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Guess me and my tapeworm must go further down the road, 'Cause we eat so much, won't nobody give us no board - Me And My Tapeworm, Sylvester Weaver 1927

Author Topic: Favorite singers  (Read 29180 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2005, 11:02:18 PM »
Hi all,
It's been a while since anyone posted in this topic, but I thought of someone in the past couple of days who definitely belongs on my list of favorite singers:  Allen Shaw.  He was a Memphis bluesman who I believe only recorded two solo titles, "Moanin' The Blues", and "I Couldn't Help It".  What a voice!  He sounded like he could shake the rafters down.  He also joined Memphis Willie B. in accompanying Hattie Hart on "The Coldest Stuff In Town", and when he comes in singing at the tail end of the song he takes it to an entirely different level.  I can't imagine why he wasn't recorded more, because he was also a fine guitarist.  But for a blues singer with a deep voice, I think he was in the league with anybody, Son House, Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, you name it.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Doc Brainerd

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2005, 01:07:55 PM »
Just wanted to belatedly add my own favorites (in no particular order):

Bukka White: his voice has a great vibrato you can really appreciate on "Aberdeen Mississippi Blues."

Skip James: nothing matches his haunting, subdued falsetto as demonstated on "Hardtime Killin' Floor Blues."

Barbecue Bob: "Barbecue Blues" is a great song; his tone conveys a joy in what he's singing despite it's typical blues subject-matter.

Lonnie Johnson: the albums he recorded in the late fifties demonstrate a jazzy elegance that really sets him apart from most blues guitarists. "Backwater Blues" on the album Blues & Ballads (with Elmer Snowden) is a good example.

Dock Boggs: This guys voice on his early recordings conveys so much about the life and times he lived in. His voice gives me a chill down the spine equivalent the effect Skip James' does. I know his music may not be considered 'country blues' by a lot of the Weenie listeners, but if he's not conveying the 'blues' what what would you call it?  Listen to 'Sugar Baby' or 'Country Blues' off of the Revenant collection.

I'd be interested to hear what others think about my last two choices.

Greg

Offline cmr

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2005, 10:45:44 PM »
Hi to everyone,
It's hard to add anyone new to the list - great suggestions from everyone.  "Henry Thomas" ranks high on my list.  His voice is truely wonderful.  In particular with his incredible melodies and accompanying quills, his songs have a wistful and almost melancholy feeling.  Too bad I missed the Henry Thomas thread.  Cheers, Charlie R.

Offline MTJ3

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2005, 11:18:31 PM »
It is interesting to me that nobody mentioned some of the more popular singers "in the day" (judging from their recorded output) such as the obvious Broonzy and the less obvious, but still prolific, Walter Davis, Little Bill Gaither, Bumble Bee Slim, Johnny Temple (I probably wouldn't have named any of them either.) or Texas Alexander (who could not like, say, "Levee Camp Moan"?)

I have always immensely enjoyed the immediacy of Jesse James (sort of "here we are in a barrelhouse or a rent party together and you are going to know you were entertained when I am done") and the raw energy and power of Tommy McClennan--I can't think of anyone more energetic and forceful than he was, all 4'10" of him.? For female singers, Louise Bogan is grossly (pun intended--ok, sorry) underrated.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2005, 11:24:38 PM by MTJ3 »

Offline Chezztone

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2005, 02:38:02 PM »
Lil Johnson, Ma Rainey, Geechie Wiley, Noah Lewis, Bo Carter, Lucille Bogan are ones I didn't see on other lists. And I certainly second the motions for Charlie Patton and Tommy Johnson. Little Brother Montgomery does something to me, as does the already-mentioned Roosevelt Sykes. Those piano players had to have strong or distinctive voices to be hear over their instruments. Jelly Roll Morton could sing some blues. Memphis Slim. Moving into a little more recent period, let's not omit Muddy Waters or Howlin' Wolf.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2005, 10:18:56 PM »
Hi Doc Brainerd,
You asked a couple of posts back what people thought of your choices of Lonnie Johnson and Dock Boggs in this category.  Lonnie Johnson had a great voice, though for me, it worked better on some of the standards he recorded in his post-rediscovery days, like "What A Difference A Day Makes", than it did for blues.  To each his own, of course.
I certainly wouldn't have a problem with anybody picking Dock Boggs in this category.  He was sensational, and I like his singing as an older man even better than on his '20s recordings.  All of his post-rediscovery stuff is available on a 2 CD set from Smithsonian Folkways, and boy, is it great.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Chezztone

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2005, 11:42:33 PM »
Another great and underrated singer: Kansas Joe McCoy. There's just something that makes me smile when I listen to him.

Offline GerryC

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2005, 04:02:26 AM »
OK, here comes my choice.

Blind Blake - naturally most reputed for his fantastic playing, but he could put over a song too, especially with the sly, jiving, innuendo-laden lyrics of material like Diddy-Wah-Diddy ("I said, Sister, I'll soon be gone/Just gimme that thing you sittin' on...").
Bessie Smith - there are times in life when only the Empress will do...
Robert Johnson - fantastic range, tone and expressiveness. He could play a bit, too!
Blind Boy Fuller - as good as Blake on the jivy stuff, but better on the serious 'deep' blues...
Memphis Minnie - rough, tough, tender, raucous, sweet..Oh, and she could play a bit too!!

Others would include Tommy Johnson, Son House, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and more recently, Guy Davis and Keb' Mo'.

Cheerily,
Gerry C
I done seen better days, but I'm puttin' up with these...

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2005, 08:15:18 AM »
One singer I've been enjoying a lot lately is Big Boy Teddy Edwards. Fun material with slight jazz overtones. It sounds like he listened to Louis Armstrong. Anyway, I know essentially nothing about him but enjoy his material a lot. Check him out on the Juke.

Two women that haven't been mentioned are Lottie Kimbrough and Hattie Hart. They're wonderful.

Offline Cambio

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2005, 08:31:18 AM »
Amen to that,  Lottie Kimbrough is dynamite.  I believe that she was a rather large woman, and she certainly put her weight into it.  Victoria Spivey is another great early woman blues singer, although she's a little more on the uptown side of things.  Her version of TB Blues sends chills down my spine every time I hear it.
Frank Stokes' rapid fire lyrics and sense of humor would have to put him up on the list.  He could really sing around the beat.
Clarence "Tom" Ashley is another fantastic white blues and old timey singer with really great delivery.  He did a wide range of material and had an uncanny ability to tell a story with his songs.

Offline blueshome

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2005, 01:46:40 PM »
Johnny Shines

Offline Marshcat

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2005, 04:35:45 AM »
Don't forget Jelly Roll Anderson  :) (though he's not on the juke yet...) and Bobby Grant. Some very interesting voices only got to record a couple of sides, unfortunately...

Offline Great Bear

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2005, 03:16:57 PM »
Peetie Wheatstraw

Offline dj

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #43 on: December 28, 2005, 11:38:47 AM »
Ed Bell.

He had a really strong voice, with a bit of that nasal head tone that Ishmon Bracey and Rube Lacy did so well.  But he also had a melismatic delivery that neither Ishmon nor Rube had.  It's too bad that one third of his recorded output was on QRS, the label whose quality was so bad that it made Paramount sound good.

Offline blueshome

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Re: Favorite singers
« Reply #44 on: December 28, 2005, 03:37:07 PM »
If we can allow gospel street singers, I'd add the Rev.Pearly Brown to the list - all the power of a Patton and a unique sound.