Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nancy Wilson - What Are You Doing New Year's Eve

This is not really a blues song, but it fits my mood and the time of the year so well.




I hope you all have a wonderful New Years eve and an even better New Year!


What Are You Doing New Year's Eve Lyrics

Maybe it's much too early in the game
Ah, but I thought I'd ask you just the same
What are you doing New Year's
New Year's Eve?

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it's exactly twelve o'clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year
New Year's Eve

Maybe I'm crazy to suppose
I'd ever be the one you chose
Out of a thousand invitations
You'd receive

Ah, but in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance
What are you doing New Year's
New Year's Eve?

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it's exactly twelve o'clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year
New Year's Eve

What are you doing New Year's Eve?

Nancy Wilson @Amazon.com

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Series: The Men Behind The Bluesmen

I like to give credit where credit is due. That's just how I roll. Some people mistakenly believe that the blues is a black or white thing. It is true that many of the great bluesmen were black, it is also a fact that there were many white men standing behind them encouraging them, enabling them, cajoling them, collaborating with them to create this great art form that we all love so much.

Any way, I just want to shed some light on the men who stood with the bluesmen. Who helped them become the giants that we know today. In the coming months I plan to cover their bios, books, music, and other contributions of the following in a series of post I'm calling "The Men Behind the Bluesmen."

Lenard Chess

Phil Chess

Sam Philips

Alan Lomax

Robert Palmer

And many, many others.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Blues Books: Deep Blues by Robert Palmer

This is one of those must own books for a blues music fan. It was written by Blues Hall of Fame inductee Robert Palmer, if you own only one book about the blues, this is the one to own. The reason that I like this book so much is that it is not only a great book about the blues, but it is a very good history book as well.

The orgin of the blues is covered along with the the life and times of many the great bluesmen, like Charley Patton, Son House, Robert Johnson, Little Walter, Muddy Waters and others. The book shows the development of a music that grew directly out of the earth of the Mississippi Delta, and tells the story of how it spread around the world. It tells the story of how the bluesmen made do with what they had, how tough their lives were and the fun they had going from town to town playing dances and in the juke joints of the time.

Deep Blues:
A Musical and Cultural History
of the Mississippi Delta
Deep Blues: A Musical and Cultural History of the Mississippi Delta
my copy looks like the one above.

Robert Palmer's Deep Blues
click images for info @Amazon.com



Blues Books @SqueezeMyLemon

Blues Music Books @Amazon.com

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Folk, Gospel & Blues - Will the Circle Be Unbroken

I don't think I can recommend this mp3 album more enthusiastically. I love it, and think that fans of the blues, folk music, and gospel music will too. Just check out the various artist who are included here.

The cool part about mp3 albums is that you only have to buy the tracks that you like, but in this case each track is a keeper.

Folk, Gospel & Blues: Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Folk, Gospel & Blues: Will The Circle Be Unbroken
click image for mp3s @Amazon.com


CD1
1. Ezekiel Saw De Wheel - Fisk Jubilee Singers
2. Crazy Blues - Mamie Smith & Her Jazz Hounds
3. Careless Love Blues - Bessie Smith
4. Frankie - Mississippi John Hurt
5. Lord I Can't Just Keep From Crying - Blind Willie Johnson
6. What Are They Doing In Heaven Today - Washington Phillips
7. Sitting On Top Of The World - The Mississippi Sheiks
8. Blues Before Sunrise - Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell
9. If You See My Saviour - Thomas A. Dorsey
10. Broke Down Engine - Blind Willie McTell
11. Mister Tom Hughe's Town - Leadbelly
12. Cross Road Blues - Robert Johnson
13. Key To The Highway - Big Bill Broonzy
14. Nine Foot Shovel - Joshua White
15. Cowboy's Lament - Burl Ives
16. Me And My Chauffeur Blues - Memphis Minnie
17. Swing Down Chariot - The Golden Gate Quartet
18. Dere's A Man Goin' Round / I Know De Lord - Paul Robeson
19. Baby Please Don't Go - Big Joe Williams
20. Hard Day Blues - Muddy Waters
21. I'll Never Forget - Ira Tucker & The Dixie Hummingbirds
22. I'll Fly Away - The Trumpeteers
23. I Will Move On Up A Little Higher - Mahalia Jackson
24. Greenfields - The Brotehrs Four

