Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Blues Brothers--B Move Boxcar Blues

I'm not sure whether people realize it or not, but The Blues Brothers were not just some amusing Saturday Night Live skit.  They were probably one of the baddest-ass blues bands ever.  They had a serious line-up that featured "Duck" Dunn and Steve Cropper from the original Booker T and The MGs.  They had Paul Schaeffer (David Letterman band leader) and the original Saturday Night Live horn section.  They also had one of the best drummers of all time, a guy named Steve Jordan and a Chicago Blues guitar master, Matt "Guitar" Murphy.  And, in my opinion, one of the best front men in Rock N' Roll history, John Belushi.

This song, "B Movie Boxcar Blues" is a cover of a song by another Blues guy named Delbert McClinton.  The song starts out mellow and groovy and then ends and like a runaway train going down the tracks.

Finally, I'm not one to listen to lyrics too closely, but the trampy lyrics tell an interesting story.

I'm pretty sure that you will not be able to resist the temptation to buy this gem of rhythm music.  In fact, I could not give enough praise to the whole "Briefcase Full of Blues" album.  You should buy the whole thing.  For $5.99 it's a steal!

And if you are interested, the original Delbert McClinton version is pretty good too.  Scroll down to take a listen.  Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't carry the original.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Paul Butterfield Blues Band--Born Under A Bad Sign

Once again, it was back in the 1980's when I went to check out Paul Butterfield at the the legendary Wilebski's Blues Saloon in St. Paul, Minnesota.  It wasn't the first time that a band was way late for a gig at Wilebski's.  Not only was it off the beaten path in the middle of a residential neighborhood, the band's buses would often freeze up in the sometimes sub-zero temperatures of the Twin Cities.

People were starting to get tense and were demanding their money back.  I was one of them.  Some guy shouted at me from his table and told me to relax.  "Butterfield will show up and he's going to blow you away,"  he basically said.  Sure enough, shortly after that, Butterfield's bus pulled up.  He went on and he was awesome!

However, he didn't play the song you are about to hear.  This version of Born Under A Bad Sign epitomizes the funky blues (at least for me).  They really get down and groove on this one.  I only have one beef with this song and that is that they fade out just as Butterfield is starting to cut loose.

Listen for yourself.

You should trust me, just like I should have trusted that guy in Wilebski's that cold winter night in St. Paul, Minnesota.  You need to buy this song and add it to your permanent collection.  Click on the link below.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lowell Fulsom--Tramp

I first discovered this song "Tramp" way back in the mid 1980's when I was a volunteer at KFAI-FM community radio in Minneapolis.  I had been a volunteer for some time and was anxiously awaiting my turn to get a time slot.  Then one day I came home from class (I was in college then) and the phone rang.  It was the station and they needed someone to fill in during the afternoon drive time because the blues DJ at that time had a family emergency.

I was speechless at first.  Was I really going on the air during drive time?  I grabbed an armload of albums and booked down to the station.  After I got settled down and got into the groove spinning records, I noticed that the DJ who had to leave suddenly left their bag of albums on the floor.  I started to finger through them and that is when I discovered Lowell Fulsom's "Tramp."  I put it on the platter and as my friends can attest, my life has never been the same.

Over the years I was stunned to find out that several people that I knew actually heard me that fateful day, my first day on the air.

Anyway, that's my story about Lowell Fulsom's "Tramp" and I'm sticking to it.  Enjoy.

I was unable to locate an individual copy of "Tramp" for sale (which astounds me quite honestly).  But if you're interested, you can find "Tramp" and several other good Lowell Fulsom tunes on the double CD below.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Canned Heat--Sandy's Blues

About twenty years ago I was visiting my brother in L.A.  While he was off to his classes at UCLA, I roamed around The Valley and stopped in a Tower Records store.  I perused the racks and found this Canned Heat CD called "Livin' The Blues."  I had an old scratched up LP version, so I decided to trade it in for the newer digital model.

