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Author Topic: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?  (Read 6819 times)

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Offline LB

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2011, 11:05:36 AM »
Excluding McTell and the Allman Brothers connection.... Curley Weaver, Buddy Moss and many Ga artists are almost completely ignored. Especially around their home state. Luckily more attention and interest has grown thanks to sites like this and other sources. And the fact a few musicians play their songs. There are things Weaver sang and played that I've NEVER heard anyone alive mimick with any real success. He was the poster child of unheralded underrated and from hearing family stories he was much more low key, humble than most. Perhaps things would be different if the McTell Weaver super duo had been living and strong through the 60s.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 11:10:21 AM by LittleBrother »

Offline jpeters609

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2011, 12:10:16 PM »
Perhaps things would be different if the McTell Weaver super duo had been living and strong through the 60s.

... or had been from the Mississippi Delta.
Jeff

Offline LB

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2011, 03:57:48 PM »
Perhaps things would be different if the McTell Weaver super duo had been living and strong through the 60s.

... or had been from the Mississippi Delta.

Hmm yeah good point. Add some folk lore and fairy tales and the blues really sells!

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #33 on: February 02, 2011, 04:45:24 PM »
Big Joe Wiiliam's doesn't get the WOWs he deserves imo.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Chezztone

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2011, 08:26:04 PM »
Jimmy Reed.

Offline Shovel

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2011, 08:21:32 AM »
anybody not named robert johnson, basically.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2011, 11:43:40 AM »
Jimmy Reed.
Hey that makes two of us. We are a rare breed.

But the topic is most underrated country blues musician, do you really categorise him as country blues? I've got everything he ever recorded (vinyl) - and even knocked out the occasional LP sleeve note - but I've never thought of his output as "country blues". Perhaps I should reeducate my ears.

Offline Chezztone

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2011, 09:48:55 PM »
Jimmy Reed is as country as can be. Grew up picking cotton on a plantation near Leland, Miss. Sings and plays and writes lyrics in an extreme downhome manner. Of course he played electric guitar, with band backing, on his records. But you know he would have done his thing with an acoustic and his harp and rack just as well. I know people like to credit Eddie Taylor and/or Mama Reed for Jimmy's sound. Certainly he was fortunate to have met those two! But they were more fortunate to have met and worked with him, I believe. He was the star.
And from reading Keith Richards' new autobiography, and relistening to the early Stones and to Reed, it is clear that the Stones just knocked off Reed's sound. Not that that is what makes Reed great! But it is an interesting footnote to his amazing career, that the greatest rock 'n' roll band took his sound and made it even more popular than Reed himself did. Of course he was very, very popular. The most successful blues act ever. Just an irresistible sound. Love that guy.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2011, 05:06:16 AM »
I've also been a Big Jimmy Reed fan since the sixties, he was one of the first guys I heard actually.  Blues as funky & easy as fallin' off a log, and rockin' too.
Nobody can draw out a phrase and stretch time like he does, just think of the interval between "Y'know I love you baby" and the micro-precision of where he re enters with "Honest I do-oo" that's a whole other deal goin' on there!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2011, 05:24:33 AM »
In the bigger picture I think everyone on this thread has had the feeling that the people they love, admire & emulate have no visible profile in the canon of  twentieth century cultural luminaries. It drives me nuts that more people knew who Gary Davis was forty years ago than do so today when his name usually draws a blank stare.
I'm sure you've all experienced similar frustrating encounters.

I have an idea which I've eluded to before that as a general animating purpose or goal. We here at Weenie ought to be aiming to establish the music made by rural African Americans between 1900 and 1950 as a major twentieth century ART MOVEMENT comparable to other early twentieth century Art movements like Cubism, Fauvism, Impressionism (the musical kind, Debussey, Revel , Satie), Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, BeBop, Swing, New Orleans Jazz, the Bauhaus et al.

The fact is that it is just that but is not given the same serious regard as these others, seen if seen at all as a loose aggregate of individuals occasionally doing interesting things. I'm talking about re-writing history to include this music in its proper place, as a composer friend of mine dubbed it the most widely disseminated, enduring  and influential folk music in the world.
 
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #40 on: February 09, 2011, 08:07:37 PM »
crickets :P
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Chezztone

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2011, 11:05:06 PM »
Muck, I totally hear you. But I take it further. I see American Classical Music, with jazz, blues, ragtime, gospel, maybe country as subgenres, equivalent to the subgenres you mentioned of European Classical Music.

Mister Steve

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2011, 03:09:43 AM »
I think part of the problem is that the folk/blues revival postulated that the music of so many artists was actually "folk music." Musical history was already being rewritten during the revival with a Lomaxian insistence on the "unpopularity" of the music while also maintaining that this was "the people's music" and also "equal to or superior to" great works of classical music. When MJH recorded in 1928, he was not recording "folk music." He was aiming for a commercial success. He had also been recruited to perform in medicine shows but declined. With respect to MJH, the emphasis in writing his bio/intro was that he developed "in isolation" despite references to Rufus Hanks, Willie Narmour and being able to play Jimmie Rodgers.  If Jim Crow prevented MJH from recording Jimmie Rodgers, what prevented his playing Jimmie Rodgers on stage at folk revivals?  With respect to RGD, as one Black musician friend of mine (who was part of the folk revival and considers himself a "folkie" to this day) put it, "People liked RGD BECAUSE he was unpopular" and he goes on to defintely stand in awe of his guitar AND vocals. Yes, RGD on the sly even recorded some bawdy "folkier" tunes...but he could also play popular showtunes...he could play ANYTHING.  Frankly I think the "rewriting" part requires an unambiguous valuation of the popular minus some of the disdain for the popular that was part of the folk/blues revival.  I think it's also fair to state that one of the outcomes of the folk revival was a focus on the instrumental/guitar component of the music, guitar styles vs. songs, vocalists...acoustic "guitar heroes" that became alternative guitar heroes to those in Rock music.  And yes, no need for Jimmy Reed to be subjected to purist litmus tests...glad he plugged in!  Glad BB King plugged in along with Muddy Waters Dylan and Keith Richards.



« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 01:04:10 PM by stevej »

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #43 on: February 10, 2011, 01:38:05 PM »
Quote
Frankly I think the "rewriting" part requires an unambiguous valuation of the popular minus some of the disdain for the popular that was part of the folk/blues revival.

Interesting.......
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Mister Steve

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Re: Who's the most underrated country blues musician?
« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2011, 01:46:56 PM »
Quote
Frankly I think the "rewriting" part requires an unambiguous valuation of the popular minus some of the disdain for the popular that was part of the folk/blues revival.

Interesting.......

I see the underrating process within Country Blues as an extension of the folk/blues revivals' hierarchy of credentials...stated or implicit...a point system?  Are the CB artists with the more "popular" inclinations, historically popular or perceived as "popular" or evolving into popular music still ranked somehow lower or underrated?
« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 02:04:01 PM by stevej »

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