Monday, May 31, 2010

Ragged and Dirty

Sorry folks, I don't know anything about the performer here. I stumbled into this one. I believe the tune was first recorded by Willie Brown and was later recorded by Bob Dylan on World Gone Wrong.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tracy Nelson - The Soul Sessions Rounder


Tracy Nelson is a singer without parallel in terms of both technical ability and emotional directness. John Swenson, writing in Rolling Stone, asserted, “Tracy Nelson proves that the human voice is the most expressive instrument in creation.”

Ruthie Foster - "People Grinnin' In Your Face"

Man don't you just love Ruthie Foster. She is a wonderful musician, and here we have her covering Son House's "People Grinnin' In You Face" a capella no doubt, just like Son House did it.

The power and grace of Ruthie Foster is on display in this clip, hope you all enjoy it.

The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster

click image for CD or MP3s

Gospel Blues @SqueezeMyLemon

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Banjo Picking Blues

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's the Birthday of Junior Parker

Junior Parker, who was also known as Little Junior Parker and "Mr Blues" was born on May 27, 1932, and he passed away on November 18, 1971.

He was a successful and influential Memphis blues singer and musician. He is best remembered for his unique voice which has been described as "honeyed," and "velvet-smooth". He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kasai Allstars - In the 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy By Magic

Effortlessly funky and mesmerizing... Reveals the depth of a music scene as vibrant and unique as any in the world (Pitchfork, USA)

In the 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy By Magic

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bob Margolin - Steady Rollin'

Margolin was a backing musician for Muddy Waters from 1973 to 1980, performing with Waters and The Band in The Last Waltz. His nickname is "Steady Rollin'". As a solo recording artist, he has recorded albums for Alligator Records, Blind Pig, Telarc and his own Steady Rollin' record label.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Clive Carroll - Life in Colour


Acoustic Magazine

From the opening notes of Clive’s own Jerry Douglas style All This Time to the closing classical chords of John Dowland’s tune this is top shelf virtuoso playing. But there is nothing high brow or po faced about this cd. Clive takes us on a touching and joyful journey through his musical influences where Django meets Chet while Renbourn picks out a Delta Blues in the background. Masterful.

Rick Smith.

Clive Carroll was described by Acoustic Guitar magazine as ‘Probably the Best and Most Original Young Acoustic Guitar Player and Composer in Britain’. Born into a family of musicians in 1975, Clive has been immersed in a diverse range of music ever since. His father made him his first banjo in 1977 and a few years later he was playing in the family band. At 9 he started to play the guitar and a few years later he joined a Soul group and several orchestras.

Brother Dege - Folk Songs of the American Longhair

Dege Legg (aka Brother Dege), Cajun born and Louisiana raised.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Blues Britannia John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers

John Mayall, OBE (born 29 November 1933) is a pioneering English blues singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. His musical career spans over fifty years, but the most notable episode in it occurred during the late '60s. He was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and, as a gifted talent-scout, has been influential in the careers of many instrumentalists, including Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Don "Sugarcane" Harris, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, Aynsley Dunbar, Hughie Flint, Jon Hiseman, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser, Johnny Almond, Jon Mark, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya, and Buddy Whittington.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mr. Balfa and friends

Here's Dewey Balfa and Nathan Abshire along with Rockin Dopsie and Tony Balfa, playing to school children. I've posted this video a couple times over at my personal blog. It'll knock your socks off.

My apologies to those who viewed the video and thought WTF, this isn't the video he's talking about. My mistake, I dropped in the wrong video by accident. I've fixed it now though...

Napoleon Strickland - Fife Player


Napoleon Strickland was a fife and drum blues artist, and songwriter, and vocalist specializing in country blues, sometimes known as Napolian Strickland. He also played guitar, drums, harmonica, fife, and all manner of percussion instruments.

Born near Como in the northern Mississippi Delta, his father introduced him to the music as a boy but it was Otha Turner that taught him how to play. He was adept with guitar, drums, harmonica, diddley-bow, fife, and all manner of percussion. He was primarily a fie player and singer, playing a great number of festivals, on appearing on several compilation albums of North Mississippi Country Blues.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Son House - My Black Mama

Son House was an important influence on Muddy Waters and also on Robert Johnson. A seminal Delta blues figure, he remains influential today, with his music being covered by blues-rock groups such as The White Stripes

Oh, black mama, what's the matter with you?
Said, if it ain't satisfactory, don't care what I do
Hey, mama, what's the matter with you?
Said, if it ain't satisfactory, baby, don't care what I do .....

