Posts Tagged: blues

Song of the Day: “Gin House Blues”

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Nina Simone’s troubles were highlighted in the recent gripping documentary by Liz Garbus, What Happened, Miss Simone? Though Simone had her fair share of challenges, it was her incredibly resonant voice and musical genius that contributed to the gradual accumulation of legends surrounding her.

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Song of the Day: “Me and My Gin”

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Though the British blues-rockers The Animals recorded a gritty version of a song called “Gin House Blues” in 1966, the tune was originally released by Bessie Smith in 1928 under the name “Me and My Gin.” Smith, the storied blues singer of the Prohibition and Great Depression, did record another song a few years earlier that may have confused other artists over the years who attempted to cover Smith’s version.

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Song of the Day: “Gin House Blues”

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Today, the so-called British Invasion of the ’60s is remembered primarily for its flagship band, The Beatles. Another English group called The Animals—widely known for their international hit version of the folk song “House of the Rising Sun”—are unfortunately obscured by the long shadow of the former, but their screaming fans knew and loved The Animals’s gritty rock.

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Swinging Modern Sounds #77: People Give Me Things, Part One

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[T]he thing about receiving music from other people is this: there is always some grace associated with the transaction. ...more
Rosanne Cash - Black Cadillac | Rumpus Music

Albums of Our Lives: Rosanne Cash’s Black Cadillac

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In her voice, I am held, cradled even. I am equal parts longing and hope. I am home. ...more

The Sunday Rumpus Essay: Trouble in Mind

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I wasn’t blue always; my campus rape didn’t ruin my life. But at times I’ve found being a woman exhausting. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Rich Cohen

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Rich Cohen discusses his new book The Sun & the Moon & the Rolling Stones, writing book proposals, and interviewing rock stars. ...more

Song of the Day: “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?”

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Mournful is the best way to describe Leadbelly’s voice in the song popularized by Nirvana on their live album, MTV Unplugged in New York. While Nirvana’s version captured the attention of audiences, the original lament was recorded by a canonized blues artist whose given name was Huddie William Ledbetter.

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Song of the Day: “Matchbox Blues”

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Perhaps no other blues artist in history, along with contemporaries like Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, and Lightnin’ Hopkins, had such an influence on later generations of musicians as Blind Lemon Jefferson. After growing up in Texas and reputedly playing on the streets from eight at night until four in the morning, Jefferson was one of the first to record solo blues performances in the early 1920s.

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Song of the Day: “Ramblin’ Man”

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The Allman Brothers have had a long and tumultuous run since their formation in 1971 around a core group including Duane and Gregg Allman. The death of Duane in a motorcycle accident that very year could have broken up the band forever, but instead, it led to a highly creative period that produced epochal southern rock records like Eat A Peach—named after the type of truck that had killed their founding member—and Brothers and Sisters.

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Swinging Modern Sounds #68: A Way of Life

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The thing about Scott Tuma is: the immense pathos of the recordings... Almost no one, frankly, is allowed to sound this sad and continue to have a musical career. ...more

This Week in Posivibes: The Zion Travelers

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Aquarium Drunkard has unearthed another incredible rerelease in 1996’s The Dootone Masters from Ace Records. Based in the LA area for over two decades, The Zion Travelers put out their first record on Atlas in 1947 and eventually came to the Dootone label, which was then headquartered in label-owner and trumpeter Dootsie Williams’s home in Watts.

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Song of the Day: “Jackie Wilson Said”

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Van Morrison—aka George Ivan Morrison of Belfast, Northern Ireland—has had a long and varied career that began in the mid 60s. After recording a string of massive hit singles like “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Moondance,” and “Caravan,” he released “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile),” a veiled tribute to the influential soul artist of that name.

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Take a Minute to Marvel at B.B. King

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The world lost one of its blues masters May 14th with B.B. King’s passing. The man who kept blues alive brought his virtuosic playing to bear on generations of American experience, influencing musicians across all categories. Take a minute to marvel at his work: read about his career and legacy, take in views of his life from fellow icons and admirers.

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Song of the Day: “I Start To Run”

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The arrival of chillier weather means that the joggers among us may need some encouragement to meet our goals. But even the exercise-averse will appreciate the driving mania of White Denim’s single, “I Start To Run.” The Austin, Texas-based four-piece showcase their impressive rock chops in this energizing track off their 2009 record, Fits.

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Song of the Day: “Baby What You Want Me To Do”

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The distinctive tone of influential blues man Jimmy Reid can be heard throughout modern rock music, from Z.Z. Top to The Rolling Stones. In his hit song “Baby What You Want Me To Do,” from 1959, he sings, “You got me doing what you want me / So baby why you want to let go.” The passion and the subtext behind the words—which were written by his wife—have gotten our attention.

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