WeenieCampbell.com

Country Blues => Weenie Campbell Main Forum => Topic started by: Johnm on March 18, 2004, 09:11:11 AM

Title: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on March 18, 2004, 09:11:11 AM
Hi all,
I was thinking recently, in the wake of the discussion on originals versus recreations in Country Blues of the whole concept of "covers", and how sometimes the cover can be so strong and distinctive that it doesn't really suffer at all by comparison with the original recording of the same song.  If I relate it back to my high school days, Gladys Knight and the Pips had a hit with "I Hear It Through The Grapevine" which was great, but then Marvin Gaye did his version, which took it to a whole new level.
Anyhow, I got to thinking about Country Blues covers which I think are exceptionally strong, and came up with the following--
  *Johnny Shines's "Ramblin'", after Robert Johnson's "Walking Blues".  Johnny Shines' singing on that number is incredibly good.
  *Larry Hensley's "Matchbox Blues" after Lemon's song of the same title.  Hensley comes up very strong.
  *Johnnie Temple's "The Evil Devil Blues" after Skip James's "Devil Got My Woman".  Johnnie's weird duet with Charlie McCoy and eerie vocal make this one really distinctive.
Any other favorites out there?
All best,
John
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: outfidel on March 18, 2004, 11:10:21 AM
Mance Lipscomb's version of "Jack o' Diamonds"
Son House's acappella version of "John the Revelator"
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: frankie on March 18, 2004, 04:03:19 PM
I've really been entertained lately by a lot of the performances on Blues Up The Country, a Vestapol video.  One that knocks me out every time is John Jackson doing Blind Blake's "That'll Never Happen No More".  He just takes it and runs off with it, showing just how much he's musically his own man.  It's got some truly slippery licks in it!
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: GhostRider on March 22, 2004, 01:02:57 PM
Howdy:

One cover I really like is Ernie Hawkin's cover of Blind Blake's "Chump Man Blues" off "Mean Little Poodle". Dave van Ronk also did a great cover of this tune, but Hawkins version adds some great up-the-neck single string work in D during the breaks. This version really opened my eyes to things that could be done in this key.

All the best,
Alex
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: blueshome on March 22, 2004, 01:31:27 PM
How about the numerous covers of Booker White's Shake 'em Down - especially Tommy McClellan, Big Joe Williams, & Bo Carter's eccentric version?
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: GhostRider on September 30, 2004, 10:19:50 PM
Howdy:

On the subject of covers, this thread reminds me of one of the most interesting CB covers I ever heard. A band called Climax Blues Band did a cover of Robert Johnson's Come on in My Kitchen. They start out doing an acoustic slide style then gradualy morph into a heavy electric version then back to acoustic. Really effective.

Check it out if you get a chance. The album is called "Tightly Knit"

Alex
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Bob B on October 01, 2004, 02:14:44 PM
Hi all

In terms of great covers let's not forget Weenie's own country blues maestro, John Miller.  His cover of Teddy Darby's " Built Down on the Ground" --the beautifully funky "I Never Cried" is just terrific.  His treatment of Robert Wilkins "Dirty Deal"--"Dirty Deeds" has that dandy bassline and tasty single string riff.  On top of the great arrangements and musical savvy, John has a real feel for the music and is a down to earth guy.

Great Days

Bob
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: uncle bud on October 01, 2004, 06:45:31 PM
I'll second that motion, Bob, and add his version of Rolling Log Blues to the list. Which so far you have to catch live in person. Just splendid.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on October 04, 2004, 11:26:06 AM
Thanks, Bob and Andrew, for the good words.There are so many great tunes out there, I think there are a lot of possibilities remaining to be examined in this area.  Just remembering to continue to listen to the music and look for songs that are strong and that suggest other treatments seems crucial.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on October 25, 2004, 03:19:39 PM
Hi all,
I just heard a performance recently that made me want to re-open this thread along the lines in which it was started.? I heard a recording recently by Dr. Ross of "Shake 'Em On Down", that was on a blues anthology CD that one of my students burned, and it was sensational!? I don't know a lot about Dr. Ross, but he was a post-War, one-man band type of performer, I think out of Detroit.? He played the guitar left-handed, I believe (don't know if upside-down) and played harmonica on a rack.? Anyhow, his performance of "Shake 'Em On Down" is so great, it has the qualities I like best in post-War electric Blues--it is really rough, a one-chorder, rockin' rhythm, really raw, "country" singing and harp-playing.? I have to ask Jay where he got the recording because I am absolutely stuck on it.? Find it if you have a chance--it's great!
All best,
Johnm
Edited to add:? Whoops, I forgot to mention that on this particular cut, Dr. Ross is joined by a piano and bass, so he is not strictly doing a one-man band performance on "Shake 'Em On Down". ?
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Slack on October 25, 2004, 03:58:38 PM
Hey John,

Dr. Ross has really got that Groove Thang goin', Man o Man..

