I hope everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend, I did and didn’t get around to doing much more than uploading the stagolee files. I’m working on the page today, but realistically it won’t be up until Thursday.
I don’t know a lot about Mattie May Thomas, as I have a promo cutout of the album this is pull from, but she has a great voice and loads of charisma. You can hear Alan Lomax talking to her before the song, so he recorded her on one his recording trips in 1939.
Mattie May Thomas – Dangerous Blues
All the Donor stuff is back up! The password for the pages is the USERNAME from the old login. All of the tracklists/video lists have been moved to Donor’s Bonus Page so you can view before you decide to donate. Stagolee will go up over the weekend.
I’m in total love with this song as un-cool as it might be. Curtis Lee had his one-hit with Pretty Little Angel Eyes back in 1961, but I think this track “Under The Moon of Love” that features some spectacular hand-claps and deft production by Phil Spector is much better.
Curtis Lee – Under The Moon Of Love
Bo-Weavil Jackson is one of those mythical blues musicians who record a few tracks under a few different names (Sam Butler was his Vocalion Records name) but are so unique that those few records are all it takes for their names to be remembered as one of the blues greats. Jackson is a brilliant and unusual guitar player who plays it fast and precise while shouting/speaking the lyrics just as fast, but not nearly as precise.
Bo-Weavil Jackson – You Can’t Keep No Brown (1926)
Bo-Weavil Jackson – Devil And My Brown Blues (1926)
Honey turned two (14 in dog years) yesterday and I was so busy getting ready for the party today that i forgot to post! I’m working on getting all the bonus stuff backup and running, but dreamhost isn’t letting me configure that directory like I want it to be so I’m looking into other ways of allowing people to access that information.
More songs by request today – King Solomon Hill’s My Buddy Blind Papa Lemon/Times Done Got Hard is one of the rarest 78s with only one known copy in existence. Luckily the good fellows at Yazoo got the owner of the record to allow them to record both sides and spread the two songs out across their sprawling collection of rural southern music compilations “Times Ain’t Like They Used To Be.” Both songs are excellent country blues recorded by Paramount in 1932.
King Solomon Hill – My Buddy Blind Papa Lemon (1932)
King Solomon Hill – Times Done Got Hard (1932)
Let me be clear: I don’t like Johnny Cash’s American recordings. I think there are a few good songs, maybe an EP of good material scattered across the four main albums (i haven’t really listened to the box set of unreleased stuff) but most of it is really tired and fluff. Personal File (to be released this coming Tuesday) is different. Recorded by Cash between 1973-1980 as demos/ideas for future recordings Personal File is a small selection of the thousands of songs found after his death. One disc is secular, on gospel and I think they are pretty even in quality. There are some clunkers – his take on Saginaw, Michigan is really limp as is his take on the traditional In The Sweet Bye and Bye which should have been an easy home run. My favorite track is a cover of a Louvin Brothers song “When I Stop Dreaming,” Johnny explains when he first heard this song and how he got to eventually meet and play with the Brothers. It’s a wonderful little moment and prelude to a perfect take on the song.
Johnny Cash – When I Stop Dreaming
Ruby Smith was one of Bessie Smith’s proteges and sounds pretty much just like her. This of course isn’t a bad thing, but over the course of Ruby’s half a dozen recordings she didn’t do much to really distinguish herself from the countless Bessie Smith sound-a-likes. That’s not to say she isn’t good, she’s very good and this track Hard Up Blues shows off her talent and has some pretty great lines.
Ruby Smith – Hard Up Blues (1938)
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of blues piano – and hopefully ya’ll won’t either. Romeo Nelson is only known a for a few things, one is for writing some of the dirtiest blues songs of the pre-war era the other is for this song Head Rag Hop. The dirty blues songs are fun of course, but this side shows what an incredible talent he was on the keys – it retains his quirky sense of humor intermixed with his outstanding piano playing.
Romeo Nelson – Head Rag Hop (1929)
I don’t think Johnnie Temple gets enough respect, maybe because he jumped back and forth between so many styles and after a few (amazing) post-war recordings and stints in Chicago blues and jazz clubs he left the scene only to reappear a few times during the folk revival of the 1960s. Temple has a wonderful voice and presence that immediately recalls Lonnie Johnson, you can hear his weariness and pain in his voice but it’s never over the top.
Johnnie Temple – Rommin’ House Blues (1940)
I ment to post this last friday as it’s a post-war track, but I figured a late Monday post is as good as Friday. I’m not familiar with Clapton or many of the people who covered this track, so I’m assuming that the person who requested this is looking for this version of “Hey Hey” by Big Bill Broonzy which features some of the finest guitar playing I’ve heard.
Big Bill Broonzy – Hey Hey Blues
I’m back from Nashville and I’m happy to report that the son and mom are doing very well and that the baby is incredibly cute. I’m an suggestion that they should name their kid “Kid Stomy Weather,” in tribute to the great lost piano blues player, but they didn’t take me up on it. Maybe when I have kids.
Kid Stormy Weather recorded two songs in 1935, but was a local legend around New Orleans for playing in the barrelhouse bars down there. He has this big loud voice that dominates the mix which should of been tamed, but his piano breakdowns are so quick and good it really makes up for anything else. He easily has the quickest hands I’ve heard in a pre-war piano track.
Kid Stormy Weather – Short Hair Blues (1935)