Gonna Write You A Letter
Posted in Honey,Post-War,Texas Blues on 04.27.08

This track from Jesse Thomas is a little bit outside of the range of years normally covered hear, but its so fantastic I couldn’t keep it to myself. Thomas was a session player (most famously with Bessie Tucker) and played mostly around Texas during the pre-war years. This track is from 1948 and he has plugged in, but still retains the purity of the pre-war blues guitar. I love love love the guitar song on this recording.

The next song on this Kent release is another pre-war star’s initial post war recording – Whistling Alex Moore, under his birth name Alexander Moore – does a rowdy Texas Blues number called Neglected Woman – and it’s a rave. The full band here is fantastic and Moore does a great job on piano keeping setting the blazing pace of this number. I wish the drums were a little more in the mix – but it still has the great sound that is also present on Jesse Thomas’ song. I’ve also added an mostly instrumental version of Lillie Mae Blues from that same Alexander Moore session.

Jesse Thomas – Gonna Write You A Letter(1948)
Alexander Moore – Neglected Woman (1951)
Alexander Moore – Lillie Mae Blues (1951)

Bad Times Stomp
Posted in Instrumental,Post-War,Texas Blues on 06.19.07

Thanks to the couple of people who sent me some of the 1960s Black Ace recordings. These were recorded by Arhoolie in 1960 during the start of the blues/folk revival and this song in particular shows that Black Ace was still incredible slide guitar player some 40 years after he first recorded. It’s a shame he wasn’t able to support himself recording during those in-between years – or even record more during his first and last sessions he was certainly capable of recording wonderful music.

Black Ace – Bad Times Stomp

Find Yrself A Job
Posted in 1930s,Texas Blues on 06.18.07

This song by Black Ace is by request – the reasons of which I won’t speculate. Black Ace was a fantastic slide guitar player from Texas, though unlike most Texas blues musicians He did not set to emulate Blind Lemon, but whose inspirations lie in delta-blues great Robert Johnson and Oscar Woods. He recorded a handful of tracks in 1930s and then recorded a few more tracks in the 1960s, though I haven’t heard those. If anyone has heard his last recordings let me know if they are worth picking up.

Black Ace – Trifling Woman (1937)

Carl Davis & The Dallas Jamboree Band
Posted in 1930s,Texas Blues on 05.24.07

It’s been really busy at work recently so I haven’t had time to tend to my blog (also the company’s firewall blocks my site!!) or get around to the requests, hopefully this weekend I’ll have some time to tend to my growing backlog of work to be done ’round here.

It’s been real nice to hear from so many of the early Honey Bees recently, if you bought one of those CDs that took my forever to send out, the login for the new and easier to keep up mix session is the login from your old login/password set.

Carl Davis fronted this blues band in the mid 30s for a handful great Texas blues sides before sliding into blues history. Davis is a fantastic blues singer – great power and emotion in his voice and the band made up of mostly unknown players is just as good. I don’t want to over sell these downloads, but I think they are just as good many if not all of the known Jug and Hokum bands that litter the popular pre-war blues consciousness.

Carl Davis & The Dallas Jamboree Band – Elm Street Woman Blues
Carl Davis & The Dallas Jamboree Band – Flying Crow Blues (1935)

compare Carl Davis & The Dallas Jamboree Band’s take on Flying Crow Blues to Dusky Dailey – Flying Crow Blues (1937) another Texas blues musician who recorded around the same time.

Washed Me Clean
Posted in Gospel,Honey,Meta,Texas Blues on 01.17.07

We’ve been working hard on a new revision for the website, I think it will be ready by next month – but I’m most excited about our new logo which looks pretty awesome:

Arizona Dranes (Drane) was a Texas gospel singer who recorded a couple dozen tracks during the 20s, and mixed scared singing and up and coming Texas blues sounds like barrelhouse piano to make up her unique sounds. This sound is so incredibly fresh and exciting today – Dranes leads the chorus while playing piano in a style that would never be aloud in any church of the time and predicts Ray Charles’ blend of gospel and soul by some thirty years. I believe her complete works are out of print now – so if interest is high I’ll post the rest of her songs this week.

Arizona Dranes – Lamb’s Blood Has Washed Me Clean 

Today’s Like Christmas
Posted in 1930s,Honey,Piano Blues,Texas Blues on 11.08.06

I mean, I don’t want to get political – but today is pretty fantastic.

Dusky Dailey was a Texas (perhaps by the way of Louisiana) piano player who recorded a handful of blues songs in the late 30s both as a solo preformer and as band leader. I prefer his solo work, which is rough and more exciting than the smooth blues of his big band work both both settings show off his amazing skills on the keys and his less than amazing singing voice. This track Flying Crow Blues was recorded by a few other blues artists before him, most notable Black Ivory King – though I think this might be my favorite.

Dusky Dailey – Flying Crow Blues (1937)

Central Avenue
Posted in 1920s,Honey,Texas Blues on 08.31.06

For those in North Carolina, on September 13 Dance Gumbo is having a dance party with the great cajun group Beausoleil. The show starts at 8:30, but if you need to learn how to dance come early at 7:30 and be schooled in the art. Its at the ArtsCenter in Carborro and should be a great time. For tickets and more information contact Jack Wolf at jackwolf at yahoo.com or go to the ArtsCenter website.

This track comes to us from Dallas and is another great example of party Texas blues. Will Day sings lead here and backed by a great and sadly undocumented band. The song is about Central Avenue a rough and tumble street and Dallas, much like Beale St. in Memphis or the Deep Morgan area of St. Louis. It’s a great boastful party side that will get dancing like an ipod ad.

Will Day – Centeral Avenue Blues (1928)

Don’t You Wish Your Baby…
Posted in 1920s,Honey,Texas Blues on 08.16.06

The Pussycat Dolls don’t have anything on Texas Alexander. Alexander was one of the first Texas blues singers, and along with Blind Lemon Jefferson and Blind Willie Johnson really created an unique Texas blues sound, one that’s different from other forms of country blues. This track was recorded in 1928 and I believe it has Lonnie Johnson on guitar and of course Alexander’s wonderful sleepy blues voice that lulls me in and out of this summer day.

Texas Alexander – Don’t You Wish Your Baby Was Built Like Mine? (1928)

I Was Shipwrecked
Posted in 1920s,Honey,Meta,Texas Blues on 06.19.06

I didn’t mean to take a week off from the blog, but I had a few days off for my birthday then I went to Cincinnati to see the Reds play (and lose) over the weekend. But I’m back with a fresh stock of blues discs thanks to Shake It Records. By “thanks” I mean they allowed me to spend more money than I wanted to, before finding out they have Document Records 3 for $28. I think my mouth hit the floor.

Jake Jones and The Gold Front Boys were a Dallas Based blues band featuring Jones on the mic backed by unknowns on banjo, guitar and clarinet. The clarinet in this song is star, matching Jones’ plaintive cry perfectly. This isn’t the first (or second) blues song to use the ocean as a metaphor for a relationship, but it does manage to avoid using the same “stuck between the devil and the deep blues sea” type lines as most of the other nautical blues songs.

Jake Jones and The Gold Front Boys – Southern Sea Blues (1929)

Was That Your Man?
Posted in Honey,Post-War,Texas Blues on 04.24.06

The server situation should be fixed. I did notice last night that the server would time out even at low loads, so be patience, I’m writing angry emails to the host daily. All the links should be working (I fixed the Minnie Wallace link also) but if you find anything broke let me know.

I’m starting out the week with a post-war blues track by Jewell Long. In fact it’s from 1960, but i haven’t been able to get this song out of my head for the past week. I don’t know a lot about Jewell Long, but he was a blues singer from Texas with a great rough voice. He was a pretty skilled guitar player – but his voice, sort of an in-between Gary Davis and John Estes is what really has his version of Frankie and Albert running around my head all week.

Jewell Long – Frankie and Albert