Friday, March 31, 2006

Traveling Riverside Blues Lyrics

Because I love this song, especially the Robert Johnson version. Don't get me wrong the Led Zeppelin version was OK too. But it was Mr. Johnson's sly wit that was the first to bring to our attention that line about squeezing my lemon.

Traveling Riverside Blues
Recorded in Dallas by Robert Johnson, Texas on 20 June 1937.

If your man gets personal, want to have your fun
If your man gets personal, want to have your fun
Just come on back to Friar's Point, mama, and barrelhouse all night long

I got womens in Vicksburg, clean on into Tennessee
I got womens in Vicksburg, clean on into Tennessee
But my Friar's Point rider, now, hops all over me

I ain't gon' to state no color, but her front teeth is crowned with gold
I ain't gon' to state no color, but her front teeth is crowned with gold
She got a mortgage on my body, now, lien on my soul

Lord, I'm goin' to Rosedale, gon' take my rider by my side
Lord, I'm goin' to Rosedale, gon' take my rider by my side
We can still barrelhouse, baby, 'cause it's on the river side

Now you can squeeze my lemon till the juice run down my...
(Spoken: till the juice run down my leg, baby, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout)
You can squeeze my lemon till the juice run down my leg
(that’s what I’m talkin’ about now)
But I'm goin' back to Friar's Point, if I be rockin' to my head

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Son House Death Letter Video

OK, so you are lucky enough to find one copy of a video of Son House playing his awesome song death letter, what do you think the odds of being able to find a second different video by him. Playing the same awesome song.

I would think small because there was a time when it was hard to find music by this giant of the blues. But man isn't technology good?

So here you go a second version of the late grate bluesman Son House performing his song Death Letter.

Son House Death Letter Video @ YouTube

Son House @

Son House Son House
@ iTunes.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Blues Boy's Back Bottom Surprise

Here is a retelling of that story about the crossroads that we all know and love so well. I tried to imagine just how that incident with Mr. Johnson must have went down. I also threw in a little bit of "Going Down Slow" and mixed in a little of the hoodoo into this tale.

Blues Boy's Back Bottom Surprise

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Blues Lyric: Big Bill's Blues

Big Bill Blues

Lord my hair's a-rising, my flesh begins to crawl
Aw my hair's a-rising, my flesh begin to crawl
I had a dream last night baby, another mule in my doggone stall

Now there's some people said the Big Bill blues ain't bad
Now some people said the Big Bill blues ain't bad
Lord it must not have been them Big Bill blues they had

Lord I wonder what's the matter, papa Bill can't get no mail
Lord wonder what's the matter now, papa Bill can't get no mail
Lord the post office must be on fire, the mailman must undoubtedly be in jail

I can't be a wagon, since you ain't gonna be a mule
Mmmm can't be a wagon mama, since you ain't gonna be a mule
I ain't gonna fix up your black tradition, I ain't gonna be your doggone fool

Big Bill Broonzy Big Bill Broonzy @ iTunes

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

I Thought So...

What Robert Johnson Song are you?

You are "Travelling Riverside Blues"
Take this quiz!

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

mp3 & video of Hound Dog Taylor

There are a lot of dogs going around barking, but one of the truly big dogs was Theodore Roosevelt Taylor aka Hound Dog Taylor. And yes he was named after the president! As often seen in blues history the real bluesmen not only play the blues but they live the blues. And if anybody lived the blues, the Hound Dog did.

Here is also an example of a bluesman who was truly a joyous soul. You know he was having fun as he played. And some of his lyrics can make you laugh out loud or at least chuckle. Just listen to "Give Me Back My Wig" if you want to laugh.

He was a member of Sonny Boy William's II (Rice Miller) Biscuit Time radio broadcasts out of Helena, AR, before coming to Chicago in 1942. He learned to play a guitar at the age of 20, so I guess there is some hope for us late bloomers.

Not the best guitar player or smoothest vocalist, he is reported to have said, "When I die, they'll say, 'He couldn't play s***, but he sure made it sound good!'"

You can read all about him here; Wikipedia article on Hound Dog Taylor.

Interesting bit of Hound Dog Taylor trivia. He was born with a small sixth finger on each hand (he was a polydactyly), but amputated the extra digit from his right hand with a razor blade. Click here to see and image

Alligator Records biography

Gonna Send You Back to Georgia mp3 (3:35) from

Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockersHound Dog Taylor and The House Rockers

Hound Dog Taylor Video @ The video is not of the best quality, but it does allow you to see the charm and humor of one of Blues' Big Dogs!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Mp3s by Blind Willie Johnson

Blind Willie Johnson

They tell me that Blind Willie Johnson was one of the best slide guitar players to ever play a guitar. Now I don't know if that is true or not, I'll let you be the judge. It is claimed that he played the guitar not with a bottle neck as most slide players do but with a pocket knife. He was a Blues Gospel singer, song writer and slide guitar player of the first order. Not only did he play the blues but he lived the blues.

Like his contemporary Robert Johnson all bluesmen stand on his shoulders. That of course is my opinion, but if you listen to the mans music I think you will agree. There are those who think that Blind Willie Johnson was actually a better Bluesman than Robert Johnson. When you take Willie Johnson's playing and his song writing abilities into account, I tend to agree.

