10 Great old acoustic blues songs

“I’m a bluesman moving through a blues-soaked America, a blues-soaked world, a planet where catastrophe and celebration- joy and pain sit side by side. The blues started off in some field, some plantation, in some mind, in some imagination, in some heart. The blues blew over to the next plantation, and then the next state. The blues went south to north, got electrified and even sanctified. The blues got mixed up with jazz and gospel and rock and roll.”
― Cornel West, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir

If you don’t know the blues… there’s no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock and roll or any other form of popular music.
-Keith Richards

The blues are the roots and the other musics are the fruits. It’s better keeping the roots alive, because it means better fruits from now on. The blues are the roots of all American music. As long as American music survives, so will the blues.
-Willie Dixon

Here´s a list with 10 GREAT old acoustic blues songs. I´ve added youtube “videos” & a spotify playlist.

 

Blind Willie Johnson – Dark was the night, cold was the ground (1927/29)

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Blind Lemon Jefferson – Black Snake Moan (1927)

Aaaaah, I ain’t got no mama now
Aaaaah, I ain’t got no mama now
She told me late last night, “You don’t need no mama no how”

White folks hear the blues come out, but they don’t know how it got there.
-Ma Rainey

Ma Rainey – Deep Moaning Blues (1928)

Mmmn, mmmn
Mmmn, mmmn

My bell rang this morning, didn’t know which way to go
My bell rang this morning, didn’t know which way to go
I had the blues so bad, I sit right down on my floor

Tampa Red and Georgia Tom – “It’s Tight Like That” (1928)

Listen here folk, wanna sing a little song
Don’t get mad, we don’t mean no harm

You know it’s tight like that, beedle um b__
Boy it’s tight like that, beedle um b__
Oh you hear me talking to ya,
I mean it’s tight like that

Bessie Smith – Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out (1929)

Once I lived the life of a millionaire
Spendin’ my money, I didn’t care
I carried my friends out for a good time
Buying bootleg liquor, champagne and wine

Charley Patton – Pony Blues (1929)

Baby, saddle my pony, saddle up my black mare
Baby, saddle my pony, saddle up my black mare
I’m gonna find a rider, baby, in the world somewhere

Skip James – Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues (1931)

Hard time here and everywhere you go
Times is harder than ever been before

And the people are driftin’ from door to door
Can’t find no heaven, I don’t care where they go

Hear me tell you people, just before I go
These hard times will kill you just dry long so

“When Johnson started singing, he seemed like a guy who could have sprung from the head of Zeus in full armor.”
― Bob Dylan, Chronicles, Vol. 1

Robert Johnson – Me And The Devil Blues (1937)

Early this morning
When you knocked upon my door
Early this morning, ooh
When you knocked upon my door
And I said “hello Satan
I believe it’s time to go”

Bukka White – Shake ‘Em On Down (1937)

Yes, you’re a nice girl, mama
And little girl
Night before day
We gonna
Shake ’em on down

Lead Belly – Cotton Fields (1940)

When I was a little bitty baby
My mama would rock me in the cradle
In them old cotton fields back home

Spotify playlist:

-Egil

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