Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Morning Serenade

Stephanie DeLange the daughter of  Songwriter / Bandleader Eddie DeLange stopped by the site for a visit this past week.  It seems to happen on a constant basis that in my search for John Bartee I cross paths with others who open up my life to the Music of some really talented individuals.  Eddie wrote some really poetic lyrics during his career, which like so many gifted individuals ended too soon.

Check out some of his work and those he worked with at his great website.  Even though he died in 1949 his Music is timeless in the thoughts & feelings which serenade the listener.

I felt this tune which he composed with Duke Ellington,  In my Solitude was fitting for this Sunday Morning Serenade.

                                                                                                    Thanks,  Eddie

Dianne Reeves ~ In my Solitude / Solitude


Monday, October 25, 2010

Sign of the Times?








Maybe its something in the air...  The above picture refers the most viewers from google images to this site.  This is not just  individuals doing a image search in the United States,  but more than half who search are from a diverse group of other Countries.

 For name search referral...
I think its great that  Tony Martin who will be 98 on December 25th still has a huge following all over the World.  At least we still have a statesman of the Music World that has experience sharing a song during a time of World financial turmoil.


Tony Martin ~ It's a Blue World  (1940)



Tony Martin ~ When Did You Leave Heaven




Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Morning Serenade

Dexter Gordon Quartet ~ The Shadow Of Your Smile


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Just because...

I don't have a lot of words for this post...  Other than creative individuals balance their art on the edge of insanity,  yet they always open the minds of others to the many colors of their world. 

An Unnatural Love  ~  Insane Stranger



The Single Life
Dizzy Gillespie  ~  Love Theme from The Sandpiper



Moonglow  ~  Insane Stranger

Friday, October 22, 2010

Almost Snow White

I have read that Cab Calloway could have his pick of any music arranger in his day, and unlike Duke Ellington he looked to others to create the compostions he performed.  It is written that Will Hudson was the only "white" arranger Calloway ever used.  Yet, from Mario Bauza's lips John Bartee was Calloway's arranger while he was with the band.  Uh... John was at least 95% white.



Will Hudson


b. March 8, 1908, Barstow, California
d. July 1981   Isle of Palms, South Carolina

Will Hudson is best remembered as a bandleader and composer. In the late 20's, Hudson wrote scores for a great many famous bands of the day, including Cab Calloway, Don Redman, Fletcher Henderson, Ina Ray Hutton, Jimmy Lunceford, Earl 'Fatha' Hines, Erskine Tate and McKinney's Cotton Pickers. In the mid to late 1930's, he was active as an orchestra leader, first by himself, and then in partnership with Eddie DeLange.

Hudson's family moved to Detroit, MI, and there in the mid 1930's, he formed his very first band. In 1936, he and Eddie De Lange got together and formed the 'Hudson-DeLange Orchestra'. The band was well drilled and had a good sound, but trouble was brewing in the wings. Eddie was very extroverted and Will was just the reverse, very quiet. Due to this personality difference, the two did not get along and they disbanded in 1938, somewhat acrimoniously. In 1939, Will formed his own Will Hudson Orchestra, which lasted until 1940. In 1941, Hudson and DeLange again formed a band, but it was short-lived. Interestingly, Will studied Composing at New York's Juilliard School of Music in 1948. Never-the-less, he was musically inactive during the 1950's decade.

As a team, Will Hudson's songs with Eddie DeLange's lyrics were "Deep in a Dream"; "Remember When"; and perhaps their most successful work, "Moonglow". Separately, Will Hudson wrote some very successful instrumentals, such as: "Sophisticated Swing"; Love Song of a Half Wit"; "Monopoly Swing"; "Eight Bars in Search of a Melody"; and perhaps his most successful was "Organ Grinder's Swing".

Later, he arranged scores for music publishers. During World War II, he served in the United States Army Air Force. Joining ASCAP in 1935, his popular-music compositions include "Moonglow", "Tormented", "Sophisticated Swing", "Organ Grinder's Swing", "Mr. Ghost Goes to Town", "White Heat", "Jazznochracy", "Hocus Pocus", "Devil's Kitchen", "You're Not the Kind", and "Witch Doctor".



