Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday blues Funny - Calhoun Tubbs

Calhoun Tubbs

According to Wikipedia; Calhoun Tubbs David Alan Grier portrays an old bluesman whose songs invariably insult or otherwise offend his audience. Catchphrase: "Wrote a song about it. Like to hear it? Here it go!" "Thank you very much!" His catchphrase was also used as the intro to En Vogue's "Free Your Mind". He also always strums the same bar of blues and ends his little songs with "Ahhhhahaha"

Thursday, February 28, 2008

If the blues had a flower.

How blue can you get?

This has nothing to do with music, but it got me to thinking when I saw this. It would make a perfect flower for the blues. Maybe I'll have to get Mrs. F. a buch of these.

blue rose

The AFP reports that genetically-modified blue roses will soon be going on sale in Japan. Click the above image to read about it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

2nd Annual Deep Blues & Film Festival

Got an email letting me know about the 2nd Annual Deep Blues Festival and 1st Annual Film Festival. I just wanted to pass the word on and let you all know about it.

They will be screening the Jessie Mae Hemphill movie Dare You To Do It Again which is where a couple of the videos in my lat post come from.

2nd Annual Deep Blues Festival Expands To
45 Performers with International Acts and a Film Festival

Fri - Sun, July 18-20, 2008 - 11:00am - 10:00pm
Washington County Fairgrounds - Lake Elmo, MN
Tickets on sale at Deep Blues

Go here to get more info and to buy tickets; Deep Blues Festival web site
Visit for more info and music; Deep Blues Festival@MySpace
Visit for more info on the blues film festival that is going on at the same time; Deep Blues Film Festival@MySpace

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jessie Mae Hemphill

If you guys knew my process you would be surprised that I ever post anything. The word serendipity almost kills me each post. I have an idea, which I think is a good one and then the next thing you know I am listening to a remake by someone else, and then I have got to go and get a CD that is packed away in the garage, but wait there is a video clip of the person I am researching playing with "insert your favorite blues musician here" and the next thing you know I have spent three hours listen to clips of someone that I don't plan on posting for another couple of weeks when I do Harmonica players or even worse it is some band that I would never even post in this blog in the first place.

OK, so back on track. Yes, right now I am focusing on female blues musicians, that is the plan. For your blues listening pleasure, I give you .

Jessie Mae Hemphill.

Jessie Mae Hemphill - You Can Talk About Me

DVD Trailer 2004 "Dare You to Do it Again"


Jessie Mae's Myspace page

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I Feel Like Going to Church - Blind Willie Johnson Trouble Soon be Over

This video is a re-enactment, but I really like it. I hope you enjoy it too, I think it is a great blues song for a Sunday morning.

Blind Willie Johnson Trouble Soon be Over

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ida Cox - Blues Songstress Mp3s Videos

I'm still in the mood to present female blues musicians. I hope you all are enjoying it as much as I am. LOL. You know I have to have some fun with this myself. Today I want you to consider Mrs. Ida Cox (1896 - 1967). She was a singer, composer, and a recording artist.

Ida Cox

Originally from Georgia she got her start in minstrel shows during the 1920s. She was popular during the 1930s also and did her last recordings in the 1960s.

According to her bio

She began her career at the age of 14 working in theaters. She was very popular during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1939 she sang at the Cafe Society and appeared at John Hammond's "Spirituals To Swing Concert". She toured until 1944 when a stroke forced her to retire. In 1961 she came back for on final recording.

During her career she worked with Charlie Christian, Lionel Hampton, Fletcher Henderson, Oran Page, Jelly Roll Morton, Tommy Ladnier, and Coleman Hawkins.

She was very progressive and made a lot of strides for both women and blacks during her life. Her song "Last Mile Blues," condemned capital punishment, and gave a voice to thousands of repressed African-Americans and secured her as one of the most renowned singers of the Harlem Renaissance.

Her songs include "Wild Woman Don't Have The Blues," "Death Letter Blues," "Ida Cox's Lawdy Lawdy Blues," "Mama Papa Turn Your Key," "Graveyard Hound Blues," "Georgia Hound Blues," "Coffin Blues," "Rambling Blues," "Worn Down Daddy Blues," and "You Stole My Man"

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Notes from YouTube; Part Four of DVD "The Ladies Sing The Blues" with some of the best American Vocalists and their greatest performances. Here Ida Cox with Jesse Crump - "When You Lose Your Money-Blues" and Sister Rosetta Tharp - "That Lonesome Road".


Ida Cox And Her Allstar Band

Ida Cox Jesse Crump

Ida Cox Allstar Orch

*update* - Thanks to the Lovely and talented Ms. Edith Frost for letting us know that our friends over at Honey, Where You Been So Long recently posted Ida Cox's 1925 Coffen Blues mp3. So go over there and snag that puppy while it is still hot.


Ida Cox entry at

Ida Cox @ The African American Registry

Ida Cox @ Wikipedia

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Big Mama Thornton - Female Harmonica Player

Now I do get excited by female blues guitar players (like Memphis Minnie in my last couple of post), but let me tell you, if you are a female that knows how to play a harmonica, I'll make Mrs. F. sleep on the floor.

You probably don't understand, but that is OK. Consider if you will Big Mama Thornton. Son when I tell you that she could rip it up, you better believe that.