Arhoolie has a CD they bill as his earliest and best here, that includes "Shake em On Down":

http://www.arhoolie.com/titles/371.shtml

Looks like 30 second Real Audio sound samples of all the cuts.?I did not listen to all of them - but the ones I did listen to really cook.

cheers,
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on October 25, 2004, 06:23:19 PM
Hi John D,
Thanks for the heads up, and you are dead on the money--grooving was not Dr. Ross's problem!  I will definitely have to get that CD.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on November 15, 2004, 08:02:28 AM
Hi all,
I recently ordered the Dr. Ross CD on Arhoolie that John D posted the link to two posts back.  I've had a chance to listen to it once and it is sensational, with lots of other good and surprising covers in addition to "Shake'Em On Down".  I will post a review as soon as I get to know it better.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on February 23, 2005, 05:37:32 PM
Hi all,
I've been thinking about a great one for a while--Robert Pete Williams doing "Louise".  He takes it to a completely different level.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Rockdale on February 26, 2005, 05:39:59 PM
Hey,

   I'd like to add one of my favorite covers to this list....

            Lightnin' Hopkins doing Slim Harpo's "Scratch My Back"

      That's all for now.
      Kenny
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Tail Dragger on March 01, 2005, 07:08:26 PM
Hi, folks - here are a few more:

King Solomon Hill's "Whoopee Blues" (1932), which is his version(s) of Lonnie Johnson's "She's Making Whoopee In Hell Tonight" (1930).  There are two takes of King Solomon Hill performing "Whoopee Blues," both of which are found on Document's 'Backwoods Blues'.  He sounds like two different singers, one singing in the normal register and one done falsetto....

David Johansen does great versions of Richard "Rabbit" Brown's "James Alley Blues" (1927) and Jim Jackson's "Old Dog Blue" (1928).  Both versions are found on Johansen's 2000 release 'David Johansen And The Harry Smiths'.

Dave Alvin does great versions of both Mississippi John Hurt's "Louis Collins" and Tommy Johnson's "Maggie Campbell Blues" (both 1928) from, respectively, the great various artists compilation 'The Executioner's Last Songs Volume 2' and 'Public Domain,' the latter of which won Alvin a Grammy.

Then there's Muddy Waters, Baby Face Leroy and Little Walter's amazing electric version of Hambone Willie Newbern's "Roll And Tumble Blues" (1929), done for Parkway in 1950.  Can't forget Cream's great live version from 1968, found on the 1970 album 'Live Cream'.  At least I can't forget about it (with the exception of VERY few bands, I really have no use for "blues-rock").

Bruce Cockburn's version of Blind Willie Johnson's "Soul Of A Man" (1930), found on his 1991 release 'Nothing But A Burning Light,' the title of the album having been taken from a lyric from "Soul Of A Man," is quite good.

Finally, getting a bit more modern - something I very rarely do - there's The White Stripes' version of Blind Willie McTell's "Southern Can Is Mine" (1931), found on their 2002 release 'De Stijl'.  Their version, which ends the album, ends with a short interview clip between John Lomax and McTell from November 5, 1940, with McTell discussing the fact that he was in an automobile accident the night before and that he was still a little "shook up" but that "no one got hurt"....

I could go on but I'll end it there.

Tail Dragger

PS: "She's Making Whoopee In Hell Tonight" gets my vote for the most outrageous song title.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: eagle rockin daddy on March 04, 2005, 01:06:54 PM
Ry Cooder and Earl 'Fatha' Hines do Blake's 'Ditty Wah Ditty' on Paradise and Lunch.

