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Now, said, once ain't forever, baby, two times ain't but twice - Brownsville Son Bonds, Weary Worried Blues

Author Topic: Great covers  (Read 12744 times)

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Tail Dragger

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #15 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.

Offline eagle rockin daddy

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #16 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

Offline Johnm

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #17 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

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #18 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

Offline blueshome

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #19 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.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #20 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     

Offline Chezztone

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #21 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.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #22 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   

Offline Rivers

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #23 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.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #24 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.
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Offline Rivers

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #25 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.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2007, 10:10:51 AM by Rivers »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #26 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?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 09:45:50 AM by uncle bud »

Offline CF

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #27 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.
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #28 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.

Offline CF

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Re: Great covers
« Reply #29 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!
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .