Friday, March 23, 2007

The Flying Burrito Brothers

Sin City

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal was born Henry St. Claire Fredericks in Harlem on May 17, 1942. Taj grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts. His father, a jazz pianist/composer/arranger of Caribbean descent, and his mother, a gospel-singing schoolteacher from South Carolina, encouraged their children to respect and be proud of their roots.

His parents started him on classical piano lessons, but after two weeks, he says, "it was already clear I had my own concept of how I wanted to play." The lessons stopped, but Taj didn't. In addition to piano, the young musician learned to play the clarinet, trombone and harmonica, and he loved to sing. He discovered his step-father’s guitar and became serious about it in his early teens.

While attending the University as an agriculture student in the early 1960s, the musician transformed himself into Taj Mahal, an idea that came to him in a dream. He began playing with the popular U. Mass. party band The Elektras, then left Massachusetts in 1964 for the blues-heavy L. A. club scene. There he formed The Rising Sons with Ry Cooder.

Taj also had the opportunity to hear, meet, and play with such blues legends as Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Louis and Dave Meyers, Sleepy John Estes, Yank Rachel, Lightin' Hopkins and Bessie Jones. While Taj's music has always been well received, popular culture finally caught up to him the '90s and 2000s. Taj walked away with the Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album for 1997's Señor Blues and again for 2000's Shoutin' in Key. He has garnered nine Grammy nominations in all. MP3: Statesboro Blues

Charlie Musselwhite

Charlie Musselwhite was born January 31, 1944 in Kosciusko, Mississippi. He is an American blues-harp player and bandleader, one of the non-African-American bluesmen who came to prominence in the early 1960s, along with Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield.

He has said that he is of Choctaw descent, and he was born in a region originally inhabited by the Choctaw. However, in a 2005 interview, he said his mother had told him he was actually Cherokee.

At the age of three, Musselwhite moved to Memphis, Tennessee. When he was a teenager, Memphis experienced the period when rockabilly, western swing, electric blues, and some forms of African American music were combining to give birth to rock and roll. The period featured legendary figures such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash. This environment was Musselwhite's school for music as well as life, and he acquired the nickname "Memphis Charlie".

In true bluesman fashion, Musselwhite then took off in search of the rumored "big-paying factory jobs" up the "Hillbilly Highway", legendary Highway 51 to Chicago, where he continued his education on the South Side, making the acquaintance of even more legends including Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Sonny Boy Williamson, Buddy Guy, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, and Big Walter Horton. In time, Musselwhite led his own blues band, and has released over 20 albums.

Musselwhite believes the key to his musical success was finding a style where he could express himself. He has said, "I only know one tune, and I play it faster or slower, or I change the key, but it’s just the one tune I’ve ever played in my life. It’s all I know." MP3: Hey Miss Bessie

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Outras músicas - Reinhardt & Grappelli

Le Quintette du Hot Club de France

Little Walter

Little Walter was born Marion Walter Jacobs on May 1, 1930 in Marksville, Louisiana. After quitting school by the age of 12, Jacobs left Louisiana and travelled wherever he chose, working odd jobs, busking and honing his musical skills with Sonny Boy Williamson and Big Bill Broonzy, among others.

Arriving in Chicago in 1945, he fell into the thriving Blues scene where Jacobs grew tired of being drowned out by electric guitarists, and developed a simple, but previously unused method: he cupped a small microphone in his hand while he played harmonica, and plugged the microphone into a guitar or public address amplifier. He could thus compete with any guitarist's volume, and furthermore, he utilized amplification to explore radical new timbres.

Little Walter made his first recordings in 1947 for the tiny Ora-Nelle label in Chicago. He joined Muddy Waters' band c. 1948, and by 1950 he was playing on Muddy's recordings for Chess Records. Tragically, the '60s saw the harp genius slide steadily into an alcohol. In 1964, he toured Great Britain with the Rolling Stones, but his once-prodigious skills were faltering badly.

Walter's eternally vicious temper led to his violent undoing in 1968. He was involved in a street fight and died from the incident's after-effects at age 37. His influence remains inescapable to this day. MP3: Rocker

Elmore James

Elmore James was born Elmore Brooks in Richland, Mississippi on January 27, 1918. Known as The King of the Slide Guitar, Elmore began playing as a teen, under the names Cleanhead and Joe Willie James, alongside musicians such as the first Sonny Boy Williamson, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Johnny Temple, and Luther Huff.

He began recording in 1951, first as sideman to the second Sonny Boy Williamson and others, then debuting as a session leader in August with what became his signature song, "Dust My Broom". In 1952 he was recording a couple of sides with Chess. None sold well. Elmore spent the rest of the 50's moving back and forth between Chicago and Mississippi, depending on who wanted to hear his music more.

In 1957 he was discovered to have an ailing heart condition, but this didn't keep him from the road. In 1959 he recorded with some success with Fire records. In 1963 when he was preparing to go to the studio for a new session, Elmore James succumbed to his heart condition. He was 45 years old. MP3: Standing At The Crossroads

Monday, November 06, 2006

Outras músicas - Bill Evans trio

My Foolish Heart

Sonny Boy Williamson II

Sonny Boy Williamson II AKA Rice Miller, Willie Williamson, Willie Miller, "Little Boy Blue", "The Goat" and "Footsie," was born (acording to Sonny), on December 1889. Some say it was around 1912, but Miller's gravestone has his birthdate as March 11, 1908. He was born on the Sara Jones Plantation near Glendora, Mississippi in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi.

Miller lived and worked as a sharecropper until the early 1930s. By then he traveled around Mississippi and Arkansas and encountered Blind Lemon Jefferson, Big Joe Williams, Elmore James and Robert Lockwood Jr.. He was also associated with Robert Johnson during this period.Williamson lived in Twist, Arkansas for a time with Howlin' Wolf's sister Mary Burnett and taught Wolf to play harmonica. In 1941 Miller was hired to play the King Biscuit Time show on radio station KFFA in Helena, Arkansas with Lockwood.

It was at this point that the radio program's sponsor, Max Moore, began billing Miller as Sonny Boy Williamson, apparently in an attempt to capitalize on the fame of the well known Chicago-based harmonica player and singer John Lee Williamson. Williamson's first recording session took place in 1951. Soon after, his contract was sold to Chess records where he recorded 70 songs.

In the 1960s he toured Europe during the height of the British blues craze, recording with The Yardbirds and The Animals. It was during Williamson's tour of the UK in the '60s that he adopted the bowler hat and carried his harmonicas on stage in a briefcase, which became his trade mark in the last year of his life.

