Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's the Birthday of Alan Lomax

Alan Lomax: Blues Songbook


This is also the birth month of Alan Lomax;
Alan Lomax (January 15, 1915 – July 19, 2002) was an American folklorist and musicologist. He was one of the great field collectors of folk music of the 20th century, recording thousands of songs in the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, the West Indies, Italy, and Spain.
Every time I think of Mr. Lomax, I thank God for him. He is one of the most important men in the world of blues as far as I am concerned.

Alan Lomax: Blues Songbook
Alan Lomax: Blues Songbook


Alan Lomax @Amazon.com
Alan Lomax @Wikipedia
Alan Lomax @SqueezeMyLemon
Alan Lomax @YouTube

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Elizabeth Cotten Telling A Joke

The video that I originally posted was removed by the poster at YouTube, which is really a shame because it was a delightful story by Elizabeth Cotten. I can not tell it with the charm and charisma that she told it but here goes.

She states that she named herself, because she was never really given a formal name by her parents. They just called her Babe all her life up to that point, so when she went to school the teacher asked her what her name was. She replied that her name was Elizabeth, and that is how she named herself.

Here is another Elizabeth Cotten post Frieght Train.

And his is another video of Mrs. Cotten playing and singing and telling stories Elizabeth Cotten - Freight Train.

Elizabeth Cotten Elizabeth Cotten

Shake Sugaree
Shake Sugaree by Elizabeth Cotten
please click image for mp3 album @Amazon.com

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Big Mama Thornton

Ball n' Chain
Ball n' Chain by Big Mama Thornton with Lightnin' Hopkins
please click image for info @Amazon.com

Several online friends who regularly send me YouTube clips and other music info have been sending Big Mama Thornton clips. She was so cool back in her day and had a great stage presence. My favorite thing about her is that she played the harmonica and drums. If you have read my blog for long, you have probably read about my affection for women harmonica players.

She is a memeber of the Blues Hall of Fame, she had a monster hit with the 1952 song "Hound Dog" later covered by Elvis (1955) and she also wrote and recorded "Ball 'n' Chain," which became a hit for her. Janis Joplin later recorded the song and had a huge success in the late 1960s.

Someone also mentioned how Toshi Reagon resembles Big Mama Thornton. At first I did not make the connection, but after looking at a few of Big Mama's early clips I get it.

Big Mama Thornton ft. Buddy Guy - Hound Dog (1965)


Big Mama Thornton @SqueezeMyLemon
Big Mama Thornton @Amazon.com
Big Mama Thornton @Wikipedia.com
Big Mama Thornton @YouTube.com

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Going Down To The River mp3 by Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women

I wrote about Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women, in my old blog called BackBeat. But alas it does not exist anymore. Anyway they have just the right amount of sass in the way they play the blues that they put you in the mind of some of the grand dames of the blues. They've got that whole "Big Mama Thornton, Ida Cox and Koko Taylor" thing going on.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that amazon.com is offering a free download of one of their mp3s.

Going Down To The River
Going Down To The River by Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women
please click image for free mp3

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Monday, January 26, 2009

The SqueezeMyLemon All Stars

Every now and then you find a clip on YouTube that is just so delightful. This is an example, I call this clip the "SqueezeMyLemon All Stars." I would have loved being at this show. But it just so happens that this was filmed in 1963, I was two years old at the time.

Can you imagine seeing Otis Spann, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Big Joe Williams, Willie Dixon, Victoria Spivey, Muddy Waters, Lonnie Johnson and Memphis Slim all on the same stage.

American Folk Blues Festival 1963

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Big Joe Williams - Baby Please Don't Go (1963)


Have you ever had to ask someone not to leave? Well if you ever do, it might help if you know how to play a guitar. Take Big Joe Williams for example, now he knew how to ask someone not to go down there to New Orleans.

Big Joe Williams - Baby Please Don't Go (1963)


Baby Please Don't Go
Baby Please Don't Go
please click image

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Very Talented Toshi Reagon

I am continually amazed by what I don't know about the blues. Take Toshi Reagon, you would think that I would have heard of someone with her talent and background. But it took a prompting from one my online friend RocketM.

Check out how she kills this Howlin Wolf song, Smoke Stack Lightning.

Toshi Reagon 'Smokestack Lightning'


You can read about her at Toshi Reagon.com.

Have You Heard
Have You Heard by Toshi Reagon
please click image

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's the Birthday of Leadbelly

Important Recordings 1934-1949
Important Recordings 1934-1949
please click image


Today is the birthday of singer, songwriter Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, born in Mooringsport, Louisiana, 1888.

