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If this applied to jazz, it applied with even greater disparity to the blues. Interested as I had been in African arts, building and music for many years, I had long been puzzled by the gulf between African music, as represented by the drum orchestras, and the blues. African work songs seemed to supply some tangible link with the American Negro vocal traditions, and in the hand-clapping 'praise shouting 1 of congregations in Negro churches echoes of Africa could be heard.
By extension from these one could trace uncertainly some tenuous threads which linked African vocal approaches with the blues, but I could not share the confidence of those who could detect pure Africanisms in the singing of Blind Willie. Johnson or Charley Patton. Still more perplexing was the music that could be heard in the villages of the rain forest and coastal belts in Ghana and the neighbouring territories of Ivory Coast and Dahomey, and, to the east, Nigeria.
Drum orchestras with atumpan 'talking' drums and tunable tension drums produced no sounds comparable with the instrumental techniques and traditions of the blues singers, the songsters, the ragtime banjoists and guitarists, or, as far as one could determine, their antecedents.
Yet along the coast could be seen the great stone castles of Christ ians-borg, Anomabu, Elmina, Dixcove and many others; storybook castles bristling with ancient black cannon between the castellations of their white walls and keeps, still trained on the beaches and the approaches. Charming monuments now; but down low near the water-level can still be seen the dank, evil-smelling dungeons where slaves were herded to await shipment to the Americas on the Middle Passage.
And running through the massive walls, dripping and slime- covered, remain the tunnels that led straight to the holds of the ships, down which the slaves took their last steps in Africa. This was the Guinea Coast, the Slave. This was the land from which the slaves were shipped; if there were any surviving links with the blues, surely they should be here? This was the problem and it was not until I made the trip to Bolgatanga, Navrongo and Nangodi that a possible line of enquiry that might eventually lead to a solution presented itself.
Later, after a while in the Yoruba country of eastern Nigeria, I travelled to Kano, the great Hausa city in the northern region of Nigeria from which the camel trains set off to cross the Sahara. Here, too, I found further support for a new approach to the question of African retentions in the blues. This was, and is, a detailed study of the blues and related Negro secular music in Texas and adjacent territories.
Thorough research in a vast and little-studied area - as far as blues is concerned had involved us in a far more lengthy and complex work than we had anticipated. During the course of it, many problems presented themselves, some common to blues history as a whole, some peculiar to Texas.
Texas was settled late in the history of the South, and much of its population did not arrive until the Civil War. On the other hand, a small but not insignificant body of planters and slave-owners had been in the bottomlands of the Texas rivers for many years before. The question arose of how many of the slaves that they held, and that were in Texas at the time of Emancipation, had come directly from Africa; or were they the sons and daughters of slaves whose memories of Africa still survived?
What retentions were there of African traditions in the blues in Texas? It was in anticipation of finding some answer to these questions from the African end that I journeyed so eagerly to Ghana.
However, the drum orchestras, the music of the funerals, the festivals and the 'fetish' dances in Ashanti only added to the confusion which a study of the writings of jazz historians had already created. I cannot claim to have solved the problems surrounding the question of African retentions in the blues. Only after detailed research both in the United States and in West Africa might a positive conclusion be reached. Basically, it may be summarised as a prelude to a study of African retentions in jazz and the blues, for it attempts to raise the fundamental questions: What is meant by 'Africa 1?
Where in Africa can musical forms related to the blues be found? Is there any justification for assuming that slaves came from these regions, if they exist? Can African peoples be considered as homogeneous, or do they divide into specific groups?
Can African music be considered as homogeneous, or does its character vary over the territories which supplied the slaves? Are there any characteristics of music and instrumentation that do, or do not, accord with those in North America? If musical forms related to the blues can be found, is there any basis for the assumption that slaves came from these regions? Were there circumstances in North America that would inhibit African retentions and were there any that would promote them?
In general this book looks in outline and approximately in this order at these questions. But much has been written already by anthropologists, ethnomusicologists and jazz historians on African retentions in North American music, especially jazz, and it is necessary therefore to look at some of these writings and the questions that they, too, raise. And all this discussion is based on the assumption that retentions of African culture, or a part of it, do exist and can be established.
But if they are proven, by what means were they transmitted? This, perhaps, is the first question that should be examined. If there seemed to be, in the music of Kunaal and Sosira, some fragile link with the music of the blues, was it by accident, was it coincidence, was it a direct ancestral tradition shared in Africa and by the slaves in America, or was it an innate capacity for producing music of a particular kind?
