July 1: The Late Blues Legend Willie Dixon was born in 1915

The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling, and understanding.
~Willie Dixon

“The blues will always be because the blues are the roots of all American music.”
~Willie Dixon

Chuck Berry Inducts Willie Dixon into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

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June 30: Lucinda Williams released Car Wheels On A Gravel Road in 1998

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June 30: Lucinda Williams released Car Wheels On A Gravel Road in 1998

Car Wheels on a Gravel Road is the fifth studio album by Lucinda Williams, released on June 30, 1998, by Mercury Records. It was recorded and co-produced by Williams in Nashville, Tennessee and Canoga Park, California. The album features guest appearances by Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris.

“Intentionally or not, the album’s common thread seems to be its strongly grounded sense of place — specifically, the Deep South, conveyed through images and numerous references to specific towns. Many songs are set, in some way, in the middle or aftermath of not-quite-resolved love affairs, as Williams meditates on the complexities of human passion. Even her simplest songs have more going on under the surface than their poetic structures might indicate. In the end, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road is Williams’ third straight winner; although she might not be the most prolific songwriter of the ’90s, she’s certainly one of the most brilliant.”
– Steve Huey (Allmusic)

Car Wheels on a Gravel Road won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album.


The Title track, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (Live 2009):

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June 10: The late great Howlin Wolf was born in 1910

Chester Arthur Burnett (June 10, 1910 – January 10, 1976), known as Howlin’ Wolf, was an influential American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player.

With a booming voice and looming physical presence, Burnett is commonly ranked among the leading performers in electric blues; musician and critic Cub Koda declared, “no one could match Howlin’ Wolf for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits.” A number of songs written or popularized by Burnett—such as “Smokestack Lightnin'”, “Back Door Man”, “Killing Floor” and “Spoonful”—have become blues and blues rock standards.

Allmusic:

“A Robert Johnson may have possessed more lyrical insight, a Muddy Waters more dignity, and a B.B. King certainly more technical expertise, but no one could match him for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits.”

Very fine documentary, The Howlin’ Wolf Story – The Secret History Of Rock and Roll (playlist with 8 videos):

Buddy Guy (to Rolling Stone Magazine):

“And he used to put on such a show. He would get down on the floor, crawl like a wolf and sing in that voice: “I’m a tail dragger.” He would do this boogie-woogie thing, around and around — like the kids used to do with the hula hoops, where you had to go around and around at your waist, to keep the hoop going. That was the kind of shit he was doing. I’d see that and think, “Man, there goes the Wolf.“”

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May 8: Blues Legend Robert Johnson Birthday

 

“Just look at the picture of him with the acoustic guitar: His fingers are in the weirdest position. If you’re a guitar player looking at that, you know this is a guy who’s not even thinking; he’s just there. … The soul of his creative originality plays a huge part in music making for everyone who’s ever written a song and really known what they’re doing.”
~Neil Young

“You think you’re getting a handle on playing the blues, and then you hear Robert Johnson — some of the rhythms he’s doing and playing and singing at the same time, you think, ‘This guy must have three brains!’ ”
~Keith Richards

Favorite album? I think the Robert Johnson album. I listen to that quite a bit still.
~Bob Dylan (Rockline interview – June 1985)

Cross Road Blues:

I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
Asked the Lord above “Have mercy, save poor Bob, if you please”

Yeoo, standin’ at the crossroad, I tried to flag a ride
Standin’ at The Crossroads, I tried to flag a ride
Ain’t nobody seem to know me, everybody pass me by

Check out:

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Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones – Live At The Checkerboard Lounge (videos)

On 22 November 1981, in the middle of their mammoth American tour, the Rolling Stones arrived in Chicago prior to playing 3 nights at the Rosemont Horizon. Long influenced by the Chicago blues, the band paid a visit to Buddy Guy’s club the Checkerboard Lounge to see the legendary bluesman perform. It didn’t take long before Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart were joining in on stage and later Buddy Guy and Lefty Dizz also played their part. It was a unique occasion that was fortunately captured on camera. Now, restored from the original footage and with sound mixed and mastered by Bob Clearmountain, this amazing blues night is being made available in an official release for the first time.
-The Rolling Stones’ YouTube channel

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May 1: The late blues legend Little Walter was born in 1930

..king of all post-war blues harpists,…. The fiery harmonica wizard took the humble mouth organ in dazzling amplified directions that were unimaginable prior to his ascendancy.
~Bill Dahl (allmusic.com)

Induction of Little Walter into R&R Hall of Fame in 2008:

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