donderdag 2 juli 2009

zondag 31 mei 2009

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973) was a pioneering Gospel singer, songwriter and recording artist who attained great popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with a unique mixture of spiritual lyrics and early rock accompaniment. She became the first great recording star of Gospel music in the late 1930s and also became known as the "original soul sister" of recorded music.

Willing to cross the line between sacred and secular by performing her inspirational music of 'light' in the 'darkness' of the nightclubs and concert halls with big bands behind her, her witty, idiosyncratic style also left a lasting mark on more conventional gospel artists, such as Ira Tucker, Sr., of the Dixie Hummingbirds. While she offended some conservative churchgoers with her forays into the world of pop music, she never left gospel music.

Biography and Career :
Born Rosetta Nubin in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, she began performing at age four, billed as "Little Rosetta Nubin, the singing and guitar playing miracle", accompanying her mother, Church of God in Christ (COGIC) evangelist Katie Bell Nubin, who played mandolin and preached at tent revivals throughout the South. Exposed to both blues and jazz both in the South and after her family moved to Chicago in the late 1920s, she played blues and jazz in private, while performing gospel music in public settings. Her unique style reflected those secular influences: she bent notes the way that jazz artists did and picked guitar like Memphis Minnie.

Rosetta also crossed over to secular music in other ways. After marrying COGIC preacher Thomas Thorpe (from which "Tharpe" is a misspelling) in 1934, they moved to New York City. On October 31, 1938, she recorded for the first time — four sides with Decca Records backed by "Lucky" Millinder's jazz orchestra. Her records caused an immediate furor: many churchgoers were shocked by the mixture of sacred and secular music, but secular audiences loved them. Appearances in John Hammond's extravaganza "From Spirituals To Swing" later that year, at the Cotton Club and Café Society and with Cab Calloway and Benny Goodman made her even more popular. Songs like "This Train" and "Rock Me", which combined gospel themes with bouncy up-tempo arrangements, became smash hits among audiences with little previous exposure to gospel music.

Tharpe continued recording during World War II, one of only two gospel artists able to record V-discs for troops overseas. Her song "Strange Things Happening Every Day", recorded in 1944 with Sammy Price, Decca's house boogie woogie pianist, showcased her virtuosity as a guitarist and her witty lyrics and delivery. It was also the first gospel song to make Billboard's "race records" Top Ten — something that Sister Rosetta Tharpe accomplished several more times in her career.

After the war Decca paired her with Marie Knight, a Sanctified shouter with a strong contralto and a more subdued style than Tharpe. Their hit "Up Above My Head" showed both of them to great advantage: Knight provided the response to Tharpe in traditional call and response format, then took the role that would have been assigned to a bass in a male quartet after Tharpe's solo. They toured the gospel circuit for a number of years, during which Tharpe was so popular that she attracted 25,000 paying customers to her wedding to her manager Russell Morrison (her third marriage), followed by a vocal performance, at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. in 1951.

Their popularity took a sudden downturn, however, when they recorded several blues songs in the early 1950s. Knight attempted afterwards to cross over to popular music, while Tharpe remained in the church, but rebuffed by many of her former fans. Retreating to Europe, Tharpe gradually returned to the gospel circuit, although at nowhere near her former celebrity. In April - May 1964, at the height of a surge of popular interest in the blues, she toured the UK as part of the "American Folk Blues and Gospel Caravan", alongside Muddy Waters and Otis Spann, Ranson Knowling and Little Willie Smith, Reverend Gary Davis, Cousin Joe and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. Tharpe was introduced on stage and accompanied on piano by Cousin Joe Pleasant.

Tharpe's performances were curtailed by a stroke in 1970, after which she lost the use of her legs. She died in 1973 after another stroke, on the eve of a scheduled recording session. She was buried in Northwood Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in an unmarked grave. In 2008, a concert was held to raise funds for a marker for her grave and January 11 was declared Sister Rosetta Tharpe Day in Pennsylvania. A gravestone was put in place later that year and a Pennsylvania historical marker was approved for placement at her home in the Yorktown neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Musical Influence :
A number of musicians, ranging from Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis to Isaac Hayes and Aretha Franklin, have identified her—or, more particularly, her singing, guitar playing and showmanship—as an important influence on them. Little Richard referred to the stomping, shouting Gospel music legend as his favorite singer when he was a child. In 1945, she heard Richard sing prior to her concert at the Macon City Auditorium and later invited him on stage to sing with her. Following the show, she paid him for his performance. Johnny Cash's daughter Rosanne similarly stated in an interview with Larry King that Tharpe was her father's favorite singer. She was held in particularly high esteem by UK jazz/blues singer George Melly.