Williamson was characterized by a hip-flask of whiskey, a pistol, a knife, a foul mouth, and a short temper. He had always worn fancier suits than he could afford, and his tour of Europe allowed him further embellishment, adding a finely tailored two-tone suit and a bowler hat to his unique, grey-goateed image. Rice Miller was, however, notable as a highly original blues songwriter, and his laconic harmonica style and sly vocals mark him as a true artist. He died in 1965. MP3: Don't Start Me Talking

Freddy King

Freddy King was born Frederick Christian in Gilmer, Texas on September 3, 1934. He moved with his family from Texas to the southside of Chicago in 1950. There, at age 16 he used to sneak in to local clubs, where he heard blues music performed by the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, T-Bone Walker, Elmore James, and Sonny Boy Williamson.

Howlin' Wolf took him under his wing, and Freddie also began jamming with Muddy Waters' sidemen, who included Eddie Taylor, Jimmy Rogers, Robert Lockwood Jr. and Little Walter.

By 1952 he had married a Texas girl, Jessie Burnett. He gigged at night and worked days in a steel mill. He got occasional work as a sideman on recording sessions. He formed the first band of his own, the Every Hour Blues Boys, with guitarist Jimmy Lee Robinson and drummer Sonny Scott.

In 1960 he recorded Hide Away an adaptation of a tune by Hound Dog Taylor. It was a huge success but on the personal side, Freddie was fond, perhaps overly fond, of the Chicago night life. His official website refers to him "Gambling til dawn in the backroom of Mike's cleaners." His wife, now with six children, decided to move back to Texas.

Realising that the family were definitely not coming back to Chicago, Freddie, in the spring of 1963, himself moved back to Texas to rejoin them. He moved to Atlantic records and then to Shelters records while touring heavily. He died in Dallas in 1976 from a heart attack and complications arising from bleeding ulcers and pancreatitis. He was just 42 years of age. MP3: Hide Away

Outras músicas - Lester Young

Luther Allison

Luther Allison was born August 17, 1939, in Widener, AR, the 14th of 15 children, the son of cotton farmers. His parents moved to Chicago when he was in his early teens, but he had a solid awareness of blues before he left Arkansas, as he played organ in the church and learned to sing gospel in Widener as well.

It was while living with his family on Chicago's West Side that he had his first awareness of wanting to become a full-time bluesman, and he played bass behind guitarist Jimmy Dawkins, who Allison grew up with. Also in Allison's neighborhood were established blues greats like Freddie King, Magic Sam, and Otis Rush. He distinctly remembers everyone talking about Buddy Guy when he came to town from his native Louisiana.

His first album, Love Me Mama, was released in 1969 and afterwards he signed with Motown. Although his Motown albums got him to places he'd never been before, like Japan and new venues in Europe, the recordings didn't sell well. Allison settled outside of Paris, since France and Germany were such major markets for him. At home in the U.S., Allison continued to perform sporadically, when knowledgeable blues festival organizers or blues societies would book him. In July of 1997, he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Just over a month later, he died. MP3: Move From The Wood

Friday, November 03, 2006

Albinia Jones

Albinia Jones was born on November 1914 in Gulfport, Mississippi and died on June 1989, New York City, New York, USA. Jones arrived in New York in 1932, her only singing experience at the Mt. Holy Baptists Church in Gulfport.

Her first professional engagement was at the Elk's Rendez-vous Club, which proved so successful that she was retained for nine months. Other nightclubs she sang in included the Club Harlem, the Village Vanguard and Murrains Cafe. Her first recordings in late 30's and early 40's featured jazz musicians Lester Young and Dizzy Gillespie. MP3: Give It Up Daddy Blues

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Outras músicas - Frank Zappa & Captain Beefheart

Willie the Pimp

Pinetop Perkins

Born Willie Perkins, in Belzoni, MS, in 1913, Pinetop started out playing guitar at house parties and honky tonks, and switched to piano after sustaining a serious injury that made picking a guitar painful. Perkins took is name from a song he composed “Pinetop’s Boogie”, dedicated to Clarence “Pinetop” Smith.

Perkins worked primarily in the Mississippi Delta throughout the thirties and forties, spending five years with Sonny Boy Williamson, toured extensively with slide guitar player Robert Nighthawk and briefly worked with B.B. King in Memphis. By 1953, Pinetop had developed his own unmistakable sound. His right hand plays horn lines while his left kicks out bass lines and lots of bottom.

In 1969 he joined the great Muddy Waters Band replacing Otis Spann and holding down the piano chair for twelve years. In 1980, Pinetop and other Waters’ alumni decided to go out on their own and formed the Legendary Blues Band. Tired of being a sideman throughout most of his career, Pinetop left Legendary to concentrate on a solo career. He is still alive and performing at the age of 93. MP3: Pinetop's Boogie

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Willie King

Willie King was born in Prairie Point, MS, on March 8, 1943. His grandparents and local sharecroppers raised King and his siblings after his mother and father separated when he was two. Fortunately, King was raised in a music-filled household, as his grandfather was a fan of both gospel and blues music. A young Willie King made his own didley-bo, a one-stringed instrument, by nailing a bailing wire to a tree in his yard. He began playing that and eventually progressed to guitar, when his plantation owner, brought him his first guitar, when he was 13 years old.

He made his professional debut at a house party in Mississippi, playing all night for two dollars. King focused his efforts on learning more tunes and expanded his repertoire to include tunes by Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, and John Lee Hooker.

In 1967, King moved to Chicago and spent a year trying to find secure work in that city's south and west sides. He returned to Old Memphis, AL, and began working as a salesman, traveling rural roads, peddling his goods, and talking politics with mostly poor, rural Alabama residents. King got involved in the civil rights movement and with the left-wing Highlander Center.

Throughout the 1970s, King continued to write blues songs inspired by the civil rights activism of performers like Josh White, Harry Belafonte, Joan Baez, the Freedom Singers, and Pete Seeger. King calls his political songs "struggling songs," and in reality, they are political tunes used to educate his audiences. As he explains in his biography accompanying Freedom Creek, "Through the music, I could reach more people, get them to listen." MP3: Living In a New World

Friday, October 06, 2006

Outras músicas - King Crimson

Elephant Talk

J.B. Lenoir

J. B. Lenoir was born on March 1929 in Monticello, Mississippi. J.B. (that was his entire legal handle) fell under the spell of Blind Lemon Jefferson as a wee lad, thanks to his guitar-wielding dad. Lightnin' Hopkins and Arthur Crudup were also cited as early influences. Lenoir spent time in New Orleans where he worked with blues artists Sonny Boy Williamson, and Elmore James. In 1949, Lenoir moved to Chicago and began to perform at local clubs with blues greats Memphis Minnie, Big Maceo, and Muddy Waters.

