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).
As he cheerfully calls his honey a ho and says she smells like a goat, Washboard Walter’s ‘Long Tall Disconnected Mama’ takes the road less traveled.
A sprightly, good-timey, catchy, humorous song — complete with some flyin’ fiddle, guitar and delicious two-part harmony — “Cracking Them Things” is arguably one of The Mississippi Sheiks’ greatest records. But it also is one of the group’s rarest, as no copies are known to exist.
Bluesman Charley Patton is unhappy with the ‘Mean Black Cat’ sniffing around his woman. And, as Paramount 12943 explains, he’s irate about her skills, too.
Forty years after Henry Thomas recorded “Bull Doze Blues,” Canned Heat duplicated the vocal, the chords and the pan-pipe solo for “Going Up The Country.”
Furry Lewis made a lot of savvy choices, including hanging on to his career outside of music, so we’re guessing his advice about the dangers of pretty girls is on target.
Rare blues recordings typically fetch several hundred to a few thousand dollars on the open market, perhaps more if they are exceedingly rare, in absolutely pristine condition or from a legendary artist. This copy of Paramount 12950 featuring Tommy Johnson had all of those factors in its favor.
Bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson heads out in search of the perfect peach, only to find three others have tumbled the fruit from his favored tree. Or, for those of you who aren’t farmers: His woman done him wrong.
Little is known about Walter ‘Buddy Boy’ Hawkins, but two things are certain: He knew how to work a guitar, and his vocals told the story beyond the lyrics.
The 11th installment of the Blues Images calendar features a 24-track CD and hard-to-find photographs of icons Henry Thomas, Furry Lewis and Bessie Smith.