Category Archives: Blues

Blues on Thursday!

Albert Collins’ (see previous post)  Texan style blues is today’s pick.

The track is from the “Complete Imperial Recordings,” Disc  2 which is an excellent compilation. So go and get it here!


Blues On Thursday: Rosco Gordon — Hey Hey Girl

Roscoe Gordon was born 1928 in Memphis and would become one of the legendary Beale Street Blues men. He created the beat that became known as the Rosco Rhythm which is referred to as the foundation of Jamican Bluebeat and Reggae.

His early recordings were for Sun Records.  He later signed with Chess, VeeJay and RPM records.

Rosco Gordon died of a heart attack in 2002 shortly after filming a documentary about Blues musicians who returned to Memphis t pay tribute to Sam Phillips.


Willie Nix — Trucking Little Woman

Willie Nix, born 1922 in Memphis, TN, started tap dancing as a child and in the 40’s worked as both  dancer and comedian in a number of variety shows. He recorded for Memphis and Chicago labels (RPM, Sun, Chess and Chance) but never saw the success he definitely deserved.

Willie Nix played with such Blues greats as B. B. King, Joe Hill, Elmore Morris and Sonny Boy Williamson.  He played the drums and guitar.

His trademark driving beat tunes and witty lyrics can be found on numerous compilation albums.

Trucking Little Woman

Calvin Leavy — Is It Worth All That I’m Going Through?

Most of us probably have asked themselves this question at one point in their lives. And it is exactly this type of question that makes us aware of the significance of two very short, very simple words: yes and no. I couldn’t agree more with the 17th century Spanish Jesuit Balthasar Gracian who said that “No and Yes are words quickly said,” and that “they need a great amount of thought before you utter them.”

Back to the music, though. Calvin Leavy’s is a sad story. He was born in 1940 in Arkansas as the youngest of 15 children. He was off to a good start, first locally with his band The Leavy Brothers and later even nationally. His most famous song is “Cummins Prison Farm” whose lyrics draw from one of the Leavy Brother’s prison experience. The song, clearly a Blues tune, reached the R&B charts in 1970.

“Is It Worth All That I’m Going Through” was recorded in the late 70’s with his new group The Professionals. It is more of a Deep Soul than a Blues tune. You find his riveting electric Blues titles on two compilations. “The Best of Calvin Leavy ,”(TAM, 2000) and “Cummins Prison Farm,” (P-Vine 2003).

Unfortunately, Calvin Leavy was arrested in a drug related offence and sentenced to a life behind bars. He died in 2010 only 18 months before being eligible for parole. May his soul rest in peace. He truly left a legacy of wonderful Blues and Soul music behind.

The big question

A Candle For Louisiana Red

It is such a shame! I heard only a few days ago of his passing. A German Blues fan  keeps me informed about such things.  Louisiana Red died Feb. 25, 2012, at age 79 at a hospital in Hannover, Germany. He  lived  there since 1981 with his wife Dora.

With him, another through and through traditional and genuine blues man is gone.

RIP Louisiana Red

Blues on Thursday: Billy Love — Hart’s Bread Boogie

When I first read the title of the track, I thought it might be a misspelling. “Hart’s” instead of “Heart’s” maybe. But that didn’t make much sense either. “Hard Bread” maybe? Well, I found out that there used to be a place in Memphis,   the Hart’s Bakery, which explains the title … Especially since Hart’s Bread Boogie was recorded for Sun Records in Memphis. Of course, it is a commercial for the company.

I also found some info on Billy Love, who’s probably better known as Billy “Red” Love. He was born on Dec. 8, 1929 in Memphis and died May 2nd, 1975 in Colorado Springs. His real name was Milton Morse Love.

Billy Love not only played the piano but also was a songwriter and arranger for Sam Phillips’ Sun Records. According to the Black Cat Rockabilly site, Billy also”did some session work for Phillips, backing Walter Horton, Rufus Thomas and Willie Nix, before he got the chance to cut his own record as a singer-pianist.”