Brixton band Alabama 3 (of Sopranos theme fame) named a track after Sister Rosetta on their debut album Exile on Coldharbour Lane. UK indie rock band The Noisettes released the single "Sister Rosetta (Capture the Spirit)" off their 2007 album What's the Time Mr. Wolf? Also in 2007, singers Alison Krauss and Robert Plant recorded a duet version of the song "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us", written by Sam Phillips who released her version of the song in 2008. Michelle Shocked opened her live gospel album ToHeavenURide (2007) with "Strange Things Happening Every Day", along with a tribute to Tharpe.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Up Above My Head


Sister Rosetta Tharpe & Chicago Blues Allstars

zaterdag 30 mei 2009

Blind Blake

"Blind" Blake (born Arthur Blake, circa 1893, Jacksonville, Florida; died: circa 1933) was an influential blues singer and guitarist. He is often called "The King Of Ragtime Guitar". There is only one photograph of him in existence.

Blind Blake recorded about 80 tracks for Paramount Records in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He was one of the most accomplished guitarists of his genre with a surprisingly diverse range of material. His complex and intricate fingerpicking has inspired Reverend Gary Davis, Jorma Kaukonen, Ry Cooder, Ralph Mctell and many others. He is most known for his distinct guitar sound that was comparable in sound and style to a ragtime piano.

Very little is known about his life. His birthplace was listed as Jacksonville, Florida by Paramount Records but even that is in dispute. Nothing is known of his death. Even his name is not certain. During recordings he was asked about his real name and he answered that his name was Blind Arthur Blake which is also listed on some of the song credits, strengthening his case on his real name, although there is a suggestion that his real name was Arthur Phelps.

His first recordings were made in 1926 and his records sold well. His first solo record was "Early Morning Blues" with "West Coast Blues" on the B-side. Both are considered excellent examples of his style. Blake made his last recordings in 1932, the end of his career aided by Paramount's bankruptcy. It is often said that the later recordings have much less sparkle and, allegedly, Blind Blake was drinking heavily in his later years. It is likely that this led to his early death at only 40 years. (The exact circumstances of his death are not known; Reverend Gary Davis said in an interview that he had heard Blake was killed by a streetcar.)

Blind Blake - He's in the Jailhouse Now

Ron Hacker

Ron Hacker (born January 25, 1945, Indianapolis, Indiana) is an American blues guitarist and singer.

Hacker grew up without a family since the age of four, when his father died and his mother rejected him. Barely over ten, he was sent to a juvenile center for breaking into parking meters. In the 1960s he moved to the Bay Area and bought his first guitar for five dollars. Returning to his native Indianapolis in the early 1970s he met veteran bluesman Yank Rachell from whom he learned many tricks of guitar playing. Back in the Bay Area, Hacker started to play solo but the end of the 1970s he formed his band "The Hacksaws", a name which he has kept since. Hackers's first album No Pretty Songs was recorded in 1988.

Around 2005, Hacker befriended Tom Waits and was asked to be on his CD "Orphans", after reading Ron's book White Trash Bluesman (ISBN: 1598990330) issued in 2007, Mr. Waits called Ron, "San Francisco's white trash Blues icon"

Ron Hacker - Leaving Blues

Son House

Eddie James "Son" House, Jr. (March 21, 1902 – October 19, 1988) was an American blues singer and guitarist. House pioneered an innovative style featuring strong, repetitive rhythms, often played with the aid of slide guitar, and his singing often incorporated elements of southern gospel and spiritual (music).

He was an important influence on Muddy Waters and also on Robert Johnson, who would later take this style of music to new levels. A seminal Delta blues figure, House remains influential today, with his music being covered by rock groups such as The White Stripes.

Biography :
The middle of seventeen brothers, House was born in Riverton, two miles from Clarksdale, Mississippi. Around age seven or eight, he was brought by his mother to Tallulah, Louisiana after his parents separated. The young Son House was determined to become a Baptist preacher, and at age 15 began his preaching career. Despite the church's firm stand against blues music and the sinful world which revolved around it, House became attracted to it and taught himself guitar in his mid 20s, after moving back to the Clarksdale area, inspired by the work of Willie Wilson. He began playing alongside Charley Patton, Willie Brown, Robert Johnson, Fiddlin' Joe Martin, and Leroy Williams, around Robinsonville, Mississippi and north to Memphis, Tennessee until 1942.

After killing a man, allegedly in self-defense, he spent time at Parchman Farm in 1928 and 1929. The official story on the killing is that sometime around 1927 or 1928, he was playing in a juke joint when a man went on a shooting spree. Son was wounded in the leg, and shot the man dead. He received a 15-year sentence at Parchman Farm prison.

Son House recorded for Paramount Records in 1930 and for Alan Lomax from the Library of Congress in 1941 and 1942. He then faded from public view until the country blues revival in the 1960s when, after a long search of the Mississippi Delta region by Nick Perls, Dick Waterman and Phil Spiro, he was "re-discovered" in June 1964 in Rochester, New York where he had lived since 1943; House had been retired from the music business for many years, working for the New York Central Railroad, and was completely unaware of the international revival of enthusiasm for his early recordings. He subsequently toured extensively in the US and Europe and recorded for CBS records. Like Mississippi John Hurt he was welcomed into the music scene of the 1960s and played at Newport Folk Festival in 1964, the New York Folk Festival in July 1965, and the October 1967 European tour of the American Folk Festival along with Skip James and Bukka White. In the summer of 1970, House toured Europe once again, including an appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival; a recording of his London concerts was released by Liberty Records.