It was the question that presented itself then, and it was one to which there is as yet no definitive answer. But the following is a sketch of the lines of research that might be pursued, and which, given the opportunity, I hope one day to undertake.
In a monument to racial prejudice, Madison Grant stated in that 'whether we like to admit it or not, the result of the mixture of two races, in the long run, gives us a race reverting to the more ancient, generalized and lower type.
The cross between a white man and an Indian is an Indian; the cross between a white man and a Negro is a Negro. Within the world of blues and blues singers there are those who sing and those who listen who represent every shade from black to near white, whose designation, legally or by custom, is Negro. Notwithstanding the illogicality and the lack of any scientific basis in the belief, a man is a Negro if he has any perceptible or known Negro blood in him.
Yet pure-blood Negro stock in the United States is exceptionally rare today and some white ancestry is known in the family tree of a large proportion of Negro families. When the anthropologist Melville Herskovits prepared his Anthropometry of the American Negro, he concluded that over seventy per cent of his informants had knowledge of white persons in their ancestry. This and other evidence was sifted by the team led by Gunnar Myrdal who substantially agreed with his findings and with the general conclusion that the majority of 'Negroes 1 so designated have perhaps one-third white blood, while some have considerably more and others much less.
It is popularly assumed that the Negro has an innate sense of rhythm; that his capacity for music and dance, for athletic performance and even sexual performance relates to inherent abilities. Whether these are. The belief that cultural traits can be inherited is generally discounted by the anthropologist. Though he was dedicated to Negro studies, Herskovits questioned von Hornbostel's earlier propositions on this point. But would this type of motor behaviour persist in crossing? For the appearance of the mixed Negroes and the pure ones when singing these songs is quite the same', he commented, posing the fundamental question, 'what is innate and what is cultural?
If the present studies which pursue the nature of biological rhythms in animals are extended to mankind's creative capacities, it is feasible that one day the evidence may again substantiate the belief that rhythm may be transmitted culturally. Even if this does turn out to be the case, Herskovits' question as to whether it would survive transmission through ethnic dilution still stands. At present such a view is not favoured by anthropologists, who would generally support the argument that cultural traits are learned rather than inherent.
The process of enculturation through which the habits of one generation, its values and its customs, are passed on to subsequent ones may account for the persistence of some cultural elements, while the process of acculturation, whereby the meeting of cultures may lead to the evolution of a new one, is also accepted.
To these may be added the process of cultural diffusion, or the spread of culture by imitation and influence. These together may indicate the manner in which Negro cultural patterns have taken the forms that they have in the United States. In the persistence of mannerisms of song, or musical technique; in the continuance of traditional modes of expression and vehicles of creativity as for instance, the church songs or the work songs enculturation is seen at work.
As the African's music met that of his American masters; as his language became modified and adapted to a new language to persist in some ways of phrasing in a eulturalh distinct argot; or in the wax in which the ballads have assumed the western structure and the blues have been constructed upon the European.
In a sense, this might suffice as evidence of process. But it does not explain what is transmitted, welded or diffused, nor does it explain where the origins of the elements that have been so passed on actually lie.
If certain of these characteristics in Negro music, and in the blues of the present century, are above all characteristic of the 'Negro', it is appropriate to question where and how they arose. Few jazz historians, at any rate, have been in doubt that 'Africa' is the source of most of these cultural characteristics which have shaped Negro jazz.
In his pioneering Shining Trumpets, Rudi Blesh devoted a chapter to African origins, with many other references to African elements throughout his study of traditional jazz. To support his thesis, he drew extensively on the recordings made by the Herskovitses in Dahomey inand on Mieczyslaw Kolinksi's analysis of them. In The Story of Jazz, Marshall Stearns devoted three chapters to African origins and survivals, again making extensive use of Herskovits' writings and adding earlier documentary evidence in the writings of George Washington Cable and others, notably the former's much-quoted 'The Dance in the Place Congo'.
More recently, among numerous jazz histories, Gunther Schuller has, in Early Jazz, followed this line of argument, but has used as his principal source the Reverend A. Jones's Studies in African Music which is based mainly on a group of dances of the Ewe people of eastern Ghana. As these writers were primarily concerned with the history of jazz, and with its New Orleans origins specifically, the quotations from Cable or Latrobe which described Congo Square, or, as in Robert Goffin's Jazz - From the Congo to the Metropolitan, the descriptive writings of Lafcadio Hearn also, are entirely appropriate to the context.
