Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Break

This week is Fall Break, which means that my kids will be out of school for a couple of days, so I am going to spend a little time with them and put everything else on the backburner for a bit.  Of course, I would never completely neglect all the loyal Friday Blues Fixers out there, so let's look at a few videos that may or may not serve as sneak previews for upcoming posts.

First up is soul singer James Carr.  Carr was one of the finest country soul singers ever, with a deeply emotional style and delivery.  He's best known for recording the definitive version of Dan Penn's "Dark End of the Street," one of the most-recorded soul songs ever (by soul and country singers alike).  Tragic circumstances prevented Carr from achieving any long-term success, but he left behind an impressive body of work, like this splendid version of the Bee Gees' (yes, the Bee Gees) "To Love Somebody."  You will be seeing a post on Carr in the near future.

Next up is Chicago guitarist Jimmy Dawkins.  Dawkins earned the nickname "Fast Fingers" when he first began playing on the West Side, but it's never really fit his style, which is more of a fiery slashing and surging style, not so much a speedy style.  He's not really a flashy guitarist or master showman either.....his songs are pretty intense and brooding and go perfectly with his terse vocal style and guitar work.  Though he's recorded sparingly over the past forty years, most of what he has released is very good.  His best work was recorded on Earwig Records in the early 90's.  Called Kant Sheck Dees Bluze, it features some of his finest guitar work and his best work as a vocalist.  Below is the intense title track and you can feel the intensity every time he bends a string.  Over the years, Dawkins has branched out from performing.  He owned his own label, Leric, for a while, and has given lots of local Chicago musicians opportunities to perform and record.  He even served as a contributing columnist for Living Blues in the magazine's early years.

One more before we go.  Check out Lazy Lester doing one of his most beloved tunes, "Sugar Coated Love."  This was recorded at a Summer of 2012 appearance at Antones' Records in Austin.   I could listen to this guy all day long and part of the next day, too.  If you're not familiar with this wonderful performer, you should check out a couple of his CDs.  They're all great.

For all you local blues fans, here's a bit of news that may be of interest.  Fellow FBF'er Lenard Ingram is preparing to open a new cafe in Philadelphia, MS.  Called the 424 Blues Cafe', Ingram plans to have an Open House next Saturday night (October 20th), beginning at 10:00 am and going on until around 11:00 pm.  The Open House will feature art displays and a free show, beginning around 8:00 pm, featuring Louis "Gearshifter" Youngblood (one of the featured musicians on the recent movie, We Juke Up In Here!).  The 424 Blues Cafe' plans to feature great food and live music every Friday and Saturday night, hopefully adding additional nights in the future.  For more information, you can visit the Cafe's Facebook page.

We will be back next week with more good blues for you.  Have a great weekend.

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