Ill health plagued his later years and in 1974 he retired once again, and later moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he remained until his death from cancer of the larynx. He was buried at the Mt. Hazel Cemetery. Members of the Detroit Blues Society raised money through benefit concerts to put a fitting monument on his grave. He had been married five times.

Style and influence :
House's innovative style featured strong, repetitive rhythms, often played with the aid of a bottleneck, coupled with singing that owed more than a nod to the hollers of the chain gangs. The music of Son House, in contrast to that of, say, Blind Lemon Jefferson, was emphatically a dance music, meant to be heard in the noisy atmosphere of a barrelhouse or other dance hall. House was the primary influence on Muddy Waters and also an important influence on Robert Johnson, who would later take his music to new levels. It was House who, speaking to awe-struck young blues fans in the 1960s, spread the legend that Johnson had sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his musical powers.

More recently, House's music has influenced rock groups such as the White Stripes, who covered his song "Death Letter" (also reworked by Skip James and Robert Johnson) on their album De Stijl, and later performed it at the 2004 Grammy Awards. The White Stripes also incorporated sections of a traditional song Son House recorded, "John the Revelator", into the song "Cannon" from their eponymous debut album The White Stripes. Jack White of the White Stripes has cited his a cappella songs, like "Grinning in Your Face", as a large influence.

Another musician deeply influenced by Son House is the slide player John Mooney, who in his teens learned slide guitar from Son House while Son was living in Rochester, New York. Several of House's songs were recently figured in the motion picture soundtrack of "Black Snake Moan" (2006).

Describing House's 1967 appearance at the De Montfort Hall in Leicester, England, Bob Groom wrote in Blues World magazine:

It is difficult to describe the transformation that took place as this smiling, friendly man hunched over his guitar and launched himself, bodily it seemed, into his music. The blues possessed him like a 'lowdown shaking chill' and the spellbound audience saw the very incarnation of the blues as, head thrown back, he hollered and groaned the disturbing lyrics and flailed the guitar, snapping the strings back against the fingerboard to accentuate the agonized rhythm. Son's music is the centre of the blues experience and when he performs it is a corporeal thing, audience and singer become as one.

Son House - Death Letter

Popa Chubby

Popa Chubby [King Of The New York City Blues](born Ted Horowitz) is a New York blues singer and guitar player. His angry and aggressive style of blues is influenced heavily by Willie Dixon. He is more popular in France than the U.S. His stage name is a play on the slang idiom "pop a chubby", meaning to get an erection.

Born Ted Horowitz in the Bronx, NY, Popa Chubby was the son of a candy store owner.

At 13, Chubby began playing drums; shortly thereafter, he discovered the music of the Rolling Stones and began playing guitar.

Although he grew up in the 1970s, Chubby took his cue from artists of the 1960s, including Sly & the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton, among others. By the time he was in his early twenties, he enjoyed and played blues music, but also worked for a while backing punk poet Richard Hell.

Chubby's first big break was winning a national blues talent search sponsored by KLON, a public radio station in Long Beach, CA. He won the New Artist of the Year award and opened at the Long Beach Blues Festival in 1992.

Chubby has continued to play more than 200 club dates a year through the 1990s. His Sony/Okeh debut, Booty and the Beast, was produced by longtime Atlantic Records engineer/producer Tom Dowd, whose recordings by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, and others are legendary.

In 1994, Chubby released several albums on his own Laughing Bear label, It's Chubby Time and Gas Money, before landing his deal with Sony Music/Okeh Records for Booty and the Beast, his major-label debut, released in 1995.

In 1996, the 1 (800) PrimeCD label released a live recording of Chubby's, Hit the High Hard One. Two years later, One Million Broken Guitars was released on Lightyear Records; Brooklyn Basement Blues followed in 1999.

In 2000, Chubby signed with the Blind Pig label and released How'd a White Boy Get the Blues? in 2001. The disc turned out to be a slight departure, incorporating elements of contemporary pop and hip-hop.

2002's The Good, the Bad and the Chubby showed great development in the artist's songwriting and included the 9/11 commentary "Somebody Let the Devil Out."

Blind Pig released a collection of early Chubby recordings, The Hungry Years, in 2003. Troubled by the war in Iraq, Chubby released his most political album, Peace, Love and Respect, a year later.

Two albums previously available only in France -- Live at FIP and Wild -- were compiled by the Blind Pig label and released as Big Man Big Guitar in 2005, followed by a new studio set called Stealing the Devil's Guitar a year later.

Currently Popa Chubby has released "Deliveries After Dark" It debuted on the Billboard Blues Charts at #4. Popa is currently working on a book of short stories entitled "Road Rot", about his exploits as a touring musician from the streets of the big apple.