Blues on Thursday: Little Milton — Lookin’ For My Baby




I was watching the movie Crossroads the other day and knowing I was not only hopelessly behind with my posts in general but even more so with the Blues tunes, I knew  I had to find the soundtracks I liked … Continue reading

A Candle For Etta James … Sweet Memories

I meant to post Etta James’s candle right after I was back from my break. Today I noticed, though, that I have not done it. So here it is: a candle for the legend. R.I.P Etta. You will always be remembered.


Francine Reed — For Your Precious Love

Happy Valentine’s day to everyone! 


Blues On Thursday — Blue To The (T-)Bone

Everyone knows by now that I am somewhat partial to the blues guitar. So if two greats like T-Bone Walker and BB King are playing together on the same stage, I am in blues heaven …

And here’s the master playing Stormy Monday

And here are a few of my T-Bone favorites:

Long Lost Lover Blues

The Sun Went Down

Blues Is A Woman




Crossroads Festival 2010 — B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Jimmy Vaughn, Buddy Guy …

Okay people, today is our 31st wedding anniversary, and Mr. Raggedy, my chief music scout, surprised me this morning with a fantastic clip of  some of the greatest blues musicians alive. (I hope, however, the song itself is not supposed to be a hint.)

Howlin’ Wolf — Who’s Been Talking

“Well, good bye baby, hate to see you go …”

From the Wolf’s London Sessions album, one of my all-time favorites.  This is quite a glamorous assembly of musicians playing on this record. Steve Winwood plays the organ, Charlie Watts the drums, Bill Wyman Shaker and Cowbells, and Eric Clapton guitar.

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Paul Gayten — Ain’t Nothing Happening

Here’s  a fine piece of jump blues by Paul Gayten, the nephew of Little Brother Montgomery, a blues pianist. Paul followed in his uncle’s footsteps and began playing the piano. Still in his teens, he performed with local bands and, on the side, established his own band Gayten’s Sizzling Six. 

Gayten tried his hand at various branches of the music business including being a bandleader, a label owner, songwriter, and a record producer.

The war years he spent leading the Army band in Biloxi, Mississippi. Once back in New Orleans, created a new trio which became a resident band at the renowned  Club Robin Hood. Two of the first New Orleans R’n B era hits, True and Since I Fell For You, were recorded by Gayten’s trio in 1947. 

Two years later, his trio had grown into a nine-piece band and, having signed up with Regal Records, he wrote For You My Love which hit # 1 on the R’nB charts with Larry Darnell. His band was in high demand and for a while appeared with such greats as Dizzy Gillespy and Charlie Parker. 

In 1952, Gayten joined Okeh Records, but only a year later he gave up touring to join Chess Records.  At Chess, he applied his talent to song writing, promoting, and talent scouting for the label — still recording and being a part time musician. He discovered Clarence Frogman Henry, for example, whose first hit, Ain’t Got No Home, was produced by Gayten.

After a multifaceted career as singer, song writer, producer, and band leader Paul Gayten and his wife moved to Los Angeles in 1960 where he ran the West Coast Chess Record enterprise. In 1968, finally, he established his very own label, Pzazz. (For a Pzazz discography, please go here.)

Paul Gayten died March 26, 1991 in Los Angeles. 



Eddie Kirkland and The Italian American Blues Band — Burnin’ Love

Eddie Kirkland was born August 16, 1923 in Jamaica, raised in Alabama. Also known as the “Gypsy of the Blues” due to his heavy touring, he played with the blues greats.  Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Honeyboy Edwards, and Ruth Brown for example. 

Until his death on February 27, 2011 he regularly toured the U.S. and Europe, wrote and recorded albums. 

Today’s song is taken from his 1995 album The Devil and Other Blues Demons (Trix). This is an album you should definitely check out, if you like your blues electric and unadulterated.



… And you all know I love this tune.

Z. Z. Hill — I Don’t Need Half A Love

Today’s song is from ZZ Hill’s 1975 album Keep On Lovin’ You (United Artists Records.) It was first released in 1974 as a single b/w Friendship Only Goes So Far which I would love to hear. The music arrangement, especially horns and guitar, is right after my taste.

