Tag Archives: Blues musicians

Reviving Jugbands with the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir

They loved the blues, but hated its popular, generic practitioners. It was the motivating factor for the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir.

Pure Blues Roots as we all like it

The Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir brings some of the purest roots music around. Sometimes you have the luck to find one of these bands in your lokal Juke Joint or maybe out in the street and you get blown away. It is the connection of instruments and the groove of a song that sounds like a jam. That’s what happens with the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir.  

I once had the honor to meet the Hackensaw Boys, who are comparable to the Canadian musicians of the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir, but bring their songs a bit more bluegrass style. The AMGC bring the roots like the jug bands earlier did in Memphis . The video below gives a nice impression how that sounds.

Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir – Oh Sorrow

Pre WW II Blues and County

The AMGC’s raucous, firebrand interpretations of pre-WW II acoustic blues and country struck a chord with Calgarian audiences, they write on their own website. The roots crowd liked them for their reverence for the musical sources minus the obvious cliches of many modern interpreters. But rock audiences ate up their sets, too.

Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir Inspiration

The Agnostics managed to translate and amplify the energy of early Skip James and Son House, transcending the lo-fidelity of a scratchy 78, and reminding young listeners why this music mutated into rock’n’roll.

The Agnostics were compared to Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart which was a blessing and a curse. The band, while admittedly fans, knew those guys got their influences from the same places; namely the Howlin’ Wolf/Charlie Patton lineage. But they were a couple of white guys who shaped the blues in their own unique fashion, hence they were inevitable inspirations.

Dumb It Down and Oh Sorrow

Songs like ‘Dumb It Down’, show the inspiration of Son House and Lightning Hopkins. A song like ‘Saint Hubert’  has a whole lot of more Jug Band feeling, maybe because of the low vocals, and the bombastic sounds. ‘ Oh Sorrow’  brings the country blues feeling through the boxes, this song is perfect during a session of drinking beer. The Banjo is slow, the vocals howl, the beat brings you back to the cotton fields of Mississippi.

Since 2013, the group reunites after receiving several offers to play in Europe. The tour is successful. At the same time there is a rising interest in their CDs from all parts of the globe. Are there plans for future activites? Stay tuned.

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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

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The Black Bull Blues of Little Walter

Little Walter | Marion Walter Jacobs (May 1, 1930)

Little Walter I would’ve liked to have played with  / Johnny Winter

The Swinging Harp

The first time I heard about Little Walter was in the movie Cadillac Recods. I was a nineteen year old boy who just invented some blues greats like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker. The first song that got my attention, and I’m sure many more Little Walter enthusiasts, was ‘My Babe’.  Everytime I hear that swinging harp and Guitar, it gives me a relaxing groove. Walters voice is one of a kind, that is what makes his music great.

Traveling

Little walter was born in Marksville, Louisiana. At age of twelve he dropped out of school, he would travel around, walking the streets of New Orleans, Memphis, Helena and St. Louis.

Chicago

When Little Walter arrived in Chicago he started playing music on Maxwell Street. A famous place for Chicago blues musicians, back in the day. Not only Walter but also many more Chicago legends made fame on Maxwell Street.  Among Little Walter artist like Floyd Jones, Big Bill Broonzy and Sonny Boy Williamson played there tunes on Maxwell Street.

Little Walter´s Music  

From now on it is possible to listen to some Blues records on the Black Bull Blues Blog. With Amazon musicplayer I can give an impression of the music I’m talking ’bout. Enjoy the famous Little Walter Tracks.

Death

A few months after returning from his second European tour, he was involved in a fight while taking a break from a performance at a nightclub on the South Side of Chicago. The relatively minor injuries sustained in this altercation aggravated and compounded damage he had suffered in previous violent encounters, and he died in his sleep at the apartment of a girlfriend at 209 E. 54th St. in Chicago early the following morning.

Grave

His body was buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery inEvergreen Park, IL on February 22, 1968. His grave remained unmarked until 1991, when fans Scott Dirks and Eomot Rasun had a marker designed and installed
 

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