Popa Chubby - Stoop Down Baby

Sonny Boy Williamson II

Aleck "Rice" Miller (December 5, 1899 or March 11, 1908 – May 25, 1965), a.k.a. Sonny Boy Williamson II, Willie Williamson, Willie Miller, "Little Boy Blue", "The Goat" and "Footsie," was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter.

Biography :
Sonny Boy Williamson II was born on the Sara Jones Plantation near Glendora, Mississippi in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi. The date and year of his birth are a matter of some uncertainty. Miller claimed to have been born on December 5, 1899, but one researcher, David Evans, claims to have found census record evidence that he was born around 1912. Miller's gravestone has his birthdate as March 11, 1908.

Miller lived and worked with his sharecropper stepfather, Jim Miller, and mother, Millie Ford, until the early 1930s. Beginning in the 1930s, he traveled around Mississippi and Arkansas and encountered Big Joe Williams, Elmore James and Robert Lockwood, Jr., also known as Robert Junior Lockwood, who would play guitar on his later Checker Records sides. He was also associated with Robert Johnson during this period.

Williamson developed his style and raffish stage persona during these years. Willie Dixon recalled seeing Lockwood and Sonny Boy, with an amplified harmonica, in Greenville, Mississippi in the 1930s. He captivated audiences with tricks such as holding his harmonica between his top lip and nose and playing with no hands.

Williamson lived in Twist, Arkansas for a time with Howlin' Wolf's sister Mary Burnett and taught Wolf to play harmonica. (Later, for Chess, Williamson did a parody of Howlin' Wolf entitled "Like Wolf.") In 1941 Miller was hired to play the King Biscuit Time show on radio station KFFA in Helena, Arkansas with Lockwood.

It was at this point that the radio program's sponsor, Max Moore, began billing Miller as Sonny Boy Williamson, apparently in an attempt to capitalize on the fame of the well known Chicago-based harmonica player and singer John Lee Williamson (see Sonny Boy Williamson I). Although John Lee Williamson was a major blues star who had already released dozens of successful and widely influential records under the name "Sonny Boy Williamson" from 1937 onward, Aleck Miller would later claim to have been the first to use the name, and some blues scholars believe that Miller's assertion he was born in 1899 was a ruse to convince audiences he was old enough to have used the name before John Lee Williamson, who was born in 1914. Whatever the methodology, Miller became known as "Sonny Boy Williamson," (universally distinguished by blues fans and musicians as "Sonny Boy Williamson number two" or "Sonny Boy Williamson the second") and Lockwood and the rest of his band were the King Biscuit Boys. His growing renown in the mid-south took him places such as West Memphis, Arkansas, where he performed on a KWEM radio show selling the elixir Hadacol.

Williamson's first recording session took place in 1951 for Lillian McMurry of Jackson, Mississippi's Trumpet Records (three years after the death of John Lee Williamson, which for the first time allowed some legitimacy to Miller's carefully worded claim to being "the one and only Sonny Boy Williamson".) McMurry later erected Williamson's headstone, near Tutwiler, Mississippi, in 1977.

When Trumpet went bankrupt in 1955, Sonny Boy's recording contract was yielded to its creditors, who sold it to Chess Records in Chicago, Illinois. Williamson had begun developing a following in Chicago beginning in 1953, when he appeared there as a member of Elmore James's band. It was during his Chess years that he enjoyed his greatest success and acclaim, recording about 70 songs for Chess subsidiary Checker Records from 1955 to 1964. In the 1960s he toured Europe during the height of the British blues craze, recording with The Yardbirds and The Animals. Accoring to the Led Zeppelin biography Hammer of the Gods, while in England Sonny Boy set his hotel room on fire while trying to cook a rabbit in a coffee percolator. During this tour he allegedly stabbed a man during a street fight and left the country abruptly.(Robert Palmer's Deep Blues)

In the 1940s Williamson married Mattie Gordon, who remained his wife until his death on May 25, 1965 (his headstone erroneously gives his date of death as June 23, 1965) in Helena, Arkansas. Williamson was characterized by a hip-flask of whiskey, a pistol, a knife, a foul mouth, and a short temper. He had always worn fancier suits than he could afford, and his tour of Europe allowed him further embellishment, adding a finely tailored two-tone suit and a bowler hat to his unique, grey-goateed image.

Williamson is buried on New Africa Rd. just outside Tutwiler, Mississippi at the site of the former Whitman Chapel cemetery. His headstone was provided by Ms. Lillian Mc Murray, owner of Trumpet Records.

Rice Miller was, however, notable as a highly original blues songwriter, and his laconic harmonica style and sly vocals mark him as a true artist. Much of his best work exhibits a solidly swinging beat and a rich dialogue between blues harp, guitar, piano, and percussion. His use of space, his timing, and his tone place him among the greatest of the blues-harp players.

