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And if anybody asks you who's singin' so straight, just tell 'em it's a quartet called the Golden Gate - Golden Gate Quartet, Every Time That I Feel The Spirit

Author Topic: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson  (Read 14595 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #60 on: December 11, 2011, 11:05:07 AM »
I've been listening to Eugene Powell recently, and he shows the influence of Lemon in some interesting ways. Powell's "Pony Blues", recorded as Sonny Boy Nelson in 1936, uses a variation of one of the verses Lemon used in "Got the Blues".

Lemon sings:
I was raised in Texas, schooled in Tennessee
I was raised in Texas, was schooled in Tennessee
Said, woman, you can?t make no fatmouth outa me

Powell sings:

I was borned in Texas but I was raised out on the Sante Field
I was borned in Texas, man I was raised out on the Sante Field
And you know by that baby you can't make no fatmouth out of me

Recorded in 1981 doing a version of the song called "Born In Texas" (or alternatively "Texas - Sante Fe"), he uses the same verse. During the same recording session on another song called "Blues In Texas", Powell uses another verse from "Got the Blues" and Lemon-like riffs throughout, singing:

Well the blues left from Texas lopin' like a doggone mule
The blues left from Texas lopin' like a doggone mule
Now what you gonna do when you get all [??]

Then he sings a version of a verse from Wartime Blues:

What you women gonna do when they take your man to war?
What you women gonna do when they take your man to war?
You're gonna have to drink muddy water, sleep in a hollow log

The guitar playing on the song (in A position tuned down, I believe, though could be G - haven't sussed it out) is clearly influenced by Lemon -- though the overall style of the song is still very individual, itself quite loping, if you will, in its rhythm.

His playing on "When I Leave Town" and "Mississippi River" from 1982 also occasionally show the influence of Lemon in the treble riffs.

Powell was recorded numerous times post-war and there has been a fair amount previously released on vinyl, but not a lot made it to CD. That's a shame as he is a really inventive player worth checking out. His prewar recordings show a bit more influence from Lonnie Johnson and a little Blind Blake to my ear.

Offline misterjones

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #61 on: January 21, 2012, 07:12:49 PM »
I am finding this thread quite interesting, as I would like to compile a CD's worth of Lemon covers (or reasonable facsimiles thereof).  They need not be exact.  Songs like The Down Home Boys' recording of "Mama, You Don't Know How" do just fine.  I think I'll make a list from those suggested here then ask for additional recommendations.

Offline jostber

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #62 on: February 12, 2012, 01:23:39 AM »
I am finding this thread quite interesting, as I would like to compile a CD's worth of Lemon covers (or reasonable facsimiles thereof).  They need not be exact.  Songs like The Down Home Boys' recording of "Mama, You Don't Know How" do just fine.  I think I'll make a list from those suggested here then ask for additional recommendations.

Cool idea. :) Looking forward to the list.


Offline misterjones

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #63 on: February 12, 2012, 09:12:35 AM »
Working on my own "Blind Lemon Box" since I don't think anyone will ever do it to my liking - i.e., best sounding transfers (with limited noise reduction) of all available sides.  I figure a nice disc 5 would be some Lemon covers/influences (Lemon influencing others, that is) and tributes.  I've back-burnered it for a couple weeks.  I completed disc 1, for the most part, and started on the influences/tributes.  I need to listen to all nominees to make sure they are a good fit.

Those tentatively in so far for "Covers and Influences" are:

Gone Dead Train                                   King Solomon Hill
Tell Me Baby                                         King Solomon Hill
Black Snake Moan                                 Leadbelly (Leadbelly (Sony))
Matchbox Blues                                     Leadbelly (Leadbelly (Sony))
See See Rider                                       Lightnin' Hopkins (Complete Aladdin)
One Kind of Favor                                 Lightnin' Hopkins (1946-1951 (JSP))
Back Door Blues                                   Bo Jones (Texas Blues (Document))
Leavenworth Prison Blues                      Bo Jones (Texas Blues Document))                                                
Leavin' Home                                        Willie Reed  (Texas Blues (Document))                                               
Goin' Back to My Baby                           Willie Reed    (Texas Blues (Document))                                       

Those I have to listen to are:

Little Old Mama Blues                             Ramblin Thomas
No Baby Blues                                       Ramblin Thomas
Bite Back Blues                                     Kid Prince Moore
Mr. Tom's Rag                                      Mance Lipscomb
Easy Rider Blues                                   Mance Lipscomb
One Thin Dime                                     Mance Lipscomb (Texas Songster)
Johnson City Blues                               Clarence Greene
Matchbox Blues                                    Larry Hensley (White County Blues)
My Good Gal Has Thrown Me Down        Homer Callahan (White County Blues)
Going to the River                                 Isaiah Ross
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean           Hobart Smith (Alan Lomax Blues Songbook )
Brown Skin Blues                                  Hobart Smith
Big Joe Williams                                    Peach Orchard Mama
One Dime Blues                                    Skip James
One Dime Blues                                    Blind Willie McTell
Drive Away Blues                                  Blind Willie McTell
Evil Blues                                               Mance Lipscomb
Doin' Wrong                                         Peg Leg Howell
Mama, You Don't Know How                  The Down Home Boys
Sweet Papa Moan                                 Furry Lewis
Ninety-Nine Blues                                 Blind Joe Reynolds
Third Street Woman Blues                     Blind Joe Reynolds
Big Bill Broonzy                                    C.C. Rider

"Tributes" nominations include:

My Buddy, Blind Papa Lemon                 King Solomon Hill
Blind Lemon                                         Leadbelly

I'm trying not to over-do any one artist, and I'd like to not go too far past WWII.  Nomination/substitution suggestions are still welcome.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 12:06:39 PM by misterjones »

Offline jostber

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #64 on: February 12, 2012, 12:16:11 PM »
Silver City Bound is a great tribute by Leadbelly for Blind Lemon.