Irving Mills published their music, recorded it on his Master Records label, and took a little "piece of the action" by making them put his name on the music as one of the composers. That was the way the industry operated in those days. Irving did the same thing with the Duke Ellington Orch., and others.

Moonglow ~ By Will Hudson with lyrics by Eddie Delange Performed by Judy Judd

Monday, October 18, 2010

Get your Kicks on Route 66

                      Robert W. "Bobby" Troup, Jr.
                                             October 18, 1918 - February 7, 1999

Bobby  & wife, Julie London





Bobby Troup Bio       on  Wikipedia    

                                                      on  Emergency Fans . Com











I had to add this performance by Julie London, singing Bobby Troup's lyrics with music by Neil Hefti.




Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Morning Serenade

Nothing against Lou Reed... but Beck did a really nice cover to his original.  I felt this Original titled, Sunday Morning by Velvet Underground just nudged out Maroon5's song by the same title.

So on this Sunday Morning... Sunday Morning by Beck





Sunday Morning (The Velvet Underground song)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Recording

In late 1966, "Sunday Morning" was the final song to be recorded for The Velvet Underground & Nico. It was requested by Tom Wilson, who thought the album needed another song with lead vocals by Nico with the potential to be a successful single. The song was written with Nico's voice in mind by Lou Reed and John Cale on, in fact, a Sunday morning. The band previously performed it live with Nico singing lead, but when it came time to record it, Lou Reed sang the lead vocal.

Wilson brought the band into a New York City recording studio in November. At the last minute, Reed declared that he would sing lead vocals himself, which was received with great resistance from Paul Morrissey, the band's manager, who thought Reed's voice was far less marketable than Nico's.[1][2] Nico would instead sing backing vocals on the song.

Aiming to create a hit for the album, "Sunday Morning" features noticeably more lush and professional production than the rest of the songs on the album. In fact, the song's inclusion on the album seems to be an afterthought — the final master tape of side one of the album shows "Sunday Morning" only penciled in before "I'm Waiting for the Man".[citation needed]

The song's prominent use of celesta was the idea of John Cale, who noticed the instrument in the studio and decided to use it for the song.

Personnel
Lou Reed – lead vocals, lead guitar
John Cale – celesta, viola, piano
Sterling Morrison – bass guitar
Maureen Tucker – percussion
Nico – backing vocals

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Southern Cousins ~ The Bartee and Thornton Families


Big Mama Thornton
1926 - 1984


Willie Mae Thornton toured the south as a blues singer in the 1940s, then settled in Texas. She wrote and sang blues songs, played the harmonica and taught herself to play the drums.



Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton (December 11, 1926 – July 25, 1984) was an American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter. She was the first to record the hit song "Hound Dog" in 1952. The song was #1 on the Billboard R&B charts for seven weeks. The B-side was "They Call Me Big Mama," and the single sold almost two million copies. Three years later, Elvis Presley recorded his version, based on a version performed by Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. In a similar occurrence, she wrote and recorded "Ball 'n' Chain," which became a hit for her. Janis Joplin later recorded "Ball and Chain," and was a huge success in the late 1960s.

Thornton was born in Ariton, Alabama. Her introduction to music started in a Baptist church, where her father was a minister and her mother a church singer. She and her six siblings began to sing at very early ages. Thornton left Montgomery at age 14 in 1941, following her mother's death. She joined Sammy Green's Georgia-based Hot Harlem Revue. Her seven-year tenure with them gave her valuable singing and stage experience, and enabled her[vague] to tour the South. In 1948, she settled in Houston, Texas, where she hoped to further her career as a singer.

She was also a self-taught drummer and harmonica player, and frequently played each instrument onstage.