Some of his better known songs include "Don't Start Me To Talkin'" (his only major hit, it reached the #3 position on the national Billboard R&B charts in 1955),"Fattenin' Frogs for Snakes", "Keep It To Yourself", "Your Funeral and My Trial", "Bye Bye Bird", "Nine Below Zero", "Help Me", and the infamous "Little Village", with dialogue 'unsuitable for airplay' with Leonard Chess. His song "Eyesight to the Blind" was performed by The Who as a key song in their rock opera Tommy (the only song in that opus not written by a band member) and it was later covered on the Aerosmith album Honkin' on Bobo. His "One Way Out", reworked from Elmore James and recorded twice in the early 1960s, became popularized by The Allman Brothers Band in the early 1970s.

In interviews in The Last Waltz, roots-rockers The Band recount jamming with Miller prior to their initial fame as Bob Dylan's electric backing band, and making never-realized plans to become his backing band.

Sonny Boy Williamson II - Bye Bye Bird

vrijdag 29 mei 2009

Ana Popovic

Ana Popovic (born 13 May 1976 in Belgrade, Serbia, formerly Yugoslavia) Blues-guitarist and singer.


Ana Popovic was born in Belgrade in 1976. Her father first introduced her to the blues, through an extensive record collection and sessions hosted at the family home. Ana took to the guitar and founded her first serious band at age nineteen. Within a year, she was playing outside of Yugoslavia and opening shows for American blues icons like Junior Wells. By 1998, her band was doing 100 shows annually and appearing regularly on Yugoslavian television. Her debut CD, Hometown, provided a first glimpse of her talents as a singer and guitarist.

In 1999, Ana relocated to the Netherlands to study jazz guitar. She quickly became a fixture on the Dutch blues scene and soon ventured into neighboring Germany. With Comfort to the Soul (2003), Popovic took her burgeoning career to the next level, she delivered another diverse package of blues, rock, soul and jazz. The album makes one thing clear. Ana Popovic is not about recycling worn-out clichés. Her blues are fresh, positive and genre-expanding.

Ana Popovic is a veritable anomaly in the blues scene, in professional circles she's also called the feminine Jimi Hendrix.

Ana Popovic - Don't Bear Down On Me

donderdag 28 mei 2009

Mississippi Fred McDowell

Fred McDowell (January 12, 1904 - July 3, 1972), often known as Mississippi Fred McDowell, was a Delta blues singer and guitar player.

McDowell was born in Rossville, Tennessee, near Memphis. His parents, who were farmers, died when McDowell was a youth. He started playing guitar at the age of 14 and played at dances around Rossville. Wanting a change from ploughing fields, he moved to Memphis in 1926 where he worked in a number of jobs and played music for tips. He settled in Como, Mississippi, about 40 miles south of Memphis, in 1940 or 1941, and worked steadily as a farmer, continuing to perform music at dances, and picnics. Initially he played slide guitar using a pocket knife and then a slide made from a beef rib bone, later switching to a glass slide for its clearer sound. He played with the slide on his ring finger.

While commonly lumped together with "Delta Blues singers," McDowell actually may be considered the first of the bluesmen from the North Mississippi region - parallel to, but somewhat east of the Delta region - to achieve widespread recognition for his work. A version of the state’s signature musical form somewhat closer in structure to its African roots (often eschewing the chord change for the hypnotic effect of the droning, single chord vamp), the North Mississippi style (or at least its aesthetic) may be heard to have been carried on in the music of such figures as Junior Kimbrough and R. L. Burnside; as well as the jam band The North Mississippi All-Stars, while serving as the original impetus behind creation of the Fat Possum record label out of Oxford, Mississippi.[citation needed]

The 1950s brought a rising interest in blues music and folk music in the United States, and McDowell was brought to wider public attention, beginning when he was discovered and recorded in 1959 by Alan Lomax and Shirley Collins. [1] McDowell's recordings were popular, and he performed often at festivals and clubs. McDowell continued to perform blues in the North Mississippi blues style much as he had for decades, but he sometimes performed on electric guitar rather than acoustic. While he famously declared "I do not play no rock and roll," McDowell was not averse to associating with many younger rock musicians: He coached Bonnie Raitt on slide guitar technique, and was reportedly flattered by The Rolling Stones' rather straightforward, authentic version of his "You Gotta Move" on their 1971 Sticky Fingers album.

McDowell's 1969 album I Do Not Play No Rock 'N' Roll was his first featuring electric guitar. It features parts of an interview in which he discusses the origins of the blues and the nature of love. This interview was sampled and mixed into a song (also titled "I Do Not Play No Rock 'N' Roll" by Dangerman in 1999.

