Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Baptist Preacher Blues Video

I really like the music of YouTuber Geoff C. He is an excellent guatarist and singer. Here he does a great version of Son House's Baptist Preacher Blues.

The Baptist Preacher Blues by Geoff C.

Notes from YouTube: combining tampa red style slide on a national tri-cone, with some of my favorite verses re: religion, from Son House, Jelly Jaw Short, Dave "Snaker " Ray , Etc. The Baptist Preacher blues.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Country Blues

According to wikipedia;

Country blues (also folk blues, rural blues, backwoods blues, or downhome blues) refers to all the acoustic, guitar-driven forms of the blues. After blues' birth in the southern United States, it quickly spread throughout the country (and elsewhere), giving birth to a host of regional styles. These include Memphis, Detroit, Chicago, Texas, Piedmont, Louisiana, Western, Atlanta, St. Louis, East Coast, Swamp, New Orleans, Delta and Kansas City blues.
Notable country blues musicians @ SqueezeMyLemon;Country Blues @

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Blues Funny - Desktop Blues

I have this tradition of trying to lighten it up a little on Fridays. And in keeping with that I'd like to offer this very cool little blues related distraction.

Since an online friend turned me on to this link I have done little else but play with it. And I bet all the guitar players will love this link;


But don't be surprised if you find yourself spending all your time playing with this. There are several music related games offered here so be sure to check them all out.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Late Great Son Seals

Frank "Son" Seals is another bluesman who was born in the month of August. Of him wikipedia says;

He was born in 1942 in Osceola, Arkansas where his father, Jim "Son" Seals, owned a small club. He began performing professionally by the age of 13, first as a drummer with Robert Nighthawk, and later as a guitarist. In 1959, he formed his own band which performed locally and he also toured with Albert King.

In 1971, he moved to Chicago. His career took off after he was discovered by Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records at the Flamingo Club in Chicago's South Side. His debut, The Son Seals Blues Band, was released in 1973. The album included "Your Love Is Like a Cancer" and "Hot Sauce". Seals followed up with 1976's Midnight Son and 1978's Live and Burning. He continued releasing albums throughout the next two decades, all but one on Alligator Records. These included Chicago Fire (1980), Bad Axe (1984), Living In The Danger Zone (1991), Nothing But The Truth and Live-Spontaneous Combustion (1996). He received the W.C. Handy Award, an honor for best blues recording of the year, in 1985, 1987, and 2001.
He passed away in 2004 due to complications from diabetes. He is missed by fans from around the world.

Son Seals-2000

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

B.B. Kings New Release: One Kind Favor

B.B. King
Buy at

With his new release B.B. King is going back to the past. On his "One Kind Favor" release he is working with noted producer T-Bone Burnett, who helped him reproduce the studio conditions of the 1950s.

Mr. King is backed by pianist Dr. John, drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Nathan East. The songs include Big Bill Broonzy's "Backwater Blues," Lonnie Johnson's "Tomorrow Night," Blind Lemon Jefferson's "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" and T-Bone Walker's "I Get So Weary."

I only listened to the sample mp3s of the album, but my impression is that Mr. King is up to his old self. I like the sound of his voice, he sounds strong. As for the playing on the album, the music also sounds very good. Others who have reviewed this music say that B.B.'s guitar playing is also good on this effort. I really liked the blues horn sound on the track "The World Is Gone Wrong".

I hope we don't have to do that favor and clean his grave anytime soon.

B.B. King @

Guitar and Slide

guitar and slide
Photo uploaded to flickr by fernandovega

Here is another one of those interesting flickr images with a blues theme.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Great Place To Find Harmonicas

eBay has some great collectible and vintage harmonicas as well as brand new ones. If you are looking for a great selection and a good price check out what the have to offer below.

