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Tag: blues

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Sunday, 27 January, 2019

On 27 January each year, the world commemorates the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated six million Jews, five million Slavs, three million ethnic Poles, 200,000 Romani, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people and 9,000 homosexuals by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime and its collaborators.

“When Hitler started out, he took the Jews from their homes
Hitler started out, he took the Jews from their homes
That’s one thing Mr. Hitler you know you done wrong.

We’re gonna tear Hitler down
We’re gonna tear Hitler down
We’re gonna tear Hitler down someday.
We’re gonna bring him to the ground
We’re gonna bring him to the ground
We’re gonna bring him to the ground someday.

You ain’t no iron, you ain’t no solid rock
You ain’t no iron, you ain’t no solid rock
But we American people say ‘Mr. Hitler you is got to stop!'”

Huddie William Ledbetter (Leadbelly) was born on 20 January in 1888, in Louisiana. He was in and out of jail starting in his teens, for owning a gun, for killing a relative. John and Alan Lomax discovered him in prison in the early 1930s and they put some of his songs on tape. Freedom and fame followed. Born on a plantation, Leadbelly ended up touring the world and bringing blues music to a new generation.


The young Elvis

Sunday, 13 August, 2017 0 Comments

On Thursday, the world will mark the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, “the King”. To get us ready for this memorable occasion, Vintage Everyday has assembled “20 Rare and Fascinating Vintage Photos of Elvis Presley As a Child and Teenager from the 1930s and ’40s.” They offer a glimpse of life in Tupelo, Mississippi, before the Presley family relocated to Memphis, Tennessee. It was there, in July 1954, in the offices of Sun Records, that Elvis recorded a blues song by Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, That’s All Right. The rest is rock ‘n roll.

Gladys, Elvis and Vernon Presley, 1937.


The Boy in the Boat

Monday, 20 February, 2017 0 Comments

The excellent fiddler Fergal Scahill, who plays with We Banjo 3, decided he’d record a tune a day for the whole of 2017. Last week in Reykjavik, on Day 46 of the project, he played a reel titled The Boy in the Boat, also known as An Buachaill Sa Mbád.

A blues song with the title The Boy in the Boat was recorded in 1930 by George Hannah, who has been honoured for his contribution to “queer music” by The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History. The title of the tune/song is an anatomical allusion with sexual connotations and the lyrics go like this:

Now, did you ever hear the story ’bout that boy in a boat,
Don’t wear no shoes or no overcoat.
Broad told me that it happened like this.
He love to dive and also to fish.
He went roaming in that shallow boat.
With his head hardly rising and his eyes hard to cope.
Face is all wrinkled and his breath smells like soap.
Talking about that boy in the boat.


Droning For Good above LA

Saturday, 22 August, 2015 0 Comments

“I continue to be awe struck by how much of this vast city I have partially or completely overlooked before undertaking this video,” says videographer Ian Wood about his aerial exploration of downtown Los Angeles. Explaining the “Droning For Good” philosophy, he says: “With all the controversy about drones, it’s important to remember that they can be (and often are) used responsibly. As with many emerging technologies, the laws struggle to keep up and we must employ a common sense approach to their use that is respectful to community, safety and the law.”

By the way, here’s a map of the locations seen in the clip and the music is If You Ain’t Never Had The Blues by Boo Boo Davis.


Fitzgerald sings Fitzgerald

Thursday, 16 April, 2015 0 Comments

“We’re celebrating 90 years of The Great Gatsby by indulging in some roaring classics from Fitzgerald’s jazzy times.” So writes Scribner Magazine as it presents its Great Gatsby 90th Anniversary Playlist. Topping that list is the Beale Street Blues, composed in 1916 by W.C. Handy. The title refers to Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, and from the 1958 film St. Louis Blues, starring Nat King Cole, here’s Ella Fitzgerald delivering a fine rendition of a song sprinkled with the liquor that fueled the Gatsby era.

If Beale Street could talk, if Beale Street could talk,
Married men would have to take their beds and walk
Except one or two, who never drink booze
And the blind man on the corner who sings the Beale Street Blues.

Goin’ to the river, maybe, bye and bye
Goin’ to the river, and there’s a reason why
Because the river’s wet and Beale Street’s done gone dry.


Johnny Winter RIP

Thursday, 17 July, 2014 0 Comments

He did finger-picking blues and rock-star riffs. Along with his younger brother Edgar, Johnny formed a band when he was 15 and they made an unforgettable impression as both brothers were born with albinism and they grew their white hair long. On his website, he’s described as “the clear link between British blues-rock and American Southern rock.” RIP


Timber Timbre

Saturday, 3 May, 2014 0 Comments

There’s a dark thread of sleaze running through the songs of Timber Timbre on their latest album, Creep On Creepin’ On. The Canadians have sifted their way through the lode of blues, rock and folk and emerged with nuggets like “Hot Dreams”, “This Low Commotion” and “The New Tomorrow”. Vocalist Taylor Kirk sounds very like Nick Cave here.


The wrought iron sound of Richard Warren

Saturday, 2 November, 2013 0 Comments

“Operating at the interface of rhythm and noise as punk-primitive, clearly finding his true self in the blues.” That’s what The Independent said of Richard Warren. And there’s this from WithGuitars.com: “The sound is stripped down to a wrought iron core, revealing an intriguing collision of country soul and primitive apocalyptic blues, Southern Gothic and English Romanticism.” Richard Warren’s new album, Rich Black Earth, will be released on the coming Monday, 4 November.


Bob Brozman RIP

Saturday, 4 May, 2013 1 Comment

“Constantly touring, he was a master of styles, playing everything from blues and jazz to calypso and gypsy swing, even experimenting in later life with modern hip hop and ska rhythms, on which his finger work was so rapid that many observers mistakenly assumed he was using electronic effects. Always acoustic, he was equally adept on mandolin and ukulele, but was best known for playing slide on the National steel resonator guitar — an instrument on which he became a leading authority as well as being one of its greatest proponents.” The Telegraph.

“Guitarist and ethnomusicologist Bob Brozman, who progressed from an early fascination with the delta blues of the South to a consuming passion for the traditional music of Hawaii and became a leading authority on the National steel guitar, has died. He was 59.” The Los Angeles Times.


Willie Nelson at 80

Tuesday, 30 April, 2013 0 Comments

“A man of eighty,” said Lord Byron, “has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress.” And then, of course, there’s music. Willie Nelson, who celebrates his 80th birthday today, has met the scholars of jazz, blues, folk, rock and roll, disco, punk rock, hip hop, New Age and World music going the road of popular entertainment and out of these encounters he fashioned a school all of his own called “outlaw country”. Born during the Great Depression, and raised by his grandparents, Willie Nelson is “a poet and a one-man band.”