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Whoa Black Betty

In the process of of researching the top 15 greatest blues songs of all time I came across a version of Black Betty I never knew existed. It is listed on the album by Leadbelly that has Gallows Pole on it. This, I never knew. So of course I have to share it with you! Don’t you just love all the little gems we find on our journey? This song was made famous mostly by Ram Jam but I kinda favor Spiderbait…But I never get over how truly awesome Leadbelly was and still is in my opinion. Still lovin’ the roots!

Wiki:

Black Betty” (Roud 11668) is a 20th-century African-American work song often credited to Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter as the author, though the earliest recordings are not by him. Some sources claim it is one of Lead Belly’s many adaptations of earlier folk material; in this case an 18th-century marching cadenceabout a flintlock musket. There are numerous recorded versions, including a cappella, folk, and rock arrangements. The best known modern recordings are rock versions by Ram Jam, Tom Jones, and Spiderbait, all of which were hits.

 

Forgotten Classic

This is one of those songs I heard way way back in the day and fell in love with it the first time I heard it, but I hardly ever heard it since then. An old, but not so old friend of mine on FB posted it this last week and it really struck me how great it was all over again. I love how music has the power to do that. So I just wanted to share it with all of you.

Thanks Karla.

Wiki:

Robin Leonard Trower (born 9 March 1945) is an English rock guitarist and vocalist who achieved success with Procol Harum during the 1960s, and then again as the bandleader of his own power trio.

Bridge of Sighs is the second solo album by the English guitarist and songwriter Robin Trower. It was released in 1974. Bridge of Sighs, his second album after leaving Procol Harum, was a breakthrough album for Trower. Songs from this album, such as “Bridge of Sighs”, “Too Rolling Stoned”, “Day of the Eagle”, and “Little Bit of Sympathy”, have become live concert staples for Trower.

The album was produced by organist Matthew Fisher, formerly Trower’s bandmate in Procol Harum. Acclaimed Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick was this album’s sound engineer.

In a recent interview in Guitar World, Robin Trower explained how the album got its title. Robin said that he had had the first line of the song for years and then one day he saw some sport pages which listed a racehorse called Bridge of Sighs and thought that would be a great title.

Bridge of Sighs (Chrysalis 1057) reached #7 in the United States during a chart stay of 31 weeks. It was certified Gold on 10 September 1974. Early printings of the original album cover had the front image upside-down, and were more greenish in colour.

The title track was covered by Opeth for the special edition of their 2008 album Watershed.

“Day of the Eagle” was covered by Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens on his 3rd solo album Memory Crash. Tesla also covered the song on their 2007 “Real to Reel” album as did Armored Saint on their “Nod to the Old School” record.

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This is Bridge of Sighs.

 

No.7 TAM’s Top 15 Best Blues Songs of All Time

Alright alright alright!!! Back at it. Here we go again gettin’ on down to the nitty gritty. We gotta keep rolling cause we just can’t stop!

“The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down

You can’t let go and can’t hold on

You can’t go back and you can’t stand still

If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will”

That’s what I’m talkin’ bout!

So here we are at number seven, ole lucky number seven. Seven Seven Seven Seven Seven and we roll the dice.

This next artist goes way back and I mean way the hell back. He came up, made some recordings and then the great depression hit and no one bought his music so he went into obscurity until his rediscovery by John Fahey and Henry Vestine in the mid-’60s. Though he had not played the blues for more than 20 years, his skills were largely undiminished.

Wiki:

hard_time_killing_floor

Nehemiah Curtis “Skip” James (June 9, 1902 – October 3, 1969) was an American Delta blues singer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter. Born in Bentonia, Mississippi, United States, he died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He first learned to play guitar from another bluesman from the area, Henry Stuckey. His guitar playing is noted for its dark, minor sound, played in an open D-minor tuning with an intricate fingerpicking technique. James first recorded for Paramount Records in 1931.

His songs have influenced several generations of musicians, being adapted or covered by Kansas Joe McCoy, Robert Johnson, Alan Wilson, Cream, Deep Purple, Chris Thomas King, Alvin Youngblood Hart, The Derek Trucks Band, Beck, Big Sugar, Eric Clapton, John Martyn, Lucinda Williams and Rory Block. He is hailed as “one of the seminal figures of the blues.”

