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It can be argued that Chess is the Robert Johnson of record labels: over-emphasized and sometimes over-hyped, endlessly recycled, barnacled with legends and namechecked by ignorati anxious to establish their cred. And yet - also like Robert Johnson - in an active life that was fairly short, Chess produced music of vast artistic and historical importance - Chris Smith, review of Chess Blues various artist compilations in the 2006 Penguin Guide To Blues Recordings p. 780

Author Topic: Stagolee-Hogman Maxey  (Read 600 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Stagolee-Hogman Maxey
« on: December 04, 2013, 06:45:34 PM »
Hi all,
Hogman Maxey recorded a terrific version of "Stagolee", backing himself on a 12-string guitar out of E position in standard tuning.  I don't know for certain, but I believe all of Maxey's recordings were made by Dr. Harry Oster at Angola Penitentiary in Louisiana where Maxey was an inmate.
This version of "Stagolee" differs from those of the Down Home Boys, Blind Pete & Partner and John Hurt in that it has no refrain.  Basically, it is a variety of 8-bar blues, though Hogman Maxey phrased it more loosely than that.  It really is closer to the Lloyd Price version from the '50s or early '60s than any of the other versions named here.  Maxey has a lot of strong verses I've never heard elsewhere, and his concluding one is a beauty.  His time on the guitar is terrific, what a pulse!  He seems to hit I and IV7 chords interchangeably and never goes to a V chord.  I'm including the performance here

I was standin' on the corner when I heard my bulldog bark
He was barkin' at the two men who gamblin' in the dark

It was Stagolee and Billy, two men who gamble late
Stagolee th'owed seven, Billy swore that he th'owed eight

Stagolee told Billy, "I can't let you go with that.
You have winned my money and my brand new Stetson hat."

Stagolee went home and he got a .44
Says, "I'm goin' to the barroom to pay that debt I owe."

Stagolee went to the barroom, stood four feet from the door
Didn't nobody know when he pulled his .44

Stagolee found Billy, "Oh, please don't take my life.
I got three little children and a very sickly wife."

Stagolee shot Billy, oh, he shot that boy so fast
Well, the bullet came through 'im and broke my window glass

Some folks don't b'lieve, oh Lord, that Billy dead
You don't b'lieve he gone, just look what a hole in his head

All best,
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 05:22:33 PM by Johnm »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Stagolee-Hogman Maxey
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 08:39:22 PM »
Brilliant work, and I can't believe I've never heard it before.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Stagolee-Hogman Maxey
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 01:47:31 AM »
What a pulse!

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Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Stagolee-Hogman Maxey
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 03:02:36 AM »
He really rocks!
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline jostber

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Re: Stagolee-Hogman Maxey
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2014, 07:42:58 AM »


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