Some Cold, Rainy Day
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Posted in Honey on 11.29.05

As I started to write this the sun came up and the rain stopped, but I’m not going to let that stop me from posting this great Curley Weaver song. As the end of November approaches and December begins, I would like to remind the Honey Bee’s and the other Honey readers that the official position of Honey, Where You Been So Long towards Christmas music is “Bah Humbug.” Quick googlers will note that last year I did in fact post four or so Christmas songs, but I haven’t found anymore pre-war blues Christmas songs, so ya’ll are going to have to turn to the Wreck Room(notworksafe) or Spread The Good Word for yr sick yule time music fix.

This is another one of those I-can’t-believe-I-haven’t-posted-him-before posts, but seriously. I can’t. Curley Weaver was one of the best country blues guitar players ever – both as a sideman for Blind Willie McTell (I really think that McTell did his best work w/partner) and as a solo player. This track is a fairly typical baby-done-me-wrong-and-my-brother-and-best-friend-too piedmont blues song, but it’s a really good one. Fine guitar playing and strong vocal performance with great lyrics.

Curley Weaver – Some Cold, Rainy Day

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Avenue Strut
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Posted in Honey on 11.28.05

If you plan on writing to me about Cash Advances, Car Insurance or Wireless Phone Service your comments will be blocked. Hopefully comment spam doesn’t become the norm around here, or I’ll have to do more hands on moderation of the comments, which would be pretty lame really.

Today’s tracks come from Indiana where Herve Duerson recorded his only session way back in 1929. Turner Perrish also recorded his famous “Trenches” during this session – and they would both back Teddy Moss during the session. Duerson is a pretty unknown piano player – which is sad because his style is totally unique to my ears – his fingers seemed to just tap and bang against the piano keys – rather than the smooth motions of the Boogie Woogie players. The first track – Avenue Strut is a perfect example of that style of playing. The second track Ocean Wave Blues features Teddy Moss at his best – with some really wonderful lyrics that expanded on blues ocean symbolism

Herve Duerson – Avenue Strut
Herve Duerson – Ocean Wave Blues

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Reader’s Choice !
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Posted in Honey on 11.23.05

Ya’ll picked ‘em. Now everyone can download them. The other installments are in the works – but they shouldn’t take as long as this one. To download the zip file check the sidebar. This zip and the zip of my favorite blues songs will be for those kind folks who have donated Honey over the past year which help us secure a domain name, pay for hosting – and enough hosting so they we can host blues videos and mixtapes. We will start fund raising for 2006 soon, but for now just enjoy 25 of the best blues songs I’ve ever heard as picked by the kind readers of Honey.

If you want to donate now and get access to all the cool stuff you see on the sidebar click here. All money is being put towards next year’s hosting goal. Thanks again.

I’m going to be away for a few days so I’m posting three songs today. Like always, if you download one a day they last longer – and you don’t get those headaches at night from staying up all night and eating Oreos and listening to Charles Wright. Wednesday and Thursday’s tracks are picked from the Reader’s Choice list that’s now available to download.

Wedensday – Henry Thomas – Bull Doze Blues
Thursday – Willie Walker – Dupree Blues
Friday – Charles Wright and the 103 Rhythm Band – Comment (If All Men Are Truly Brothers)

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It’s Lonesome In This Town
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Posted in Honey on 11.18.05

Apparently I’m a journalist now, so tell me all your secrets. I have a busy weekend ahead, but I’m going to try to get at least one of the lists up for Monday – but everything should be up (including videos) after Thanksgiving. Also some other stuff that I would mention but i have a terrible track record when it comes to doing that.

Bobby Bare is one of those country music originators that are hard to classify and even harder to pin down. This song Houston is off his Streets of Baltimore album recorded for RCA in 1966 while Bare was still enjoying success as a blue-collar country singer. He would later expand his styles into the world of folk-country and then into whatever you would call his Shel Silverstein collaboration albums (that are really amazing), but these first couple of albums after he moved from the pop world to outlaw country are still my favorites. It’s a shame that you can’t buy any of his albums from this period, someone really needs to get on remastering/reisussing these albums over here.

Bobby Bare – Houston

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2×4 Blues
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Posted in Honey on 11.17.05

Merline Johnson had a long career recording over 90 songs under various names. This recording was under the title “The Yas Yas Girl” and was her last recording session in the pre-war era. And it was a great session, recording for Okeh, she was able to expand her style both thematically and musically. This track 2 by 4 blues is a great warning blues song, a warning to all those women trying to steal her man, it’s great to imagine this skinny black girl holding up a 2×4(that just fits her hand) and threating to kill all these women who are trying to step to her man. The man doesn’t get off easy either, her 2×4 has a lot of work in front of it.


