music clip of the day


Category: blues

Wednesday, February 7th

old school

Robert Pete Williams (1914-1980), “Goodbye Slim Harpo,” 1971



Slim Harpo (AKA James Isaac Moore, 1924-1970), The Best of Slim Harpo, 1983*



*01 – Baby Scratch My Back (1965); 02 – I Got Love If You Want It (1957); 03 – I’m A King Bee (1957); 04 – Little Queen Bee (Got A Brand New King) (1964); 05 – Shake Your Hips (1966); 06 – Te-Ni-Nee-Ni-Nu (1968); 07 – Buzz Me Babe (1960); 08 – Buzzin’ (1963); 09 – Rainin’ In My Heart (1961); 10 – Still Rainin’ In My Heart (1964); 11 – Late Last Night (1960); 12 – Tip On In, Part 1 (1967); 13 – Bobby Sox Baby (1961); 14 – Don’t Start Cryin’ Now (1961); 15 – I Need Money (Keep Your Alibis) (1964); 16 – Strange Love (1958); 17 – Rock Me Baby (1976); 18 – Blues Hang-Over (1960).

Monday, December 25th

Merry Christmas

Blind Lemon Jefferson, “Christmas Eve Blues,” 1928


Victoria Spivey (with Lonnie Johnson, guitar), “Christmas Morning Blues,” 1928


Bessie Smith (with Joe Smith, cornet; Charlie Green, trombone; Fletcher Henderson, piano), “At the Christmas Ball,” 1925


Leroy Carr, “Christmas In Jail—Ain’t That A Pain,” 1929


Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers (feat. Charles Brown, vocals, keyboards), “Merry Christmas, Baby,” 1947


Lowell Fulson, “Lonesome Christmas (I & II),” 1950


Sonny Boy Williamson II, “Sonny Boy’s Christmas Blues,” 1951


John Lee Hooker, “Blues For Christmas,” 1959


Friday, October 27th

basement jukebox

J.B. Lenoir, “Mama Talk To Your Daughter,” 1955


If I had a time machine, I’d travel back to 1954—the year they recorded this in Chicago—and I’d step into the studio, unobtrusively, just as they’re about to begin.

Tuesday, October 17th

sounds of Seattle

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, live, Seattle, 2017




art beat

Berenice Abbott (1898-1991), Pine and Henry Streets, New York, 1936

Monday, October 2nd

Skip James (1902-1969), “Devil Got My Woman,” 1931


Sometimes I think this song defines the limits of what is humanly possible. Sometimes I think it exceeds them.

—Michael Robbins, Equipment for Living: On Poetry and Pop Music (2017)

Thursday, May 18th


Hound Dog Taylor (1915-1975) & the Houserockers (Brewer Phillips guitar; Ted Harvey, drums), “Sadie,” 1974




reading table

one man, one fly
one large
sitting room

—Kobayashi Issa, 1763-1827 (translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue)

Wednesday, May 17th

voices I miss

Hound Dog Taylor (1915-1975) & the Houserockers (Brewer Phillips guitar; Ted Harvey, drums), live, Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1973



random sights

last night, Chicago

Wednesday, April 12th


Old recordings, where everyone involved is long dead, don’t just appeal to the ears—they’re springboards for the imagination. Here’s one made in Memphis nearly 90 years ago.

Close your eyes.

Open your imagination.

They’re just about ready to record.

What’s the room look like?

What’s the last thing said before they start?

Tommy Johnson (1896-1956), “Cool Drink of Water Blues” (1928)



art beat

Robert Frank (1924-), Funeral—St. Helena, South Carolina, 1955/56

Wednesday, March 8th

sounds of Detroit

John Lee Hooker (1912-2001), “Boom Boom” (J.L. Hooker), live, 1960s

The world may be going to hell, faster than ever, but in the meantime, at YouTube, this has over 11 million views.

Monday, March 6th

basement jukebox

Junior Wells (vocals, harmonica; 1934-1998), “Little by Little,” 1960



random sights

yesterday, Chicago (Columbus Park)



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