I picked up a collection of Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup originals. You might recognize his name as the man who wrote "That's All Right, Mama" and "My Baby Left Me," among other blues standards. I was enjoying every track, yet every track made me stop and think, "What the...?"
Now I'm just a drummer, so as you know, I can barely write my name in the ground with a stick, let alone talk "shop" with guitar players, but...I do know how to play a 1-4-5 blues. "Big Boy" never resolves. He never hits that third chord. Is this a technique? Is "Big Boy" Crudup known for this?
What I find amazing, and maybe I am the last to notice this is, Elvis plays "That's All Right" and "My Baby Left Me" with the 5. The third chord. But the originals, by the guy that wrote them, does not. So how does that happen? Did Sam Phillips say, "Hey cats, don't do it like that, do it like this?" Does this mean these two blues standards, not to mention just about everything on the Crudup collection, was rewritten with the 5?
Before all you axemen start sending me your cards and letters correcting my terminology, you can blame my friend and band mate. I called him and discussed this with him, confirming both what I was hearing and how to explain it.
Listen to these tracks.It's unnerving.