampa Red mp3s
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Albert Collins in Concert Art Print
Buy at AllPosters.com
I was looking at the list of blues musicians that have written about and I realized that I have never posted anything by Albert Collins. Can you believe that, well I can't. I guess it is another case of so many great bluesmen, and so little time.
I stumbled upon this very cool video of Mr. Collins playing live and thought you too might enjoy it.
Albert Collins was born on October 1, 1932 and he passed away on November 24, 1993. He was a Texas based blues guitarist, singer and musician. He had many nicknames, such as "The Ice Man", "The Master of the Telecaster" and "The Razor Blade".
Notes from YouTube - You have to see this! Albert Collins talking to his lady, who's answering in a very typical way. Being a fan of Barrelhouse, I'm always looking for something relevant. And look what I've found today!
Albert Collins playing with Barrelhouse on Febr. 2nd 1978. Recorded by Sesjun / TROS, Dutch television. At the time, recording was released on the album "Albert Collins & Barrelhouse Live" and nowadays available on CD too.
Mr. Collins is remembered for his awesome live shows. I really like the following stories which were quoted in the Wikipedia entry on Albert Collins;
Collins will be remembered not only for the quantity of quality blues music that he put out throughout his career that has inspired so many other blues musicians, but also for his legendary live performances, where he would frequently come down from the stage and mingle with the audience whilst still playing. This practice was illustrated in Collins' uncredited cameo appearance in the film Adventures in Babysitting. He insisted to Elisabeth Shue that "nobody leaves this place without singin' the blues", forcing the children to improvise a song before escaping.
Another instance of Collins' humorous stage presence was recounted in the film documentary, Antones: Austin's Home of the Blues. Collins left the building, still plugged in and playing. Several minutes after Collins returned to the stage, a pizza delivery man came in and gave Collins the pizza he had just ordered when he left the building. Collins had gone to Milto's Pizza & Pasta through an adjoining alley and ordered while he was still playing.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I've been trying to put together a post on blues postage stamps. You know, a little something something for the philatelists who read SML. Oh, and the bluesmen just call them stamp collectors.
But my ability to collect pictures of the blues stamps is not so good. I know that there are many more stamps then the few I have posted here.
Here is what I have come up with so far, I will update my collection when I find more photos of blues stamps.
If you know of any photos that I can post here let me know in a comment.
Muddy Waters Postage Stamp
W.C. Handy Postage Stamp
Ma Rainey Postage Stamp
Josh White Postage Stamp
Robert Johnson Postage Stamp
The Robert Johnson Postage Stamp (I wish I could find a better image) is a really cool one because of the contraversy that sourounds it. It was made using the photo booth image (read all about it here). According to the article;
The cigarette that dangles from Johnson’s lips was famously removed at the order of the USPS, an interesting change that is analyzed in great detail in Patricia Schroeder’s excellent 2004 work Robert Johnson, Mythmaking, and Contemporary American Culture. In order to accommodate the dimensions of the stamp, Johnson’s guitar and hand are also moved slightly, and the drapery background of the original portrait becomes a wall of shingles in stamp designer Julian Allen’s version.And others also called foul, and claimed that the postal service was Sanitizing History On a Postage Stamp.
In 1994 the United States Postal Service removed the cigarette from its picture of blues great Robert Johnson so no one would doubt where it stood on smoking.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Prison Compound No. 1, Angola, Louisiana, Leadbelly in Foreground
Buy at AllPosters.com
When we were boys, the old folks used to tell us, "If you keep being bad, you going to end up in Angola."
That would make us behave for a good thirty minutes or so.
Monday, July 21, 2008
I have always liked the Jump Blues. According to Wikipedia;
Jump blues is a type of up-tempo blues music influenced by big band sound. It is characterized by a jazzy, saxophone (or brass instruments) sound, driving rhythms and shouted, highly syncopated vocals and earthy, comedic lyrics on contemporary urban themes. Unlike most other types of blues, the jump blues relegates the guitar to the rhythm section.
