Musty's Early Influences (Country, blues, jazz, folk, etc) - Page 2

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Thread: Musty's Early Influences (Country, blues, jazz, folk, etc)

  1. #11
    Well, to be fair, I do grade pretty hard

    I'm glad you like them though. We all have different tastes of course. When I was on the music forum, there was a guy who was an absolute Led Zeppelin fanatic. You didn't dare suggest anything they did rated any less than a ten, even Presence . I think my criticism of Billie Holiday was that I thought her fifties output was uneven (btw- I reviewed her Lady in Satin album in another thread). I'd probably rate her thirties and forties material closer to a 9. As for Hank Williams, well, I have to admit I like some country artists better, Johnny Cash obviously is one but there are cuts from artists such as Webb Pierce and Jean Shepherd that I think are somewhat superior. Again, it's all a matter of personal taste.

    PS- Oh come on, what's wrong with an 8? I think Leadbelly is great
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  2. #12
    Yep, Billie was deep in an opioid addiction, and under constant threat of indictment by the local DA in her final years.
    But in her day, she was truly archetypal in her genre.
    She was the yardstick by which others were measured.

    Yes, Leadbelly was awesome.
    I am a huge fan of old-school blues, before white guys started singing it.
    White Boy blues are rockier. Still good, but not as true-blue as the classics.

  3. #13
    NAT KING COLE ( Jazz, pop)

    Favorite Songs: Nature Boy, Route 66, Pretend, Ramblin Rose

    Not really a rock n roll pioneer, but certainly a major player in the pop music era in the early fifties, Nat King Cole was able to do what others weren’t. In many ways he broke the color barrier and made it acceptable for white audiences to listen to black artists at a time when such a thing might have been considered a Communist plot. He even was able to secure a television variety show later though it wouldn’t be very successful (Advertisers wouldn’t buy time). How did he do this? Well, there were the mostly gentle songs that he crafted for the most part. Some of his best material stands up even today. He enjoyed a reasonably long successful career from his days with the King Cole Trio to a couple major hits in the early 1960’s. Sadly, lung cancer would cut his life short, but his legend forever lives on.

    The Review: I think I could go either way with Cole. Some of his material clearly falls under easy listening, which I can’t get into, but the best of his material, particularly Nature Boy and Route 66, I can listen to forever. Route 66, in particular, has so many great covers from the Rolling Stones to Depeche Mode, that it has to be considered as one of pop music’s greatest songs. So, all in all, while he’s not my favorite artist overall, he still rates a pretty good listen.

    Nat King Cole Links:

    Route 66
    Straighten Up and Fly Right
    Nature Boy
    Mona Lisa
    Ramblin Rose (From a 1963 BBC special)

    Rating (Out of Ten) : 7

    Nat King Cole pages:
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    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  4. #14
    JIMMIE RODGERS (country, folk)

    Favorite Songs: Blue Yodel No.1 (T For Texas), In the Jailhouse Now, Blue Yodel No 8 (Muleskinner Blues)

    One of the true pioneers in not only rock n roll, but in modern country music, Jimmie Rodgers started out working on the railroad which would explain his many songs about trains. Tuberculosis would cut that career short and Rodgers moved his direction to his first love, music. He was most famous for his string of yodel singles, each one being numbered, thirteen in all. T For Texas, In the Jailhouse Now, and the Mule Skinner Blues are still to this day considered country classics. Though becoming popular within his genre, the tuberculosis would take its toll and Rodgers would pass away in 1933.

    The Review: Basically it is a man and his guitar on most of his songs. It’s really simplicity at its finest. He also writes some pretty decent lyrics as with In the Jailhouse Now. Now to be honest, I tend to want to listen more to early blues during the period of the early thirties, but the best of Jimmie Rodgers certainly rates as a pleasant alternative.

    Jimmie Rodgers Links:

    T For Texas
    In the Jailhouse Now
    Mule Skinner Blues
    Jimmie Rodgers’ Last Blue Yodel (Blue Yodel No.13)

    Rating (Out of Ten) : 8

    Jimmie Rodgers page:
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    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  5. #15

    Favorite Songs: Der Fuerher’s Face, You Always Hurt the One You Love, Cocktails For Two, All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth

    Needless to say, this novelty act influenced absolutely nobody in the rock field, unless you count Weird Al Yankovic. This demented character and his City Slickers were known for parodying the hits of the day with versions of You Always Hurt the One You Love and Cocktails For Two. He could also lampoon those in the news, notoriously Adolf Hitler in his classic, Der Fuerher’s Face. Most of their songs featured the signature horn with a few other sound effects in between. This was needless to say, a great relief from the pathos that was World War Two.

