Going back to the Blues Roots!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Thor, Oct 3, 2003.

  1. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Lately, I have been heading back to the Blues.
    That was music I grew up with, and that really moved me. After a long time away, I started listening to some of the older cuts again, and they still knock me out.

    I woke up the other night and couldn't get back to sleep, so I turned on the idiot box. There was a documentary segment on the Blues, with BB King, Bobby Rush, Roscoe Gordon, Ike Turner etc. BB related a story of how he used to play on the 'chittlin' circuit' and they use to ride a bus from town to town, giggin' every night. He says that one day, he was booked at the Fillmore West with Steve Miller and various others. They pulled up and he saw nothing but white people, so he told the driver to keep looking, they were in the wrong place. So they kept driving and eventually came back, and Billy Graham assured him this was the venue. The year was 1968.

    He said that the audience was over 90% white and this was the first time he had ever played to a white audience. It represented a quantum leap for his career, a breakthrough. He said in the 45 mins he played, he received 4 standing ovations, as well massive one at the end. And he said he was moved to tears.

    I saw him a few years later, backed up by Muddy Waters band. MW just blew him away at that show, what a great blues band! But BB was great.

    Muddy had a great recording out called 'Hard Again' with Johnny Winter on guitar. The cuts Deep Down in Florida and King Bee rock. The one that kills me is ' I'm a MAN' M-A-N. Mannish Boy.
    It is just SO LOUD!

    Years ago, I used to listen to the Paul Butterfield Band, Mike Bloomfield always rocked me. So did Howlin' Wolf - Little Red Rooster,etc.

    I used to have a great album of Mississippi Fred McDowell, doin' Good Mornin' Li'l School Girl, and Hiway 61, That album was named 'I Do Not Play No Rock'n'Roll" and he had a little intro where he said that and ' I play just pure and natural blues y'all' This guy used to play with a broken coke bottle neck, literally. Great stuff!

    Nobody here in the US listened to this stuff, but the Brits were all over it. John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Alex Korner, The Stones, Yardbirds, Fleetwood Mac in particular took a lot of their hard sounds from the American Blues genre. These bands graduated hundreds of members, many of whom are stll very prominent today, including Beck, Clapton, Page, Jagger etc.

    Here are some of my other favorite blues cuts:

    It's My Own Fault - Johnny Winter And w/ Derringer
    If you can cover this, you've made it in the blues genre!

    Albert's Shuffle - Super Session w/Al Kooper and
    Mike Bloomfield [ Harvey Brooks basswork is to die for, as well as on Season of the Witch]

    Wang Dang Doodle - Koko Taylor - Savoy Brown, British blues band extraodinaire did a great cover
    of this as well as many other blues artists.

    Blues Power - Albert King

    Baby Please Don't Go - Muddy Waters

    Big Boss Man - Jimmy Reed

    Sleepy Time Time - Cream
    Born Under A Bad Sign - Booker T Jones
    Smokestack Lightnin' - John Mayall + Bluesbreakers

    Boogie Chillun, Boom Boom, Big Legs Tight Skirt -
    John Lee Hooker

    I Just Want To Make Love To You - Willie Dixon
    Spoonful Willie Dixon

    Bring It On Home - Sonny Boy Williamson

    there is a ton more.

    Any of you guys love the Blues? What records and what artists move you?
  2. Thor, I'm a recent convert to the Blues. (last two years or so) I always liked the Blues, but lately I'm staring to really get into it. All the names you mentioned are great, and may I add Coco Taylor and Keb Mo. I just bought the latest issue of Blues review magazine; an excellent place to find out what's going on in the Blues scene.

    I'm pretty busy right now, I'll write more later.

    I saw BB King, Ruth Brown and Bobby Blue Bland at the Apollo Theater in 1995. What a show!

    If you like the Blues, you're okay in my book. :D

  3. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    I've been involved in blues projects for the past 4-5 years. It seems that it's the only type of music that I can get serious about anymore.

    I guess I've come full circle. When I first started playing, it was blues jams that got me going. Then I got involved with the rock/metal scene of the 80's. I slowly drifted into fusion music, which led to playing more straight forward jazz. Then, some years back, I was playing bass in an "experimental" group, real off the wall stuff. I got bored with it and left. I went into a retirement of sorts where I didn't even touch an instrument for about 2 years.

