April Blues

Today marks the anniversary of two important milestones in the history of the  Blues- the birth in 1896 of the Reverend Gary Davis, and the death in 1983 of Muddy Waters.  I never really listened to the Blues until I met Husband. One of our first dates was at a concert by James Cotton at the University  of Manitoba.

Here is the Reverend Davis:

And here is Muddy Waters.  (Husband’s suggestion)

Here, too, is Leadbelly,  just because it is a Blues number I have always liked.

The things he sings about going on in Washington, DC are still happening!

 

Here are the lyrics in case it is hard to understand.

Lord, in a bourgeois town
It’s a bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues
Gonna spread the news all around
Home of the brave, land of the free
I don’t wanna be mistreated by no bourgeoisie
Lord, in a bourgeois town
Uhm, the bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues
Gonna spread the news all around
Well, me and my wife we were standing upstairs
We heard the white man say “I don’t want no niggers up there”
Lord, in a bourgeois town
Uhm, bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues
Gonna spread the news all around
Well, them white folks in Washington they know how
To call a colored man a nigger just to see him bow
Lord, it’s a bourgeois town
Uhm, the bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues
Gonna spread the news all around
I tell all the colored folks to listen to me
Don’t try to find you no home in Washington, DC
‘Cause it’s a bourgeois town
Uhm, the bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues
Gonna spread the news all around

What are your favorite Blues numbers? Got any good Blues lyrics for Baboons this week?

30 thoughts on “April Blues”

  1. I met Gary Davis once. Several students in my guitar class got together with him on the Carleton or St Olaf campus in 1967. All I remember of that moment was a story Davis told about a time he was fooling around with a woman and her husband came home unexpectedly. He went out a window, something he described as “sitting on the ground from a second-story window.”

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I didn’t really get familiar with the blues until college in the late ’60s, but it was an important component of the soundtrack of my experience then and has remained so throughout my life. One of the major figures in those early days was Mississippi John Hurt. I couldn’t possibly single out a favorite from his music, but here’s another of my favorite artists, Roy Book Binder, telling a little story about how Hurt was “discovered” and playing one of his songs— a twofer of sorts:

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    1. Mississippi John Hurt was one of those old blues cats who worked out his version of a song and then spent several decades playing it exactly the same way. His trademark was a friendly bouncing rhythm that nobody else could quite duplicate. But he paid little attention to tuning his guitar. Some experts can tell you which of his albums had a slightly offkey tuning and which were okay because somebody tuned his guitar before letting him play. Sweet guy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. outlaw blues/ bob dylan

    Ain’t it hard to stumble
    And land in some funny lagoon
    Ain’t it hard to stumble
    And land in some muddy lagoon
    Especially when it’s nine below zero
    And three o’clock in the afternoon
    Ain’t gonna hang no picture,
    Ain’t gonna hang no picture frame
    Ain’t gonna hang no picture,
    Ain’t gonna hang no picture frame
    Well, I might look like Robert Ford
    But I feel just like a Jesse James
    Well, I wish I was on some
    Australian mountain range.
    Oh, I wish I was on some
    Australian mountain range.
    I got no reason to be there, but I
    Imagine it would be some kind of change
    I got my dark sunglasses,
    I got for good luck my black tooth
    I got my dark sunglasses,
    I’m carryin’ for good luck my black tooth
    Don’t ask me nothin’ about nothin’
    I just might tell you the truth
    I got a woman in Jackson
    I ain’t gonna say her name
    I got a woman in Jackson,
    I ain’t gonna say her name
    She’s a brown-skin woman,
    But I love her just the same
    Source: LyricFind
    Songwriters: Bob Dylan
    Outlaw Blues lyrics © Audiam, Inc

    Liked by 4 people

  4. For traditional blues, one of my faves is “Stormy Monday.” Eva Cassidy sings a fantastic version. I generally lean toward instrumental blues, having been a trumpeter player. So Louis Armstrong’s “West End Blues” is right up there, as is Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue.” The latter is not blues in the 12-bar chord structure sense, but the mood is as blue as can be.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 3 people

  5. “The blues” has been attached to so many flavors of music, it’s hard to single out what is and isn’t the blues. I suppose the original and authentic blues is the delta blues of sharecroppers and their ilk and taken up with great integrity by artists who weren’t sharecroppers in America and around the world. Fifty years ago we were listening to a British woman named Joann Kelly whose bottleneck guitar and powerful voice totally belied her face on the album cover. Jimmie Rogers called his music blues but his delivery, especially with his yodeling, set it apart from traditional blues. Our local guys, John Koerner, Dave Ray and Tony Glover were early and influential in the blues revival of the late sixties.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you’re talking about Jimmie Rodgers, widely known as the “father of country music,” and not Jimmy Rogers who was a member of Muddy Waters’ band? I’m making that assumption based on your reference to his yodeling.

      Like

  6. I had never really listened to blues till I got to San Francisco. For a while I took a blues guitar class through the Free University, some alternative entity that took place in people’s living rooms, etc. We were learning slide guitar with a bottle neck, and I didn’t last long, but got introduced to some blues. I had at one point an old album by Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee that had some of the most sexist lyrics ever recorded… (see My Plan). Here’s the title track, Blues All Around My Head:

    Liked by 2 people

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