Thornton began her recording career in Houston, signing a recording contract with Peacock Records in 1951. While working with another Peacock artist, Johnny Otis, she recorded "Hound Dog", a song that composers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller had given her in Los Angeles. The record was produced by Johnny Otis, and went to number one on the R&B chart. Although the record made her a star, she saw little of the profits. She continued to record for Peacock until 1957 and performed with R&B package tours with Junior Parker and Esther Phillips. In 1954, Thornton was one of the eyewitnesses to the accidental self-inflicted handgun death of blues singer Johnny Ace. Her career began to fade in the late 1950s and early 1960s. She left Houston and relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she mostly played local blues clubs.

In 1966, Thornton recorded Big Mama Thornton With The Muddy Waters Blues Band, with Muddy Waters (guitar), Sammy Lawhorn (guitar), James Cotton (harmonica), Otis Spann (piano), Luther Johnson (bass guitar), and Francis Clay (drums). Songs included "Everything Gonna Be Alright", "Big Mama's Blues", "I'm Feeling Alright", "Big Mama's Bumble Bee Blues", "Looking The World Over", "Big Mama's Shuffle", and "Since I Fell For You", amongst others.

Her Ball 'n' Chain album in 1968, recorded with Lightnin' Hopkins (guitar) and Larry Williams (vocals), included the songs "Hound Dog", "Wade in the Water", "Little Red Rooster", "Ball 'n' Chain", "Money Taker", and "Prison Blues".



One of Thornton's last albums was Jail (1975) for Vanguard Records. It captured her performances during a couple of mid 1970s concerts at two northwestern prisons. She became the talented leader of a blues ensemble that featured sustained jams from George "Harmonica" Smith, as well as guitarists Doug Macleod, B. Huston and Steve Wachsman, drummer Todd Nelson, saxophonist Bill Potter, bassist Bruce Sieverson, and pianist J.D. Nicholas.

Thornton performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966 and 1968, and at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1979. In 1965 she performed with the American Folk Blues Festival package in Europe. While in England that year, she recorded Big Mama Thornton in Europe and followed it up the next year in San Francisco with Big Mama Thornton with the Chicago Blues Band. Both albums came out on the Arhoolie label. Thornton continued to record for Vanguard, Mercury, and other small labels in the 1970s and to work the blues festival circuit until her death in 1984, the same year she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

During her career, she appeared on stages from New York City's Apollo Theater in 1952 to the Newport Jazz Festival in 1980, and was nominated for the Blues Music Awards six times. In addition to "Ball 'n' Chain" and "They Call Me Big Mama," Thornton wrote twenty other blues songs.

In the 1970s years of heavy drinking began to hurt Ms. Thornton's health. She was in a serious auto accident and recovered to perform at the 1983 Newport Jazz Festival with Muddy Waters, B. B. King, and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, a recording of which is called The Blues—A Real Summit Meeting on Buddha Records. Ms. Thornton died of a heart attack in Los Angeles on July 25, 1984, at age 57.



In 2007, in the movie, Hounddog, singer Jill Scott played Thornton.



Thornton is also the namesake of the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls.

Selective discography

Year Title Genre Label
2007 Big Mama Thornton Texas blues Vanguard
1994 The Complete OKeh Sessions 1952-55 Texas blues Sony
1975 Jail (Live) Texas blues Vanguard
1975 Sassy Mama! (Live) Texas blues Vanguard
1973 Saved Texas blues Backbeat
1970 The Way It Is Texas blues Mercury
1969 Stronger Than Dirt Texas blues Mercury
1968 Ball 'n' Chain w/Lightnin' Hopkins Texas blues Arhoolie
1967 Big Mama Thornton Vol. 2 Texas blues Arhoolie
1966 Big Mama Thornton With The Muddy Waters Blues Band Texas blues Arhoolie
1966 Big Mama Thornton in Europe Texas blues Arhoolie

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Strangers and Aliens



Featuring:

This Band of Brothers

Fixation

Blind

Not Without Incidence

White Sheets

With all the voices out there in the Universe...  I have come across a very talented singer-songwriter. When you view and listen to him on YouTube performing his covers of many popular tunes its hard not take notice of his talent.

Once you reach his website and listen to his original songs from Strangers & Aliens  you will truly start to feel his musical abilities are endless.  Most of all read his lyrics.