You can get racks, mikes, amps and other blues accessories as well.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blues Metamorphosis

Blue Morpho
Buy at

Child, I had the blues so bad I dreamed I was catapiller,
Just crawling on the ground.
I dreamed I was a catapiller and that ain't no lie

Said I had the blues so bad, I thought I would die.
But when that old sun came around,
I woke up the next morning feeling like I was a butterfly.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The History of Gospel Videos

These videos go along way in showing how gospel music is related to the blues. I hope that it helps the frat boys, the aging boomers and the corporate blues fans to go deeper into the roots of the blues. I know that it helped me to understand the relationship between these two great American music forms that I have been listening to all my life.

And not that it matters how you came to the music, it just helps to understand where the music came from.

The History Of Gospel 01
This clip features the Rev. Thomas Dorsey.

The History Of Gospel 02
This clip features Mahalia Jackson and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

The History Of Gospel 03
This clip features Aretha Franklin, Clara Ward, Shirley Caesar & The Dixie Hummingbirds

The History Of Gospel 04
This clip features Rev. James Cleveland, Vanessa Bell Armstrong and Edwin Hawkins

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Classic Female Blues

The Classic Female Blues music is a part of the blues that I love to high light for many reasons. According to Wikipedia;

The classic female blues spanned from 1920 to 1929 with its peak from 1923 to 1925. The most popular of these singers were Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Mamie Smith, Ethel Waters, Ida Cox, Victoria Spivey, Sippie Wallace, Alberta Hunter, Clara Smith, Edith Wilson, Trixie Smith, Lucille Hegamin and Bertha “Chippie” Hill. Hundreds of others recorded including Lizzie Miles, Sara Martin, Rosa Henderson, Martha Copeland, Bessie Jackson (Lucille Bogan), Edith Johnson, Katherine Baker, Margaret Johnson, Hattie Burleson, Madlyn Davis, Ivy Smith, Alberta Brown, Gladys Bentley, Billie and Ida Goodson, Fannie May Goosby, Bernice Edwards and Florence Mills.

They sang often backed behind their bands consisting of piano, several horns and drums. These women were pioneers in the record industry: they were among the first black singers recorded, they were the first blues singers recorded, and they were instrumental in spreading the 12-bar blues form throughout the country. In terms of performing, they often wore elaborate outfits and sang of the injustices of their lives, bonding with their audience’s sorrows. Their schedules were grueling, staying on the road most of the time with tent shows in the summer and theatres during the winter. With the crash of Wall Street in 1929, the popularity of the blues singers declined. Some went back home, took up jobs or moved to Hollywood. In the '60s with the blues revival, Sippie Wallace, Alberta Hunter, Edith Wilson and Victoria Spivey returned to the stage.

Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, from Georgia, was the “Mother of the Blues,” and lived from 1886–1939. She was the first woman to incorporate blues into her act of show songs and comedy. In 1902, she heard a woman singing about the man she’d lost, and quickly learned the song. From then on at each performance, she used it as her closing number calling it “the blues.” She recorded over 100 songs and wrote 24 of them herself. “Bessie Smith (and all the others who followed in time), wrote jazz historian Dan Morgenstern “learned their art and craft from Ma, directly or indirectly.” Young women followed Ma Rainey’s path in the tent show circuit, since black performers were not allowed to be in venues. Eventually most singers were booked on the T.O.B.A. (Theatre Owners Booking Association) circuit.
Books on Classic Female Blues

Albertson, Chris. Bessie. New York: Stein & Day Publishers, 1972. ISBN 0-300-09902-9

Davis, Angela Y. Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday. New York: Random House, Inc., 1998. ISBN 0-679-77126-3

Harrison, Daphne Duval. Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the '20s. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-8135-1279-4

Lieb, Sandra. Mother of the Blues: A Study of Ma Rainey. Amhearst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1981. ISBN 0-87023-394-7

Placksin, Sally. American Women in Jazz: 1900 to the Present. Los Angeles: Wideview Books, 1982. ISBN 0-87223-756-7

Stewart-Baxter, Derrick. Ma Rainey and the Classic Blues Singers. New York: Stein & Day Publishers, 1970. ISBN 0-8128-1321-9

