"Lady Sings The Blues" Billie Holiday
"Black Peter" Grateful Dead
"Born Under a Bad Sign" Albert King. Covered by Hendrix, Clapton, Rita Coolidge
"Can't Find My Way Back Home" Blind Faith
"Cry Baby" by Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters, covered by Janis
"House of the Rising Sun" unknown. 16 year old Georgia Turner was recorded by Alan Lomax in 1937. Covered by Woody Guthrie, Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, Animals, Mark O'Conner-a really evocative violin piece.
I'm kinda with MH2
Understand that the OP has posed a question that might be construed to simply refernce a specific type of music, yet the simple query asks so much more from me.
Yeah, I know what Blues music is when I hear it, in my body and in my soul. Not all music labeled "blues" nor associated lyrics connect with me, but some do, and do so deeply.
I thought I was feeling the Blues and it lead to placing a barrel upside my head, but I found that the Blues is putting the gun back in the drawer and living with an understanding of how selfish I am to even consider such an act.
And it's getting up in the morning, again, and heading for the same commute and job I hate, doing the same redundant tasks I hate, again and again. Knowing it will go on, and on, and on......
Or to continually battle obesity and alcoholism......diet and abstention, failing repeatedly to gluttony and debauchery, only to wake in the middle of the night to regrets, resolution, then lapsing so easily back into cyclical hope and despair....
I grew up in Chicago, so I got an impacted ass full of the urban, modern day version (whatever that means), most of it well-intentioned, earnest, and downright awful. I swear, if I have to endure another Mustang Sally as performed by a bunch of middle-aged white dudes in Hawaiian shirts, I'm liable to off myself too.
By and large, most blues I hear is utterly fuct out. But some folks can punch through and connect. I've had to pull over listening to SRV's Little Wing 'cause I got too emotional. And some is just oozing with the feeling (honest, sad blues or otherwise). Here's a funky "otherwise" that I happen to like a lot:
Speaking of Jimi Hendrix; anybody know his connection to the show Law & Order?
Mariska Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson, is the daughter of bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay and '50s blond bombshell, Jayne Mansfield, who, as her film career waned in the early '60s did some sound studio work with Hendrix.
I can't bring myself to say "Mr. Carlin's wrong, f*#k him." He's too dead to reply. And he's generally right. But whites got the blues. Ga-ron-teed. Think about Jason and the brouhaha over his lost job, etc.
I'm blue because I'm having an impossible time trying to listen to these videos.
Clicking and clacking, can't get them to play.
I'm starting to feel like neebee that-a-way.
If you are black, white, red, yellow, brown, you have a right to be openly Blue.
Or openly Jay, even.
The blues is something only poor people from a certain bygone time in the American south really understand and know.
People from other regions and other times know it only through recorded media or concerts. Even that generation is now passing into the history books.
Will the Blues survive as a cherished musical form into the foreseeable future?
Yes. Because it has a depth and power that steadily calls across the years, with a clear,wailing voice --- long after the times and the people that created the Blues have become a vanishing memory.
The blues is when the shop you are trying to get built, that should have been finished in August still ain't done. The Lathes, Mills, & Welding gear you need are still in L.A. taking up space in a building you need to sell & somewhere in that building are my Lightning Hopkins tapes. & all would be bearable if I could find those tapes & the rest of my blues & jazz tapes, but they are stuffed in there somewhere behind tons of metal.
THE BLUES ARE UNIVERSAL & something anyone can understand.
I was surprised to hear mention made in Robert Mugge’s Deep Blues of the charm called John de Conquer because I’d only run across references to that talisman twice before.
John de Conquer, or sometimes High John de Conquer, is a dried root believers say has magic properties. It can bring luck in love or gambling. In Deep Blues the owner of the Memphis music store Mugge visits expounds on it and another charm before he even begins talking about recordings.
Since I started researching this subject I’ve found the charm cited in blues lyrics by Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Bo Diddley and Dr. John.
High John de Conquer is also mentioned in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.
My own introduction to the legend came in an October 1943 essay in American Mercury magazine by Zora Neale Hurston. In that essay, called High John de Conquer, Ms Hurston described what she said was a legend brought from Africa by transplanted slaves. The legend described a will-of-the-wisp who could not be shackled by the power of the slave owners.