Mike
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on January 31, 2007, 11:26:23 AM
Hi all,
I recently picked up the JSP set, "Memphis Shakedown" and have been catching up on my jugband listening.  Included in the set is a terrific instrumental cover by the harmonica player Jed Davenport of Leroy Carr's "How Long How Long Blues".  It is just sensational playing.  He also does covers of "Cow Cow Blues" and "The Dirty Dozens".  I have been trying to think of other instrumental covers of commonly sung Blues songs, and all I can come up with is Tampa Red's "Denver Blues", which is sort of a cover of "You've Got To Reap Just What You Sow".  Any others out there?
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Bunker Hill on January 31, 2007, 11:49:02 AM
Commonly sung blues I can't come up with, but Leecan & Cooksey's amazing harmonica, guitar and kazoo rendition of Ain't She Sweet leaps to the forefront of my synapses. ;D
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: blueshome on January 31, 2007, 01:58:55 PM
Tampa Red also made instrumental covers of Memphis Minnie's Bumble Bee, Leroy Carr's How Long and Prison Bound, Reap What You Sow could be a cover of Sittin on top of the World or vice versa, Denver Blues is tune also used by Buddy Moss (can't recall which at the moment). I think there is another one but I'm working from memory.

What I find amazing is the expressiveness he gets, mimicing the vocal inflections of the originals.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on May 14, 2007, 06:12:45 PM
Hi all,
I don't know if I would say it is a "great" cover, but Mose Andrews' "Young Heifer Blues", included on the recent JSP set "When The Levee Breaks--Mississippi Blues", is certainly an interesting cover of Bill Broonzy's oxymoronically titled "Bull Cow Blues".  At first, Andrews sounds quite a lot like Broonzy, especially in his guitar part, but as the piece goes along, some phrasing idiosyncrasies surface:  Andrews likes to play the same strumming signature lick instrumental fill at the end of each four-bar phrase--but he wants to play other stuff there, too.  So it is that at any given phrase ending, Andrews may choose to play just his signature lick, or to ad lib an additional lick or two before going into the signature lick.  Looked at as a formula for phrasing it sounds impossibly complicated, but in the hearing of it, the musical sense comes through easily enough.
I know absolutely nothing about Andrews except that he recorded pretty late for a solo guitarist, 1937.  Does anyone know anything more about him?
All best,
Johnm     
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Chezztone on May 20, 2007, 05:52:40 PM
Memphis Minnie's "Bumble Bee" (her second recording of it) is one of my all-time faves, a perfect recording. But still, Bo Carter's take on it, "I'm an Old Bumble Bee," is incredibly clever and fine. It suggests and responds to the original, but from the man's (or bee's) point of view, and he also comes up with a killer guitar part that again, does not duplicate the original but refers to it. One of his earliest recordings, that one kind of establishes the persona that he will use in most of his songs. (So you can say Minnie is a major influence on Bo.)
Oh, and what about Muddy Waters' version of RJ's "Kind Hearted Woman"? Again, taking a classic and reworking it as another classic.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on May 22, 2007, 10:36:36 PM
Hi all,
Charlie Patton seems an unlikely musician to be recording covers, what with being the "Father of the Delta Blues" and all, but his "Banty Rooster Blues", I was surprised to notice recently, is almost certainly a cover of one of the real Country Blues oddities, Walter Rhodes's "Crowing Rooster Blues", on which Rhodes accompanies himself on accordion, and is joined by duo guitar aces, "Pet" and "Can" (Richard Harney and his brother Maylon, who was murdered at a very young age).  "Crowing Rooster" was recorded close to two years prior to "Banty Rooster".  Patton transfers just about all of Rhodes's verses over to "Banty Rooster" very close to intact and adds a couple of verses of his own.  And of course, Patton's rhythmic feel and slide accompaniment are completely different from anything that happens on "Crowing Rooster".  Like Robert Pete Williams' version of "Louise", Patton's "Banty Rooster Blues" shows how a loose copy of a previous performance can end up with a completely different feel and a musical expression unique to itself.  Not a bad thing to bear in mind when putting together one's own covers.
All best,
Johnm   
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Rivers on December 15, 2007, 07:56:12 AM
Willie McTell's cover of Lemon's One Dime Blues, retitled Last Dime Blues, belongs here. McTell does some stellar 12 string playing on it, complete with Lemon's quirky breaks from the original. It's on Atlanta 12 String, recorded in 1949 for the young Atlantic label, produced by Art Ertegun.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Mr.OMuck on December 15, 2007, 09:49:26 AM
Smoky Babes fabulous Locomotive Blues on his "Hottest Brand Goin'" album on Prestige-Bluesville is a
reworking of Arthur Crudup's "Mean ol' Frisco" and is absolutely great. I suspect that this tune has antecedents that predate Crudup's version, but I can't name them at the moment.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Rivers on December 15, 2007, 10:04:46 AM
Good to see this thread coming back to life. Curley Weaver does a real nice jazzed up version of McTell's Lord Send Me An Angel / Ticket Agent Blues, track is called Ticket Agent, can be found on JSP's Atlanta Blues.

