Saturday, 10 October 2009

Thanks to R.L!

I don't know what to say, after feeling unwell for so long. I haven't really felt like blogging.

I'm happy to be writing again, now! It can be frustrating to get back into the swing of blogging regularly -- but I have some music that I'm excited about.

To kick off this entry, I'm listening to 'First Recordings', recorded by the late bluesman R.L. Burnside in 1968. This disc of acoustic blues tunes, was recommended to me. Burnside has a very expressive voice -- ranging from a high wail, to a low, menacing growl. It's spine-chilling!

It's very raw, personal music. Sometimes frighteningly intense, but always amazing to hear! I think that R.L. must have dug really deep into himself, to produce these songs. This is about as genuine as music can be!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Guy Davis

I thought this was a great clip, from a modern bluesman, Guy Davis. Davis sings and plays harp, banjo, and guitar (both six and twelve-string).

This is an old Tampa Red tune, called 'Things About Coming My Way'.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Mitch's Playlist: 0.5

This is a special, post-birthday edition of Playlist. After a particularly unpleasant stay in hospital, I have some music to share with you.
  • Essential Collection: The Classic Cobra Recordings 1956-1958 -- Otis Rush. Otis has an amazing feel as a guitarist, and also one of the best voices in blues music. The blues landscape, as we know it, owes much to Otis Rush. The recordings here have their place in *blues* history. (And it's a fun CD to play!) I just love these tunes; many of which were 'picked up' by British blues acts, like John Mayall, Eric Clapton, and Led Zeppelin. It's mighty difficult, when the originals are so good, though!
  • Mississippi Fred McDowell -- Fred McDowell. I really enjoy this album; the atmosphere is very laid-back. McDowell is/was a gritty, honest bluesman. (The real deal!) His lyrical slide guitar, and vocals, always get to me! He absolutely tares through these songs. I think it might have actually been recorded in someone's house, which gives the whole thing a really unique, 'party' vibe. Everybody is enjoying themselves -- probably getting good and drunk, too -- and it brings out the best in Fred.
More soon... Stay tuned!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Michael Jackson Has Died

I thought I would blog this news, as it breaks. Michael Jackson, pop music icon, has died. He was fifty years old.

An American news article about Jackson's death: Pop Star Michael Jackson Has Died At UCLA Medical Center After Cardiac Arrest - It's been all over TV and The Internet.

It's just sad. I have my own cool memories of listening to MJ's music, when I was a little bit younger. I was a huge fan, in my early school years! Albums like Dangerous, Bad, and Thriller are well-loved classics, which continue to sell in huge numbers. The concert tours were epic, and his music videos were trail-blazing.

Jackson made a huge impact on music and pop culture. If you know anything about the popular music (or popular culture) of the last few decades -- you'll know of Michael Jackson.

There are lots of other things one could say about Michael Jackson... but you can make up your own mind!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Twitter and

I've wanted to program the music on the radio for a while. Now, in a way, I can! It's called

Each user, known as a 'DJ', has their own station; which is a place to post the songs that they have picked. The library of music to choose from is huge (and ever-growing)! I think it's mostly sourced from track previews from iTunes and Amazon. Choices are beamed out, through services like Twitter, or Facebook. The music you choose to play appears on your station.

DJs find each other because of their tastes in songs or music. They can applaud good selections (by giving props to that person), and then add that song to their own playlist.

It's so cool to have this treasure chest of music to browse... and then choose from. I can simply pick a song and know it will (very likely) be there! When I find something I like, I can post it in real-time.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Eric Burdon and War drop in

I was lucky enough to discover the rich, earthy music of Eric Burdon and War about six months ago; when I bought the album Eric Burdon Declares War. (I love the album title, too!)

War had an expansive and funky sound... it is very joyful music.

('Spirit' is the song title.)

With the components of War's sound including a horn section; some Latin percussion; Burdon's strong, compelling vocals; Lee Oskar's harmonica...

and funk... lots of that!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Mitch's Playlist: 0.4

  • The Very Best of Otis Redding, Vol. 1 -- Otis Redding. Albums with titles such as this one, often fall far short of their boasted greatness. In rare cases, an artist's body of work does not merit a 'best of' album; but that is rare. Most commonly, the songs that are chosen as 'the best of' don't meet the listener's expectations.
With this collection, though, one suffers no let-downs. I came to love both the CD, and Otis! All the songs here display Redding at his best -- often backed by the Stax record label's legendary house band! Highlights for me include: 'That's How Strong My Love Is', 'Pain in My Heart', 'I've Got Dreams to Remember' and more.

Otis was to make huge impact, in a short time. He played a highly-memorable set at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Sadly, he was killed in a plane crash later that year, aged 26.

Redding's 'deep soul' music lives on.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Cross-promotion: new blog!

I'm letting everyone know that I've started to write a new blog. It's about my life; and interests other than music. Since I decided to focus on music here, the posts about politics and whatever else don't seem to fit.

I've named it 'All or Nothing', because it's about life; which is all about little things and big things.

I hope those who read this will come to see my new 'work'! And, of course, stay right here for more music.

