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
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).
Brian & Dan
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