For their arguments, the studies made by Herskovits in Dahomey or the West Indies, of Harold Courlander in Haiti or Father Jones in Ghana amply supported the contention that the rhythmic character of New Orleans jazz, the multi-lineal structure of its instrumentation and the melodic-rhythmic nature of jazz improvisation were essentially 'African' in origin. These contentions could be borne out and can be explained readily enough in terms of enculturation and acculturation.
When it comes to the blues, the jazz historians are generally shorter on detailed analysis, although the assumption that the blues pre- dated jazz 'the more we learn the earlier it seems to have been', wrote Stearns has necessitated the ascribing of African origins. These melodies do not extend beyond the five-note span of the tetrachord and in their formation clearly refer to West African melody', Rudi Blesh stated.
But for Stearns, 'the harmony employed in the blues is another matter. It is pretty clearly derived from European music although colored by the tonality of the cry. At its simplest the harmony of the blues consists of the three basic chords of our musical language. A comparison of observations on the nature of the 'blue note', or flattened seventh, in the blues underlines the confusion and disagreement among writers as to the extent of African influence.
Winthrop Sargeant, who argued a 'blues scale' in Jazz Hot and Hybrid, studied a number of African recordings to conclude that 'though the blues scale is not indicated anywhere, the preference for one of its components - the flat seventh is quite marked'. He added that 'among the crude harmonic combinations used one of the most prominent the dominant seventh, or ninth chord - points strikingly toward certain peculiarities of blues harmonization'.
Don't the blues themselves. Perhaps the most original proposition of all is Gunther Schuller's, when he considers it 'worth mentioning that Indo-Pakistani music is divided into six principal modes, three of which - afternoon modes - are nothing but the blues scale.
To establish a possible historic link between these modes and the American Negro's blues scale might be an interesting project for a future student of jazz. Jones, it is surprising that he was unaware of the studies made by Jones on the influence of Polynesian and Melanesian music on that of Africa through the employment of the gapped hepta-tonic scale in the Oceanic and African xylophone.
Gunther Schuller discards as untenable Ernest Borneman's position that 'the only true jazz is Spanish- or Latin-American-influenced jazz,' and states that he is 'on shaky ground when he attempts to develop a theory that, as early as the Middle Ages, African music had a strong influence on Arabic music' and that 'there were all kinds of African strains in the music of Spain which the Negro slaves on arrival in the Caribbean recognised immediately as a sort of musical second cousin'.
In earlier writings Borneman, who had studied with Erich von Hornbostel, had advanced this theory to some extent but had laid greater emphasis in An Anthropologist Looks at Jazz, and, subsequently, in 'The Roots of Jazz', on the West African influence on jazz. Borneman gave more attention to African elements in blues than have most writers on jazz, though his references were largely concerned with instrumental blues in jazz.
Speaking of the tonic, sub-dominant, dominant sequence of the blues he generalised that in African. Thus he arrives at the peculiar harmonic structure of the blues. He did, however, give due attention to the characteristics of African singing and their relationship to blues vocals. Unfortunately, the connections between African music and the blues have been little researched or considered by anthropologists, especially those with experience in the field in both Africa and the United States.
Harold Courlander could have been the exception, but, though he is instructive on the relationship of African work song to Negro work song in the United States in his Negro Folk Music ofhis chapter on the blues might have been written two decades before, so little does it take into consideration the research undertaken on the subject.
So it happens that a paper written by Richard Alan Waterman on 'African Influence on the Music of the Americas' as far back as has not been superseded.
In his paper, Waterman identified a number of characteristics of African music which 'set it off markedly from that of Europe'. These included: dominance of percussion; polymeter; off-beat phrasing of melodic- accents; overlapping call and response patterns and, above all, what Waterman has termed the 'metronome sense'.
These elements could be identified in the music of many countries with Negro populations. In 'Brazil all traits of African music have been retained, and many songs are sung in West African languages.
Negro songs of Dutch Guiana exhibit all listed traits of West African music; they are, however, sung in a cre-olized language, compounded for the most part of English vocabulan and West African phonetics and grammar. Certain elements in the music of Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Vera Cruz and elsewhere are also identified with these aspects of African music. Merriam in Bahia, Joseph I. Moore in Jamaica, I tarold.
Courlander in Haiti and many other researchers. When it comes to the United States, Waterman notes fewer elements present: 'One of the main African components, polymeter, is usually absent except by implication, and there is a dearth of African-type musical instruments.