Skip James – Hard Time Killing Floor Blues

This song was re-recorded by Chris Thomas King and used in the movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou, it’s on the movie soundtrack.

No.8 TAM’s Top 15 Best Blues Songs of All Time

I love that we’re in the top ten now, this is where things really start to get interesting. This song first appeared in 1975 on an album called Fandango by that little ole band from Texas. It’s short, sweet and to the point. There’s really not much as far as back story on this song that I can find, so here it is.

Blue Jean Blues by ZZ TOP

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No.9 TAM’s Top 15 Best Blues Songs of All Time

Time to get on down to number nine. But before we do I just want to say that this is one of the hardest and funnest things I’ve done here at The Audio Museum. Not to mention that with each new post I’ve learned something new about the music and the artists that make it. That alone has made this worth doing. I hope you are finding this as fun and enlightening as I am.

This next bluesman  is no stranger to any of us. He was voted 67 out of 100 by Rolling Stone Magazine on their list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. Not bad right? He’s influenced everyone from Jimi Hendrix himself to SRV and countless others. His song Stormy Monday gave BB King the inspiration to pick up his first electric guitar. He wasn’t just a great guitar player but also a fantastic entertainer, here’s T-Bone Walker!

Wiki:

Aaron Thibeaux “T-Bone” Walker (May 28, 1910 – March 16, 1975) was a critically acclaimed American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who was an influential pioneer and innovator of the jump blues and electric blues sound. Walker began his career as a teenager in Dallas in the early 1900s. His mother and stepfather (a member of the Dallas String Band) were musicians, and family friend Blind Lemon Jefferson sometimes came over for dinner.

Walker was admired by Jimi Hendrix who imitated Walker’s trick of playing the guitar with his teeth. “Stormy Monday” was a favorite live number for The Allman Brothers Band. Chuck Berry named Walker and Louis Jordan as his main influences. Walker was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980, and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

tbone_walker_splits_30

T-Bone Walker w/ Jazz At The Philharmonic – Live in UK 1966

“Woman, You Must Be Crazy” (Aaron Walker)
“Goin’ To Chicago Blues” (Aaron Walker)
w/ Dizzy Gillespie, Teddy Wilson, Louis Bellson, Clark Terry, Coleman Hawkins, Zoot Sims, Jimmy Moody, Benny Carter and Bob Cranshaw.

Call MeThe Breeze

Here’s a nice twist on an old classic. If you are a fan of any or all of these bands you will like this. A little gem I found online featuring Stevie Ray Vaughan with Lynrd Skynrd and The Charlie Daniels Band. And they call ME the Breeze!

UPDATE (8-2-18):

I felt this needed to be said on this post since originally posting it. The Breeze has been covered by so many people it’s not even funny. But it was written by JJ Cale.

Call Me the Breeze” is a rock song by JJ Cale. It first appeared on his 1972 debut album, Naturally, as the opening track. The song consists of a 12-bar blues guitar shuffle and features the early use of a drum machine.

Wiki:

John Weldon “J. J.” Cale (December 5, 1938 – July 26, 2013) was an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Though he deliberately avoided the limelight his influence as a musical artist has been widely acknowledged by figures such as Neil Young and Eric Clapton, who described him as “one of the most important artists in the history of rock”. He is considered to be one of the originators of the Tulsa Sound, a loose genre drawing on blues, rockabilly, country, and jazz.

Many songs written by Cale have been recorded by other acts, including “After Midnight” and “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton; “Call Me the Breeze” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, John Mayer, Johnny Cash, and Bobby Bare; “Clyde” by Waylon Jennings and Dr. Hook; “I Got The Same Old Blues” by Captain Beefheart, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Freddie King, and Bryan Ferry; and “Magnolia” by Poco, Beck, Lucinda Williams, Iron and Wine, José Feliciano, Ben Bridwell, John Mayer with Eric Clapton and Sadie Johnson.

In 2008, Cale, along with Clapton, received a Grammy Award for their album The Road to Escondido.

No.10 TAM’s Top 15 Best Blues Songs of All Time

Well we just can’t stay away from these old blues here at The Audio Museum. We love’em we really do. And it sure feels good to finally break into the top ten, now we’re getting somewhere!

