I’ve been in and out of town for the last couple of weeks – and the next couple of weeks coming up – but I’m trying to post a bunch during my “home” time to catch up. I got stuck in Dulles for like five hours – into the wee hours of the morning, but luckily Dulles is unlike almost every airport I’ve been trapped in recently and had free wireless – so I spent some quality with eMusic and my MacBook. I found this blues guy, Blind Will Dukes who recorded a few tracks in the late 70s pretty much parroting Robert Johnson. There isn’t much if any information on the internet about Duke which makes me think that his name has been misreported on a few releases. Despite the lack creativity in his sound – his voice sells the song – and got me through the night.
Blind Will Duke – Dead Shrimp Blues
It’s taking me forever to ready this mix, but it’s finally done. I’ve picked my twenty five favorite blues songs of all time, most of them are pre-war though a few slip into the post war era. The most notable post-war recording is Son House’s Death Letter Blues recorded in 1965 which made the list over his 1941/1942 recordings with Lomax (a record I often call my favorite blues recording of all time) because it was this recording that got me into the blues more so than anything else. It’s so hard to limit your favorite records of all time to twenty five, so a few artists dear to my heart were left off: Rev. Gary Davis, Ida Cox, Elizabeth Cotten, The Gee’s Bend Singers, Blind Willie McTell, Tommy Johnson, Walter Davis, Blind John Davis all missed the cut and I’m sorry, but there’s gotta be room for another twenty five.
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My Favorite Twenty Five Tracklist (not in order or rank):
- Rev. Isaiah Shelton – The Liar
- Son House – Death Letter
- Blind Boy Fuler – Why Don’t My Baby Write To Me?
- Blind Blake – Dry Bone Shuffle
- im Clark – Fat Fanny Stomp
- Ruth Ladson – What Do You Bet?
- Bertha “Chippie” Hill – Pratt City Blues
- Doctor Clayton – False Love Blues
- Louise Johnson – All Night Long
- Lucille Bogan – They Ain’t Walking No More
- Sara Martin – Death Sting Me Blues
- J.T. “Funny Paper” Smith – Heart Bleeding Blues
- Blind Jessie Harris – Been In The Jailhouse 1
- harley Patton – You’re Gonna Need Somebody When You Die
- Blind Willie Johnson – It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine 1
- Geechie Wiley & Elvie Thomas – Motherless Child Blues
- Jessie Derrick – If You’ll Come Back To Hollywood
- Bessie Smith – Them “Has Been” Blues
- Sippie Wallace – Murder Is Going To Be My Crime
- John Henry Barbee – Six Weeks Old Blues
- Rev. F.W. McGee and His Congregation – Fifty Miles of Elbow Room
- Victoria Spivey – Down Hill Pull
- Charley Jordan – Keep It Clean
- William Harris – Bullfrog Blues
- Lonnie Johnson – Southland Is Alright With Me
Son House – Death Letter Blues
The site was down for a good part yesterday as my host for whatever reason botched some move of their mysql server taking a bunch of sites down. Everything should be back to normal now. I was going to think of some clever 6/6/06 post today, but I mean, everyone is doing that. So here is my post from yesterday that didn’t make it up.
Here are the two sides Kid Bailey (as discussed here) recorded in 1929 in Memphis. I hear the resemblance to Willie Brown, especially in Rowdy Blues, but the voice and phrasing doesn’t seem like they are coming from the same guy.
Kid Bailey – Mississippi Bottom Blues (1929)
Kid Bailey – Rowdy Blues (1929)
The Stagolee Archives are now up. If you have any other versions please send them along to email@example.com. The archives are up for donors only, sorry.
Willie Brown was an early delta blues singer who traveled and play with the delta greats like Son House, Charley Patton and Robert Johnson. He is most famous for being mentioned in Johnson’s Crossroad Blues but he was a strong guitar player with a great voice. These two songs were by request, M & O blues was recorded at the famous 1930 Paramount Records recording session that also brought us the first recordings of Son house. The second track was recorded in 1941 and features a calmer, softer Willie Brown leading to some debate whether or not the Willie Brown who recorded this song with Lomax was the same Willie Brown who had played with Patton and House some 11 years earlier.
Willie Brown – M & O Blues (1930)
Willie Brown – Make Me A Pallet On The Floor (1941)
This maybe a Honey, Where You Been So Long exclusive, but I’m modest enough not to label it as such, or come up with an something like Honey Pots to describe these types of posts. That said, the mailman delivered me the wonderful new Yazoo collection “The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of,” to my door Saturday and I haven’t put it down since. The main reason of course is because of the two long-lost sides by Son House recorded at the 1928 Paramount sessions in Wisconsin. These songs Clarksdale Moan and Mississippi Country Farm Blues reveal House at his youngest and most vibrate, Clarksdale Moan in particular is bursting with House’s voice and has jumped up my lists of favorite blues recordings of all time.
If you like the songs, be sure to pick up the album at your local record store. It has a really fun cover by Robert Crumb and the linear notes in typical Yazoo fashion do note reveal personal or recording dates. I also almost broke the cds trying to wrangle them out of the plastic casing, so be careful.
Son House – Mississippi Country Farm Blues
Son House – Clarksdale Moan