Monday, March 17, 2008
People that don't follow music much assume that blues music must be pretty depressing listening.
Of course the exact opposite has always been true.
Nothing is more positive and ultimately more life-affirming than hearing a great singer work through pain and problems by singing to you straight from his or her heart.
"Singing your heart out is not about what you get paid or how many people are watching you.
Singing is about passing something on and connecting with whoever is out there in the dark watching."
Taylor Hicks ~ "Georgia"
Taylor jazzes up his legendary "Georgia" for this performance at the
Pala Casino - Palomar Theater in San Diego (May 2006)
video capture by: Azgoddess
The Blues were born on Beale Street, and it was the home to famous blues musicians such as W.C. Handy who wrote the first blues song in 1909.
Beale Street is the soul of old Memphis.
Which brings us to a fantastic blues musician that I recently ran across by the name of Bobby "Blue" Bland.
He's been around for decades, so I'm late to the party, but thanks to Taylor reviving my interest in good music, I didn't miss the party completely :-)
Bobby “Blue” Bland, is an American singer of blues and soul.
He is an original member of The Beale Streeters and is sometimes referred to as the "Lion of the Blues".
Along with such artists as Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Junior Parker, Bland developed a sound that mixed gospel with the blues and R&B.
Wouldn't you love to hear Taylor's take on this one, I believe it fits him to a T!
"Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City"
Bobby "Blue" Bland
Bobby Bland is a master musician with extraordinary staying power, for decades his evocative vocal style has taken the blues out of the barroom and into the bedroom.
If there was any justice, you would hear Bobby Bland on the radio at night. Especially on the car radio, when you were driving long stretches on highways that were new to you but looked familiar all the same.
Past neon cocktail glasses and buzzing vacancy signs on beat-up motels where patrons choose to park around in back and everyone is registered under some novel name.
(I could really get into a history lesson talking about the Lorraine Motel)
His is the music of desire and regret, gaudy and permanent, like a tattoo of some woman's name whose face you can hardly recall.
While Bland's singing owed something to crooners like Tony Bennett and Perry Como, the sound was rougher -- and just slightly removed.
It was, as one of his early '60s songs had it, "Two Steps From the Blues."
The cover of Bland's 1961 album "Two Steps From the Blues" is a work of art, a Mondrian (Dutch painter) in black and blue.
It's a color photograph of the singer standing in front of a one-story building at the bottom of, yes, two steps.
His pants are gray, his shirt is black.
His coat is thrown over his shoulder, Sinatra style, and dark glasses hide his eyes from the sunlight.
A fair amount of his work remains in print (the best of it captured on three double-CD packages from his day on the Duke label), he still records for the Malaco label (a sort of living Smithsonian for blues musicians) and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1977.
That's it for today's music history lesson and a perfect ending for today's blog is this awesome complilation of Taylor Hicks' blues coming out to play!
#7 Soul Injected Blues
Boogie Board Best
Taylor Hicks Tour 2006
Today's cup of karma
"No man who continues to add something to the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the place in which he lives is left long without proper reward."
Booker T. Washington, American educator
May those that love us love us,
and those that don't love us ...
my God turn their hearts;
and if he doesn't turn their hearts,
may He turn their ankles ...
so we'll know them by their limping.
Happy St. Pat's from the 'Pond'