“First off he was a whisper, a will to hope,” Ms Hurston wrote. “Then the whisper put on flesh . . . The sign of the man was a laugh . . . sure to be heard where the work was hardest and the lot most cruel . . . Maybe he was in Texas when the lash fell on a slave in Alabama, but before the blood was dry on the back he was there . . . Somebody in the saddest quarters would feel like laughing and say, ‘Now High John de Conquer, Old Massa couldn’t get the best of him . . .’”
Old Massa couldn’t get the best of him because he didn’t know High John existed. The legendary figure was the slaves’ secret.
In Invisible Man High John de Conquer plays the same role. His existence isn’t mentioned until the narrator turns his back on the cruelty and platitudes of the white world and begins to explore the invisible life of blacks in the Harlem ghetto. The riches of that life aren’t known to the whites because, like High John de Conquer, the secret hasn’t been shared.
The clue High John de Conquer offers about a hidden life intrigues me because it speaks, as much of the music we are listening to speaks, of a hidden community with its own delights and its own quirks and its own peculiarities.
The community in Invisible Man is a black one, but I suspect there are similar communities to which belong anyone powerless, anyone disenfranchised, anyone under the lash that Ms Hurston speaks of.
Significantly, the hero of those communities is not a hero of strength but a hero of wiliness. He’s like Brer Rabbit, and there’s no shame for him in telling lies or being shiftless or devious or crafty. Those are tools he needs for his psychic survival.
Most adults don’t like to think of themselves as employing those tools and it would be hard for us to imagine ourselves into a world in which they were prized, except that we weren’t always adults. We once were children, and as children we had our own secret life of powerlessness with its own songs and chants and taunts and superstitions.
And I’m only going on my own experience here but I have to suspect we didn’t shy from being dishonest, crafty, shifty and devious either.
I’d have to strain to make a connection between the world of blues and the world of children, but when we are looking at the blues in particular and this music in general it might do us well to remember the powerless and sly six-year-olds we used to be.
I saw Leslie West with Mountain at Red Rocks in the summer of 1970, they opened for the Jethro Tull Benefit album tour. We got there early and it was a warm day, Mountain came out for a sound check and played for all of us that were there for close to an hour. That was my second Red Rocks concert, first being the dynamic billing of Ten Years After and Grand Funk Railroad.....ahhhhhhh the golden age of Red Rocks.
R.L. told the story about this song's lyrics once. It was about his wife making him a mayonnaise sandwich. Unfortunately, the mayonnaise had gone rancid and so he went on an told her, it's bad, you know!
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Track two is Soon Forgotten, in which we learn of infidelity which happened on April 12, 1951. A black day for Muddy.
It became know as BLACK THURSDAY for the US Air Force.
April 12, 1951 was nicknamed "Black Thursday" by USAF pilots after three MiG-15 squadrons with 30 aircraft attacked three squadrons of B-29 Superfortress bombers (36 planes) protected by about a hundred F-80 Shooting Star and F-84 Thunderjet fighters. The MiGs were fast enough to fly past the non-swept wing escorts and engage the B-29s. Three B-29s were shot down and seven more were damaged, with no casualties on the Soviet side. Following this US sorties over Korea were halted for approximately three months. US Bomber command was forced to discontinue daylight attacks on Korea, and changed to night missions using small groups of bomber aircraft.--Wikipedia
Yep, there's a peace-out at my place today. Tommy's had a rough week, and he just now had that old bike he bought for a dollar (!) from the guy who needed bus fare (!) and sh!t (!) stolen and the cable cut (!) while he was on a run to the Cigar Monkey for to get me some tobacco and then go to another place to get weed (!) except the guy went there first and then to the tobacco shop and so in a slightly different time frame he might not have had the bike stolen and sh!t.
Mean Talking Blues
Words and Music Adapted by Woody Guthrie
I'm the meanest man that ever had a brain,
All I scatter is aches and pains.
I'm carbolic acid, and a poison face,
And I stand flat-footed in favor of crime and disgrace.
If I ever done a good deed -- I'm sorry of it.
I'm mean in the East, mean in the West,
Mean to the people that I like the best.
I go around a-causin' lot of accidents,
And I push folks down, and I cause train wrecks.