CD2
1. Blowin' In The Wind - Bob Dylan
2. The Patriot Game - The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem
3. Green, Green - The New Christy Minstrels feat. Barry McGuire
4. We Shall Overcome - Pete Seeger
5. The Sound Of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel
6. Death Letter - Son House
7. Little Boxes - Malvina Reynolds
8. Will The Circle Be Unbroken - The Staple Singers
9. Suzanne - Leonard Cohen
10. Going Up To The Country, Paint My Mailbox Blue - Taj Mahal
11. These Days - Tom Rush
12. Mean Mistreater - Johnny Winter
13. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man - Willie Dixon
14. Blue River - Eric Andersen
15. Longer - Dan Fogelberg
16. Romeo's Tune - Steve Forget
17. Pride And Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble
18. Steady On - Shawn Colvin
19. Galileo - Indigo Girls
20. Stand Still - Shirley Ceasar feat. John P. Kee
21. Every Morning - Keb'Mo'

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Release Johnny Winters Live Through the 70's (2008)

Live Through the 70's (2008)



Live Through the 70's
Johnny Winters - Live Through the 70's (2008)
Click image


According to Dave Rubin of Guitar Edge Magazine
There is no known film of Robert Johnson, precious little of T-Bone Walker and none of Muddy Waters in his prime in Chicago before 1960. But the gods of music bestowed a gift on fans when they granted the filming of Johnny Winter from his creation as he exploded on the scene like a Texas tornado to become a true blues guitar hero.
The first clips from 1970 shot at the Gladsaxe Teen Club in Denmark with Johnny s Texas rhythm section of bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Uncle John Turner are stunning in their production and performances. Johnny is an exuberant live wire, his long white mane flashing. With brother Edgar guesting on keyboards, drums and vocals, he tears into an epic version of Be Careful of the Fool like a man on a mission slinging a suitably funky Epiphone guitar. A special treat is the rare, early airing of Edgar s Frankenstein with Johnny carrying the track almost single-handedly.

Concert footage from the same year at the Royal Albert Hall in London finds him evolving to rock and glam as his onstage persona develops. He owned Johnny B. Goode in the 70s and his orgasmic version, along with hyper takes of Talk to Your Daughter and Tell the Truth are still breathtaking and unmatched in their raw energy and fret-melting chops.

Interviews conducted at Detroit Tubeworks are interspersed throughout, revealing Johnny as a witty subject with a perceptive and wryly critical view of the culture. He is joined in one segment by bassist Randy Jo Hobbs to whom he precedes to teach Key to the Highway on the spot for a spontaneous country blues performance showing another side of his guitar mastery. By the time he appears on Rock Concert in 1973 with Hobbs and double-bass drummer Richard Hughes, however, he has metamorphosed into a full-fledged star on his way to becoming one of the biggest arena acts of the decade. With top hat, cape, platform shoes and beard, he waves his signature Firebird like a magic wand at the transfixed audience as he rocks the house to the rafters with Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo and Stone County.

By 1979 Johnny returned to the blues he never left. In a telling moment he attempts to explain the music to the German audience at the Rockpalast in Essen. Citing the language barrier, he proceeds to give the most eloquent demonstration with bassist/harmonicist Jon Paris and drummer Bobby Torello by using the classic Mississippi Blues as a vehicle to traverse the whole history from the Delta to Texas, Chicago and beyond to the high voltage style of Johnny himself. It is a fitting testimonial to a legendary bluesman who has earned his place among the immortals that preceded and inspired him.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Blues Funny - The SqueezeMyLemon Joke

THE LEMON and THE LITTLE OLD MAN - The local bar was so sure that its bartender was the strongest man around that they offered a standing $1000 bet: The bartender would squeeze a lemon until all the juice ran into a glass, and hand the lemon to a patron. Anyone who could squeeze one more drop of juice out would win the money.

Many people had tried over time (professional wrestlers, longshoremen, etc.), but nobody could do it.

One day this scrawny little man came in, wearing thick glasses and a polyester suit, and said in a tiny, squeaky voice, "I'd like to try the bet."