Blind Willie Johnson's vocal delivery was so raw and could range from rage to tenderness. When you add that to his talking guitar his delivery is hard to beat for its beauty and power.

His "If I Had My Way I'd Tear The Building Down" got him arrested when Blind Willie unknowingly sang it in front of a U.S. government building in Dallas, became a '60s icon. Years later, the story goes, after his house burned to the ground he caught pneumonia, but when treatment was sought, he was told the hospital did not treat blind people, so he returned home and died.

Mothers Children Have A Hard Time mp3

If I Had My Way Id Tear the Building mp3

Blind Willie Johnson - The Complete Blind Willie JohnsonThe Complete Blind Willie Johnson

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Friday, March 17, 2006

St. Louis Blues By WC Handy

I just love the words to this song. And reading it makes me understand where a lot of other blues lyrics come from.

St. Louis Blues

I hate to see de ev'nin' sun go down,
Hate to see de ev'nin' sun go down,
'Cause ma baby, he don lef dis town.

Feelin' tomorrow lak ah feel today,
Feel tomorrow lak ah feel today,
I'll pack my trunk, make ma gitaway.

St. Louis woman, wid her diamon' rings.
Pulls dat man roun' by her apron strings.
'Twant for pawder an' for store-bought hair,
De man ah love would not gone nowhere, nowhere.

God de St. Lois Blues jes as blue as ah can be,
Dat man got a heart lak a rock cast in the sea,
Or else he wouldn't have gone so far from me.

Been to de Gypsy to get ma fortune tole,
To de Gypsy done got ma fortune tole,
'Cause I'm most wile 'bout ma Jelly Roll

Gypsy done tole me "Don't you wear no black."
Yes she done tole me, "Don't you wear no black,
Go to St. Louis. You can win him back."

Help me to Cairo, make St. Louis by maself,
Git to Cairo, find ma ole friend Jeff.
Gwine to pin maself close to his side,
If ah flag his train, I sho' can ride.

I loves dat man lak a schoolboy loves his pie,
Lak a Kentucky Col'nel loves his mint an' rye,
I'll love ma baby till the day ah die.

You ought to see dat stovepipe brown of mine,
Lak he owns de Dimon Joseph line,'
He'd make a cross-eyed 'oman go stone blin'.

Blacker than midnight, teeth lak flags of truce,
Blackest man in de whole St. Louis,
Blacker de berry, sweeter am de juice.

About a crap game, he knows a pow'ful lot,
But when work-time comes, he's on de dot.
Gwine to ask him for a cold ten-spot,
What it takes to git it, he's cert'nly got.

A black-headed gal makes a freight train jump the track,
Said a black-headed gal makes a freight train jump the track,
But a long tall gal makes a preacher ball the Jack.

Lawd, a blond-headed woman makes a good man leave the town,
I said blond-headed woman makes a good man leave the town,
But a read-headed woman makes a boy slap his papa down.

Oh ashes to ashes and dust to dust,
I said ashes to ashes and dust to dust,
If my blues don't get you my jazzing must.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Official Muddy Waters Site & Downloadable Sound Files

I have had it on my list of things "to do" for a while now to write something about the Official Muddy Waters Site. While it has not been updated in a while, it is a wealth of info for the Muddy Waters fan or for someone who is just getting turned on to the "God Father of the Blues."

The site is easy to navigate and has some sections that provide information about Muddy Waters that I doubt you could find anywhere else. There is of course a Bio Section. The bio is excerpted from "Gone to Mainstreet," Bluesland, E. P. Dutton, 1992 by Pete Welding. It is through and makes the point of Muddy Waters' impact on the blues and all other post war music.

One of the sections that I really enjoyed is the Muddy Art section. It has some photos of Muddy Water that you will probably see no where else. The Candid photo section has some great photos of Muddy and his friends.

The Sound Bytes section was of special interest because it has links to some Real Network Sound files. The files linked on this page are;

  • The Voice "Mannish Boy" from Hard Again

  • Acoustic Slide "I Be's Troubled" from The Complete Plantation Recordings

  • Electric Slide "Long Distance Call" from Fathers & Sons as well as Muddy & The Wolf

This brief overview that I have provided only scratches the surface of the information, photos and other multimedia that can be found at this awesome site. Make sure you add it to your Favorites List.

Muddy Waters - Muddy Waters: Rollin' Stone - The Golden Anniversary Collection - They Call Me Muddy WatersMuddy Waters - Muddy Waters: Rollin' Stone - The Golden Anniversary Collection - They Call Me Muddy Waters (USA)

Muddy Waters - Muddy Waters: The Chess Box - Lonesome Road BluesMuddy Waters - Muddy Waters: The Chess Box - Lonesome Road Blues (USA)

Muddy Waters - Muddy Waters: The Chess Box - Mannish BoyMuddy Waters - Muddy Waters: The Chess Box - Mannish Boy (USA)

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bukka White-Baby Your Killin Me Video

According to the comments at YouTube this video;

This video is a performance from "Devil's Got My Woman" it is a recording of the 1964 or 65 Newport Folk Blues Festival. Alan Lomax set up a "juke joint" from the late 20's, early 30's and invited various performers to play. Among them were Skip James, Son House, Howlin' Wolf, The Rev. Pearly Brown, Sonny Boy Williams II (Rice Miller) and of course Bukka White, as shown here.