That weekend my brother and I went out to a bar and, low and behold, if I didn't sit down right next to Larry Taylor, the bass player for Canned Heat.  So here I was sitting next to this guy who had played at the Monterey Pop Festival and who played at Woodstock.  I was awed by the whole scene.

I bought him and his girlfriend a beer and I asked him about this "Livin' The Blues" album.  He just kind of scoffed and said something to make me think he was actually ashamed of that LP.  I said, "No way" and I assured him that it was just fine.

In retrospect I have deduced the reason why he was ashamed of it.  When this album was recorded is was in the middle of the psychedelic 60's.  Every rock band with a tie-dye had at least one "hallucinogenic" song and Canned Heat was no exception.  On this album is an elongated, art noise sort of thing called "Parthenogenesis."  It's pretty bad.

However, the rest of the CD is pretty awesome.  So much so, that I am recommending the whole CD.  There is a great tune with Alan Wilson blowing the harp in a cover of "Walkin' By Myself."  Also on this album is a really awesome slow blues number called "Sandy's Blues."  Bob Hite is one of the best lead singers and front men ever.

Despite the theme of my blog being upbeat blues music, I am compelled to recommend this slow tune.  I hope you enjoy it.

Like I said, I recommend this whole CD.  CD #2 of the set is an infamous Canned Heat boogie that goes on for about a half-hour.  There are some good moments in that jam too.  I suppose I should also note that this particular CD has Canned Heat's biggest hit ever, "Goin' Up The Country."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Allman Brothers--One More Ride

It goes without saying that The Allman Brothers could have been considered a Blues band.  They performed several blues covers including "Stormy Monday," "One Way Out," "You Don't Love Me," "Done Somebody Wrong" plus others I'm unaware of.

This instrumental, "One More Ride" was cut out of what ultimately became the Idlewild South album.  It was clearly a mistake to exclude it.  Take a listen.

It has become clear by now that you need to buy every recommendation I make, so don't hesitate.  Click on the link below.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Doc Starkes and the Niteriders--Looking For My Baby

This obscure fellow Doc Starkes has material that may be considered blues, he has some that might be considered rockabilly.  Either style proves raw and raunchy just the way I like it.

I first heard this song on WEVL-FM community radio in Memphis, Tennessee.  The song has that often repeated theme in early rock and blues music about a guy violently taking back his old lady who just left him.  This theme, by today's standards, would be very politically incorrect (However, that doesn't seem to stop the rap music industry).

I like this song because of the sheer, raw raunchiness of it.  The gravely lyrics and the gritty tenor sax totally make it for me.

Take a listen below.

You know the drill.  If you want to buy it, click on the link below.

In my YouTube search for this song, I came upon a great modern cover of this song by the garage rock band from Detroit called The Detroit Cobras.  Listen to their version below and you prefer theirs to the original, feel free to buy that one instead.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Charlie Daniels Band--Whiskey

I love songs about drinking.  Perhaps it's because I like to drink myself.  Many may think of Charlie Daniels Band as "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" guys.  Or perhaps you visualize a country music act.  Well back in the 1970's, Charlie Daniels Band was an ass-kickin' southern rock band in the vein of The Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynrd.  They have several funky southern blues songs in their repertoire.  One of my favorite is this down home bluesy number called "Whiskey."

Take a listen by clicking below.

If you want to buy this catchy tune, click on the link below.  Note that the link says you're buying the whole album.  But if you click on it, you can choose just the song "Whiskey" so don't worry.  No one's trying to rip you off.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Freddie King--Boogie Funk

What is it about the state of Texas?  It has produced some of histories meanest guitar players.  There's Albert Collins, Gatemouth Brown, T-Bone Walker,  Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughn, Billy Gibbons and this guy Freddie King (I'm sure I've forgotten somebody so remind who).

This Freddie King instrumental "Boogie Funk" really cooks.  This version is live in 1973 from the British TV show "The Old Grey Whistle Test."  If you have never heard of The Old Grey Whistle Test, I highly recommend you YouTube it.  They have awesome, rare concert footage of just about every cool rock band--Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, The Faces, The Specials, The Tubes, Alex Harvey Band, the list goes on...