Huw Rees is his name.  He is from Havorfordwest, Pembrokeshire in the UK.  Training to be a Science teacher,  I understand that... he already has a great start on how to be a Musician.

 Lets begin with one of his originals

 


 












I had never REALLY heard the Lyrics to this Song before.  This Cover really makes you want to listen.


Strangers & Aliens
by Huw Rees    

Don't miss reading his Lyrics 



Sunday Morning Serenade

Eva Cassidy ~ Songbird

 





                                                    Eva Marie Cassidy
                                                                   1963 - 1996
                                                    An Everlasting Serenade

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Whisper Not





















I Remember Clifford  
by Benny Golson in memory of Clifford Brown




Whisper Not by Benny Golson






  Edward Lee Morgan was born in Philadelphia on July 10, 1938, the youngest of Otto Ricardo and Nettie Beatrice Morgan's four children.

Lee Morgan, a leading trumpeter and composer, recorded prolifically from 1956 until a day before his death in February 1972. Originally interested in the vibraphone, he soon showed a growing enthusiasm for the trumpet. On his thirteenth birthday, his sister Ernestine gave him his first trumpet. His primary stylistic influence was Clifford Brown, who gave the teenager a few lessons before he joined the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band at 18, and remained a member for a year and a half, until economics forced Dizzy to disband the unit in 1958. He began recording for Blue Note Records in 1956, eventually recording 25 albums as a leader for the company, with more than 250 musicians. He also recorded on the Vee-Jay label.

He was a featured sideman on several early Hank Mobley records, as well as on John Coltrane's Blue Train (1957), on which he played a trumpet with an angled bell (given to him by Gillespie) and delivered one of his most celebrated solos on the title track.

Joining Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1958 further developed his talent as a soloist and composer. He toured with Blakey for a few years, and was featured on numerous albums by the Messengers, including Moanin', which is one of the band's best-known recordings. When Benny Golson left the Jazz Messengers, Morgan persuaded Blakey to hire Wayne Shorter, a young tenor saxophonist, to fill the chair. This version of the Jazz Messengers, including pianist Bobby Timmons and bassist Jymie Merritt, would record the classic The Freedom Rider album. The drug problems of Morgan and Timmons forced them to leave the band in 1961, and the trumpeter returned to Philadelphia, his hometown. According to Tom Perchard, a Morgan biographer, it was Blakey who introduced the trumpeter to heroin, an addictive drug that impeded his career trajectory.

On returning to New York in 1963, he recorded The Sidewinder (1963), which became his greatest commercial success. The title track cracked the pop charts in 1964, and served as the background theme for Chrysler television commercials during the World Series. The tune was used without Morgan's or Blue Note's consent, and intercession by the label's lawyers led to the commercial being withdrawn.[citation needed] Due to the crossover success of "The Sidewinder" in a rapidly changing pop music market, Blue Note owners encouraged other of its artists to emulate the tune's "boogaloo" beat. Morgan himself repeated the formula several times with compositions such as "Cornbread" (from the eponymous album Cornbread) and "Yes I Can, No You Can't" on The Gigolo. According to drummer Billy Hart, Morgan said he had recorded "The Sidewinder" as filler for the album, and was bemused that it had turned into his biggest hit. He felt that his playing was much more advanced on Grachan Moncur III's essentially avant-garde Evolution album, recorded a month earlier, on November 21, 1963.

After this commercial success, Morgan continued to record prolifically, producing such works as Search for the New Land (1964), which reached the top 20 of the R&B charts. He also briefly rejoined the Jazz Messengers after his successor, Freddie Hubbard, joined another group. Together with John Gilmore, this lineup was filmed by the BBC for seminal jazz television program Jazz 625.
As the 60's progressed, he recorded some twenty additional albums as a leader, and continued to record as a sideman on the albums of other artists, including Wayne Shorter's Night Dreamer; Stanley Turrentine's Mr. Natural; Freddie Hubbard's The Night of the Cookers; Hank Mobley's Dippin', A Caddy for Daddy, A Slice of the Top, Straight No Filter; Jackie McLean's Jackknife and Consequence; Joe Henderson's Mode for Joe; McCoy Tyner's Tender Moments; Lonnie Smith's Think and Turning Point; Elvin Jones' The Prime Element; Jack Wilson's Easterly Winds; Reuben Wilson's Love Bug; Larry Young's Mother Ship; Lee Morgan and Clifford Jordan Live in Baltimore 1968; Andrew Hill's Grass Roots; as well as on several albums with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

