music

Lady Sings the Blues

Not this lady. You don’t want to hear me singing, trust me. My highschool choir director clucked at me and informed me I was tone deaf – I spent years singing as a tenor, sometimes even taking baritone parts – because I was required to take choir. I can’t make music.

I can listen to it, and I know what I like. So when my daughter and I were motoring along a winding country road, I commented on the name of a crossroad – Chicken Bristle Road, have you ever? – and asked her if she was happier living on a ‘lick road, now. She came back with “Do you know what this lyric means? ‘Now I trade licks with Muddy Waters.'”

She played me the song it came from, and we talked for a while about the Blues. When I got home, I asked for suggestions from friends, to help introduce her to the greats.

I’ll admit, reluctantly, to a love/hate feeling toward the Blues. I love the music, sometimes, and the feeling, always. But there are times it’s like listening to a cat being scalded. So I’m particular about my Blues music. I’ve chosen a list of my favorites from the suggestions friends made, both for the Junior Mad Scientist to listen to and expand her education, and for you, my readers.

Enjoy!

The video link is to play the whole list, currently at 32 songs. If you see the little bars in the upper left, it will open a dropdown list of the playlist in entirety and you can skip around.

In no particular order:

Nina Simone – I Put a Spell on You

Robert Johnson – Hellhound on my Trail

Stevie Ray Vaughan – The Sky is Crying

Howlin’ Wolf – Smokestack Lightnin’

Albert King – I’ll Play the Blues for You

BB King – The Thrill is Gone

Buddy Guy and Stevie Ray Vaughan – Champagne and Reefer

John Lee Hooker – Boom Boom Boom

Elmore James – It Hurts Me Too

Lightnin’ Hopkins – Black Cat Blues

Saffire – Silver Beaver

Jimmy Reed – Baby What You Want Me To

Ella Fitzgerald – Cry Me a River

Ry Cooder – Feelin’ Bad Blues

Mighty Sam McClain – When the Hurt is Over

Roomful of Blues – Still in Love with You

Muddy Waters – Mannish Boy

Billie Holiday – Blue Moon

Muddy Waters – Hard Again

Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers – She’s Gone

Yank Rachell – Going to St Louis

Pinetop Perkins – Pinetop’s Blues

Robert Johnson – Kindhearted Woman Blues

Count Basie – Harvard Blues

Chris Smither – Statesboro Blues

Mississippi John Hurt – Goodnight Irene

PunkCajas – Red River Blues

The Steeldrivers – Where Rainbows never Die

Bo Diddley – Who do You Love

Maria Muldaur – A Woman Alone with the Blues

Eartha Kitt – The Blues

Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Didn’t It Rain

6 thoughts on “Lady Sings the Blues

  1. I was reading one of my wife’s music teacher magazines and I noticed an article about teaching the tone deaf to sing. I brought it to her attention and she remarked, “They wouldn’t have written that if they had met you.” Totally true if a tad brutal.

    I will give your suggestions a try.

  2. I had a music teacher move me to bass from soprano because her pet tried to push me around. I don’t push. So I got moved. The upshot is that I still sound like I’m 12 or so because of the damage I did to my voice without knowing it. Took almost 20 years for most of the damage to heal.

    There are very few blues songs I like. Don’t know why, but the blues don’t do anything for me. I appreciate what the musicians are doing, but there’s no connection. *shrug* I’m strange, what can I say?

    1. Cookie-cutter chord progressions like “the 12-bar blues” don’t do it for you? 🙂 Not for me either, frankly. Though the classical “I hate all rock and pop music” snobs are often very tolerant of the equally trite harmonies in, say, some Telemann… 🙂

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