Funny enough, Discogs shows the album assigned to the Funk/Soul genre. I would have added the Blues label, too. The other track from the album, I consider great is Who Ever’s Thrilling You Is Killing Me, an Allan Toussaint composition.

This truly versatile artist left us way too soon. RIP Z.Z.



And here’s the YouTube clip of Who Ever’s Thrilling You … the other favorite of mine on this album.

Blues on Thursday: Junior Kimbrough — Work Me



Junior Kimbrough is one of the artists I discovered only recently — and, without a doubt, I am happy I did. His music, in my opinion, the missing link between Delta Blues and Chicago Blues.

Unfortunately, Junior Kimbrough released his first album by the time he was already 62 years old. He died five years later of heart failure. (Find a nice bio and discography here.)

Blues on Thursday: Albert Collins — And Then It Started Raining

Albert Collins (October 1, 1932 – November 24, 1993), the Texas bluesman with the distinct “icy” clear guitar sound, started recording in 1958. He started his career playing the Houston clubs and venues, but later moved to Kansas City, ending up moving between Houston and San Francisco. After years of only moderate success, he signed up with Alligator Records in 1977 where he recorded several albums that were nominated for a Grammy award. In 1983,  he won the W. C. Handy Award for his album Don’t Lose Your Cool. The album won the award for Best Blues Album of the Year. In 1987, He shared a Grammy for the album Showdown!  with Robert Cray and Johnny Copeland with whom he had recorded the album in 1986. His solo release Cold Snap was nominated for a Grammy the following year.

While on a tour in Switzerland in 1993 , Collins fell ill, and later was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer which had already spread to his liver. He died in November 1993 at his home in Las Vegas.

Albert Collins has influenced many contemporary Blues artists: Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughan  among others.



Here’s the crystal clear trademark sound of Albert Collins’ guitar on Blues Thursday.



Blues on Thursday: Jimmy Reed — Honest I Do



The song was first recorded in 1957 for the Vee-Jay label. You’ll find it on Blues Masters: The Very Best of Jimmy Reed.

Blues Thursday at SOTS: Otis Rush — All Your Love



Blues Thursday at SOTS: Johnny Copeland Special

Does this happen to you too? Sometimes when the telephone rings, I am afraid to answer because it might be a neighbor complaining about the music being too loud. That’s what happened when I was writing today’s post. I just can’t listen to a blues guitar at what others consider a tolerable volume … Wasn’t a neighbor calling, though.


Love Her With A Feeling

Bye Bye Baby

St. Louis Blues




Blues Thursday at SOTS

Dammit! Is it Thursday already? Time for some Blues again, I guess. To be honest, I feel like listening to Blues today is not enhancing my mood at all. I’m kind of down, and the worst thing to do in such a situation is to listen to someone singing the Blues. On the other hand, Blues Thursday is Blues Thursday, regardless of how I feel.


Tad Robinson — Dying From The Blues

Buddy Guy — Sit and Cry (The Blues)

Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley  — Going Down Slow



Blues on Thursday: Johnny Guitar Watson — Those Lonely, Lonely Nights

Not much time today!




Hubby and I were watching Hustle and Flow last night. I know that’s an old one — but good movies never really get old. Terrence Howard once again proved to be an outstanding actor. The rest of the crew was … Continue reading

Blues on Thursday: Birthday Bash for Emmeni

I was terribly lazy this week. Blame it on the crazy heat. But I wouldn’t want to miss treating my very first blog fan to a well deserved b-day party. Emmeni I hope you enjoy the show.


John Lee Hooker — You Know, I Know (The Real Folk Blues/More Real Folk Blues)

Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughn — Prideand Joy (In Session)

Muddy Waters — She’s 19 Years Old  (Chess Years, Disc 4)

Champion Jack Durpree — Tell Me When (Women Blues)

Bobby Blue Bland — I’ll Be Your Fool Once More (Reflections in Blue)

Etta James — Don’t Cry, Baby (Essential Etta James, Disc 1)

Howlin’ Wolf — Cause of it All (The Power of the Voice)



Blues on Thursday: Jimmy Reed — Hush Hush

Time for the Blues again. Today’s pick is by Jimmy Reed. More about/from this artist here.