Government Fleet Blues — 6:50

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Muddy Waters - Gypsy Woman

Muddy Waters (vocal-guitar); Sunnyland Slim (piano); Ernest "Big" Crawford (bass); Unknown (drums)
Produced by Leonard & Phil Chess
Recorded Chicago, Illinois; 1947

You know the gypsy woman told me that you your mother's bad-luck child
You know the gypsy woman told me that you your mother's bad-luck child
Well, you're having a good time now, but that'll be trouble after while

Well, you know I went to a gypsy woman to have my fortune told
She say, "You better go back home son and peep through your, your key hole"
You know the gypsy woman told me that you your mother's bad-luck child
Well, you're having a good time now, but that'll be trouble after while

Well, now, you know I went back home, I took the gypsy woman as she said
I peeped through my keyhole and there was another man laying in my bed
You know the gypsy woman told me that you your mother's bad-luck child

Well, you're having a good time now, but that'll be trouble after while

An excellent version by Rory Gallagher

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cassandra Wilson - Vietnam Blues

Good book

When Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded the assassinated President Kennedy he was hailed enthusiastically by the blues and gospel singers, most of whom had been born in the southern states and saw an ally in the new Texas president. Johnson’s acute political skills ensured that the 1964 Civil Rights Bill was approved by Congress. However, the President was not allowed to reap the benefits of the Act for long. The violent clash in Selma, Alabama, sped up the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Next, the plight of the black ghettoes led to nationwide riots and the president and Rev. King drifted apart. Military build-up in Vietnam rose dramatically in the Johnson era. Proportionally there were not more African Americans in Vietnam, but their death rate was thirty percent higher. Johnson was forced to launch operation “Rolling Thunder” to intensify air attacks, but felt trapped by the consequences of his decisions and became severely depressed. People began burning their draft cards, and criticism of the once popular president became quite outspoken in blues and gospel lyrics. When Martin Luther King lashed out against the war in 1967, the president felt betrayed by his former civil rights ally. After the 1968 Tet offensive, Johnson’s approval rating dropped to 36%.

Cassandra Wilson (vocal); Kevin Breit, Marvin Sewall (guitar); Calvin Jones (bass); Jeffrey Haynes (percussion).

I get goosebumps when Cassandra sings - anything - she could do the telephone directory for me.

This has very evocative pictures for those of us who remember

Yolanda Rhodes "Wade In the Water"

Notes from YouTube;

The combination of Yolanda's storytelling and her powerful singing makes a compelling and entertaining statement.

Yolanda Rhodes - singer
Bob Gardner - bass,
Steve Jones - piano
John Strecker - drums

"Wade In The Water" is a traditional Negro Spiritual -- a folk song that was born out of the American institution of slavery. "Wade In The Water" and other Negro Spirituals sprang to life on the southern plantations of the United States. These songs spoke of hope, "and the ultimate justice and brotherhood..." of mankind. Most importantly, the descendants of African people sang about strategically escaping the inhumane bondage of slavery and about being liberated from the extremely cruel conditions that was imposed upon them
Gospel Blues @SqueezeMyLemon

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Spider John Blues

Here's Tony Glover and Spider John Koerner:

And here's Spider John solo:

Spider John and the Rag Tag Trio - Careless Love

There is a good selection of material by Spider John Koerner available. Allow me to recommend one I quite like. It's a CD called Legends of Folk and it features Koerner along with Ramblin' Jack Elliott and the host for the evening, the late Utah Phillips. The whole CD is excellent.

Otha Turner & The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band - My Babe

Otha Turner (vocal-cane fife); Bernice Turner Pratcher (vocals); Sharde Thomas (vocals); Otha Andre Evans & Rodney Evans (snare drum); Aubrey Turner (bass drum); Corey Harris (guitar)


"My Babe" is a blues song written by Willie Dixon for Little Walter. Released in 1955 on Checker Records, a subsidiary of Chess Records, the song was the only Dixon composition ever to become a no. 1 R&B single, and it was one of the biggest hits of either of their careers.

