I’m pretty out of touch of what the new blues punk kids are doing, which is a shame because from what do hear it sounds pretty awesome. Atlanta’s Black Lips have been doing this blues punk thing for a few years now, and just released their first live album recorded in a Mexican bar – and it’s fantastic. The bar gives the record a feel that in moments recalls the best of Etta James’ live album from 1953 in front of a rowdy Memphis bar crowd. This track Boone doesn’t capture the feel of the bar as much some of the other ones, but it is such a fantastic in your face blues punk performance it doesn’t really matter.
Black Lips – Boone (2007)
Big thanks! to Jeff for solving the blues mystery – you guys are the best readers a boy could hope for. If anyone else has a song mystery on their hands – send it into pkpatnaik at prewarblues.org and the bees will jump right on it.
Virginia Liston was a well traveled singer by the time she recorded these sides for Okeh in the early 20s. Liston had fallen ill and forced to stop touring as much and so she started to record pretty standard female blues numbers, though I doubt these were the same songs she was singing in New York and Chicago blues bars at the time. She does bring an intersting perspective to these songs though, she’s not docile or angry – but consistently blue. The first track here, You Thought I Was Blind But Now I See, she keeps her temper and stands up strong to her man, in this well written third person narrative. The second track presented today is a pretty rough transfer, but it’s so so blue. Liston has given up on men – she prefers to be alone – and if IF she’s with a man, it’s just for money and show. Right On Virginia.
Virginia Liston – You Thought I Was Blind But Now I See (1923)
Virginia Liston – I Don’t Love Nobody (1924)
A reader sent me this me this song the other day to get my help identifying the actual performer of the song. The compilation it comes from lists this song as being preformed by Cool Papa Smith who I don’t have any reference for, the compilation also calls Funny Paper Smith, Funny Pappa Smth, so it’s not the best researched CD. The song is If You Change Your Ways Woman, which I only know that Big Maceo sang, but it is possible that the song title is wrong also.
Anyone know this song?
“Cool Papa Smith” – If You Change Your Ways Woman (link fixed) (m4a file)
Sorry for the lack of blues postings this week – it has been crazy busy around Honey H.Q. and in my blogging time I’ve been trying to fix some annoying CSS errors with the new redesign and Internet Explorer. I did get everything working so all it needs is a coat of paint and it will be ready to go live. Also a big thanks to everyone who donated this week – I’m working on getting some more downloads up for the loyal Honey Bees.
Long-Time followers of the blog will know that I’m obsessed with this song and the sound. Martha Copeland recorded her take on it in 1927 and it is an interesting take eschewing the typical dirge for a more traditional blues sound which is a shame, but I absolutely love her spoken work part towards the end. The little hints of the traditional dying crapshooter blues dirge sound are nice though I would have preferred if they had used it throughout.
Martha Copeland – The Dying Crap-Shooter’s Blues (1927)