At least I assume it's a cover. Reconstructing the timeline, McTell recorded it first though Weaver could I guess have written or co-written w/McTell. Weaver's first recording (not this song) with McTell was in '31, 'Angel' was '33, McTell's 'Ticket' was '35, Weaver's 'Ticket' was '49. Looks like a cover to me.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: uncle bud on December 15, 2008, 09:43:07 AM
Was listening to Big Boy Knox's very listenable song, "Blue Man Blues", which features the melody more familiar to Weenies as Blind Boy Fuller's "Walking My Troubles Away". Knox's song is a piano blues, and he's a real nice singer. He uses different lyrics (of the "I Keep On Drinkin'" variety). He recorded this in 1937, Fuller's song was recorded in '36. Is there another song that's escaping my memory at the moment that is the source for both of these, or is Knox, a pianist, covering Fuller, a guitarist?
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: CF on December 15, 2008, 10:17:17 AM
UB, that could be Big Bill's 'Big Bill Blues (These Blues Are Doggin' Me)' from a Dec. 16th, 1935 session with Black Bob on piano & Bill Settles on bass. I'll have to see if I have the Knox recording, I love this song/melody & 'Walkin' was one of the first BB Fuller tunes I tackled.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: uncle bud on December 15, 2008, 03:13:39 PM
Hi Cheapfeet - Thanks for that. "Big Bill Blues" definitely has that melody, though one big difference harmonically is that the beginning of the form starts on the V chord in the Broonzy title, whereas Fuller and Knox start on the I chord. B&GR lists Big Bill Blues as being recorded 12 February 1936. However, a little more searching reveals Big Bill associate Bumble Bee Slim recorded a version of that melody that does start on the I chord and was recorded in 1935 as "I Keep On Drinkin' (To Drive My Blues Away)". It seems to be the source for the Big Boy Knox version. Unless there's another version. I wonder if Leroy Carr did it -- I'm pretty unfamiliar with his music but it sounds like it could be a Carr song.

The guitar player is unknown for the Bumble Bee Slim session, though it doesn't sound at all like Broonzy, who nevertheless did record with Slim. Curley Weaver also recorded "I Keep On Drinkin'" with McTell.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: CF on December 15, 2008, 08:10:02 PM
Quote
B&GR lists Big Bill Blues as being recorded 12 February 1936
Indeed it was. I have to stop drinking & writing posts.
The V chord on the I in 'Big Bill Blues' is funky. Makes the vocal real tricky too because you're resolving on the V . . . & then beginning on the V!
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: uncle bud on December 15, 2008, 08:40:27 PM
Quote
B&GR lists Big Bill Blues as being recorded 12 February 1936
Indeed it was. I have to stop drinking & writing posts.
The V chord on the I in 'Big Bill Blues' is funky. Makes the vocal real tricky too because you're resolving on the V . . . & then beginning on the V!

Not just the eggnog. My version in mp3 format has ID3 tags that also say "(1935)".
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: David Kaatz on December 16, 2008, 08:40:46 AM
Bob Dylan - just about any folk cover he did, but I'm thinking specifically of the album World Gone Wrong.  Broke Down Engine is really good.  Great singing, very respectable guitar playing.

My wife would say Delia as covered by David Bromberg (also on the above Dylan album.)