Blues On Thursday: Howlin’ Wolf Special

I haven’t had a Wolf day in quite a while — which is a shame. So, to make up for this inexcusable neglect, we’ll have a little Howlin’ Wolf Special.

The Wolf is the one bluesman who always appears to be emotionally close to his songs. Also, he has a birthday tomorrow.


Howlin’ Blues (Change My Way)

Country Sugar Mama (The Real Folk Blues)

The Sun Is Rising (The Power Of The Voice)

Get the Wolf’s music!

Have a howlinnnnnnn’ good time!



Blues on Thursday: J. B. Lenoir — Born Dead

J. B. Lenoir sure has nothing good to say about Mississippi. 



Blues on Thursday: Tad Robinson — Did You Ever Wonder

I just love this guy. This track is the title track from his 2004 album Did You Ever Wonder  (Severn, 2004). 

Here is the man live



Bobby Blue Bland — Friday the 13th Child

From His California Album (Geffen, 1973) Friday the 13th Child.



John Lee Hooker — The Waterfront

Today, on another Blues Thursday, I’ll post a piece by John Lee Hooker that is somewhat different from what we usually associate with the legendary name. I love Bobby Blue Bland’s version with the strings and orchestra background. But when I heard John Lee Hooker’s quiet and pensive version of The Waterfront, I got goose-flesh all over; hearing his trademark booming voice in such a subdued way, is quite touching.

The song is on his Real Folk Blues Album (Chess, 2002)



Yours ol’ Raggedy wishes you a very happy Blues Thursday!

Robert Johnson Centennial

Blues lovers all over the world will celebrate Robert Johnson’s 100’s birthday this year. The artist, equally famous for the ominous story about how he acquired his superb musical skills and his tragic death at the age of only  27, was born on May 8, 1911 in Hazelhurst, MS.

I’ve read this great article about him in the USA Today and thought I should share it with you on Blues Thursday.

And here is the events calendar of the Centennial Celebration Festival in Chicago, IL June 10 -12, 2011

And here’s Honeyboy Edwards’ take on Sweet Home Chicago



John Lee Hooker — Take A Look At Yourself

Happy Blues Thursday everybody! Today’s pick is one of my JLH favorites. Take A Look At Yourself  is a perfect combination of Soul, Gospel and Blues tunes — and totally John Lee Hooker.



Fenton Robinson — Directly From My Heart To You

Blues on Thursday  Blues on Thursday Blues on Thursday

Happy Thursday everyone! Today is kind of special to me. It’s our 35th anniversary … Can’t believe it, but it’s true.

Today’s Blues track is by Fenton Robinson, and it is my kind of Blues … Rich, rhythmic, and lazy. Directly Form My Heart To You is from Fenton Robinson’s album Somebody Loan Me A Dime(Alligator Records, 1990).

Get this album!

More about Fenton Robinson here.




Okay, my favorite Aussi just informed me about the Little Richard version — the original.  You have to hear this one!

The next version is a killer: Frank Zappa and Don & Dewey. I knew Frank Zappa of course, but never heard of Don and Dewey. There are some very interesting clips by them on YouTube. Check them out!

Pinetop Perkins (video)

Emmeni brought this clip to my attention. It is def. worth watching. And the CD he and his illustrious friends have released should be on every blues fan’s to-get-list.

Posted by Raggedy at 3/24/2011 07:13:00 PM 0 comments  

Blues on Thursday: Joe Hill Louis — She Treats Me Mean and Evil

Buddy Guy — Are You Losing Your Mind

From the album Stone Crazy (Alligator, 1981)

This album is very good. My kind of Blues … Chicago Blues. As Soultaker would say, it’s a “Hennessy” kind of album. Avoid any distraction, just sit down with a glass of your favorite drink to sip on — and forget about the ordinary things in life.
And just for the fun of it:

Hm … looks like this post has turned into a spontaneous Special … Blame the guitar freak in me.

