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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Hammie Nixon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hammie Nixon. Show all posts

Monday, May 12, 2014

Delmark artist: Sleepy John Estes with Hammie Nixon - Live In Japan - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Live In Japan, from Sleepy John Estes with Hammie Nixon. If you like primitive blues/country blues, this is tough to beat. The release is comprised of music previously released in Japan only in the late 70's on LP just shortly before Estes death on 1978. The releases, earlier titled Blues Live! Sleepy & Hammie Meet Japanese People and Blues Is A-Live. This is an extensive 21 track set and I won't even attempt to describe it track by track but will attempt to give you a flavor. The release opens with Corrina Corrina, with Estes singing lead and playing guitar and Nixon on vocal and kazoo. Broke and Hungry, an original track is a perfect for illustrating the gripping qualities of Estes unique vocal style. Always a crowd favorite, I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You, finds the duo trading lead vocals, again with Estes on guitar and Nixon on kazoo. This is of course one of many "fun" songs on the release and showing the life in these performances. Stop That Thing has always been on of my personal favorites by Estes and Nixon does a real nice job on harp as well. A track that has been played by a number of contemporary players is Divin' Duck Blues. Here as Estes wrote it, accompanying himself on guitar and Nixon on harp, it certainly has a personality of it's own. Nixon takes a larger role in When Your Mother Is Gone, a traditional track showing his absolute strength as a vocalist. A super blues track, Rats In My Kitchen, again relies heavily on the super vocals of Estes. Nixon has a harp style that is well matched to Estes' voice and that is very apparent on this track. Another deeper blues track, Potato Diggin' Man falls back to tghe strength of Nixon on vocals and harp. Very nice. The last 4 tracks include backing by the Japanese band, Yu Ka Dan. Sleepy John's Twist has almost a rock blues feel but still remaining with the primitive style. It's a good chance to see Sleepy John with a slightly different but still true style. Love Grows In Your Heart is more of a gospel oriented ballad along the lines of Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning.  Another Estes original, Brownsville Blues, is gritty and wailing. Estes definitely had his own sound, never to be duplicated. This is a very cool track again with all of the bite of Estes at his best. One of my favorite tracks on the release, Jesus Is On The Mainline, features Nixon on lead with Estes on chorus and harmony. This is a super wrap for a very cool release. Wether you have all of Sleepy John's stuff, or you are just looking for an intro, this is a very cool set which captures Estes in a great live setting.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

John Henry Barbee, Sleepy John Estes & Hammie Nixon

John Henry Barbee (vocal & guitar), Sleepy John Estes (guitar) and Hammie Nixon (jug) John Henry Barbee (November 14, 1905 – November 3, 1964) was an American blues singer and guitarist. He was born William George Tucker in Henning, Tennessee, United States, and changed his name with the commencement of his recording career to reflect his favorite folk song, "The Ballad of John Henry". Barbee toured in the 1930s throughout the American South singing and playing slide guitar. He teamed up with Big Joe Williams, and later on, with Sunnyland Slim in Memphis, Tennessee. Travelling down to Mississippi he also came across Sonny Boy Williamson I, and played with him off and on for several years. He released two sides on the Vocalion label in 1939 ("Six Weeks Old Blues" / "God Knows I Can't Help It"). The record sold well enough to cause Vocalion to call on Barbee again, but by that time he had left his last known whereabouts in Arkansas. Barbee explained that this sudden move was due to his evading the law for shooting and killing his girlfriend's lover. He later found out that he had only injured the man, but by the time this was discovered, Barbee had moved on from making a career out of playing music. Barbee did not show up again in the music industry until the early 1960s, whereby this time the blues revival was in full swing. Willie Dixon searched out for Barbee, and found him working as an ice cream server in Chicago, Illinois. In 1964 he joined the American Folk Blues Festival on an European tour with fellow blues players, including Lightnin' Hopkins and Howlin' Wolf. In a case of tragic circumstances, Barbee returned to the United States and used the money from the tour to purchase his first automobile. Only ten days after purchasing the car, he accidentally ran over and killed a man. He was locked up in a Chicago jail, and died there of a heart attack a few days later, November 3, 1964, 11 days before his 59th birthday. He is interred in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. On May 11, 2010 the third annual White Lake Blues Festival took place at the Howmet Playhouse Theater in Whitehall, Michigan. The concert was organized by executive producer, Steve Salter, of the nonprofit organization Killer Blues in order to raise monies to honor Barbee's unmarked grave with a headstone. The event was a success, and a stone was placed in June, 2010. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! Discography

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Corrine Corrine - Sleepy John Estes & Hammie Nixon

Hammie Nixon (January 22, 1908 – August 17, 1984) was an American harmonica player.
Born Hammie Nickerson in Brownsville, Tennessee, he began his music career with jug bands in the 1920s and is best known as a country blues harmonica player, but also played the kazoo, guitar and jug. He played with guitarist Sleepy John Estes for half a century, first recording with Estes in 1929 for the Victor Records label. He also recorded with Little Buddy Doyle, Lee Green, Clayton T. Driver, Charlie Pickett and Son Bonds.

During the 1920s Nixon helped to pioneer the use of the harmonica as a rhythm instrument in a band setting, rather than as a novelty solo instrument. After Estes died in 1979, Nixon played with the Beale Street Jug Band (also called the Memphis Jug Band). Nixon's last recording, "Tappin' That Thing" (Hmg Records), was recorded shortly before his death in 1984, in Jackson, Tennessee
John Adam Estes (January 25, 1899 or 1904 – June 5, 1977), best known as Sleepy John Estes or Sleepy John, was a American blues guitarist, songwriter and vocalist, born in Ripley, Lauderdale County, Tennessee
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