Dave
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Mr.OMuck on December 16, 2008, 03:08:35 PM
Big Bill's version of Blind Lemon's CC Rider. Pretty much the same licks, so clearly him deliberately playing Blind Lemon, only........swingin' as only BBB could be.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Richard on December 18, 2008, 02:24:26 PM
Casey Bill's version of BBBlues from 27 May '36 also starts with the V chord.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on October 21, 2011, 03:09:33 PM
Hi all,
Charlie Patton's cover of Arthur Pettis's "Revenue Man" is a beauty.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Vidal on November 09, 2011, 11:56:26 AM
Not exactly a cover, as such, but you get the gist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DZB8Lattpo
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on September 19, 2012, 01:51:28 PM
Hi all,
I realized in the course of working on Bob Campbell's "Starvation Farm Blues" this past week that it starts out, at least in its lyrics, as a cover of Blind Blake's "Detroit Bound Blues".  As "Starvation Farm Blues" goes along, its lyrics diverge from the Blake song, and it bears absolutely no resemblance to "Detroit Bound Blues" in either its melody or accompaniment, so I guess you could say it is a cover at some degree of remove from its model, but I like it all the better for that--I'd rather hear Bob Campbell be himself than try to be Blind Blake.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on March 07, 2013, 07:02:54 PM
Hi all,
I was recently listening to the Yazoo CD, "Twenty First St. Stomp--The Piano Blues of St. Louis", and found a song covered there that I was amazed to hear covered:  Peg Leg Howell's "Low Down Rounder Blues".  The version on the St. Louis anthology is by Charlie McFadden, who is accompanied by Roosevelt Sykes, I believe, and I think it's interesting to see what McFadden did with Peg Leg Howell's very unusual, sort of flowery-sounding lyrics.  (McFadden sings an altogether different melody than did Peg Leg Howell).  Here are Peg Leg Howell's lyrics:

Just a worried old rambler, with a troublesome mind
Just a worried old rambler, with a troublesome mind
All bundled up from hardships, fates to me have been unkind.

I wouldn't listen to my mother, wouldn't listen to my dad
I wouldn't listen to my mother, wouldn't listen to my dad
And by my reckless living, I've put myself in bad.

(spoken) I wouldn't listen to nobody, I was headlong, wouldn't hear what nobody said.
Mama talked to me all the time, but I was a wil' child, wouldn't listen to her.

I ain't trustin' nobody, I'm 'fraid of myself
I ain't trustin' nobody, I'm 'fraid of myself
I've been too lowdown, liable to put me on the shelf.

My friends have turned against me, smilin' in my face
My friends have turned against me, smilin' in my face
Since I been so disobed'ent, I must travel in disgrace.

I cannot shun the devil, he stays right by my side
I cannot shun the devil, he stays right by my side
Tellin' you there's no way to cheat him, I'm so dissatisfied.

Ain't nobody wants me, they wouldn't be in my shoes
Ain't nobody wants me, they wouldn't be in my shoes
I feel so disgusted, I got them low-down rounder blues.

Here are Charlie McFaddens' lyrics to his "Low Down Rounders Blues"

Just a worried old rounder with a troublin' mind
Just a worried old rounder with a troublin' mind
Bundled up from hard times, that to me have been all times

Wouldn't listen to Mother, wouldn't listen to Dad
Wouldn't listen to Mother, wouldn't listen to Dad
For my rough way of livin', done got myself in bad

I ain't trustin' nobody, I'm so afraid of myself
I ain't trustin' nobody, I'm so afraid of myself
Because I've been so low-down, Liza put me on the shelf

My friends have turned against me, layin' flat in my face
My friends have turned against me, layin' flat in my face
For all my wrong-doing, I just travel in disgrace

I just can't lose the devil, he stays right by my side
I just can't lose the devil, he stays right by my side
Ain't no way I can cheat him, I'm so dissatisfied

Nobody would want me, wouldn't even be in my shoes
Nobody would want me, wouldn't even be in my shoes
Lord, I'm so disgusted, got those low-down rounder's blues

