29 December 2011

Guitar Slide Right in Your Pocket: Mance Lipscomb - "Jack of Spades"

Son of an ex-slave born in 1898 in Navasota, Texas and relatively little known outside serious blues circles, Mance Lipscomb is the blues pioneers' pioneer.

I've seen a lot of make-shift slides over the years, but a folding knife used as a guitar slide is a new one on me.

Enjoy this "transition" blues -- from the music of the 19th century to that of the churning 20th.

24 December 2011

Just too Good for the Basement (from 2008 post, reworked): "The River 's Gonna Run" (2006)

Four years ago last Thursday, four years after Vol. No. 1 of Gold Coast Bluenote, this was the post of the day. I ran across the two weeks ago, and it blew me away, again.

Sam Bush on mandolin and lead vocal, Emmylou Harris covering duet and harmony -- with Emmylou reminding us she can play sultry chanteuse with the best of them. (As to her real life, she made it clear at a gig I saw that dressing up was nice but she likes the comforts of home: dog poop scoopin' for her private, back yard, stray dog refuge / home placement facility.)

Ms. Harris is quite a spiritual and kind woman -- I meet her once briefly but semi-privately (so we could talk) after her first gig at Tampa's most historic, restored and quite unique roaring 20s-era movie palace.

Another artist I recognize on this track and video is master guitarist Buddy Miller -- the only other musician on stage with Emmylou that magical night that I saw her at the Tampa Theatre. Oh, and Buddy Miller wrote this song.

This track gets my mojo workin'; how about giving her a spin?

Sam Bush's video for The River's Gonna Run

16 December 2011

"All I Want for Christmas is a Rock n' Roll Electric Guitar": Chuck Berry, "Run Run Rudolph" (1958)

Though covered by more than one of my favorite artists, Chuck Berry's original still stands head and shoulders above the rest. So, for the playlist at your Christmas party this year, let's all help our counting-the-days little ones: Santa make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down. A one, two -- one, two, three, four ....

12 December 2011

Dion, Live and in the Groove: "Nadine" (2007)

Dion covering Chuck Berry's Nadine, live

Dion, a signature voice of early 1960's rock n' roll (Runaround Sue, The Wanderer), is still making the scene and sharing his magic. I heard his 2007 studio version of Nadine recently and it grabbed my attention. He tore it up. This live clip, featuring Jools Holland, isn't quite as hot, but it's clear evidence that he is not residing in the dustbin of rock history. He's out there doing first rate rock n' roll.

I missed him the first go round 'cause I was just a youngin', but I know quality when I hear it. So, my friends, dig this.

07 December 2011

The Occupy Movement's Soundtrack, Part II: Buffalo Springfield, "For What It's Worth"

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Confront NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Before Planned Eviction from Zuccotti Park (December 5, 2011;
photo credit: J.B. Nicholas, Splash News)

Here's another cut from back in the day that plugs in right here -- history with a soundtrack:

02 December 2011

The Birth of Blues/Rock: Robert Johnson, "Terraplane Blues"

Don't get wrapped up in the lyrics just yet; that will take some time. Just dig Johnson's guitar and vocal art. It doesn't get any more important, or any better, than this obscure masterpiece.

This is embryonic acoustic blues/rock from 1936, my friends. Rock wasn't even invented until the 50s -- the 40s if you count Louis Jordan. It's no wonder Robert Johnson's legend and musical legacy have lasted.