Tag Archives: Robert Johnson

May 18 – Five Years of River Songs


The river to the ocean goes,
a fortune for the undertow.
None of this is going my way.
There is nothing left to throw
of Ginger, lemon, indigo,
coriander stem and rose of hay.
Strength and courage overrides
the privileged and weary eyes
of river poet search naivete.
Pick up here and chase the ride.
The river empties to the tide.
All of this is coming your way .
“Find The River” – R.E.M.

As humans, we are taught early in life to gauge success with tangible tools of measurement – grades, height, wealth, etc. But these measurements rarely take into account the intangible – emotions, happiness, satisfaction, love and friendship. Even music sets a structure of time, rhythm and beat. But the very best music makes us feel something else, something transcendent and beautiful. Today marks the end of the 5th season of Great River Radio. On our best days, we hope you discovered a song or two that made your heart swoon or allowed you to be lost in the moment – if just for a minute or two – during a busy day.

The constant, reliable flow of a river can also conjure up feelings of solace and grace, transporting us to places unexpected. But this spring we are again reminded that rivers can devastate and destroy, too. Perhaps, that is why so many artists are drawn to the river metaphor. Rivers represent a life cycle – often unpredictable – of birth, baptism, life, death and rebirth. Rivers run deep symbolism. For the last five years we have started most of our shows with a “river song.” Not surprisingly, we have had many wonderful songs to choose from. So, to celebrate the close of our fifth year, Great River Radio is pleased to present a very special afternoon of river songs.

Today you will hear deep south river songs by Bessie Smith, Aaron Neville and The Bottle Rockets. Great River Radio favorites Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Uncle Tupelo, Cloud Cult and The Decemberists will offer their take on the river song. And we’ll have river tracks from such diverse artists as Los Lobos, Brian Eno, Mavis Staples, Carrie Rodriguez, Robert Johnson and Richard Thompson. An eclectic mix to be sure. But would you expect anything less from the Great River Radio music staff?

As always, we are grateful that so many of you are able to tune into Great River Radio – either live or via the website. Please take a moment to join us today for our final show of the season. And have a great summer!

Peace … like a river.

Brian and Dan

Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
Facebook
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Going Down To The River-Fred McDowell
Backwater Blues-Bessie Smith
Louisiana 1927-Aaron Neville
Get Down River-The Bottle Rockets
A River Runs Through It-Mark Isham
Especially Me-Low
I Follow Rivers-Lykke Li
By This River-Brian Eno
Big River-Johnny Cash
Big Sun Falling In The River-Richard Thompson
Green River-M. Ward
Down On The Riverbed-Los Lobos
High Water-Uncle Tupelo
Down By The Water-The Decemberists
Find The River-REM
Wide River To Cross-Carrie Rodriguez
River Knows Your Name-John Hiatt
Black River-Amos Lee
Harlem River Blues-Justin Townes Earle
Travelling Riverside Blues-Robert Johnson
Many Rivers To Cross-The Walkmen
Ballad Of Easy Rider-The Byrds
Watching The River Flow-Bob Dylan
When Water Comes To Life-Cloud Cult

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March 23 – Back in Blues


Well, I got up this mornin
woh-all I had was gone
Well-ah leave this mornin if I have to
woh ride the blind ah
I’ve feel mistreated and I
don’t mind dyin
Well, some people tell em that the worried
blues ain’t bad
Worst old feelin I most
ever had.
Robert Johnson – “Walking Blues”

Way back in December 2007, the Great River Radio staff pulled together a “History of the Blues” show. We took a trip from the far south, starting our journey at the home of the blues in the Mississippi Delta. From there we travelled up the mighty Mississippi River, taking time to track the deep influence of the blues. We examined different forms of the blues – Delta, Jump, Chicago and electric, as well as some of the music genres that were borne of out this truly American music – some strains of country and jazz, bluegrass and rock and roll. It was a show that was as fun to produce as it was to listen to.

Four years later, not much has changed. The blues are still with us, and its influence is more evident than ever. So, why don’t the blues get any respect? We’ll explore that question today. The 2007 show served as a deep history lesson (from south to north), whereas today’s show, “Back in Blues,” will take more of a latitudinal approach. We’ll look across the vast spectrum of music and discuss how the blues serves as a foundation for much of the music we listen to and often play on Great River Radio.

We’ll have a special set of music that draws a straight line from Robert Johnson in the 1930s to The Black Keys performing today (with listening stops at Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and the Rolling Stones). There are a surprising number of current artists who recognize and incorporate the power of the blues into their songwriting and performances. We’ll have a set of young blues from The Tallest Man on Earth (Sweden?!), Justin Townes Earle and Mark Growden, as well as a track from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ beautiful Raising Sand LP from 2007. Speaking of Ms. Krauss, have you ever noticed that the blues is often thought of as a man’s world? We’ll hear a set from our better halves – including Billie Holiday, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Lucinda Williams. We’ll also take a stroll on the eclectic side – finding the pulse of the blues beating strong in icons as such as Tom Waits and R.L. Burnside.  And finally, we’ll look locally, and unearth some bluesy selections from the Minnesota music scene.

You are not going to want to miss today’s “Back in Blues” show on Great River Radio. So, set your Outlook calendars and tune in at 4:15 p.m. central. And catch us again at your convenience via the Great River Radio website (details below).

Peace.

Brian & Dan

Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
Facebook
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Death Don’t Have No Mercy-Reverend Gary Davis
Stones In My Passway-Robert Johnson
Red Rooster-Howlin’ Wolf
Rollin’ Stone-Muddy Waters
You Shook Me-Willie Dixon
Gimme Shelter-Rolling Stones
Howlin’ For You-The Black Keys
Take A Little Walk With Me-Robert Lockwood Jr.
Come On In This House-Junior Wells
With The Quickness-James Cotton
Like The Wheel-The Tallest Man On Earth
Harlem River Blues-Justin Townes Earle
You Ain’t Never Been Loved-Mark Growden
Killing The Blues-Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again-North Mississippi Allstars
Milk Cow Calf Blues-John Hammond
I’d Rather Go Blind-Etta James
I Never Loved A Man-Aretha Franklin
Drunken Angel-Lucinda Williams
Way Down In The Hole-Tom Waits
It’s Bad You Know-R.L. Burnside
Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie-Pinetop Perkins

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