On an early Sunday morning about 25 years ago, my friend Rob and I got to work an hour or so earlier than the CD shop was scheduled to open. In an empty store on St. Mark's Place, over coffee and bagels, I was schooled in the blues. For over an hour, Rob played music by people he had been admiring for years, but who I had only heard about. He introduced me to the Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, at least two or possibly three Blind Willies and a man who instantly became a favorite, Mance Lipscomb. It was a great morning and still a great memory.
A month or so ago, TCM ran a marathon of Les Blank films. If you are unaware of Les Blank, I suggest tracking down every one of his films, which range from a tribute to garlic to documentaries on Lightnin' Hopkins and Zydeco king, Clifton Chenier. There isn't a bad film in the lot. I finally got around to watching Les Blank's film about Mance Lipscomb, "A Well Spent Life." This is a remarkable story, but rather than go into what Blank has captured so brilliantly, I'll say only this, in the few short minutes you get to see Mance Lipscomb play guitar, you might just think, during those minutes, that he is the greatest guitar player that has ever lived. It may not stick, but man alive, you will feel it for a little while.
That documentary brought me back to the blues hour with Rob and I remembered posting a mix of a DAT we created that same afternoon. Funny, not one Mance Lipscomb made the tape. It doesn't matter. Maybe Mance needs a mix all his own. But, here is a repost of that fine mix, mostly curated by Rob. I think you'll dig it, if you missed it the first time in 2010.
that's all i need- magic sam
candyman- reverend gary davis
tore up- otis rush
i'm satisfied- mississippi john hurt
mary had a little lamb- buddy guy
rag mama rag- blind boy fuller
messin' with the kid- junior wells
when the war was on- blind willie
bring it to jerome- bo diddley
love in vain- robert johnson
caress me baby- jimmy reed
viola lee blues- cannon jug jumpers
walkin' by myself- jimmie rodgers
diddy wah diddy- blind blake
wang dang doodle- howlin' wolf
jelly roll- taj mahal
mannish boy- muddy waters
t'aint nobody's business- bessie smith
Evans Shuffle- little walter
coffeehouse blues- lightnin' hopkins