Birthday
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Posted in Contemporary,Honey,Meta on 09.29.06

I’m pretty late on this news as normal, but the US Post Office put out a line of Gee’s Bend Stamps last month and they are pretty swell. Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts just wrapped up the second major viewing of Gee’s Bend quilts and now it’s touring a number of modern art museums across the land, more information on the exhibit is here.

Yesterday was Ms. Honey’s birthday, as her internet based gift, I’m sharing two of her favorite songs with ya’ll. Well two of her favorite songs, not called “I’m In Love With A Stripper”

Nina Simone – Love Me Or Leave Me

Talking Heads – Girlfriend Is Better

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Three Fifteen And His Squares
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Posted in 1930s,Honey,Piano Blues on 09.26.06

Three Fifteen and His Squares might be the best blues band name I’ve heard, it sounds straight out of 80s power-pop not piano blues in the 1930s. The band itself is as enigmatic as its name, Dave Blunston is the vocalist on these tracks and the rest of the band, and where they are from/how they got their name is unknown. The band most likely hails from Louisiana because of references to Texas Avenue and the horn work is very hot jazz/New Orleans. Blunston isn’t much of a vocalist, but he holds the tracks together and allows for the backing band to do some incredible work.

Three Fifteen and His Squares – Drop My Stuff (1937)

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St. Louis Blues
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Posted in 1920s,Female Blues,Honey on 09.25.06

Here is an awesome Bessie Smith video I found on youtube. It was made in 1929 and is a music video for her song St. Louis Blues.

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Hastings St.
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Posted in 1920s,Honey,Piano Blues on 09.21.06

I’m heading out to Nashville to see my nephew this weekend and hopefully will be able to get some quality record shopping in while we aren’t babbling over how cute the baby is, though I mean, it might be the cutest baby ever. Even cuter than Suri.

Hastings Street should have made my shortlist for favorite blues songs. It has a great piano performance by Charlie Spand, whose might be my favorite piano player in the pre-war era. And then it has a great guitar performance by Blind Blake, what more can you want out of a blues side?

Charlie Spand with Blind Blake – Hastings St. (1929)

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Hot Box
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Posted in 1930s,Honey,Piano Blues on 09.18.06

I’ve been on hold with my ISP for the past hour now, and I keep getting transferred across the globe and company and yet have been able to talk to someone in the right department. I mean that seems like it should be the easiest part. So if this post is filled with errors, it’s because I’m typing with my phone between my head and my shoulder.

Kingfish Bill Tomlin recorded four sides for Paramount in 1930 most likely both on piano and vocals, though it’s up for debate if he’s playing the piano. He’s a unique blues singer, with a great big voice that bellows out from the speakers. The last part of the side is my favorite as Tomlin decides to speak the last verse way off beat with the piano. Really fantastic.

Kingfish Bill Tomlin – Hot Box (1930)

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Great Houses Of New York
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Posted in Contemporary,Honey on 09.15.06

The weather out here has started to cool down, reminding me of Fall and Fall always reminds of me slow piano ballads. Hem has a new record out just in time for Fall and it continues where Eveningland left off, moving Hem away from the alt – country of Rabbit Songs and into alt – adult contemporary (whatever that is). Hem’s songs are brief, but well written and expertly produced. The music just sounds rich, big strings, quiet piano, records don’t sound like this anymore.

Hem – Great Houses of New York (2006)

buy it! 

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I’m Going Down To The Cemetery
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Posted in 1920s,Female Blues,Honey on 09.11.06

Blindman’s Blues Forum is a great source of information and they clued me in on this wonderful video featuring Alan Lomax narrating his own trip down to the Delta in 1979. The site, FolkStreams is a great archive of a bunch of mostly – Southern culture videos including others by Lomax and other researchers and artists like the Seegers. One of my favorites is this video, Hundred and Two Mature, featuring Harry Lieberman an artist who didn’t discover his craft until his 80s.

Edna Hicks cut around a dozen tracks for Paramount and I guess she didn’t show enough range to warrant a dozen more. The band behind her, featuring Porter Grainger on piano, has a bunch of fun with this track and she sings it well. Followers of the blog knows I’m a sucker for these types of songs, and lyrics like the closing one: Everytime he kisses me that funny feeling creeps up my back.
Edna Hicks – Poor Me Blues (1923)

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Update
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Posted in Honey,Meta on 09.06.06

I’ve updated the Blind Boy Fuller post below with the Blind Willie McTell and Blind Blake songs mentioned in the comments section. If anyone has anymore variations of the tune send them to pkpatnaik @ prewarblues.org and we’ll put together a nice little post.

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Ashes To Ashes
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Posted in 1920s,1930s,Honey,Piedmont Blues on 09.05.06

So Which one of the lovely Honey followers bought me this? I really wonder what the reserve price is, because the package isn’t worth much more over 400 maybe 500 dollars and the person thinks he’s going to get full ebay price (around 8 dollars) for each disc, especially for a random allotment of discs.
I haven’t really posted Blind Boy Fuller since 2004, which is shocking because he might be the blues artist I listen to the most. This track is one of his earlier numbers recorded in 1937 and features the wonderful Bull City Red on washboard and Dipper Boy Council (what a name) on guitar. The song is basically a riff on Southern Can Is Mine by Blind Willie McTell, but I prefer Fuller’s take on the track.

Blind Boy Fuller – If You Don’t Give Me What I Want (1937)

Blind Willie McTell – Southern Can Is Mine (1931)

Blind Blake – West Coast Blues (1926)

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