You might not have been aware that 100 years ago in March of 1912, the first twelve-bar blues song was published. It was "Dallas Blues," by Hart Wand, an Oklahoma violinist and bandleader. In commemoration of this event, Friday Blues Fix Friend Brad Vickers has recorded the song with his Vestapolitans (and guest violinist Charlie Burnham) and will be releasing it digitally at iTunes and CDBaby, and several other sites. All proceeds from downloads of the single will go to the Blues Foundation's H.A.R.T Fund.
The H.A.R.T. Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust) provides for blues musicians and their families who are in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns including acute, chronic, or preventative medical or dental care, as well as funeral or burial expenses.
The song is a blast, a real old school treat that features fiddles, clarinet, mandolin, and sax. If you're not careful, you might find yourself singing along with Vickers and Margey Peters. Great music for a worthwhile cause is always a good thing, so do yourself a favor and stop by one of these sites and check it out.
Gadsden, AL-based harmonica player Jerry "Boogie" McCain passed away on Wednesday (3/28) at the age of 81. McCain was active from the early 50's until just before his death (he recently recorded a single commemorating the Alabama NCAA BCS Championship). He was influenced as a harmonica player by Little Walter, who actually gave the young McCain words of encouragement (and an opportunity to jam) during a stop in Gadsden. McCain recorded for Trumpet, Excello, Jewel, and Okeh in the 50's and 60's and some of his classics include "Steady," "She's Tuff" (also covered by the Fabulous Thunderbirds), "My Next Door Neighbor," "Trying To Please," and "That's What They Want."
McCain faded into obscurity for many years before resurfacing with Atlanta-based Ichiban Records, where he recorded several well-received albums, then a disc for Jericho Records that featured guest artists like Jimmie Vaughan, Johnnie Johnson, Anson Funderburgh, John Primer, and the SRV rhythm section (Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon). He last recorded with the Music Maker label back in 2006. He was a true original with his clever songwriting and friendly manner and will be missed, most especially in his native Gadsden.