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: The Jazzbo Tommy Settler on March 09, 2013, 11:59:45 AM
I think every cover (including It's A Fight Like That) that Ben Curry and King Solomon Hill did was excellent. Rev. A. Johnson's version of God Don't Like it, Jed Davenport's How Long Blues is one of my favourite harmonica tracks, Monroe Moe Jackson's cover of Hank William's 'Move It On Over', and Peg Leg Howell's Too Tight Blues. To name a few from memory.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: cih on March 09, 2013, 01:24:40 PM
I'll second Jed Davenport's How Long!!
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: devils son in law on March 10, 2013, 10:47:23 AM
Going out on a limb here....Having found the New York Dolls as a teen, Ive always like David Johansen. His work with the Harry Smith's on 2 CDs nails quite a few old classics, in my opinion. Robert Wilkens (Ill go with her), Jim Jackson ( old dog blue), Rube Lacy ( ham hound crave), Patton ( high sheriff), MJH ( let the mermaids flirt with me).  ;D
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on November 11, 2013, 07:12:06 PM
Hi all,
I found a cover the day before yesterday that I especially like.  It is the Alabama Sheiks doing "Sittin' On Top of the World", and can be found on "String Bands 1926-1929", Document Records DOCD-5167.  The Alabama Sheiks were Eddie West on violin and vocal and Ad Fox on guitar and vocal.  I don't know which of the two sang lead on "Sittin' On Top of the World".  They do the song in D, and I would assume Ad Fox was doing the singing, actually, because he tracks the way the vocal is sung so closely with a flat-picked guitar (I think) doubling the melody as it is sung, with almost no chordal strumming.  The duo just had a wild sound, and I really recommend them to those of you who like that sort of thing.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Rivers on November 11, 2013, 07:32:35 PM
Quote
The duo just had a wild sound, and I really recommend them to those of you who like that sort of thing.

Just a wild guess but I suspect everyone here likes that sort of thing.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Stuart on November 11, 2013, 11:33:02 PM
Sounds like Frankie to me, John. Says it was recorded in NJ in '31, so...
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: mr mando on November 12, 2013, 01:57:11 AM
Quote
The duo just had a wild sound, and I really recommend them to those of you who like that sort of thing.

Document Records DOCD-5167 is among my 20 favorite CDs from the Document Catalog. Apart from the Alabama Sheiks, I especially like Nap Hayes and Matthew Prater, Andrew and Jim Baxter and the Old Pal Smoke Shop Four. Great and very diverse music. They should have included the Three Stripped Gears, then the CD would be close to the top of my list.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: GhostRider on November 12, 2013, 09:32:13 AM
Howdy:

My favorite cover is one Lightnin' taught at PT a couple of years ago. It's William Harris' cover of "Jim Jackson's Kansas City Blues". Better than the original IMHO.

Alex
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on November 12, 2013, 10:46:39 AM
Alex, I agree that the William Harris cover of "Kansas City Blues" is stellar.  It seems like that song inspired a lot of strong covers.
Mister mando, I very much agree with you as to how great that Document String Bands CD is--it's really sort of a "hit-after-hit" program.  Taylor's Kentucky Boys are wonderful, too.  It's weird, I've owned the CD for years and sort of re-discovered it a couple of days ago.  Making up for lost time in the listening department now.
Stuart, you really lost me in your post.  I don't have any idea what you were talking about--care to elaborate?
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Stuart on November 12, 2013, 12:09:55 PM
It was just a shot at some obscure humor, John. Frankie does such a fine job with these songs--and given the fact that it was recorded in New Jersey (Camden,  I believe), down the pike from Frankie's home base, I thought I'd pay him a compliment, albeit a somewhat convoluted one. As I've said before, his authenticity is uncanny. Sorry for the confusion.

I've had the CD for years and it's a real keeper. I also have some of the other string band collections on Document, as well as several that County has released. Both labels released collections titled "Mississippi String Bands" -- Volumes 1 & 2 (on both labels). There's overlap, but I highly recommend them all.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: GhostRider on November 12, 2013, 01:19:08 PM
Alex, I agree that the William Harris cover of "Kansas City Blues" is stellar.  It seems like that song inspired a lot of strong covers.

Including "Goin' up the Country" by Papa Eggshell.

Alex
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on March 28, 2014, 08:12:56 PM
Hi all,
I was listening to John Hurt's "Spider, Spider" from his "Last Sessions" album on Vanguard today and realized it is a cover of Frank Stokes' "Sweet To Mama".  The interesting thing is that Frank Stokes played the song out of G position, where it sat really easily, with the melody centered around the root note at the third fret of the first string.  John Hurt played it out of C, though, and to get the root note in the melody, with it living at the eighth fret of the first string, required some real gymnastics and wonky stuff in the bass.  Because of the Beale Street Sheiks normal set-up and division of labor, the pitch of where Frank Stokes played the song was probably close to the pitch at which John Hurt played it, but boy, is it easier to play out of G than C.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on September 10, 2014, 09:12:46 PM
Hi all,
Here is a wonderful cover of Lemon Jefferson's "One Dime Blues", "West Kinney Street Blues", performed by Skoodle Dum Doo and Sheffield.  These guys had such great time, and the singer is a groover.

