Tag Archives: Guitar blues

Looking back at Slash’s Snakepit’s “Been There Lately”

When Slash left Guns N’ Roses after finishing the Illusion tours, he did not stay around the house and relax, instead he built a home studio nicknamed Snakepit.  Over the years GNR made a reputation as one of the worlds wildest bands. They brought true Hard Rock ‘n’ Roll back and their gritty Blues Rocking riffs blew me away.

Forming Slah’s Snakepit after Guns N’ Roses

After the break up of Guns N’ Roses, Slash quickly put some fine musicians together including Mike Inez, Matt Sorum and Gilby Clarke . Finding a lead singer was more difficult: 40 singers auditioned and Slash found Eric Dover to be the main man. All these guys “experienced none of the heavy scrutiny they are used to when working with their home bands“. Their first album It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere was released in February 1995. On this record you’ll hear Slash’s virtuosity, and feels like one hour Blues Rock jam.

According to Snakepit.org the name came from a Bartender:SLASH was at an airport leaving for another GNR tour, and he wanted a drink but the signs said that no liquor was served there before 5 pm. SLASH asked for a drink anyway, and the bartender said….the album title”.

Ain’t Life Grand – Slash’s Snakepit

 

 

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K.C. “Mercury Blues” Douglas

K.C. “Mercury Blues” Douglas

K.C. Douglas was a fine blues musician from the Bay Area. Originally born Mississippi K.C. Douglas learned the Delta Blues from veteran Tommy Johnson. Alongside Johnson, K.C. would perform throughout Mississippi in several Juke Joints until 1945, when he moved to the West Coast. In de Bay Ares Folk Blues scene Douglas would performed several songs of Johnson. ( Blues Encyclopedia by Edward Komara,Peter Lee, p 280) .

K.C. Douglas from Mississippi to California

After K.C. Douglas moved to California he quickly formed a band. In 1948 his first recording “Mercury Boogie” was pressed. Mercury Boogie is a happy feeling blues song and in some ways it just sounds as a jam between the folks in the local bar. That sounds is what hear in a lot througout K.C.’s repertoire. I Imagine K.C. Douglas as a man who allways played and allways was around. A habitue of the local juke joint and a local hero.

Arhoolie founder Chris Strachwitz and K.C. met in the late fifties, and Stachwitz must have seen the heroism of Douglas like we do now. They recorded “Mercury Boogie” in 1960 later Douglas would record maybe his best song “Mercury Blues” for Arhoolie. (Arhoolie 40th anniversary collection set).

Mercury Boogie

Mercury Blues

K.C. Douglas’ “Mercury Blues” was covered by a whole lot of musicians like The Steve Miller Band, Alan Jackson, and Meat Loaf. Alan Jackson´s version of “Mercury Blues” became a big hit in 1992, and was used in a Ford Trucks commercial. The rights of the song where purchased by Ford Motor Company.

K.C. Douglas didn’t get the fame like fellow west coast blues musicians like Jesse Fuller or Lowell Folsom got. Het was a local hero where he played in the pubs and coffeehouses of Oakland and the Bay Area. K.C. Was always around playing blues. That lifestyle made him the hero of the Bay Blues.

Listen to K.C. Douglas’ best songs right below…

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