April 28, 2009

Chris Cotton - I Watched the Devil Die

You need this CD! Go over the The Blues Lounge In *FLAC* and pick up this gem! I previously posted some live Chris Cotton, and if you liked that you will love this. Raw, keening, soul-felt blues. Get it here.

The Blues Lounge In *FLAC* is gone! Probably been deleted for posting available music and in lossless to boot. That's a little pun...very little.

I'm not going to post it, I don't want to get shut down.

So..I still highly recommend this CD, get it at Amazon, Yellow Dog Records or Chris Cotton's Official site.

April 26, 2009

Dan Treanor – Africa to America

Take a journey with the Blues from Africa to America, from the Delta to the swamp, from Chicago to St. Louis and all points in between. Self proclaimed Blues Ambassador, Dan Treanor is your guide as he leads us through the progression of the blues. This chronological look at the blues is excellent and showcases Teanor's ability to play it all. Songs recorded from 1984-2004, unfortunately no details on the accompanying musicians. I particularly enjoyed the first half of the CD where Treanor takes us through the primitive phases of the blues.
Treanor plays around Denver and Boulder on a regular basis, hosting blues jams, opening for national acts and of course playing his own shows. Treanor is very likely to break out one of his primitive instruments during any show and it’s really great to see a guy that makes the effort to work these instruments into the show.

Be sure to visit Dan Treanor on the web

April 23, 2009

Smoky Babe & Herman E Johnson

Smoky Babe (Robert Brown) was born in 1927 in Itta Bena, Mississippi, a farming area some fifty miles from Clarksdale, the country blues capital of the world. Despite his rough and poverty-stricken life, Smoky is full of high exuberance, a joy in life, which he expresses in his dance-provoking style. Although several of the blues on this record are sad in text, the overall
effect of his performing is a vivid communication of his basic philosophy, that even under the most squalid and depressing circumstances; life is very much worth living.

Speaking of his own experience, Herman E. Johnson of Scotlandville, Louisiana, summed up in eloquent words what had been the formative roots of most gifted blues singers.
“I had a good religious mother, a good religious father; they both was members of the Baptist Church. I have one brother an’ one sister, an’ they is members of the Baptist Church, an’ apparently I was the on’iest jack (maverick) of the family. I don’t belong to any church.
“So my life was just that way, to keep out of trouble, drink my little whiskey, an’ go an’ do little ugly things like that, but just in a cue-tee (quiet) way. An’ in 19 an’ 27 I taken up the habit of playin’ the guitar, an’ I imagine it must have been the good Lord give me the talent to compose things.

Text from liner notes.
Get the MP3 from Amazon

April 13, 2009

Rocky Hill (December 1, 1946 - April 10, 2009)

Funeral services for Rocky Hill, age 62, of Kemah, Texas, will be held at Murray-Orwosky Funeral Home, at 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 14, 2009, with Rev. B. J. Teer officiating. Interment will follow at Como Cemetery, with Don Harley, Wayne Rabe, Steve Simmons, Mike Simmons, Anthony Shadix and Tony Glasscock serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Alvin Milliken, Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard and Christian L. Smith. Visitation will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday, April 13, 2009, at Murray-Orwosky Funeral Home. Rocky Hill passed away Friday evening, April 10, 2009, at St. Johns Hospital in Houston. He was born in Dallas, on December 1, 1946, the son of Ernest Hill and Myrl (Ward) Hill. He was the beloved husband of Joy Darlene Smith. They were married in Houston, on November 21, 1998; she survives. Rocky was a musician and a member of the Baptist faith. He was an A.S.C.A.P. writer and received a gold and platinum record for work on Z.Z. Top’s Recycler Album. He was an honorary Texas Ranger. Other survivors include: son, Christian L. Smith; sister, Sue Shadix of Como; brother, Dusty Hill of The Woodlands; three nieces, Sherrie Shadix of Como, Lori Hoffman of Grand Prairie and Cody Hill of Houston; three nephews, Tony Shadix of Saltillo, Will VanWey of Dallas and Allen Garvin of Dallas; four great-nieces and four great-nephews. He was preceded in death by a brother, Stanley Garvin and sister, Jane Aiken.

