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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 Little Walter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Little Walter. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Delmark 60 Years of Blues - New release review

I just received a new release, Delmark 60 Years of Blues and it's terrific! Opening with Studebaker John's Maxwell Street Kings and When They Played The Real Blues. John on harp, guitar and vocals drives a hard Chicago line on this super track from Kingsville Jukin'. Really hot! Following this track is Junior Wells and Rock me Baby from the Southside Blues Jam sessions. With Otis Spann on piano, Louis Meyers on guitar, and Wells on vocal and harp, this is a band that is hard to beat. Wells is on top of his game and Spann is one of my all time favorite blues pianists so this track is primo! Lindsey Alexander plays Raffle Ticket with Mike Wheeler on guitar Roosevelt Purifoy laying down some excellent piano. Alexander leads a tight ship on this track released on Been There Done That. Magic Sam plays I Don't Want No Woman, from his Live At The Advant Garde. His guitar work is finely articulated and his vocals are inspired. This track is swinging! Quintus McCormick struts in with Fifty Fifty from Hey Jodie. This funky R&B/Albert King styled blues track gets your butt squirming in your seat. Little Walter is up next with Just Keep Lovin' Her, an alternate track to the one included on The Blues World Of Little Walter. This band includes Muddy Waters and Baby Face Leroy. Prime Little Walter. Giles Corey's Stoned Soul plays Oh Mademoiselle, a rockin blues track with a definite contemporary feel. Corey lays down a funky guitar rhythm along with Marty Sammon on clav, Joewaun Scott on bass, and Rick King on drums. This track will be released on much anticipated Giles Corey's Stoned Soul to be released in 2014. Eddie C. Campbell plays Big World, a jump track from his 2008 release Tear This World Up with full horn section. Campbell's slick guitar work with effects make this a standout track. Big Joe Williams brings 44 Blues, an unreleased tape from 1960. This is an excellent early tape with only Williams on 7 string guitar and vocal. Sharon Lewis & Texas Fire covers Blues Train from the Blues Train. This soul infused track is a real mover. Billy Branch steps up on this track with his distinctive harp sound. Delmark really should be commended for putting this release together in such a manner that it flows nicely from style to style ... cohesive yet diverse. Lurrie Bell plays She's A Good 'un from Blues In My Soul. Bell, a standout contemporary blues guitar player lays down some deep grooves on this well paced track also featuring Roosevelt Purifoy on piano. Playing just behind the beat gives this track a real grip! Mississippi Heat turns it up for Let's Live It Up, with Inetta Visor on vocal, the incredible Pierre Lacocque on harp and especially hot on this track are Giles Corey on guitar, Hambone Cameron on organ, Stephen Howard on bass and Blaze Thomas on drums from the releae Let's Live It Up. Again pacing the release, Detroit Jr. plays on of my favorites from the release, Key To The Highway, accompanying himself on piano from Blues On The Internet. Excellent!! Tail Dragger and an allstar band featuring Lurrie Bell and Kevin Shanahan on guitar, Billy Branch on harp extraordinaire, Bob Stroger on bass and Kenny Smith on drums set the Chicago groove with Tend To Your Business from My Head Is Bald, Live From Friendly's Lounge. Sleepy John Estes contributes Stop That Thing from Live In Japan. This track is yet to be release but will be in 2014. Featuring Estes on guitar and vocal and Hammie Nixon on harp this track is hot! Wrapping the release is Toronzo Cannon and John The Conquer Root from John The Conquer Root. This track successfully blends Jimi with contemporary blues for a truly smoking ending for a super release. Yeah, catch the guitar work on this deal! It's not often that I sing praises (ok, I don't sing much at all) of a compilation, but this is a really cool one! If you haven't got all of these releases already (excecpt the ones not yet released, this is a great sampler for what you have missed and if you do already have them, it's a great cd to put on and play if you want a mix of different great bands. No filler here!

