Tag Archives: The Blues

Montréal

In order to avoid the intense traffic that had already started to build up at 1:30pm, it was suggested that we drive up to Sorel, then take the ferry across the Saint Lawrence River.

The Mini-RV is packed down in that mass of steel somewhere. The ferry run was short and smooth, but it took some of the stress out of the impressive traffic that we had been battling.

The MacDonald Monument at Place du Canada. John A. MacDonald was Canada’s first prime minister. This monument was erected in 1895. There are two cannons flanking the monument, which were used in the Crimean War. Queen Victoria presented the city with the cannons in 1892, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Montreal. The Curator found the cannons quite interesting.

A trip to Montreal would not be complete without a visit to a jazz bar. We stopped by The Upstairs Jazz Club. A wonderful club, with a great atmosphere. The Shawn McPherson Blues Band was the night’s act. McPherson plays a decent harmonica, and the band surrounding him was solid. We were treated to some very good music.


Who Loves You Baby?

Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater

Legendary Chicago bluesman, Eddy Clearwater died today. He was 83. Born Edward Harrington in Macon, Mississippi, Eddy moved to Chicago in 1950, taking on the nickname “Guitar Eddy”. His agent suggested Clear Water, playing off of bluesman Muddy Waters. Eventually that morphed into Eddy Clearwater.

Clearwater perfected his own style of Blues, which he called “rock-a-blues”, a mixture of Blues, rock, rockabilly, country and gospel. His music career extended over six decades, and he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2016.

I first saw Eddy Clearwater live at a club in Des Moines called “Blues on Grand”. I tell you, it was one hell of a show. Of all the Blues acts I saw in Des Moines, I think Clearwater was my favorite. Eddy was such a showman, and I was mesmerized by his guitar play. Clearwater was self taught, and he played the guitar left-handed and upside down. My buddy who was at Blues on Grand with me said, “Watching him play is giving me a headache!” When Clearwater was on stage, he grabbed your attention, and didn’t let you go until he was done with you.

We sat close to the stage, although at BoG, no one sat very far from it. Just before a break, Clearwater called my buddy and I out from the stage. During the intermission, he came over to us and talked to us like we were old friends. Of course, he gave each of us a guitar pick. To this day, I still have mine; it’s fastened to the dash of my old Land Rover.

Rest in peace, Eddy. You will be dearly missed.


Baby, Please Don’t Go

Music Monday:

Lightnin’ Hopkins singing “Baby, Please Don’t Go”.


TajMo

Bluesmen Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ have released their first album together, and are now touring the Globe.

Albany, NY: 8.17; Minneapolis, MN: 9.6; Des Moines, IA: 9.13; Austin, TX 9.22

You’d think an enterprising young man could make something work with those choices.

“There’s something working in life, in the Universe, in the bigger picture, that has nothing to do with commerce and money. I found after 20 years of going after money, that the faster I ran after money, the faster money ran. I finally ran out of breath, and stopped running” — Keb’Mo’

Video courtesy of the PBS Newshour


R.L. Burnside

Happy birthday to Mr R.L. Burnside (1926-2005)


How Blue Can You Get?

A Flashback Friday Edition:

Mr. B.B. King – “Sweet Little Angel”:


The Thrill is Gone…

B.B. King

We lost a legend tonight:

“The King of The Blues”, Mister B.B. King has died. He was 89. RIP.

Photo credit: Charlie Gillett/Redferns/Getty Images


“That’s All Right” at 60

Sun Records 45 "That's All Right"
Sun Records released “That’s All Right”, July 19, 1954.

Sun Records Studio, Memphis 1954
The Sun Records Studio, Memphis 1954. The legendary Sam Phillips is in front, with guitarist Scotty Moore, bassist Bill Black, and some singer named Elvis in the back.

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Blues Legend Johnny Winter passes

Blues legend Johnny Winter

B.B. King once described the albino from Texas as, “Extra white”. Johnny Winter was known for his lightning fast electric slide playing. Muddy Waters said of Winter, “…that guy… He plays eight notes to my one.”

Winter was 70. RIP.


Fullscreen Thunderbird

“You better not look down if you want to keep on flying
Put the hammer down keep it full speed ahead
You better not look back or you might just wind up crying
You can keep it moving if you don’t look down…”

B.B. King – “Better Not Look Down” Lyrics
’66 Thunderbird courtesy of MGM.


Blues Along The River

It was a beautiful day to be outside, building a deck, with the waters of the Chena flowing by. Even the sound of joyriders buzzing up & down the river on their airboats didn’t dampen the good mood. I had the iPod plugged into the job radio shuffling along, when the cabin owner showed up to, “Clean up around the place”.
I assumed that it was her attempt to simply help out, but all she really did was slow me down with endless questions and constant attempts at chit-chat. As it stands, most of what she cleaned up, I’ll have to go over anyway, before we spray the insulation.
Recently, she has started to make several visits to the jobsite, shared her thoughts on still being single, and often mentioning “going out to dinner”, while being vague about who she expects to join her. I’m starting to sense that she has ulterior motives to showing up at my jobsite. However, I’m quite content to remain in the role of Contractor to the Broken Hearted. The pay is better.

With the iPod on shuffle, I suppose it was only a matter of time before a song played that would get a reaction. I heard the familar guitar chords and thought, “Oh oh”. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched for a reaction from the new deck.

“I have a hard time missing you baby, with my pistol in your mouth
Mmm have a hard time missing you baby, with my pistol in your mouth…”

I saw her head flip up as she tried to gauge what she heard.

“You may be thinking ’bout going north, but your brains are staying south…”

Then, from inside the cabin I hear, “What the hell are you listening to?”
Without even looking up from my tape measure I replied, “That’s why they call it The Blues, ma’am.”