He became more politically involved in the last two years of his life, becoming one of the leaders of the Jazz and People's Movement. The group demonstrated during the taping of talk and variety shows during 1970-71 to protest the lack of jazz artists as guest performers and members of the programs' bands. His working band during those last years featured reedmen Billy Harper or Bennie Maupin, pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Jymie Merritt and drummers Mickey Roker or Freddie Waits. Maupin, Mabern, Merritt and Roker are featured on the well-regarded 3-disc, Live at the Lighthouse, recorded during a two-week engagement at the Hermosa Beach club, California, in July 1970.

Death

Morgan was murdered in the early hours of February 19, 1972, at Slugs', a jazz club in New York City's East Village where his band was performing.[4] Following an altercation between sets, Morgan's common-law wife shot him in the chest, killing him within moments. He was 33 years old.[4]


 Discography

Title
Year
Label
Lee Morgan Indeed!
1956
Blue Note
Introducing Lee Morgan
1956
Savoy
Lee Morgan Sextet
1957
Blue Note
Lee Morgan Vol. 3
1957
Blue Note
City Lights
1957
Blue Note
The Cooker
1957
Blue Note
Candy
1957
Blue Note
Here's Lee Morgan
1960
Vee-Jay
The Young Lions
1960
Vee-Jay
Expoobident
1960
Vee-Jay
Lee-Way
1960
Blue Note
Take Twelve
1962
Jazzland
The Sidewinder
1963
Blue Note
Search for the New Land
1964
Blue Note
Tom Cat
1964
Blue Note
The Rumproller
1965
Blue Note
The Gigolo
1965
Blue Note
Cornbread
1965
Blue Note
Infinity
1965
Blue Note
Delightfulee
1966
Blue Note
Charisma
1966
Blue Note
The Rajah
1966
Blue Note
Standards
1967
Blue Note
Sonic Boom
1967
Blue Note
The Procrastinator
1967
Blue Note
The Sixth Sense
1967
Blue Note
Taru
1968
Blue Note
Caramba!
1968
Blue Note
Live at the Lighthouse
1970
Blue Note
The Last Session
1971
Blue Not

 Further reading

References

  1. ^ NNDB
  2. ^ Allmusic.com
  3. ^ McMillan, J.S., (2008). DelightfuLee: the life and music of Lee Morgan, University of Michigan Press, p.1
  4. ^ a b Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 235. CN

    External Links 

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Adams Effect

                           Park "Pepper" Adams III
                                                                October 8, 1930 - September 10, 1986




"We called him 'The Knife' because when he'd get up to blow, his playing had almost a slashing effect on the rest of us. He'd slash, chop, and before he was through, cut everybody down to size."
--Mel Lewis