Skoodle Dum Doo & Sheffield, West Kinney Street blues (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6Jl0nJ8Fow#ws)

The guitarist played it out of A position in standard tuning, unlike Lemon.

I was standing on West Kinney Street one day
Standing on West Kinney Street one day
Standing on West Kinney Street one day
One dime was all that I had

One dime (instruments finish verse)

I says, buddy, don't you treat your partner mean
Buddy, don't treat your partner mean
Buddy, don't treat your partner mean
You bein' the meanest buddy that I b'lieve I ever seen

You don't want your buddy to be bad like Jesse James
(Instruments finish verse)

Oh buddy, won't you come Texana with me?
Buddy, won't you come Texana with me?
Buddy, won't you come Texana with me?
Oh now, buddy, hang 'round there for with me (Spoken: I came over there!)

Well I'm broke, Lord, and I ain't got a dime (Spoken: I know that gal's gonna break you.)
Lord, Lord, and I ain't got a dime (Spoken: I knowed it!)
I'm broke now, pal, and I ain't got a dime
Every man is born in a hard luck sometimes (Spoken: I told you so, boy!)

SOLO

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Prof Scratchy on September 11, 2014, 01:30:10 AM
Another great track!  Any biographical detail on these two musicians?

Sent from my HUAWEI MT1-U06 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on September 11, 2014, 06:44:51 AM
I think there has been some guesswork, Scratchy, but no hard information.  It has been suggested that Skoodle Dum Doo was Seth Richards, apparently because he had recorded a song of that title.  Neither of the duo sounds anything like him, though.  I think they had one day in the studio and four titles only, and they were kind of late, too, post-1940.  I don't believe anybody apart from their friends and relatives knows who they were.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Prof Scratchy on September 11, 2014, 07:44:52 AM
....and Bunker Hill, probably.

Sent from my HUAWEI MT1-U06 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Rambler on September 14, 2014, 09:20:35 AM
John Lee Hooker's take on Percy Mayfield's Mermory Pain is a classic case of reverse osmosis, in which a pop blues is rendered as country blues. John Lee called his version Serves You Right to Suffer.   

M-Pain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu8PNS0LaHw (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu8PNS0LaHw)

Serves You Right https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iYdFNkEq0Y (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iYdFNkEq0Y)
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: uncle bud on September 14, 2014, 01:12:44 PM

Serves You Right http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iYdFNkEq0Y (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iYdFNkEq0Y)

That's a cool example, Rambler. The John Lee Hooker version is indeed great.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: oddenda on September 15, 2014, 09:37:03 PM
RE: Skoodle-dum Doo & Sheffield:

          The former is Seth Richard, indicated by the composer credits on the 78s - I was sent label photocopies.  Sheffield is the harp player and his first name may have been John. He refers to himself by that name on one of the tunes he sings. According to Barbara Kukla's first book on jazz (et al) musicians in Newark, NJ, he was always known by "Sheffield" without a first name. Both 78s are brilliant and Sheffield plays rhythm guitar on one or two. Barbara has had a second book published recently - she is a former reporter for The Newark Evening News, and a good one, too!

Peter B.
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Mr.OMuck on September 16, 2014, 03:44:10 PM
That is totally out of sight! One has to dredge up long unused superlatives for something like that! :)
So Pete, are we to infer that they lived and played around Newark N.J.?
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: oddenda on September 22, 2014, 01:41:35 AM
O'M -

          Yes. Kukla's book only mentions Sheffield (he was known by jazz performers a.o.only by his surname), but that seems likely that they were there ca. 1943. West Kinney Street and Broome Street are Newark roads, maybe even a cross-roads. One of the many possibles I didn't follow up on in my day... one man can only cover so much ground on his own! Lovely records, and what Bruce Bastin would type as "soddingly rare"!

pbl
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on September 22, 2014, 02:51:17 PM
Hi Peter B.,
Is there anything apart from the fact that the non-Sheffield member of the duo called himself Skoodle Dum Doo to make anyone think he was the Seth Richard who recorded "Skoodle Dum Doo" eleven years prior to the duo's records being made?  The reason I ask is that Seth Richards had an altogether different singing voice, guitar style and sense of rhythm than the Skoodle Dum Doo who recorded with Sheffield.  I always thought the identification of Skoodle Dum Doo as Seth Richard was guesswork.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: oddenda on September 22, 2014, 11:39:32 PM
John -