After the laughter had died down, the bartender agreed, grabbed a lemon, and squeezed away. Then he handed the dried, wrinkled remains of the rind to the little man.

But the crowd's laughter turned to total silence as the man clenched his fist around the lemon and SIX drops fell into the glass.

As the crowd cheered, the bartender paid the $1000, and asked the little man, "What do you do for a living? Are you a lumberjack, a weight lifter, or what?"

The man replied, "I work for the IRS."

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Blue Christmas from The Year Without a Santa Claus

Blue Christmas from The Year Without a Santa Claus



I hope that Santa made a visit to your house
and that you are not having a blue Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas Everybody,
May you all have a Happy New Year

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Frances Butt and Keith Warmington - Merry Christmas, Baby

Merry Christmas, Baby


Frances Butt and Keith Warmington sing the classic Christmas blues Merry Christmas Baby, with Keith on harmonica, the wonderful Stuart Gordon on violin and Rick Payne on guitar

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Blues Christmas Music - Freddie King

The Very Best of Freddy King (I have to check to see how his name is being spelled on each different CD cover) is an excellent blues CD for this time of the year, not only because it has some great blues music on it, but it is a nice CD to pick up during this time of year because of the Christmas tracks that are included on it.


Very Best of Freddy King 1
Very Best of Freddy King 1
please click image




Track Listings
1. You Know That You Love Me
2. See See Baby
3. You've Got To Love Her With A Feeling
4. Have You Ever Loved A Woman
5. Hide Away
6. I Love That Woman
7. Lonesome Whistle Blues
8. If You Believe (In What You Do)
9. It's Too Bad (Things Are Going So Tough)
10. I'm Tore Down
11. Onion Rings
12. Sen-Sa-Shun
13. Side Tracked
14. The Stumble
15. San-Ho-Zay
16. Wash Out
17. Just Pickin'
18. Heads Up
19. Christmas Tears
20. Let Me Be (Stay Away From Me)

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blues Christmas Music - Freddie King




Dallas, Texas Jan. 20th 1973 DVD
Dallas, Texas Jan. 20th 1973 DVD
click image for info @Amazon.com


Track Listing
1-Big Legged Woman
2-Ain't Nobody's Business
3-Look Over Yonder Wall
4-Ain't No Sunshine
5-Blues Band Shuffle
6-Have You Ever Loved A Woman
7-Goin' Down/Hideaway

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Monday, December 22, 2008

PS22 Chorus 2007 "Blues For Christmas" Lil Boy w/BIG voice!

PS22 Chorus 2007 "Blues For Christmas" Lil Boy w/BIG voice!


Great song by John Lee Hooker called Christmas Blues, or maybe Blues For Christmas. Either way, it's funny, it rocks, and the chorus really has a great feel for the blues!

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Feel Like Going To Church - Preachin' the Blues

Son House "Preachin' the Blues"


Notes from YouTube; The back drop is an old abandoned, forgotten Black Baptist Church.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Blues Christmas Music - BB King

B.B. King has released several really good Christmas CDs. I really like A Christmas Celebration Of Hope. One of my favorites songs on that CD is Backdoor Santa it has those funny blues lyrics that we all enjoy so much.

A Christmas Celebration Of Hope
A Christmas Celebration Of Hope
click image for mp3s


Track List
1. Please Come Home For Christmas 4:53
2. Lonesome Christmas 3:04
3. Back Door Santa 3:26
4. Christmas In Heaven 4:49
5. I'll Be Home For Christmas 3:47
6. To Someone That I Love 5:01
7. Christmas Celebration 3:38
8. Merry Christmas Baby 3:56
9. Christmas Love 2:57
10. Blue Decorations 3:27
11. Christmas Comes But Once A Year 4:15
12. Bringing In A Brand New Year 2:41
13. Auld Lang Syne 2:21

B.B. King - Christmas Celebration

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Blues Funny - Porky Pig- Blue Christmas

Porky Pig- Blue Christmas

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sheryl Crow & Eric Clapton - Merry Christmas Baby (1999)

Sheryl Crow & Eric Clapton - Merry Christmas Baby (1999)

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cadillac Records: My Review

Cadillac Records
27x41 Original Movie Poster
Cadillac Records 27x41 Original Movie Poster Beyonce


Movie Review

I saw Cadillac Records yesterday. It is a musical biopic that is now showing in theaters, it was written and directed by Darnell Martin. The film explores blues music starting in the early 1940s to the late 1960s. It chronicles the life of the influential Chicago-based record-company founder Leonard Chess, and some of the musicians who created and recorded Chicago blues music.

