The Thrill is Gone
BB King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015)
I saw this lady umpteen years ago (try 40+) at Villanova University in a blues concert, really an all-star cast of old blues performers. Bonnie was the only pale one on the stage, but she could rip some mean blues licks with the old timers. She actually started her career in Philadelphia. Fashioned quite a legacy for herself in the ensuing years..
How about a tribute to duets tonight?
When I started listening to the blues a long time ago a piano style stood out called boogie woogie. You listen and then you just can’t stop moving. Memphis Slim, Otis Spann, Albert Ammons, and Pete Johnson are just some of the artist names in this sub genre. The style is being kept alive by a new generation, many of them European.
Here’s a little number with some dance routine thrown in:
Ok so I got sick Wednesday and had to find the cure at the local trout stream. Took me to Taj. I did not know there was a Portland Blues Festival, but, count me in. I’ll fish my way there.
Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Yardbirds, Led Zepplin, Savoy Brown, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The Monkees, Grateful Dead,, The Boxtops, The Blues Brothers, Paul Butterfield, Leslie West, Tom Jones, Fleetwood Mac, The Who, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Cream, John Hammond, Mose Allison, Bill Haley, Sting, Johnnie Rivers, The Band, Spencer Davis Group, The Everly Brothers, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Elvis Presley, George Thorogood, ZZ Top, The Doors, Marianne Faithful, Styx, Humble Pie, Aerosmith, The Righteous Brothers, Asylum Street Spankers, Mungo Jerry, The Animals, The Kinks, Van Morrison, Manfred Mann, The New York Dolls, Dave Van Ronk, Jeff Beck Group, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds, the Allman Brothers, Steve Miller, Captain Beefheart, Eric Burdon, Elvis Costello, Derek and the Dominos, Johnny Winter, Ten Years After, Steve Miller, Charley Musselwhite, Dion Dimucci, Phish, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Weir:
These are some of the more familiar white musicians who have recorded one of the most prolific and the most influential blues artists of all times- Willie Dixon.
The list of blues musicians who have recorded his songs are among the Who’s Who of the blues:
Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Rush, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Witherspoon, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Little Milton, Little Walter, Etta James, Louisiana Red, Magic Sam, James Cotton, Jimmie Reed, Luther Allison, B.B. King, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Mama Thornton, Junior Wells, Willie Mabon, Lowell Fulson, and (the great) Elmore James.
A former boxer and conscientious objector in WWII, Willie’s stand up bass backed many of the greatest assemblages of blues musicians found in Chicago at the zenith of the genre. For those not familiar with the blues, it was not all moping around and crying.
Blues Night at The Zoo. The party starts now.
Here’s Willie doing a song he did not write, but popularized by Muddy Waters.
Most of the music I have listened to over the years has been performed by talented musicians toiling in relative obscurity because they wanted to stay true to their roots and passions. At the end of the day, bands and performers who dwell on the edges of success have to keep expenses down. The music business, like any business comes down to the fundamentals of revenues against expenses and the less mouths to feed the better. So if you are really going stretch a dollar, you do it in one of two ways: Have muli-instrumentalists in the band, or go it alone. Here are two examples of minimalist acts. One man band Jesse Fuller playing San Francisco Bay Blues on guitar, accompanying himself with harmonica, kazoo, and fotdella, an instrument he designed and built himself for percussion and bass. Below, Ron Thomason demonstrates the art on hamboning, first developed in the deep South by dirt poor sharecroppers who couldn’t afford instruments and later used in minstrel acts. It is use of the body as percussion.