Before known as "Jump Blues", this form of music was known as "Blues and Rhythm", then "Rhythm and Blues". The jump blues first appeared in the late 1930s, and was enormously popular in the Forties and early Fifties through artists such as Louis Jordan, Big Joe Turner and Wynonie Harris, who were among the first black artists to achieve significant commercial and chart success outside the confines of the segregated "race" (R&B) market.
It usually features a vocalist in front of a large, horn-driven orchestra or medium-sized combo with multiple horns, the style is earmarked by a driving rhythm, intensely shouted vocals, and honking tenor saxophone solos — all of those very elements a precursor to rock & roll. The lyrics are almost always celebratory in nature, full of braggadocio and swagger. Jump blues was the bridge between the older styles of blues — primarily those in a small band context — and the big band jazz sound of the 1940s.
Jump blues was an early manifestation of what became the classic rock and roll style of the mid-Fifties. It was revived in the 1980s by artists such as Joe Jackson and Brian Setzer and continues today with bands like "MoPac and The Blue Suburbans" and "Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s". Contemporary swing bands such as Lavay Smith, Steve Lucky & The Rhumba Bums Featuring Miss Carmen Getit and Stompy Jones also include many classic Jump Blues numbers in their repertoire, and write original songs in this style as well. (See also Swing Revival.)
Jump Blues @ Amazon.Com
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
So I'm sitting in the car waiting on the wife, while she is getting a check up. I'm listening to one of my favorite radio stations here in San Diego and this smoking blues band comes on. And to my surprise, they are from San Diego, and I have never heard of them.
These guys got real skills, they play traditional insturments, acoustic and electric guitars, washboards, harmonicas, jugs and other traditional instruments.
Nathan James, sings and plays guitar, banjo, and harmonica and Ben Hernandez, sings and plays harmonica, jug, washtub bass, washboard and kazoo.
If you would like to listen to the radio broadcast that I heard click here.
The three videos below are an amazing performance by the duo who were winners at the 2007 International Blues Competition! According to the notes at YouTube these were recorded at The New Daisy by The Blues Society on Taiwan.
Nathan James & Ben Hernandez Pt 1
Nathan James & Ben Hernandez Pt 2
Nathan James & Ben Hernandez Pt 3
Visit the Official Nathan James & Ben Hernandez website for downloads of their music, pictures, videos and info on where you can see them play.
Their CDs @ Amazon.com
Make a Change Sometime
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I recently heard a very good report on NPR about the Homade Jamz Blues Band that I think is a good update of the post I did earlier. The interview by Michele Norris was very interesting and lets you get to know them better. Check out the report titled, A Blues Family, Kicking Out Homemade Jamz
Also check out this review of the band over at In A Blue Mood Blog. I think it is well written and gives an informed view of what we can look forward to from this family of young blues musicians.
And finally check out these photos of Homemade Jamz Blues Band @ flickr by Anomalous Artiste.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I wrote this on this day back in 2005 when I created SqueezeMyLemon. So today is the birthday of the blog. I want to remind myself and the people who read this why I do this.
The purpose of the "Squeeze My Lemon blog" is to be a blues music resource. It will be a collection of links to other blues music resources, including books, blogs, articles and other media.I hope I am living up to this and that I can do this for years to come.
The main focus of the blog will be a place for blues music fans to download legal mp3 files. Squeeze My Lemon is a blog that will review other blues mp3 blogs as well as provides links to free and legal online mp3s.
Discussions of digital music and the hardware needed to play digital music will also be covered. Tips, and "how to" information will be provided to help the modern music enthusiast make informed choices.
It will also be a platform for affiliate links. Links to digital music providers as well as hardware and other music equipment will a part of this blog.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Keb Mo and Robert Cray in concert in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on August 30, 2007 at the Centennial Concert Hall.
Keb Mo singing Shave Yo' Legs w/ Robert Cray
Notes from YouTube - GREAT song by Robert Cray and Keb Mo "Bring It on Home to Me", concert in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on August 30, 2007 at the Centennial Concert Hall.
The CD they have put out is a specialty item that is only sold for the Bring It Back Home Tour, only 1000 were made.