However, I digress.  The focus is on Freddie King and houserockin' Blues.  Check it out below.

I was unable to find a version of this song that rocks like the one above.  However, if you are so inclined you could purchase this studio version.

To learn more about Freddie King, click here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

John Mayall--Crawling Up A Hill

I suppose no Blues blog would be complete without at least one post from the father of British Blues, John Mayall.  Mayall's legend is well known.  It seems that just about every famous British rocker played for his ensemble The Bluesbreakers at one point or another.  The more notable Bluesbreakers alumni include Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor (of the Rolling Stones), John McVie and Peter Green (of Fleetwood Mac).  Later in the 1980's Mayall broke guitar slingers Walter Trout and Coco Montoya on to the Blues scene. The list of discoveries and collaborators is virtually endless.

John Mayall and his music have transcended several decades and as far as I know he is still out there playing.

I really like this earlier toe-tapping, finger snapping tune called "Crawling Up A Hill."

I know that you feel the siren's call, so don't fight it.  Just buy it.  Click the link below.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Willie Murphy and the Bumblebees--200 Pounds of Joy

Sorry, but I have to post another tune from the 1986 documentary "Survivors."  This film featured all kinds of obscure blues bands and was, as I mentioned previously, filmed at Wilebski's Blues Saloon in St. Paul, Minnesota where I used to play in the Monday Blues jams.  My last post featured the Gravenites Cipollina Band.  This one features the barnstorming Twin Cities R&B band Willie Murphy and the Bumblebees.

Willie and the Bees scoured the upper Midwest for decades entertaining people with their funky blues rock.  While "The Bees" have been broken up for some time, Willie Murphy still performs in Minneapolis.  Willie is an extremely talented but unheralded song writer, singer, piano player and guitar player.

Willie and the band really cut loose in this tune and go beyond the two and a half minute version of this old Howlin' Wolf cover.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do despite not having the greatest audio quality.

Learn more a about Willie Murphy and the Bumblebees by clicking here.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Gravenites Cipollina Band--Small Walk-in Box

Nick Gravenites and John Cipollina (R.I.P.) were both members of the West Coast hippie scene back in the 1960's.  Gravenites was a member of the "American Super Group" The Electric Flag.  The Electric Flag didn't reach the same heights as Cipollina's Quicksilver Messenger Service.  Regardless, these two lead guitar players joined forces after the Summer of Love ended and formed the blues based Gravenites Cipollina Band.

Here's a good bluesy, hippie instrumental jam for you.  This song makes me feel like I'm on a road trip to someplace.  The bass solo gets a little long so I apologize for that.

I also have to note that this particular version of the song was filmed back in 1986 for a movie called "Survivors" at a place called Wilebski's Blues Saloon in St. Paul, MN (my home town).  I used to play drums at the Monday night blues jams there so there is a sentimental reason for me to post this.

If, like me, you were mesmerized by this enchanting jam, you would not hesitate to click on the link below to purchase a slightly different studio version of this song.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Travis Wammack--Night Train

I'm dusting off this obscure fellow (although he may not be that obscure below the Mason-Dixon Line).  Travis Wammack is a wailing guitar player who is enshrined in the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.  He puts the pedal to the metal with this early cover of "Night Train."

What ever happened to the instrumental?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears--Get Yo Shit

I have to admit that I have been pretty much out of the modern day music scene.  It seems that all new acts fall into one of three genres that I could care less about--Pop Punk, Country and Hip Hop.  Anyway, I happened upon these young guys from Austin, Texas.  They have a nice modern interpretation of Blues music.

"Get Yo Shit" is a pretty funny and hard driving number with a good horn section.  CAUTION:  this video is pathetic.  I only posted it so you could hear the tune.

And of course, you know the routine.  If you just can't resist not owning this song for your personal music collection, then click below.