St. James Preview !!!
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Posted in Mix on 06.29.08

For those who have donated – the full download for the St. James Infirmary is ready to be downloaded here. If you contributed, and haven’t donated, please send me an email and I’ll send you a password.
I’m working on a post for everyone else with each track being able to be donwloaded – but it is taking sometime to type in all those hyperlinks!

Enjoy!

Update: link fixed.

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Virgil Childers
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Posted in 1930s,Honey,Piedmont Blues on 06.23.08

Virgil Childers recorded a handful of sides in Charlotte, NC a recording site more known for pre-war country than blues. Childers is a really light/pop piedmont blues artist (though his style isn’t pure piedmont like Fuller) he has an enjoyable voice and is a pretty solid guitar player. He also recorded Dago Blues, which combined with the version below by Luella Miller are the only two versions I know about. I also enjoy his take on Red River Blues, one of my favorite songs.

Virgil Childers – Dago Blues (1938)
Virgil Childers – Red River Blues(1938)

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Luella Miller
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Posted in 1920s,Female Blues on 06.17.08

I updated the release dates for the first blues mix below – I knew someone would call me out for not including it – yet here we are. Does anyone know if Yazoo Records is still releasing albums? Their website doesn’t seem like it has been updated since the last batch of Patton reissues, but I keep seeing new (at least to me) discs pop up every so often.

We have a trio of songs from Luella Miller today. Miller was was a well traveled blues singer – her topical songs seem to focus on St.Louis and Mississippi though she recorded in both New York and Chicago. The first track was her first release and feature guitar great Lonnie Johnson on violin! He would appear on several of her early recordings on guitar, but it’s interesting to hear him on violin – which I’ve only heard a handful of songs feature him on that instrument. The last two tracks are my favorite, and unfortunately her last recorded works – her voice has matured a lot in couple years between recordings and she’s back by her best band, especially on the on wonderful side Wee Wee Daddy Blues.

Luella Miller – Dago Hill Blues (1926)
Luella Miller – Chicago Blues (1928)
Luella Miller – Wee Wee Daddy Blues (1928)

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Hambone Willie Newbern
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Posted in 1920s,Country Blues on 06.09.08

There’s not a whole lot out there about “Hambone” Willie Newbern – the story about him giving guitar tips to Sleepy John Estes and his temper – which may of led to his death in prison in 1947. Listening to his sides over the weekend, and pretty much all day today – I haven’t heard a more interesting and exciting blues musician for the first time in a very long time. Newbern’s got that hard, driving guitar that’s as steady as the railroad – and a great booming voice that must have been amazing to hear in person, and both of which make for a great blues musician and one that needs to be heard by everyone.

Newbern was born in Tennessee, and traveled as musician all across the South playing in medicine shows which shows in his vocal style and subject matter. I prefer his more personal material – his narrative about being arrested and thrown in jail is my personal favorite. These tracks were recorded in 1929 in Atlanta over two sessions for Okeh.

Hambone Willie Newbern – Shelby County Workhouse (1929)
Hambone Willie Newbern – Hambone Willie\’s Dreamy Eyed Woman\’s Blues (1929)

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Introduction To The Blues Part 1
Posted in Female Blues,Mix on 06.04.08

If you remember the brief lived blog “Workbook” that was linked from this blog (back when I still had links) or if you were the guy who wrote that blog, please contact me, regarding one of the mixes you posted a few years ago.

I started this mix a few years ago, and just got around to completing it yesterday when I found my list of songs while cleaning up my back up drive. Part One is devoted to my favorite type of blues, female blues. It’s meant to be an overview of the genre with a balance between obvious classics and personal favorites, much those “rough guide to..” series of mixes. The first two mixes in the series will be available to everyone, though as I break it down into sub-genres and styles and personal those will through donation only.

Please leave suggestions and comments about future mixes in the comment sections. Also if you want to contribute a mix one a sub genre of pre-war music (not just blues) send me an email and we can work those details out.

Coming Soon – The Gents

Tracklist:

01. Hattie Hart – I Let My Daddy Do That (1934)
02. Gertrude ”Ma” Rainey – Black Eye Blues (1928)
03. Lucille Bogan – Shave ‘em Dry (1935)
04. Victoria Spivey – Black Snake Blues (1926)
05. Viola McCoy – I Ain’t Gonna Marry, Ain’t Gonna Settle Down (1924)
06. Clara Smith – Death Letter Blues (1924)
07. Sara Martin – Death Sting Me Blues (1928)
08. Mamie Smith – Crazy Blues (1920)
09. Jessie Derrick – If You’ll Come Back To Hollywood (1926)
10. Bessie Smith – Cemetery Blues (1923)
11. Bessie Tucker – Got Cut All To Pieces (1928)
12. Arizona Dranes – My Soul Is A Witness For The Lord (1926)
13. Gladys Bentley – How Much Can I Stand (1928)
14. Louise Johnson – On the Wall (1930)
15. Memphis Minnie – Nothin’ In Ramblin’ (1940)
16. Sister Rosetta Tharpe – God Don’t Like It (1939)
17. Trixie Smith – You’ve Got To Beat Me To Keep Me (1925)
18. Ozella Jones – I Been a Bad, Bad Girl (Prisoner Blues) (1942)

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Doing The Crawdaddy (In Heaven)
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Posted in Post-War on 06.02.08

Bo Diddley passed today – leaving behind one of the best and most consistent bodies of work this side of Sam Cooke. My favorite song by him is this one – which I think captures the best aspects of his work – the great Diddley backbeat – and that wonderful voice which I think is severely underrated among post-war blues greats, and rock music in general.

Bo Diddley – Ride On Josephine (1960)

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Someone Changed The Lock On My Door
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Posted in 1930s,Country Blues on 06.01.08

That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. The delay of St. James has everything to do with the keeper of the bees, so blame her. Everything regarding St. James has been compiled and is ready to go, bees or not.

We celebrated in secret our 4 year anniversary here at Honey H.Q. last month – Casey Bill Weldon was played very loudly – much dancing followed. I think Casey’s guitar sound is my favorite outside of Son House – I also think Casey is served well with a piano backing it pops his guitar sound a lot more than when he’s backed by another guitarist.

Casey Bill Weldon – Someone Changed The Lock On My Door (1935)

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