Posted by Raggedy at 2/23/2011 06:13:00 PM 0 comments  

Joe Medwick — I Came A Long Ways



(Get the album!)


There have been many adaptations to A Change Is Gonna Come, it’s difficult to find one that doesn’t sound like a mere re-make of the original. But when I heard Joe Medwick’s I Came A Long Ways, I considered it special — don’t ask me why. Maybe it’s the full sound of the organ and the intensity of the intro line … I have no clue. But I sure love the song.




>A Bucketful of the Blues

>Blues on Thursday … Blues on Thursday … Blues on Thursday …


I’ve Been Hurt — Big Lucky Carter
Dog Man — Big Amos Patton
Trouble Is My Name — Don Hines

The album from which the songs were taken is available here.

>Francine Reed — Wild Women Don’t Get The Blues (Vid.)

>This is what I love about blogging: There are always people around who know artists I’ve never heard about. It just so happened that Marc sent me that wonderful For Your Precious Love cover by Francine Reed. And I was fascinated by her voice — intoxicated even. So, I went hunting for more info about and music by her.
Here is a short bio from the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame website and a YouTube clip that convinced me that I need to change … I think I should be a wild woman from now on. lol No more Blues and such. Sounds good, huh.

>Juke Boy Bonner — I’m In The Big City

>Blues on Thursday  bLueS oN thUrsdAy  Blues on Thursday

I just found him while surfing the Tube … and I’m In The Big City I definitely like. It’s from his album Life Gave Me A Dirty Deal, (Arhoolie Records, 1993). This is my kind of Blues. Nice pace, neat harp, and a crisp guitar …

>ZZ Hill — The Greatest Love


I admit I never knew this side of ZZ Hill. For the longest time I thought of him in terms of watered down Blues songs. Well, I just found a soft and silky Southern Soul piece by  him on the Kent Southern Soul Brothers album presenting Clay Hammond and ZZ Hill. I have listened to the song at least five times since I dug it out. I guess that means I really like it, and that’s why I want to share it with you.
If you like Southern Soul, you should get the Cd — and if you haven’t heard of Clay Hammond yet, you’re destined to discover an awesome vocalist in the best of Sam Cooke tradition. 

>Willie Hutch — Stormy Monday

>Blues On Thursday     Blues On Thursday

Today’s track is from Willie Hutch’s 1976  album Concert in Blues (Motown) 
The excellent pianist is Harold Johnson.
Find the album here.

>Clay Hammond — The Good Side Of My Girl


I am in the mood for a voice resembling Sam Cooke’s set against a backdrop of a soft guitar, a moaning harp, interspersed with the sound of a Hammond organ. Top the whole thing with perfect female background vocals and a driving drum beat showing the song its direction. I could have said I am in the mood for some Southern Soul — but that just won’t do it.

For a comprehensive discography please go here.

>Big Lucky Carter — Hurricane Blues (and an Interview)



Take it from one who’s been there: oral history.

>Matt "Guitar" Murphy — Guitar Boogie (live)


“Probably best known for playing behind the Blues Brothers (and appearing prominently in their 1980 hit movie), Matt “Guitar” Murphydeserves enshrinement in the blues-guitar hall of fame anyway.” (Bill Dahl, allmusic) The list of high-carat blues bands he played with is fascinating. Howlin’ Wolf, Memphis Slim, Otis Rush, Ike Turner — Matt Murphy played with all of these blues greats. 
The artist was born in Mississippi (of course) on December 29, 1929.  And he was busily touring the country until 2003 when he suffered a stroke during an appearance in Nashville, TN. 

And this is the maestro in 2010 with the James Cotton Blues Band at the Chicago Blues Fest

>Albert King — Match Box Blues


Two Blues greats in session: Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughn — Match Box Blues, live

Now, that’s the kind of Blues on Thursday I love!

>Janis Joplin Special — Get It While You Can, Cry Baby, Piece Of My Heart, A Woman Left Lonely


Lighting a candle for Janice won’t do — it has to be something more intense in her case. So I thought I’
light a fire for her. No skimpy stuff here!


