Wednesday, May 30, 2012

J. Geils Band--Pack Fair and Square

I suppose the reason I'm partial to 60's and 70's rock is because music from those decades still has a blues flavor to it.  Nothing against New Wave and Punk and other genres from the 80's and 90's, but I definitely prefer my rock music with a hint of blues.

J. Geils is a good example of Classic Rock influenced by The Blues.  Magic Dick is quite a harmonica player and he really boogies in this cover of the Big Walter Price number, "Pack Fair and Square."

For your listening pleasure I posted both the J. Geils version and the Big Walter Price version.

Aren't you lucky.  Amazon carries both versions.  Now you can buy both.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lowell Fulson--Do You Feel It

Something weird happened back in the day.  Lowell released music under three different names.  His real name is apparently Lowell Fulson--with an "n."  But he also released music under the names of Lowell Fulsom--with an "m" and one "l" and Lowell Fullsom with two "l's."

Fascinating huh?  He was like the precursor to Prince.  Prince, because of a contractual dispute with Warner Brothers, changed his name from Prince to that androgynous symbol.  Once the dispute was settled he changed his name back to Prince.

What does any of that have to do with the song I'm about to play?  Nothing.  I just had to try and make this blog post interesting.

Check out this snazzy tune from Lowell Fulson.

To learn more about Lowell Fulson click here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lurrie & Carey Bell--I'll Be Your .44

Carey Bell is from that classic era when blues music made it's exodus from the Mississippi Delta up to Chicago in post-war America.  He played harmonica on Chess Records for a variety of artists including Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon.

Ironically, however, this song really doesn't feature Carey Bell, it's more about Lurrie Bell--his son.  Keeping  Blues music in the family lineage, Lurrie Bell took up guitar and proved to be quite a virtuoso.  He also possesses a real soulful set of pipes.  He won't win American Idol, but that what makes it sound more from the heart.

This song is a finger-snapping tune called "I'll Be Your .44" which, if I'm not mistaken, has Carey Bell's ten year old son (at the time) James on drums.  So it would have been the ultimate family Blues collaboration except that Carey actually doesn't play his harmonica on this track.

If you consider yourself a strong Blues aficionado, then it may be worth the pursuit of this obscure album from the Rooster label, "Son of a Gun."  To show you just how obscure, the only copy carried on Amazon is a $37 CD from Japan.  So go ahead, you have that kind of money, don't you?  Buy it right now.

Learn more about Carey and the Bell's by clicking here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Gary Moore--Cold Black Night

On Saturday May 12th, Blues music lost a historic figure in "Duck" Dunn..  He's not as common a name as the recently deceased Donna Summer, but his contribution to popular music may be equally if not more prodigious.  "Duck" Dunn was the famous Memphis bass guitar player who played on just about everything that came out of the Stax Record Label.  Dunn first gained notoriety with Booker T and The MGs, the creators of the oldies classic "Green Onions."  He later was bass player for John Belushi and The Blues Brothers ( if you've seen the movie, he was the guy with the white guy's afro smoking a pipe and playing bass guitar).  He was an alright dude.

Now that I've completely overshadowed the featured artist...

The featured artist in this post was introduced early on this blog and here he is again.  European 70's rock guitar god Gary Moore transitioned back into the Blues but he didn't forget how to rock.  This tune, "Cold Black Night," is a high intensity thriller with a hard driving beat to match a band like early 70's Deep Purple.

May I suggest that you purchase this song.  In fact, there are at least 4 really good tunes on the whole CD.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Eric Burdon and War--Bare Back Ride

I'm sure most aficionados of Blues would not consider Eric Burdon & War a Blues band.  They'd probably be right.  However, no one can deny that blues was definitely an influence.  Eric Burdon, afterall, was straight out of the Blues influenced "British Invasion" of the early 60's.  One also cannot deny that that this particular song "Bare Back Ride" has a definite blues flavor.  The influential John Lee Hooker boogie rhythm and Lee Oskar's harmonica jam totally push this song into the realm of Blues Music.

I don't know why I'm so defensive about this.  It's not like there is a blues conspiracy against me and my beliefs (or is there?).   I just think that this 1970's gem is the kind of blues I like to hear and I thought you might like it too.

By now you have to admit that my music recommendations are spot on.  You're now thoroughly convinced and you don't even need to question my recommendation.  Just click on the link below and buy.  I don't just recommend the song, I recommend the whole double-CD.  There are a few other solid obscure gems.

One other thing.  If anyone thinks I'm getting rich pitching this music, get a clue.  I've nabbed a total of $1.33 so far this year, so help a brother out.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Edgar Blanchard--Let's Get It

Context is a very important part of listening to music.  The circumstances under which you hear a song can make you hate it or love it.

Such is the story of Edgar Blanchard's song, "Let's Get It."

