Gonna Beat It Back To Memphis
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Posted in 1930s,Piano Blues on 10.07.08

Document’s recordings of Monkey Joe have always been the one disc I’ve always put back on the shelf/remove from my Amazon cart, maybe it’s the nick name that always rubbed me wrong – but it is a shame that I didn’t around to listening to him until last month.

Jesse Coleman recorded his first track in 1935 – but continued to play in blues clubs until at least the 1970s. Working as both a session player – he is most known for his aggressive piano playing style and his almost welping singing style. Both of these features are present on the first track a wonderfully original blues number, “Gonna Beat It Back To Memphis” an angry blues letter to world and the blues – he’s not taking the blues lying down on this one. The wonderful Walter Vincson plays guitar on this track – but he’s all but obscured by Coleman’s piano being way too high in the mix. Th e track is credited to Monkey Joe and his Music Grinders – a group consisting of Honey’s favorite Blind Joe Davis on piano and Willie Bee James on guitar -Coleman “only” sings on this side, I Was Laying ‘Em Down, but Davis’ style compliments the track a lot better and allows for the band to really carry the track which is always a pleasure to hear in pre-war era that was dominated by solo performances.

Jesse “Monkey Joe” Coleman – Gonna Beat It Back To Memphis (1935)
Monkey Joe and his Music Grinders – I Was Laying ‘Em Down (1939)

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