  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! ”LIKE”

Monday, September 16, 2013

New "Remembering Little Walter" video!

blindpigrecords.com
NEW JAMES HARMAN VIDEO FROM LIVE LITTLE WALTER TRIBUTE
http://mailman.305spin.com/users/blindpigrecords/images/HarmanWeb.jpg
Last December five of the finest harmonica players on the current blues scene - Billy Boy Arnold, Charlie Musselwhite, Mark Hummel, Sugar Ray Norcia, and James Harman - gathered to pay tribute to harp virtuoso and innovator Little Walter Jacobs.
All are featured on the tribute recording entitled Remembering Little Walter performing songs written by or associated with the late blues icon.
Blind Pig Records has just released another in a series of videos from that memorable evening - James Harman's performance of  "It's Too Late Brother."  To watch the video, please click HERE.
Harman is accompanied in performance by Little Charlie Baty on guitar, Nathan James on guitar, June Core on drums and RW Grigsby on upright bass.
For more info and sound samples from Remembering Little Walter, please click HERE.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Charlie Musselwhite video from Remembering Little Walter

blindpigrecords.com
CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE VIDEO FROM LITTLE WALTER TRIBUTE
http://mailman.305spin.com/users/blindpigrecords/images/CMWeb2.jpg

On December 6th, five of the finest harmonica players on the current blues scene - Billy Boy Arnold, Charlie Musselwhite, Mark Hummel, Sugar Ray Norcia, and James Harman - gathered to pay tribute to harp virtuoso and innovator Little Walter Jacobs.  All are featured on the tribute recording entitled Remembering Little Walter.
Here's the second Blind Pig video release from that memorable evening - Charlie Musselwhite's performance of Walter's "One of These Mornings."  To watch the video, please click HERE.
Charlie is accompanied by Little Charlie Baty on guitar, Nathan James on guitar, June Core on drums and RW Grigsby on upright bass.
To hear more from the album, or to learn more about it, please click HERE.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

First video of Remembering Little Walter tribute



blindpigrecords.com
http://mailman.305spin.com/users/blindpigrecords/images/HummelWeb.jpg

On December 6th, five of the finest harmonica players on the current blues scene - Billy Boy Arnold, Charlie Musselwhite, Mark Hummel, Sugar Ray Norcia, and James Harman - gathered to pay tribute to harp virtuoso and innovator Little Walter Jacobs.  All are featured on the tribute recording entitled Remembering Little Walter.
Blind Pig Records has released the first video from that memorable evening - Mark Hummel's performance of Walter's "I Got To Go."  To watch the video, please click HERE.
Mark is accompanied by Little Charlie Baty on guitar, Nathan James on guitar, June Core on drums and RW Grigsby on upright bass.
To hear more from the album, or to learn more about it, please click HERE

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ora Nelle Blues - LITTLE WALTER