He is best known for his versions of "Goodnight Irene" and "Rock Island Line." He was an inmate at Angola Prison in Louisiana when a white man named Alan Lomax arrived, asking to record any songs the prisoners knew. Lomax was traveling across the south making field recordings for the Library of Congress. Lomax helped him obtain a pardon and took him to New York where he was a big hit.

Over the years I have written several post on Leadbelly, click here for Leadbelly @SqueezeMyLemon.

file under;
, ,

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday To Robert Wilkins

January is also the birth month of Robert Wilkins, he was born on th 16th of January in 1896, and he passed away, on May 26, 1987. He was a seminal blues guitarist and vocalist, of African American and Cherokee descent.

According to Wikipedia;

Wilkins was born in Hernando, Mississippi, 21 miles from Memphis. He worked in Memphis during the 1920s at the same time as Furry Lewis, Memphis Minnie (whom he claimed to have tutored), and Son House. He also organized a jug band to capitalize on the "jug band craze" then in vogue. Though never attaining success comparable to the Memphis Jug Band, Wilkins reinforced his local popularity with a 1927 appearance on a Memphis radio station. Like Sleepy John Estes (and unlike Gus Cannon of Cannon's Jug Stompers) he recorded alone or with a single accompanist. He sometimes performed as Tim Wilkins or as Tim Oliver (his stepfather's name).


The Guitar of Robert Wilkins

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

With Regards to The Hooker Family Musicians


My online friends BeautysSymphony and JadedJ commented on the fact that they did not know that Earl Hooker was related to John Lee Hooker. Which got me to thinking, didn't John Lee Hooker have a son, who is also a blues musician?

He did and According to Wikipedia;

John Lee Hooker Jr is a blues musician, born in 1952 in Detroit. He is the son of the late John Lee Hooker. The younger Hooker's musical style is markedly modernized, featuring contemporary arrangements.

In 2008 Hooker toured with a back-up band consisting of George Lacson (Bass), Jeff Horan (Guitar), Mike Rogers (Drums), and Brian James (Keys).

His third album, All Odds Against Me was released on August 19, 2008. Many of the tracks reflect the demons he has faced in his life.


Check out this video and his new album;

John Lee Hooker, Jr.'s "Blues Ain't Nothing But A Pimp"


All Odds Against Me
All Odds Against Me by Jr. John Lee Hooker
click image for info @Amazon.com

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I Feel Like Going To Church - Blind Willie Johnson - Jesus Is Coming Soon

Blind Willie Johnson - Jesus Is Coming Soon


Blind Willie Johnson "Jesus is coming soon" with introduction by Blind Willie Mc.Tell.

The creater of this video used "sequences from the film "Blood of Jesus" as a video to this song and Mc.Tell´s interview with John Lomax as introduction."

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Happy Birthday To Earl Hooker

An Introduction to Earl Hooker
An Introduction to Earl Hooker
please click image


Earl Hooker, the cousin of John Lee Hooker was born on January 15, 1929 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and he passed away on April 21, 1970 in Chicago, Illinois.

Hooker was a Chicago slide guitarist in the same league as Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor, and his mentor, Robert Nighthawk. Some Chicago blues guitarists even consider Hooker to have been the greatest slide player ever.

I think his CD An Introduction to Earl Hooker, makes a fine introduction to the man's music.

Track Listings

1. Blue Guitar
2. Swear to Tell the Truth
3. Blues in D Natural
4. Galloping Horses a Lazy Mule
5. Universal Rock
6. Rockin' with the Kid
7. Rockin' Wild
8. How Long Can This Go On?
9. These Cotton Pickin' Blues
10. The Leading Brand
11. Nothing But Good
12. The Bright Sounds
13. Off the Hook
14. Square Dance Rock Pts. 1-2

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Blues Funny - Darth Vader Feels Blue

As I have mentioned before I'm a Star Wars fan so this is kind of one of my favorite Star Wars blues music mash ups. The harmonica part is Sonny Terry, but I am sure that most of you know that.

I think that the blues are a joyous music, for the most part. Even though many of the lyrics seem to be about bad things, often times this is "tongue in cheek" and is played to get a laugh.

Living the blues means mostly having a hard time, but it also means having a good laugh too.

Darth Vader Feels Blue

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's the Birthday of Alan Lomax

Alan Lomax: Blues Songbook


This is also the birth month of Alan Lomax;
Alan Lomax (January 15, 1915 – July 19, 2002) was an American folklorist and musicologist. He was one of the great field collectors of folk music of the 20th century, recording thousands of songs in the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, the West Indies, Italy, and Spain.
Every time I think of Mr. Lomax, I thank God for him. He is one of the most important men in the world of blues as far as I am concerned.