    The Review: I can name the novelty acts I actually like on one hand, Weird Al Yankovic the first that comes to mind, Dickie Goodman would be another. And Spike Jones and baby make three, well, Spike Jones does anyway. I always like the pundits that can shoot people with their spritzer bottles proverbially speaking of course. They’re fun to listen to and you don’t worry about whether their song is a classic or not, mainly because they were busy destroying other peoples’ classics

    Spike Jones Links:

    You Always Hurt the One You Love
    Der Fuerher’s Face
    Cocktails For Two
    William Tell Overture

    Rating (Out of Ten) : 7.5

    Spike Jones on Wiki
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    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  6. #16

    Favorite Songs
    : Love in Vain, Cross Road Blues, Hell Hound On My Trail, Devil Got My Woman

    There isn’t a lot known about this artist who died under mysterious circumstances at the age of twenty-seven, Legend has it that he made a deal with the devil to record twenty-nine songs over a two year span from 1936 to 1937. His passionate, raw, acoustic classics like I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom, Cross Road Blues, and Love in Vain among others were among his classic songs. He died without much recognition but his records would attract artists in the British Blues Boom decades later from the Rolling Stones to Eric Clapton and he now lives on as one of the greatest blues legends of all times.

    The Review: I know I’m going to get some bazookas pointed at me on this one, especially from Ralph I’m sure, but, frankly, there are other blues artists from the same era I’d have to say I like better including the original Sonny Boy Williamson and Son House. That’s not to say I don’t like Robert Johnson (and I think it’s safe to say the Rolling Stones loved him), but I don’t think his output is all that consistent and (tries to hide) I think he might even be a little overrated. That doesn’t take away from his legend though.

    Robert Johnson links:

    Crossroad Blues
    Sweet Home Chicago
    Hellhound on My Trail
    Love in Vain

    Rating (out of ten): 7

    Robert Johnson Page:
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    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  7. #17
    SON HOUSE (Blues, folk blues, gospel)

    Favorite Songs: John the Revelator, Death Letter Blues, My Black Mama, President Kennedy

    Son House started out as a preacher in the 1920s. He enjoyed a fascination for blues that same decade and began recording singles as early as 1930. After a two year stint in a penitentiary for a shooting that was actually in self defense, Son House joined up with Charlie Patton and Willie Brown in Lula, Mississippi. It was those equally legendary blues musicians where Son House would make his first recordings. House had a certain gospel feel to his music with songs like John the Revelator, which he sang acapella. House later recorded for the Library of Congress in the early 1940s before giving up blues for a time. He reemerged in the sixties and would make appearances as well as record a couple albums until his death in 1988.

    The Review: I would submit to you that Son House is indeed the father of the acoustic blues. Because of his religious background, I think his fervor put a great energy into his music. He is said to have been conflicted between his religious beliefs and his flirtations with must have been considered the devil’s music in his day. In any event, I can’t think of any blues artists pre John Lee Hooker or Howlin Wolf that I like better. It’s amazing what one can do with nothing but a guitar in hand or, in the case of my favorite Son House song, John the Revelator, no instruments at all.

    Son House links:

    My Black Mama

    John the Revelator

    Death Letter Blues

    President Kennedy

    Rating (Out of ten): 10 (yeah, he’s that good)

    Son House Pages:
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    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  8. #18
    THE WEAVERS (Folk)

    Favorite Songs: Wimoweh, Kisses Sweeter Than Wine, If I Had a Hammer, The Battle Cry of Freedom

    The Weavers were a folk quintet that formed out of Greenwich Village in 1947. They were known for their folk classics such as Goodnight Irene and Wimoweh. The Weaver were also the springboard for the folk legend Pete Seeger who would be a major influence on major folk artists such as Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul, and Mary. They got involved with band leader Gordon Jenkins and would score a big hit with Goodnight Irene in 1950. Unfortunately, if the Weavers were guilty of anything, it was bad timing, as they would run afoul of Joseph McCarthy and his Un-American Activities committee. You see, the Weavers had rather liberal tendencies. Thus their career was over by 1953, or was it? They made a bit of a comeback in the late fifties and Pete Seeger emerged as one of the great folk legends even as the Weavers would be banned from NBC for not signing a loyalty oath in 1962. Nevertheless, the legend shines on.

    The Review: Pete Seeger is absolutely one of my favorite all time people. Not only did he get to host a local show on the folk artists of the day in the early sixties after the major folk acts refused to play on ABC’s Hootenanny because of the loyalty oath deal, he also made appearances for liberal causes all the way until his death just a few years ago. My favorite moment was when Seeger was on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour singing Big Time in the Big Muddy under protest from CBS (this was the middle of the Vietnam War). As for the Weavers’ music, I can’t say I like the Gordon Jenkins added songs that much (though god bless him for associating himself with the Weavers in the first place). But their straight up folk songs are quite good and even devilishly subversive at times. The Weavers are definitely a must for folk fans as I am to an extent.

    Weaver links

    Goodnight Irene
    Kisses Sweeter Than Wine
    If I Had a Hammer

    Rating (out of ten): 8

    Weavers page:
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