Pepper Adams, a scholarly looking, strong-toned baritone saxophonist, who placed first in the "New Start--1957 Down Beat Critic's Poll" makes his initial Blue Note appearance on this record. Born in Highland Park (a suburb of Detroit), Michigan in 1930, Pepper moved to Rochester, New York when he was five and began listeneing to people like Fats Waller over the radio when he was in the first or second grade.
He lived in Rochester until he was sixteen, picking up the tenor when he was twelve, and digging in particular the big bands of Jimmy Lunceford, Lucky Millinder, Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington. He played with his high school band and local groups and collected records by Ellington, Coleman Hawkins, Art Tatum, Benny Goodman, Don Byas, Charlie Christian, et al.
He moved back to Detroit in 1946 and switched to baritone, then worked his first big-time gig with Lucky Thompson. After that he played with just about all the young Detroiters who were eventually to make a success in the east (most on this label); Barry Harris, Billy Mitchell, Kenny Burrell, Tommy Flanagan, Paul Chambers, Don Byrd, Doug Watkins, Curtis Fuller, the Jones Brothers and Yusef Lateef. Sonny Stitt, Milt Jackson and Wardell Gray were others with whom he worked.
Pepper remained in Detroit until early 1956 when Oscar Pettiford got him a gig with the Stan Kenton orchestra. That band broke up six months later in Los Angeles, but Pepper stayed on the coast to work with Dave Pell, Shorty Rogers, etc. He came back east with the Maynard Ferguson big band--quit it in New York and then returned to the west with Chet Baker.
Once again in L.A. Pepper left Baker and came back to New York where he has since remained. He says that Hawk, Harry Carney, and Wardell Gray have been his biggest influences and names Carney and Cecil Payne as his favorite baritonists.
--ROBERT LEVIN, from the liner notes,
The Cooker, 1957, Blue Note.



Biography from Wikipedia

Pepper Adams was born in Highland Park, Michigan. His family moved to Rochester, New York when he was young. and in that city he began his musical efforts. Then when he was sixteen he moved back to Detroit, Michigan, near where he had been born, and where he met several musicians who would later be important to his career, including trumpeter Donald Byrd. Adams now became interested in Wardell Gray's approach to the saxophone, later naming Gray and Harry Carney as his influences. He also spent time in a United States Army band, and briefly had a tour of duty in Korea.[1]

He later moved to New York City, where he played on the album Dakar by John Coltrane, played with Lee Morgan on The Cooker, and briefly worked with Benny Goodman's band in 1958. During this time, Adams also began working with Charles Mingus, performing on one of Mingus's finest albums from this period, Blues & Roots. Thereafter he recorded with Mingus sporadically until the latter's death in 1979. He later became a significant member of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band from 1965 to 1978, and continued to record Jones's compositions on many of his own albums.[2] Adams also co-led a quintet with trumpeter Donald Byrd, with whom he recorded a live date, 10 to 4 at the 5 Spot, featuring Elvin Jones.[3]

He died of lung cancer in Brooklyn, New York on September 10, 1986.[4]

As can be heard on his recordings with Morgan and Mingus, Adams's sound on the baritone was very big and intense – almost completely contrasting that of Gerry Mulligan – and so lent itself very well to up the up-tempo hard bop style that was prevalent during the 1950s and '60s. The styles of Adams and Mulligan are considered to be the foundation for contemporary playing of the baritone saxophone, and Adams's influence can be heard in the work of such notable jazz baritone saxophone players as Scott Robinson, Ronnie Cuber and Vanguard Jazz Orchestra "bari chair" Gary Smulyan, among many others.

Discography

As leader

  • Pepper Adams Quintet (1957)
  • Critic's Choice (1957)
  • 10 to 4 at the 5 Spot (1958), with Donald Byrd and Elvin Jones
  • Motor City Scene (1960), with Donald Byrd
  • Donald Byrd and Pepper Adams, Out of This World: The Complete Warwick Sessions (1961), with pianist Herbie Hancock
  • Encounter (1968)
  • Ephemera (1973)
  • Julian (1975)
  • Twelfth and Pingree (1975)
  • Live in Europe (1977)
  • Live Jazz By the Sea (1977), live in California
  • Reflectory (1978)
  • Be-Bop (1979) Musica Records
  • The Master (1980)
  • Urban Dreams (1981), quartet with pianist Jimmy Rowles
  • Conjuration: Fat Tuesday's Session (1983), live with trumpeter Kenny Wheeler
  • The Adams Effect (1989, posthumously)

As sideman

With John Coltrane
With Ben Webster
With Charles Mingus
With The Thad Jones/ Mel Lewis Orchestra
With Lee Morgan
With Donald Byrd
With Duke Pearson

Thursday, October 7, 2010

So Many Roads...

I had my first solo journey,  a kind of  road trip runaway from home at age 16.  When you are young there are so many roads in front of you,  and so little experience behind.  Keeping me company in my '67 Camaro were a couple boxes of 8 track tapes.   Music can help when your not sure which road to follow, and it will be with you when you arrive at your destination. Climax Blues Band shared some of those miles with me over the years... so I am wishing Colin Cooper a Happy Birthday as he, and other talented musicians Serenade the Heavens.


                               Colin Francis Cooper
                                                   October 7, 1939 -  July 3, 2008











You will want to follow this blues song to the end of the road.



The Original MTV will never be Outdone...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Miles of Blues

Back in 1988, I got this bug to hit the road once again.  So... in the middle of January I felt that it would be a good idea to drop off my truck at my Sister's house and jump on the cross country bus to Seattle Washington.  Plan was... once there I would take the the ferry over to Bremerton and see where my folks had lived in the early years of their marriage.  Then I would start a little walk south down the coast to Hearst Castle in California.  In my down time of backpacking I was going to work on writing a fictional novel based on the back scene world of the construction of Hearst Castle.  The focus of the story being the Architect,  Julia Morgan and her relationships with all the talented craftsman & their families who actually built the Castle over many years.  The Wealthy & Hollywood Glamour Stars of the era are the bit players in this account of days gone by. 

 I got some unique experiences on that "walk".  But it was a real drag having to stop and dry all my stuff out every couple of days because of the wet North-West climate.  I had money, not a lot but I could eat everyday and get what I needed.  Many days I found myself sheltered and fed by those whom I met along the way.  But I was on an adventure in life.  I could change my situation at anytime if it started to really suck.

When I picture and think about the 71 year old John Bartee walking down the side of the road in Tennessee in 1983 I realize he was not on an adventure.... this is what had become of his life.  Thin with a scraggly beard trying to get anywhere in the Hot summer sun.   I was in my thirties on my last physical road trip, and I have worked a career all my life that has demanded a physical toll on my body.  Yet I  can't imagine living on the road at age 71 carrying what ever he owned.  I can relate to how it would have felt having someone stop and offer me a ride... then food & shelter under the conditions I have traveled.  For an older man like John who was described to me as, "someone whom had walked a hard path in life"... it had to be like an angel sent from  heaven when that car rolled up along side of  him.  During those days on the road when your only company are the thoughts within you.  I  think the one thing John always had to offer him any comfort  would have been the Music Serenading in his head....

Most of us have grown up in a world which has offered us a level of comfort... even if many don't think so.  Generations back individuals learned to make it through tough times, and for most... the rest of their lives they didn't take good times or comfort for granted.  We now have generations of individuals who know nothing of  indentured servitude, slavery, forced labor, The Great Depression & World Wars... none which cared what color your skin was.  We as a society haven't known the real pain from a lack of food & shelter.  We have become a Country weaned on a McDonalds mentality, and a need to be taken care of by the Nannie State.  Many feel work is pushing buttons and papers in an air conditioned office while avoiding any real responsibility.  Most people do not have any concept, or true experience of day after day physical labor resulting in real productivity. Being able to read, write and think for yourself... understanding right from wrong are required in life.  And... whether you prepare the burger for some high level self-focused Politician. Or... if you are that Political Player who thinks nothing of  lying to the slaves that are preparing your food.  Hard times are a coming. so I offer up the Blues to get you through.  Grab on to your MUSIC for you may need a means to Serenade yourself on the long journey down the road ahead.

An introduction  to a couple of these performers was made to me over at  Jas Obrecht's  Music Blog  SqueezeMyLemon

Jessie Mae Hemphill  ~  Standing in My Doorway Crying



Precious Bryant   ~   Black Rat Swing





R.L. Burnside  ~  Goin' Down South








R.L. Burnside and Kenny Brown











R.L. Burnside  ~  It's Bad You Know



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fly Like an Eagle

I can't neglect the Music of my generation, and since today is Steve Miller's birthday thought it would be appropriate to take flight.







Seems everyone is making the Beacon Theatre the place to hold Birthday Celebrations.   The Steve Miller Band will complete their 2010 Tour with a Grand Finale on October 24th in New York City.











<< click on picture for Bio.