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Country Blues => Weenie Campbell Main Forum => SOTM - Song Of The Month => Topic started by: Old Man Ned on December 01, 2017, 12:30:30 PM

Title: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
Post by: Old Man Ned on December 01, 2017, 12:30:30 PM
I've chosen Spoonful for this months song.  There are so many terrrific versions of this tune I can't pick out a single one I like best. How do you pick between the Charlie Patton, Charley Jordan and Howlin Wolf versions.

Given the popularity of the song among musicians across, country blues, chicago blues and soul I've been surprised how little background I've been able to dig up.  Like other tunes I've posted for SOTM, recording starts with Papa Charlie Jackson so I'm guessing Spoonful goes back pre-blues.  Any information on the background of the tune is welcomed. 

I wasn't aware of Larry Johnson's or Etta James versions. I'm also guessing most folk have heard the versions I'm posting here so please add others I've missed. 

Let's start with Spoonful by Papa Charlie Jackson (1925)
http://youtu.be/Qk9_1Wt0Vxo

Here's a bunch of guitar versions. The Rev Gary Davis version is from the "Live at Newport Album" go straight to Lovin' Spoonful at 21:57 or if you have the time, ease up to it and enjoy the wonderful playing on the tracks before, then you'll probably want to stick around a listen to the whole album.

Charlie Patton (1929)
http://youtu.be/vm40MDm9YeA

Charley Jordan
http://youtu.be/yyzmMGdXS-8

Two from Mississippi John Hurt
Lovin' Spoonful
http://youtu.be/b7kPI4FWyZg
Coffee blues
http://youtu.be/uL7jowIpykQ

Larry Johnson
http://youtu.be/6v_OKZcawWk

Rev Gary Davis
http://youtu.be/xP_136-zoqM

A couple of Chicago blues version, for want of a better phrase, a wonderful version from Howlin Wolf with the amazing Hubert Sumlin on guitar followed by Koko Taylor's version.
https://youtu.be/s0aIjyX7vwI

Jimmy Witherspoon
http://youtu.be/x6j3W_ekd6s

Koko Taylor
http://youtu.be/8_5LgkQdBk8

Here's Etta James version
Etta James
http://youtu.be/MJ03dBoFufY

and rounding off with Tuba Skinny
http://youtu.be/cF5h0Txyj7U

Enjoy!
Title: Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
Post by: joe paul on December 02, 2017, 02:00:34 AM
Good choice, thanks Old Man Ned. Howlin Wolf's version was the first blues record that knocked me out, back at the tender age of sixteen.
Mance Lipscomb's version is great too, here it is :
http://youtu.be/Rgj3TFNfSaM
Title: Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
Post by: Old Man Ned on December 02, 2017, 03:48:48 AM
Thanks Joe Paul, can't believe I missed Mance Lipscomb's great take on Spoonful.
Title: Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
Post by: Prof Scratchy on December 02, 2017, 05:43:21 AM
Great versions all. And a great choice for SOTM!


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Title: Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
Post by: Johnm on December 02, 2017, 07:54:02 AM
Thanks, Old Man Ned, for your Song of the Month choice and for tracking down all of those versions.  Musically, "Spoonful" is not just the one thing, is it?  I sure love that Mance Lipscomb version, and everything about it.  Hard to argue with Howlin' Wolf, though.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
Post by: Old Man Ned on December 02, 2017, 10:48:16 AM
Yeah, I wouldn't have liked to have argued with Howlin' Wolf  :)
Title: Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
Post by: Johnm on December 03, 2017, 06:35:23 AM
Hi all,
Jaydee Short was recorded by Samuel Charters singing and playing "By The Spoonful" in the '60s and it was re-issued a few years ago as part of a series called "The Sonet Blues Story".  Here is that performance, and I apologize if it is not viewable by non-U.S. Weenies:

https://youtu.be/ElxFWSZXDSM

Frankie and Laura also recorded a version of Short's "By The Spoonful" which can be found somewhere on this site, perhaps in the Back Porch under a thread called "Redemption".  It's on youtube, as well. 
EDITED TO ADD:  I found Frank and Laura's version, which is in a thread called "Atonement and Penance" here:  https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=10145.msg86836#msg86836
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
Post by: Johnm on December 03, 2017, 08:59:21 AM
Hi all,
Hayes McMullan has a version called "'Bout A Spoonful, Takes 1 and 2" on his recording "Every Day Seem Like Murder Here" on Light in the Attic Records.  Here it is, once again with apologies to non-U.S. Weenies who may not be able to view the video.

https://youtu.be/5bNM88GY5gA

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
Post by: Old Man Ned on December 03, 2017, 11:38:03 AM
Thanks John, I completely overlooked Hayes McMullen.  Can't see the video but playing the album now.  The thing that strikes me most about Hayes McMullen is that he plays what we might call 'standards' for want of a better word, like Spoonful and Pony Blues but gives a completely different take on them, which for me shatters any illusions that the way I'm used to hearing these tunes played wasn't necessarily the 'standard' way they were played.  For me, that's got to be a good thing.
Title: Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
Post by: Johnm on December 11, 2017, 02:37:57 PM
Hi all,
I just stumbled on this version of "Spoonful" by Lattie Murrell.  It seems to be very much based on the Howlin' Wolf/Willie Dixon version.

https://youtu.be/2hX5bKOT3rY

All best,
Johnm