This is track is a suggestion/request from Megan of the Roulette Sisters, I hadn’t heard of Mississippi Matilda before she suggested and now I don’t know how I lived so long without her. Matilda was married to the wonderful guitar player Sonny Boy Nelson (Eugene Powell) who backed her this song, Hard Workin’ Woman, which details her job has a house worker. I can imagine that must of been one happy baby, to have Matilda sing to her in the most perfect, almost high lonesome voice that rivals Texas Gladden for sheer beauty.
The request part is if any one has a transcription of the lyrics. It doesn’t seem too hard, I might give it a go this week.
Mississippi Matilda – Hard Workin’ Woman (1936)
If you have some extra money laying around in a shoebox somewhere, you might want to check out this highly dubious auction for Robert Johnson’s guitar. In more worthwhile news, Paramount GIG is raising money for a Paramount Records Walk-Of-Fame as well as other preservation works of blues culture in Grafton, WI.
Jaybird Coleman was born in Alabama as Burl C. Coleman, Jaybird was a nickname he would pick up in the military. He was a popular harmonica player and blues singer who toured around Alabama through out the 1920s, both solo and as part of various jug bands. He made his first recordings in 1927, and would only record one other time in 1930 as part of the Birmingham Jug Band. This track is a solo number from 1927 and is quite good and so much better than almost all of the harmonica/vox songs that from the pre-war and post-war eras.
Jaybird Coleman – Mistreatin’ Mama (1927)
The Roulette Sisters are a quartet out of New York that plays country blues like country blues should be played, with a washboard, foot stomps and guitar. Their album “Nerve Medicine” is a collection of eleven wonderful versions of traditional country blues songs. These two songs “Black Dog Blues” and “You’ve Been Fooling” are my favorites, and the show of the ladies great voices and solid and lively instrumentation.
Visit the Sisters at their website, where they also have their album for sell.
The Roulette Sisters – Black Dog Blues (2005)
The Roulette Sisters – You’ve Been Fooling (2005)
I’ve noticed the wonderful influx of readers from metafilter and related sites today, I hope ya’ll enjoy the site – and add it to all of your favorite web 2.0 reading lists. RSS feeds are here.
Alan Lomax recorded Sampson Pittman in 1938 on one of his field recording trips to Detroit, Michigan, a trip that also produced Calvin Frazier. Pittman wasn’t from Michigan, but Arkansas which is referenced often in his songs, but also in his country and delta influenced guitar playing. Pittman’s voice in incredible, both in his power and clarity, which is a real rarity when listening to blues musicians of his age. His only recorded songs are from these Lomax recordings which were collected as “Devil Is Busy” which is far out of print now. They can found on the questionably titled ” Detroit Blues: Blues from the Motor City 1938-1954.”
Samson Pittman – Joe Louis
Samson Pittman – I Been Down In The Circle Before
Seth Richards recorded a couple tracks under his real name in 1928, which would be his last recordings until he recorded as Skoodle Dum Doo and Sheffield in 1943. This track is where he got that moniker suggesting that it was a pretty solid seller. Richards attack this this track with great frenzy and frantic kazoo playing, but that frantic energy dies down and Richards settles into reciting Blind Willie McTell lyrics.
Seth Richards – Skoodledum Doo (1928)
Kansas City Strummers were an unknown string band, with a great sense of rhythm and a wonderful vocalist who weaves and slurs his way through this song. I like this song a bunch because it really stands out from the the countless string bands that dotted the Midwest like railroad spikes who avoid numbers like this.
Kansas City Strummers – Broken Bed Blues (1926)
Honey turned two (14 in dog years) yesterday and I was so busy getting ready for the party today that i forgot to post! I’m working on getting all the bonus stuff backup and running, but dreamhost isn’t letting me configure that directory like I want it to be so I’m looking into other ways of allowing people to access that information.
More songs by request today – King Solomon Hill’s My Buddy Blind Papa Lemon/Times Done Got Hard is one of the rarest 78s with only one known copy in existence. Luckily the good fellows at Yazoo got the owner of the record to allow them to record both sides and spread the two songs out across their sprawling collection of rural southern music compilations “Times Ain’t Like They Used To Be.” Both songs are excellent country blues recorded by Paramount in 1932.
King Solomon Hill – My Buddy Blind Papa Lemon (1932)
King Solomon Hill – Times Done Got Hard (1932)
I wasn’t going to update today, but I had some extra time, so here are a few requests I got from a reader the other day. Good mix of music, Walter Coleman and Walter Taylor, long-time Honey favorites are my picks of bunch, though Charlie Kylie’s Monkey Man Blues is really fantastic also. If you have any requests drop me a line at pkpatnaik at prewarblues.org
Charlie Kyle – Monkey Man Blues (1928)
Walter Coleman – Smack That Thing (1936)
Walter Taylor – You Racsal, You (1931)
Pere Dickson – Get Away From My Window (1932)
Henry Spaulding was a country blues singer who played in St. Louis though he most likely was born in Illinois. His song Cairo Blues has really outlived his career as it was covered by almost every blues singer who stepped foot in St. Louis, most notably Charley Jordan and Henry Townsend. The song of course is a classic, wonderful guitar and somber vocals make you wish that Spaulding would have recorded a few more sessions.
Henry Spaulding – Cairo Blues (1929)