Category Archives: Woman Blues

SEE: The Speakeasy Three: “When I Get Low, I Get High”

These ladies from England are influenced by the sound and style of female legends like: The Andrews Sisters, Billie Holiday, Etta James, Josephine Baker, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf.

Video: “When I Get Low, I Get High” The Speakeasy Three

A few years ago they released their video of “When I Get Low, I Get High. Now the video has been viewed over four and a half million times. The historical setting and the intriguing vocals really are inspiring.  Follow the Speakeasy Three here.

Prepare to swing, sway, sizzle and swoon! The Speakeasy Three are rolling out their show-stopping, room-swinging, after dark agenda for your delight.

Photo credit: Screen from video “when I get Low. I get High. The speakeasy three

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Heavy Blues with attitude Jane Lee Hooker

Heavy Blues with attitude Jane Lee Hooker

They show once again that electric blues easily goes hand in hand with the energy of rock and punk music. The five women of Jane Lee Hooker from New York City infuse the grit and attitude of their hometown into the blues.

‘Wade In The Water’ power song!

Wade In The Water, is their powerhouse hit song with a whole lot of attitude. High, gritty and powerful vocals are mixed with heavy bass and bad ass guitar solos. This song is like a destructive 4×4 pick up crossing through wild swamps leaving everything behind. But above all, the four minutes this song last go by in a heartbeat.

Inspiration from Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Johnny Winter

With double lead guitars, a hard-driving rhythm section, and soul-scouring vocals, Jane Lee Hooker honors the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Winter, Big Mama Thornton, and other blues greats. Few bands today deliver the goods with as much raw soul as Jane Lee Hooker.

Jane lee Hooker Balck Bull BLues - press photo
Jane lee Hooker Balck Bull Blues – press photo

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Ina Forsman covering Bill Broonzy’s Sixteen Tons


Ina Forsman covering Bill Broonzy’s Sixteen Tons

Ina Forsman from Helsinki, Finland caught my attention with her version of  Merle Travis and Big Bill Broonzy’s Sixteen Tons. Big Bill’s version of the song has always been a true soul-blues classic to me. Now Ina showed us how to deliver it.

With a similar easy as Big Bill she nails this song. Ina Forsman is a highly technical singer and blows out the speakers with that Burnt Honey voice.

Debut Album Ina Forsman

She had been around for a while and you might have seen her on the blues stages off Europe. She represented Finland at the 2014 European Blues Challenge. this year she released her self-titled debut album, and tours with the Ruf Records Blues Caravan 2016 with fellow singers Layla Zoe (Canada), Tasha Taylor (USA).

Sounds like: Claire Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes | Amy Winehouse | Etta James

Continue reading Ina Forsman covering Bill Broonzy’s Sixteen Tons

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The Original Soul sister of Blues: Sister Rosetta Tharpe

The Original Soul sister of Blues: Sister Rosetta Tharpe

It was on YouTube where I spotted a picture of a beautiful woman in front of a group of Gospel singers with a Gibson SG in front of her. I instantly clicked on the video, and heard the woman play a Rock ‘n Roll guitar riff. She started singing ‘Above My Head, I hear music in the air’. Slowly the Gospel singers started singing along. It was the coolest mix of Gospel and Rock ‘n Roll I ever heard. Soon I started looking for more songs of this great Musician. I discovered the magical repertoire of Sister Rossetta Tharpe.

Inspiration for Rock ‘n Roll Musicians

She was a great musician, a Gospel singer, a Blues shouter and a Rock ‘n Roll guitarist. With her songs Sister Rosetta Tharpe was an early influence on figures such as Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. Johnny Cash covered her hit “There are Strange Things Happeninh Every Day” on his 1979 Gospel Album A Believer Sings the Truth.

Johnny Cash

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Rosetta’s greatest hit Jericho

My favorite Sister Rosetta song is the traditional Jericho a well-known African American spiritual. According to Wikipedia The song is believed to have been composed by slaves in the first half of the 19th century. Some references suggest that it was copyrighted by Jay Roberts in 1865. Musicians like Mahalia Jackson and Elvis Presley also recorded a cool version of Jericho. Sister Rosetta Tharpe however took it to a new level. With rhythmic interruptions in the vocals she created a true Rhythm and Blues song. French DJ-Duo C2C inspired by Sister Rosetta remixed her version. C2C showed us that Sister Rosetta would have been a hit-making musician today.

C2C Remix – Jericho

Upbringing and entering music

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was born on March 20th 1915 in Cotton Plant Arkansas, started to sing at her mother’s church concertes at the age of four. During those days Rosetta was called “Little Rosetta Nubin”, ‘the singing and guitar playing miracle’. Despite her religious upbringing she was dedicated to the Blues and jazz. Alongside Lucky Millinders’s jazz band she recorde her first album in New York. The album created quite a stir. The mix of sacred words and secular sounds entered the world like a blast. (ABC of the Blues, ultimate collection, artist: Rosetta Tharpe).

Showmanship and the Folk Blues Caravan

Rosetta Tharpe was a brilliant guitarist playing flashy as a rock star, it was all part of het showmanship. When her career took a dent in the fifties and sixties she was part of the Folk blues revival caravan that toured around Europe. Alongside Muddy Waters, Otis Spann and Cousin Joe. During the early Seventies Sister Rosetta Tharpe had several strokes, after another stroke in 1973 she died in Philadelphia.