Metronism, however, is present in all Negro sacred and secular styles, as is the importance of percussion wherever percussion instruments or effects are not proscribed by circumstances and the overlapping call-and-response pattern.
In the award of degrees of Africanisms, the Bush Negroes of Guiana rated highest among the score of categories which he identified. Musically, however, all three regions were rated 'b' - 'quite African'; an assessment which would not be shared by some researchers.
But as early as he had contended in New Republic that in the Negro churches and in jazz, 'in the work songs and songs of derision, love songs and dance songs [at this date he did not specify blues] that have come down into American life as jazz, rather than the spirituals, it is in their rhythms, their melodic progressions, their seeming cacophonies, that we must look for the heritage that has been given musical America by the Africans who sang and, singing, inspired those to whom their song eventually passed down.
Lengthy yet necessarily summary though this outline of views expressed by critics, jazz authorities and anthropologists on the African derivations of North American Negro music has been, it serves to emphasise a number of points. In the first place there is little doubt in the minds of most authorities that Africanisms of a kind have persisted in American Negro folk music and jazz.
These, it is accepted, are less than those present in the Latin-American countries, but are present in sufficient quantity in North America to account for the specific nature of jazz when it emerged at the turn of the century.
The hiatus between the cessation of slavery and the commencement of jazz is accounted for by the persistence of the drumming and dancing in Congo Square, the popularity of street parades and the continued interest in military brass band music, and the unbroken traditions of music at funerals and other functions which are accounted as African in origin. The strong survivals in Voudun Voodoo of Haiti which perpetuated a Dahomean cult, or the Shango cult of Bahia and Trinidad directly derived from the cult of Sango, the Thunder god of the Yoruba, are confirmation enough of the direct transference of African custom to the Americas.
The fact that Voodoo is also practised in the United States and particularly in New Orleans is taken as evidence that other survivals in music can be expected.
These contentions are supported by authoritative anthropological evidence and therefore need not be held in question. A second point that is evident from the writings of jazz historians is that Africa is the most frequent source quoted: not any part of Africa, or even a region, but simply the continent itself.
The characteristics that are deemed 'African' are not further identified in many cases. In others, where more specific derivations are sought, West Africa and the Congo are cited. Some writers accept that in North America at any rate the slaves were principally from West African sources, and where these are more specifically identified, Dahomey figures prominently, Yorubaland and Ashanti rate next and further particularisation is rare.
This presupposes that there are elements in common in the musics of the tribes and peoples who were enslaved to an extent where generalisations can be made about African music.
Though the survivals of the customs and rites of particular cults in individual tribes are identified, the survivals in the music are assumed to be universall applicable in Africa, or else in West Vfrica. Thirdly, the comments are generally made from the point of view of the anthropologist, or from that of the jazz historian.
In the former case, the survivals in the Americas as a whole are generally classified with special reference to the West Indies; in the latter, the viewpoint is conditioned by the need to seek and identify retentions in instrumental jazz, and any reference to them in blues is secondary.
Blues, in jazz histories, is usually seen as a precursor of jazz and an influence upon it, rather than as a music with parallel development. It therefore appears as a link between the slavery period and the end of the nineteenth century. In order to fulfil this selected role it must represent certain aspects of the African heritage. Emphasis is placed on the quality of blues singing and the 'vocalised tone 1 of jazz instrumentation.
It is not the purpose of the present study to attempt to discredit these conclusions or to dispute them. Ample data supporting these contentions have been presented in the works cited as in others.
However, the question remains as to whether these 'African 1 elements persist in the blues in the manner they describe. If the arguments in support of African retentions are applicable to jazz in New Orleans, they are not necessarily equally applicable to blues. Though from the jazz historian's point of view the relationship between the two musical forms exists, there is nevertheless a great deal of difference between them.
Jazz, at least in its early phases, was primarily a group music, using brass and wind instruments with rhythm background, employing improvisational techniques both collectively and in solo.
If the histories are correct, solos on clarinet or trumpet were relatively rare in the early phase and the emphasis was on collective improvisation in a polyphonic organisation of a three-part 'front line' against a 'rhythm section 1.
All instruments tended to play rhythmically, although the role of the front line instruments was to state the theme and improvise upon it.
Such jazz bands performed a social function and were used both for street parades and for dances or balls. According to William Russell, the 'brass bands' played for parades and were fully augmented with French horns, trombones and sousaphones, side and snare.