Alan Lomax: Blues Songbook
Alan Lomax: Blues Songbook


Alan Lomax @Amazon.com
Alan Lomax @Wikipedia
Alan Lomax @SqueezeMyLemon
Alan Lomax @YouTube

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Happy Birthday To Slim Harpo


January is a very interesting month for birthdays of blues musicians. One of my favorites is Slim Harpo, who was born on 11 January 1924 and he passed away unexpectedly due to a heart attack on 31 January 1970.

One of the foremost proponents of post-war rural blues, he began performing in Baton Rouge bars under the name Harmonica Slim. He later accompanied Lightnin' Slim, his brother-in-law, both live and in the studio, before commencing his own recording career in 1957.
If you are not familiar with his music, might I recommend the mp3 CD The Best of Slim Harpo.

Track Listing

1. I'm A King Bee 3:03
2. I've Got Love If You Want It 2:47
3. Wonderin' And Worryin' 2:11
4. You'll Be Sorry One Day 2:17
5. Strange Love 2:09
6. Bobby Sox Baby 1:57
7. One More Day 2:26
8. Rainin' In My Heart 2:34
9. Blues Hangover 3:06
10. Buzzin' 2:07
11. Still Rainin' In My Heart 3:01
12. Snoopin' Around 2:16
13. Te Ni Nee Ni Nu 2:07
14. Tip On In, Part 1 2:51
15. Shake Your Hips 2:30
16. Baby Scratch My Back 2:52

Best Of Slim Harpo
Best Of Slim Harpo
please click image


Slim Harpo @SqueezeMyLemon

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Birthday To Tampa Red

Another bluesman who celebrated his birthday in January is Tampa Red. He was born on January 8 in 1904 and passed away on March 19, 1981.

Tampa Red - Don't Tampa with the Blues

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

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Release: Cold Tremors by Albert Collins

Cold Tremors
Cold Tremors by Albert Collins
please click on image for info @Amazon.com


Track Listings

1. Intro
2. All About My Girl
3. I've Got a Mind to Travel
4. Things That I Used to Do
5. Frosty
6. Wah Heat
7. Can't See What You're Doing to Me
8. Cold Tremor
9. Johnny B Cool

Albert Collins was a blues guitarist who played his brains out. He was capable of getting more notes, more licks, more of that good stuff (as I like to call it) into every song. This is album is more of that.

Disc one features a much-recommended live album, that was recorded at the infamous El Mocambo in Toronto. The second disc features a 1969 gig Collins recorded at the Fillmore in San Francisco, when he served as an opening act for the Allman Brothers.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

New Release - Derek Trucks Band – 'Already Free'

Already Free
Derek Trucks Band – 'Already Free'
please click image for info @Amazon.com


Track Listing

1. Down In The Flood 5:02
2. Something To Make You Happy 5:01
3. Maybe This Time 5:03
4. Sweet Inspiration 4:38
5. Don't Miss Me 4:16
6. Get What You Deserve 3:33
7. Our Love 5:18
8. Down Don't Bother Me 5:07
9. Days Is Almost Gone 5:13
10. Back Where I Started 4:20
11. I Know 4:40
12. Already Free 2:46

Derek Trucks is a dynamic blues guitarists. He has a very unique sound. According to;
Nearly a year in the making and brimming with a newfound focus on original material, Already Free is The Derek Trucks Band's natural evolution as they move forward integrating influences that span a variety of musical genres. Known for their blues roots, the group takes this album well beyond blues to incorporate the larger sounds of rock & soul. Already Free, features a stirring cover of Bob Dylan's Down In The Flood as well as the new songs, Down Don't Bother Me and Get What You Deserve. Guest appearances on the album include vocals from Susan Tedeschi and Doyle Bramhall II.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Feel Like Going To Church: Staple Singers - This May Be The Last Time

This May be the Last Time - The Staple Singers

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hip Hop Blues

Mix Master Mike & Robert Johnson from Scratch

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Good Morning Little Schoolgirl - Yardbirds - Budy Guy Video

You would think that I should just be able to post what ever I want to any of my blogs right? Well I try very hard to keep this blog just to blues, and for a while there I really only focused on the pre-war and post war blues musicians.

Then I thought, dude that is way too narrow of a concentration. You need to open up to some of the more contemporary forms of the blues and also some other styles too. Which I figure we will all enjoy. One kind of blues that I plan to post more of is British blues, which I like a lot.

Well it is back to school time, and I thought I would post the song, "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" which was written by Sonny Boy Williams I. I have always liked this song, I mean it goes way back to when I was myself a schoolboy.

Well anyway, I'm thinking that the Yardbirds are a British Rock band, so there version should do well. But it sounds a little too much like a Rock song to me so I include Buddy Guy's version which is as blues and you can get. Not that I don't love rock, but that is just not what we are about here at SML. That's all I'm saying.