I'm a big disaster -- just goin' somewhere's to happen.
I'm an organized famine -- studyin' now I can be a little bit meaner.
I'm still a whole lot too good to suit myself -- just mean...
I ride around on the subway trains,
Laughin' at the tight shoes dealin' you pain.
And I laugh when the car shakes from side to side,
I laugh my loudest when other people cry.
Can't help it -- I was born good, I guess,
Just like you or anybody else
But then I... just turned off mean..
I hate ev'rybody don't think like me,
And I'd rather see you dead than I'd ever see you free.
Rather see you starved to death
Than see you at work --
And I'm readin' all the books I can
To learn how to hurt --
Daily Misery -- spread diseases,
Keep you without no vote,
Keep you without no union.
Well, I hurt when I see you gettin' 'long so well,
I'd ten times rather see you in the fires of hell.
I can't stand to fixed... see you there all fixed up in that house so nice,
I'd rather keep you in that rotten hole, with the bugs and the lice,
And the roaches, and the termites,
And the sand fleas, and the tater bugs,
And the grub worms, and the stingarees,
And the tarantulas, and the spiders, childs of the earth,
The ticks and the blow-flies --
These is all of my little angels
That go 'round helpin' me do the best parts of my meanness.
Well, I used to be a pretty fair organized feller,
Till I turned a scab and then I turned off yeller,
Fought ev'ry union with teeth and toenail,
And I sprouted a six-inch stinger right in the middle of the tail,
And I growed horns...
And then I cut 'em off, I wanted to fool you.
I hated union ever'where,
'Cause God likes unions
And I hate God!
Well, if I can get the fat to hatin' the lean
That'd tickle me more than anything I've seen,
Then get the colors to fightin' one another,
And friend against friend, and brother... and sister against brother,
That'll be just it.
Everybody's brains a-boilin' in turpentine,
And their teeth fallin' out all up and down the streets,
That'll just suit me fine.
'Cause I hate ever'thing that's union,
And I hate ever'thing that's organized,
And I hate ever'thing that's planned,
And I love to hate and I hate to love!
I'm mean, I'm just mean...
Lord, I wonder what done happened
Ain't nobody here but me
All these empty bottles on the table here
I know I didn't drink all this by myself
I must have a blues hangover
And I don't have change for a grasshopper and that's two crookies
Uh oh, here come Pro
Sent in for this doggie
But he ain't got no money
Look like he done lost everything he ever just had
Ain't that's a come-off
I done gave my baby twenty dollars for a Christmas present
All I got was a slice of jelly cake
And Sam and Nedetta
Now that's a wolf-jenny
Now I'll believe I'll go on back on the stem now
With James, Rudolph and Tom Cat
Get my head bad again
Don't seem like nothin' goin' right for me today
All Right, here I go
Same old thing again
Look out now!
that means u gotta sit down
think about makin' another mistake again
You tell me. A cousin in his early 20's (didn't know him to well - was close to his mom and grandad when I was young, died in a wreck a few weeks ago. A good friend died a couple weeks ago. Another good friend decked the other day and is in bad shape. I feel like my head is gonna explode.
Hello, the Sixtie, my old friend,
I've come to talk to you of then.
The Dignity of Man has flown,
Impressions that I formed then are blown
Away in the passage of the winds of Time,
Such a crime,
Echoing the sounds of silence...in the majority.
The blues are rotten that's for sure. But the music is therapy. I don't listen much but I sure like to play and sing. Funny how the progression for me starts with slow tortured blues, moves to funk with a strong beat, then the blues evaporate completely into hard bop jazz. That's my therapy.
edit: Here's a nice encapsulation of the progression. Good tune too. Gotta love Charles Mingus. Nothing says the blues like a moanin' bari sax.
Somewhere in the world
Are friends I've missed from long ago
Could be drifting by the wayside
Or even dead - I just don´t know
And now my memories are fading
...Like melting footprints in the snow
Sometimes a dream will haunt me
And I see a young girl's face
Was she once for real
And did she really share my space
Within the swirling mists of time
It's hard to keep a track of year and place
I thought about my mother
When she was young and on the road
Hanging out with my musicians
Or camping out in forest groves
Like gray mists conceal horizons
I miss those times we'll share no more
So far my life's a journey
And I wouldn't change for anything
All those years of bold adventures
The highs and lows that make me sing
Within the swirling mists of time
Such sweet memories still often ring.
i don't think the thread title can't be answered in full w/o writing an extensive work of literature; but in brief, the blues is what's killing your soul, one day at a time, w/o hope. The blues covers all aspects of life love, "womins", money, addiction, etc. It's both a confession of hopelessness and a plead for relief through music.
