Tag Archives: Ragtime

Roots, Ragtime and Blues by Vancouver based The Burying Ground

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 a618a9_a80ff5913c3d4946bef4e94d7a1335b4well 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.”

 Sounds Like: St. Cider | Blind Boy Chocolate and the Honeydrops | Maison du Malheur | Pokey Lafarge | Mr. Hokum

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Songs of American Roots band Carolina Chocolate Drops

Songs of American Roots band  Carolina Chocolate Drops

Like their band name suggests the Carolina Chocolate Drops hail from North Carolina where they bring us roots music. Their songs are like a a cocktail in a mix of Blues, Jug band, String band, bluegrass and country. This Grammy award winning band is worth listening for many reason.

Discography and Hall Of Fame

Since 2005 the Carolina Chocolate Drops released several albums including: Heritage (2005), Dona Got A Ramblin’ Mind (2006),  Genuine Negro Jig (2010), Luminescent Orchestrii (2011) and Leaving Eden (2012). This march (2016) the Carolina Chocolate Drops announced they will be inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame! 

Well what can you expect from such a high rising band. On the band website you’ll read that the Chocolate Dropas are “Armed with banjos, fiddles, guitars, jugs, kazoos, spoons and various other percussive “instruments,”. They also  like to cover some classic roots songs, and my favorite is Hank Williams‘ “Please Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”.

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Ragtime Blues of a group travelers St. Cider

St. Cider  Ragtime Blues in style of the Jug bands

If you listen to St. Cider you’ll hear a nice harmony between a whole lot of roots instruments. But above all it is the harmonious voices of ST. Cider that grab your attention. “Double Yellow Blues’ is a perfect example for the bands repertoire, It is a  fantastic song, I really dig the great vocals and the instrumental jam that lift this song to a climax.

“Greenbelt Blues” is a humble song more folkloric and, slower then other songs in their repertoire. “You Aint No City Dog” is a catchy that will make you dance. The music reminds me of the New Orleans swing, blues and jazz of the pre-war era. Guys like Professor Longhair who was picked up from the street to make music again, Or Frank Stokes who performed with his duo the Beale street Sheiks outdoors.

Travelers making music

St. Cinder is comprised of six travelers. On their Facebook page they write that “We were all individually moving along the line from town to town busking for our fare and seeing the sights and smelling the smells. Our lines crossed in southern Oregon and we hit the ground running”. 

Follow St Cider on Facebook and Bandcamp

Sounds Like: The Hokum Highrollers | Hackensaw Boys | Maison du Malheur | White City Shakers


 

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Song of the Day: Frank Stokes – “How Long”

Song of the Day: Frank Stokes –  “How Long”

He was very popular in Memphis in the early twentieth century and some see him as the father of the Memphis blues guitar style. He made fame alongside Dan Sane with his band the Beale Street Sheiks, but also as a solo artist. His last recording dated from 1929. In “How Long” Frank Stokes show his enormous guitar talent en soulful vocals.

Memhis Ragtime Guitar Blues Song

Frank Stokes played mostly ragtime guitar blues with his deep  forceful voice Frank knew how to reach people. You will recognise that in “How Long”. His perfect guitar melody gives this song a soft touch. On the other hand the lyrics are rhythmic and strong: I never never : baby I can’t see anymore, When you called me baby : how long how long,

photo credit: Beale Street via photopin (license)

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Song of the Day: Henry Thomas – Fishin’ Blues

Song of the Day: Henry Thomas – Fishin’ Blues

In the North East of Texas lays the town of Big Sandy. It is a small town near to the Sabine River, Folk Bluesman Henry Thomas was born here. In 1928 he recorded the catchy folk blues songs ‘Fishin’Blues’ which is inspiring for ragtime guitar enthusiasts.

Texas Ragtime Style

Thomas played a combination of folk and blues which was called Texas Ragtime. But Thomas did a whole lot more: He recorded 24 sides for Vocalion Records between 1927 and 1929, 23 of which were released. They include reels, gospel songs, minstrel songs, ragtime numbers, and blues. He inspired Bob Dylan and was covered by numerous artist including folk group The Lovin’ Spoonful  in 1965,

interpretation of Fishin’ Blues

In When We Were Good: The Folk Revival by Robert Cantwell, he described that the song may have been written differently. Because in blues fishin’, like a hound dog refers to a female figure. The songs could have   a more sexual context.  The recorded version nevertheless is about fishin’ for fish in the river at one o’clock in the afternoon.

Yes, you’ve been fishin’ all the time.
I’m a-goin’ a-fishin’ too.
I bet your life your lovin’ wife.
Catch more fish than you.
Any fish bite, got good bait.
Here’s a little somethin’ I would like to relate.
Any fish bite, you’ve got good bait.
I’m a-goin’ a-fishin’, yes, I’m goin’ a-fishin’,
I’m a-goin’ a-fishin’ too.

Taj Mahal – Fishin’ Blues

Photo credit By Not specified, owned by John F. Kennedy library [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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