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).
Must listen masterpiece Big Bill Broonzy’s song “Hey Hey”
He has influenced the Pre- and Post war blues scene, and in his early years he made fame as a folk blues musician. But when he moved to Chicago we really found out this bluesman from the south was a big man in Blues. The influence of Big Bill Broonzy on other musicians is huge.
Muddy Waters released a full length album with Big Bill’s work and Eric Clapton made a successful cover of the hit song “Hey Hey”. Clapton’s version was part of his unplugged album. The original “Hey Hey” by Broonzy is in my world an absolute favorite.
Big Bill’s playing style in ‘Hey Hey’
The way Big Bill Broonzy plays the difficult but catchy guitar riff is inspiring. In the version that was recorded live in 1956 you see a laid back Broonzy playing “Hey Hey” in a silent bar. Everybody in the audience is amazed, I guess, by the song Big Bill plays. I can watch this song over and over again and stay amazed by the smooth guitar playing style of Big Bill Broonzy.
Classic Albums: Muddy Waters Sings Big Bill Broonzy
One of the leading figures in the post war Chicago Blues scene is Muddy Waters. Alongside Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter, Muddy was a big man of the Blues. His music needs no introduction and his influence is still visible today. But this master once showed his respect to another Chicago Bluesman. It was in In 1960, when Muddy Waters recorded an album as a tribute to Big Bill Broonzy ‘Muddy Waters sings Big Bill’.
Big Bill Broonzy died two years earlier, but Muddy could be sure of Broonzy’s approval All Music writes: “Oh yeah, Muddy is a real singer for the Blues,” Big Bill, the Mississippi foundation stone, was heard to say early on in Muddy Waters’ career. The confident Muddy – who was already one of the kings of the blues – changed Big Bill’s repertoire into a Muddy Waters cocktail.