The song was based on the traditional gospel song "This Train (Is Bound For Glory)", which Sister Rosetta Tharpe recorded in the 1939 hit, "This Train". Dixon reworked the arrangement and lyrics from the sacred, the procession of saints into Heaven, into the secular, a story about a woman that won't stand for her man to cheat: "My baby, she don't stand no cheating, my babe, she don't stand none of that midnight creeping".

The Otha Turner version featured on the CBS documentary

The Little Walter version

Appears on Muddy Waters Country Blues

Carolina Chocolate Drops - Our State

Carolina Chocolate Drops

Carolina Chocolate Drops official site

Carolina Chocolate Drops @SqueezeMyLemon

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ali Farka Toure - Mali Dje

Ali Farka Toure
Mali Dje — 5:37
(Ali Farka Toure)
Ali Farka Toure (vocal-guitar); Souleye Kane (djembe); Fatoumata Traore (chorus vocal)

Amandrai — 7:18
(Ali Farka Toure)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lucinda Williams - Hard Time Killing Floor Blues

Lucinda Williams (guitar, vocal); Phil Parlapiano (accordion); Taras Prodanius, Bo Ramsey (guitar); Doug Pettibone (vocal, bass); Don Heffington (drums).

Williams had garnered considerable critical acclaim, but her commercial success was moderate. Emmylou Harris said of Williams, "She is an example of the best of what country at least says it is, but, for some reason, she's completely out of the loop and I feel strongly that that's country music's loss."

and the original. reviewer Chuck Hicks

'Hardtime Killing Floor Blues' is considered by some as the penultimate Depression era song, and James' eerie performance here suggests what could be the lament of the downtrodden for all ages. His aged voice soars in a lonely falsetto against the backdrop of ominous bass string lines and nervous upper string picking. The guitar work throughout maintains this constant tension between low register anger and high-pitched fear. James' voice sounds as if it seeks escape from theses dark extremes. Unlike other Delta artists, James did not use a slide. His was an elaborate finger-picking style more akin to Piedmont bluesmen like Brownie McGhee and Cephas & Wiggins. He was also fond of using drop E tuning and dissonant solos to heighten the tension of his music. 'Sick Bed Blues,' written after James was diagnosed with cancer, contains passages where his guitar intentionally gallops away off-key, dramatically suggesting the artist's reaction to learning of his terminal illness. 'Greatest of the Delta Blues Singers' is not for the faint of heart. If genuine, painful blues is what the listener wants to experience, it doesn't get more brazen than this. Skip James was not simply the purveyor of a unique style; his music in many ways reflects the darkest shades of human nature.

It's the Birthday of Ana Popovic

Blind For Love

click image for info

Ana Popović (Serbian Cyrillic: Ана Поповић) (born Belgrade, Serbia in 1976) is a Blues-guitarist and singer.

According to Wikipedia;

Ana Popović's father first introduced her to the blues, through an extensive record collection and sessions hosted at the family home. Popović founded her first serious band at age nineteen. Within a year, she was playing outside of Yugoslavia and opening shows for American blues icons like Junior Wells. Her band Hush released their debut album, Hometown in 1998. The next year, Popović relocated to the Netherlands to study jazz guitar. She quickly became a fixture on the Dutch blues scene and soon ventured into neighboring Germany.

In 2003, she was nominated for a W. C. Handy Award in the United States.
Ana Popovic live at Sighisoara Blues Festival 2009

Ana Popovic

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

T for Texas

that Thelma made a wreck out of poor me.
Here's Jimmy Rogers...

How about Lynyrd Skynyrd. Geez I haven't listened to that band in a very long time...

J.B. Lenoir - Alabama Blues

I never will go back to Alabama, that is not the place for me,

I never will go back to Alabama, that is not the place for me,
You know they killed my sister and my brother,
And the whole world let them peoples go down there free.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hiphop Harmonica Player: Bad News Brown "Reign"

A friend recently commented that there was no good hiphop music. I did not rebut what he said, because I basically believe that if you can only look back, you will never be able to move forward. And there is no real accounting for taste, I just feel sorry for those who have closed minds.