This is Blues Thursday at its rawest! I never, ever heard an artist presenting emotions as raw and unadulterated as Janice did. Jesus God — I just love Janis.
(And btw. ladies — this is the only way to wear hip huggers, imo.)

The bass man is the perfect match for Janis! Now, turn that volume up …  It’ll make you feel good.
I haven’t found a live clip of my personal favorite by Janis. A still has to do. Sing Janis!

>Angola Prison Spirituals


Today, I feel I post something very special. The two songs I’m going to present to you are from an album called Angola Prison Spirituals.

One of the most fear evoking  prisons in America is the  Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Angola (also called “The Farm”) is the largest maximum security prison in the United States. It houses 5,000 inmates and employs about 1,800 staff members. The 18,000 acre (73 km²) property belonged previously to the Angola and other plantations “owned by Isaac Franklin in unincorporated West Feliciana Parish close to the Mississippi border.”  Angola is surrounded on three sides by the Mississippi River. (Wiki)
The men who sing on these recordings had to endure the harshest punishment for whatever crimes they had (or were accused of having) committed. In the 50’s, when the songs were recorded, such State Farm Prisons could often be considered a legalized form of plantation- conscription labor. 
So, if you listen to the songs with that background in mind, you’ll understand where the Blues is actually coming from: from the souls of the suffering. No matter whether they were true criminals or not, the anguish and pain of a life at Angola prison shines through their singing. For the mostly black inmates there was no other authority to turn to for relieve than God himself. 
Please take a moment to consider the plight of these artists before you listen to them. This music is a piece of American history with a bitter taste to it.

Robert Pete Williams, whom you hear in these recordings, later became a known Blues artist.
Little School Song
Rise and Fly
Bonus: Robert Pete Williams — A Motherless Child Has A Hard Time (As Blue As A Man Can Be, 1994, Arhoolie)

>Contemporary Blues: Larry McCray

>Was — oder eher wen — man nicht alles so auf den Musikblogs findet. Larry McCray ist eine solcher Entdeckungen. Sein Name fiel mir natuerlich auf, weil er mich an Robert Cray erinnerte. McCrays Stil ist aber ein bisschen rockiger als der von Robert Cray. Seine Version von Santanas Black Magic Woman gefaellt mir besonders gut.

Black Magic Woman

Soulshine ist ein schoener emotionaler Titel, der sehr gut zu Larrys vollem Bariton und kreischender Gitarre passt. Bei diesem Stueck war’s Liebe auf den ersten Blick fuer mich … So um 6:50 herum, war ich total hingerissen. Larry McCray gehoert ab sofort zu meinen Lieblingsgitarristen.

Als Zugabe gibt’s noch eine live Aufnahme von Larry: Run

Larry McCray wurde am 5. April 1960 in Magnolia, AR geboren. Nach der high school arbeitete er fuer General Motors am Fliessband. In seiner Freizeit nahm er sein erstes Album, Ambition auf (1991). Seine Einfuehrung in die Bluesmusik erhielt Larry von seiner Schwester Clara. Clara hatte ihre eigene Bluesband, The Rockets, mit der sie innerhalb Arkansas tourte. Sie war es auch, die Larry auf die Three Kings (B. B., Freddie und Albert) sowie Albert Collins und Magic Sam einschwor. Larrys Stil vereinigt die verschiedenen Elemente dieser Kuenstler zu einem gelungenen Mix aus Blues und Rock. Dazugefuegt hat er ausserdem noch eine gute Portion Jimi Hendrix licks.
Mit seinen Bruedern Carl (bass) and Steve (drums) begann er schliesslich in oertlichen Clubs aufzutreten.
Larry McCray ist ausserdem der erste Kuenstler, den die Blues Abteilung von Virgin Records unter Vertrag nahm.

Seine Alben: Ambition( 1990), Delta Hurricane (1993), Meet Me at the Lake (1996), Born To Play The Blues (1998), Believe It (2001).