Little Walter, born Marion Walter Jacobs (May 1, 1930 – February 15, 1968), was an American blues harmonica player, whose revolutionary approach to his instrument has earned him comparisons to Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix, for innovation and impact on succeeding generations. His virtuosity and musical innovations fundamentally altered many listeners' expectations of what was possible on blues harmonica. Little Walter was inducted to the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 in the "sideman" category making him the first and only artist ever to be inducted specifically for his work as a harmonica player. Jacobs was born in Marksville, Louisiana and raised in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, where he first learned to play the harmonica. After quitting school by the age of 12, Jacobs left rural Louisiana and traveled around working odd jobs and busking on the streets of New Orleans, Memphis, Helena, Arkansas and St. Louis. He honed his musical skills on harmonica and guitar performing with much older bluesmen such as Sonny Boy Williamson II, Sunnyland Slim, Honeyboy Edwards and others. Arriving in Chicago in 1945, he occasionally found work as a guitarist but garnered more attention for his already highly developed harmonica work. According to fellow Chicago bluesman Floyd Jones, Little Walter's first recording was an unreleased demo recorded soon after he arrived in Chicago on which Walter played guitar backing Jones. Jacobs reportedly grew frustrated with having his harmonica drowned out by electric guitarists, and adopted a simple, but previously little-used method: He cupped a small microphone in his hands along with his harmonica, and plugged the microphone into a public address system or guitar amplifier. He could thus compete with any guitarist's volume. However, unlike other contemporary blues harp players such as Sonny Boy Williamson I and Snooky Pryor, who like many other harmonica players had also begun using the newly available amplifier technology around the same time solely for added volume, Little Walter purposely pushed his amplifiers beyond their intended technical limitations, using the amplification to explore and develop radical new timbres and sonic effects previously unheard from a harmonica, or any other instrument. Madison Deniro wrote a small biographical piece on Little Walter stating that "He was the first musician of any kind to purposely use electronic distortion. Jacobs made his first released recordings in 1947 for Bernard Abrams' tiny Ora-Nelle label, which operated out of the back room of Abrams' Maxwell Radio and Records store in the heart of the Maxwell Street market area in Chicago. These and several other early Little Walter recordings, like many blues harp recordings of the era, owed a strong stylistic debt to pioneering blues harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee Williamson). Little Walter joined Muddy Waters' band in 1948, and by 1950, he was playing acoustic (unamplified) harmonica on Muddy's recordings for Chess Records. The first appearance on record of amplified harmonica was Little Walter's performance on Muddy's "Country Boy" (Chess 1452), recorded on July 11, 1951. For years after his departure from Muddy's band in 1952, Little Walter continued to be brought in to play on his recording sessions, and as a result his harmonica is featured on most of Muddy's classic recordings from the 1950s. As a guitarist, Little Walter recorded three songs for the small Parkway label with Muddy Waters and Baby Face Leroy Foster (reissued on CD as "The Blues World of Little Walter" from Delmark Records in 1993), as well as on a session for Chess backing pianist Eddie Ware; his guitar work was also featured occasionally on early Chess sessions with Muddy Waters and Jimmy Rogers. Jacobs had put his career as a bandleader on hold when he joined Muddy's band, but stepped back out front once and for all when he recorded as a bandleader for Chess's subsidiary label Checker Records on 12 May 1952. The first completed take of the first song attempted at his debut session became his first hit, spending eight weeks in the number-one position on the Billboard R&B chart – the song was "Juke", and it is still the only harmonica instrumental ever to become a number-one hit on the Billboard R&B. (Three other harmonica instrumentals by Little Walter also reached the Billboard R&B top 10: "Off the Wall" reached number eight, "Roller Coaster" achieved number six, and "Sad Hours" reached the number-two position while Juke was still on the charts.) "Juke" was the biggest hit to date for Chess and its affiliated labels, and one of the biggest national R&B hits of 1952, securing Walter's position on the Chess artist roster