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's the Birthday of John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker Early Years: Classic Savoy Sessions Album Cover
click image to see books, cds and mp3s

On this day back in 1917 John Lee Hooker, blues singer and guitarist was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He was the son of cotton-sharecroppers. He told of learning to play the blues from his stepfather and other blues men that he met in the Mississippi Delta. He is reported to have constructed his first instrument from strings made of rubber inner tube nailed to a barn. He left home and the tender age of 14, and started singing in a gospel group. In 1943 he moved to Detroit and in 1948 he made his first recording, the rhythm-and-blues hit "Boogie Chillun".

John Lee Hooker - It Serves Me Right To Suffer

His discography is a long and varied one. He recorded more than 100 albums accompanying himself on electric guitar. His music is a mix of slow blues tunes and fast boogies, which he played as he toured throughout the United States. After Hooker was rediscovered by the white blues-rockers of the 1960's he recorded with several rock musicians and influenced many young singers and electric guitar players.

John Lee Hooker
click image to see books, cds and mp3s

Hooker's later popular albums include;

The Very Best Of John Lee Hooker (April 25, 1995),

Chill Out (February 21, 1995),

Live At The Cafe Au Go-Go (And Soledad Prison) [LIVE] (1996).

He won three Grammy awards and was inducted (1991) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mr. Hooker passed away on Thursday, June 21st 2001.

John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker
Buy posters at

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quote from the Great Gatsby

The genre of the blues was a hallmark of American society and culture in the 1920s and 1930s.So great was its influence, and so much was it recognized as Handy's hallmark, that author F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in his novel The Great Gatsby that;

"All night the saxophones wailed the hopeless comment of the "Beale Street Blues" while a hundred pairs of golden and silver slippers shuffled the shining dust. At the gray tea hour there were always rooms that throbbed incessantly with this low, sweet fever, while fresh faces drifted here and there like rose petals blown by the sad horns around the floor."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nuno Midelis The Beast Brazilian Bluesman

Nuno Mindelis who was born on August 7, 1957. He is nicknamed "The Beast", and is an Angolan-born Brazilian blues guitarist and singer-songwriter.

According to the bio at Nuno

Born in Cabinda (Angola), Eastern Africa on Aug. 7, 1957, Nuno Mindelis became a guitar enthusiast at the very young age of 5. By the age of 9 he began building and playing self-made guitars.

A primary influence at that time was Otis Redding and his great rhythm section, Booker T. & The MG's, made up of Booker T., Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn, and Al Jackson. Nuno continues to enjoy the work of these musicians to this day.

Nuno Mindelis - Live at the Montreal Intl. Jazz Festival


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's the Birthday of Colin James

Well not actually, his birthday was a couple of days ago, but I did want to acknowledge as I try to include more of the modern blues musicians. Colin James is a Canadian which works towards my other goal of including bluesmen from other countries.

Born Colin James Munn (born August 17, 1964 in Regina, Saskatchewan) he is singer, guitarist, and songwriter who plays in the blues, rock, and swing genres.

Check out the below video of him with Willie Dixon.

Colin James & Willie Dixon - I'm crazy for my baby

Monday, August 18, 2008

Willie Brown - Future Blues Video and Lyrics

Willie Brown - Future Blues


here's that Willie Brown Song, you see.

can't tell my future, boy lord
can't tell my past
seem like every minute going,
gone be my last

can't tell my future,
lord i can't tell my past
seem like every minute now
sure going to be my last

minutes seems like hours
and hours seems like days
i wish my woman quite her lowdown ways
lord minutes seems like hours
hours seems like days
i wish my woman lord, quite her lowdown ways

well you see that picture lord
your mama's shelf
know about that i'm tired of sleeping all by myself
lord see that picture upon your mama's shelf
know about that i'm tired of sleeping by myself

i had a notion yeah i belive i will
i'll build me a mansion upon the keno hill
lord i had a notion, my man i belive i will
build me a mansion Lord upon keyta hill

can't tell my future now
can't tell my past
feel like every minute going to be my last
lord i can't my future boys
yeah and i can't tell my past
feel like every minute now sure going to be my last