Jimmy Reed — What You Want Me To Do / Bright Lights Big City

Erschreckend, wieviele Bluesmusiker an den Folgen von Alkoholismus oder Drogenkonsum starben. Auch Jimmy Reed, geb. am 6.12.1925 in Mississippi als Mathias James Reed, wurde letztendlich das Opfer seiner Alkoholsucht. Er starb nur 51-jaehrig in fast totaler Abgeschiedenenheit.

Mit 15 begann Jimmy die Harmonika zu spielen; sein Kumpel Eddie Taylor brachte ihm unterdesses das Gitarrespielen bei.
1943 zog Jimmy, wie schon so viele Bluesmusiker vor ihm, in das Mekka des Blues: Chicago. Doch mit dem Blues wurde es erst mal nichts; die Navy sackte Jimmy fuer zwei Jahre Kriegsdienst ein. Danach ging’s zurueck nach Mississippi, um zu heiraten. (Seine Frau Mary wird unter Bluesfans Mama Reed genannt.)
Anstatt nach Chicago zurueckzukenren, ging das Paar nach Gary, Indiana. Dort fand Jimmy Arbeit in der Fleischverpackung. Gleichzeitig gelang ihm auch der Einstieg in die Bluesszene Chicagos und Garys.
Anfang der 50er trat er mit John Brim auf, dessen Drummer Albert King spaeter als legendaerer Bluesgitarrist in die Musikgeschichte eingehen sollte.
Jimmy Reeds Stil wurde von solchen Groessen wie Elvis Presley, Lou Rawls, Rolling Stones und Jimmy Witherspoon kopiert. Seine Aufnahmen waren erstaunlich oft in den Charts, und seine Platten verkauften sich besser als die von Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters und Little Walter z. B.
Er schaffte es auch in die Pop Charts, was fuer Bluesmusiker eher eine Seltenheit war.
Aber, so heisst es in Livinblues “keiner war schlechter dafuer ausgestattet mit der Belohnung des Erfolgs zurechtzukommen” als Jimmy Reed. Der Kuenstler geriet mehr und mehr in den Sog des Alkoholismus, wodurch sich eine bestehende Epilepsie dramatisch verschlechterte. Als Jimmy seine Alkoholabhaengigkeit schliesslich in den Griff bekommen hatte, war es aber zu spaet, und er vestarb im August 1976.
Seine Musik wird als leicht verdaulich und zugaenglich beschrieben; sein Stil ist unverkennbar und auch heute noch sehr beliebt bei weissem und schwarzem Publikum.
Zu seinen beruehmtesten Aufnahmen zaehlen: “What You Want Me to Do,” “Bright Lights, Big City,” “Honest I Do,” “You Don’t Have to Go,” “Going to New York,” “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby” and “Big Boss Man.” 

What You Want Me To Do

Bright Lights, Big City

>Guitar Slim: Der Bad Boy des Blues

>Glaubt man den Artikeln ueber Guitar Slim, so muessen seine Auftritte spektakulaer gewesen sein. Seine Buehnenkostueme duerften an Prunk, Farbenpracht und Lebhaftigkeit kaum zu uebertreffen gewesen sein. In einem Artikel von Greg Johnson heisst es z. B. der Kuenstler habe speziell angefertigte Kostueme in grellen Farben getragen. Zusaetzlich war sein Haar passend zur Schuhfarbe gefaerb! (Der Mann hatte Stil.) 

Seine Auftritte wurden im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes zum Erlebnis, wenn er z.B. auf den Schultern eines Assistenten ritt, der eigens dafuer eingestellt war das 350 ft lange Gitarrenkabel wie eine Schleppe hinter dem Musiker herzutragen. Slim liebte seine Ausfluege von der Buehne ins Publikum. Gelegentlich dehnte er dies Exkursionen auch etwas aus — bis auf die Strasse z. B.  Bei diesen “Strassenauftritten war es “nicht unueblich fuer ihn, den Srassenverkehr zum Stillstand zu bringen,” schreibt Johnson. 