If you were wondering several of the other videos that I have linked to from YouTube are also from that same recording.

Bukka White - Baby Your Killin Me Video @ YouTube

mp3s of Bukka White @ SqueezeMyLemon

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Blues Terminology: John The Conquer

The roots Ipomoea jalapa, when dried, are carried as the John the Conquer root amulet.

In 1954 Muddy Waters had a hit with the Willie Dixion song "Hoochie Coochie Man" and ever since I first heard this song I wondered what Muddy meant when he sang that line "I got the John the Conqueroo." It is part of the verse that goes;

I got a black cat bone, I got a mojo too,
I got the John the Conqueroo, I'm gonna mess with you,
I'm gonna make you girls, lead me by my hand,
Then the world will know, the Hoochie coochie Man.

According to

"John the Conquer root, refers to a number of roots to which magical powers are ascribed in American folklore, especially among the hoodoo tradition of folk magic among African Americans. The root, in turn, is named after a folk hero called High John the Conqueror."

Who was John the Conqueror?

"John the Conqueror was supposed to be an African prince who was sold as a slave in the Americas. Despite his enslavement, his spirit was never broken and he survived in folklore as a sort of a trickster figure, because of the tricks he played to evade his masters. Zora Neale Hurston wrote of his adventures ("High John de Conquer") in her collection of folklore, "The Sanctified Church."

What is John the Conqueror?

"The root known as High John the Conqueror is (supposed to be) the root of Ipomoea jalapa, an Ipomoea species related to the morning glory and the sweet potato."

John The Conqueror @

John The Conqueror @

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lonnie Johnson Video & mp3s

Here is a video of Lonnie Johnson, it is one of several videos at YouTube that highlight the late grate blues man.


Lonnie Johnson @

mp3s by Lonnie Johnson @ SqueezeMyLemon

Wikipedia Article on Lonnie Johnson Article on Lonnie Johnson

Web page on Lonnie Johnson @ - Includes a great man Real Player music files.

Blues Lyrics by Lonnie Johnson @ Blues Lyrics On Line

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Lemon Aid and Some Links

I thought I heard somebody say, "If they give you lemons, then make some lemon aid!"

I added a couple of new links to my link list. Both of these blogs link to me and I just want to acknowledge them and give them a link back.


TheBluesAndThenSome - The blues, Texas, food, and assorted stuff.

They are both great reads and if you like good music and other arts related info please check them out. As a matter of a fact, please check out all the blogs on my link list.

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Muddy Waters - Interview

Muddy Waters talks about growin' up in Mississippi & workin' & movin' to Chicago playin' the blues...

Muddy Waters Interview @

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Friday, March 03, 2006

mp3s by Blind Lemon Jefferson

Blind Lemon Jefferson

Blind Lemon Jefferson (September, 1893 – December, 1929) is another one of those prewar bluesmen that I consider a hero of the blues because he was so influential. He was one of the most popular blues singers of the 1920s. His style of playing was fast and intricate and he sang with a high pitch that you sometimes here modern bluesmen like BB King and others use. He had the most influence on the Texas blues sound, some say he is the founder of that sound. And another reason to appriciate his music in because he influnced Texas bluesmen such as Leadbelly and Lightin Hopkins.

If you want to go back to the roots of the music, and the Texas style blues you have to consider Blind Lemon Jefferson and his music.

"Blind Lemon Jefferson" in the Handbook of Texas Online

"Long Lonesome Blues" (2:54, 509kB) - 2742-1-Pm, Chicago, c. March 1926

"Match Box Blues" (2:54, 519kB) - 4446-4-Pm, c. April 1927

"Hot Dogs" (2:53, 508 kB) - 4578-3-Pm, c. June 1927

"See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" (2:50, 493 kB) - 20374-1-Pm, Chicago, c. February 1928

"That Crawlin' Baby Blues" (2:40, 461 kB) - 15671-Pm, 24 September, 1929

Blind Lemon Jefferson Grave Stone

Matchbox Blues
Song: Matchbox Blues
Album: Legends of the Blues, Vol. 1
Artist: Blind Lemon Jefferson

Black Snake Moan
Song: Black Snake Moan
Album: The Story of the Blues (Columbia)
Artist: Blind Lemon Jefferson

Shuckin' Sugar Blues
Song: Shuckin' Sugar Blues
Album: Milestone Classic Jazz: Blind Lemon Jefferson
Artist: Blind Lemon Jefferson

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bessie Smith - Saint Louis Blues Video

This video appears to be from the 1929 movie Saint Louis Blues which starred Bessie Smith. You can read about it here Saint Louis Blues @

More info on the 1929 movie Saint Louis Blues.

It features a band that including James P. Johnson on piano, Thomas Morris and Joe Smith on cornet, as well as the Hall Johnson Choir with some thrilling harmonies at the end.

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