Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sonny Boy Williamson

When it comes to post-war delta blues, no one was more original than Sonny Boy Williamson. You could make a case for Elmore James, Muddy Waters or Howlin' Wolf, but Sonny Boy was not only a great singer and instrumentalist (blues-harp), no one else wrote lyrics like:

Been so long until I just can't sleep at night.
I could eat my breakfast in the morning,
and my teeth and tongue begin to fight.

This verse followed by a highly expressive harmonica solo, where he's actually using his teeth and tongue to play it. These Trumpet sides are as good as anything I know of. The band sounds half-drunk yet totally lucid. Elmore James is on guitar on at least some of these and Leonard Ware plays some great swinging upright basslines.

Dig it.

Download: GONE mp3

Download: GONE mp3

Download: GONE mp3

Download: GONE mp3

Download: GONE mp3

Buy these sides at your local independent record dealer or at Amazon

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Smiley Lewis

A few weeks ago, I posted a couple of rockin' sides by Fats Domino, and was reminded of Smiley Lewis by a cat named Chedwick, over at Tangled Up In L' Heure Bleue, where there's something happening- but I don't know what it is. Sadly, I don't have Smiley's version of Blue Monday, but I do have this to offer, which is in my opinion his best single. From 1955, his biggest hit, with Huey Smith on the piano. Ched, here you go.

Download: GONE mp3

Download GONE mp3

************** Bonus ***************

Lazy Lester: GONE mp3
Dave Edmunds: GONE mp3

Buy at Amazon: Smiley Lewis, Lazy Lester, Dave Edmunds.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wee Willie Wayne

Photograph: © Robert Frank, New Orleans, 1955.

I couldn't find any actual photographs of James "Wee Willie" Wayne, so instead you are looking at a fine and iconic image image by Robert Frank, made at about the same time and place as this Imperial recording. Not much information on him either. He's originally from Texas, recorded a handful of sides for a handful of labels, and among those are two very influential recordings of New Orleans Rhythm and Blues: "Travelin' Mood" and "Junco Partner." There's a weird drum part on "Travelin' Mood," that almost sounds like a crack in the shellac- it is not.

GONE mp3

Download: GONE mp3

Download: GONE mp3

*** Bonus ***

More versions at THIS Post.

Buy these recordings and more HERE

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Two-Faced Preacher

Well, It's a story as old as the hills. Or at least as old as the Bible. The wolf in sheep's clothing. The false prophet. The devil in disguise. Okay, you get the picture. Karl and Harty sing about " a preacher with a cane and a long-tailed coat, he does all his preachin' with his eye on the women-folk." He then proceeds to hustle, get drunk, steal, and carry on with Brother Jackson's wife. Enjoy.

Download: GONE mp3

Buy: Karl and Harty at Venerable Music
Night of the Hunter at IMDB

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fever and Spasms at the Flu

I've been a little under the weather the last few days.
I think I'll just let Little Willie John explain...

Download : GONE mp3

Download:GONE mp3

and from our patron saint of
the boogie woogie flu: GONE

Buy at Amazon: Little Willie John and Huey "Piano" Smith

Friday, March 16, 2007

Louis Jordan

It's time to pay our respect to Louis Jordan. This record is uncharacteristic of his sound. No jump blues, but it's a swinging one-two punch nonetheless. The A-side, the standard "Paris Blues," is a lovely ballad with a sweet sax solo by Jordan. I'll send this out to our readers in France. In case you don't know, Paris in the springtime is cold and rainy. The B-Side is a mambo of the New Orleans classic. I first heard it as a slightly enlightened, yet ignorant teenager by another group of degenerate English record collectors. This version is smokin'. Dig the marimba and have a good weekend.

