Happy Birthday To Bluesmen Son House , Otis Spann & Bo Carter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eddie “Son” House plays “Death Letter Blues”

 

 

 

Biography

 

” Son House‘s place, not only in the history of Delta blues, but in the overall history of the music, is a very high one indeed. He was a major innovator of the Delta style, along with his playing partners Charley Patton and Willie Brown. Few listening experiences in the blues are as intense as hearing one of Son House‘s original 1930s recordings for the Paramount label. Entombed in a hailstorm of surface noise and scratches, one can still be awestruck by the emotional fervor House puts into his singing and slide playing. Little wonder then that the man became more than just an influence on some white English kid with a big amp; he was the main source of inspiration to both Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, and it doesn’t get much more pivotal than that. Even after his rediscovery in the mid-’60s,House was such a potent musical force that what would have been a normally genteel performance by any other bluesmen in a “folk” setting turned into a night in the nastiest juke joint you could imagine, scaring the daylights out of young white enthusiasts expecting something far more prosaic and comfortable. Not out of Son House, no sir. When the man hit the downbeat on his National steel-bodied guitar and you saw his eyes disappear into the back of his head, you knew you were going to hear some blues. And when he wasn’t shouting the blues, he was singing spirituals, a cappella. Right up to the end, no bluesman was torn between the sacred and the profane more than Son House.

  He was born Eddie James House, Jr., on March 21, 1902, in Riverton, MS. By the age of 15, he was preaching the gospel in various Baptist churches as the family seemingly wandered from one plantation to the next. He didn’t even bother picking up a guitar until he turned 25; to quote House, “I didn’t like no guitar when I first heard it; oh gee, I couldn’t stand a guy playin’ a guitar. I didn’t like none of it.” But if his ambivalence to the instrument was obvious, even more obvious was the simple fact that Son hated plantation labor even more and had developed a taste for corn whiskey. After drunkenly launching into a blues at a house frolic in Lyon, MS, one night and picking up some coin for doing it, the die seemed to be cast; Son House may have been a preacher, but he was part of the blues world now.

If the romantic notion that the blues life is said to be a life full of trouble is true, then Son found a barrel of it one night at another house frolic in Lyon. He shot a man dead that night and was immediately sentenced to imprisonment at Parchman Farm. He ended up only serving two years of his sentence, with his parents both lobbying hard for his release, claiming self defense. Upon his release — after a Clarksdale judge told him never to set foot in town again — he started a new life in the Delta as a full-time man of the blues.” Continue reading

 

 

 

Discography

 

1964 Blues from the Mississippi Delta Smithsonian Folkways Recordings  
(1)
 
 
The Legendary Son House: Father of the Folk Blues
1965 The Legendary Son House: Father of the Folk Blues album review Edsel  
(27)
 
 
Oberlin College Concert
1995 Oberlin College Concert Sony Music Distribution  
(0)
 
 
Delta Blues and Spirituals
1995 Delta Blues and Spirituals album review Capitol Blues Collection / EMI Music Distribution  
(4)
 
 
Live at Gaslight Cafe, 1965
2000 Live at Gaslight Cafe, 1965 album review Document  
(0)
 
 
New York Central Live!
2003 New York Central Live! Acrobat  
(1)
 
  House, Son   House, Son Folklyric  
(0)
 
  Sympathy Blues   Sympathy Blues Burn  
(0)
 
 
Field Recordings, Vol. 17
  Field Recordings, Vol. 17 Document  
(0)
 
 
Son House and the Other Great Delta Blues Singers
  Son House and the Other Great Delta Blues Singers Monk  
(0)
 
 
Raw Delta Blues
  Raw Delta Blues Not Now Music  
(0)
 
 
Clarksdale Moan (1930-1942)
  Clarksdale Moan (1930-1942) The Devil’s Tunes  
(1)
 
 
Son House in Seattle 1968
  Son House in Seattle 1968 Arcola Records  
(0)
 
    Country Farm Blues Brownsville  
(0)
 
    The Delta Blues of Son House Grammercy Records  
(0)

 

 

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Mr Otis Spann: T’aint Nobody’s Business

 

 

 

Biography

” An integral member of the nonpareil Muddy Waters band of the 1950s and ’60s, pianist Otis Spanntook his sweet time in launching a full-fledged solo career. But his own discography is a satisfying one nonetheless, offering ample proof as to why so many aficionados considered him then and now Chicago’s leading post-war blues pianist. Spann played on most of Waters‘ classic Chess waxings between 1953 and 1969, his rippling 88s providing the drive on Waters‘ seminal 1960 live version of “Got My Mojo Working” (cut at the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival, where Spann dazzled the assembled throng with some sensational storming boogies).

