In the late twenties Country duo Darby and Tarlton had some succes with their slide guitar ballads. “Birmingham Jail” is part of their Tom Darby & Jimmie Tarlton: Atlanta 1927-1929 recordings and tells the story of a man longing for a letter from his love. It approaches the poetic essence of Country ballads perfectly.
Hailin’ from New Orleans The Deslondes are remarkable for their inventive take on New Orleans Country and Rhythm and Blues. From Bluegrass to Folk and further, it is amazing how this band adopts all genres in the American Roots tradition in their repertoire. This September the band released their sophomore album Hurry Home via New West Records.
New Orleans based The Deslondes
The Deslondes released their second album which includes my personal favorites “Muddy Water” and “Hurricane Shakedown”. Hurry Home contains 13 songs in a variety of blues, roots, and country.
Hailin’ from Toronto Canada guitarist and singer Blind Matty is my new favorite Country Blues outlaw. Matty brings his songs with Rock n Roll attitude and power. But above all, this long drink of American music really convincing.
EP GrinGo! by Blind Matty
Packed with a guitar and an Eyepatch he mixes all kinds of blues and rock n Roll into a smoking whiskey of Garage. Blind Matty’s EP GRINGO! was released May 14 on Burger Records.
Blind Matty – Gettin’ Stoned with my Ol’ Lady
Gringo! features four songs “Gettin’ Stoned With My Ol’Lady”, “Sugar Mama”, “Put The Shake On You” and, “Rock N Roll Outlaw”. Follow and find more about Blind Matty Here!
Hailin’from the capital of Country, Nashville, Tennessee the boys from Natural Child released their latest album Okey Dokey in september of 2016. The album title might sound like an ode to Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown’s song “Okie Dokie Stomp”, but there is no proof for that. What we do know is that Okey Dokey brings some fine Southern Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Natural Child Influences from the 70s
Natural Child might refer more to Clarence Gatemouth Brown than you think. Both musicians did not make Blues but are clearly influences by roots and Blues. Like Gatemouth said: ‘I play American music Texas style’. This trio Does the same thinf and you will hear that in Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll songs like ‘B$g P$mpin’, but you will also find folk Blues songs like ‘NSA Blues’ in their repertoire.
Roots, Ragtime and Blues by Vancouver-based The Burying Ground
They started in early 2014 as a duo and released their first album Big City Blues in June 2015. Now they are a trio and bring songs that carry the soul and vibe of the good days of the 20s in any way instrumentally and ‘Big City Blues’ is a good example. They also covered some classic songs like the ‘St. James Infirmary’, which they transformed into their trademark style of ragtim , blues and roots.
Inspiration from the 1920s and 30’s
The music of The Burying Ground flows out of their love for the early country, blues, ragtime and jazz and inspired them to create original songs that emulate old ones as well as to play renditions of songs from the 1920’s and 30’s.
“If you’ve ever yearned to be transported into times bygone or just needed a balm for your old soul, The Burying Ground will take you straight into the sweetest br
oken-hearted foot-tapping realm of your dreams, an experience considerably cheaper than building a time machine.”
Blues and Country from Swamp master Lazy Lester
He is a ‘National Treasure’ and the ‘High Sheriff of Louisiana’, he is ‘The Nut’, but above all Lazy Lester is a defining musician in the Louisiana Swamp and Country Blues scene. Since he started recording in the mid-fifties at the Nashville based label Excello alongside Lightnin’ Slim he has seen more Juke Joints in the United States than a man could remember.
Key creator of the Louisiana Swamp Blues
Lazy Lester (aka Leslie Johnson) Is one of the key creators of the South Louisiana swamp blues sound in the 1950s, Lester has been often imitated but never duplicated. His ride in the world of blues started when he was a boy working as a woodcutter and at a grocery store. In that store he bought the #1 hit record ‘Juke’ of Little Walter and a new harmonica. That buy was a life changer and a future living. He is highly influenced by Little Walter and Jimmy Reed, especially Reed’s vocal style is hearable in a lot of Lester songs. He has a lot of love for country and got hooked by Jimmy Rogers.
Meeting Lightnin’ Slim in the Bus
The most interesting story about Lazy Lester is the one about the Rayne, Louisiana bus ride. Lightnin’ Slim -who was already an established recording artist- was also on the bus Lester took. Slim was on his way to Crowley, where he would record at Jay Miller’s Studio for Excello Records. Crowley was seven miles further than Rayne and because Lester had a serious itch to be around big time music making he stayed on the bus and accompanied Slim to the studio. Slim’s harmonica player wasn’t in the studio. The probably nervous Lazy Lester was asked to do the harmonica part for Slim’s recording, and did not disappoint.
Jay Miller, the producer was impressed by Lester’s work and in 1957 he debuted at Excello as a solo artist with the record “ I’m Gonna Leave You Baby” and ‘Lester’s Stomp’. It was the producer Miller who gave Lester his nickname “Lazy”, “because of Lester’s slow and lazy style of talking. This nickname already stands more than fifty years now!
They call me Lazy album from 1976
A Lazy Lester album you should listen to is definitely They Call Me Lazy released in 1976. This album contains classic songs like ‘Lester’s Stomp’, I’m So Tired’, ‘Strange Things Happen’ and Tell Me Pretty Baby’. The cool thing about Lazy Lester’s material is the diversity. Song change from Rock ‘n Roll to Country, to Blues and to Swamp pop. This cocktail of musical roots makes his songs never boring and always interesting to Listen to.
Lazy Lester Rides Again
Lightnin’ Slim and Slim Harpo moved from Louisiana to Michigan and Lazy Lester would follow them. He lived in obscurity, till he recorded a new album Lazy Lester Rides Again. In 1988 he would release the follow up Harp and Soul which was recorded for Alligator Records. The album featured Lester’s harp-fueled swamp blues and brought him to the largest audience of his career.
Louisiana Swamp Heratige
Today Lazy Lester is one of the few original Bluesmen who is still around today. It is nice to imagine the man performing on a stage of an old school Juke Joint with a Harmonica in his hands blowin’ the Harp on a Swampy Blues beat. The heritage of Louisiana Blues and Country is in his hands, soul and bones.
Photo Credit: By Tom Beetz [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Pondarosa Stomp – Lazy Lester
Rockin’ Blues * I’M A LOVER, NOT A FIGHTER – Lazy Lester
My Home Is a Prison – Slim Harpo & Lazy Lester
Lazy Lester – They Call Me Lazy (Full Album)
Lazy Lester They call me Lazy (Released 1976)
01 – Lester’s Stomp
02 – Strange Things Happen
03 – I’m So Tired
04 – Lover Not A Fighter
05 – Late Late In The Evening
06 – Whoa Now
07 – They Call Me Lazy
08 – Bloodstains
09 – Come On Home
10 – Quit Foolin’ Me
11 – Tell Me Pretty Baby
12 – I’m Leavin
Lazy Lester – I Hear You Knockin’