Offline CF

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #65 on: February 12, 2012, 03:41:09 PM »
[Just listening to Jeff Harris' Big Road Blues radio program &] Mattie Delaney's 'Down the Big Road Blues' features the 'Got The Blues' run that Lemon plays out of 'G' position.
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline uncle bud

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #66 on: February 15, 2012, 08:42:55 AM »
Pernell Charity's Blind Lemon's Blues is not surprisingly influenced by Lemon, borrowing heavily and very nicely from Lemon's playing in A position. It has Lemon influenced lyrics as well, alluding to DB Blues for one.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #67 on: February 19, 2012, 08:51:36 AM »
I thought this had already been mentioned here but apparently not.

Belton Sutherland's "Kill the Old Grey Mule" (also going by "Blues #1" on YouTube) begins with the first verse of Lemon's Prison Cell Blues. Sutherland sings:

Tired of sleeping, lowdown lonesome cell
Tired of sleeping, babe, lowdown lonesome cell
And I wouldn't have been here, hadn't 've been for Nell

Offline jharris

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #68 on: February 23, 2012, 11:26:09 AM »
I came a little late to this thread but very interesting. "Long Lonesome Blues" was reworked by The Mississippi Moaner and Jesse Thomas. The Mississippi Moaner recorded five sides for Vocalion Records in Jackson, MS, on October 20, 1935. Only one 78 from the session was ever released, "Mississippi Moan" b/w "It's Cold in China Blues" (the song title was a lyric used in Blind Lemon's song). Jesse Thomas' 1948 number, "Double Due Love You" opens with lyrics also  taken from the Blind Lemon song. Thomas also recorded "Jack of Diamonds" in 1951. Not sure if Thomas and Blind Lemon ever crossed paths.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 11:30:09 AM by jharris »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #69 on: February 23, 2012, 12:15:45 PM »
Not sure if Thomas and Blind Lemon ever crossed paths.
FWIW when Eleanor Ellis interviewed him in 1990 Thomas told her he heard BLJ in Dallas but it was Lonnie Johnson at the Della B Moore Theatre that inspired him to take up guitar "I thought I was going to be another Lonnie Johnson! I even learned how to play like him...I was 16 years old then".
Blues & Rhythm 82, Sept 1993, p. 13"

Offline jostber

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #70 on: February 24, 2012, 02:46:11 AM »
Rube Lacy learnt how to play like Blind Lemon and invited him to Itta Bene to play together so I guess he was influenced by BLJ.

http://paramountshome.org/articles/RubinLacy.pdf


Offline Johnm

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #71 on: February 24, 2012, 12:46:46 PM »
Hi all,
The article says that Lacy met Lemon after having recorded "Mississippi Jail House Groan" and "Ham Hound Crave".  Those songs are not influenced by Lemon, and don't sound like they are.  As to Lacy's claim that he could play everything that Lemon played, but Lemon couldn't play everything he played, I think it can be chalked up to the roseate glow cast by an inaccurate and wishful memory.  Ever notice how Lemon must have been in seven places at once, based on all the people who say that they heard him, hung out with him, remember when he visited and stayed in their town, etc.?  I think it's best not to receive these kind of reminiscences too credulously, or take them at face value.
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #72 on: March 01, 2012, 08:45:11 AM »
Further to the earlier post about Eugene Powell (Sonny Boy Nelson) being influenced by Lemon, here he is doing his take on Matchbox Blues. It's fascinating to me to see and hear how Powell was really influenced by Lemon and yet has a style all his own. He's such an inventive player, I really dig him.


Offline uncle bud

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #73 on: March 05, 2012, 07:22:31 AM »
Jimmie Gordon's Mojo Blues from 1939 uses a version of the last verse from Lemon's Piney Woods Money Mama. Gordon sings:

And I love that woman like a cow love to chew her cud
Says I love that woman like a cow love to chew her cud
She have made all of that money and moved back to the piney wood

Gordon also uses lyrics that appear in McTell's Scarey Day Blues.

Musically, he's pretty far from both of them in this tune. Sax, trumpet, piano, drums, slick urban sound.

Offline dj

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Re: The Influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson
« Reply #74 on: March 05, 2012, 08:29:25 AM »
Quote
Jimmie Gordon's Mojo Blues from 1939 uses a version of the last verse from Lemon's Piney Woods Money Mama

He even mispronounces cud the same way Lemon did so it rhymes with wood. 

 


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