Cast

Adrien Brody as Leonard Chess
Beyoncé Knowles as Etta James
Emmanuelle Chriqui as Revetta Chess
Mos Def as Chuck Berry
Gabrielle Union as Geneva Waters
Columbus Short as Little Walter
Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters
Cedric the Entertainer as Willie Dixon
Eamonn Walker as Howlin' Wolf

I thought it was a good movie, all things considered. The performances for the most part were well done and you can see that the actors wanted to put in a good performances. And some of them really shined.

Adrien Brody and Jeffrey Wright both did good jobs acting. But I could not totally suspend disbelief when it came to Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters. I think this maybe because I am such a big fan of Muddy Waters. I really like Jeffrey Wright as an actor, but here it was a hard sell. Having said that I can not think of anyone who could have done a better job, but Muddy Waters is such a strong character to play.

I thought as a whole that the movie packed too may threads into the same movie. Any one of the musicians depicted in this movie could have a movie made about their lives (and I hope someone makes those movies too). But too many threads caused the movie to play fast and lose with the facts, which again was kind of annoying to me, and again that may be because I'm such a big fan of the musicians depicted in this movie.

I was pleasantly surprised by Beyoncé Knowles as Etta James. I think she brought a lot of emotion to the part and of course her singing came across very well and is probably the high point of the movie.

Another highlight was Mos Def as Chuck Berry. I thought he really played the role well and he puts you in the mind of Mr. Berry. His mannerisms were perfect. I also really liked the part of Howlin' Wolf as played by Eamonn Walker. And because I enjoyed the way he played the part, it made me think that I would love to see a movie about Wolf's life played by Eamonn Walker.

Columbus Short as Little Walter was very well acted and he played the part in a way that portrays much of the volatility and sadness of Little Walter's life. And both Gabrielle Union as Geneva Waters and Cedric the Entertainer as Willie Dixon put in notable performances.

The movie was very enjoyable, and while I have some criticisms of the film they are minor. This movie is a great introduction to blues music for young music fans. It has many popular young actors who may be able to attract young people to the blues pioneers and to be inspired by them.

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Christina Aguilera and B.B. King live "Merry Christmas baby"

Christina Aguilera and B.B. King live "Merry Christmas baby"

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Charles Brown - Merry Christmas Baby - 1983

Charles Brown - Merry Christmas Baby - 1983

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Blues Willie Nelson

Christmas Blues Willie Nelson


Great Acoustic blues tune, by Willie Nelson. Perfect for Christmas or any time. Relaxing Instrumental.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Feel Like Going To Church: Natural blues - Moby

Natural blues - Moby


According to Wikipedia
"Natural Blues" is a 2000 single by the musician Moby. It was originally released in 1999 in his album Play. It is essentially a retitled remix of the originally a cappella song "Trouble So Hard" by American folk singer Vera Hall and her cousin Dock Reed. "Trouble So Hard" can be found on Alan Lomax's "Sounds of the South: A Musical Journey From the Georgia Sea Islands to the Mississippi Delta" disc 1, track 8. It was first released in the UK, where it peaked at number eleven.
Another interesting connection, besides being a remake of a gospel blues song, that this video has with blues music in general is that it features Christina Ricci who also played in the movie Black Snake Moan.