And if you don't, then see for yourself.

Ball and Chain

Big Mama Thornton - Down Home Shakedown
Includes John Lee Hooker

Big Mama Thornton - Rock me (Oregon 1971)

Big Mama Thornton, Francis Clay, James Cotton, Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson, Muddy Waters, Otis Spann & Samuel Lawhorn - Big Mama Thornton With the Muddy Waters Blues Band - 1966

Big Mama Thornton

Monday, February 18, 2008

Memphis Minnie - Videos and mp3s

Yesterday I posted a Memphis Minnie video clip and it dawned on me that I have not posted anything about her, or any other of my favorite female blues musicians, in a while. A couple of years to be exact, in the case of Memphis Minnie.

Well I thought, I better do something about that.

Click here for Memphis Minnie @

The below videos are so cool I almost don't have words to tell you how delightful they are. First they were placed on YouTube by Dan Chlipala. They are the marriage of Memphis Minnie's music and vintage photos that fit so well with the music. I think Dan has done a great job on these. Please take a look at them and visit his YouTube Blog via the link above, where you will find many more cool videos.

Keep On Eatin

Down In The Alley

Have You See My Rooster

Mp3s for your listening pleasure;

Kansas Joe & Memphis Minnie - "When the Levee Breaks" mp3

"Where is My Good Man At" mp3

Trail of The HellHound Bio for Memphis Minnie

Listen to a sample of "Bumble Bee Blues" (1.78MB wav)

Listen to a sample of "Soo Cow Soo" (2.01MB wav)

Guys like a girl who can play a guitar, and by all accounts Memphis Minnie could play it as well if not better then many of the men on the blues scene of her day. Take a listen to her music and read up on her history to get a picture of this blues great who played an important roll in shaping the music that we listen today.

Just the fact that she wrote and played "When The Levee Breaks", a 1929 Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe song, was later covered by Led Zeppelin and released in 1971 on Zeppelin's fourth album, is enough for those of us who love music to sing her praises.

You can read about her here;

The forgotten queen - Was Memphis Minnie the mother of electric blues guitarists? by JoBeth Briton @ The Worcester Phoenix.

Memphis Minnie@Wikipedia

Click here for Memphis Minnie @

file under;

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Feel Like Going to Church - Memphis Minnie

Children, I feel like going to church on this Sunday Morning. So I thought a little Gospel blues would help wash away our sins.

Sing along if the spirit moves you. Sorry but the video is just a static picture.

Let Me Ride - Memphis Minnie

Notes at YouTube - Memphis Minnie, recorded Tuesday, 15 January 1935 Decca

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Big Joe Williams Videos



There are some great videos on YouTube that can not be embedded :(

Well I guess I'll just have to link to them. Take this video of Big Joe Williams playing Baby Please Don't Go for example.

Note the guitar playing and the foot stomps and taps. Dude had rhythm.

Please click link to see video >>>Baby Please Don't Go

Please click link to see video >>>Big Joe Williams

Friday, February 15, 2008

Match Box Blues - A History

There is a Zen saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

As a student of the blues, I know when someone is being a teacher, or taking me to school. I enjoyed the lesson on the history of that proverbial blues song "Match Box Blues" given over at Heart on a Stick Blog.

These two comprehensive entries (linked below) will give you all the information that you will ever need about this song and the many artist who preformed it over the years.

The More You Cry (The Matchbox Blues Blues, Pt. 1)

The Further You Drive Me Away (The Matchbox Blues Blues, Pt. 2)

Just to give you an idea of what a treasure these post are, consider the opening note to post one.

[Note 1: These are long. No, seriously. I don't expect anyone to read any of it. But there are 33 mp3s in these two entries and, as they're pretty much taking up all my online storage space, they won't be up very long. A week, maybe. The text and the stitched-together comparison track up will stay up, but grab whatever else you might want while you can.]

These were posted yesterday, so if you want to check out any of the mp3s you better get over there soon.

Leadbelly - Match box blues

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Howlin Wolf Video - May I Have A Talk With You

Wolf begins by asking that age old question, have you ever been loved, have you ever loved a woman...

Friday, February 08, 2008

Uncle Johnny Williams on "The Blues"

This is the best explination of what the blues are that I have ever heard. Right from the mouth of a bluesman.

Notes from YouTube; Uncle Johnny Williams talks about how the blues were born. Scene from the new movie, "Electrified: The Story of Maxwell Street"

Electrified The Movie
Cheat You Fair The Movie
Electrified Blues

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Lightnin' Hopkins talks about the blues

Back in 2006, I wrote the following about Lightnin' Hopkins;

If you want to learn how to play blues guitar, a good place to start would be to buy ever piece of Lightnin Hopkins' music that you can find and to study it nonstop. Lightnin's nimble dexterity, his ability to create some of the coolest boggie riffs, his often funny improvised lyrics that fit into whatever situation the bluesman found himself in, all combine to make him one of my favorite blues performers.

Or if like me you just like listening to someone who knows how to play a guitar, then you might want to check this out;

It was true then and it is true now.

Check the man out in his own words.

Lightnin' Hopkins talks about the blues

Lightnin' Hopkins sings Green Onions

Lightnin' Hopkins Mojo Hand 1962