J. B. Lenoir was known in the 50s for his particular zebra-patterned costumes and his brilliant female-like voice but he was a very influential musician and composer playing electric guitar. His band included Sunnyland Slim, J. T. Brown, and Alfred Wallace. In this period he wrote several blues standards including Don't Dog Your Woman, Mama Talk To Your Daughter, and Don't Touch My Head.

The Civil Rights and Free Speech movements in the U.S. in the 1960s prompted J. B. to record several LPs using acoustic guitar, sometimes accompanied by Willie Dixon on the acoustic bass or drums. His work at this time had an unusually direct political content relative to racism or Vietnam War issues. His "Alabama Blues", for example, included the lines: 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.

Despite the angry lyrics of many of his songs, Lenoir sang in a disarmingly sweet, laid-back style, and he was widely known as an exceptionally friendly and gentle person. He befriended and encouraged many young blues artists both black and white. He died on April 29, 1967 from a heart attack related to injuries he suffered in a car accident three weeks earlier. His untimely death is lamented by John Mayall in the song, "Death of J. B. Lenoir". MP3: Mama Talk To Your Daughter

Lightnin' Hopkins

Lightnin' Hopkins was born Sam Hopkins on March 1912 in Centerville TX. Hopkins' brothers John Henry and Joel were also talented bluesmen, but it was Sam who became a star. In 1920, he met the legendary Blind Lemon Jefferson at a social function, and even got a chance to play with him. Later, Hopkins served as Jefferson's guide.

In his teens, Hopkins began working with another pre-war great, singer Texas Alexander, who was his cousin. A mid-'30s stretch in Houston's County Prison Farm for the young guitarist interrupted their partnership for a time, but when he was freed, Hopkins hooked back up with the older bluesman.

When Hopkins and Alexander were playing in Houston in 1946, he was discovered by Lola Anne Cullum of Los Angeles' Aladdin Records (although Alexander would not make it out to LA). He settled in Houston in 1952 and gained much attention. Solid recordings followed including his masterpiece song Mojo Hand in 1960. He was an influence on Jimmie Vaughan's work, and, more significantly, on the vocals and blues style of Pigpen, the keyboardist of the Grateful Dead until 1972. He was also an important influence on Townes Van Zandt, the legendary Texas folk/blues songwriter and performer, who often performed Hopkins numbers in his live performances.

Lightnin' Hopkins was a great influence on many local musicians around Houston and Austin, Texas in the 1950's and 1960's. His style was born from spending many hours playing informally without a band as backup. His distinctive style often included playing, in effect, bass, rhythm, lead, percussion, and vocals, all at the same time. His musical phrasing would often include a long low note at the beginning, the rhythm played in the middle range, then the lead in the high range. By playing this quickly - with occasional slaps of the guitar - the effect of bass, rhythm, percussion and lead would be created. He died January 1982. MP3: Gamblers Blues

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Outras músicas - John Coltrane & Stan Getz

Albert Collins

Albert Collins was born on October 1932, in Leona, Texas. Albert Collins was a passionate instrumentalist and singer who became known as the "Master of the Telecaster" for the distinctively pure "icy" tone he produced from his Fender Telecaster electric guitar.

Collins was a distant relative of Lightnin' Hopkins and grew up learning about music and playing guitar. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, he absorbed the blues sounds and styles from Texas, Mississippi and Chicago. He formed his first band in 1952 and two years later was the headliner at several blues clubs in Houston, Texas. Many of Kansas City's recording studios had closed by the mid 1960s. Unable to record, Collins moved to California in 1967 where he met and played with Canned Heat.

Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Collins toured the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. He was becoming a popular blues musician and was an influence for Robert Cray, Debbie Davies, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jonny Lang, Susan Tedeschi, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, John Mayer and Frank Zappa.

In July 1993 Collins was diagnosed with lung cancer and he died shortly afterwards, in November. MP3: Too Manny Dirty Dishes

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was born on September 1924 in Vinton, Louisiana, and was raised in Orange, Texas. Brown was a highly acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, who played an impressive array of instruments such as guitar, fiddle, mandolin, viola as well as harmonica and drums.

His professional musical career began in 1945, playing drums in San Antonio. He was nicknamed "Gatemouth" for his deep voice. He received note, and his fame took off, during a 1947 concert by T-Bone Walker in a Houston nightclub. When Walker became ill, Brown took up his guitar and played "Gatemouth Boogie," to the delight of the audience.

In the 1960s he moved to Nashville to participate in a syndicated R&B television show, and while he was there recorded several country singles. By the late 60s he had decided to leave the music business and he moved to New Mexico and became a deputy sheriff. However, in the early 1970s several countries in Europe had developed an appreciation for American roots music, especially blues, and Brown was a popular and well-respected artist there. In the 1980s, a series of releases of old records revitalized his U.S. career and he toured extensively and internationally.

His guitar style influenced many other blues guitarists such as Albert Collins, Guitar Slim, J.J.Cale, and Johnny "Guitar" Watson. Frank Zappa named Brown as his all-time favorite guitarist. In his last few years, he maintained a full touring schedule, "People can't come to me, so I go to them," he explained. In September 2004, Brown was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died on September 2005. MP3: Okie Dokie Stomp

Friday, September 29, 2006

Outras músicas - Coleman Hawkins

Robert Belfour

Robert 'Wolfman' Belfour was born on September 1940, in Holly Springs, MS. Belfour is a little-known but very powerful blues guitarist and singer, he began playing guitar in the late '40s after the death of his father who left the instrument to him. He learned by emulating the sounds of such greats as John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, and his idol, Howlin Wolf, as they were being broadcast on his mother's battery-operated radio. He was also influenced to some extent by his neighbor, Junior Kimbrough.

Belfour's style is deeply-rooted in the sounds of his North Mississippi birthplace. It is a highly rhythmic and riff-oriented type of playing that can also be heard in the work of other players from the region, like Jessie Mae Hemphill, R.L. Burnside, and the late Fred Mcdowell.

Belfour moved to Memphis in 1968 and started playing on Beale street in the early 80s at the suggestion of his wife. He was recorded by musicologist David Evans in 1994 for the German-based Hot Fox label, playing eight songs on a 20-song compilation, The Spirit Lives On, Deep South Country Blues and Spirituals in the 1990s. The record also features selections from veteran barrelhouse piano player and long-time Memphis resident Mose Vinson, who is also a native of Holly Springs.