for the next decade. Little Walter scored fourteen top-ten hits on the Billboard R&B charts between 1952 and 1958, including two number-one hits (the second being "My Babe" in 1955), a level of commercial success never achieved by his former boss Waters, nor by his fellow Chess blues artists Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson II. Following the pattern of "Juke", most of Little Walter's single releases in the 1950s featured a vocal performance on one side, and a harmonica instrumental on the other. Many of Walter's vocal numbers were originals which he or Chess A&R man Willie Dixon wrote or adapted and updated from earlier blues themes. In general, his sound was more modern and uptempo than the popular Chicago blues of the day, with a jazzier conception and less rhythmically rigid approach than other contemporary blues harmonica players. Upon his departure from Muddy Waters' band in 1952, he recruited a young band that was already working steadily in Chicago backing Junior Wells, The Aces, as his new backing band. The Aces consisted of brothers David Myers and Louis Myers on guitars, and drummer Fred Below, and were re-christened "The Jukes" on most of the Little Walter records on which they appeared. By 1955 the members of The Aces / Jukes had each left Little Walter to pursue other opportunities, initially replaced by guitarists Robert "Junior" Lockwood and Luther Tucker, and drummer Odie Payne. Jr. Others who worked in Little Walter's recording and touring bands in the '50s included guitarists Jimmie Lee Robinson and Freddie Robinson. Little Walter also occasionally included saxophone players in his touring bands during this period, among them a young Albert Ayler, and even Ray Charles on one early tour. By the late 1950s, Little Walter no longer employed a regular full-time band, instead hiring various players as needed from the large pool of local blues musicians in Chicago. Jacobs was frequently utilized on records as a harmonica accompanist behind others in the Chess stable of artists, including Jimmy Rogers, John Brim, Rocky Fuller, Memphis Minnie, The Coronets, Johnny Shines, Floyd Jones, Bo Diddley, and Shel Silverstein, and on other record labels backing Otis Rush, Johnny Young, and Robert Nighthawk.[ Jacobs suffered from alcoholism and had a notoriously short temper, which in late 1950s led to a series of violent altercations, minor scrapes with the law, and increasingly irresponsible behavior. This led to a decline in his fame and fortunes beginning in the late 1950s, although he did tour Europe twice, in 1964 and 1967. (The long-circulated story that he toured the United Kingdom with The Rolling Stones in 1964 has since been refuted by Keith Richards). The 1967 European tour, as part of the American Folk Blues Festival, resulted in the only film/video footage of Little Walter performing that is known to exist. Footage of Little Walter backing Hound Dog Taylor and Koko Taylor on a television program in Copenhagen, Denmark on 11 October 1967 was released on DVD in 2004. Further video of another recently discovered TV appearance in Germany during this same tour, showing Little Walter performing his songs "My Babe", "Mean Old World", and others were released on DVD in Europe in January 2009, and is the only known footage of Little Walter singing. Other TV appearances in the UK (in 1964) and the Netherlands (in 1967) have been documented, but no footage of these has been uncovered. Jacobs recorded and toured only infrequently in the 1960s, playing mainly in and around Chicago. In 1967 Chess released a studio album featuring Little Walter with Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters titled Super Blues. A few months after returning from his second European tour, he was involved in a fight while taking a break from a performance at a nightclub on the South Side of Chicago. The relatively minor injuries sustained in this altercation aggravated and compounded damage he had suffered in previous violent encounters, and he died in his sleep at the apartment of a girlfriend at 209 E. 54th St. in Chicago early the following morning. The official cause of death indicated on his death certificate was "coronary thrombosis" (a blood clot in the heart); evidence of external injuries was so insignificant that police reported that his death was of "unknown or natural causes", and there were no external injuries noted on the death certificate. His body was buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Evergreen Park, IL on February 22, 1968. His grave remained unmarked until 1991, when fans Scott Dirks and Eomot Rasun had a marker designed and installed. 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 favorite band!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