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It's the Birthday of Luther Allison

Luther Allison was born on this day in 1939 and he passed away on August 12 in 1997. He was an blues guitarist who was born in Widener, Arkansas and moved with his family, at age twelve, to Chicago, Illinois in 1951. He taught himself guitar while still a kid down in Arkansas where he first heard the blues. Many years later he began hanging outside blues clubs with the hopes of being invited to perform. He played with Howlin' Wolf's band and backed up James Cotton among others. He was also called to the stage to play with Muddy Waters.

Remembering Luther Allison

Luther Allison - Evil Is Going On

I love the harmonica part on that last video, according to a comment left on YouTube for this video, Garfield Angrove is playing the harp on this track.

And it really saddens me to have to write that Luther Allison died of inoperable lung cancer just a few days before his birthday back in 1997. As so often happens the good die young, and Mr. Allison was definitely one of the good ones. His death, "robbed music fans of one of the most exciting and popular blues performers ever."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A couple of Post on the iPhone

Samuel Johnson is credited with having said, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." It had been my intentions to write something about the capabilities of the new Apple iPhone.

I think that the blues and high tech can mix well. One thing that will help to keep blues music alive is showing young people how cool it is to use their new shiny gadgets to enjoy good old music like the blues. The blues will continue to be revived for new mediums as they are created.

Consider YouTube and some of the other new video sharing websites that allow blues fans to enjoy content that was unthinkable in years past. The iPhone can be used to view your favorite blues videos on YouTube for example.

Cahl's Juke Joint, a blog that I have been reading forever has written about the Apple iPhone and how you can use it to listen to blues and jazz music. I like his post because it gave me ideas of how to use the iPhone to enjoy many of the music sites that I have been listening to for some while now.

For your reading pleasure please check out;
iPhone Music Applications, and iPhone Music part 2. Both these post give good info on how to use an iPhone to listen to music.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Blues Funny - Blues Name Calculator

According the the Blues Name Calculator, my blues name is Curly Lemon Hopkins.

Glad they squeezed that Lemon in there!

Click on the link above to get your blues name

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Boogie-Woogie is also one of my favorite forms of the blues. According to Wikipedia;

Boogie-woogie is a style of piano-based blues that became very popular in the late 1930s and early 1940s, but originated much earlier, and was extended from piano, to three pianos at once, guitar, big band, and country and western music, and even gospel. Whilst the blues traditionally depicts sadness and sorrow, boogie-woogie is associated with dancing. The lyrics of one of the very earliest, "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie", consist entirely of instructions to dancers:
Now, when I tell you to hold it, I don't want you to move a thing. And when I tell you to get it, I want you to Boogie Woogie!
It is characterized by a regular bass figure, an ostinato and the most familiar example of shifts of level, in the left hand which elaborates on each chord, and trills and decorations from the right hand.

The origin of the term boogie-woogie is unknown, according to Webster's Third New International Dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary states that the word is a redoubling of boogie, which was used for rent parties as early as 1913. The term is often hyphenated. Blues historian Robert Palmer wrote that the boogie-woogie style bass pattern may have been created in the logging and turpentine camps and oil boomtowns of Texas, Louisiana, and the Mississippi Delta circa 1900. Palmer also reports that Willie Dixon told Karl Gert zur Heide, author of "Deep South Piano" that in Mississippi before the term boogie was used, the eight to the bar piano patterns were called "Dudlow Joes".

In an interview with NPR blues singer and pianist Marcia Ball stated that "Boogie woogie started out with a bunch of different names, depending on where you were. Apparently there was a song by a guy named Dudlow, Joe Dudlow. He’s the first guy that a lot of them heard that was playing that kind of um… [playing]. And so they called it that for a while, Dudlow Joe." The precise origin of boogie-woogie piano is, however, uncertain; it was no doubt influenced by early rough music played in honky tonks in the Southern United States. W.C. Handy and Jelly Roll Morton both mentioned hearing pianists playing this style before 1910. According to Clarence Williams, the style was started by Texas pianist George W. Thomas. Thomas published one of the earliest pieces of sheet music with the boogie-woogie bassline, "New Orleans Hop Scop Blues" in 1916, although Williams recalled hearing him play the number before 1911. The term "boogie" itself was in use very early, as in Wilbur Sweatman's "Boogie Rag" recorded in April, 1917. link

For more info click blues piano @ SqueezeMyLemon.

List of Boogie Woogie Musicians @ Wikipedia.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

RIP Isaac Hayes

When great music artist like Isaac Hayes pass away, I often want to note their passing in some small and respectful way here in SML, but often the words fail me.

But I think that Reverend Keith A. Gordon over at's blues page did a good job or honoring the late grate mister Hayes. In his profile on Isaac Hayes he states;

Although known primarily as a soul artist, Hayes' influence on blues music is undeniable, and blues artists such as Freddie King, B.B. King, Rory Gallagher, Earl Hooker, Tommy Castro, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds have all recorded songs written by Hayes.
Isaac Hayes-'Stormy Monday'

Monday, August 11, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Blues Funny - The Bop-a-Lots, Blues Weasel

The Bop-a-Lots, Blues Weasel

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sad News About Clarence Gatemouth Brown

In a recent post titled No Rest For Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown? blogger Reverend Keith A. Gordon brought to my attention the problem of Gatemouth's grave not having a marker.

The full story was reported in a Beaumont Enterprise article Marking Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's legacy.

An account for Gatemouth Brown is set up at Sabine Federal Credit Union in Orange, Texas: Gatemouth Brown Memorial Committee Acct # 1892149.

Clarence Gatemouth Brown @ SqueezeMyLemon

Monday, August 04, 2008

Driftin' Slim Photographic Print

Driftin' Slim and his Blues Band - Somebody Hoo-doo'd the Hoo-doo Man
Buy at

According to Wikipedia;
Driftin' Slim (February 24, 1919 – September 15, 1977[1]) was an African American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player.

Born Elmon Mickle in Keo, Arkansas, he not only recorded as Driftin' Slim, but also as Model 'T' Slim and under his real name. His recordings were released on the - amongst others - Modern, RPM, Blue Horizon, Styletone, Milestone, Kent, and Flyright record labels.

By the turn of the 1970s, ill health had forced Slim to retire from the music industry and when he died, a chapter of American music — that of the one-man band — had virtually died with him. Slim passed away in Los Angeles, California, in September 1977

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Gospel blues

blues playlist: Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Didn't it Rain, 1964

I have been trying to get my mind around exactly what the Gospel Blues are. I have posted links to various artist, and to various videos that I think of as Gospel Blues, but the difficulty is in the fact that I grew up in a time and place when music was not put into as many categories as it is today.

Some of the music that I heard in church (like the video above) was no different then some of the music I heard coming out of the local Juke Joint. And on some occasions it might have even been the same person singing in church that was singing in the Juke Joint. I doubt that Rosetta Tharpe ever performed in a Juke Joint, but I have no doubt that she would have been right at home.

For me there is not much difference between some blues music and some gospel music. The only way that I separate Gospel blues and the blues is by who is singing it and where they are singing it.

Wikipedia has a great list of Gospel blues musicians.

And has a nice selection of their music.

Gospel blues @ SqueezeMyLemon

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Speaking of Skip James

I thought after posting the small bit of animation from yesterday, you all might want to hear the real song and see Mr. James play it on guitar.

Skip James - Devil Got My Woman

click to hear mp3 samples

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday Blues Funny - Moose Sings Da Blues

Moose Sings Da Blues

Notes at YouTube - Funny animation, with an old Skip James tune as background music.

Skip James @ SqueezeMyLemon

Skip James Mp3s @