Although Belfour is virtually unkown in the United States, he makes yearly trips to Europe to perform for enthusiastic and very appreciative crowds who have a deep reverence for authentic country blues, releasing What's Wrong with You in mid 2000. MP3: Breaking My Heart

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Little Milton

Little Milton was born Milton Campbell Jr. on September 1934, in the Mississippi Delta town of Mississippi and raised in Greenville by a farmer and local blues musician. By age twelve he had learned the guitar and was a street musician, chiefly influenced by T-Bone Walker and his blues and rock-n-roll contemporaries. In 1952, while still a teenager playing in local bars, he caught the attention of Ike Turner.

He signed a contract with the Sun label and recorded a number of singles but none of them broke through onto radio or sold well at record stores. After transitioning from several labels without notable success, Milton set up the St. Louis Bobbin Records label, which ultimately scored a distribution deal with Leonard Chess' Chess Records. As a record producer, Milton helped bring artists such as Albert King and popular R&B singer Fontella Bass to fame. Milton went on recording some singles "Blind Man", "We're Gonna Make It" and "Who's Cheating Who?" . All three songs where later to be included in his first album "We Are Gonna Make It".

Throughout the late sixties Milton released a number of moderately successful singles, but didn't release his second album, "Grits Ain't Groceries", until 1969. In the following years Milton struggled to maintain a career. His most recent album, "Think of Me", was released in May of 2005 and he passed away in August of 2005. MP3: Somebody Told Me

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Outras músicas - The Free

RL Burnside

R. L. Burnside was born Robert Lee Burnside, in Harmontown, Lafayette County, Mississippi, on November, 1926.

Burnside spent most of his life in the rural hill country of northern Mississippi, working as a sharecropper and a commercial fisherman, as well as playing guitar at weekend house parties. He was first inspired to pick up the guitar in his early twenties, after hearing the 1948 John Lee Hooker single "Boogie Chillen". He learned music largely from Mississippi Fred McDowell, who lived nearby. He also cited his cousin-in-law, Muddy Waters, as an influence.

During the 1950s Burnside grew tired of sharecropping and moved to Chicago, Illinois in the hopes of finding better economic opportunities. But things did not turn out as he had hoped. Within the span of one month his father, brother, and uncle were all murdered in the city, a tragedy that Burnside would later draw upon in his work, particularly in his interpretation of Skip James's "Hard Time Killing Floor" and the talking blues "R.L.'s Story".

In around 1959 he left Chicago and went back to Mississippi to work the farms and raise a family. Burnside claimed to have been convicted for murder and sentenced to six months' incarceration for the crime. Burnside's boss at the time reputedly pulled strings to keep the murder sentence short, due to having need of Burnside's skills as a tractor driver. "I didn't mean to kill nobody," Burnside later said. "I just meant to shoot the sonofabitch in the head. Him dying was between him and the Lord."

Burnside had been in declining health since heart surgery in 1999, and died in a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee on September 1, 2005 at the age of 78. MP3: When My First Wife Left Me

Charlie Patton

If the Delta country blues has a convenient source point, it would probably be Charley Patton, its first great star, born in 1891 no matter where. From him flowed nearly all the elements that would comprise the region’s blues style. Patton had a course, earthy voice that reflected hard times and hard living. His guitar style - percussive and raw - matched his vocal delivery.

He often played slide guitar and gave that style a position of prominence in Delta blues. Patton’s songs were filled with lyrics that dealt with more than mere narratives of love gone bad. Patton often injected a personal viewpoint into his music and explored issues like social mobility (Pony Blues), imprisonment (High Sheriff Blues), nature (High Water Blues), and morality (Oh Death) that went far beyond traditional male - female relationship themes.

Patton defined the life of a bluesman. He drank and smoked excessively. He reportedly had a total of eight wives. He was jailed at least once. He traveled extensively, never staying in one place for too long.

Patton’s standing in blues history is immense; no country blues artist, save Blind Lemon Jefferson, exerted more influence on the future of the form or on its succeeding generation of stylists than Patton. Everyone from Son House, Howlin' Wolf, and Robert Johnson to Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and Elmore James can trace their blues styles back to Patton. MP3: A Spoonfull Blues

Outras músicas - Spencer Davis Group

Hubert Sumlin

Hubert Sumlin was born on November 16, 1931 in Greenwood, Mississippi and raised in Hughes, Arkansas. He was taken by the great Blues players he heard - Charlie Patton, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Lonnie Johnson, Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie McTell, and Son House. Hubert was born to take his place with these masters.

When Hubert was about 10, he sneaked out to the local juke joint and stood on a pile of coca cola crates to see Howlin’ Wolf. Drawn in by the music, he fell through the window and landed right on the stage. The club owner tried to throw out the underage boy, but Wolf insisted that Hubert stay and sit on the stage while he played. He later took Hubert home to his mama and asked that he not be punished.

A few years later, Hubert and James Cotton started a band together. Howlin’ Wolf heard about them in West Memphis and soon brought Hubert to Chicago, where he developed a guitar style based on the human touch of flesh on steel, perfectly framing and answering Wolf’s roars and moans, and soloing with pain and humor, trouble and transcendence. MP3: Look What You've Done

Robert Lockwood Jr.

Robert Lockwood, Jr. was born in Turkey Scratch, Arkansas on March 1915. He started playing the organ in his father's church at the age of 8. The famous bluesman Robert Johnson lived with Lockwood's mother for 10 years off and on after his parents' divorce. Lockwood learned from Johnson not only how to play guitar, but timing and stage presence as well.

By age 15, Lockwood was playing professionally at parties in the Helena area. He often played with his quasi-stepfather figure, Johnson, but also occasionally with Rice Miller (Sonny Boy Williamson II) or Johnny Shines. Lockwood played at fish fries, juke joints, and street corners throughout the Mississippi Delta in the 1930s. An anecdote from Lockwood's website claims that on one occasion Robert Johnson played on one side of the Sunflower River, while Lockwood played on the other, with the people of Clarksville, Mississippi milling about the bridge, unable to tell which guitarist was the real Robert Johnson.

Following Johnson's tragic murder in 1938, Lockwood embarked on his own intriguing musical journey. He was among the first bluesmen to score an electric guitar in 1938 and eventually made his way to Chicago. Jazz elements steadily crept into Lockwood's dazzling fretwork, although his role as Sonny Boy Williamson's musical partner probably didn't emphasize that side of his dexterity all that much.

Settling in Chicago in 1950, Lockwood swiftly gained a reputation as a versatile in-demand studio sideman, recording behind harp genius Little Walter and piano masters Sunnyland Slim and Eddie Boyd.

