Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Bass Fiddle...

In the blues world, often times the only bass fiddler that people know of is the great Willie Dixon. I suppose this is a bit of a tangent, but I've read more than a few comments on Youtube of people proclaiming that Willie invented, or at least started the idea, of slap bass :|

Well, to that I'd say, check out this video of the great Milt Hinton demonstrating the technique. Milt came from a different musical background than Willie but interestingly would incorporate the same slap technique. This is to say, that bass fiddle slapping was probably prevalent all over the place, way back when...

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Lead Belly Footage

For some reason, it's widely believed that there exists only one video of Lead Belly...this is, thankfully, not the case. As far as I know, there are four in circulation. One being the newsreel clip of Lead Belly re-enacting his meeting with Alan Lomax, and also these three demonstrating the master in action. I've been searching for the latter two clips in this video for ages!

Lead Belly...the greatest folk musician ever...

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Sandy Bull's Music

Someone unfortunately unknown to me until today is a musician by the name of Sandy Bull. His take on instrumental music, almost like a psychedelic version of Basho at times, epitomizes the meaning of the word 'chill'. Other descriptors that come to mind might be thought-provoking, explorative, Jerry-Garcia-like, and so on.

As you can see by the album cover, his talent drew him to several instruments. From my very superficial experience with his music, thus far, it seems like each instrument exposes a very different facet of his musical concept. The banjo - a very folksie, old time sound, the electric guitar - a Grateful Dead kind of idea, etc. Good stuff...

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Jelly Roll Morton and Make Me A Pallet On the Floor

The great old, old tune Make Me A Pallet On the Floor...among my favorite versions are John Hurt's, Willie Brown's, and Sam Chatmon's. I'm thinking that many of you have heard those renditions but have not yet heard Jelly Roll Morton's - the self-proclaimed, contentiously so, inventor of jazz. Whatever his credentials in that regard truly are, there's no doubt that he was a key figure in the history of jazz and also played a key-role (much like Lead Belly) in accounting for the aural history of black American music from before the recording era.

Honestly, the lyrics that he puts onto this monumentally long version are, to me, amusing in a "did he actually just say that?" way...just cuz it's Jelly Roll Morton and I have a shameful sense of humor (which I blame on my internet generation). You'll see what I mean...I've never had to say this, but please use discretion in choosing to listen to this if vulgarity does not jive with you...btw, Mr Lomax recorded this.