The two song disc includes "Bring it on home to me" which is written and sung by Sam Cooke originally in the early 60's :) and "Baby, Scratch My Back" written by James H. Moore and sung by Slim Harpo back in the mid 60's, These are two great songs redone by Cray and Mo' just for their tour together. This is definitely a CD worth listening to and of course picking up for yourself if you can find it.
Keb' Mo' mp3s @ Amazon.com
Robert Cray mp3s @ Amazon.com
Monday, July 14, 2008
In yesterdays post I mentioned that Shemekia Copeland is scheduled to perform at the Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival. And then it dawned on me that Ms. Copland is one of the young guns in the blues world that I have never written anything about.
She's a three time W.C. Handy Award Winning blues singer and the daughter of blues guitarist and singer Johnny Copeland. She started her career at the age of sixteen. Her debut album "Turn the Heat Up!" came out in 1998 was well received. Her second album, "Wicked", was released in 2000 and featured a duet with one of her heroes, early R&B diva Ruth Brown. After that she was produced by Dr. John on her recording "Talking to Strangers", and in 2005 she released "The Soul Truth", which was produced by Steve Cropper.
So I thought I would share one of her YouTube videos as well as links to her websites and music.
Official Shemekia Copeland website
Shemekia Copeland's MySpace page
mp3 samples @ Shemkia Copeland.com
Music by Shemekia Copeland
Shemekia Copeland music @ Amazon.com
Turn the Heat Up!
Talking to Strangers
The Soul Truth
Sunday, July 13, 2008
According to the Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival website;
Clarksdale, Sunflower Fest ranked in Top 10If you live near Clarksdale or you can make a trip there in Aug. then you should check out this free festival.
Latimore, Shemekia Copeland, Jimmy Burns, Super Chikan to star In 21st annual free Sunflower River Blues Festival Aug. 8-10
Click here for 2008 Festival Lineup.
CLARKSDALE - With USA Weekend naming Clarksdale and the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival in the Top Ten places to hear the best of America’s music, Sunflower chairmen agree it’s a dream opportunity to announce headliners and lineup for its 21st annual festival.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Scrapper Blackwell was born February 21, 1903 and he died on October 7, 1962. He was a blues guitarist, singer and half a guitar-piano duo with Leroy Carr in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He played acoustic single-notes in the Chicago blues and Piedmont blues style.
Buy at AllPosters.com
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I love this YouTube clip because you can hear Howlin' Wolf teaching musicians (that today we think of as being great) how to play the blues standard "Little Red Rooster."
It seems like the blues are very easy to play, so you may wonder what all the fuss is about. But I think this clip shows a master bluesman showing willing students how to really play the blues.
I think Eric Clapton is the bluesman that he is today, because he spent a lot of time learning from the classic blues artist. That and the fact that he is an awesome talent.
This CD is probably more for the fan of blues rock than the fan of the classical blues fan. The band in this case was Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. A great session band if you can get them. Either way though if you are a blues fan or a rock and roll fan.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
My sense of anticipation is growing as I read more and more about the upcoming movie "Cadillac Records." As best I can determine, from the references listed below, it is a movie about the life and times of Leonard Chess.
If the talent assembled is any indication, there is the potential for this to be a great movie.
The film stars actors Adrien Brody as Chess, Cedric the Entertainer as Willie Dixon, Mos Def as Chuck Berry, Columbus Short as Little Walter and Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters. Set as co-executive producer, Beyoncé Knowles will play as Etta James (really!) and the movie will be directed by Darnell Martin.
The period piece follows the rise and fall of Chess Records, which launched the careers of such R&B greats as Muddy Waters, Etta James and Chuck Berry. Chess, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, scoured the South, checking out the various blues scenes and selling records from the back of his Cadillac.The thing that is difficult for me to understand is how they are going to fit all these blues greats into one movie. I really hope they pull it off.
Matt Dillon to Play Leonard Chess At first it seems that Matt Dillon was going to play the part of Leonard Chess.
'Cadillac Records,' Starring Beyonce, Isn't Like 'Walk The Line,' Columbus Short Insists
Cadillac Records @ Wikipedia
Cadillac Records @ IMDB
CADILLAC RECORDS casting news
There is also info out there suggesting another Chess movie in the works. I will have to do more research on this one.