Lockwood's best modern work as a leader was done for Pete Lowry's Trix label, including some startling workouts on the 12-string axe that he daringly added to his arsenal in 1965. He later joined forces with fellow Johnson disciple Johnny Shines for two eclectic early-'80s Rounder albums. Intent on satisfying his own instincts first and foremost, the sometimes taciturn Lockwood is a priceless connection between past and present. MP3: Walking Blues

Monday, September 18, 2006

Outras músicas - Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll & The Trinity

Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters was born McKinley Morganfield in the tiny hamlet of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, on April 4, 1915. From the age of three, when his mother died he was raised by his maternal grandmother in Clarksdale, a small town one hundred miles to the north.

Growing to manhood there he had been working as a farm laborer for several years when at thirteen he took up the harmonica, the instrument on which many blues performers first master the music's rudiments. Four years later he made the switch to guitar. "You see, I was digging Son House and Robert Johnson." The two were the undisputed masters of the region's characteristic "bottleneck" style of guitar accompaniment.

Within a year, Waters recalled, he had mastered the bottleneck style and the jagged, pulsating rhythms of Delta guitar. By the time a team of Library of Congress field collectors headed by Alan Lomax visited and recorded Waters for the Library's folksong archives in 1941.

He moved to Chicago in 1943, and never looked back. Working as a truck driver, Waters had managed to persuade the operators of Aristocrat-later Chess-Records, a small, independent Chicago firm, to record him. After several exploratory recordings made in the company of pianist Sunnyland Slim and bassist Ernest "Big" Crawford which made absolutely no impression on the record-buying public, Waters suddenly scored with the single "I Can't Be Satisfied/I Feel Like Going Home". And it is with this record that the history of the modern Chicago blues properly begins. Over the next few years, Waters gathered around him a group of like-minded, country-reared musicians with whom he proceeded to make blues history.

When he died quietly in his sleep on April 30, 1983, in his home in suburban Westmont Illinois, America lost one of the greatest, most influential and enduringly important musicians of the century. MP3: Mannish Boy

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Honeyboy Edwards

Honeyboy Edwards was born David Edwards in Shaw, Mississippi in 1915. Edwards learned guitar from his father, Henry Edwards, and friends Tommy McClennan (who "Honeyboy" would long play with) and Robert Petway. At the age of 14, Edwards left for the road under guitarist Big Joe Williams.

During the next few years he played on street corners, in river boats, brothels, house parties, and delta juke joints with folks like McClennan, Homesick James, Big Walter Horton, Yank Rachell, Charley Patton, Son House, Tommy Johnson, Robert Petway, and Robert Johnson. Edwards was with Johnson the night he died, and his statement that Johnson was poisoned by a jealous husband is considered most credible by historians...

During the 1930s, "Honeyboy" moved to Memphis, where he played regularly with the Memphis Jug Band, Will Shade, Memphis Slim, Roosevelt Sykes, Big Walter Horton, and Little Walter Jacobs. In 1942, Edwards began his recording career, cutting fifteen tracks for Library of Congress' Alan Lomax.

In 1953, Edwards moved to Chicago, building a reputation as one of the city's best slide guitarists. At the age 91 he is still playing. MP3: Bad Whiskey and Cocaine

Outras músicas - Lowell George & Little Feat

Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith was born in 1894 on Chattanooga, Tennesse. She began singing at the age of nine on the street corners and in 1912 joined the Rabbit Foot Minstrels traveling show led by the legendary blues singer Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, to whom Bessie would become a protégé.

After performing in saloons and small theaters throughout the south, Bessie signed with Columbia Records and scored a major hit with the records "Down Hearted Blues" and "Gulf Coast Blues". Her more than 150 recordings that followed, some of which sold 100,000 copies in a week, propelled her to fame and immortality. She toured regularly in 1920s, particularly in vaudeville, often with such jazz greats as Louis Armstrong, Fletcher "Smack" Henderson, James P. Johnson, and Benny Goodman.

As well as singing Bessie, with her tall, upright, and strikingly beautiful features, was effective at acting, appearing in the 1929 motion picture short St. Louis Blues. It was unfortunate that at this time her career fell into a sharp decline. This was mostly the result of changing trends in music, however, Bessie's long-standing alcoholism played its part as as record producers found her very difficult to work with. Bessie Smith was in the process of a comeback at the time of her tragic death at age of forty three. On Sept. 26, 1937, she was critically injured while on her way to a singing engagement, when the car being driven by her boyfriend crashed into a truck on a road in Mississippi. MP3: Lost Your Head Blues

Memphis Minnie

Memphis Minnie was born Lizzie Douglas on june, 1897, in Algiers, Louisiana. It all strated when seven-year-old Lizzie Douglas was given a guitar. This was her tool of choice for the next 40 years as she blazed a Blues trail as one of the first popular female Blues recording artists of the 20th century.

Taking the name Memphis Minnie during her time in the city in the 1920's, she played in jug bands, sang Gospel, and played Blues and on Beale Street. She would start her recording career here with the hit Bumble Bee, a song that went on to become a Chicago Blues standard. She collaborated and lived with guitarist Kansas Joe McCoy at this time, and after they parted, she would have a guitarist/partner by her side for the rest of her career.

Memphis Minnie's guitar abilities were a rare for her time. Most women performers then were in Vaudeville, and were just vocalists, Minnie was the Bonnie Raitt of her time, great voice, great guitar, great songs, and and very popular. She was also one of the first to pick up an electric guitar, ushering in the ere that spawned Rock & Roll. Minnie wrote, or co-wrote many of her hits with her three musician husbands, McCoy, Ernest "Little Son Joe" Lawlars, and Casey Bill Weldon.

A link between the Country Blues of the 1920's and '30's and the post-war electric Blues, Lizzie created her own musical world that has gone on to become a common denominator in most of today's music. Minnie suffered a career-ending stroke in 1961 and was confined to nursing homes back home in Memphis until her death in 1973. MP3: When The Levee Breaks - Where Is My Good Man At ?

Outras músicas - Freddie Hubbard

Son House

Son House was born Eddie James House Jr., on March 21, 1902, in Riverton, MS. By the age of 15, he was preaching the gospel in various Baptist churches as the family seemingly wandered from one plantation to the next. He didn't even bother picking up a guitar until he turned 25; to quote House, "I didn't like no guitar when I first heard it; oh gee, I couldn't stand a guy playin' a guitar. I didn't like none of it." But Son hated plantation labor even more and had developed a taste for corn whiskey. After drunkenly launching into a blues at a house frolic in Lyon, one night and picking up some coin for doing it, the die seemed to be cast; Son House may have been a preacher, but he was part of the blues world now.