Merline Johnson – Two By Four Blues

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She Put Carbolic In My Coffee
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Posted in Honey on 11.16.05

This warm fall is really throwing me for a loop. I’ve been really busy with everything so the lists and video recoding is going much slower than I have hoped. I’m going to try to get everything done over Thanksgiving, though.

We haven’t talked much about Furry Lewis here, which is a shame because he is one of my favorite guitar players and judging by ya’lls lists of blues songs a lot of you like him a lot too. Though he seems to come in behind Blind Blake in terms of popularity as usual. I really like Lewis’ voice something that people don’t normally focus on, of course his guitar playing is amazing – very delicate yet powerful. He isn’t very showy, but he gets the job done. This track, the awkwardly titled Big Chief Blues, is a life story of a man’s history with woman, though it doesn’t get as sad as 3 Weeks Old Blues (but what does really) it’s still a really powerful and devastating blues number.


Furry Lewis – Big Chief Blues

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Hard Times
Posted in Honey on 11.11.05

I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong with eMusic. I downloaded a total of 5 songs and was charged with 100 songs. Apparently previewing songs would make me download full albums, I suppose I could email them, but I’m sure they would just laugh it off.

Baby Huey was 400 pounds of soul – but unlike Solomon Burke he doesn’t really pull his weight in vocals. Huey sounds more like a higher pitched Curtis Mayfield (who produced and wrote a handful of songs for this album), but his band the Babysitters made up of Chicago Soul and Blues session players were one of the tightest touring bands around. This song Hard Times, written by Mayfield and made famous by Mayfield was first recored by Huey and the Babysitters a few years before. I may still prefer Mayfield vocal take on the song, but the Babysitters amazing horn section and over all sound put this version right up there with Mayfield’s.

Baby Huey and the Babysitters – Hard Times

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Willie The Weeper
Posted in Honey on 11.08.05

I’ve been really busy going back and forth to Charlotte for the past few days, so please excuse the lack of Friday and Monday posts. I’m beggin’ you. The Honey, Where You Been So Long essentials are coming soon, never fear.

I joined eMusic finally, the free 100 downloads broke my back, because I mean that’s a lot of blues songs. However it’s more like a free 89 songs because for whatever reason it thinks I downloaded the new Bobby Bare album, which doesn’t bode well for me keeping the service after my other 89 songs are downloaded.

Frankie “Half-Pint” Jaxon was a vaudeville singer with a high pitched voice, who also did some female impersonation in his stage act. He also does a mean wolf impression, which really pushes him to the front of the vaudeville singer pack. This track Willie the Weeper of course is inspired by Minnie the Moocher, but I think it stands fine on its on. It has this really great hot piano instrumentation and I can’t really pull myself away from Jaxon’s voice.

Frankie “Half-Pint” Jaxon – Willie The Weeper

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Organ Grinder and Recap
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Posted in Honey on 11.03.05

Recap of October 2005 !

1. Mose Andrews – 10lb Hammer
2. Big Mama Thorton and Johnny Ace – Yes Baby
3. Pete Johnson – Roll ‘Em
4. Ethel Waters – Get Up Off Your Knees
5. Tom Darby and Jimmie Tarlton – Lonesome Frisco Line
6. Freddie Spruell – Low Down Mississippi Bottom Man
7. Holy Ghost Sanctified Singers – Jesus Throwed Up A Highway For Me
8. Billie Holiday – Don’t Explain
9. Richard Swift – The Novelist
10. Roosevelt Graves – Woke Up With My Mind On Jesus

Eva Taylor might me best known for being Clarence Williams’ wife and recording her first record for his Black Swan label, one of the first black owned record labels. Historical importance aside she had a great voice and wonderful phrasing. Her take on Organ Grinder with the Clarence Williams Jug Band is a mostly humorous take on the song – done and a very tongue in cheek – vaudeville style. There is some really good work by the band hidden under everything which make s it a nice and light listen.

Eva Taylor – Organ Grinder

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I Believe I’ll Go Back Home
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Posted in Honey on 11.02.05

The lists are done! I’m busy ripping/uploading over 90! songs for the download packs. I’ll also be emailing some of ya’ll for some mp3s, if you could help me out finding your obscure blues songs I’d be in your debt for life.

Radio Show tonight! 9-11pm E.S.T. it streams live at wuag.net.

By request – The Sparks Brothers.

Milton and Pinetop Sparks recorded under many names through both of their careers as solo and duet performers. This recording made in 1932 has the brothers under the name Pinetop and Lindberg for whatever reason. Milton sings in his wonderful raspy voice and has a really fun spoken section in the middle. Pinetop accompanies him wonderfully on piano.

Pinetop and Lindberg – I Believe I’ll Make A Change

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