Nivola Just A Pawn In Chess War
Other blues movies @ SqueezeMyLemon.
Black Snake Moan
Monday, July 07, 2008
Tragedy is part and parcel of the blues, of life and everything really. And I have said it many times, you have to live the blues to play the blues, consider one Hip Linkchain.
Cancer took, the guitarist and song writer, Hip Linkchain's life before he got to be big on the blues scene, that is why I say "you probably don't know" him. His best album Airbusters was released before he passed away in 1989. It might have made all the difference, and brought him fame and fortune. But that was not to be.
He was born in Mississippi, like many other bluesmen, named Willie Richard at birth, he got his odd stage name because the white residents of the area called his seven-foot-tall dad, Linkchain. His dad got that name because he wore logging chains around his neck. The son was called "Hipstick" which led to Hip Linkchain. He learned to play the blues from his father and brother. During his time in the Delta he got to hear Elmore James, Little Milton, and Sonny Boy Williamson before he made that migration up to Chicago in the early 1950s.
During the 1950s and 1960s he played with harpists Dusty Brown, Willie Foster, and Lester Davenport, trying to make a name for himself in Chicago. In 1959 he played with Tyrone Davis in a band called the Chicago Twisters. Around 1981 he debuted with his album Change My Blues.
Airbusters was released by Black Magic records in the late 1980's, and for my money is his best album. There were two recording sessions using two different bands, but still it is a very good showing all told. I think this album shows all of Hip Linkchain's talents, his singing, guitar work and his song writing are all on showcase here. The songs are executed with a craft that blues fans will appreciate and because most of the songs are Hip Linkchain originals, you may hear some blues that you never heard before.
Like many bluesmen, Hip Linkchain never got the recognition that his talents would have brought him if he had lived. But I think that we blues fans of today can do much to keep his memory alive.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Someone was lamenting that the blues was dead. Well if you believe that, or you think that might be a problem, then check this out; A group of kids that when you add their ages together it equals 37 years, who can also play the blues. Now if that don't boad well for the future, I don't know what does.
They are original and seem to be well grounded. Check out their music and the guitar made out of a muffler, it don't get too much more original than that. I wish them the best and hope you all enjoy them as much as I do.
Long live the blues. And long live the Homemade Jamz Blues Band!
Homemade Jamz Blues Band
BB King and Homemade Jamz, LIVE in Tunica, MS
Homemade Jamz Blues Band Official Web Site
Homemade Jamz Blues Band's MySpace Page
Homemade Jamz Blues Band @ YouTube
Homemade Jamz Blues Band @ Amazon.com
Friday, July 04, 2008
On hot days like the 4th of July my mother would slice into an ice cold watermelon to help cool us off. My online friend Stephen Bess recently wrote an interesting and informative post on the history of our love of the watermelon. Which got me to thinking about Watermelon Slim.
I think that he is cool enough for a hot summer day like this. For your blues entertainment consider;
Now is that some cool watermelon, or what?
Thursday, July 03, 2008
I'm TELLING YOU, MAN, the wold is a place."
"Say, the world is a place, huh."Chapter thirteen, Dreams from My Father - Barack Obama
"That's just what I'm saying."
We were walking back to the car after dinner in Hyde Park, and Johnnie was in an expansive mood. He often got like this, expecially after a good meal and wine. The first time I met him, when he was still working with a downtown civic group, he had started explaining the relationship between jazz and Eastern religion, then swerved into an analysis of black women's behinds, before coming to a stop on the subject of federal Reserve Bank policy. In such moments his eyes would grow wide; his voice would speed up; his round, bearded face would glow with a childlike wonder. That was part of the reason I'd hired Johnnie, I suppose, that curiosity of his, his appreciation of the absurd. He was a philosopher of the blues.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
I don't believe that I have ever posted anything about Robert Cray. Which is a shame, becaue I really like him a lot. He is on my list of favorite living gutar players.
Buy at AllPosters.com
The Robert Cray Band Official Website
Robert Cray's MySpace page.