This post is about a musician who I think is advancing music, I hope every rapper and hiphopper out there buys a harmonica and learns to play it. I hope they go back to the old blues masters who played harmonica, and steal a few riffs from them too. Imagine a group of Hiphop harmonica players like Sonny Terry, Sonny Boy Williamson I and II, Big Walter Horton, or Lil Walter, just to name a few.

Please check out Bad News Brown, the worlds first Hiphop Harmonica Player.

Bad News Brown

click image for info

Shouts going out to my boy em2wice, for bringing this to my attention.

Lou Reed - Look Down The Road

Look Down The Road — 3:41
(Nehemiah Skip James)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Otha Turner & Corey Harris Lay My Burden Down

Recorded Senatobia, Mississippi; June 9, 2001

"Glory, Glory" (also known as "When I Lay My Burden Down", "Since I Laid My Burden Down", "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah" and other titles) is an American spiritual song, which has been recorded by many artists in a variety of genres, including folk, country, blues, rock, and gospel.

Glory glory, hallelujah,
Since I lay (laid) my burden down.
Glory glory, hallelujah,
Since I lay (laid) my burden down.

All my sickness will be over,
When I lay my burden down.
All my sickness will be over,
When I lay my burden down.

Othar "Otha" Turner (b. June 2, 1907, Madison County, Mississippi - d. February 26, 2003), was one of the last well-known fife players in the vanishing American fife and drum musical tradition. He lived his entire life in northern Mississippi as a farmer, where in 1923, aged 16, he learned to play fifes fashioned out of rivercanes.
Corey Harris (born February 21, 1969, Denver, Colorado) is an American blues and reggae musician, currently residing in Virginia. Along with Keb' Mo' and Alvin Youngblood Hart, he raised the flag of acoustic guitar blues in the mid 1990s.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

John Lee Hooker - Tupelo Blues

Did you read about the flood?
It happened long time ago, in a little country town, way back in Mississippi
It rained and it rained, it rained both night and day
The people got worried, they began to cry,
'lord have mercy, where can we go now?'

I know the story of this has him running away from home and his mother trying to find him. However if anyone out there can give a more detailed description that would be appreciated. I did see him a year before he died - still great.

Friday, May 07, 2010

T Bone Burnett - Earlier Baghdad

Quite a pedigree

In addition to his solo work, Burnett has produced artists such as the BoDeans, Counting Crows, Tony Bennett and k.d. lang on the A Wonderful World album and The Wallflowers on Bringing Down the Horse. Burnett won Grammy Awards for the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack and for his work with Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. He was nominated for an Oscar for his songwriting contribution to the film Cold Mountain, and won an Oscar for Best Original Song for "The Weary Kind" from Crazy Heart. He founded the record label DMZ, an imprint of Columbia, and was involved with Mark Heard and Tonio K in the short-lived What? Records. He also oversaw the music for the films Walk the Line and The Big Lebowski.

One True False Identity is a righteous rant about the state of the world, full of Marc Ribot guitar rattles, three drummers and hard boiled crime noir tales. This includes bonus track "Earlier Baghdad," a haunting solo act of contrition.

I am not important
I am a broken man
Throw myself on your mercy
You who have wronged me

I built my life in vainglory
I lost sight of the light
Where once I walked down streets of gold
I stumble through the darkness

The True False Identity

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - I Feel So Good

Cat Iron "Got A Girl In Ferriday, On Greenwood Town"

Cat Iron is a bluesman that I had never heard of, until a friend sent me this video clip of him. I like his sound, reminds me of some of the bluesmen I used to hear in Louisiana when I was a boy. Dug around on Amazon and I found his CD.

Sings Blues and Hymns

click image for info

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Salif Keita -Ana na Ming


Salif Keïta (born August 25, 1949) is an internationally recognized afro-pop singer-songwriter from Mali. He is unique not only because of his reputation as the Golden Voice of Africa, but because he has albinism and is a direct descendant of the founder of the Mali Empire, Sundiata Keita. This royal heritage meant that under the Malian caste system, he should never have become a singer, which was deemed to be a griot’s role.