If the romantic notion that the blues life is said to be a life full of trouble is true, then Son found a barrel of it one night at another house frolic in Lyon. He shot a man dead that night and was immediately sentenced to imprisonment at Parchman Farm. He ended up only serving two years of his sentence, with his parents both lobbying hard for his release, claiming self defense.

After hitchhiking and hoboing the rails, he ran into the legendary Charley Patton. He followed Patton up to Grafton, and recorded a handful of sides for the Paramount label. It was those recordings that led Alan Lomax to his door in 1941 to record him for the Library of Congress. After the Lomax recordings, he just as quickly disappeared, moving to Rochester. When folk blues researchers finally found him in 1964, he was cheerfully exclaiming that he hadn't touched a guitar in years.

He fell into ill health by the early '70s; what was later diagnosed as both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease first affected his memory and his ability to recall songs onstage and later, his hands, which shook so bad he finally had to give up the guitar and eventually live performing altogether by 1976, passing away on October 19, 1988. MP3: John The Revelator - My Black Mama

Blind Willie McTell

Born William Samuel McTell in 1901, in Thomson, Georgia, Blind Willie lost his sight in late childhood, yet earned the status as one of the most accomplished guitarists and lyrical storytellers in Blues history. There was some confusion over his surname; some sources claimed his real name was "McTear" but a teacher at a blind school he attended inadvertently changed it to "McTell", misunderstanding Willie's diction. However, in a 1977 interview, his wife Kate McTell said that somebody on his father's side of the family disguised their name because they were "big whiskey still people."

Blind Willie McTell learned the guitar from his mother during his early teens. Through his teenage years and early twenties he played in various touring carnivals and shows, including the John Roberts Plantation Show. During this time he also attended various schools for the blind and became an accomplished musical theorist, able to both read and write music in Braille.

While few of his recordings ever earned mainstream popularity, his influence on the modern music and art scene is widely known. His songs (Statesboro Blues, Broke Down Engine Blues, etc...) have been recorded by famous artists such as the Allman Brothers, Taj Mahal and others.

He left the music scene for the pulpit in later life and the details of Blind Willie's death in 1959, remain nebulous; nonetheless, his legacy grows exponentially each year. MP3: Statesboro Blues

Outras músicas - Jimmi Hendrix (Woodstock)

Bo Carter

Bo Carter was born Armenter Chatmon on March 21, 1893 in Bolton, Mississippi. Bo had an unequaled capacity for creating sexual metaphors in his songs, specializing in such ribald imagery as "Banana in Your Fruit Basket," "Pin in Your Cushion," and "Your Biscuits Are Big Enough for Me." One of the most popular bluesmen of the '30s, he recorded enough material for several reissue albums, and he was quite an original guitar picker.He was a master of the traditional delta blues and his steel string guitar provided him with an instantly recognizable sound.

Carter's facility extended beyond the risqué business to more serious blues themes, and he was also the first to record the standard "Corrine Corrina" . Bo and his brothers Lonnie and Sam Chatmon also recorded as members of the Mississippi Sheiks with singer/guitarist Walter Vinson. MP3: Corrine Corrina

Ma Rainey

Ma Rainey was born Gertrude Pridgett in Columbus, Georgia, on April 26, 1886, to minstrel troupers. At the age of 14, Rainey worked at the Springer Opera House in 1900, performing as a singer and dancer in the local talent show, "A Bunch of Blackberries". On 1904, Pridgett married comedy songster William "Pa" Rainey. Billed as "Ma" and "Pa" Rainey, the couple toured Southern tent shows and cabarets. Though she did not hear blues in Columbus, Rainey's extensive travels had, by 1905, brought her into contact with authentic country blues, which she worked into her song repertoire.

While performing with the Moses Stokes troupe in 1912, the Raineys were introduced to the show's newly recruited dancer, Bessie Smith. Eight years Smith's senior, Rainey quickly befriended the young performer. Despite earlier historical accounts crediting Rainey as Smith's vocal coach, it has been generally agreed by modern scholars that Rainey played less of a role in the shaping of Smith's singing style.

Separated from her husband in 1916, Rainey subsequently toured with her own band, Madam Gertrude Ma Rainey and her Georgia Smart Sets. With the help of Mayo "Ink" Williams, Rainey first recorded for the Paramount label in 1923 (three years after the first blues side recorded by Mamie Smith). Already a popular singer in the Southern theater circuit, Rainey entered the recording industry as an experienced and stylistically mature talent.

By the early 1930s, Rainey still performed, often resorting to playing tent shows. Following the death of her mother and sister, Rainey retired from the music business in 1935 and settled in Columbus. Rainey died in Rome, Georgia on December 22, 1939. MP3: Slave to the Blues

Outras músicas - Jefferson Airplane

Blind Blake

No blues artist remains so cloaked in mystery as Blind Blake. Likely born in the early 1890's, Arthur Blake was from Jacksonville, Florida. However, a Paramount record ad in the Chicago Defender said he was from Tampa, and some researchers have speculated that Blake may have been from, or spent considerable time in, the South Georgia Sea Islands. Even his name is an uncertainty: his name might have been Arthur Phelps, though the copyright submissions for his songs use some variation on Blind Arthur Blake. Blake travelled widely before and after his first record was made. He spent a good amount of time in Atlanta in the early '20s. Kate McTell said that her husband, Blind Willie McTell, brought Blake to the city from Florida.

What we do have is one Paramount publicity photo, a few scattered recollections, and his songs. The eighty or so sides that Blake cut are incredible in their diversity. They range from out-and-out Piedmont blues to dazzling instrumentals to ragtime to duets with Gus Cannon to skiffle-jazz.

Blake shared some interesting similarities to his more famous labelmates, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Charlie Patton. Each was the first star of his respective blues genre, at least when we look back now; each was recorded extensively by Paramount at a time when few bluesmen were asked to record more than ten songs; each died in the thirties, Jefferson and Blake under mysterious circumstances; each had his picture taken once; and all three had more than a little songster in him, Blake especially so. MP3: Diddie Wa Diddie

Skip James

Skip James was born Nehemiah Curtis James, on 1902 near Bentonia, Mississippi. As a youth he heard local musicians such as Henry Stuckey and the brothers Charlie and Jesse Sims, and began playing the organ in his teens. He worked on road construction and levee-building crews in his native Mississippi in the early 1920s, and wrote what is perhaps his earliest song, "Ilinois Blues", about his experiences as a laborer. Later in the '20s he sharecropped, and made bootleg whiskey in the Bentonia area. He began playing guitar and developed a three-finger picking technique that he would use to great effect on his recordings. In addition, he began to practice piano-playing, drawing inspiration from the Mississippi blues pianist Little Brother Montgomery.

