Roadhouse Blues Blog | Morisson Hotel

The American Blues record Morrison Hotel by The Doors is one of my favorite. It is a sunny day, the fifth of July, one day after the 237th birthday of The United States, and while sitting at my front door people pass by. This ain’t the Mississippi or Los Angeles, but music brings you there, while enjoying the sun, through Lightning Hopkins sunglasses. this Blues Blog is about Morrison Hotel.

Although Jim and Ray aren’t real bluesmen,  and The Doors play more experimental, blues, rock with at some point a voodoo flavor over the music. I like it.

Yeah, we’re goin’ to the Roadhouse, We’re gonna have a real, Good time. The future’s uncertain, and the end is always near.

Roadhouse_Blues vinyl
Roadhouse_Blues vinyl

You gotta roll, roll, roll
You gotta thrill my soul, all right
Roll, roll, roll, roll
Thrill my soul
You gotta beep a gunk a chucha
Honk konk konk
You gotta each you puna
Each ya bop a luba
Each yall bump a kechonk
Ease sum konk
Ya, ride

Roadhouse Blues my favorite The Doors song, but on this track the Piano played by Ray Manzarek feels like a Little Willy Littlefield piano tune, that boogie woogie feel. Just like that.

Morisson Hotel is not only a historical album for it’s music. The backcover was the inspiration for a worldwide brand of Hardrock Cafés. I read this article about Henry Diltz the photographer of Morisson. They walked around town looking for places to shoot the albumcover. After a while the took pictures at the small Morrison Hotel, the place that was later turned into some kind of Laundry shop, or maybe a barbershop, for shure it ain´t a hotel at this moment.

The Doors |  Morisson Hotel | Blues blog

That hardrock café as photographed  was already there in the 30s. It didn´t mean rock and roll, at that time, it meant mining or something. After the release of Morrison Hotel, the Doors received a phone call from England, “can we use the name for our pub? Yeah sure go ahead”, and it all started.

Kitty Daisy and Lewis New Blues Blog

Blues music-Kitty_daisy_lewis_bestival_2006
Blues music-Kitty_daisy_lewis_bestival_2006

This one day, it was a summerday in 2008 I sat outside a bar in my hometown Rotterdam and thought about visiting a concert, there are plenty of music festivals during that time. The thing is a lot of bluesdogs passed away over the years. So my dream to see Junior Wells or Johnny Copeland has been dead and gone for many years. I had to attent at a concert of young musicians.

Blues legacy

Johnny Copeland’s daughter Shemekia Copeland made quite a career as a bluesartist. She was nominated for a Blues Music Award this year, and received the crown as Queen of the Blues. Mud Morganfield is busy continuing his fathers legacy. So this day in 2008 I heard these folks play “I Got My Mojo Working” and it made quite an impression. They swinged, grooved, and sounded like an old chess recording, one room filled with bluesmusicians having fun, but then fifty years later. I found some new music.

Kitty Daisy and Lewis

I heard these two girls sing and swing, It was great. So I ask the bartender the name of these guys. He picked up some coasters and wrote  Kitty, Daisy and Lewis on it. Kitty, Daisy and Lewis are three siblings of the Durham family. They play swinging blues rock ‘n roll with a Hawaiian flavor. It is music for the summer, it is the blues through sunglasses. The song I heard was a Muddy Waters classic, a 1956 song written by Preston Foster and first recorded by Ann Cole.

I got my Mojo Working Blues song

When I got home that day I searched around and found my favorite song “Going Up The Country” a cover from Canned Heat and a traditional.

Another song I really like is “Polly Put The Kettle On”, a cover of an old English language nursery rhyme. The song was transformed into a Blues song By Sonny Boy Williamson I in the 1940s, and later also covered by Big Walter Horton. And now I heard Kitty Daisy and Lewis played it. I haven’t heard a groovier version of it since then.

Maxwell Street early Chicago Blues

Chicago 6.00 A.M, it’s the just before sunrise while a silent Maxwell Street awakes. Early in the morning the first amplifiers and harp-microphones are turned on. People walk by and the music start It’s the way I imagine Maxwell Street around the ’40 / ‘50. Garbage canes, maybe a firepit. It is, you tell me ‘Come early in the mornin’, baby ’bout the break of day’ Now ya oughta see me grab the pillow where my baby used to lay.

Early in the Morning

Bluesmen Sonny Boy Williamson I sings the blues traditional “Early In The Morning” on the corner of Maxwell street. The Chicago-Blues-sound develops, Sonny had to play loud because  other bluesmen played their tunes on ‘his’ corner. A amplifier helps to make yourself intelligibly. Because of that harp, guitar, drums and singers arise above the noise of fellow musicians, that noise of multiple bands on Maxwell Street made the Chicago Blues.