BLIND PIG RECORDS ANNOUNCES LITTLE WALTER TRIBUTE RECORDING

"Little Walter Jacobs was one of the best singers of the blues and a blues harp player par excellence" - Keith Richards "Little Walter was a very, very powerful influence on me" - Eric Clapton Blind Pig Records has announced a live recording date for a special tribute to Little Walter Jacobs featuring some of the finest harmonica players on the current blues scene - Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Boy Arnold, Mark Hummel, James Harman, and Sugar Ray Norcia. The show will take place on Thursday, December 6th at Anthology in San Diego, California. The virtuosic Little Walter is without doubt one of the most influential blues harmonica players of all time. AllMusicGuide said, "The fiery harmonica wizard took the humble mouth organ in dazzling amplified directions that were unimaginable prior to his ascendancy. His daring instrumental innovations were so fresh, startling, and ahead of their time. His influence remains inescapable to this day -- it's unlikely that a blues harpist exists on the face of this earth who doesn't worship Little Walter." The idea for the Little Walter tribute recording grew out of a number of highly successful West Coast concerts in early 2012 that were part of an ongoing series of "Blues Harmonica Blowout" concerts organized by Hummel, who will serve as producer of the recording project, to be entitled Remembering Little Walter. Said Hummel, "Walter changed all the rules and raised the bar so high that nobody has yet surpassed him either in innovation or technical prowess. Walter's original sides have become the holy grail all other harpers are still trying to aspire to." Those sentiments were echoed by Charlie Musselwhite and Billy Boy Arnold, who both knew and were friends with Little Walter. In fact, both used Walter's backing musicians (Louis and Dave Myers, Fred Below, and Luther Tucker) in their own bands in the 60's and early 70's. Musselwhite said, "If you listen to Walter's earliest recordings you can see that he came from a down-home country style much like John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson. And then, probably with the urban influence of Chicago horn players, started phrasing like a saxophone. This phrasing combined with his creativity and amplification really took harmonica playing to a whole new level that hadn't been heard before. For me personally, besides Walter's being an influence, he was even more of an inspiration; an inspiration and invitation to experiment, take chances, see where it'll take you and to always follow your heart." He went on to recall, "Walter was always real nice to me. He'd give me a ride home after the gig or sometimes he'd walk with me to the bus stop and wait until the bus came. He was always acting like he was looking out for me; like he was going to be there if somebody started some nonsense with me." Billy Boy Arnold added, "When I heard Little Walter's harmonica playing on the recordings with Muddy Waters and others, I knew that Little Walter was the new Harmonica King. I bought every record that Muddy Waters made with Little Walter's harp playing on it. He was miles ahead of all the other harp players on the scene. No one could touch him. He was creative, innovative, and spontaneous. Little Walter is still the top and most influential harp player that ever played." CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE is one of the most recognized names in blues harmonica. Born in 1944, Musselwhite has traveled the long road from backwoods Mississippi to a teenaged upbringing in Memphis, where he first heard and learned the blues from its originators. On the South Side of Chicago, Charlie served his apprenticeship with Robert Nighthawk, JB Hutto, Johnny Young and Big Walter Horton and developed close friendships with blues icons Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Joe Williams, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. In the late 60's and mid '70s he and Paul Butterfield were very influential in introducing traditional blues to white audiences and the burgeoning scene of young rock and rollers. Renowned for his mastery of the traditional blues idiom, in recent years he's introduced elements of jazz, gospel, Tex-Mex, Cuban and other world music into his recordings. In 2010 he was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Blues Hall Of Fame. In addition, Charlie, who is one of the most beloved blues musicians in the world, has been nominated for six Grammy Awards and has won 24 Blues Music Awards. BILLY BOY ARNOLD, a contemporary of James Cotton and Junior Wells, started with Ellis McDaniels (later to be known as Bo Diddley) in Chicago in 1955, where they created the "Bo Diddley" sound at Chess Records. Billy Boy learned harp at the feet of the legendary John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson when Billy was just 12 years old. Billy went on to record singles for VeeJay like "Wish You Would", "Ain't Got You" and "You Got Me Wrong." In the mid-60's young British groups The Yardbirds and The Animals discovered Billy Boy's 45s and had hits with their own cover versions. In the early 90's Arnold firmly reestablished himself as one of the foremost practitioners of classic Chicago blues with a pair of critically acclaimed releases on Alligator. His most recent CD, Billy Boy Arnold Sings Bill Broonzy, has been receiving extensive airplay. MARK HUMMEL has been touring nationally since 1984 and has most recently written a memoir, "Big Road Blues: 12 Bars on I-80," put out by Mountain Top Publishing. Mark started his band The Blues Survivors in 1977 with Mississippi Johnny Waters and has since toured/recorded with Lowell Fulson, Eddie Taylor, Charles Brown, Brownie McGhee, Jimmy Rogers and many other blues legends. In 1991 Mark started the Blues Harmonica Blowouts which have grown to be a much heralded blues event on the national scene. These multi harp packages have included John Mayall, Huey Lewis, Snooky Pryor, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Rod Piazza, Carey Bell, Lazy Lester plus almost every other player of note on the blues harp. Mark has been nominated four times for the best harmonica player Blues Music Award. Hummel's eighteenth and most recent CD is entitled Retroactive. JAMES HARMAN was born and raised in Anniston, Alabama, where he quickly picked up on the black blues and soul music being played on juke boxes and the radio in the Deep South. In his teens, he started playing juke joints and dance clubs throughout the South and recorded a number of 45s. In 1968 Harman moved to Southern California, where he became friends with Canned Heat, The Blasters, and led bands with top-notch talent such as Hollywood Fats and Kid Ramos. He's released numerous albums over the years, picking up 10 W.C.Handy/BMA nominations along the way. He has been inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and is the harmonica player of choice on recordings and live performances by ZZ Top, appearing with them on both David Letterman and Jools Holland's TV shows. SUGAR RAY NORCIA started the popular East Coast blues band The Bluetones 30 years ago with guitarist Ronnie Earl. They backed Big Walter Horton, Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Rush, JB Hutto and countless others in the early '80s all over the Northeast. In 1991 Norcia hooked up with the legendary Roomful of Blues band and toured the world with the 11 piece band, appearing on their Grammy-nominated release Turn It On, Turn It Up. Norcia also recorded the Grammy nominated release Superharps during his Roomful tenure with harmonica heavyweights Charlie Musselwhite, James Cotton and Billy Branch. In 2001, he reunited the Bluetones with guitarist Kid Bangham and later Monster Mike Welsh. The latest Sugar Ray and the Bluetones album, Evening, received four BMA nominations in 2012 including "Album of the Year" and "Traditional Blues Album" of the year. Following Little Walter's approach of having the very best musicians in his bands, Hummel has handpicked a sterling lineup of musicians for the show and recording in San Diego - Little Charlie Baty, the world renowned guitar slinger and former bandleader of Little Charlie and the Nightcats; second guitar will be Harman bandmate, Nathan James; June Core (Musselwhite, Little Charlie and Nightcats, Robert Jr. Lockwood and Hummel) will be on drums and RW Grigsby (Mike Morgan, Gary Primich and Hummel) will play upright bass. To see a video of the finale of the Little Walter tribute in Eugene, Oregon last February “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson 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! ”LIKE”

