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Get your hat, get your coat, get shakin' on down the line - Henry Thomas, Texas Worried Blues

Author Topic: Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival  (Read 1402 times)

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Offline Mr.OMuck

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Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival
« on: January 23, 2017, 07:42:05 AM »
Son House, Bukka White and Fred McDowell all wore what I believe to be colorful non buttoning semi serape like Mexican Vests when they performed in the 60's and early 70's. Anyone know how this came about, and if any other Blues players wore them? They sure beat "Blues Brothers" Hats!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 01:31:34 PM by Mr.OMuck »
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Offline Lignite

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Re: Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 08:34:23 AM »
All three played Newport Folk Festival. Bet there might be some connection there.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2017, 08:54:33 AM »
They were all over college campuses in the early 70s. I wore one and I never saw any of those guys wearing one.

Wax
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
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Online Johnm

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Re: Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2017, 09:11:46 AM »
As per Lightnin's observation about the three musicians having played at Newport, if there was some way of checking who the vendors were there, an answer might be found.
All best,
John

Offline Stuart

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Re: Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2017, 10:15:18 AM »
Any dated photos that might give us some info about when any of the guys started wearing the vests? I know that Booker White played at the 1968 Olympics at Mexico City, but whether or not that's relevant is another matter. They might have run across them in the U.S. years earlier. Like Wax says, they were available in the U.S., like the Huarache sandals with tire tread soles that I remember seeing for sale at non-mainstream shops. Given where they played in the States, they might have run across them in the college towns or cities where they played.

Offline Lignite

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Re: Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2017, 11:44:45 AM »
Let's not forget po' Lightnin'. He did live closer to Mexico, though.

Offline alyoung

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Re: Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2017, 01:31:04 AM »
I suspect they were fairly common -- while living in Melbourne c. 1968, I bought a poncho made of the same fabric, which my wife converted to a vest just like the one Booker White was wearing in a photo I had of him. I wore it, especially to gigs and music events, until it plumb wore out.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 01:49:28 PM »
Yes , thanks all for helping me track down this vital piece of information. Clearly these vests were imbued with powerful Mojo that made the wearer play better. I couldn't find a photo of Son House in one, just an ethnically patterned sweater, but if memory serves there is a photo of him in one out there somewhere.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline eric

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Re: Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 02:23:58 PM »
Quote
Clearly these vests were imbued with powerful Mojo
Are you sure it wasn't those Victorian neckties?
--
Eric

Offline Stuart

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Re: Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2017, 03:13:13 PM »
Clearly these vests were imbued with powerful Mojo that made the wearer play better.

Actually, Phil, it was the players who made the vests better. Show me a vest website where there are threads asking about who the Blues musicians wearing them are. I dare yez... ;D

I did a little searching earlier to see if they were currently available, but I only found them sold as 60s/70s vintage items. Their name appears to be "Mexican Blanket Vests" or "Mexican Saddle Blanket Vests." Perhaps some our our members from the American Southwest or Mexico might know if they are still sold in clothing stores.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 07:32:47 PM »
Quote
Perhaps some our our members from the American Southwest or Mexico might know if they are still sold in clothing stores.

I know lots of Mexicans in Austin. I could inquire. :P

Quote
Clearly these vests were imbued with powerful Mojo that made the wearer play better.

Well speaking for myself I need all the help I can get. Is there anything I could wear that would make me sing better? Maybe I haven't found the right hat yet.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 07:40:53 PM by Rivers »

Offline waxwing

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Re: Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2017, 10:01:32 PM »
Well speaking for myself I need all the help I can get. Is there anything I could wear that would make me sing better? Maybe I haven't found the right hat yet.

Tight pants?

Wax
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
CD on YT

Offline frailer24

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Re: Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2017, 08:17:11 PM »
Believe you me, tight pants just keep you in one place and put you in a higher register!
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline Blind Dummy

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Re: Mexican Vests in the Blues Revival
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2023, 06:39:29 PM »
Lightnin' Hopkins wore a vest like this also.
Not every bluesman is a guitar player and not every guitar player is a bluesman.
-Dusty Lee Sledge (me)

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