There is a review for a 2004 remix album - I've included below BBC Review
"' illustrates how the remixer's art can be sensitive to the integrity of the..."
The lone appearance of "Ana Na Ming" turns out to be a wise choice for La Funk Mob, stuck right near the end, but still a pronounced highlight. It revolves around a compulsive melodic line, quite simply handled. Its climax features a massing of instrumental activity, settled down on a burbling synth-line. This is just as enticing as some of the more radical re-thinks; relatively pure when set beside the preceding electro-collage tendencies.

Bob Dylan - "Everything Is Broken" - R. L. Burnside

From the CD "Tangled Up In Blues: Songs Of Bob Dylan - This Ain't No Tribute"

R. L. Burnside and Bob Dylan doing versions of Dylan's song "Everything Is Broken".

Bob Dylan

R. L. Rurnside

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Playing For Change - Grandpa Elliott

Blues Britannia - The Animals

Amazon reviews

There are many compilations of the Animals, but this one is definitely the one to get. Others have only the hits, but the great things about the Animals is that many of their less well known songs are nearly as good as "House of the Rising Sun," "It's My Life," "We Gotta Get Out of this Place," or "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood."

Carolina Chocolate Drops - Memphis Shakedown

Want to hear some killer kazoo, well Rhiannon Giddens takes that humble instrument to a new level on this clip of the Carolina Chocolate Drops playing "Memphis Shakedown".

Carolina Chocolate Drops

Carolina Chocolate Drops official site

Carolina Chocolate Drops @SqueezeMyLemon

Monday, May 03, 2010


Screamin Jay, he was lonely...

The White Stripes are lonely too...

and Sonny Boy Williamson, well you all know how lonely he was...

I'm ready for a drink...

Cassandra Wilson - Slow Down

The Soul of a Man 2003 - A film by Wim Wenders

In "The Soul of A Man," director Wim Wenders looks at the dramatic tension in the blues between the sacred and the profane by exploring the music and lives of three of his favorite blues artists: Skip James, Blind Willie Johnson and J. B. Lenoir.

It doesn't get particularly good reviews but the soundtrack is pretty impressive. Cassandra does well here

With the original here

The Soul Of A Man - A Film By Wim Wenders

Otis Span and The Muddy Waters Band "Cold Feeling Blues"

1960's classic footage of the great Otis Spann doing "Cold Feeling Blues".

Otis Spann Is the Blues

click image

Otis Spann

Otis Spann @SquezzeMyLemon

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Shemekia Copeland - God's Word

Shemekia Copeland began appearing on stage with her father, Texas bluesman Johnny Copeland, this version appeared on PBS

Barnes &Noble review of the album Vietnam Blues where the original track is

These recordings aren't nostalgic endeavors, however, but ensure that the songs get the best listening environment possible. The enigmatic Lenoir called the style he was developing during these sessions, "African Hunch," and it's apparent that he was bursting with creativity, dedicated equally to both the words and music.

Blind Willie Johnson "Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed"

Gospel Blues @SqueezeMyLemon

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Nehemiah Skip James - Special Rider Blues

One of the big players in Blues, the unique Skip James made the crucial recording of a ‘Special Rider Blues’, after which Dylan named his primary music-publishing company. (Unlike the common blues term ‘rider’, the phrase ‘special rider’ is more special: it seems to occur in only four pre-war songs and by implication in a fifth. One of these is Skip James’.) James is also one of those whose old records saw early vinyl release on the pioneering blues label Biograph, the name Dylan chooses for his 1985 retrospective box set. But Dylan’s inwardness with the blues is such that he cannot help but have imbibed things from this highly distinctive figure, and we can glimpse them all over the place in Dylan’s work.

National Geographic

On Mississippi to Mali, Corey Harris' sixth album, Harris returns to his roots, but with a whole new spin. "I really approached this as a student," he says. "I was going to go out and learn something, and deepen my understanding of what it is I do, and why I'm doing it." Harris had been planning to do an album of duets with blues elders. But after he accepted an invitation to visit Mali, and played a show with the great guitarist and troubadour Boubacar Traore, he got to thinking about collaborating with musicians over there. Then the Scorsese film came along, and Harris saw a way to bring the two ideas together.

Muddy Waters Interview Old Grey Whistle Test

Muddy Waters being Interviewed on British TV.