Friday, June 09, 2006
I am eclectic when it comes to the arts. Music especially is a passion with me. I like some of everything. I do. But the genre I love most is Blues. Downhome, urban, country, traditional, modern, or rhythm and...
Yeah the, my baby done left me, my dog done died, nobody loves me but my mother and she could be lying too, blues
I love them all, from the work songs of the slaves to Robert Johnson out on that Crossroads, Elmore James and Sonny Boy Williamson.. to Bessie Smith, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, BB King and Jimi Hendrix..to Bobby Blue Bland, Koko Taylor and Tyrone Davis.. to Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, Bonnie Raite, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Robert Cray. I love me some Blues.
So, here are two of my favorites. Others will be stoppin' by from time to time.
Jimi Hendrix played great blues, acoustic or electric. Although he was not known as a blues artist, that's where he first drew his inspiration and it was the base of his rock playing. You only had to hear Electric Church Red House or the raunchy, nasty Little Wing to know this was true. Yes, he was the master of lightning fast riffs, distortion, fuzz, and feedback but he could also play a clear sweet acoustic Red House or Muddy Waters' classic Mannish Boy. My cousins, Lavern, Suzan, Kenneth and I share Jimi's November 27th birthday. That is a slammin' date.
Robert Johnson went out on that old crossroads and made a pact with the devil for the guitar talent to take him to fame and fortune. He wrote and recorded 29 songs, and then ole satan came and got him. That's the deal. He didn't realize that he already had the talent or when you make a pact with a cunning entity, you have to pay attention to detail and the fine print. Robert Johnson is famous and would have had fortune had he specified he wanted these things during his lifetime.
His songs raunchy and sexual and clever, have been recorded by the Rolling Stones and especially by Eric Clapton. There have been movies and documentaries and papers and books examining his music and his short life and tragic death at age 27.
His music, clearly classic blues progressions, but his playing was intricate and inventive and definitly a transition to the future electric blues of Muddy Waters and B B King, and influencial to the music of Led Zepplin's Jimmy Page and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Eric Clapton.
Too bad you had those Hellhounds On Your Trail Robert.
But I am grateful for the 29, and thanks for Sweet Home Chicago.