Dieser exzentrische Mensch wurde als Eddie Jones 1926 in Greenwood, Mississippi geboren. Mit 5 Jahren verlor er die Mutter. Danach lebte er bei seiner Grossmutter auf einer plantation, wo er Baumwolle pflueckte und  Felder pfluegte. 
Seine musikalische Laufbahn begann in den Jukejoints, wo er sich mit den Bands anfreundete und schliesslich mit ihnen als Saenger und Taenzer auftrat. Willie Warren, einer der Bandleader, brachte Eddie auf den Geschmack Gitarre zu spielen. Seine Lieblingsgitarristen waren T-Bone Walker und Clarence Gatemouth Brown. 
1950 zog er nach New Orleans, wo er den Kuenstlernamen Guitar Slim annahm. Hier begann er mit neuen Klangeffekten zu experimentieren. Die gut eine Dekade spaeter von Jimi Hendrix beruehmt gemachten Ton-Verzerrungen hatte Guitar Slim schon in den Fuenfzigern ausprobiert.
Nach einer Reihe erfolgloser Aufnahmen gelang ihm 1953 mit The Things That I Used To Do ein Treffer. (Ray Charles ist als special guest am Piano zu hoeren!) Dieser Erfolg bescherte Slim triumphale Auftritte im Apollo Theatre in New York, die von keinem der damaligen Kuenstlern ueberboten werden konnten: Slim trat 7 Tage vor total ausverkauftem Haus auf!
Guitar Slim starb 1959  32-jaehrig an den Folgen seines Alkoholismus. Das die Titel seiner letzten Aufnahmen gerade If I Had My Life To Live Over (B-Seite: When There’s No Way Out) heissenist fast schon ironisch.
Obwohl es an Artikeln ueber Guitar Slim nicht mangelt, fand ich nur wenige Bilder von ihm. Eine Filmaufnahme fand ich nicht.
The Things That I Used To Do mp3  (Um 2:03 und 2:39 erinnert sein Spiel sehr an Jimi H.)

>Albert King "I Play The Blues For You"

>Fuer diese Bluesgitarre verkaufe ich doch glatt meine Seele!

“I Play The Blues For You” The great Albert King

Albert’s Kostprobe von echter “Blues Power”:

>Spencer Davis Group "Dust My Blues"

>Stevie Winwood ist einfach nicht zu ueberbieten.

Die Spencer Davis Group 1969

>Memphis Slim "Everyday I Have The Blues"

>Alright! Fuer meinen ersten und einzigen “Fan” gibt es jetzt eine Portion Memphis Slim. Scheint mir ja ein ganz eleganter Mann gewesen zu sein.
Viel Spass!

>Bobby "Blue" Bland

>Mein zweiter Bluesblog ist meinem Favoriten Bobby “Blue” Bland gewidmet. “Ain’t No Love In The Heart of The City” war der erste Song von ihm, den ich bewusst gehoert habe. “Bewusst” sage ich dewegen weil ich eigentlich mit Blues nichts am Hut hatte — bis ich Bobby hoerte. Bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt war der Blues mehr oder weniger Hintergrundmusik, der ich keine Aufmerksamkeit schenkte. Dann kam Bobby! Wooooweee! Bobby Bland’s Stimme zog mich unwiderstehlich an. Trotz ihrer Staerke und Maskulinitaet wirkt sie nicht roh und ungeschliffen, wie das bei vielen anderen Interpreten oft der Fall ist.

Man nennt Bobby auch den “Loewen des Blues”, denn sein Markenzeichen sind die unnachahmlichen Knurr-Laute (growls), wie man sie eben vom Loewen kennt. Je nach Lied druecken sie Aggression, Verzweiflung oder auch Zufriedenheit aus. Wie auch immer, Bobby hat tatsaechlich eine Loewensstimme.   
Ein guter Anfang fuer eine Bobby Bland Sammlung ist natuerlich seine Greatest Hits CD

“Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City”. Ein Meisterstueck des Blues mit geradezu goettlichem Gitarrepart.

“Touch Of Blues” ist einer meiner vielen Lieblingssongs von Bobby mit deutlichem Country und Western Einfluss. Einen seiner sanfteren “growls” hoert man um 0:39. Auf geht’s!

>Lonely Man Sonny Boy Williamson

>Fuer alle, die echten, hangemachten Blues lieben.