          Label copy is to Richard on the Manor and Regis 78s. Bruce Bastin sent me photocopies a while back. Mentioned in my Sep 15 post! Seems logical to make that jump!!

pbl
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on September 23, 2014, 08:17:16 AM
Peter B.,
Does it say Richard or Seth Richard on the Skoodle Dum Doo and Sheffield records?  Sorry to be so persistent, but Seth Richard's sound just is not there.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: oddenda on September 24, 2014, 07:04:17 AM
John -

          My aging mind recalls only a surname (possibly S. Richard) on the label (copy in a box of correspondence somewhere hereabouts), but much can happen to one's playing in nearly twenty years, the time between the two Columbia sides of the 20s (1928 in NYC) and the four Manor/Regis ones from probably Newark ca. 1943! The Blind Boy Fuller (et al) effect? They recorded Boy Green, and Ralph Willis for their labels, a general paucity of Piedmont "country blues" in their catalog compared to, say, Savoy! Listen to his three vocals on the latter session and compare. There is connection of the latter labels and the Coleman family (from which stemmed The Coleman Brothers, and Ann Cole), a name to reckon with in Newark... hotels and lounges among them. Wilbert Harrison used to play one of their spots (as a pianist/singer) in the hotel. They even had their own record label - Coleman Records (natch!).

pbl
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on September 24, 2014, 07:06:16 AM
Thanks for that information, Peter B.
All best,
John
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: carltonevx59 on September 26, 2014, 02:27:03 AM
I'll second that motion, Bob, and add his version of Rolling Log Blues to the list. Which so far you have to catch live in person. Just splendid.

You've seen him perform live?  I agree also and I have to say that "Dirty Deeds" is his best. 
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on November 03, 2017, 06:08:10 PM
Hi all,
Larry Johnson's cover of "Charley Jordan's "Keep It Clean" was spectacular and so different from the original that apart from the lyrics, it was practically a completely different song.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on November 06, 2018, 02:32:00 PM
Hi all,
I was introduced to the following performance by a student, who requested a lesson on it.  It is Baby Tate, doing a cover of John Lee Hooker's "Hobo Blues", which Tate called "When I First Started Hoboing":

https://youtu.be/9l13Y0XdbpI

One of the interesting things about Baby Tate's cover is that he played it out of A position in standard tuning, whereas John Lee Hooker did the original in Spanish tuning.  South Carolinians Baby Tate and Pink Anderson did some covers of blues coming out of Mississippi and Texas, as does John Dee Holman, who does great covers of Lightnin' Hopkins songs.  Spanish tuning was pretty much unused by Carolinas players of this generation.  Here is John Lee Hooker doing "Hobo Blues:

https://youtu.be/1kQlRQRGdfQ

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: mike scott on December 27, 2018, 08:40:07 AM
Well,  on a more recent note, I would say that Jerry Garcia and David Grisman?s version of John Hurt?s Casey Jones is a good one as is Chris Thomas King doing Skip James? Hard time Killing Floor Blues. 

Thanks!
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: mike scott on December 28, 2018, 08:33:23 AM
Here I go again. I?m just getting back into this genre so am listening to a lot of this.  I really like Maria Muldaur?s version of Richland Woman?s Blues-accompanied by John Sebastian on guitar.  Bonnie Raitt has one she did at age 22, but I prefer the Muldaur one. YMMV.  Any thing else I should listen to on Mississippi John Hurt covers?
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on December 28, 2018, 02:41:13 PM
Hi Mike,
Here is one from Doc Watson's album with Jean Ritchie on Folkways, "Jean and Doc at Folk City".

https://youtu.be/LLYAaz8snis

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: Johnm on December 29, 2018, 08:19:12 AM
Hi all,
Here is one from Tom Paley, on "New Lost City Ramblers, Vol. 4" on Folkways.

https://youtu.be/4Y-meffBu1I

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Great covers
Post by: mike scott on December 29, 2018, 08:40:23 AM
Along the same line, John Oates has imho a great cover of Stack O Lee also on YouTube. Sorry, not sure how to add the link here, but check it out.  Continuing with ?modern? covers.....

Thanks