And finally there are critics who consider Moby's Play to be a techno blues infused gospel album. Beth Massa says;
Those who have followed Moby's career are familiar by now with his deep convictions and spiritual connection. On his 1999 release, Play, he celebrates his faith in a masterful, unobtrusive way, channeling gospel and other inspirational samples through beats so earthy they could grow grass on a cement dance floor. It's impossible to separate the joy of the message from the joy of the grooves.
Matthew Cooke said;
Play's concoction of breakbeat rhythms, ambient mixology, and inspired blues and gospel samples cry out across musical genres and histories, imparting a time-tested wisdom to beat-driven ears. Moby's devout faith--in both God and his own musical whims--give this approach a sort of legitimacy that another, less sincere artist would never have.
This is in my mind a perfect example of modern popular music being informed by gospel blues music. And why I argue that if you want to understand and or create new music, you would do well to study and understand gospel blues music. Because it is one of the roots of all modern music. And the beat goes on...


Play
Play - Moby
click image


Sounds of the South
Sounds of the South - Alan Lomax

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Robert Johnson - Sweet Home Chicago




According to Wikipedia.
"Sweet Home Chicago" is a popular blues standard in the twelve bar form. It was first recorded and is credited to have been written by Robert Johnson. Over the years the song has become one of the most popular anthems for the city of Chicago despite ambiguity in Johnson's original lyrics.

Johnson recorded the song during his first recording session in November 1936, and it was released on Vocalion Records (Recording Number 03601).He gives a stirring performance, with a driving guitar rhythm and a high, near-falsetto vocal. It was a limited release race record, and was not a big-seller. The song's popularity grew only after Johnson's death in 1938.

In fact, the song is a variation of "Kokomo Blues", a song popularised by Scrapper Blackwell, Madlyn Davis and most notably by James Arnold. Arnold's version of the song, which he recorded in 1934 as "Old Original Kokomo Blues", was such a success that he changed his performing name to Kokomo Arnold.

The earliest recorded version of the song by Scrapper Blackwell in 1928 referred to Kokomo, Indiana, a city well known to the Indianapolis-based guitarist. Kokomo was famous for the number of traffic lights. It was known to truckers as "stop light city" and to blues singers after Arnold as "level light city".


Lyrics:

Oh, baby, don't you want to go?
Oh, baby, don't you want to go?
Back to the land of California, to my sweet home Chicago.

Oh, baby, don't you want to go?
Oh, baby, don't you want to go?
Back to the land of California, to my sweet home Chicago.

Now one and one is two, two and two is four,
I'm heavy loaded, baby, I'm booked I got to go.
Cryin', baby, honey, don't you want to go?
Back to the land of California, to my sweet home Chicago.

Now, two and two is four, four and two is six,
You gon' keep on monkeyin' 'round here friend-boy
you gon' get your business all in a trick, but I'm cryin'
Baby, honey, don't you want to go?
Back to the land of California, to my sweet home Chicago.

Now, six and two is eight, eight and two is ten,
Friend-boy she trick you one time, she sure gon' do it again
But I'm cryin', hey, hey, baby, don't you want to go?
To the land of California, to my sweet home Chicago.

I'm goin' to California from there to Des Moines, Iowa,
Somebody will tell me that you need my help someday, cryin'
Hey, hey, baby, don't you want to go?
Back to the land of California, to my sweet home Chicago.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blues Books: All Music Guide to the Blues




Book Description - Complete, concise, authoritative and fully updated to reflect today's revitalized blues world, the latest edition of this guide is any blues fan's lifeline to the best music, past and present. It reviews and rates 8,900 recordings in all major styles across the blues map - from Delta blues to Louisiana, Memphis, Chicago, Texas and beyond; from classic female singers to jump blues, blues slide guitar, blues in jazz, Dixieland, zydeco, soul blues, blues-rock, modern acoustic and electric blues, and more. This fun and easy-to-use guide provides profiles of over 1,200 artists. Historical essays plus supplemental "music maps" chart the roots and evolution of the blues, its various styles, instruments used, key artists, and more. The essays explore the blues from the Mississippi Delta to modern electric blues and everything in between. Also includes 30 "top lists" recommending the best albums for each blues style - essential for starting or expanding a great record collection.


Blues Books @SqueezeMyLemon

Blues Music Books @Amazon.com

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Black Snake Moan Soundtrack

All the hoopla about the recently released blues movies has got me thinking about another blues music movie that you may have not seen or heard the soundtrack for. Check this out!

