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.
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”
Well done with the list.
thank you! I couldn’t have done so well on my own.
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.
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?
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… 🙂
It has more to do with the lyrics and stories within the blues. I can’t connect well with the narrator, if that makes sense.
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