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Author Topic: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful  (Read 375 times)

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Offline Old Man Ned

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SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
« 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)


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)


Charley Jordan


Two from Mississippi John Hurt
Lovin' Spoonful

Coffee blues


Larry Johnson


Rev Gary Davis


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.


Jimmy Witherspoon


Koko Taylor


Here's Etta James version
Etta James


and rounding off with Tuba Skinny


Enjoy!

Offline joe paul

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Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
« Reply #1 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 :

Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2017, 03:48:48 AM »
Thanks Joe Paul, can't believe I missed Mance Lipscomb's great take on Spoonful.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2017, 05:43:21 AM »
Great versions all. And a great choice for SOTM!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
« Reply #4 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

Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2017, 10:48:16 AM »
Yeah, I wouldn't have liked to have argued with Howlin' Wolf  :)

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
« Reply #6 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:



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
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 02:50:47 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
« Reply #7 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.



All best,
Johnm

Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
« Reply #8 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.

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM 01DEC2017 Spoonful
« Reply #9 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.



All best,
Johnm

Tags: SOTM