Documentary: Eric Clapton – A Life in 12 Bars

Documentary charting the life of Eric Clapton, widely renowned as one of the greatest performers of all time. But behind the scenes lay restlessness and tragedy. The insatiable search to grow his artistic voice left fans surprised as he constantly quit successful bands, from the groundbreaking Yardbirds to 60s supergroup Cream. His isolated pursuit of his craft, and fear of selling out, served as a catalyst for his evolution as an artist. Continue reading “Documentary: Eric Clapton – A Life in 12 Bars”

November 27: Robert Johnson recorded “Cross Road Blues” in 1936

robert_johnson

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”

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

You want to know how good the blues can get? Well, this is it.
~Keith Richards (about Robert Johnson)

Wikipedia:

Cross Road Blues” is a blues song written and recorded by American blues artist Robert Johnson in 1936. It is a solo performance in the Delta blues-style with Johnson’s vocal accompanied by his acoustic slide guitar. Although its lyrics do not contain any specific references, the song has become part of the Robert Johnson mythology as referring to the place where he supposedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his musical talents

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The Best Songs: Come On In My Kitchen by Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson by Robert Crumb

 

If I hadn’t heard the Robert Johnson record when I did, there probably would have been hundreds of lines of mine that would have been shut down—that I wouldn’t have felt free enough or upraised enough to write.

— Bob Dylan
Chronicles: Volume One

Wikipedia:

Come On in My Kitchen” is a blues song by Robert Johnson. Johnson recorded the song on November 23, 1936 at the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas – his first recording session. The melody is based on the song cycle by the string band the Mississippi Sheiks, “Sitting on Top of the World” (1930)/Things About Coming My Way (1931)/I’ll Be Gone, Long Gone (1932)/Hitting The Numbers (1934).

Johnson’s arrangement on slide guitar (in open tuning, commonly thought to be open G) is based on Tampa Red’s recording of the same tune with the title “Things ‘Bout Coming My Way”. Tampa Red had recorded an instrumental version in 1936, and the song had been recorded earlier by him in 1931, and by Kokomo Arnold in 1935 (Tampa Red may in fact have been the first to use the melody with his song “You Got To Reap What You Sow” (1929) based on Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell’s version).

Johnson’s recording was released on the Vocalion label (no. 03563) as a “race record” – cheap records for the black consumer market. The song was among those compiled on the King of the Delta Blues Singers LP in the 1960s. (A slower alternate take was also later found and released on CD collections; this version also has ten extra lines of lyrics.)

Come on in my kitchen by Robert Johnson:

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Classic concert: Muddy Waters & Rolling Stones Live at the Checkerboard Lounge, November 22 1981

 

Live at the Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 1981 is a concert video and live album by American blues musician Muddy Waters and members of British rock band the Rolling Stones. In the middle their American tour, the Rolling Stones arrived in Chicago for a three-night run at the Rosemont HorizonOn their night off, several of the Stones hit Buddy Guy’s club, the Checkerboard Lounge, to see Muddy Waters and his band (which featured guitarist John Primer and harpist George “Mojo” Buford at the time). An impromptu blues jam ensued, and before the night was done, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Ian Stewart, Lefty Dizz, Junior Wells, and Guy himself had all appeared on the stage with Waters and his band. (Allmusic)

It was recorded on November 22, 1981 by David Hewitt on the Record Plant Black Truck, mixed by Bob Clearmountain, and released on July 10, 2012.

The Checkerboard Lounge was a blues club in Bronzeville, on the South Side of Chicago, which was established in 1972 by Buddy Guy and L.C. Thurman. During the club’s existence, it frequently hosted musical acts including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Magic Slim, Vance Kelly, and Chuck Berry. Continue reading “Classic concert: Muddy Waters & Rolling Stones Live at the Checkerboard Lounge, November 22 1981”

Classic album: B.B. King – Live at The Regal 1965

“B.B. King is not only a timeless singer and guitarist, he’s also a natural-born entertainer, and on Live at the Regal the listener is treated to an exhibition of all three of his talents.”
– Allmusic

Live at the Regal is a 1965 live album by American blues guitarist and singer B.B. King. It was recorded on November 21, 1964 at the Regal Theater in Chicago. The album is widely heralded as one of the greatest blues albums ever recorded and is #141 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2005, Live at the Regal was selected for permanent preservation in the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress in the United States.

“Ladies and gentlemen, how about a nice warm round of applause to welcome the world’s greatest blues singer, the king of the blues; B.B. King.”

This is how one of the best live blues albums ever made starts,  we get 35 minutes of blues captured just as blues music was designed to be heard, live and loud! Continue reading “Classic album: B.B. King – Live at The Regal 1965”

November 11: Dave Alvin was born in 1955

dave-alvin

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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