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Little Walter


Little Walter, born Marion Walter Jacobs (May 1, 1930 – February 15, 1968), was an American blues harmonica player, whose revolutionary approach to his instrument has earned him comparisons to Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix, for innovation and impact on succeeding generations. His virtuosity and musical innovations fundamentally altered many listeners' expectations of what was possible on blues harmonica. Little Walter was inducted to the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 in the "sideman" category making him the first and only artist ever to be inducted specifically for his work as a harmonica player.
Jacobs was born in Marksville, Louisiana and raised in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, where he first learned to play the harmonica. After quitting school by the age of 12, Jacobs left rural Louisiana and travelled around working odd jobs and busking on the streets of New Orleans, Memphis, Helena, Arkansas and St. Louis. He honed his musical skills on harmonica and guitar with Sonny Boy Williamson II, Sunnyland Slim, Honeyboy Edwards and others.

Arriving in Chicago in 1945, he occasionally found work as a guitarist but garnered more attention for his already highly developed harmonica work. According to fellow Chicago bluesman Floyd Jones, Little Walter's first recording was an unreleased demo recorded soon after he arrived in Chicago on which Walter played guitar backing Jones. Jacobs reportedly grew frustrated with having his harmonica drowned out by electric guitarists, and adopted a simple, but previously little-used method: He cupped a small microphone in his hands along with his harmonica, and plugged the microphone into a public address or guitar amplifier. He could thus compete with any guitarist's volume. However, unlike other contemporary blues harp players such as Sonny Boy Williamson I and Snooky Pryor, who had also begun using the then-new technology around the same time solely for added volume, Little Walter purposely pushed his amplifiers beyond their intended technical limitations, using the amplification to explore and develop radical new timbres and sonic effects previously unheard from a harmonica, or any other instrument. Madison Deniro wrote a small biographical piece on Little Walter stating that "He was the first musician of any kind to purposely use electronic distortion."
Jacobs made his first released recordings in 1947 for Bernard Abrams' tiny Ora-Nelle label, which operated out of the back room of Abrams' Maxwell Radio and Records store in the heart of the Maxwell Street market area in Chicago. These and several other early Little Walter recordings, like many blues harp recordings of the era, owed a strong stylistic debt to pioneering blues harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee Williamson). Little Walter joined Muddy Waters' band in 1948, and by 1950, he was playing acoustic (unamplified) harmonica on Muddy's recordings for Chess Records; the first appearance on record of Little Walter's amplified harmonica sound was on Muddy's "Country Boy"/"Too Young To Know" (Chess 1452), recorded on July 11, 1951. For years after his departure from Muddy's band in 1952, Little Walter continued to be brought in to play on his recording sessions, and as a result his harmonica is featured on most of Muddy's classic recordings from the 1950s. As a guitarist, Little Walter recorded three songs for the small Parkway label with Muddy Waters and Baby Face Leroy Foster (reissued on CD as "The Blues World of Little Walter" from Delmark Records in 1993), as well as on a session for Chess backing pianist Eddie Ware; his guitar work was also featured occasionally on early Chess sessions with Muddy Waters and Jimmy Rogers.

Jacobs had put his career as a bandleader on hold when he joined Muddy's band, but stepped back out front once and for all when he recorded as a bandleader for Chess's subsidiary label Checker Records on 12 May 1952; the first completed take of the first song attempted at his debut session became his first hit, spending eight weeks in the #1 position on the Billboard magazine R&B charts – the song was "Juke", and it is still the only harmonica instrumental ever to become a #1 hit on the R&B charts. (Three other harmonica instrumentals by Little Walter also reached the Billboard R&B top 10: "Off the Wall" reached #8, "Roller Coaster" achieved #6, and "Sad Hours" reached the #2 position while Juke was still on the charts.) "Juke" was the biggest hit to date for Chess and its affiliated labels, and one of the biggest national R&B hits of 1952, securing Walter's position on the Chess artist roster for the next decade. Little Walter scored fourteen top-ten hits on the Billboard R&B charts between 1952 and 1958, including two #1 hits (the second being "My Babe" in 1955), a level of commercial success never achieved by his former boss Waters, nor by his fellow Chess blues artists Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson II. Following the pattern of "Juke", most of Little Walter's single releases in the 1950s featured a vocal performance on one side, and an instrumental on the other. Many of Walter's vocal numbers were originals which he or Chess A&R man Willie Dixon wrote or adapted and updated from earlier blues themes. In general, his sound was more modern and uptempo than the popular Chicago blues of the day, with a jazzier conception and less rhythmically rigid approach than other contemporary blues harmonica players.

