Black Snake Moan

The new movie Black Snake Moan does not come out until March 2nd (Friday!!), but here at Honey H.Q. we’ve gotten our hands on the soundtrack which features Samuel L. Jackson doing a few classic blues numbers. Jackson plays an aging bluesman in the movie – and I’m guessing sings these songs during the course – as there is a lot of ambient nosies and dialog in the background of these tracks, especially before Black Snake Moan where he tells a story about his own personal blues and how his wife the did him wrong. Jackson learned how to play guitar for the role and it comes off well, but the star of course his his voice which is perfectly suited for the blues.

Black Snake Moan is left more or less the same as when Blind Lemon Jefferson first sang it in 1927 but his take on Stagolee is a very loose take on the tale that doesn’t feature a gambling match, Stetson hat or any real reason for the murder. It’s sort of a mix between Snatch and the Poontangs and a R.L. Burnside telling of the song which isn’t my favorite by any stretch of imagination, but Jackson sells it a lot better than Burnside. For those keeping up with our ongoing Stagolee project, this Burnside number is new to the list. I’ve also posted a bunch of other takes on the classic Black Snake Moan, my favorites are either Lemon’s original or Rosa Henderson’s female take on the song.

R.L Burnside – Staggolee (2001)
Samuel L. Jackson – Stackolee (2007)

Samuel L. Jackson – Black Snake Moan (2007)
Blind Lemon Jefferson – That Black Snake Moan (1927)
Blind Lemon Jefferson – Black Snake Moan
Blind Lemon Jefferson – Black Snake Moan No. 2
Brownie McGhee – Black Snake Moan (1951)
Lead Belly – Black Snake Moan (1935)
Rosa Henderson – Black Snake Moan (1927)
Martha Copeland – Black Snake Moan (1927)
Cobb and Underwood – Black Snake Moan (1930)

If You Get To Heaven, Tell The Judge For Me
Posted in Contemporary,Folk,Honey on 12.22.06

I’m back. Technology around me is crumblin’ but this website keeps on runnin’. Send some more ideas for out of print blues albums/discographies and I’ll see what I can do about putting them up as the Law hasn’t caught up with me yet.

I’ve been meaning to post about the new Ramblin’ Jack Elliot – I Stand Alone, which was released earlier this year on Anti-. It’s a fantastic collection of songs his daughter suggested for him to finally put on record. Jack’s voice is still strong – and his guitar playing hasn’t really diminished at all either. He is backed by Nels Cline (of Wilco among other projects) Flea, DJ Bonebrake (X) and Lucinda Williams/Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney) on harmony. This track – Arthritis Blues is one of the more stripped down songs, and it comes off wonderfully. As a bonus – I also uploaded his take on our namesake, though it bares only slight resemblance to the Ma Rainey song we are named after.

Ramblin Jack has a great website with links to buy the album.

Ramblin’ Jack Elliot – Arthritis Blues

Ramblin’ Jack Elliot – Honey, Where You Been So Long?