You May Cock Your Pistol In My Face/But You Ain’t Done Nothing To Me
Posted in 1930s,Country Blues on 03.31.09

There is a great new blog from France called “Old Weird America” that uses The Anthology as a jumping off point for different variations on the songs presented there. About mid-way down the front page there is a fantastic post compiling 100!!! different versions of John Henry. Pretty essential stuff. We are planning on joining forces on a couple of songs, so keep your eyes peeled.

I got a couple of emails this month about the thirst for more Memphis Minnie tracks, as I think only one of the two times I’ve posted about her is still up. This first side, “You Ain’t Doing Nothing To Me,” is one of my favorites by her even though her guitar isn’t really the focus – instead we have Black Bob (Honey Session Player Hall of Famer) on piano backing Minnie who is giving one of her very best vocal performances. The last 15 or seconds of the side are some of my favorite of all time.  The second track is Minnie solo doing “Ain’t No Use Trying To Tell On Me,” a song that sounds like it was ripped right out of Blind Willie McTell’s songbook (Southern Can) that I think is a great sound for her.

Memphis Minnie – You Ain’t Doing Nothing To Me (1935) *fixed*

Memphis Minnie – Ain’t No Use Trying To Tell On Me (1933) *fixed*

Nolan Welsh
Posted in 1920s,Piano Blues on 03.20.09

I’m late to the game about this but, over at the Encyclopedia Britannica blog the did a nice post compiling difference versions of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” for the song’s 70th anniversary. It’s a collection of youtube links rather than downloads which is sad, but I’m a sucker for these sorts of posts. Check it out here.

Nolan Welsh recorded less than a dozen sides for Paramount in the late 20s, all of them superb both in voice and talent on the ivories. Like all the stories on this blog, he didn’t get any record sales and is now these sides languish in relative obscurity. Out of the two songs I’m posting today, I’m obsessed with Larceny Woman Blues, the vocals on this track really remind more of more Delta blues vocal styles than most piano blues singers which I find a lot of fun. Dying Pickpocket Blues isn’t a St. James variant as I had hoped, but it’s still fantastic.

Nolan (Barrelhouse) Welsh – Dying Pickpocket Blues (1929)

Nolan (Barrelhouse) Welsh – Larceny Woman Blues (1929)