Jacobs was frequently utilized on records as a harmonica accompanist behind others in the Chess stable of artists, including Jimmy Rogers, John Brim, Rocky Fuller, Memphis Minnie, The Coronets, Johnny Shines, Floyd Jones, Bo Diddley, and Shel Silverstein, and on other record labels backing Otis Rush, Johnny Young, and Robert Nighthawk.

Jacobs suffered from alcoholism and had a notoriously short temper which led to a decline in his fame and fortunes beginning in the late 1950s, although he did tour Europe twice, in 1964 and 1967. (The long-circulated story that he toured the United Kingdom with The Rolling Stones in 1964 has since been refuted by Keith Richards). The 1967 European tour, as part of the American Folk Blues Festival, resulted in the only film/video footage of Little Walter performing that is known to exist. Footage of Little Walter backing Hound Dog Taylor and Koko Taylor on a television program in Copenhagen, Denmark on 11 October 1967 was released on DVD in 2004. Further video of another recently discovered TV appearance in Germany during this tour, showing Little Walter performing his songs "My Babe", "Mean Old World", and others were released on DVD in Europe in January 2009, and is the only known footage of Little Walter singing; other TV appearances in the UK and the Netherlands have been documented, but no footage of these has been uncovered. Jacobs recorded and toured only infrequently in the 1960s, playing mainly in and around Chicago.

In 1967 Chess released a studio album featuring Little Walter with Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters titled Super Blues.
A few months after returning from his second European tour, he was involved in a fight while taking a break from a performance at a nightclub on the South Side of Chicago. The relatively minor injuries sustained in this altercation aggravated and compounded damage he had suffered in previous violent encounters, and he died in his sleep at the apartment of a girlfriend at 209 E. 54th St. in Chicago early the following morning. The official cause of death indicated on his death certificate was "coronary thrombosis" (a blood clot in the heart); evidence of external injuries was so insignificant that police reported that his death was of "unknown or natural causes", and there were no external injuries noted on the death certificate. His body was buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Evergreen Park, IL on February 22, 1968.
If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Little Walter's Jump - Little Walter


Little Walter, born Marion Walter Jacobs (May 1, 1930 – February 15, 1968), was an American blues harmonica player, whose revolutionary approach to his instrument has earned him comparisons to Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix, for innovation and impact on succeeding generations. His virtuosity and musical innovations fundamentally altered many listeners' expectations of what was possible on blues harmonica. Little Walter was inducted to the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 making him the first and only artist ever to be inducted specifically for his work as a harmonica player.
Jacobs was born in Marksville, Louisiana, United States, and raised in Alexandria, Louisiana, where he first learned to play the harmonica. After quitting school by the age of 12, Jacobs left rural Louisiana and travelled around working odd jobs and busking on the streets of New Orleans, Memphis, Helena, Arkansas and St. Louis. He honed his musical skills on harmonica and guitar with Sonny Boy Williamson II, Sunnyland Slim, Honeyboy Edwards and others.

Arriving in Chicago in 1945, he occasionally found work as a guitarist but garnered more attention for his already highly developed harmonica work. According to fellow Chicago bluesman Floyd Jones, Little Walter's first recording was an unreleased demo recorded soon after he arrived in Chicago on which Walter played guitar backing Jones. Jacobs reportedly grew frustrated with having his harmonica drowned out by electric guitarists, and adopted a simple, but previously little-used method: He cupped a small microphone in his hands along with his harmonica, and plugged the microphone into a public address or guitar amplifier. He could thus compete with any guitarist's volume. Unlike other contemporary blues harp players, such as Sonny Boy Williamson I and Snooky Pryor, who had also begun using the then-new technology around the same time solely for added volume, Little Walter purposely pushed his amplifiers beyond their intended technical limitations, using the amplification to explore and develop radical new timbres and sonic effects previously unheard from a harmonica, or any other instrument. Madison Deniro wrote a small biographical piece on Little Walter stating that "He was the first musician of any kind to purposely use electronic distortion.
A few months after returning from his second European tour, he was involved in a fight while taking a break from a performance at a nightclub on the South Side of Chicago. The relatively minor injuries sustained in this altercation aggravated and compounded damage he had suffered in previous violent encounters, and he died in his sleep at the apartment of a girlfriend at 209 E. 54th St. in Chicago early the following morning. The official cause of death indicated on his death certificate was "coronary thrombosis" (a blood clot in the heart); evidence of external injuries was so insignificant that police reported that his death was of "unknown or natural causes", and there were no external injuries noted on the death certificate
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Friday, September 30, 2011