Maxwell Street Bands

Maxwell Street BLues Blog
woodwork: Todros Geller (Died in Chicago 1949-02-23)

There was this bluesmen born in Marksville Louisiana born Marion Jacobs , he played the harmonica on Maxwell street since 1947 too. Accompanied by fellow bluesmen Johnny Young, Othum Brown, and Big Bill Broonzy. Broonzy once said about Walter Jacobs. “He played harmonica ya’ know but he used to follow me to try to play the guitar. Me and him be playing together, we’d go out to make some money and he wouldn’t want to play the harmonica. He’d want to play what I was doing. So he finally learned.” Big Bill Broonzy also played the song “Early in the Morning together with Litthe Walter, and I’m for sure, he played it on Maxwell Street, or around the corners of the Jewish Market on the South side of Chicago where the Chicago Blues was born.

Sonny Boy Williamson was killed on the Chicago South side after a performance. Little Walter got stuck in a fight in a Chicago Bluesbar. It was not only fun on Maxwell street, but they made some incredible tunes there.

Junior Wells Maxwell Street

The heritage of Little Walter was difiicult but they found his successor on Maxwell Street.  Ten Years later Maxwell street is still the Same. Blues dogs like Muddy Waters passed by, are already part of the Chess Family and I can’t Be satisfied reached the #1 position on the charts. The world changed Maxwell Street did not. Junior Wells recorded the song Early in the Morning. He also moved from the south, Memphis to Chicago. After Little Walter quitted Muddy Waters band It was junior who took his place. Maxwell Street a community of Blues Musicians.

Continue reading Maxwell Street early Chicago Blues

The Blues Tradition of Johnny Shines

“Everybody is going to have the Blues. If they haven’t already had ‘em, they ‘re gonna have ‘em.” – Johnny Shines

John Ned “Johnny” Shines (April 26, 1915 – April 20, 1992) was born in Frayser outside Memphis. Johnny Shines is member of a small group Blues musicians who played the Delta Blues and the electric Chicago Blues.

Shines started playing the Delta Blues at the end of the twenties and in the thirties alongside Robert Johnson. He moved during the 40s to Chicago to play a perfect Chicago Blues style. He built his remarkable repertoire in a period of 60 years.

Johnny Shines Little Wolf

Shines grew up in Memphis. He was widly inspired by Howlin’ Wolf at the start of his career, he absorbed the Southern Blues style from Wolf till the point he was called Little Wolf for a while. He once said about Howlin’ Wolf:  “I was afraid of the Wolf, like you would be of some wild animal….It was the SOUND he was giving off!”

Ramblin´ Blues

I think Johnny plays both styles very well. While listening to his record Ramblin’ Blues recorded in New York during the period 1972 and 1974 you get the perfect mix between Chicago and the Delta. If you compare his music to  Mance Limpscomb, the delta sound is clear comparable, but Johnny Shines work is modern and more extensive. It is obvious that Johnny Shines plays the roots, an example is the Ramblin´ Blues.

Johnny Shines Blues tradition

Johnny Shines was companion of Robert ‘soul to the devil’ Johnson. They met in Memphis in 1934, and traveled through the south along and Canada with David “Honeyboy” Edwards,  until close before Johnson died. Shines kept on playing the music of Johnson throughout his death. Eventually Robert Johnson became Shines main influence after Howlin’ Wolf. Maybe that explains the two sided Blues style of Shines.

Johnny Shines and Robert Johnson footage

Johnny Shines was part of a forensic research starting in 2007, when a picture of Shines an Johnson was leased. Before that picture was released there were only two pictures of the most important blues musicians verified, Shines was part of the third picture. The picture of Shines and Johnson was used on the cover of The Complete Recordings: Robert Johnson released in 1990.

British newspaper the Guardian wrote a very nice article about the picture of Robert Johnson and Johnny Shines. For those who are interested: Click here.

 

Messin’ with the kid

Tonight I listened to a show Messin’ With The Blues, it’s a performance of Junior Wells, Buddy Guy and the great Muddy Waters, live at the Montrieux festival in Switzerland. Every last one of the songs has great lyrics in that show.

Messin’ With The Kid

This song ‘Messin’ With The Kid’ is one of my favorite. The art of repeating, and changing the sequince of words, I love that. Even without the music, just the lyrics by themselves contain that blues feeling., the rhythm and the groove. The groove and the rhythm, like that.

Chicago blues legend buddy guy

Black Bull Blues Lyrics

You know the kid’s no child, and I don’t play
I says what I mean and I mean what I say
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah,
oh look at what you did
You can call it what you want to,
I call it messin’ with the kid

Here is the show I’m talking about, watch it if you like. Later on Muddy an Buddy perform. And at one point Buddy tells the people they “get a better thrill out of playing here than at home.” At that point I feel like this:

Just ten years ago People what I would do
No one would ever know
Just ten years ago
People how I would live my life
No one would ever know
The things that I think I would do
Ooo, no one will never know.

Later on it ends with: Yeah, play the blues

Muddy’s Band

It was a world class line up: Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Bill Wyman, Pinetop Perkins, Terry Taylor, Dallas Taylor

Picture: Sardognunu