From this it will be seen that the complex structure of the fronl line music is not a part of the blues as normalh executed, while the brass band music has only the most tenuous links with blues. String bands playing jazz came somewhat closer, in view of their instrumentation; bul the blues uses stringed instruments in a melodic rhythmic manner with.
Much has been made of the vocalised techniques of cornet and trumpet playing and of the use of mutes to achieve crying and choked vocal effects. This has been compared with the use of 'talking drums' in Africa, though these have as their basis pitch and tone elements of language and are not 'vocalised 1 in the jazz sense.
In the use of mutes in jazz, the vocal sounds tend to be imitative and the blues content abstract. In the blues, as a separate music, both the voice and the literal content of the sung lyric are fundamentally important and instruments frequently supply a support to the vocal to extend its content.
It is not to be denied that blues has been a continuing influence on jazz, but it must also be recognised that the influence of jazz on blues has been relatively small.
Blues has had an independent life of its own which has met jazz tangentially many times and has provided a source of inspiration, and even fundamental character, to jazz.
Nevertheless, the blues has not had an especially important history in New Orleans, but throughout its life has had a far wider distribution. But the case for New Orleans is apparently well established and has had a wealth of documentation in its support. As blues was far more widely distributed, it would seem that either the stimulus of blues on instrumental music was less appreciated elsewhere in the early years of jazz, or that the course of the two musical forms was really very different: the one localised and concentrated, the other diffuse and growing steadily in many parts of the South.
So it seems that we are considering not one tradition which had blues preceding and leading to jazz, but two fairly distinct but contiguous traditions. Jazz had origins rooted in parade music, ragtime and dance music, and blues had origins rooted vocally in work songs, and instru-mentally in stringed traditions: fiddle, banjo and guitar in particular. Henry A. Kmen, in his exceptionally well documented Music in New Orleans, clearly demonstrated LP the stringed traditions existed even in New Orleans in the early decades of the history of the city's slaves.
Moreover observers tell of seeing jigs, fandangoes, and Virginia breakdowns in the square', though from the tunes they played he coneluded that 'however much of the primitive there was in the Congo Square dances, it seems apparent that they were borrowing rapidly from the culture around them'. Examples given of Negro dances make frequent mention of violins and banjos, and one of the first of the New Orleans balls described as early as had an orchestra of six Negro musicians mainly playing fiddles.
We read of slaves supplying an orchestra of violins, a flute, triangle and tambourine for a plantation party just outside the city; or fiddle, fife, and flute for a New Year's serenade; or 'Virginia breakdown music' for one of their own Christmas parties. It is not surprising, then, to find Album) to musical ability in the advertisements of slaves who had escaped or who were up for sale.
To read of a slave escaping with only his clothing and a violin, or attempting to carry with him both a violin and tambourine, reveals much. Gabriel, who ran away inwas described as 'fond of playing upon the fiddle' while Abraham's master broadcast that 'he played well on the violin'. A mulatto, offered for sale inwas said to play 'superbly on the tambourine and a little on the fife, beats the drum better than any other in this city, very intelligent, sober and faithful'.
These, among many other references, emphasise that, though the drums were played, the violin and the fife were extremely popular with Negro musicians and slaves within the city of New Orleans half a centun before the abolition of slavery. That many - perhaps most of the slaves mentioned in this period had been imported from Africa seems undeniable and the question inevitably arises whether their fondness for and skill with the violin or simple woodwind owed anything to capacities acquired before enslavement.
In these reports the banjo figures much less frequently than the fiddle. Uncle Remus says trulj that this is the fiddle; but for the true African dance. Such a record of Negro fiddles and riddle players can be echoed throughout the old South, where banjos were also noted at an early date. In his Journal he wrote that the Negroes 'generally meet together and amuse themselves with dancing to the Banjo.
The saxophonist with the nickname all other saxophonists are glad they didn't get stuck with was also extremely active as a songwriter and music publisher during his career. Surely there was an impetus to replace the stuffy sounding Horace K. Dowell he was given at birth in Raleigh, North Carolina near the outset of the 20th century. He became Saxie Dowell by the time he began his first major professional affiliation, also his longest, with orchestra leader Hal Kemp.
The nickname most likely developed due to the fact that Horace got his first saxophone at the age of 12 and carried it with him most everywhere.
Dowell's U. Naval Air Station Band became one of the most famous in history for staying on its set list even while the aircraft carrier the band was serving on was in the process of sinking.
After the war managing not to associate band-leading with both war and sinking ships, Dowell reorganized his orchestra and got some good bookings, mostly around the Chicago area with the then year-old Keely Smith as a singer He, appeared in a movie short during and made a few recordings for the Sonora label.
He became a disc jockey for Chicago radio station WGN around Dowell kept his group going into the '50s, but eventually got into the publishing end of the business. His own writing credits include "Three Little Fishes. He died 22 JulyScottsdale, Arizona, aged Posted by boppinbob at No comments:. Labels: Saxie Dowell. Aaron Thibeaux "T-Bone" Walker May 28, — March 16, was a critically acclaimed American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who was an influential pioneer and innovator of the jump blues and electric blues sound.
Walker began his career as a teenager in Dallas in the early s. His mother and stepfather a member of the Dallas String Band were musicians, and family friend Blind Lemon Jefferson sometimes came over for dinner. Walker left school at the age of 10, and by 15 he was a professional performer on the blues circuit. Walker married Vida Lee in ; the couple had three children. After moving to Los Angeles aroundhe began performing regularly in the clubs along Central Avenue, then the centre of the city's jazz and blues music scene.
He started as a singer and dancer with jazz and early jump-blues bands, such as Les Hite and his orchestra, but by was playing electric guitar and singing in his own small combos. His particular style of jazz-influenced blues guitar and showmanship, which included playing the guitar behind his neck and while doing the splits, brought him to the attention of Capitol Records. Following his work with White and Black, he recorded from to for Imperial Records backed by Dave Bartholomew.
Walker's only record in the next five years was T-Bone Blues, recorded over three widely separated sessions inandand finally released by Atlantic Records in By the early s, Walker's career had slowed down, in spite of a hyped appearance at the American Folk Blues Festival in with pianist Memphis Slim and prolific writer and musician Willie Dixon, among others.
However, several critically acclaimed albums followed, such as I Want a Little Girl recorded for Delmark Records in Walker's career began to wind down after he suffered a stroke in He died of bronchial pneumonia following another stroke in Marchat the age of Nov 30th, Labels: T-Bone Walker. Tuesday, 24 May Max Bennett born 24 May Max Bennett born May 24, is an American jazz bassist and session musician.
He is perhaps the most recorded bass player in the world, having recorded every year for 68 years, and counting. One of the most versatile of session bassists, Max Bennett hailed from the Midwest. He was raised in both Kansas City and the town of Oskaloosa in Iowa, and undertook his university musical studies in the latter state. Inhe went professional as the bassist in the Herbie Fields band, followed rapidly by gigs with players such as Georgie Auld, Terry Gibbs, and Charlie Ventura.
The stream of happening basslines was interrupted by the Army from through ; he was then back on the scene with Stan Kenton before settling into the stay-at-home local Los Angeles music scene. The bassist fronted his own combo during this period, and was part of a house band at the Lighthouse, a famous L. Bennett continued with his own band, L. His voice is pure Bakersfield by way of Owen Bradley. The Everly Brothers have always had a vein of country running through them, and pedal steel is the saddest instrument known to man.
Tuesday, November 30, S'good to know there's folk out there. Read about the label here. One of my favorite groups of all time is the Staple Singers Isaac Hayes is one bad Monday, November 29, Feeling blue today.
And since it's my day off, LP enjoying an adult beverage or 6. So what better way to celebrate than with two drunk Santa tunes. Figgers I already threw up a few intoxicated St. Nick photos there's a really humorous pun in there, i 'spect. Hey, the one Didnt Have Time - Lonnie Glosson - Lonnie Glosson The Living Legend (Vinyl thing y'all can expect here is inconsistency. If you like calendars, i can tell you that tomorrow will feature a soulful xmas post by one of my faveorite groups of all time.
And the day after that, we're gonna get a little sad. Future looks bright for Tom Waits and Shane Macgowan, too God bless bootlegs. Don't know anything about the following individuals, except that they can be found on the most excellent compilation, Bummed Out Christmas on Rhino Records. Sunday, November 28, Running the in-law to the airport, so it's the last of the shorties today.
How 'bout a snotty diatribe from 60's snotpunk legends the Sonics? How 'bout a pschedelic workout on "Deck the Halls" from garage maestros Saturdays Children? You betcha. Santa in the Garage. Saturday, November 27, In a row. Stop the presses.
Not every day is gonna be country over the next month. So what better way to break away than with two of my favorite jazz guys. Makes perfect sense they'd make some holiday cheer. Jimmy Smith is greasy. Roland Kirk is bananas.
Friday, November 26, So far so good. Not sure why I put two drunk santa's in a row. Maybe something about how i read somewhere that Thanksgiving is the second biggest alcohol consumption day of the year in the USA. Which makes sense. Families make most of us want to drink heavily.
If yr looking for Bing Crosby doing "White Christmas", this aint the place. Two more for ya today. One from a legend and one from an "unknown" i. I can't find and info about him. Read more about the genius that is Pee Wee King here. Should download muuuuuccccchhhh faster. Just click on link, download from site. Thursday, November 25, The mother-in-law is visiting for the weekend, so for the next few days the posts aint gonna be too wordy, but the tunes are here.
Gonna start you off, shockingly, with a couple of country and western tunes both kinds. Read about Tex Ritter here. Read about Hank Snow here. Download from Briefcase Monday, November 22, This post written under the influence of Will Johnson's Vultures Await.
Thanksgiving or "rape of the indigenous peoples day", as i like to call it is coming, and that means daily Xmas posts from the Mountain. Hold your breath. And in the spirit of thanking, thanks to Keep the Coffee Coming for the nice words. Visit her site, she's got some great tunes up, and it's one of the best-named mp3 blogs i've run across. I was trying to decide today between a Hank and a Merle, flipped a coin and come up Hank.
Hank Penny is one of those great forgotten musicians and bandleaders. I have to admit to having very little knowledge of him until Bloodshot put out Crazy Rhythm.
Western Bop. Here's what the mighty Bloodshot has to say about him: "Hank Penny should be a household name. But the reason he isn't is the same reason that this release cooks: attitude. Seems Hank wouldn't take shit from anybody. As a result, he burned a lot of bridges and missed more than a few opportunites to further his career. He started his first band, the Radio Cowboys in and later became a regular on the Boone County Jamboree out of Cincinatti.
He acted in a couple of Westerns, yukked it up on Spade Cooley's TV show in the 40's, DJ'd here and there across California and Kansas, and tore the place up in clubs across the country from the 30's to the 70's.
Crazy Rhythm brings together 30 songs we can't even list them all here recorded for the Standard Transcription Service in and never released comercially until now. You get Hank's signature tune "Little Red Wagon," along with a grab bag of dancehall Western Swing, proto-rockabilly and a few ballads and novelty tunes thrown in for good measure. A quick scan of the song titles alone reveals that we are dealing with one unique talent.
Although he never achieved the fame he deserved, Hank's music remains as a dazzling example of one of country music's unheralded greats. Download the joy from there.
Thursday, November 18, She done stole all my money Just a quickie this Thursday morn. Played some poker the other nite with "the boys". Now, I stink at poker, but somehow managed to win 60 bucks.
Much rejoicing. The next morning, while half asleep, she who is most beloved managed to convince me that it would be a great idea to hand over all my dough to her. All that hard work drinking too many beers and behaving quite rudely No pistols were involved, but it was sorta like a robbery. In honor of empty pockets I present you with a little Western Swing. Go to Briefcase Fire Away More on Al Dexter here. Monday, November 15, You can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd I like American Music. Do you like American Music?
So, Let's see What can they possibly have in common? Lots of great new blogs out there. My favorite new one has to be Locust St. It's a fantastic site with the kind of old timey sounds I can't get enough of.
Bookmark 'em both right now and visit daily. Not the Mission of Burma guy, but the country and western fella. And certainly, they're two of his greatest songs. But the man put together a career full of brilliant songs. Ranging from the humorous, to the wistful, to the downright sad, Miller stands as one of our greatest lyricists on par with Cole Porter and Hank Williams perhaps a mix of the two.
He's one of the greats, baby. And he deserves a place in the pantheon of great songwriters, whose nicotine-stained voice sang America.
Visit his website for a complete history and discography. Buy it. You deserve it. Download from there. Monday, November 08, Drinking a piss-poor martini to celebrate my day off work. Leaves are falling off the trees as I type.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are on the way to the Super Bowl. Ahh, Autumn. Am I allowed to be an AMC fan and a football fan? Please visit all the sites and blogs i've linked on the left. They deserve your attention. You deserve the joy they bring. Sometimes you just gotta dance. I mean, hell, we're hurtling toward. But it probably aint good. Maybe dance to the end of love. Maybe dance dance dance to the rock'n'roll station. Maybe dancin' in the streets or the sheets or on the ceiling.
