It’s hard not to like “Big Bill Broonzy Sings Folk Songs” as a new remastered vinyl reissue. Like the man himself, it
deserves much love.
On “Texas Easy Street Blues,” the itinerant hobo Thomas wants to head back to his native Texas and just sit and watch the world go by.
In 1930, Blind Blake was one of Paramount’s biggest-selling artists in a career that started in 1926. But since it was during The Great Depression, record sales — along with everything else — plummeted, so he picked up plenty of side gigs, including one with Chocolate Brown.
As much as ‘Big Ten-Inch Record (Of The Blues)’ seems custom-made for the elevator-riding, hey-diddle-diddling, down-on-a-muffin Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, it was actually Bull Moose Jackson who first shocked listeners in 1952 with a performance of this double-entendre laden song written by Fred Weismantel.
She was billed as “Sanctified Singer with Guitar.” And, man, she’s one hard-rockin’ mother. Well, Mother McCollum, that is. McCollum’s soulful vocals and nimble guitar picking are the highlights this rare and rockin’ little record paying homage to the Lord.
Armed with bawdy songs and a six-stringed guitar masquerading in a banjo’s body, Papa Charlie Jackson found it easy to catch the attention of his listeners.
Is it talent or is it studio technology? In the case of Bessie Smith’s recording of ‘Blue Spirit Blues’ on the Columbia label, the answer is a bit of both.
Seems The Rev. E.W. Clayborn, aka the Guitar Evangelist, sang the blues from experience with ‘Your Enemies Can Not Harm You (But Watch Your Close Friend).’
Whatever happened to the singer who moaned, groaned and fretted about a snake we suspect got around town on two legs? We may never know Luella Miller’s fate, but one thing we do know is how much her 78 RPM record ‘Rattlesnake Groan’ has grown in value since 1927.
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. So what is the exchange rate behind the the raw emotion of Blind Willie Johnson’s performance of ‘Dark Was the Night — Cold Was The Ground’ (Columbia 14303-D).