December 9: Junior Wells was born in 1934


Junior Wells (December 9, 1934 – January 15, 1998), born Amos Wells Blakemore Jr., was an American Chicago blues vocalist, harmonica player, and recording artist. Wells, who was best known for his performances and recordings with Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker, and Buddy Guy, also performed with Bonnie Raitt, the Rolling Stones, and Van Morrison.

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December 3: Blind Willie Johnson Dark Was the Night Cold Was the Ground 1929


The greatest example of slide guitar ever recorded
~Jack White

The most intense and startling blues record ever made
~John Clarke

It has been said that in the heart of every man is the yearning to know the divine. to have and understand your connection to God, and that life is a struggle until you resolve it. Whether you agree with this or not, here is one bluesman’s moving take on that struggle. There is no evangelistic sermon here, just Blind Willie’s soulful moan and the loneliest guitar telling you about this yearning in a way that cannot be conveyed in words.
~Judah Bauer (from the MOJO Classic – Blues Heroes)

This is one of my favorite blues songs. An intense yearning for meaning & hope. Just Blind Willie Johnson’s moaning & a killer slide guitar.. that’s all you need.

This is not only an extremely important piece of art, it’s a way to learn something about yourself. Quite simply a song that everybody should offer 3 min of mindful listening to, you will not regret.

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November 21: Dr. John was born in 1940 – Happy Birthday!


You wanna do some livin’ before you die. Do it down in New Orleans…
~Dr. John

When the voice and the vision on the inside is more profound, and more clear and loud than all opinions on the outside, you’ve begun to master your life.
~Dr. John

Dr. John full set at Newport Jazz Festival 2006:

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November 16: The legendary Dan Penn was born in 1941 – Happy Birthday!


At the dark end of the street
That’s where we always meet
Hiding in shadows where we don’t belong
Livin in darkness to hide a wrong
You and me
At the dark end of the street
You and me


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November 15: Little Willie John was born in 1937

“…Take a picture of this
The fields are empty, abandoned ’59 Chevy
Laying in the back seat listening to Little Willie John
Yea, that’s when time stood still…”
– Robbie Robertson – Somewhere Down The Crazy River

William Edward “Little Willie” John (November 15, 1937 – May 26, 1968) was an American rock ‘n’ roll and R&B singer who performed in the 1950s and early 1960s. He is best known for his successes on the record charts, with songs such as “All Around the World” (1955), “Need Your Love So Bad” (1956), and “Fever” (1956). An important figure in R&B music of the 1950s, John was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.


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November 11: Dave Alvin was born in 1955


I started writing poetry before I started writing songs. In my checkered college past I was a creative writing major at Long Beach State University, which had a great writing program, and that’s where I learned all the nuts and bolts that helped me out in songwriting. They forced us to write in traditional forms — sonnets, iambic pentameter — just so we could understand that writing wasn’t just splaying free verse all over the page. But then the more songs I wrote using all those poetic forms, the more my poetry become like prose, almost to the point of journalism…
~Dave Alvin (Interview by Jim Catalano)

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