In early 1931 James auditioned for the Jackson, Mississippi record-shop owner and talent scout H. C. Speir. On the strength of this audition, Skip James traveled to Grafton, Wisconsin to record for Paramount. These recordings are among the most famous ever made in the blues. "I'm So Glad" was derived from a 1927 song by Art Sizemore and George A. Little entitled "So Tired," which had been recorded by both Gene Austin and, as "I'm Tired of Livin' All Alone," by Lonnie Johnson. The other pieces recorded at Grafton, such as "Devil Got My Woman," "Special Rider Blues," and "22-20," were of similarly high quality both vocally and instrumentally, and are the recordings upon which James' subsequent reputation lay.

For the next thirty years James recorded nothing, and drifted in and out of music. He was virtually unknown to listeners until about 1960. In 1964 blues enthusiasts John Fahey, Bill Barth and Harry Vestine found him in Tunica, Mississippi. According to Calt, the "rediscovery" of both Skip James and of Son House at virtually the same moment was the start of the "blues revival" in America. In July 1964 James, along with other blues performers, appeared at the Newport Folk Festival. he died in 1969. MP3: Illinois Blues

Monday, September 11, 2006

Outras músicas - Jobim by Sonnenberg

John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker was born on August 22, 1917, to a sharecropping family in Clarksdale, Mississippi. His stepfather, Will Moore, taught him how to play guitar, and as a young man Hooker encountered such blues legends as Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Blind Blake along the way. His style of guitar playing is known as two-finger picking or as Deltalick.

John Lee Hooker is a giant of the blues and the father of the boogie. Beginning in 1948 with his first single, "Boogie Chillen", he introduced the world to the persistent, chugging rhythm of boogie music, a form of country blues Hooker learned back home in Mississippi. His foot-stomping boogie was adapted and amplified in the sixties and seventies by a great number of rock and roll artists, including the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, Canned Heat, John Mayall, Ten Years After, ZZ Top and George Thorogood. Beyond his ability to lock into a hypnotic boogie groove, Hooker is renowned for the gruff emotionality of his voice and the stark intensity of his guitar playing. Over the decades, he has proven to be a survivor. When interest in electric blues began cooling off, Hooker found a niche for himself on the coffeehouse circuit during the acoustic folk-music boom of the late fifties and early sixties. MP3: Mustang Sally Bought a GTO

BB king

BB King was born Riley B. King on September 16, 1925 in (Itta Bena)Indianola, Mississippi. King spent much of his childhood sharing time living with his mother and his grandmother and working as a sharecropper and hired hand.

At an early age, King developed a love for blues guitarists like T-Bone Walker and Lonnie Johnson and jazz artists like Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt. Soon King was cultivating his own musical skills singing Gospel music in church. In the winter of 1949, King played at a dance hall in Twist, Arkansas. During the performance, two men began to fight, knocking over a burning barrel and sending burning fuel across the floor. This triggered an evacuation. Once outside, King realized that he had left his guitar inside the burning building. He entered the blaze to retrieve his guitar, a Gibson acoustic. The next day, King discovered that the two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille, so he named that first guitar Lucille, as well as every one he owned since that near-fatal experience.

King began broadcasting his music live on Memphis radio station WDIA, he used the name "The Pepticon Boy" which later became the "Beale Street Blues Boy". The name was then shortened to just Blues Boy and, eventually, simply "B.B." .

In the 1950s, King became one of the most important names in R&B music, collecting an impressive list of hits under his belt that included songs like "You Know I Love You", "Woke Up This Morning", "Please Love Me", "When My Heart Beats like a Hammer", "Whole Lotta' Love" , "Every Day I Have the Blues", "Sneakin' Around" ,"Ten Long Years", "Bad Luck", "Sweet Little Angel", "On My Word of Honor" and "Please Accept My Love".

King first found success outside of the blues market with the 1969 remake of the Roy Hawkins tune, "The Thrill Is Gone" , which became a hit on both pop and R&B charts, which was rare for an R&B artist. He gained further rock visibility as an opening act on The Rolling Stones much-ballyhooed 1969 American Tour. King's mainstream success continued throughout the 1970s with songs like "To Know You Is to Love You" and "I Like to Live the Love". From 1951 to 1985, King appeared on Billboard's R&B charts an amazing 74 times. MP3: The Thrill is gone

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Outras músicas - Creedence Clearwater Revival

Otis Rush

Otis Rush was born on April, 1934 in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Rush moved to Chicago in 1948, met Muddy Waters, and knew instantly what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. The omnipresent Willie Dixon caught Rush's act and signed him to Cobra Records in 1956.

His 1956-58 Cobra legacy is a magnificent one, distinguished by the Dixon-produced minor-key masterpieces "Double Trouble" and "My Love Will Never Die", the nails-tough "Three Times a Fool" and "Keep on Loving Me Baby", and the rhumba-rocking classic "All Your Love (I Miss Loving)".

An uneven but worthwhile 1975 set for Delmark, Cold Day in Hell, and a host of solid live albums that mostly sound very similar kept Rush's gilt-edged name in the marketplace to some extent during the 1970s and '80s, a troubling period for the legendary southpaw. In 1986, he walked out on an expensive session for Rooster Blues (Louis Myers, Lucky Peterson, and Casey Jones were among the assembled sidemen), complaining that his amplifier didn't sound right and thereby scuttling the entire project.

Finally, in 1994, the career of this Chicago blues legend began traveling in the right direction. Ain't Enough Comin' In, his first studio album in 16 years, was released and ended up topping many blues critics' year-end lists. Once again, a series of personal problems threatened to end Rush's long-overdue return to national prominence before it got off the ground. But he's been in top-notch form in recent years, fronting a tight band that's entirely sympathetic to the guitarist's sizzling approach. It still may not be too late for Otis Rush to assume his rightful throne as Chicago's blues king. MP3: You Reap What You Saw Video: All Your Love

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy was born George Guy on july 1936 in Lettsworth, Louisiana. Buddy is known as an inspiration to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and other 1960s blues and rock legends, Guy is considered as an important exponent of Chicago blues made famous by Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.

In the early 1950s he began performing with bands in Baton Rouge. Soon after moving to Chicago in 1957, Guy fell under the influence of "Mighty" Muddy Waters. In 1958 a competition with West Side guitarists Magic Sam and Otis Rush gave him a record contract. Guy’s career was held back by both conservative business choices made by his early record company and by Chess records that used him mainly as a session guitarist to back Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson and Koko Taylor.