After digging deeper into the roots of the blues I came across this gem by Otis Rush called Double Trouble. He wrote and and recorded the song in 1958. And yes Stevie Ray Vaughan eventually renamed his band The Triple Threat Revue to Double Trouble (named after this song) on firing one of his guitarists and female lead singer.

Wiki:

“Double Trouble” is a slow tempo twelve-bar blues notated in 12/8 time in the key of D minor. “The song’s underlying air of quiet desperation stretched to the breaking point is enhanced by brilliant use of dynamics and some truly mind-boggling, strangled guitar fills near the end.” According to Otis Rush, the song’s title was inspired by a comment by a woman upon viewing her hand during a card game “trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, double troubles”.

The song was produced by Willie Dixon and features Rush (guitar and vocal), Dixon (bass), Ike Turner (guitar), Little Brother Montgomery (piano), Harold Ashby and Jackie Brenston (saxophones), and Billy Gayles (drums). Although Rush plays the lead guitar introduction to the song, Turner plays the signature vibrato guitar parts. In 1986, Rush recorded a live version of the song for Blues Interaction – Live in Japan 1986, which was released in 1989.

In 2008, Rush’s original version was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, who called it a “minor-key masterpiece”

 

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Rev. Al and The Pythons

Once again The Audio Museum is proud to announce a new old band. New to me but not to the music scene around Lubbock Texas and surrounding areas. I am so happy to have had the chance to see these guys since the guitar player is an old friend of mine that I haven’t seen in about 20 yrs or so. I am so thankful to his wife Mindy for reaching out and contacting me and giving me the opportunity to see him again.

I first got to know Tony Adams back in the early 90’s when he was playing with Robbin Griffin and fell in love with his sound and style immediately. He tends to fly under the music radar by never really putting his name “out there” but he’s played with some of the greats through out his years and tenure. He is one of the best lead and slide guitarists that you will ever see or hear.

As the night went on I kept thinking I knew the drummer somehow, he just looked familiar to me. Later Tony said he was the same drummer The Robbin Griffin Band! I knew he looked familiar. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with Reverend Al and The Pythons. The Rev. is a great lead man and plays a mean bass and props to the keyboard player who I only spoke briefly with, this guy is amazing and can sing! Can’t wait to these guys again.

What a great group of talented musicians: Al Warner, Terry Vincent, Jaime Moreno, Tony Adams

Enjoy

No.11 TAM’s Top 15 Best Blues Songs of All Time

 

Hello and Welcome Back!

I took a break from the blues countdown on the fact that I was moving. Oh what a nightmare, I hate moving. But I’m back and ready to get the show on the road!

Ok you knew this one was coming, it has been around forever and simply put is one of the greats. I really think I would be amiss if it wasn’t in here somewhere. We can all debate the order of every list we’ve ever seen and heard but content is still king, at least till we get to the top five. But for now I’m happy to just be on the river!

Wiki:

Travelling Riverside Blues,” sometimes called “Mudbone” or “Mud Bone,” is a blues song written and recorded in Dallas, Texas by the bluesman Robert Johnson. Johnson’s June 20, 1937 recording has a typical 12 bar blues structure (though as is common in downhome blues of this era, the length of each verse is in fact thirteen-and-a-half bars of 4/4), played on a single guitar tuned to open G, with a slide. It was first released on the 1961 compilation LP King of the Delta Blues Singers.

  • This was written and originally recorded by Blues great Robert Johnson. Led Zeppelin borrowed heavily from American Blues music.
  • Led Zeppelin first played this for a BBC session in 1969, but the song was never released on an album. It was placed on the Box Set in 1990, and it was also made a bonus track on the Coda album for the Complete Studio Recordings.
  • Jimmy Page used a 12-string acoustic guitar to play this song.
  • The lyric, “I’ve had no lovin’ since my baby been gone” came from B.B. King’s “Woke Up This Morning (My Baby Was Gone).”
  • To get the fast bass beats, John Bonham used “Triplets” on the bass drum – he would use the tip of his toe.
    ~ This information is found here.
~ Robert Johnson – Traveling Riverside Blues
~ Led Zeppelin- Traveling Riverside Blues

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