Good Morning Little Schoolgirl - Yardbirds


Buddy Guy - Good Morning Little Schoolgirl

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It's the Birthday of Elizabeth "Libba" Cotten

Freight Train and Other
North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes
Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes
Please click image to listen to samples @Amazon.com

Well actually the day before yesterday, January 5 was the birthday of blues and folk musician Elizabeth Cotten. She was born in 1895 and she passed away on June 29, 1987.

I was going to try to write something that would indicate how much I like her music, but then it dawned on me, that really words do not capture the simple elegance that was Elizabeth Cotten. I just reccomend that you watch and listen to as much of her as you can, while you can.

I recommend that you take a look at this Elizabeth Cotten Interviewer with Shetland Fiddler Aly Bain, from his 1985 Series Down Home.

Elizabeth Cotten - Mama, Your Papa Loves You


Elizabeth Cotten Telling a funny story.

Elizabeth Cotten @SqueezeMyLemon

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Welcome To My JS Friends and Geoff Muldaur

First I want to welcome all my online friends from JournalSpace to my humble blues blog. It is not really like my journal was, SqueezeMyLemon has a very narrow focus, it is about all things blues. For those who don't know JS the web site is gone, and that kind of gives me a little bit of the blues.

Geoff Muldaur - Got To Find Blind Lemon (Pt1)

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Dancin' The Boogie - Silvan Zingg, Will & Maéva

I love boogie-woogie because it is kind of a happier part of the blues. All the energy and dynamics that the blues can bring are found in Silvan Zingg's music. He has a mastery of the boogie-woogie beat that is very smooth and refined, and he also holds on to that emotionally compelling part of good blues music.

When I watch the dance video clip below I can't keep my feet from moving. And the fact that I have "boogie-woogie dance envy" also known as "BWDE" becomes obvious to anyone near me.

Dancin' The Boogie - Silvan Zingg, Will & Maéva


Dancin' the Boogie
Dancin' the Boogie by Silvan Zingg
click image to download mp3 album

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Led Zeppelin - Travelling Riverside Blues

Hey, man if you see my rider, tell her to come on back home, ain't had no lovin since that little girl been gone.

Travelling Riverside Blues


Asked sweet mama, Let me be her kid
She said, "You might get hurt if you don't keep it hid"

Well I know my baby, If I see her in the dark
I said I know my rider, If I see her in the dark

Now, I goin' to Rosedale, Take my rider by my side
Still barrelhouse, If it's on the riverside, yeah
I know my baby, Lord, I said, "is really sloppy drunk"
I know my mama, Lord, a brownskin, but she ain't no plum

See my baby, tell her, Tell her hurry home
Had no lovin', since my baby been gone
See my baby, Tell hurry on home
I ain't had, Lord, my right mind, Since my rider's been gone

Hey, she promises, She's my rider
I wanna tell you, She's my rider
I know you're mine, She's my rider
She ain't but sixteen, But she's my rider

I'm goin' to Rosedale, Take my rider by side
Anybody argue with me man, I'll keep them satisfied
Well, see my baby, tell her, Tell her the shape I'm in
Ain't had no lovin', Lord, since you know when

Spoken: Why don't you come into my kitchen

She's a kindhearted lady. She studies evil all the time
She's a kindhearted woman. She studies evil all the time

Squeeze my lemon 'til the juice runs down my leg
Squeeze it so hard, I'll fall right out of bed
Squeeze my lemon, 'til the juice runs down my leg

Spoken: I wonder if you know what I'm talkin' about

Oh, but the way that you squeeze it girl
I swear I'm gonna fall right out of bed

She's a good rider
She's my kindhearted lady
I'm gonna take my rider by my side
I said her front teeth are lined with gold
She's gotta mortgage on my body, got a lien on my soul
She's my brownskin sugar plum...

Led Zeppelin @Amazon.com

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Release Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee

Folk Songs of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee
Folk Songs of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee
click image for info @Amazon.com


Track Listings
1. I Love You Baby
2. Corn Bread, Peas and Black Molasses
3. That's How I Feel
4. You'd Better Mind
5. Treated Wrong
6. Brownie's Blues
7. Southern Train
8. Just a Dream (On My Mind) - Sonny Terry, Broonzy, Willie
9. Sonny's Blues
10. Gone But Not Forgotten
11. Change the Lock on the Door
12. Climbing on Top of the Hill

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee were a prolific blues duo for decades. One of their hardest to find albums is Folk Songs Of Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee. It was originally issued on the Roulette label in 1959. Now mastered from the original tapes, and using the original album cover artwork, fans of this classic duo will no longer have the blues! They can listen to the blues instead!

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