Thanksgiving here at Honey HQ went well – and no turkeys were hurt in the process. Several pumpkin pies weren’t as lucky. Locust St. Has made it up to 1986 in his latest series of time traveling posts – and posted one of my favorite Mekons songs in the process – the whole series has been great – and the last few posts are still up.
Sometimes I get a certain tune stuck in my head for days on end – and today its Dark Cloudy Blues by Sam Collins – one of the greatest blues singers and guitar players this world has ever known. It’s really sad that both collections of his songs are out of print and fetch silly prices on the ‘net. I’m thinking about making it a download on the site – but I’m not sure if the lawyers would be chopping at my bit for that.
Sam Collins – Dark Cloudy Blues (1927)
Evelyn Preer (Evelyn Thompson) was a Chicago Blues/Jazz singer more known for her stage act than her recording career, which only includes a half-dozen songs split between two names, and these two songs were never issued. She’s not the best singer – but her band (including a young Duke Ellington on piano and Sonny Greer on drums on the second song) really shines on these tracks transforming an average batch blues songs into something hot and memorable.
Evelyn Preer – Make Me Know It (1927)
Evelyn Preer – If You Can’t Hold The Man You Love (1927)
It’s been pretty overcast and gray here in Greensboro the last couple of days – and this side by Ben Abney captures that rainy day blues sound so perfectly. Abney recorded and lived in Charlotte, NC a town more known for its country music recordings than the blues musicians that recorded there, but this track is a solid if not special piano number from Abney. He’s sort of a klutzy stride piano player – but it has its charm – but the atmospshere of the song is what really sells it.
Ben Abney -What Makes Your Heart So Hard (1936)
Christina Gray mostly recorded vaudeville numbers with her partner Joe Lawrence,which aren’t my cup of tea really. However this solo track where she is speaking to the choir about how the preacher is her lover – has everything a blues song needs – solid piano playing by Joe Robichaux and a wonderful premise. The track is also fun because Gray doesn’t get around to singing much, which judging by her her duet tracks is a very good thing.
Christina Gray – The Reverend Is My Man (1929)
I mean, I don’t want to get political – but today is pretty fantastic.
Dusky Dailey was a Texas (perhaps by the way of Louisiana) piano player who recorded a handful of blues songs in the late 30s both as a solo preformer and as band leader. I prefer his solo work, which is rough and more exciting than the smooth blues of his big band work both both settings show off his amazing skills on the keys and his less than amazing singing voice. This track Flying Crow Blues was recorded by a few other blues artists before him, most notable Black Ivory King – though I think this might be my favorite.
Dusky Dailey – Flying Crow Blues (1937)
I’m Alive. And feel great. Thanks for the well wishes, I felt like I was close death, but I contiuned to fight because who would run the site if I died? That was the only thing that kept my head up through that tough weekend. Then I got Ms. Honey sick, though she was only sick for a day – more like faking being sick, am i right folks?
Apparently the man appeal of Gertrude Saunders was the was she sang, not her phrasing mind you, but the weird and twisted ways she would contort her face and going in and out of characters while she sang. Some of that is audible on this track, but I’m sure a video would help to understand what is going on with all of the different voices that she goes through during the song and why she was so popular for so long, despite only recording a handful of sides.
Gertrude Saunders – You Can’t Have It, Until I Give It To You (1927)