McDowell died of cancer in 1972 and is buried at Hammond Hill M.B. Church, between Como and Senatobia. On August 6, 1993 a memorial was placed on the gravesite of Mississippi Fred McDowell at the Hammond Hill Baptist Church cemetery by the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund. The ceremony was presided over by Dick Waterman and the memorial with Mc Dowell's portrait upon it was paid for by Bonnie Raitt. In this case the memorial stone was a replacement for an inaccurate and damaged marker (McDowell's name was mis-spelled) - the original stone was subsequently donated by McDowell's family to the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Fred McDowell - Shake Em On Down

Fred McDowell - John Henry

Big Walter Horton

Big Walter Horton or Walter "Shakey" Horton (April 6, 1917– December 8, 1981) was an American blues harmonica player.

Born Walter Horton in Horn Lake, Mississippi, he was playing a harmonica by the time he was five years old. In his early teens, he lived in Memphis, Tennessee and claimed that his earliest recordings were done there in the late 1920s with the Memphis Jug Band, although there is no documentation, and many have since disputed this claim. (He also claimed to have taught some harmonica to Little Walter and the original Sonny Boy Williamson, although these claims are unsubstantiated, and in the case of the older Williamson, somewhat suspect.) As with many of his peers, he spent much of his career existing on a meager income and living with constant discrimination in a segregated America. In the 1930s he played with various blues performers across the Mississippi delta region. It's generally accepted that his first recordings were made in Memphis, backing guitarist Little Buddy Doyle on recordings for the Okeh and Vocalion Records labels, in 1939. These recordings were in the acoustic duo format popularized by Sleepy John Estes with his harmonicist Hammie Nixon, among others. On these recordings, Walter's style is not yet fully realized, but there are clear hints of what is to come. He eventually stopped playing the harp for a living due to poor health, and worked mainly outside of music in the 1940s. By the early 1950s, he was playing music again, and was among the first to record for Sam Phillips at Sun Records in Memphis, who would later record rock and roll superstars Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and country giant Johnny Cash. The early Big Walter recordings from Sun include performances from a young Phineas Newborn, Jr. on piano, who later gained fame as a jazz pianist.

During the early 1950s he first appeared on the Chicago blues scene, where he frequently played with fellow Memphis and Delta musicians who had also moved north, including guitarists Eddie Taylor and Johnny Shines. When Junior Wells left the Muddy Waters band at the end of 1952, Horton replaced him in Muddy's band long enough to play on one session with Muddy in January 1953. Big Walter's style had by then fully matured, and he was playing in the heavily amplified style that became one of the trademarks of the Chicago blues sound. His harmonica playing is characterized by a deep, rich tone, and precise articulation, using the full register of the harp and utilizing the higher notes of the harp with great dexterity. His tone was consistently deeper or 'heavier' than Little Walter's, but with phrasing that was more in keeping with the Memphis traditions, and less adventurous and improvisational than the jazzier explorations employed by his chief harmonica rival Little Walter. He also made great use of techniques such as tongue-blocking. Many blues harmonica aficionados consider Horton's solo on Jimmy Rogers' 1956 Chess recording "Walking By Myself" to be his greatest moment, and a high point of post-war Chicago blues.

Also known as "Mumbles", and "Shakey" because of his head motion while playing the harmonica, Horton was active on the Chicago blues scene during the 1960s as blues music gained popularity with white audiences. From the early 1960s onward, he recorded and appeared frequently as a sideman with Eddie Taylor, Johnny Shines, Johnny Young, Sunnyland Slim, Willie Dixon and many others. He toured extensively, usually as a backing musician, and in the 1970s he performed at blues and folk festivals in the U.S. and Europe, frequently with Willie Dixon's Chicago Blues All-Stars. He has also appeared as a guest on recordings by blues and rock stars such as Fleetwood Mac and Johnny Winter. In October 1968, while tourning the UK, he cut the album Southern Comfort with the former Savoy Brown Blues Band and future Mighty Baby guitarist Martin Stone. In the late 1970s he toured the country with Homesick James Williamson, Richard Molina, Bradley Pierce Smith and Paul Nebenzahl, and appeared on National Public Radio broadcasts. His musical output was somewhat inconsistent over the course of his career, unpredictably wavering between brilliant and workmanlike, and much of his best work was done as a sideman. Some of the best compilations of his own work are Mouth-Harp Maestro and Fine Cuts. Also notable is the low-key but excellent Big Walter Horton and Carey Bell album released by Alligator Records in 1972.

A quiet, unassuming man, Horton is remembered as one of the most gifted harmonica players in the history of blues music. He died in Chicago in 1981 at the age of 64, and was buried in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois.

Big Walter Horton - Shakey's Blues (1965)

Big Walter Horton with Ronnie Earl rec.1980

sorry for the poor quality

zondag 24 mei 2009

A Twitter message via the Linux cmd

my own built Linux cml. Twitter script

Imports via a dialog, subsequently viewed in a text-based browser.

Change the user name, password and url provided in the script with your own data
Save the below as, chmot 777 and run!