C.J. Dupree and King Curtis explain it better than i:
Champion Jack Dupree and King Curtis explain it better than I do.
i think i posted this on the what song thread at some point; so be it, as it readily answers the question posed by the OP
Messin' With The Blues ≈ Montreaux Jazz Festival 1974 (49:54)
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Featuring Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters & Junior Wells
Players: Pinetop Perkins(piano),,Dallas Taylor(drums), Terry Taylor(guitar & slide guitar) & Bill Wyman(bass)
Junior Wells ≈ Messin' with the Kid
Junior Wells ≈ Hoodoo man blues
Buddy Guy ≈ When You See the Tears from my Eyes
Buddy Guy ≈ Ten Years Ago
Muddy Waters ≈ Hoochie Coochie Man
Muddy Waters ≈ Mannish Boy
Muddy Waters ≈ The Same Thing
Muddy Waters ≈ Got My Mojo Working
Jim Gordon (drummer for Derek and The Dominoes, Delaney & Bonnie, Zappa, Joe Cocker, Dave Mason, etc., composer of the piano outro in “Layla” and the man Clapton called the best drummer he ever worked with) brutally killed his mother with a claw hammer.
Gordon had been hearing voices in his head since the mid-70’s, which his doctor attributed to alcoholism and treated him accordingly.
Obviously a mis-diagnosis, Gordon continued a tortured existence, which inevitably led to him bludgeoning his mother.
Gordon was sentenced to 16 to life and is serving his sentence at the Atascaderio State Hospital in San Luis Obispio.
Good tunes mouse. Back in high my school days I played the East West album until it practically wore through the other side. Mike Bloomfield was truly one of the most influential and underappreciated guitarists of that era. Presently listening to a local Sunday evening blues program they have weekly in Seattle. Great stuff.....
I found this old recording on YouTube, used to listen to the record over and over. My grandma, born in Oklahoma, gave it to me. I love how loose the band is, and you can tell T-Bone is straight DRUNK. I hope you enjoy it.
the "blues" is a musical scale that came about in america in the mid 1900's.
its a mix of a major and a minor scale,
with a lowered 3rd, 5th, and 7th note. These notes are referred to as the blue notes, and no 2nd or 6th note.
cool thing about the blues scale is you can play it on top of major or minor keys, it is a key component to the rock music sound. It allows musicians to riff away without having to worry about key changes between a major key and its relative minor.
also fits really well with "power chords" which are a modified chord where you drop the 3rd note to keep the sound open to be harmonized with major, minor or blues scales.
Goin away to stay x1
I'm goin away to stay x4
I don care where you go x1 (instr)
I'm goin down south x7
The chilly wind don't blow x1 (instr)
I'd rather be dead x5
Sleepin in the ground x1 (instr)
Some black rain x7
Always hangin aroun x1 (instr)
Goin x1 Goin x1 (instr) Goin x1 (instr)
Don't care where you go x1 (instr)
I'm going away to stay x7
I don't care where you go x1
Then a bit of "not-the-blues"-blues: I shall not be moved - Mississippi John Hurt
What is "The Blues"? Whitman College's new mascot!
“The Blues are Whitman’s local mountain range and have long been an important symbol for Whitman and the surrounding community. With their far-reaching and high peaks, the Blues represent both a challenge and a sense of accomplishment. The Blues evoke the expansive skyline of the West, the expansive way Whitman students see the world around them and the strong sense of connectedness amongst the members of the Whitman community and with our local community in the Walla Walla Valley.”
