As I said in my inaugural post, I’ll occasionally post here something about the blues (or music generally). I grew up first on the usual pop music, and then graduated to classic rock as a teenager. My introduction to straight blues was a real revelation, one of those life-transforming events. On a bit of a whim I picked a cassette of Muddy Waters out of one of those $1.99 bins at a record store (yes, a cassette; I’m that old). It was one of his late recordings, Hard Again, produced by the great Johnny Winter. The first track on it is Mannish Boy, and when I first popped it into the stereo and played it, I knew I’d found something very special. The music spoke to me in a way that few things previously had.
Anyway, fast forward a few decades. Now I play in a blues band in New York City. It’s for fun, and it’s the kind of situation where we play small clubs and often times to just a handful of people (or once in a while to an empty room). But the band is really good, and we have a great time playing.
We had a gig the other night at a place called Desmond’s Tavern. Below are some photos and some YouTube links to clips of some of the songs. The clips are brief, a minute and a half or so each, just the highlights.
The 30th Street Blues Band Live at Desmond’s Tavern
Walking the Dog
By Rufus Thomas. It’s based on nursery rhymes:
Bright Lights Big City
By the great Jimmy Reed, one of the most important blues song writers:
Rock Me Baby
First recorded under this title by B.B. King, but based on earlier tunes, as so many classic blues songs were:
The classic by T-Bone Walker. Our take on it is inspired largely by the Allman Brothers’ version:
Got My Mojo Working
By Preston Foster, popularized by Muddy Waters: