Sunday, August 30, 2009


Sometimes you just need to let go.

First Time I met the Blues (UK)

Jack Bruce is a Scottish musician, composer and singer. He is best-known as an electric bass guitarist, harmonica player and pianist, and was most famous as a vocalist and the bass guitarist for the 1960s rock band Cream.

As early as 1962 Jack became a member of the London-based band Blues Incorporated,led by Alexis Korner, in which he played the double bass.

I became aware of the Blues through Alexis Korner.

I like this too

One of the best tunes ever

Jack Bruce Amazon Store

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ex Fleetwood Mac

Despite his personal life being contentious, and I'd keep away from the wikipedia entry which doesn't do much for this site, there is no doubting he is an excellent musician.

Jeremy Spencer and the very early 'Fleetwood Mac'

In Session

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Blues Guitar

Screamin Jay

I don't know that many people who are really familiar with the music of the late Screamin Jay Hawkins, yet most have heard his name. Maybe he was a victim of his own schtick, with the smoking skull and the coffin and all that. Still, he was a fine singer and R&B interpretor.
Here he is live, singing Alligator Wine

Old Man River. This one is very funny.

I put a spell on you. Wow.

You can stop right here, but if you're a brave soul, listen on my friends. If you haven't heard Screamin Jay sing Constipation Blues, you're missing out on something. I'm not quite sure what, but believe me, you're missing out.

This may be the most flat out silly blues posted on Squeezemylemon.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Brand New Companion

I found this video on youtube featuring Steve Earle singing the Townes Van Zandt blues, Brand New Companion. Earle has been promoting his tribute to the late Townes Van Zandt, simply called Townes. There are a couple blues on the recording, so I guess that allows me to post about it here. It's by no means a blues record though, although Townes Van Zandt sure had the blues. This recording features Earle's take on 15 of Van Zandt's tunes. He's made it clear that he believes his friend and teacher Townes was one of the best songwriters ever.

I remember the first time I heard Townes Van Zandt. A friend of a friend had told me about his music, and not long after, I stumbled across a record (yep, vinyl) called Live and Obscure. The songs and the performances were fantastic.

Steve Earle does a fine tribute to Van Zandt on Townes. Highly Recommended.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jazz Bass

McBride has performed and recorded with a huge number of jazz legends, including Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Roy Haynes and Chick Corea, as well as with newer musicians like Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton, Benny Green and Sting.

The new Inside Straight new album 'Kind of Brown' has good reviews
Kind of Brown

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Rock and roll would have never happened without him."

Known as 'The Boss of the Blues'

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blues Shouters

A blues shouter is a blues singer, often male, capable of singing with a band. The singer must project, or "shout", to be heard over the drums and musical instruments of the band. Blues shouting was a major pathway by which jazz music edged over into rock and roll. It was also popular before the advent of microphones.

In the style of

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Only 69

Mel Brown (October 7, 1939 – March 20, 2009) was an American-born bluesguitarist. Best known for his decade-plus stint in support of Bobby "Blue" Bland, Brown channeled elements of soul, funk, and jazz to create one of the most distinctive guitar styles in contemporary blues.

Mandolin Blues

Here's Yank Rachell, master of the mandolin blues. I haven't heard the mandolin in much blues material recorded today, so I find this refreshing.

Here's the story of how Mr. Rachell got his first mandolin.

Anyone who doesn't like the blues....has a hole in his soul

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Amazon UK
Never Going Back

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Night Tripper

Malcolm John "Mac" Rebennack, Jr. (born November 21, 1940), better known by the stage name Dr. John (also Dr. John Creaux), is an American singer/songwriter, pianist and guitarist whose music combines blues, boogie woogie and rock and roll.

Rebennack gained fame as a solo artist, beginning in the late 1960s, with music that combined New Orleans-style rhythm and blues with psychedelic rock and elaborate stage shows that bordered on voodoo religious ceremonies, including elaborate costumes and headdress.

Gris-Gris Amazon Gris-Gris A track not on the album but evocative of the period

Dr John's Gumbo Amazon Dr. John's Gumbo

His career is amazing - The Band, Rolling Stones etc

Friday Funny - Blues Brothers

Dan Aykroyd as Elwood Blues

I have heard some of the critics say that this movie is really not about the blues at all. I think that Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi both loved blues music and it showed in the work that they did on Sartuday Night Live and in the original movie.

Then there is the matter of the musicians, in the movie. John Lee Hooker is my favorite in the movie. The band, which had among others, Steve Cropper, Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Donald "Duck" Dunn, and Lou Marini, was a real band of real musicians that played a tight, sharp, and clean set. In the movie there were musical performances by the band and guests Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway, and James Brown which are classic and priceless. Even though they are not strictly blues performances. But they reflect where the music was at when the movie was made.

A very good interview was done on Terry Gross' NPR show, Dan Aykroyd, Still Full of the 'Blues'.

There are many highlight in the movie that still make me laugh to this day;

1. The seemingly endless, escalating series of car crashes. (I loved this, some don't)
2. "We've got both kinds of music: country AND western"
3. "We're on a mission from God"
4. When Ray Charles (God rest his soul) orders during the diner scene "four fried chickens and a Coke."
5. The scene with Carry Fisher, makes me laugh to this day.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Les Paul, RIP

I posted this video on my other blog as well. It's really beautiful. That's Chet Atkins who joins Mr. Paul part way through.

As well as being a fine guitarist, Mr. Paul was involved in many other projects including the development of the solid body electric guitar.

The Best of SqueezeMyLemon: Lonnie Pitchford

Lonnie Pitchford, born on October 8, 1955 was a blues musician and instrument maker from Lexington, Mississippi. He passed away on November 8, 1995.

The video below shows him building a one string diddly bo. Notice how he uses a snuff(a type of smokeless tobacco) can for a resonator.

Lonnie Pitchford playing and making a diddly bo

Lonnie Pitchford 55 Blues

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kicking Mule

In the folk and country blues revival of the 1960s he was listening to Broonzy, Brownie McGhee and Lightnin' Hopkins and beginning to collect old 78 rpm records from the 1920s and 1930s. This brought him into contact with other collectors, including John Fahey, Ed Denson, Bernie Klatzko, Tom Hoskins and Nick Perls. Collecting the 78s developed into searching for the artists who had recorded them, with many successes: during the mid-60s, Grossman met, befriended and studied guitar with Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Skip James, Mississippi Fred McDowell and other major blues artists.

Stefan Grossman (born 16 April 1945) is an American acoustic fingerstyle guitarist and singer, music producer and educator, and co-founder of Kicking Mule records.

Many of Stefan's videos are educational

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The 'Incredible'

Jimmy Smith (December 8, 1925 [birth year is disputed and is often given as 1928] – February 8, 2005) was a jazz musician whose performances on the Hammond B-3 electric organ helped to popularize this instrument. In 2005, Smith was awarded the NEA Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honors that the United States bestows upon jazz musicians

A Blues feel

Old Stack-O-lee Blues

There are a number of music traditions that have embraced the Stack-O-Lee story. You know, about Stack shooting Billy over a $5 Stetson hat. This includes many jazz versions I wasn't so familiar with until recently. Here's the Classic Jazz Stompers

Are you familiar with Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians? I wasn't but I am now. This is from 1924.

This one has some interesting vocals. It's Clyde McCoy with Billie Jane Bennett. This version has so much swing it's hard to believe it's about a murder. Tennessee Ernie Ford recorded a similar version. I don't know who was first.

Compare that last one to Woody Guthrie's version. Isn't that Sonny Terry playing harmonica behind old Woodrow? It sure sounds like him. When Woody sings "Twelve O'clock we killed him, I's glad to see him die", I believe every word of it.

There are so many versions of this story. I've posted about it before and I likely will again. I'm going to close this post a delightful boogie-woogie piano version. This is played by Carl Sonny Leyland and I sure like the way he rattles them bones.

I hope you've enjoyed this little tour through Stagger Lee country. Go on out and find some of your own versions. Check out what Ike and Tina Turner did to the tune. James Brown. Bob Dylan. Sidney Bachet.....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Female Blues

There appear to be several Debbie Davies' including glamour models, but only one female blues guitarist.

Worthy of a wide audience I think - very enjoyable.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I saw the Light

The Holmes Brothers are Sherman Holmes (bassist/vocalist), Wendell Holmes (guitarist/pianist/vocalist) and Popsy Dixon (drummer/vocalist).

As Wendell says about their blend of the secular and the sacred, “Jesus turned water into wine, not wine into water.” USA Today calls The Holmes Brothers’ vision of American roots music “masterful and convincing.”

State of Grace

Memphis Blues

Memphis blues - now that's a broad category, because so much great blues music came out of Memphis. When I think of Memphis, the first thing I think of is Sam Phillips and Sun Records. A lot of great sides came out of that studio.

Here's Billy The Kid Emerson performing Red Hot.

Little Junior Parker didn't have a whole lot of range, but he had a great groove. Here's Mystery Train.

I like that groove so much I want more. I'm Feelin Good.
Ain't nobody boogie like the Blue Flames do.

Since we're feelin so good and all, let's listen to Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats rock. Everybody knows it's Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm. Is it the first rock and roll tune, recorded in 1951? It doesn't matter really. It's great any way you shake it. Not very safety-minded though, all that drinking and driving (go around the corner get a fifth, everybody in my car gonna take a little nip). Now this is a tune that turns old Mister Anchovy's crank big time.

Here's one-man band Joe Hill Louis playing a song with a very similar groove, Hydramatic Woman - the fastest gal in town.

Memphis is not such a big town. It blows my mind that so much great music gravitated there. I'm not even talking about Johnny Cash, rockabilly or STAX either, or the whole jug band tradition...! And let's not forget Memphis slim and the piano blues!

Don't get me started on the music of that town because I just can't stop. Bear with me for one more though, ok? Here's Bobby Blue Bland. Today I started loving you again. Yeah!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Miles Ahead

Wikipedia says

The Penguin Guide to Jazz gave Miles Ahead a four-star rating (out of a possible four stars), and called the album "a quiet masterpiece... with a guaranteed place in the top flight of Miles albums."

1. "Springsville" (John Carisi) – 3:27
2. "The Maids of Cadiz" (Léo Delibes) – 3:53
3. "The Duke" (Dave Brubeck) – 3:35

4. "My Ship" (Ira Gershwin/Kurt Weill) – 4:28
5. "Miles Ahead" (Davis/Evans) – 3:29
6. "Blues for Pablo" (Evans) – 5:18

7. "New Rhumba" (Ahmad Jamal) – 4:37
8. "The Meaning of the Blues" (Bobby Troup/Worth) – 2:48

9. "Lament" (J. J. Johnson) – 2:14
10. "I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You)" (Jack Elliott/Harold Spina) – 3:05

Miles Ahead

Friday, August 07, 2009

It's the Birthday of Magic Slim

Magic Slim (real name, Morris Holt) was born on 7 August 1937, in Granada, Mississippi. He is a blues singer and guitarist, and according to some his band the Teardrops are what a Chicago blues band is supposed to sound like.

Midnight Blues

Magic Slim

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Got me a Woman

Levon Helm has lived a lot of blues. Of course he was the drummer for Ronnie Hawkins' legendary band, The Hawks, which later became The Band after they started hanging out with a guy named Bob Dylan. Mr. Helm was silenced for a decade with a cancer that took his voice. Remarkably, his voice returned, and he returned to recording, with Dirt Farmer and on it's heels, Electric Dirt. He must be nearing 70 now, and Helm continues to make fantastic music.

Levon Helm's music is a little difficult to put in a box. Is it Americana? Well maybe, but listen to Dirt Farmer and then go back and listen to an album by The Band, and see that they are squarely in the same traditions: Americana, Old Tyme, Country Bluegrass, blues, and blues infused rock and roll, played straight up from the heart.

Here's The Levon Helm Band playing Got me a Woman

Now let's go back to 1970. Here is The Band performing The Weight.

Here's Deep Elum Blues, featuring Larry Campbell

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Improving your Mood

I was recently sent a list of 100 videos to improve your moods

This includes one from Louis Armstrong

I'll have to think of my own - there is such a big list. Anyone have any ideas?

Wow! Wow! Wow!

Early Stones

They got their name from Muddy of course

Rolling Stones RnR Circus - Yer Blues

Buddy Guy's B-Day Pics

Check out these pictures of Buddy Guy's 73rd birthday party!


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Walking Blues

The Men Behind The Bluesmen: Ahmet Ertegun

Ahmet Ertegun (Turkish: Ahmet Ertegün) was born on July 31, 1923 and he passed away on December 14, 2006. He was the Turkish American co-founder and executive of Atlantic Records and chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and museum as well as an inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame. He is described as "one of the most significant figures in the modern recording industry".

According to Wikipedia;

Ahmet and his brother Nesuhi staged concerts by Lester Young, Sidney Bechet and other jazz giants, often at the Jewish Community Center, which was the only place that would allow a mixed audience and mixed band. They also traveled to New Orleans and to Harlem to listen to music and develop a keen awareness of developing musical tastes.

In 1949, after 22 unsuccessful record releases including the first recordings by Professor Longhair, Atlantic had its first major hit with Stick McGhee's "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee". The company expanded through the 1950s, with Jerry Wexler and, later, Nesuhi Ertegun on board as partners, and with hit artists including Ruth Brown, Joe Turner, The Clovers, The Drifters, The Coasters, and Ray Charles.

Ahmet himself wrote a number of classic blues songs, including "Chains of Love" and "Sweet Sixteen", under the pseudonym "A. Nugetre" (Ertegun backwards). The songs were given expression first by Big Joe Turner and continued in B.B. King's repertoire. "Nugetre" also wrote the Ray Charles hit "Mess Around", with lyrics that drew heavily on Pinetop Smith. Ahmet was part of the shouting choral group on Turner's "Shake, Rattle and Roll", along with Wexler and songwriter Jesse Stone.

In the 1960s, Atlantic, often in partnerships with local labels like Stax Records in Memphis, helped to develop the growth of soul music, with artists such as Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett. Ahmet heard Led Zeppelin's demo and knew they would be a smash hit after hearing the first few songs. He quickly signed them. He also convinced Crosby, Stills and Nash to allow Neil Young to join them on one of their tours, thereby founding Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Ahmet helped introduce America to blue-eyed soul when he discovered the Rascals at a Westhampton nightclub in 1965 and signed them to Atlantic. They went on to chart 13 top 40 singles in four years and were elected to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

2006 Injury and Death - At the age of 83 on October 29, 2006, Ahmet Ertegun attended a Rolling Stones benefit concert at the Beacon Theatre (New York City) for the Clinton Foundation, which was attended by former US President, Bill Clinton. Prior to the show, Ahmet was in a back stage in a VIP social area that was known on the Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang Tour, as the "Rattlesnake Inn", when he tripped and fell, striking his head on the concrete floor. Ahmet was rushed to the hospital after the fall. (The Rolling Stones performance that evening was captured by Martin Scorsese in the documentary film entitled Shine a Light). Although Ahmet was initially in stable condition, he soon took a turn for the worse. This announcement was made by Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page during the band’s induction into the UK Music Hall of Fame. Ahmet slipped into a coma and died later, with his family by his side, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center.

In Popular Culture - Ahmet Ertegun has been represented several times in popular culture. In Ray, the biopic of Ray Charles, Ahmet Ertegun is portrayed by Curtis Armstrong. In Beyond the Sea, the biopic about Bobby Darin, Ahmet is played by Tayfun Bademsoy. Ahmet Zappa was named after Ertegun, who played an important role in Frank Zappa's early career.

What'd I Say: The Atlantic Story by Ahmet Ertegun (Hardcover - Jun 15, 2001)

Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built ~ Ahmet Ertegun, Bette Midler, Ruth Brown, and Ray Charles (DVD - Jun 12, 2007)

Ahmet Ertegun

Monday, August 03, 2009

Sittin' in the kitchen....

This is Bob Snider. He's a fantastic song-writer, busker, and performer, and a familiar face to Toronto music lovers. Much of his material doesn't quite fit on this blog, but this tune is a blues, any which way you look at it, so I'm going to sneak it in.

French Blues

Super stuff

Live, Hot 'n' Blue

Sunday, August 02, 2009

One man band

I like the toe technique on the bass.

Love oh love my careless love

Careless Love is one of the most easily recognized blues. Listen to this 1925 version by Bessie Smith. The melody betrays itself in a couple notes.

Here's a lovely version by Odetta, with a nice gentle swing.

It isn't just women who sing this one, though. Here's Pete Seeger, Doc Watson, Clint Howard and Fred Price doing an old tym-ee version.

Here's Mae Mercer. Notable here are her backup players, Sonny Boy Williamson (II), Willie Dixon and Memphis Slim.

3rd Generation Italian-American


Geremia has built a reputation as a first rate bluesman, songwriter, a “scholar” of early jazz and blues , and one of the best country blues fingerpickers ever with his tools - six and twelve-string guitars, harmonica, piano and a husky soulful voice - and with an innate sense of the humour as well as the drama of the music, he keeps traditional blues fresh and alive with his performances.

Combining his interpretation of the earlier music of people like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Scrapper Blackwell and Blind Blake, with his original compositions, he has created a style which is very much his own and which has received accolades in the U.S.A. and Europe, too numerous to mention.

He's never gone electric

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Jazz Masters

'But it has been one of the most commercially popular jazz groups on the planet, for an inviting confection of understated blues and lyrical themes framed by rondos and fugues, and a welcoming affection for highly melodic contrapuntal group improvising.'

Bluesology: The Modern Jazz Quartet Anthology