Sonny Boy Williamson II

10 04 2009

The amazing Aleck “Rice” Miller.

Little Walter Live 1967

1 04 2009

With Hound Dog Taylor and his band

Backing up Koko Taylor with Hound Dog

1966 Junior Wells And Otis Rush

28 03 2009

Buddy Guy 1965 With Big Mama Thornton

22 02 2009

The fantastic Buddy Guy backs up Big Mama Thornton in this live rendition of “Hound Dog”, slipping in silvery stratocaster lines that at times sounds like the harp of Little Walter.

Muddy Waters “Rollin’ Stone” 1960

13 02 2009

Muddy gets primal with a telecaster through a gibson amp. Awesome.

Son House: Levee CampBlues

5 01 2009

Shattering clip from the mid 1960’s as Son House reaches deep. To me, this is as close as anything I’ve ever seen as being a definition of “The Blues”.  Not an amp in sight, but who cares?

Elmore James: It Hurts Me Too

17 10 2008

Cheap guitars and dusty old amps coupled with a masterful slide guitarist, who was also my favorite blues singer of all time, the great Elmore James. A contemporary of Robert Johnson and Sonny Boy Williamson II, who didn’t get the chance to make his own recordings until 1953, James recorded this, the second version of “It Hurts Me Too”, in 1961, two years before he tragically passed away at 45. In what sounds like a classic case of Mississippi-style razorblade slashed speakers, just listen to the way that the amp that the guitar playing the bass line is going through is distorting. Blues heaven.

Otis Rush In Berlin 1966

14 09 2008

The magnificent Otis Rush shows how it’s done in this instrumental clip as he handles a fairly non-traditional tandem of right-handed Epiphone Riviera, played upside down and not restrung, straight into a Vox AC-30 at low volume.

Rush gets fine backing from of Little Brother Montgomery on piano, Fred Below on drums and Jack Myers on bass. This was a stop on the American Folk Blues Festival tour of Europe and likely from October 1966 at Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin, Germany.

Howlin’ Wolf Live In England From 1964

17 08 2008

Chester Burnett, the one and only Howlin’ Wolf, performing Charley Patton’s classic “Smokestack Lightning” with Tommy Johnson’s trademark yodeling thrown in for good measure. There are better recorded examples that display his singing prowess to full effect but you can clearly see the elements that made Wolf the best blues singer to ever walk the earth. He was the genuine article.

Here’s a clip that features the audio of Wolf’s monumental 1956 version of the song. Willie Dixon on bass and Hubert Sumlin on guitar are on both tracks.