This beautiful gospel and delta blues classic was originally composed, it is believed, by a slave named Wallace Wallis in the 19th century. Big Bill Broonzy’s version of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot goes deep into the mud and is a fine example of how Soul, blues, and Gospel perfectly complement each other.
This weekend I was blown away by One Man band Bror Gunnar Jansson from Sweden with his version of “Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold My Body Down)”. Bror stands out for his rhythmic techniques as a one-man band drummer. His voice is dark, raw edged, and like the delta deep as the soul of the lonesome fields.
This week blues legend Muddy Waters would celebrate his 104th birthday. Muddy is still a major influence in music history, artist like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and even today rappers like Kanye West are all influenced by his sound. For his birthday we look back at his first recording session.
Stovall Plantation recording session 1941
It was historian Alan Lomax who made a trip to the Stovall Plantation back in August 1941 to record McKinley Morganfield with Henry ‘Son’ Sims. They recorded ‘Country Blues’, ‘I Be Troubled’ and ‘Burr Clover Blues’.
“Morganfield would later become the ‘King of Chicago Blues’ as Muddy Waters. He had learned the guitar and harmonica and began playing in juke joints and at parties and dances in and around the Clarksdale, Mississippi area from about 1935 onwards”.(udiscovermusic)
The New Savages: addictive grooves on slow blues riffs.
Hailing from deep down Melbourne The New Savages built their reputation by digging out long lost grooves from pre WWII era blues music. The New Savages make an art of creating addictive grooves on slow blues riffs.
When you close your eyes it will remind you of Skip James and Lightnin’ Hopkins . The vocals of leadsinger Milan Milutinovic naturally become part of a blues groove that transforms into a Delta, Hill Country or Bentonia blues song. Behind the guitar groove created by Milan lies the influence of drummer Nathan Power, who developed his swinging playin’ style in numerous Jazz outfits.
Steps on the Australian Blues ground
This is good music and like a fast train coming these guys set a bigger foot on the muddy bluesground of Australa every day. Leadsinger Milan tells enthousiastic about The New Savages that was formed originally in 2012. It is only since October 2014 that Milan and Nathan are performing as a duo.
“As soon as I started playing Blues”
I formed The New Savages almost as soon as I started playing blues guitar, right after I got really fascinated by Son House and open G tuning. I tried learning death letter blues and failed so I created my own blues song called Grey Faced Woman (To this day I still don’t know what a grey faced woman is) and an acapella song called Rosie which was inspired by the prison songs that I heard Alan Lomax record. This was about three years ago.
Australian Folk and Blues by slide guitarist Indy
Folkblues singer-songwriter Indy from Australia recently released his full-length debut album ‘The Devil’ on Bandcamp. This record features Indy’s unique, driving slide-guitar, powerful vocals and dark undertones, all creating a wild-west style soundtrack.
I like the use of the bottleneck on Indy’s album. A Blues song played on a guitar with a slide or a bottleneck creates one of the finest blues grooves around. Elmore James and Hound Dog Taylor sho’ knew how to play that kind of songs. Indy built his riffs and composition around the bottleneck in almost every song.
Indy writes meaningfull lyrics that embody the blues feeling. In it’s own way it could remind you of the diaspore of delta. The scream for a better life.
C’Mon Let’s Ride – Lyrics
She hang me up
For my stack
In my heart
Learn more about Indy on the Bandcamp page.
Samuel James: gatekeeper of the Delta Blues
If Samuel James had lived eighty years ago he would be on posters around town alongside Son House, Robert Johnson and Big Joe Williams. He is a Blues guitarist inspired by the delta sound. Groovy, now and then slow, but always a bluesy voice accompanied by guitar. Samuel James isn’t a new cat in town, this blues-based singer/songwriter has dazzled audiences around the world for the better part of a decade.
Samuel James is a fantastic guitarist in the Delta Blues style. Not only for using the slide in a lot of songs, but also the way James puts rhythm in a ´simple´ riffs is admirable. There are a lot of singer-songwriters around, I often miss the rhythm and the groove in their songs, I always hope they will start playing some blues songs. Samuel James is the singer-songwriter you want to see. He plays blues and there is always rhythm in Blues.
Recorded albums Samuel James
Albums of James that give you the best insight in his style are ‘Songs Famed for Sorrow and Joy’ (2008) ‘For Rosa, Maeve and Noreen’ (2009) And ‘for the Dark Road Ahead’ (2012) all released on Toronto’s Northern Blues label.
Stomping Delta Blues
His songs make you Stomp your feet and you will easily listen it for hours. Samuel James describes his music as: “A mixture of Charlie Patton, Preston Reed, Bill Withers and Townes Van Zandt”. Most of all: Samuel James is a gatekeeper of the Delta Blues.
Samuel James on Spotify
Samuel James “Wooooooo Rosa”
Samuel James “Bumly” playing Parchment Farm
CW Ayon one man Band Blues from New Mexico
CW Ayon is a blues musician you should see in the pub, with his one man band act Ayon brings true Delta Blues to your local juke joint. Like Ben Prestage and Mississippi Gabe Carter, Ayon is an ex excellent slide guitar player supported by steady drums. That combination make his songs easy to listen to, groovy and the ideal travel music. Over the last few years Ayon released every year an album some of the song are available to listen to. Invite CW Ayon to your local bar and enjoy the song of this New Mexico bluesman.
CW Ayon, New Mexico Blues Man
CW Ayon calls the Southwestern deserts of New Mexico his home, but his soul is deeply rooted in the blues an grooves of the Mississippi Hill country. His act contains a simple Kick, Snare and Tambourine setup which ensures his performance of solid beats. This basis is added with Delta Style acoustic or resonator guitar sound and sometimes with a bit of harmonica.