Well, regardless, it beats the mascot it's replacing - "The Fighting Missionaries"
Well the, men don't know, but the little girls understand
When everybody's tryin' to sleep
I'm somewhere making my, midnight creep
Yes in the morning, when the rooster crow
Something tell me, I got to go
I am, a back door man
I am, a back door man
Well the, men don't know, but little girls understand
They, take me to the doctor, shot full o' holes
Nurse cried, please save the soul
Killed him for murder, first degree
Judge's wife cried, let the man go free
I am, a back door man
I am, a back door man
Well the, men don't know, but little girls understand
Stand out there, cop's wife cried
Don't take him down, rather be dead
Six feets in the ground
When you come home you can eat, pork and beans
I eats mo' chicken, any man seen
Got 00:49:31 minutes? Watch the edited version of the documentary Chicago Blues (full version 59 minutes). With Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Floyd Jones, Johnnie Lewis, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, J.B. Hutto, Junior Wells and more.
I got a crazy woman
She got a mind just like a goose
Yeah I got a crazy, crazy, crazy woman
She got a mind just like a goose
I think I'm going down to buy me a toolbox
I believe that woman she got some screws loose
Robert Plant was interviewed in Uncut and asked about the time when he entered the scene in the early 60s:
It was very alluring: There was so much to learn. There was literature, jazz, the unaccompanied folk singer singing "Heave and weigh Santiana", and some off duty policeman from Ireland who would give you a refrain. I remember when Lippmann and Rau, the two German promoters, bought over Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin' Wolf, Skip James and Son House, Bukka White and Ransom Knowling, all those people, a young Muddy Waters, a young Hound Dog Taylor, Otis Spann and Sister Rosetta Tharp, they all came through. Meanwhile, in bohemia, we were in the midst of the post-bebop revolution. Bearded beatniks were wondering around reading Sartre and Camus and listening to Roland Kirk, Cannonball Adderly and A Love Supreme. But it was also very selective and had it's own attitude and atmosphere.
What else did you see?
I remember being in a toilet in Birmingham Town Hall and Sonny Boy Williamson came in to take a leak. He had his grey and purple harlequin suit on, his bowler hat and his umbrella and his briefcase. He was a very tall guy, much taller than me. I said: "Mr. Williamson, all my life, ever since I heard you play, I've been practising my harmonica playing. Can I get your autograph?" He looked at me, shook his manhood and said, "F*#k off, son.". I said, "Thank you." I knew exactly where I stood in the great hall of musical legends, because he was absolutely right, "F*#k off, Planty." Who the f*#k are you? I saw these amazing characters come through who were dazzled by the attention that they got.
Fado influenced Ennio Morricone's 'Spaghetti' Western sound!
Fado is often called "Portuguese Blues", somewhere in the emotional landscape between African drums, Spanish and Arabian ballads, and Delta confessionals. It's undisputed queen was Amalia Rodrigues, who's depth of feeling did more to define the sound than anyone. This lovely classic is a precursor to how ennio used Edda Dell'Orso's soprano as an instrument of mood and feeling in his scores. Today Fado is championed by the great new artist, Mariza, and others.
john's blues, found by some to be sadder than indigo, not as dark as navy,
were found today in the blues bayou just drifting.
so far, according to authorities, no one has come forward to claim the body.
ronnie's blues, found lying unconscious and nearly dead by the side of the road,
were said by officers to have been run over by several dozen motorcycles
and left for dead.
a full recovery is hoped for.
a butterfly morphed into a blues tune yesterday, amazing the scientists
who had found it in a cocoon hanging from a tree in the blues bayou
close to where john's blues were found drifting.
experts say it could be worth millions at auction.
Taj Mahal believes that his 1999 album Kulanjan, which features him playing with the kora master of Mali's Griot tradition Toumani Diabate, "embodies his musical and cultural spirit arriving full circle." To him it was an experience that allowed him to reconnect with his African heritage, striking him with a sense of coming home. He even changed his name to Dadi Kouyate, the first jali name, to drive this point home. Speaking of the experience and demonstrating the breadth of his eclecticism, he has said:
The microphones are listening in on a conversation between a 350-year-old orphan and its long-lost birth parents. I've got so much other music to play. But the point is that after recording with these Africans, basically if I don't play guitar for the rest of my life, that's fine with me....With Kulanjan, I think that Afro-Americans have the opportunity to not only see the instruments and the musicians, but they also see more about their culture and recognize the faces, the walks, the hands, the voices, and the sounds that are not the blues