Black Snake Moan Soundtrack
Black Snake Moan Soundtrack
Click image for info @Amazon.com


Track List
1. Classic Logo Music Scott Bomar
2. Ain't But One Kind Of Blues Son House
3. Just Like A Bird Without A Feather Samuel L. Jackson
4. When The Lights Go Out The Black Keys
5. Standing In My Doorway Crying Jessie Mae Hemphill
6. Chicken Heads Bobby Rush
7. Black Snake Moan Samuel L. Jackson
8. Morning Train Precious Bryant
9. The Losing Kind John Doe
10. Lord Have Mercy On Me Outrageous Cherry
11. Ronnie And Rae's Theme Scott Bomar
12. The Chain Scott Bomar
13. Alice Mae Samuel L. Jackson
14. Stack-o-lee Samuel L. Jackson
15. Old Black Mattie R.L. Burnside
16. That's Where The Blues Started Son House
17. Mean Ol' Wind Died Down North Mississippi Allstars

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Stevie Ray Vaughn Fine Art Print by Bill Foss

Stevie Ray Vaughn Fine Art Print
from the Rock and Roll Art of Bill Foss
Stevie Ray Vaughn Fine Art Print from the Rock and Roll Art of Bill Foss
click image for info @Amazon.com


    Product Features
  • Open Edition Fine Art Print 27 inches wide x 35.25 inches tall
  • UV gloss varnish protective coating to insure longevity of the print
  • 1 inch white border perfect for matting and framing
  • High Quality Heavy paper stock, not just another thin poster


Product Description
From the world famous series "The Rock and Roll Art of Bill Foss" an open edition offset lithograph, from the original painting of Stevie Ray Vaughn titled "In Memory of SRV" which was created in 1994.© 2008 Bill Foss all rights reserved

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton

I have been wanting to write about John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers for some time. When I discovered that there were British musicians who could play the blues it amazed me.

I know you are probably wondering what I am talking about, but imagine being a kid in the seventies, growing up down in Louisiana sourounded by the blues, who thought that blues was muscic played only by the people in my neighborhood. LOL.

It took some time to find my way to the Bluesbreakers. So I like to present this CD as proof to myself that others were playing the blues to great effect I might add. According to the notes at Amazon;

Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton is a 1966 electric Blues album by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton as lead guitarist. It is often referred to as The Beano album because the photograph on the album cover shows Clapton reading The Beano, a well-known British children's comic. Apart from being one of the most overall influential albums in Blues-Rock history, it was likely the first time anyone had heard a Gibson Les Paul guitar through an overdriven Marshall amplifier; this unique sound would become particularly influential.
Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton
Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton
click above image


Track Listings
1. All Your Love - John Mayall, Dixon, Willie
2. Hideaway - John Mayall, King, Freddie
3. Little Girl - John Mayall, Mayall, John
4. Another Man - John Mayall, Mayall, John
5. Double Crossing Time - John Mayall, Mayall, John
6. What'd I Say - John Mayall, Charles, Ray
7. Key to Love - John Mayall, Mayall, John
8. Parchman Farm - John Mayall, Allison, Mose
9. Have You Heard - John Mayall, Mayall, John
10. Rambling on My Mind - John Mayall, Johnson, Robert
11. Steppin' Out - John Mayall, Bracken, James
12. It Ain't Right - John Mayall, Little Walter

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

NPR Reports on Chess Records Movies

I heard an interesting report by NPR's Neda Ulaby, which I thought you all would enjoy listening to and or reading. The radio report titled A Hollywood Makeover For Chess Records brings up details about the recent movies about Chess Records, Cadillac Records and Who Do You Love.

A couple of the points that I found most interesting was how both movies take some liberties with the facts. One question I had was did Lenored Chess really fool around with some of his female musicians? And what happened to Phil Chess in these movies?

I found the following quote by Leonard Chess' son, Marshall, to be very interesting;

He says the family's history is distorted in both films. Marshall Chess more or less grew up at Chess Records and worked there before the label was sold in 1969. He went on to become managing director of Rolling Stones Records. He's most upset that the bigger movie, Cadillac Records, cut out his uncle Phil entirely.

"That's horrible," Chess says. "It's like you make a movie about flight with the Wright brothers and you cut out one brother."

