For Something Old, let's take a look at Skip James performing at the 1966 Newport Folk Festival. James recorded some amazing performances for Paramount Records in the early 30's, but they didn't sell well, and a dejected James gave up the music, becoming choir director at his father's church and eventually becoming ordained as a Baptist and Methodist minister over the next thirty years.
|Skip James (Photo by Dick Waterman)|
Elmore is a first-rate guitarist, as you'll hear on the video, but he also impresses with his soulful vocal style. He wrote most of the songs on the disc, but covers everyone from Buck Owens ("Buckaroo") to William Bell (a smooth cover of "You Don't Miss Your Water") to the late Sean Costello ("Don't Pass Me By"). His new disc will please not only blues fans, but fans of rock and soul, too.....definitely worth a listen.
For Something Borrowed, we visit with a pair of blues legends....Taj Mahal and James Cotton. Back in the late 90's, House of Blues had their own record label for a couple of years and they came up with a series of albums where blues artists covered rock songs by particular artists who were inspired by the blues. These included albums of songs by Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones.
|Hound Dog Taylor and friend|
When I plugged this cassette into my truck stereo and "She's Gone" began blasting through my speakers, my world changed. This was the rawest, most ragged, relentless, and raucous blues I'd ever heard. Taylor's guitar sounded like it was strung with barbed wire. Second guitarist Brewer Phillips was equally unhinged, yet together, their playing was incredible.....it was almost like they could read each other's minds sometimes.
Taylor recorded three discs for Alligator, two studio and one live recording, before he passed away from cancer in 1975, but his legend lives on. If you're a blues fan, you must have at least one Hound Dog Taylor album in your collection (this one is a great place to start). He was one of a kind.