Download: GONE mp3

Download GONE mp3

*** Special Bonus ***

The Clash"Junco Partner" GONE
Professor Longhair"Junco Partner" GONE
Dr. John"Junko Partner" GONE

***Update 3-18 Thanks to Nick Hill***
Holy Modal Rounders "Junko Partner" GONE

*** Update 3-20 ***
Thanks to ZubZub over at Magic of Juju :
The late great Freddy Fender complete with
a shout out to "Malcolm" Rebennack...
"Junco Partner" GONE
Buy these records at Amazon

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Jimmie Rodgers

It recently came to my attention that I've posted a scant few hillbilly or country records here on the flu. So, considering that a good portion of my collection of shellac are just that, I'll start today to pick up the hillbilly deficit with none other than Jimmie Rodgers, the father of country music. Labels don't really do justice to his contribution to music. Let's just call this music of the American vernacular, as you would about the photographs of Walker Evans, or the writing of Mark Twain. Rodgers, who only recorded for less than six years, has more in common with Blind Willie McTell, Louis Armstrong and Woody Guthrie, than the slick redneck neo-hipster posers of Music Row today. Doug Sahm said it best a few years back, when he took a poke at the current state of "country": "Who said Bob Wills' fiddles was a joke? All's you know it had been been replaced by laser beams and smoke..." None of that here. From the laudanum haze of the TB ward, I give you Jimmie Rodgers, The Singing Brakeman...

Download: GONE mp3

Download: GONE mp3

Download: GONE mp3

Download: GONE by Doug Sahm


Jimmie Rodgers on YouTube! Here, Here, and Here.
Buy Jimmie Rodgers music at Amazon
Buy Doug Sahm music, Here.
Read more Here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Blue Monday

Fats Domino is sick and tired of being sick and tired. It's blue Monday here at the Flu. Sorry if I've been a little lax around here with the posting, but what started as a mission is starting to feel like a burden. Don't get me wrong, I love sharing this stuff, and Google Analytics tells me people from Siberia to South Africa are digging the flu. Not to sound like a Jewish mother or something, my dear readers, but would it hurt you to use the comments? Send me a love letter. Tell me you hate my guts. Anything, I dare you...

Download: GONE mp3

Download GONE mp3

Download: Keith Richards GONE mp3
Download: Alex Chilton GONE mp3

Buy at Amazon: Fats Domino, Alex Chilton

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Barbara Lynn

Like many good things in American music, I first heard this from degenerate English record collectors. Barbara Lynn Ozen, from Beaumont, Texas played guitar left-handed with style and grace, wrote and sang a handful of classic R & B numbers before disappearing from the music scene to raise a family. Influenced by Guitar Slim, Gatemouth Brown, and Elvis, she fronted an all-girl band called Bobbie Lynn and the Idols, before being discovered and recorded by Huey Meaux. In the late 90's Barbara returned to recording and performing. She's playing at the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans in May. This record is a killer.

Listen: "Oh! Baby" mp3

Listen: GONE mp3

Listen: GONE mp3 by The Rolling Stones

Barbara Lynn on YouTube here , here and here (with Gatemouth Brown)

Buy at Amazon: Barbara Lynn, The Rolling Stones

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Love And Theft

This is NOT breaking news. There's been a lot of hub bub about this over the last several years. The title of this record was taken from a book about black-face mintrelsy and the white American working class of the 19th century. There was the revelation that Dylan lifted lyrical passages from a Japanese novel about a gangster's dying confession. Then, the Dylan sleuths uncovered a variety of references to everything from F. Scott Fitzgerald to the musical appropriations illustrated below. I prefer appropriation, the post-modern term for borrowing, although some will claim it is outright theft. Maybe it is. Or maybe it's homage, which Dylan has paid to everyone from Woody Guthrie to Elvis over the course of his career. He's an artist after all, and to deny that he is partially the sum of everything that he has consumed, is to miss the point. When the Beach Boys released "Surfin' USA," they over-zealously gave Chuck Berry a co-writing credit. It does bear a thematic resemblance to "Sweet Little Sixteen," but so does half of the catalog of numerous rock 'n roll bands. Chuck Berry learned it for T-Bone Walker and Louis Jordan, and they learned it from those before them, and so on.

Listen: GONE Gene Austin mp3

Listen: GONE Bob Dylan mp3

Listen: GONE Big Joe Turner mp3

Listen GONE Bob Dylan mp3

Buy at Amazon : Gene Austin, Big Joe Turner, Bob Dylan