Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Blues Hour Revisited

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


steve simels said...

Is that the original HW "Wang Wang Doodle" or the remake with those pasty faced Brits from the "London Sessions" album.

I actually kind of prefer the latter, if truth be told...

Sal Nunziato said...

It's the original, and I prefer the latter, as well. But it's not what made this comp, which is something we put together in 1991.

charlie c. said...


steves said...

Haven't listened to it yet, but I love it already. Thanks, Sal!

And FWIW, the London Sessions' "Wang Dang Doodle" rocks--in no small part due to Clapton's brilliant playing.

Eric said...


Noam Sane said...

What, no Walter Trout?

Ahhh, West Side Soul. I lived inside that album for a few months, a long time ago...Magic Sam is the bomb.

There's a tremendous live version of "Wang Dang" on one of those Atlantic Blues comps, by Willie Dixon and Koko Taylor.

Nice mix, thanks Sal.

Meanstreets said...

Thanks for this Sal....
I thought you may have forsaken us " roots " guys....

Did you post this with Meanstreets in mind ?
In my own little world, you did............

misospecial said...

a nice palate cleanser, all this dirty blues. mighty fine sweaty summer listening.

Music lover said...

great mix of blue can not wait to here it thanks fro you posting

buzzbabyjesus said...

Always good to hear the real thing. A lot of "Blues Abuse" out there, perpetrated mostly by white guys in hats.

jeff said...

Highly recommend Rhino's "Blues Masters" series that came out maybe twenty years ago. Each cd is another form of blues, and there are probably fifteen or twenty of them.

whattawino said...

Sal, I love it when you work "Blue" .....seriously great mix here, man. Big thanks to you...and Rob.

steves said...

Mance was indeed the real deal...used a pocket knife for a slide and plays in this clip with a giant splint on his picking hand. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

Oh, and thanks (again) for this great comp!

dogbreath said...

A tasty big dollop of the blues served up for my breakfast. Very nice. Many thanks for the early Xmas present!

iggy said...

Hi Sal. Much appreciation for the blues, blues, blues offerings. My own education, in a great record store here in Portland, was along similar lines, and it continues to this day. Joyful holidays to you and yours, Sir.


Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, the Blind Willie on your comp sounds like Blind Willie Johnson, as opposed to McTell or Walker (musta been bad luck to be born Willie back in the day......).
C in California

izzy said...

Thank you for the blues, Sal. Boom boom boom boom.

A walk in the woods said...

This is a really, really good comp of country & 'lectric blues. Thanks man!