“All this new stuff they call rock ’n’ roll, why, I’ve been playing that for years now… Ninety percent of rock-and-roll artists came out of the church, their foundation is the church.”

Sister Rosetta Tharpe in an interview with Daily Mirror in 1957

Photo credit: The Gospel of the Blues – Sister Rosetta Tharpe via photopin (license)
Video credit: Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe: Down by the Riverside

Sister Rosetta Tharpe: That’s All

Sister Rosetta Tharpe & Marie Knight with The Sam Price Trio – Precious Memories

More songs of Sister Rosetta Tharpe on Spotify

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Rhythm and Blues and Soul: Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes


Rhythm and Blues and Soul: Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes

Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes hail from Australia since 2009. Listen to the music of this gal, close your eyes and you will find yourself in the 50s of the twentieth century. In Clairy Browne’s music you hear the love for old-school Rhythm and Blues, Rock ‘n Roll, Soul and Doo-wop mixed into a cocktail made by Clary Browne.

With her harmonizing girl group the Bangin’ Rackettes she brings thrilling songs and exciting live shows. Like “Baby Caught the Bus”, a swinging song that is musically similar to the work of Big Maybelle. Clairy Browne also reminds me of Etta James rhythmic songs like “Tell Mama” or Ruth Brown’s “Wild Wild Young Men”.


Love for Rhythm and Blues and Soul

“Vicious Cycle“ is a song that reminds you of the vintage 1950 nightclubs where Etta James used to perform. It is great the love for Rhythm and Blues and Soul is still alive. The story of this group starts in 2009 over the mutual love for this great music. Clairy and the Bangin’ Rackettes began rehearsing in an abandoned coffin factory called “The Pound”. The band found a solid line up and began playing sold out shows in small bars and clubs around Melbourne.

Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes album and tour

Clairy’s debut album “Caught By The Bus”, is a mix of heart-wrenching doo-wop, noir theatrics, party attitude and tough-as-nails soul. This year Browne continued to record songs which resulted in the release of her single “Jenny”. Expect big things of Clairy Browne and the Bangin´Rackettes in 2015 we will hear a lot of new songs, new costumes, better hair and lots of soul. We are really looking forward.

Find Clairy Browne on her Website and on Facebook.

Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes – Vicious Cycle

I’ll Be Fine

Love Letter

Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes Spotify

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Blues shouting and soulful singer Big Maybelle

Blues shouting and soulful singer Big Maybelle

When the swing bands around the thirties developed mostly male singer had a voice that was powerful enough to raise above the brass and drums. Blues shouting artist like Wynonie Harris made fame around the country and a new genre in blues music developed. Big Joe Turner was an absolute hero in shouting the urban blues. His Female equivalent is maybe Big Maybelle. A wonderful singer who carried many people through the 40s, 50s and 60s with her golden voice.

Big Maybelle Rhythm and Blues groups

She was a singer with great reach, but also a soulful singer. When she decided at age 12 to leave the church gospel group to become part of the Rhythm and Blues group The Sweathearts of Rhythm she knew her business wasn’t gospel but Blues. At age twenty she had already toured the deep south for over eight years. She was part of several groups like Christine Chatman’s Orchestra and Tiny Bradshaw’s Orchestra.

Big Maybelle, this woman is special in the way she sings, she is hard in the way she shouts. Her songs dig deep in the true blues and soul feeling, in some way she was an early Etta James.

Big Maybelle at Okeh Records

After years of touring with several musicians she met Fred Mendelsohn who signed Big Maybelle to Okeh records (source: ‘Before elvis: the pre history of R&R, Larry BirnBaum’) With Mendelsohn Big maybelle’s songs became bluesier and her voice raspier. One of her hits with Okeh was “Gabbin Blues”. Also ‘Candy’ is a song for the later hours slow and deep, but what all Big Maybelle’s songs have in common, they are soulful as a city down and out.

Big Maybelle Rhythm and Blues Hits

I hate to see that evening sun go down,I hate to see that evening sun go down, Cause my lovin’ baby done left this town                            – St. Louis Blues –


Maybelle knew the business of the soul and the ballad, but you should really listen to the rhythm and blues songs this lady made. Songs like ‘96 Tears’, ‘One Monkey Won’t Stop No Show’ and ‘Whole lotta Shakin’ Goin On’ are absolute phenomenal songs.

Over the Years Big Maybelle developed a heroin habit. She continued recording with several record labels throughout the sixties, but she would never reach the fame she once had with Okeh Records. Big Maybelle died of diabetes at the age 47 in Cleveland. She will never be forgotten.


Big Maybelle One Monkey Don’t Stop The Show

Big Maybelle – Whole Lotta Shakin´ Goin´ On

Big Maybelle & Rose Marie McCoy – Gabbin’ Blues (1952)

That’s A Pretty Good Love – Big Maybelle 1956

Don’t Leave Poor Me: Big Maybelle

Candy by Big Maybelle on 1956

Big Maybelle – It’s A Man’s Man’s World

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