He says he's also irked by subplots suggesting that his father committed adultery — pure fiction, he insists. And he defends Chess Records' reputation for giving out cars instead of royalties — which is suggested in the title, Cadillac Records.

"Yes, we helped our artists who wanted to get Cadillacs get them," Chess says. "You have to understand, in that era, our artists did not have bank accounts (or) credit lines. So if they wanted a Cadillac bad enough and they pestered Phil and my father, we would set them up."
Later in the report he says;
"My father evolved," Chess says, "from an immigrant to a bar owner in the ghetto to wanting to make money — seeing black people make the first real money of their lives [and] wanting to get a piece of it — to falling in love with the music."

He says his father would be pleased that the movie Cadillac Records will introduce the Chess catalog to a new generation. And, of course, he says he would be thrilled about the royalties.
The report mentions Spinning Blues into Gold which is pictured below. I think it is a book that gives a more accurate history of Chess Records and the complicated legacy of the Chess brothers.

Spinning Blues into Gold:
The Chess Brothers and the Legendary Chess Records
Spinning Blues into Gold: The Chess Brothers and the Legendary Chess Records
click image for info @Amazon.com


blues movies @SqueezeMyLemon

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Cadillac Records Review by Armond White

I've been posting a lot about the movie Cadillac Records lately. That might have something to do with the fact that it is up for release today.

This review, by award-winning film critic Armond White, titled If You Liked It, Then You Shoulda Put a Wig on It, is a great read and that title made me laugh out loud.

Beyonce Sings Church Bells - Cadillac Records - 12/5


Thanks to my friend over at The Blues and Then Some for bringing this to my attention. You can also read Today's Chicago Blues recent post on the movie.

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Friday Blues Funny - Guitar Face - B.B. King

B.B. King Guitar face

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

RIP Odetta - May God Bless Her Soul

With sadness I'd like to bring attention to the passing of a great Folk/blues musician, Odetta. May she rest in peace and may God bless her soul. My condolences go out to her family and many fans.

According to Odetta @Wikipedia;

Odetta Holmes, (December 31, 1930 – December 2, 2008), known as Odetta, was an African-American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a human rights activist, often referred to as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement". Her musical repertoire consists largely of American folk music, blues, jazz, and spirituals. An important figure in the American folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s, she was influential musically and ideologically to many of the key figures of the folk-revival of that time, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Janis Joplin.
Odetta @YouTube

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It's the Birthday of Aleck "Rice" Miller

His Best
Sonny Boy Williamson - His Best


Tomorrow will be the birthday of one of my favorite bluesmen. Aleck "Rice" Miller aka Sonny Boy Williamson II. It is reported that before he died he commented that they broke the mold when he was born. All my reading and research on him indicates that he was truly one of a kind, so I think that was a true statement.

I'll leave it to you to read the Wikipedia article on him, it is well done and has some other cool links that you might enjoy checking out.

To me the most important part of his life was all the music that he made and the musicians that he inspired.

While tall tales, unlikely fables and outright lies make up much of what Sonny Boy Williamson II had to say about his own life, his most important contributions have been documented well through countless recordings on myriad labels. His output of recordings, both issued and unissued, for Lillian McMurray's Trumpet label, can be found on Arhoolie, Alligator, Purple Pyramid, Collectables, plus a handful of other domestic and import imprints, while his years as a resident of the Chess/Checker house appear on various compilations on MCA/Chess. His European recordings reside on Alligator, Analogue Productions, Storyville, and others.

Sonny Boy Williamson II has had an enormous influence on modern day blues and blues rock artists and other legendary artists, as is shown by the number of his songs that are still covered.