# CMD-Twitter - ver. 1.0.0
# harm501 - 06-02-2009
# user & password :
#text-based browser - w3m, lynx, links, Elinks :
#you twitter url :

dialog --title "Twitter - Inputbox" --backtitle "Linux CMD-Twitter" --inputbox "What are you doing right now ?" 8 60 2>/tmp/input.$$


na=`cat /tmp/input.$$`
case $sel in
0) echo "Sendin to Twitter : $na : press on Enter !!" ;;
1) echo "Cancel is Press" ;;
255) echo "[ESCAPE] key pressed" ;;

rm -f /tmp/input.$$
curl -u $user:$password -d status="$na"
$browser $url

DeFord Bailey

DeFord Bailey (December 14, 1899 – July 2, 1982) was an early country music star and the first African American performer on the Grand Ole Opry. Bailey played several instruments but is best known for his harmonica tunes. He was one of the few notable African-American stars in country music.

A grandson of slaves, Bailey was born in Smith County, Tennessee and moved to Nashville in 1925. His first documented radio appearance was June 19, 1926 on WSM in Nashville.

Bailey also had several records issued in 1927-1928, all of them harmonica solos. In 1927 he recorded eight sides for Brunswick records in New York City, while in 1928 he recorded eight sides for Victor Recording Company in Nashville, of which three were issued on several labels, including Victor, Bluebird and RCA. Emblematic of the ambiguity of Bailey's position as a recording artist is the fact his arguably greatest recording, John Henry, was released separately in both RCA's 'race' and 'hillbilly' series.

Bailey was a pioneer member of the WSM Grand Ole Opry, and one of its most popular performers, appearing on the program from 1927 to 1941. During this period he toured with many major country stars, including Uncle Dave Macon, Bill Monroe, and Roy Acuff. Like other black stars of his day traveling in the South and West, he faced many difficulties in finding food and accommodation because of the discriminatory Jim Crow laws.

Bailey was fired by WSM in 1941 because of a licensing conflict with BMI-ASCAP which prevented him from playing his best known tunes on the radio. This effectively ended his performance career, and he spent the rest of his life shining shoes, cutting hair, and renting out rooms in his home to make a living. Though he continued to play the harp, he almost never performed publicly. One of his rare appearances occurred in 1974, when he agreed to make one more appearance on the Opry. This became the occasion for the Opry's first annual Old Timers' Show.

In 2005, Nashville Public Television produced the documentary "DeFord Bailey: A Legend Lost". The documentary was broadcast nationally through PBS. Later that year, thanks to his pioneering efforts, Bailey was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on November 15, 2005. Joining him in the 2005 class were country-pop superstar Glen Campbell and the band Alabama. On June 27, 2007, the DeFord Bailey Tribute Garden was dedicated at the George Washington Carver Food Park in Nashville.

DeFord Bailey - Fox Chase (live)

DeFord Bailey - Pan-American Blues [1926]

DeFord Bailey - Pan American Blues (live)

My favorite artists and bands

blues :
Albert Collins,
Ana Popovic,
B.B. King,
Bessie Smith,
Big Walter Horton,
Bjorn Berge,
Blind Blake,
Blind Lemon Jefferson,
Bo Diddley,
Buddy Guy,
Candye Kane,
Charley Patton,
Charlie Musselwhite,
Cuby And The Blizzards,
DeFord Bailey,
Derek and the Dominos,
Elmore James, Eric Clapton,
Eric Steckel, Erja Lyytinen,
Fred McDowell,
Freddie King,
George Thorogood,
Howlin' Wolf,
Jan Akkerman,
Jimi Hendrix,
J.J. Cale,
Joe Bonamassa,
John Lee Hooker,
Johnny Winter,
Julian Sas,
Kim Wilson,
Lightnin' Hopkins,
Little Walter,
Mariella Tirotto & the Blues Federation,
Muddy Waters,
Neil Young,
Nina Simone,
Omar and the Howlers,
Popa Chubby,
Robert Johnson,
Ron Hacker,
Sister Rosetta Tharpe,
Son House,
Sonny Boy Williamson I & II,
Stevie Ray Vaughan,
T-Bone Walker,
Walter Trout Band,
ZZ Top

none blues :
Ac / Dc,
Alan Parsons Project,
Amy MacDonald,
Armin Van Buuren,
Creedence Clearwater Revival,
DJ Tiesto,
Earth And Fire,
Harry Sacksioni,
Herman Brood,
Jean Michel Jarre,
Jefferson Airplane,
Kate Bush,
Katie Melua,
Led Zeppelin,
Lee Oskar,
Mike Oldfield,
Pink Floyd,
Stray Cats,
Talking Heads,

zaterdag 23 mei 2009

My harmonica toys

I play sometimes harmonica, my favorite is Lee Oskar.

