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He played in all the keys with all his fingers - Baby Tate on Willie Walker, to Peter B. Lowry

Author Topic: "Dust My Broom"  (Read 732 times)

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Offline JasO

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  • Posts: 28
"Dust My Broom"
« on: May 08, 2011, 06:29:33 AM »
I've just finished writing and posting an in-depth account of how Robert Johnson and Elmore James transformed several early 1930s singles into a rip-roaring blues standard and rite-of-passage for slide guitarists. I've tried to detail all of the predecessors, beginning with Pinetop and Lindberg (aka the Sparks Brothers) in 1932, Jack Kelly and His South Memphis Jug Band in August 1933, Carl Rafferty in December 1933, Josh White in 1934, Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell in 1935, Kokomo Arnold's "Sagefield Woman Blues" and "Sissy Man Blues," and Big Bill Broonzy's 1938 "I Believe I'll Go Back Home." 

There are a lot of details about Robert Johnson's slideless "I Believe I'll Just My Broom," including insights on how he got his sound. Then come the early postwar versions by Arthur Crudup and Robert Lockwood, Jr. I've gone most in-depth with the Elmore James versions for Trumpet Records in 1951 and Fire/Fury/Enjoy in November 1959. Ry Cooder contributed some intriguing insights to this section, and Homesick James provided me with a lot of interesting info about the 1959 session and how they'd frame parts onstage.

After that, I cover the Rolling Stones connection and the many covers done by British and American musicians in the 1960s, on up to the modern era.

Anyway, if you love the blues and "Dust My Broom," I invite you to check it out:

Offline Gumbo

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  • So Papa climbed up on top of the house
Re: "Dust My Broom"
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2011, 08:16:30 AM »
It's fascinating what Homesick James has to say about how he and Elmore worked together!

A great read, thanks!

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: "Dust My Broom"
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2011, 08:51:39 AM »
Joe Turner's performance of Low Down Dog at the Spirituals To Swing Concert (Unissued Boogie 1938-1945: The Piano Blues Vol. 21 Magpie PY4421, 1984) has an extra stanze at the end being the first two lines of Robert Johnson's I Believe I'll Dust My Broom. The significance of which I guess is obvious.....but was it off the cuff or perhaps previously suggested to Turner?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 09:55:15 AM by Bunker Hill »

Offline Stumblin

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  • Posts: 521
  • Got the Blues, can't be satisfied
Re: "Dust My Broom"
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2011, 11:33:00 AM »
I'll read that right away. It's been a productive day, like 800 words so far and I need a break.
I've enjoyed all the articles that I've read on Jas's site.

Tags: slide 

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