unknown blues songs

Vladimir Putin singing ‘Blueberry Hill’

This is a little bit unusual and a bit of a departure from the usual DSF routine, but it’s too good to pass up! This happened two days ago at a charity fundraiser in St. Petersburg. Apparently, Putin was merely a guest at this event, but was asked to sing by the hosts and-after a little bit of encouragement-made it up to the stage and belted out the Fats Domino classic. It’s definitely a little slow and awkward, but the audience eats it up. Well done, Vladimir!

For comparison purposes, I’ve included the Fats Domino original. Which is better? You be the judge.

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Posted in Underplayed Music, Unknown Songs on December 14th, 2010 by eddielehwald –

Albert King-Born Under A Bad Sign

“If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all”.
If that’s not what the blues are about, then I don’t know what is.
This was Albert King’s most famous song, and it’s been covered by loads of folks (as well as recorded many, many times by King himself), so chances are you’ve heard it somewhere before, but this version-which I had never heard until I found it for this post-has a neat New Orleans funky feel to it. Even with the cool groove and the background singers in this Allen Toussaint arrangement, King (the “Velvet Bulldozer”) still totally rips the solos, bending the notes this way and that, foreshadowing Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and countless others. Enjoy!

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Posted in Dedication on November 16th, 2010 by eddielehwald –

Diane Birch-Fools/Sweet River Tree

Hello everybody!
Sorry for the period of radio silence there, but I’ve been in the process of moving from Baltimore to Austin, Texas-the “Live Music Capital of the World”. I took my time and made some excellent stops along the way, including Asheville, NC and New Orleans, but now I’m settled, have internet access, and there will once again be some regularity to my posts.

Today we’ve got Diane Birch, who is a phenomenally talented singer/songwriter/piano player extraordinaire. I don’t really know where to classify her, as she’s got her fingers in a lot of different pies-jazz, gospel, blues, pop, rock, soul, and she does an admirable job of blending them all together in a gorgeous sound. A lot of folks compare her to Carole King, but I don’t think that does her justice. Although she is most definitely easy on the eyes, she’s got talent and soul that goes deep beneath her exterior and she delivers all of her songs without a trace of pretension or saccharin pop overkill. Every track on her album “Bible Belt” is worth a listen, but here’s ‘Fools’, one of my favorites, and a bonus solo performance of ‘Sweet River Tree’. Enjoy!

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Posted in Underplayed Music, Unknown Songs on November 3rd, 2010 by eddielehwald –

Bill Withers – Harlem

Bill WithersBill Withers was the last of six children born on July 4, 1938, in Slab Fork, West Virginia. He was the only man in his family who did not end up working in the coal mines of West Virginia.  Instead, he enlisted in the US Navy and became interested in writing and singing songs while stationed in Guam.  In 1967, after being discharged, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his music career. As a self-proclaimed untrained musician, he became known for his story-telling ability and most of his early recordings did not feature a traditional song structure.  “Harlem” does not have a chorus; instead, each verse escalates in a crescendo as the song progresses. Withers uses this structure to build tension and compliment the story he’s telling in his lyrics.

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Posted in Forgotten Music, Unknown Songs on June 17th, 2010 by Denis –

South Memphis String Band – The Carrier Line

South Memphis String Band are an acoustic blues-folk-country supergroup comprised of Alvin “Youngblood” Hart, Luther Dickinson of The North Mississippi Allstars, and Jimbo Mathus of the Squirrel Nut Zippers (yes, those Squirrel Nut Zippers). Their debut album, Home Sweet Home, is an old-fashioned, foot-stompin’, moonshinin’ good time that feels like it was recorded on a hot July night on someone’s front porch well below the Mason-Dixon line. Check out “The Carrier Line,” their rendition of a railroad ballad by old-time Mississippi multi-instrumentalist Sid Hemphill.

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Posted in Underplayed Music, Unknown Songs on June 14th, 2010 by danny –

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion-Two Kinds of Love

"I hate conventional blues, but I love myself."

When you hear the break in this song you’ll wonder why this band didn’t do that kind of thing all the time. JSBE provides the kind of music you think you’d play after 15 glasses of whiskey and it feels awesome.  Boogie down + sledgehammer over the face rock  = me dancing/screaming at the top of my lungs.

JoSpence was a member of the Washington-based (What! What!) Pussy Galore.  After the band broke up in 1990 it seems Jon Spencer set out to destroy everything he loved about to the blues.  Thank god I love every minute of it.


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Posted in Underplayed Music, Unknown Songs on May 11th, 2010 by Sean –

Dr. John – Iko Iko

In honor of the New Orleans Jazz Festival this past weekend, here is a New Orleans classic originally written by James “Sugar Boy” Crawford.

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Posted in Forgotten Music, Underplayed Music on May 3rd, 2010 by Tony Amoyal –

Booker White – Fixin’ to Die Blues

Howdy, y’all. I’m Danny. Our gracious host asked me to do some guest posts for Your Daily Song Fix, and I’m happy to oblige. Lately, my tastes have tended toward old blues and country music, so I’ll be delivering that pre-war flavor you’ve been looking for. I hope you enjoy my first pick.

Booker T. Washington “Bukka” White was a blues guitarist born in Houston, Mississippi in 1906. Between 1930 and 1940, he recorded for the Victor and Vocalion labels, as well as for folklorists John Lomax and Alan Lomax. A young Bob Dylan covered this song, “Fixin’ to Die Blues,” for his debut album in 1961. That recording prompted John Fahey and Ed Denson to contact White (by sending a letter to “Bukka White (Old Blues Singer), c/o General Delivery, Aberdeen, Mississippi”), and White continued to record until his death in 1977.

“Fixin’ to Die Blues” was recorded in 1940 for the Vocalion label (which later became the OKeh label; thanks to Stefan Werz’s extensive Bukka White Discography). Robert “Washboard Sam” Brown accompanies White on (you guessed it) the washboard. Brown’s washboard and White’s alternating bass picking pattern create a chugging, locomotive rhythm that supports White’s trainwhistle slide guitar licks and his powerful singing. Check out some of White’s performances on YouTube to get better idea of his strength as a performer.

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Posted in Forgotten Music, Message, Underplayed Music on January 31st, 2010 by danny –