Going all old timey on yr asses today, and for the foreseeable future. I'm pretty well bored by most of what's "new" right now. If bands are going to be in recycle mode, may as well listen to the originals.
Richard Nixon may got Soul, but modern rock sure don't. If you disagree, convince me. I'd like to be wrong. Hillbilly Boogie. What the hell is it? Well, it took it's cue from the "boogie woogie" sounds of jazz and barrellhouse blues predominant in pre-World War II.
Moon Mullicana legend, worked extensively with both black musicians and country and western white musicians, and is credited with helping bridge the racial divide, introducing boogie woogie to Western Swing stars, most notably Bob Wills. From there "the country boogie phenomenon really took off after the war, and was incorporated into the Western Swing derivative, Honkytonk Emphasizing electric guitar, steel and fiddle.
It's sole desire is to make you dance. Countless others came forth with one hit, or regional, numbers, only to disappear into the annals of long gone history. A great starting point is the 4-cd box set aptly named Hillbilly Boogie. The following tracks are taken from said set, and focus on some obscure artists that, frankly, very little or no information is available. Wednesday, November 03, Well, Here we go Morning. Just wanted to say that, despite my grumpiness, I think that Craig from Songs:Illinois has done a fantastic job with his Music Bloggers for Democracy project.
I didn't participate for a variety of reasons, most having to do with my own shortcomings re:slacker. He's gotten a fair amount of criticism to go with the kudos. I think that criticism is a little unfair. Anytime someone works their ass off to make a change, no matter how small it may seem, you have to give them respect. That's how all good things begin.
Props to all those who participated. Course, now the real work's beginning. Keep it up gentle men and women. Kind of a shitty day for alot of folks out there. I'm gonna abandon the old timey thing for moment and post what I think is an apropos little tune from my favorite Shane Macgowan tribute band, Flogging Molly. Lament from there Coming soon: More drinking songs, more Trucking songs, and a little bit of Western Swing. Tuesday, November 02, Monday, November 01, I always wodered what people who actually grew up with that music thought about it.
The other day a 15 year old kid walked into my place of business wearing a brand spankin' new Pixies t-shirt. I don't believe and i'd have to check my math that he had been born yet when I purchased the debut ep by this interesting new band called the Pixies, merely because they were on 4AD rekkids. What followed, of course, was years of obsessive worship, waiting expectantly for the each new album, then crying in my beer when they broke up, only to buy up each new Frank Black record.
We fight age, and we fight the inevitable march towards personal obscurity. And then comes that "moment of clarity", as it were, when we realize how irrelevant and "uncool" we've become.
Yep, I'm now my parents. Speaking of irrelevant, apparently there's some kind of important event occurring tomorrow. I'll be participating, of course. Hell, it's one of the few rights we have left. I'm just not real enthused, to be honest. All of my shouting about 3rd party candidates seems hollow. It's my vote, and I'm going to use it the way I see fit, but it doesn't matter.
Whoever we vote for, the bad guys still get in. America's a fucked up mess, and I thinks it's astoundingly naive to think Kerry's going to make it any better. He supports the Patriot Act, suggesting only a few "minor changes. He has no idea what it's like to be poor. Bush, of course, is Satan. We are so fucked. I'm not sure we can still call ourselves the United States of America.
Sorry to be so cynical. For those voting for the first time, or who are genuinely enthused about this election, i say good on ya. Keep it up, we need people like you. Maybe change'll come, and you'll be the ones to bring it about.
Age Of Love - The Age Of Love (Vinyl), America - Leonard Bernstein - West Side Story (The Original Sound Track Recording) (Vinyl, LP, Album, Walk Right Back - Jamie Lidell - Building A Beginning (CD, Album), Shes Like A Steamtrain - Pangea (6) - Manchild (CD, Album), Floorshow, Reach Me - Sorg (2) - Enigma Grotesque (CD, Album), Der Alte Schäfer, 3 Το Πρωί - Γιώργος Μαζωνάκης - Revised (CD, Album), Tonight - Close II You - Closer (Cassette), Buy Me A Bottle Beer, You Wont Let Me Go - Ruth Brown - Have A Good Time (CD, Album), And I Love You So - Perry Como - Perry Como Live On Tour (Vinyl, LP, Album), Snowball - The Robins - Rock & Roll (CD, Album), Laura - Various - High-Tech Digital Vol. 3 (CD)