I have previously mentioned my days as a volunteer DJ at KFAI community radio in Minneapolis.  Back in the mid 80's, KFAI was located at the corner of Bloomington and Lake Streets just south of downtown Minneapolis.  Back then this intersection was the Florence and Normandie equivalent of Minneapolis.  In other words, it was one of the sketchiest areas of the Twin Cities.  Roaming around this area at 2AM was a bit risky to your physical well being.

It just so happened that I had the overnight shift from 2AM to 6AM.  The station was locked up and the only way in was to call from a pay phone on the side of the building and the other DJ would then come down and let me in.

I went to the phone booth and dialed the studio.  It just so happened that the other DJ was currently on the air and couldn't answer the phone.  Just about this time, two nocturnal creatures emerged from the darkness clearly high out of their minds.

It seemed that these two dudes needed to make a phone call too.  And of all the phone booths in the neighborhood, they chose the one right next to me.  I started to worry when it was evident that they really weren't making a phone call.  One guy picked up the phone and put it to his ear but he never put in a quarter and he was whispering to the other guy.

I wanted very badly to just turn my back on these two miscreants and run.  However, every instinct told me that turning my back would have been fatal.  Instead, I just stared them down.  I kept my eyes focused on their every move until finally the DJ in the studio answered the phone.

I made haste around the corner and jumped into the security of the radio station.

Now, I may have been wrong about those two guys.  My life may not have been in danger.  But let's face it, if you're roaming the streets of Bloomington and Lake at 2A you are clearly not out performing philanthropy.

I took a deep breath and settled into the KFAI record library looking for some new music to play for the show and to sooth my ragged nerves.  That is when I found this tune by Edgar Blanchard.  It really is just a simple early R&B/Rock n' Roll beat from New Orleans.  But the context for me was just right and I've loved this song ever since.

I'm guessing the tale of my near death experience moved you so much that you feel compelled to support this blog by actually buying this song.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Albert Collins & The Icebreakers--I Got That Feeling

It was sometime around 1984 on a cold winter's night in Minneapolis when I cajoled some of my fraternity brothers into breaking with their typically lame pop music and go hear the real thing.  I know I was asking a lot of my brothers to give up of their evening of listening to Men Without Hats singing, "The Safety Dance" but, damn it, I just bought a copy of Albert's "Frozen Alive" album and I wasn't going to settle for the same boring scene.

So I take them to The Union Bar (coincidentally the same bar where the "Frozen Alive" album was recorded) and we find a table.  We get a couple beers into us and one of my frat brothers makes some crack like, "This better be good."  I think I responded with, "Up yours."

As soon as the exchange ended, The Icebreakers took the stage.  They started right into it with a low-down blues kind of the like the one you are about to hear.  They are barely thirty seconds into the instrumental when my smartass frat brother leans over to me and shouts, "This is awesome!"

A sense of pride washed through me.  Anyway, below is a cool low-down blues called "I Got That Feeling."  It is from the "Frozen Alive" album.  This album probably won't make it on Rolling Stone's list of top Blues albums, but what do they know.   This is a must have for anyone wanting to hear true Chicago-like blues music.  This album has several great songs including "Frosty" and a funky bastard called "Cold Cuts" featuring the incomparable Johnny B. Gayden on bass guitar.

I hope I didn't hype it too much.

Hey fellows, I'm honest when I say that I've played this song at party's and contrary to what I would have expected, some of my female guests actually liked it.  So I suggest you buy it.  In fact, I think you should buy the whole album.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wynonie Harris--Lovin' Machine

A little while back I posted a song by Buddy Miles, I stated he was the only artist I was aware of that hailed from Omaha, Nebraska.   Well it turns out that one of my favorite old blues shouters, Wynonie Harris, is also from Omaha.  It goes to you just how well I do my research.

Speaking of previous posts, I said in a past post about Ike Turner that his song "Rocket 88" was thought of as the first Rock N' Roll song.  Well there is another camp that believes that Wynonie Harris' song "Good Rockin' Tonight" is the first official Rock N' Roll song.

Wynonie Harris goes pretty far back.  In fact, he might be considered an "Old Fart."  It is alleged that Elvis Presley copied Wynonie's hip swiveling moves.  While this jump blues song sounds old, I just can't resist the foot stomping beat and the wailing tenor sax in this tune "Lovin' Machine."

If you're interested in purchasing this song click on the image below.  If you want to know about Wynonie Harris, click here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

G Love and Special Sauce--Shooting Hoops

G Love and Special Sauce are the intersection where urban Hip-Hop culture meets the Delta Blues.  It is another interesting modern interpretation of The Blues.  The rhythm in this song "Shooting Hoops" has a very strong similarity to the rhythm in my personal favorite blues song of all time, "Born Under A Bad Sign." (see Paul Butterfield post).  I don't fault them or accuse them of stealing the rhythm, they put it to good use.

Judge for yourself.

I'm guessing that you just can't resist the siren's call to buy this song.  Therefore, I have provided a simple means of obtaining it.  Just click on the link below.