A Sad Day for Texas Blues

It’s a sad day for the friends, family and fans of Rocky Hill. Rocky has left us after a period of illness. I really don’t have any details beyond the obituary. I will try to provide some soon, so check back. Or feel free to post a comment if you have any information.
Rocky is the brother of ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill. Rocky rubbed elbows with many a Texas bluesman including SRV and Jimmie Vaughan, (Rocky was a pallbearer at SRV’s funeral) Lightnin' Hopkins, Albert King, Jimmy Reed.
See below for Rocky’s self titled release.
Thanks to Rocky’s nephew, Allen for sending me Rocky’s Midnight Creepers release. Get it HERE
Midnight Creepers featured Tommy Shannon, Kim Wilson, Uncle Tom Turner and Albert Collins.
Also, you can find American Blues, the band with Dusty and Rocky together, HERE. Or go direct to the rapidshare link, HERE
Here is some footage of Rocky talking about Lightnin'
Houston Chromicle story

Rocky Hill

Rocky Hill is of course the brother of Dusty Hill of long time ZZ Top residence/fame.
This record was released in 1988, is a Lone Wolf Production and ZZ Top producer Bill Ham was at the helm. Much of the record really shows the Bill Ham/ZZ Top influence that surely would have been nearly impossible for Hill to avoid. Not that it's a bad thing. Although one wonders who is responsible for the very dated sounding background vocals populating much of the work. Unfortunate.

HPD kicks it off with a good rockin blues piece, showing Hill's penchant for changing meter and feel during his songs, sometimes it works, other times not so well. Next up is I Won't Be Your Fool, full of tasty licks, and moving vocals, clearly was intended to be a hit. Take My Love, Sam Bass and Walked from Dallas round out the nice works here.
New York Turnaround is rather formulaic but Hill kicks out a killer solo in the middle.
Bad year for the Blues, while it is well meant, it is a mish-mash sort of arrangement with some awkward breaks. I'll Be There is your basic ballad. Hoo Doo Eyes with the background vocals, whew, that is a miss.
Hill wraps it up with a basic acoustic piece that at once acknowledges his roots and may have been a bit of an artist saying, Hey, enough with the horns and backup vocals, I'm a Texas bluesman.

Line up seems to be; Reed "Red Pharoah" Farrell, Randy Joe Hobbs, Steve Hardin, Doyle Bramhall, James Robinson, Lester Snell, William Brown, the Duncan Sisters and the Memphis Horns.

April 7, 2009

Ragtime Ralph Volume 4

Well it is time to get back on the acoustic track, and what better way to do it than by posting the ‘latest’ from Ragtime Ralph aka Blind Brand X. If you haven’t already grabbed these previous releases, do it now!
Ragtime Ralph “Lost Blues”
Blind Brand X “Black Dog Blues”
When I say ‘latest’ release, it’s more like a re-release that never happened. These recordings are apparently the Takoma recordings that were originally slated to be release by Fahey’s own label. I don’t know the details of why it didn’t happen but it’s safe to assume that it was related to the troubles the label often experienced due to Fahey’s apparent lack of business savvy. Nonetheless, when you can reference Joe Bussard and John Fahey in your recording ancestry, then you must have been doing something right. It’s a shame these works haven’t seen more exposure. They are phenomenal!
Ralph flies out of the gate on the first tune, “Badlands Blake” like a picker possessed.
His ability to whip out the banjo rolls, smooth and precise, is evidenced throughout the recording. Some excellent use of harmonics is also seen in a couple songs. Particularly on Vince Guaraldi’s “Cast Your Fate to the Wind”. This is just a great interpretation of the song…on slide guitar!
The rest is classic American Primitive guitar in the Takoma tradition, full of ringing strings, delicious dissonance and a healthy dose of the Blues.


April 4, 2009

Amazing art made with old audio cassette tapes

See how one person uses old audio cassette tapes to create new art.
iri5 calls the series Ghost in the Machine and it includes Marilyn Monroe, Bob Dylan, Robert DiNero, Jimi Hendrix, Ian Curtis, and Jim Morrison. Check it out HERE