    One day I got a call from some friends who had a blues-rock band. Their bass player had quit and they needed someone ASAP. I told them I'd do it and I've been with them ever since. I forgot how much fun I always had playing the blues. Not that I regret everything else I've done, but I wish that I would have stuck with it all those years.

    BTW- T-Bone Walker is my fav ! ;)
  4. atldeadhead


    Jun 17, 2002
    I came of age as a bass player playing in a local blues band here in Atlanta. At the height of our success we were playing every friday and saturday night with a couple of weeknight gigs thrown' in here and there. I was a total student of the blues. Problems between the vocalist and guitar player (shocker, eh?) eventually caused the demise of the band in '99. Since then I've moved on to other generes but I'll always have a special place in my heart for the blues. I imagine I'll end up in a blues band again one day.

    My favorites are:

    Otis Rush
    BB King
    Albert King
    Junior Wells
    Buddy Guy

    Chicago style blues is where it's at baby!
  5. guido


    Sep 18, 2003
    S.E. Washington
    Well guys, I'm new to the board, but when I saw this posting on the blues, I had to chime in.
    I been playin blues for about 10 years. Remember that I-IV-V stuff back from when I was in high school in the early 70's, didn't know it was "blues", just more music we loved. Drifted into heavy hard and progressive rock in the late 70's, and then to the blues (startin with Stevie Ray) in the late 80's. Felt like "goin home"
    I love the blues. I've had a chance to play with some cool cats like Harp Dog Brown from Canada, and Lynwood Slim with Richard Innes (T-birds, Kim Wilson Tigermen etc.) from California. Man I dig that ****! Love the West Coast style blues or about any harmonica blues. Kinda tough to find good blues gigs though here where I live (S.E. Washington state) but I keep tryin to dig it up!
    Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to voice my passion!
  6. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Thanks man, welcome to the board!

    Those sound like some cool gigs.
    The blues scene here in Rhode Island is real good, this is the home of Roomful of Blues, Ronnie Earl, Greg Piccolo, Duke Robillard and a few more diehard blues guys, all fine musicians.

    Some of the venues here are not afraid to bring in blues bands, notably The Blues Cafe in Newport RI.

    Another guy who is becoming very prominent locally is Al Monti with the band Powerhouse. I had the pleasure to play bass with him almost 20 years ago when he was still in High School when he was jsut going from metal to rock. He has now become a dedicated and accomplished blues player.

    Anyway, Guido, you'll like it here. Welcome again!

  7. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    any of you guys remember that BB King tune that BB starts saying, "Lonnie, Lonnie, Lonnie"? it may of been a live album. Lonnie is Lonnie LaLanne, lead trumpet player...

    any one, any one?

  8. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I don't remember that one. I do have a reel to reel tape off a radio program of BB Live at the ACI - Adult Correctional Institution, which he did for free in 1970. The whole show was aired on WBCN Boston. The reception was not perfect.

    But he put on a great show,
    " I gave you seven children, and now you want to give'em back ... "
  9. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I've been playing since I was 17, and have been playing the Blues off and on ever since. Heck, I'm from Chicago. I've been in 2 Blues bands over the last 6 years, and I have to admit that the I,IV,V thing can get old. It's fun, but doing it every weekend for a few years wears on your musical abilities. It seems that whenever I play a tune, I have the instinctive urge to go to the four after 4 measures.
    Don't get me wrong, I love the Blues. I love playing it for the jam aspect of it and the emotion in it when it is done right. I really dig listening to Blues, sometimes more than playing em. I also play harp, and slide guitar so I consider myself a Bluesman. But bass playing is my thing.
    Growing up in Chicago, you got to see some big names and legends in small venues. Sometimes you get to sit in with em. I had a chance to play with Sugar Blue, Shirley King, Carey Bell and others during my youth. Lemme tell you Carey Bell is the best harp player you'll ever hear. Had a chance to meet Otis Rush, Buddy and Phil Guy. It's amazing to see Buddy up close in a room that holds about 150 max, he's a great performer and guitar player.
    My personal favorite is Albert King. He's the man. It's a crock that he left off the 100 guitarist list of Rolling Stone. A shame I tell ya. I am a big fan of Magic Sam as well. The Blues is all good.
  10. Whoa, man! What a long day at work. I don't really have time to chat right now, but here are some links for you guys.

    www.bluesreview.com ---- The Magazine
    www.deaconjohnsjumpblues.com --- Freindly lookin' kind a guy. What kind of guitar is he playin'? Looks to me like an old Gibson Trini Lopez model. It's not at the Gibson site.
    www.deltamoon.com --- 2003 International Blues Challenge winner. Check out their audio - They sound pretty good to me.
    www.melaniemason.com --- I can't get her audio.
    www.cathyjean.com --- The picture on her homepage...it's something to see.
    www.catherinedenise.com --- She plays a little like Stevie Ray, and sounds a little like Shanaia.

