Mavis Staples has been one of the great gospel singers since the 1950s, both with other members of her family and solo. Here’s her version of the classic “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” from her 2004 album Have a Little Faith.
Robert Johnson is one of the greatest blues musicians that ever was. It’s safe to say that many rock-and-rollers owe their careers to Johnson — Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, The Who, and many others were hugely influenced by Johnson, just for starters. The story is that he sold his soul to the devil to become a great guitarist, which has been the stuff of legend and fiction forever. (I myself used it in one of my Cassie Zukav stories, “I Believe I’m Sinkin’ Down,” and Supernatural made use of the legend in the episode “Crossroad Blues.”) Here’s a song that has become a standard at home games of Windy City sports teams, “Sweet Home Chicago.”
There are billions of versions of this John Lee Hooker song, and yes, this is another one — by Hooker himself, in a concert from the year I was born, 1969. Just a beautiful version of “Boom Boom,” backed by a stellar band that includes Sunnyland Slim on piano, Johnny Shines on the guitar, Clifton James on the drums, and the great Willie Dixon on the upright bass.
My single favorite Christmas song, as performed by the Waverly Consort.
Having posted the parody of this song, I thought it was only fair to post the original, so here’s Marc Cohn’s lovely tribute to the land of the Delta Blues, “Walking in Memphis.”
Gotta do this in honor of my black-belt promotion…..
For some reason, this song off Robbie Robertson’s eponymous 1987 album has been in my head a lot lately. Like most of Robertson’s songs, it’s a wonderful, evocative story, and like all the songs on that Daniel Lanois-produced album, it’s lush and magnificent. Check it out…
The great Charlie Watts, the almost-bored-looking drummer for the Rolling Stones from 1963 onward, died yesterday at the age of 80. He was one of the absolute greats, and will be sorely missed.
Probably his most iconic drum riff is from the opening to “Sympathy for the Devil.” Here is the original, as well as a live version from 2006.
Here’s some more Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, jammin’……….
My dear friend ToniAnn Marini introduced me to the Royal Crown Revue by sending me this YouTube link. They’re an old-fashioned swing band in the same mode as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and I love ’em. Check it out….