Guy's reputation spread to Great Britain with the American Folk Blues Festival in the 1960s, where young rockers like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and the Rolling Stones were seeking out the roots of American blues. His first trip to the UK was in February 1965, during which Rod Stewart acted as his valet and Guy shared a bill with the Yardbirds. Buddy Guy was a leading star at the 1969 Supershow at Linoleum Factory, England that also included Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Jack Bruce, Stephen Stills, Buddy Miles, Glen Campbell, Roland Kirk, and Jon Hiseman.

Guy's career finally took off during the blues revival period of the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was sparked by Eric Clapton's request that Guy be part of the '24 nights' all-star blues guitar lineup at London's Royal Albert Hall and Guy's subsequent signing with Silvertone Records. MP3: Mustang Sally

Monday, September 04, 2006

Outras músicas - Weather Report

Mississippi John Hurt

Mississippi John Hurt was born March 8, 1892 in Carroll County, Mississippi. He was discovered, perhaps plucking away on the front stoop of the Valley Store in Carrol County, by Tommy Rockwell for the Okeh label who sent him to Memphis to Record in 1928. That record sold enough to earn him a trip to New York City for more. His career appeared to be taking off at that point, but the depression settled in and sent him home.

He returned to Mississippi, and stayed for 35 years where he herded cows and plucked away perhaps only to them and the passerbies at the Valley Store.

In 1963 two 'folkies' Tom Hoskins and Mike Stewart, got a hold of a tape from a record collector. On it was a recording of MJ Hurt's "Avalon Blues" which had been recorded in 1928. In the the song John sang "Avalon's my home town, always on my mind...".

Hoskins and Stewart did the math, realized the man singing on the recording could still be alive, and took out a map. Unfortunately there was no town of "Avalon" listed in Mississippi. Avalon as it happened, still did exist, in the form of a store owned by a family called the Stinsons. When they drove up, there were some men hanging out on the store's front porch. Hoskins asked them if they'd ever heard of Mississippi John Hurt? One of the men said he could be found "a mile down that road, third mailbox up the hill. Can't miss it."

Down the road they went and turned in at the mailbox. As they got out of the car, a tractor came into view, a little man riding it. "Can I help you?" he asked in a soft voice. "John Hurt?" they asked, "Yes" he answered. And at that moment, the rediscovery of a legend had occured, 35 years after his original recordings and at the age of 71.

Hurt was brought up to Washington where he recorded a couple albums worth of material. And when the media caught wind of the miraculous rediscovery, Hurt was immediately booked for the Newport Folk Festival of 1963, where his comeback was an instant success.

John Hurt's success, although sweet, turned out to be relatively short. He died in his home town of Avalon on Nov 2nd 1966. MP3: Frankie

Sunday, September 03, 2006

T- Bone Walker

T-Bone Walker was born Aaron Thibeaux Walker on may 1906 in Linden, Cass County, of Cherokee Indian descent. Aaron Thibeault Walker was a product of the primordial Dallas blues scene. His stepfather, Marco Washington, stroked the bass fiddle with the Dallas String Band, and T-Bone followed his stepdad's example by learning the rudiments of every stringed instrument he could lay his talented hands on. One notable visitor to the band's jam sessions was the legendary Blind Lemon Jefferson. During the early '20s, Walker led the sightless guitarist from bar to bar as the older man played for tips.

Walker received some early tuition from Chuck Richardson in Oklahoma City, learning his trade alongside another great player, the jazz guitarist Charlie Christian. During the 30s, he started to develop his own musical personality and veered towards big band jazz sophistication and away from the rural blues of his formative years. 1942 saw his first venture into the studio, recording amongst others two soon to be standards 'I Got A Break Baby' and 'Mean Old World'.

In the mid 40s T-Bone went back to the West Coast and recorded what many pundits consider are some of his best sides. He had tremendous support in these sessions from predominantly jazz players playing in a blues setting. The recordings showcased his ability to play anything, from straight blues 'Stormy Monday', shuffles 'T-Bone Shuffle', jives 'Hypin' Woman' and jump blues 'T-Bone Jumps Again'.

Good Feelin', a 1970 release, won a Grammy for the guitarist, though it doesn't rank with his best efforts. A five-song appearance on a 1973 set, Very Rare, was also a disappointment. Persistent stomach woes and a 1974 stroke slowed Walker's career to a crawl, and he died in 1975. MP3: They Call It Stormy Monday

Outras músicas - Deep Purple

Huddie Leadbelly

Huddie William Ledbetter also known as Leadbelly, was born on January 1885 in the Jeter Plantation near Mooringsport, Louisiana. Huddie and his parents moved to Leigh, Texas when he was five and it was there that he became interested in music, encouraged by his uncle Terrell who bought Huddie his first musical instrument, an accordion.

It was some years later when Huddie picked up the guitar but by the age of 21 he had left home to wander around Texas and Louisiana trying to make his living as a musician. Over the next ten years Huddie wandered throughout the southwest eking out an existence by playing guitar when he could and working as a laborer when he had to.

In 1916 Huddie was in jail in Texas on assault charges when he escaped. He spent the next two years under the alias of Walter Boyd. But then after he killed a man in a fight he was convicted of murder and sentenced to thirty years of hard labor at Huntsville, Texas' Shaw State Prison Farm. After seven years he was released after begging pardon from the governor with a song.

But in 1930 he was arrested, tried, and convicted of attempted homicide. It was in the Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola), in July 1933 that Huddie met folklorist John Lomax and his son Alan who were touring the south for the Library of Congress collecting unwritten ballads and folk songs using newly available recording technology. The Lomaxes had discovered that Southern prisons were among the best places to collect work songs, ballads, and spirituals but Leadbelly, as he now called himself, was a particular find.

Over the next few days the Lomaxes recorded hundreds of songs. When they returned in the summer of 1934 for more recordings Leadbelly told them of his pardon in Texas. As Alan Lomax tells it, "We agreed to make a record of his petition on the other side of one of his favorite ballads, 'Goodnight Irene'. I took the record to Governor Allen on July 1. On August 1 Leadbelly got his pardon. On September 1 I was sitting in a hotel in Texas when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked up and there was Leadbelly with his guitar, his knife, and a sugar bag packed with all his earthly belongings. He said, 'Boss, you got me out of jail and now I've come to be your man'.

In 1935 Lomax took Leadbelly North where he became a sensation. Leadbelly remained Leadbelly. After hearing Cab Calloway sing in Harlem he announced that he could "beat that man singin' every time". Over the next 9 years Leadbelly's fame and success continued to increase until he fell ill while on a European Tour. He died on December 1949. MP3: Where Did You Sleep Last Night?