  • Muddy Waters - "Nine Below Zero", "Decoration Day"
  • Howlin' Wolf - "Cool Disposition", "Decoration Day"
  • B. B. King - "Eyesight to the Blind"
  • Mose Allison - "Eyesight to the Blind"
  • John Mayall's Bluesbreakers - "Help Me", "Checkin' Up On My Baby"
  • Led Zeppelin - "Bring It on Home"
  • Van Morrison - "Take Your Hands Out of My Pocket", "Help Me" - both on the 1974 live album It's Too Late to Stop Now. Morrison has often sung "Help Me" in live performances throughout his long career.
  • The Allman Brothers Band - "One Way Out"
  • New York Dolls - "Don't Start me Talkin'"
  • Ten Years After - "Help Me"
  • The Who - "Eyesight to the Blind"
  • Aerosmith - "Eyesight to the Blind"
  • The Blues Brothers - "From the Bottom"
  • Cowboy Junkies - "Decoration Day"
  • Lester Butler - "I Cross My Heart"
  • Rory Gallagher - "Don't Start me Talkin"; both on the Defender album and the live bootleg, Meeting With The G-Man.
  • Nine Below Zero took their band name from his song.
  • The Downchild Blues Band, also known as "Downchild", took their name from his song, "Mister Downchild".[3]
  • John Popper of Blues Traveler notes Sonny Boy Williamson as a strong influence on his harmonica playing.
  • Joe Bonamassa - "Your Funeral and My Trial"
  • Dr. Feelgood - "Checking Up On My Baby" on their live album, Stupidity

Sonny Boy Williamson: Your Funeral and my trial


Sonny Boy Williamson 1964


Sonny Boy Williamson @Amazon.com
Sonny Boy Williamson @SqueezeMyLemon

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Cool Christmas Blues Music

Cool Christmas Blues
Cool Christmas Blues
Click image for info @Amazon.com


OK, I'll admit it. I'm one of those people who loves and plays Christmas music. And because I also love blues music so much, I especially love Christmas blues music. And because it is the season I want to ask that you bare with me as I get my Christmas blues music groove on.

This CD is one of my favorites. It includes Mr. Browns two definitive Blues Christmas classics. Merry Christmas Baby and Please Come Home For Christmas. These two quintessential Christmas blues hits, and nine other songs will add to your holiday cheer or Christmas melancholy depending on your disposition during this time of year.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Best Of Chess: Original Versions Of Songs in Cadillac Records

Another CD that will come out of the movie Cadillac Records that caught my eye was the Best Of Chess: Original Versions Of Songs in Cadillac Records.

Best Of Chess:
Original Versions Of Songs in Cadillac Records
Best Of Chess: Original Versions Of Songs in Cadillac Records
click image for info @Amazon.com


Track Listings
1. No Particular Place to Go - Berry, Chuck
2. At Last - Warren, Harry
3. My Babe - Dixon, Willie
4. (I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man - Dixon, Willie
5. I'd Rather Go Blind - Jordan, Ellington
6. I'm a Man - McDaniel, Elias
7. Smokestack Lightnin' - Howlin' Wolf
8. Forty Days and Forty Nights - Roth, Bernard
9. Juke - Jacobs, Walter
10. All I Could Do Is Cry - Davis, Billy
11. Maybelline - Berry, Chuck
12. I Can't Be Satisfied - Morganfield, McKinl
13. Last Night - Jacobs, Walter
14. Nadine - Berry, Chuck
15. Trust in Me - Wever, Ned
16. Promised Land - Berry, Chuck

Product Description - The 2008 movie Cadillac Records is the story of Chess Records. The Best of Chess is the original versions of the songs used in the Cadillac Records movie starring Beyonce, Mos Def, Solange, Jeffrey Wright, Raphael Saadiq and others. Cadillac Records chronicles the history of Chess Records, the pre-eminent blues label of the 1950s and 1960s co-founded by Leonard Chess and his brother Phil. Featured songs in Cadillac Records by Etta James (played by Beyonce Knowles), Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), Little Walter (Columbus Short), Willie Dixon (Cedric the Entertainer), Chuck Berry (Mos Def), Howlin' Wolf (Eamonn Walker) and more.

Cadillac Records @SqueezeMyLemon

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Interview With Jeffrey Wright


On the weekend I saw Oliver Stone's biopic W, Jeffrey Wright played Colin Powell. I enjoyed his performance. He is also in the movie Cadillac Records. He does an interview with NPR's Terry Gross where he talks about his part as Muddy Waters.
Jeffrey Wright: Angel, Agent, Blues Legend & More - Actor Jeffrey Wright plays Muddy Waters in Darnell Martin's new film Cadillac Records. The film tells the story of Chicago's Chess Records, where Waters launched his career alongside Etta James, Chuck Berry and others.

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