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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 PEETIE WHEATSTRAW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PEETIE WHEATSTRAW. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Document Records release - Blues, Blues Christmas Volume 4 1925 ~1962 - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Blues, Blues Christmas Volume 4 1925~1962 from Document Records and it covers a lot of area. Opening disc one is Charles Brown's R&B classic, Please Come Home For Christmas. Roy Milton And His Solid Senders put up a bluesy, Christmas Time Blues and The Drifters a swinging R&B cover of White Christmas. One of my favorites is Arthur Guitar Boogie Smith's Sensational Trio on Guitar Jingle Bells. Classic blues from Peetie Wheatstraw is as solid as it gets on Santa Claus Blues. Clarence Williams' Blue Five covers the same track but in 40's swing/big band style. Bob Wills does an easy country swing, Santa Is On His Way. With a Latin twist big band Sam Manning with the Melodettes dances into Looking For Me Santa Claus. The Qualities do an unusual arrangement of It's Christmas Time and Freddie King lays down some hot riffs on I Hear Jingle Bells. Champion Jack DuPree is hot on the keys and great vocal delivery on Santa Claus Blues, another of my favorites. The Cadillacs have a rocking arrangement on Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer with a hot sax solo and the Marquees do a 50's trip, Santa Done Got Hip. Bobby and Boobie do a quick rocker, Cool Cool Xmas with a swinging guitar solo and Chuck Blevins does straight up rock n roller Sleighbell Rock. The Enchanters have a definite island feel with Mambo Santa Mambo and Bill Lacey with Lil Armstrong and her Ebony-Aires do Cowboy Santa Claus with an authentic cowboy feel. The Mighty Spoiler does Father Christmas, another track with an island feel. Jackson Trio with the Ebonaires are as simple 50's as it gets with solid male vocals and piano driver and the first disc closes with Billy Ward and His Dominoes and a heartfelt R&B Christmas in Heaven. Little T-Bone opens disc 2 with a hot guitar solo T-Bone Walker style on Christmas Time. His vocals are hot and the overall pace superb making this another of my favorites on the release. Nathaniel Mayer does a twisting Mr Santa Claus and Marvin & Johnny harmonize on R&B track, It's Christmas. Prairie Ramblers really set up terrific harmonies, cowboy style on Cowboy Santa Claus and Kathy and Jimmy Zee put up an early 60's style rockin Santa Clause Rock And Roll. Nap Hepburn & March of Dimes set a terrific island feel on Tell Santa Claus backed by a full orchestra and Johnny Moore's Blazers with Frankie Ervin do a real nice Christmas Eve Baby in solid electric blues style. Dixon Brothers use rural country vocal harmonies and simple acoustic backing on A Mother, A Father, A Baby and Gribble, Lusk York do a real folk jig with banjo and fiddle on Christmas Eve. The Dixon Brothers are back with another nice rural country vocal, Answer To Maple On The Hill - Part 4. The Golden Gate Quartet present a traditional arrangement of Silent Night acapella, certainly one of the more rich and somber tracks on the release. The Victory Five do a terrific acapella spiritual Children Go Where I Send Thee followed by the Middle Georgia Four on Twenty-Fifth Day Of December. Very rich! The Ward Singers are all out spiritual with piano on Sweet Little Angel Boy followed by Angelic Gospel Singers on A Child Is Born in uplifting style. The Ward Singers return with Glory Glory To The King continuing for one last spiritual followed by R&B The Falcons and Orchestra on Can This Be Christmas. This track drips 50's with a wealth of backing vocals followed by a calypso Lord Executor with Gerald Clark and His Caribbean Serenaders on Christmas Is A Joyful Day, a really cool track. The Qualities return one last time on Happy New Year To You, a simple track with paired male and female vocals and wrapping the release is R&B track After New Years Eve by The Heartbeats. This is an interesting mix of holiday tracks with a splash of music from many decades. Check it out!

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

DON'T HANG MY CLOTHES ON NO BARB WIRE LINE - PEETIE WHEATSTRAW

Peetie Wheatstraw (December 21, 1902 – December 21, 1941) was the name adopted by the singer William Bunch, an influential figure among 1930s blues singers. Although the only known photograph of Bunch shows him holding a National brand tricone resonator guitar, he played the piano on most of his recordings Wheatstraw is assumed to have been born in Ripley, Tennessee, but was widely believed to have come from Arkansas. His body was shipped to Cotton Plant, Arkansas for burial, and fellow musician Big Joe Williams stated that this was his home town. The earliest biographical facts are those of fellow musicians such as Henry Townsend and Teddy Darby who remember Wheatstraw moving to St Louis, Missouri in the late 1920s. He was already a proficient guitarist, but a limited pianist. By the time Sunnyland Slim moved to St Louis in the early 1930s, Wheatstraw was one of the most popular singers with an admired idiosyncratic piano style. Wheatstraw began recording in 1930 and was so popular that he continued to record through the worst years of the Great Depression, when the numbers of blues records issued was drastically reduced. However, he made no records between March 1932 and March 1934, a period in which he perfected his mature style. For the rest of his life, he was one of the most recorded blues singers and accompanists. His total output of 161 recorded songs was surpassed by only four pre-war blues artists: Tampa Red, Big Bill Broonzy, Lonnie Johnson and Bumble Bee Slim (Amos Easton). Among the clubs of St Louis and East St Louis his popularity was outstanding, rivalled only by Walter Davis. Despite rumours of his touring, there is little evidence that he worked outside these cities, except to make records By the time Bunch reached St Louis, he had discarded his name and crafted a new identity. The name 'Peetie Wheatstraw' has been described by blues scholar Paul Oliver as one that had well-rooted folk associations. Later writers have repeated this, while reporting that many uses of the name are copied from Bunch. Elijah Wald suggests that he may be the sole source of all uses of the name. It would have been in character for Bunch to invent a name with a whimsical folkloric flavor. All but two of his records were issued as by 'Peetie Wheatstraw, The Devil's Son-in-Law' or 'Peetie Wheatstraw, The High Sheriff from Hell'. He composed several 'stomps' with lyrics projecting a boastful demonic persona to match these sobriquets.There is some evidence that the writer Ralph Ellison might have known him personally. He used both the name 'Peetie Wheatstraw' and aspects of the demonic persona (but no biographical facts) to create a character in his novel Invisible Man. Elijah Wald suggests that Wheatstraw's demonic persona may have been the inspiration for Robert Johnson's association with the Devil. African-American music maintains the tradition of the African "praise-song", which tells of the prowess (sexual and other) of the singer. Although first-person celebrations of the self provide the impetus for many of his songs, Wheatstraw rings the changes on this theme with confidence, humour and occasional menace. Blues singer Henry Townsend recalled that his real personality was very similar: "He was that kind of person. You know, a jive-type person." Blues critic Tony Russell updates the description: "Wheatstraw constructed a macho persona that made him the spiritual ancestor of rap artists. Wheatstraw was still riding the crest of his success when he met his premature demise. On December 21, 1941, his 39th birthday, he and some friends decided to take a drive. They tried to entice Wheatstraw's friend, the blues singer Teddy Darby, but Darby's wife refused to let him join them. Wheatstraw was a passenger in the back seat when the Buick struck a standing freight train, instantly killing his two companions. Wheatstraw died of massive head injuries in the hospital some hours later. There is a legend that his death drew little attention, but the accident was fully reported in St. Louis and East St. Louis newspapers and obituaries appeared in the national music press. Down Beat led the front page for January 15, 1942 with the story of the accident, and an appreciation of Peetie's career under the headline, Blues Shouter Killed After Waxing "Hearseman Blues" 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!