    Everyone have a good weekend.

    Mike ;)
  11. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    "Wang Dang Doodle"
    "Back Door Man"
    "I asked for Water"
    "Sitting on top of the World" performed by Howlin' Wolf

    "I love B.B. Kings version of the Staple Sister's hit: "Respect Yourself". And of course, "The Thrill is Gone", and "How Blue can you Get".

    All I have is a scratchy Greatest Hits by Jimmy Reed, and I like every tune on that record.

    I'm sure I'll think of more.
  12. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    The blues history series on PBS has been fascinating and I love that each night's show is done by a different famous director who handles his show in his own style. Sadly I had to miss the last two and I hope there will be reruns.

    I played in a blues band in South America of all places. Even there, some people love the blues. Our band went for that old vintage sound...old Robert Johnson style and the like. We were even trying to learn to play washboards and blow on jugs like the old jug bands, but then my husband was transferred back to the U.S. Gosh, I hated to leave my blues band.

    It would take too much time and space to list all the blues musicians whose work I admire, but I could name a few.

    Robert Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan
    Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robben Ford ElmoreJames, Keb Mo
    Howlin' Wolf, Ronnie Earl
    Muddy Waters, B.B. King
    Willie Dixon, Bobby "Blue" Bland
    Jimmy Rogers, Albert Collins
    Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy
    John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells
    John Hammond, Junior Kimbrough
    Bukka White, Tinsley Ellis
    Littel Jimmy Reed, Sonny Boy Williamson II
    James Cotton, Bo Diddley
  13. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Rolling Stone is too narrow to figure out an icon like A.K., most of their writers weren't even born when Albert was cranking out Blues Power.

    I checked the list, it is an interesting top 100, other blues notables are missing.

    HaHa, Keith Richards was on there. Mick Taylor wasn't. If you ever listened to the Stones ' Get Your Ya-Ya's Out', Mick played circles around Keith, like you would expect from a John Mayall veteran.

    Charlie Christian was missing. Wes Montgomery. Chet Atkins. Al Dimeola. Steve Vai, Paco Deluca. Muddy Waters. All missing.

    Alvin Lee of Ten Years After was missing. There was a guy who smoked EVERYBODY at Woodstock. The whole music business!

    Also missing were British blues icons Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown, and Danny Kirwan of Fleetwood Mac as well as Jeremy Spencer. Also former Tull guitarist Mick Abrahams and Martin Barre were missing. Diametrically opposed, stylisticly, but better than many listed, nonetheless.

    I was gratified to see that the even RS had to fess up to the blues mastery of Mike Bloomfield.

    [ And no guitarista list would be complete without John McLaughlin, at least they didn't lose that one. ]

    Out of all these, Charlie Christian. Albert King and Alvin Lee not being on the list was the biggest surprise to me. RS gave only grudging acknowledgement to the blues masters.

    I also have been following the PBS blues series.
    Great stuff. Catch it if you have a chance.

  14. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Spot on thor! You said a lot of what I was thinking when I (unfortunately) saw the top 100 guitar player list. Rolling Stone is such a rag...
  15. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Somebody sent me this pic of one of my fave
    guys, Ray Charles.

    Well, not the most flattering, but ...
    what the heck, I have my reputation to uphold!

  16. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I don't know. Carlos' Soul Sacrifice was pretty killer too. It's a close one.
  17. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yeah, Michael Shrieve took the drum category,
    what the heck ever happened to him?
    Topic for another day ...
  18. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    I grew up listening to folk from my Mum and blues from my Dad. This is the music that makes up the soundtrack of my early life...back to my earliest memories. John Lee Hooker, BB King and Robert Johnson are the guys who I loved the most. I got to see BB when he toured here a few years back which was fantastic. It's heading into summer time down here which always makes me break out the blues stuff I have on disc.<BR><BR>*Drifts off into reminiscence*
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