Wang Dang Doodle - Koko Taylor ft. Little Walter


Koko Taylor sometimes spelled KoKo Taylor (September 28, 1928 – June 3, 2009) was an American Chicago blues musician, popularly known as the "Queen of the Blues." She was known primarily for her rough, powerful vocals and traditional blues stylings.
Born Cora Walton in Shelby County, Tennessee, Taylor was the daughter of a sharecropper. She left Memphis for Chicago, Illinois in 1952 with her husband, truck driver Robert "Pops" Taylor. In the late 1950s she began singing in Chicago blues clubs. She was spotted by Willie Dixon in 1962, and this led to wider performances and her first recording contract. In 1965, Taylor was signed by Chess Records where she recorded "Wang Dang Doodle," a song written by Dixon and recorded by Howlin' Wolf five years earlier. The song became a hit, reaching number four on the R&B charts in 1966, and selling a million copies. Taylor recorded several versions of "Wang Dang Doodle" over the years, including a live version at the 1967 American Folk Blues Festival with harmonica player Little Walter and guitarist Hound Dog Taylor. Taylor subsequently recorded more material, both original and covers, but never repeated that initial chart success.

National touring in the late 1960s and early 1970s improved her fan base, and she became accessible to a wider record-buying public when she signed with Alligator Records in 1975. She recorded nine albums for Alligator, 8 of which were Grammy-nominated, and came to dominate the female blues singer ranks, winning twenty five W. C. Handy Awards (more than any other artist). After her recovery from a near-fatal car crash in 1989, the 1990s found Taylor in films such as Blues Brothers 2000 and Wild at Heart, and she opened a blues club on Division Street in Chicago in 1994, but it closed in 1999.

Taylor influenced musicians such as Bonnie Raitt, Shemekia Copeland, Janis Joplin, Shannon Curfman, and Susan Tedeschi. In the years prior to her death, she performed over 70 concerts a year and resided just south of Chicago in Country Club Hills, Illinois.

In 2008, the Internal Revenue Service said that Taylor owed $400,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest. Her tax problems concerned 1998, 2000 and 2001; for those years combined, her adjusted gross income was $949,000.

Taylor died on June 3, 2009, after complications from surgery for gastrointestinal bleeding on May 19, 2009. Her final performance was at the Blues Music Awards, on May 7, 2009.
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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wang Dang Doodle


Believe me, Koko Taylor and Little Walter GOT THE BLUES!

Yes...that's Hound Dog Taylor on guitar!
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Hound Dog Taylor and Little Walter


Little Walter joined Muddy Waters' band in 1948, and by 1950, he was playing acoustic (unamplified) harmonica on Muddy's recordings for Chess Records; the first appearance on record of Little Walter's amplified harmonica sound was on Muddy's "Country Boy"/"Too Young To Know" (Chess 1452), recorded on July 11, 1951. For years after his departure from Muddy's band in 1952, Little Walter continued to be brought in to play on his recording sessions, and as a result his harmonica is featured on most of Muddy's classic recordings from the 1950s.[8] As a guitarist, Little Walter recorded three songs for the small Parkway label with Muddy Waters and Baby Face Leroy Foster (reissued on CD as "The Blues World of Little Walter" from Delmark Records in 1993), as well as on a session for Chess backing pianist Eddie Ware; his guitar work was also featured occasionally on early Chess sessions with Muddy Waters and Jimmy Rogers.

How can you go wrong with two of the best talents of the time. Here is a feature of Hound Dog with Little Walter playing an old Elmore James Song. Wild About You Baby.
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