Link: click here

Pass it on!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Calling in -- mini playlist

Hi, everyone.

Just calling in -- I don't have much strength in me. I'm feeling pretty sore and tired. I like John Coltrane's 'My Favourite Things' album, right now. I'm also playing Lead Belly, Peg Leg Sam and Louis Armstrong.

Check out this post, right here:


I started it in February, which explains the older date stamp. I know it has taken me a while to post it. The next edition of 'Mitch's Playlist' is coming! I'll get some strength back, soon. I guess this was a mini-playlist, of sorts.

I've pulled out my harmonica, too. Pretty tired now.


Monday, 16 March 2009


I must say, this is a cool find! Most of the time, I don't bother with radio; even of the independent, non-commercial variety. There's so much I dislike about the business of being 'spoon-fed' music! I am happy with an ever-growing CD collection.

But Internet radio may change all that...

'AccuRadio' seems promising, now that I've heard the jazz section. Link: AccuRadio - The Next Generation of Radio

They seem to cover many genres of music, which is always a plus. It's free to listen to.

Thanks to Fitz, who is the author of the blues blog SqueezeMyLemon, for having the link in his StumbleUpon archives.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Back in business: with Muddy!

It is my first music-related post in a while. And I had hoped to deliver something special to my readers!

I think I have found a gem.

The late, great Muddy Waters is interviewed here in 1972 , on the television program 'The Old Grey Whistle Test'. I found it really interesting to hear about Waters' reasons for moving from Mississippi to Chicago. (Many black musicians of this era made similar choices to move to urban areas, like Chicago. As the musicians adapted to new environments, so did the music. Chicago then became the birthplace of urban or electric blues.)

Also, it was fascinating to hear about the reasoning behind the switch from using acoustic instruments, to playing with electric instruments. These are all points of real social interest, for me!

We also get insight into what Muddy believes the future of the blues would be (as it stood then). This is gold!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Stay tuned, folks!

Hello, ladies and gentlemen. After a prolonged stay in hospital, I am back home! Unfortunately, I never know how long these 'medical excursions' will take, or how long it will be before I'm back to my former strength. I was fairly unwell. So, you may need to allow me the occasional, unexplained, absence.

This note is just to say that I have several posts in the works... watch this space! There's always fresh music (and life) to talk about. It will just take time.

Be well.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Down home Shakedown

This is a fun thing to see! According to the information provided, it was filmed for a German TV show, in 1965. From looking at the back-drop, I can be reasonably certain that it was filmed as a part of The American Folk-Blues Festival, which began touring in 1962. It was an incredibly successful series of shows that brought African-American blues musicians, to European audiences.

The musicians who were involved, included John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Big Mama Thornton (who plays some fine harmonica, here), Howlin' Wolf, Big Walter Horton, and Sonny Boy Williamson II ... That is a fine representation of the movers and shakers in blues music, in my opinion!

Some of the shows were also filmed. Luckily, the film has been officially released on DVD. I'd recommend them highly! The DVDs can be found here. (That links to 'Volume One'.)

Here's the clip:

What makes this piece so very cool, is that John Lee Hooker, for example, is not known for his harmonica skills. The truth is, that many musicians of the time were able to play multiple instruments, (skillfully) to make a living.

Actually, I did not even know that John Lee Hooker could play harp!

Note: this post has been 'in the vault' for ages. Glad to see it published!

Buy the music, support the artists!

Thursday, 8 January 2009


A good 2009, to ye!

I have some news:

I have re-designed my old MySpace page; for anyone who wants to 'connect' that way. I may post a (handy) Links section to side-of-screen. (Then, it is all accessible...) I'm not one hundred per cent sure what I'll do.

Anyhow, I wanted to make the link available to you, for starters! It is something to do -- while my illness continues to cause me some major difficulties. It has not been an easy time! I am attempting to be as easy on myself, as I possibly can.

Take care.

Monday, 5 January 2009

So much fun: Paul Lamb and The King Snakes!

It looks like so much fun -- I just had to post!

This clip has Paul Lamb and The King Snakes, playing in Frederikshavn Bluesfestival; on September 29th, 2007. I did not film this. The song is 'You Better Mind'. Paul plays blues harp in the band.

I love when he refers to the other singers (I think they're the rest of the band), as 'The Staple Singers'! (Famous gospel group.)

Credit goes to the artists. Enjoy!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Mitch's Playlist: 0.3

I'd like wish to my readers a happy and safe year, for 2009! Thanks for sticking around. I've felt pretty unwell, lately. I just try to keep going!

I am listening to:
  • Bach: St. Matthew Passion Highlights -- Cleobury, King's College Choir. Obviously, this piece was written by J.S. Bach. It's about the events surrounding Christ's crucifixion. It is also regarded as being one of the greatest pieces of Western music, of all time! I have no disagreements, there! Bach is my favourite classical composer. Actually, I had not heard it, before.
  • I have been watching a lot footage of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. Their albums are good, too (eg. Backwater Blues). Sonny and Brownie's partnership was one of the greatest, in the history of folk-blues. It was also one of the stormiest! Some of the footage on the Net/YouTube -- just great!
(Started post on 01/01/2009.)