  The Mississippi native began playing piano by age eight, influenced by local ivories stalwart Friday Ford. At 14, he was playing in bands around Jackson, finding more inspiration in the 78s of Big Maceo, who took the young pianist under his wing once Spann migrated to Chicago in 1946 or 1947.

  Spann gigged on his own and with guitarist Morris Pejoe before hooking up with Waters in 1952. His first Chess date behind the Chicago icon the next year produced “Blow Wind Blow.” Subsequent Waters classics sporting Spann‘s ivories include “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “I’m Ready,” and “Just Make Love to Me.” Continue reading

Discography

 

1960 Otis Spann Is the Blues Candid  
(17)
 
  Portrait in Blues 1963 Portrait in Blues Storyville  
(0)
 
  Piano Blues 1963 Piano Blues Storyville  
(1)
 
  The Blues of Otis Spann 1964 The Blues of Otis Spannalbum review Decca  
(4)
 
 
The Blues Is Where It's At
1967 The Blues Is Where It’s At Beat Goes On  
(12)
 
  Nobody Knows My Trouble 1967 Nobody Knows My Trouble    
(0)
 
 
The Bottom of the Blues
1968 The Bottom of the Blues Beat Goes On  
(2)
 
  Raw Blues 1968 Raw Blues London  
(0)
 
 
The Blues Never Die!
1969 The Blues Never Die! album review Original Blues Classics / Prestige Elite  
(24)
 
  Cracked Spanner Head 1969 Cracked Spanner Head Decca  
(2)
 
 
The Biggest Thing Since Colossus
1969 The Biggest Thing Since Colossus album review Sony Music Distribution  
(15)
 
 
Super Black Blues
1969 Super Black Blues album review RCA Victor / BMG  
(4)
 
 
Sweet Giant of the Blues
1970 Sweet Giant of the Bluesalbum review Ace  
(2)
 
 
Cryin' Time
1970 Cryin’ Time album review Vanguard  
(2)
 
  Otis Spann 1970 Otis Spann Everest  
(0)
 
  The Everlasting Blues 1970 The Everlasting Blues Spivey  
(0)
 
 
Walking the Blues
1972 Walking the Blues album review Candid  
(23)
 
  Heart Heavy with Trouble 1973 Heart Heavy with Trouble    
(0)
 
  Blues Rocks 1974 Blues Rocks Bluestime  
(0)
 
  Cry Before I Go 1974 Cry Before I Go BluesWay  
(0)
 
  Nobody Knows Chicago Like I Do 1983 Nobody Knows Chicago Like I Do Charly Records  
(0)
 
  Rarest 1984 Rarest JSP  
(0)
 
  This Is the Blues 1991 This Is the Blues Huub  
(1)
 
 
Last Call: Live at Boston Tea Party, April 2, 1970
2000 Last Call: Live at Boston Tea Party, April 2, 1970 Mr. Cat Music / Mr Cat  
(4)
 
  Last Call [Universe] 2001 Last Call [Universe] Universe  
(0)
 
 
Conversations in Blue
2010 Conversations in Blue Circumstantial  
(2)
 
  Half Ain't Been Told   Half Ain’t Been Told Black Cat Records  
(0)

 

 

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Bo Carter performs: Please Warm My Weiner

 

 

Biography

 

 

” Bo Carter (Armenter “Bo” Chatmon) had an unequaled capacity for creating sexual metaphors in his songs, specializing in such ribald imagery as “Banana in Your Fruit Basket,” “Pin in Your Cushion,” and “Your Biscuits Are Big Enough for Me.” One of the most popular bluesmen of the ’30s, he recorded enough material for several reissue albums, and he was quite an original guitar picker, or else three of those albums wouldn’t have been released by Yazoo. (Carter employed a number of different keys and tunings on his records, most of which were solo vocal and guitar performances.) Carter‘s facility extended beyond the risqué business to more serious blues themes, and he was also the first to record the standard “Corrine Corrina” (1928). Bo and his brothers Lonnie and Sam Chatmon also recorded as members of the Mississippi Sheiks with singer/guitarist Walter Vinson. ” Continue reading

 

 

Discography

 

Bo Carter & the Mississippi Sheiks E1 Entertainment / JSP  
(2)
 
  Banana in Your Fruit Basket/Red Hot Blues 1931 City Hall  
(0)
 
    Reality    
(0)

 

 

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