I Gave You
Posted in Honey on 12.30.05

First I’d like to thank everyone for a great year – we have doubled our hits and downloads since May (when we moved to prewarblues.org) and because of all the generous donors we have the space to even double that number. My hat is off to all of you.

This was my favorite song from 2005, though released at the start of the year, I didn’t really listen to it until recently – I Gave You by Superwolf (Bonnie Prince Billy and Matt Sweeny) is one of the most touching and moving songs I’ve ever heard, regardless of the decade. Enjoy.

Superwolf – I Gave You

Operator Blues
Posted in Honey on 12.29.05

The violin is one of the most underused instruments in blues music – the weeping sound works just as well within blues as it does with country music. Andrew and Jim Baxter were a father/son group out of Georgia who recorded for Victor in 1929. We’ve blogged about them before, but I recently came across some more of their recordings and they are just so good. Goodbye Blues is a great lonesome blues track and Operator Blues is a great reworking of How Long Blues.

Links are now fixed. Frankie’s post was on the money – the Frazier/Patterson song was My Journey Home.

Andrew and Jim Baxter – Operator Blues
Andrew and Jim Baxter – Goodbye Blues

Poor Lazarus
Posted in Honey on 12.27.05

I stumbled upon this wonderful website – The Vera Hall Project – a website dedicated to preserving the music of Vera Hall a gospel singer from Alabama. Hall mostly sang gospel songs but she recorded these secular songs for Alan Lomax when he was recording her and her cousins in the late 1930s. Vera Hall is one of those discoveries that Lomax made on these trips that really just amazes me, she’s an amazing singer – both in tone and range and she’s certainly better than many of the female blues singers that manged to have record deals (at least for a few sides.

Vera Hall – Poor Lazarus

Posted in Honey on 12.23.05

This John Fahey album is so great – and really might be the best Christmas album around really. I hope that everyone has a safe weekend and remember that blogs are a totally hot right now so name dropping Honey, won’t feel awkward after you talk about Bono and the Gates. Here at Honey H.Q. we are working through the holidays so be sure to check back next week for more of the best in pre-war blues and gospel.

John Fahey – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Fantasy

Going To Detroit
Posted in Honey on 12.22.05

Three more days! I’m not going to lie, I’m getting excited. I might be getting excited that I’m actually close to finishing up those lists from forever ago, but the meaning of the season is seeping in, despite of the liberal plot to kill Christmas.

I can’t really find any information about Bob Campbell, so I’m making it up to ya’ll by posting all four of his recorded sides. He’s a very skilled country blues style guitar player with a wonderful voice and great songs that twist standard blues songs about working and loving into more complex tales that weave all those strands into just really well put together songs.

Bob Campbell – Dice’s Blues
Bob Campbell – Shotgun Blues
Bob Campbell – Starvation Farm Blues
Bob Campbell – Worried All The Time

Lucille Bogan – I Hate That Train Called The M and O (Bob Campbell and Josh White on guitar)

Posted in Honey on 12.20.05

Last night I stumbled across this Lead Belly recording and it hasn’t left my player or my head since. Document – Records released this recording of Lead Belly playing in 1948 at a private party in Minnesota of all places. The recording is surprisingly clear and his guitar sounds perfect. The recording is pretty scratchy when it’s just Lead Belly talking (the start of most of the tracks) but the recordings of the actual songs is quite clear by most standards. It is just amazing to hear these songs in a live setting and also to hear how he’s interpreting these songs.

Lead Belly – Stewball
Lead Belly – A Lesson In History

He Broke My Heart To Pass The Time
Posted in Honey on 12.19.05

Only a few more days until Christmas, I’ve completed all my shopping though amazon.com has chosen to only ship bits and pieces of my orders. So here’s to hoping I get most (any) of my stuff before the holidays. The John Fahey Christmas album is amazing, I’ll post more about that (with samples of course) later in the week.

Today we are still resisting the trend to post Christmas songs, but this song is so good it hardly matters what season it is. Viola McCoy has her roots in vaudeville, but was able to make the transition over to blues without the over singing issues that plague lots of singers of the era. She was backed by the great Fletcher Henderson for most of her career which helped of course, but her voice and presence on these recordings are totally unique and strong, she’s a strong woman – with bad men – but she’s not paying them any mind.

Viola McCoy – I Ain’t Gonna Marry, Ain’t Gonna Settle Down

Everyone In Town Has Got Your Number
Posted in Honey on 12.16.05

Is this John Fahey Christmas album going to be as good as I hope it to be? These are precious emusic downloads to be wasting on Christmas tunes. Also these comments about the Darondo album make it sound awesome. Where can I hear a track or two of this?

Issac Hayes made too many albums like Hot Buttered Soul, but of course none of them ever reach the overall quality of that song cycle, but the albums that followed Soul had some really choice songs on them. To Be Continued has this great version of Running Out Of Fools, first made famous by Aretha Franklin, clocking in at almost 6 minutes Hayes plays it sad but it’s a great mood piece and the best track on the album by far.

Issac Hayes – Runnin’ Out Of Fools

Prison Play
Posted in Honey on 12.15.05

Honey HQ has had some weird internet issues, so I haven’t been able to upload (or stay on the net for more than 10 mins) for the past week, but we’ve figured all that out so we gotta play catch up. Locust St has a great series of posts about drinkin’ and drinks going on now. I was suppose to submit the wonderful song Cocktails by Bill Anderson, but I got too busy and forgot. But there’s a great batch of songs up and of course really great writing on the subject.

Richard Pryor died of a heart attack this past Saturday. We at Honey picked this track to pay our respects to one of the greatest comedians to have ever performer. It’s from 1968 – and is one of my favorite bits by him, even though he would get better and more assured in the years immediately following this recording, Prison Play still remains one of his greatest bits.

Richard Pryor – Prison Play (large file – 8.6 megs)

I Wish I Left Him In Jail
Posted in Honey on 12.12.05

I hope everyone has completed or at least started their holiday shopping. Me? I’m giving everyone a donation in their name to Honey, Where You Been So Long. It’s better and almost cheaper than sending a card. Information here!


Monday mornings are for murder only. Sadie Jackson recorded two tracks back in 1926 (though is most assuredly Zaidee Jackson who would record two more tracks later that year) with pianist James Johnson. Her recordings are imperfect, but show great promise in her career – she has a good voice that would be easy to work with and she has great charisma on the recordings. This is one of those murder ballads that starts off as a normal –

Sadie Jackson – Nobody Worries ‘Bout Me