Here some of my toys :

My modify "Me And The Devil Blues" Lee Oskar at key C

right : "25th Anniversary Gold" Lee Oskar at key C
left : standard Lee Oskar at key G, Ab, A, Bb, B, C, D, Eb, E, F

amplifier :
Park at Marshall G10MK.II
G10Mk.II - 10 Watt Practice Combo
Built like a tank with easy-to-use controls, the
G10Mk.ll houses a range of killer sounds from
sweet 'n' clean to dirty 'n' distorted.
Features: Boost switch, Gain control, Contour
control which sweeps the mid band, Master
Volume, Headphone input.

microphone :
Shure 520DX "Green Bullet" Harmonica Microphone
* Volume control knob allows users to adjust the volume to fit each musical situation
* Rugged, dynamic cartridge with improved response
* High-impedance, omnidirectional
* Supplied with 1/4 inch connector
* Frequency response 100 to 5,000 Hz

Lee Oskar

Lee Oskar
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1948, Oskar was six years old when a family friend gave him his first harmonica. "I came from an area where every kid on the block had a harmonica," he remembers. He grew up listening to Danish radio, enjoying all types of music and cites Ray Charles as the biggest influence from that period. When he was 17, Oskar decided that the United States was where a harmonica player should make his career, so he moved to New York at the age of 18 with little more than a harmonica in his pocket. With no money, Oskar played harmonica in the streets of New York. Eventually arriving in Los Angeles, California, via Toronto and San Francisco, Oskar soon met and joined forces with Eric Burdon who had recently disbanded the Animals and was searching for new collaborators. Together, the harp-playing Dane (born Oskar Levetin Hansen) and the British blues-rock singer made the rounds of the L.A. clubs, eventually hooking up with the soon-to-be members of War. Burdon agreed to the novel idea of pairing up Oskar's harmonica with Charles Miller's saxophone to form a horn section. This team-up set War apart from the start, giving Oskar room to display the full spectrum of his improvisational prowess. Oskar's harmonica magic was always a vital element in War's music and performances. Oskar continued with War for 24 years non-stop. At the end of 1992 he made the decision to end his association with that group in order to have the time to pursue his solo career.

There is no one in the pop-music world quite like Lee Oskar who has been described as "a virtuoso," "the harmonica whiz" "a war hero," "legendary," "musical wizardry," and as "generally regarded to be among the best rock-blues-soul harmonica players." His unique role as a founding member and former lead harmonica player of the pioneer funk-jazz group War won him international renown for over two and a half decades (1969–1993). Oskar's signature solos helped to define the War sound from the band's beginning in 1969, adding dashes of color to its R&B, jazz, rock, and Latin influences. Oskar's position with War was a prominent one from its early days with singer Eric Burdon onward. Audiences marveled at his improvisational wizardry, not to mention his animated stage presence. "My playing has become more aggressive over the years," he says. "In the beginning, my role was playing horn lines. Today, it's evolved to the point where I'm playing a lead instrument. If I'm not doing a solo, I'm playing counterlines—I try to paint within certain spaces in the music to help create the overall picture."

Solo Career
The eclectic, multicultural nature of War's music is also evident in Oskar's solo projects. Three stellar albums released between 1976 and 1981 (and recently rereleased on CD) brought critical and popular acclaim[18] including being voted No. 1 Instrumental Artist of the Year for 1976 in not one, but three major industry mags: Billboard, Cashbox and Record World. The albums, like Oskar's electrifying live performances, show the diverse influences that make up this hard-to-categorize musical giant. A renowned composer, his compositions have been featured on movie sound tracks and television commercials. He has been the recipient of many Gold and Platinum recordings and honored with special ASCAP Writing Awards

The Lee Oskar Harmonica

In 1983 Oskar formed a company to manufacture high-quality harmonicas. His company, Lee Oskar Harmonica, sells harmonicas suited to many different styles of music, including blues, folk, rock, R&B and country. Oskar's harmonica company celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2008.

Story of the Crossroads

Robert Johnson - Cross Road Blues (take 2)
I went to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
I went to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
Asked the Lord above "Have mercy, now
save poor Bob, if you please
Mmmmm, standin' at the crossroad
I tried to flag a ride
Standin' at the crossroad
I tried to flag a ride
Didn't nobody seem to know me
everybody pass me by
Mmm, the sun goin' down, boy
dark gon' catch me here
oooo ooee eeee
boy, dark gon' catch me here
I haven't got no lovin' sweet woman that
love and feel my care
You can run, you can run
tell my friend-boy Willie Brown
You can run, you can run
tell my friend-boy Willie Brown
Lord, that I'm standin' at the crossroad, babe
I believe I'm sinkin' down

Me, myself and I

Hi, I am Harald ten Hoopen [harm501] living in the Netherlands.

I want to build an English blog, not that my English is so good, but I try.

I'm interested in :

* Linux
* 'old' pc's
* Blues
* Music from the '60, '70 and '80
* Playing a little on my Lee Oskar bluesharp's (harmonica)

If you have nothing to do look at my other (Dutch) website's :

* mr. DeltaBlues
* Youtube
* Hyves
* Twitter
* FriendFeed
* TwitPic

greetings and have fun, Harald

slogan :
blues is not my anti-drug,
blues is my drug,
blues is the healer !