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Favorite Blues Singer(s)?

GUEST 03 Jul 12 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,David E. 03 Jul 12 - 08:44 PM
Leadfingers 03 Jul 12 - 08:53 PM
Bobert 03 Jul 12 - 09:09 PM
Crowhugger 03 Jul 12 - 09:20 PM
GUEST 03 Jul 12 - 09:50 PM
GUEST,999 03 Jul 12 - 11:02 PM
Seamus Kennedy 04 Jul 12 - 12:49 AM
Jack the Sailor 04 Jul 12 - 01:23 AM
Neil D 04 Jul 12 - 02:09 AM
Owen Woodson 04 Jul 12 - 06:57 AM
Dave Sutherland 04 Jul 12 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 04 Jul 12 - 08:11 AM
Owen Woodson 04 Jul 12 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,gillymor 04 Jul 12 - 02:23 PM
Acorn4 04 Jul 12 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,Doc John 04 Jul 12 - 05:57 PM
Bobert 04 Jul 12 - 10:07 PM
ollaimh 04 Jul 12 - 10:29 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 04 Jul 12 - 11:09 PM
Elmore 05 Jul 12 - 10:21 AM
blinddrunkal 05 Jul 12 - 11:21 AM
ollaimh 05 Jul 12 - 10:45 PM
GUEST,999 06 Jul 12 - 12:48 AM
Bobert 06 Jul 12 - 08:52 AM
blinddrunkal 06 Jul 12 - 11:42 AM
The Sandman 06 Jul 12 - 01:25 PM
blinddrunkal 06 Jul 12 - 01:56 PM
Bobert 06 Jul 12 - 02:14 PM
Elmore 06 Jul 12 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,sturgeon 06 Jul 12 - 02:40 PM
Elmore 06 Jul 12 - 03:07 PM
Bobert 06 Jul 12 - 04:19 PM
alanabit 06 Jul 12 - 05:19 PM
Bobert 06 Jul 12 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,Dave Illingworth 07 Jul 12 - 01:11 PM
Bobert 07 Jul 12 - 06:57 PM
GUEST,Dave Illingworth 08 Jul 12 - 03:44 AM
Bobert 08 Jul 12 - 09:45 AM
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Subject: Favoirte Blues Singer(s)?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 04:03 PM

To me this is a tough question. I'd say Sleepy John Estes, Tommy Johnson, Charlie Patton.


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Subject: RE: Favoirte Blues Singer(s)?
From: GUEST,David E.
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 08:44 PM

My personal favorite is Brownie McGhee.


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Subject: RE: Favoirte Blues Singer(s)?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 08:53 PM

Sidewalk Bob is always good at a session !


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Subject: RE: Favoirte Blues Singer(s)?
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 09:09 PM

Forget me, Lead...

Sheet fire, here are the real deal and not hacks like me:

Son House
Johnny Shine
Robert Johnson
Charlie Patton
Bukka White
Lightnin' Hopkins
Blind Lemon Jefferson
Elmore James
Lightin' Slim
Slim Harpo
Rev. Gary Davis...

...just for starters...

B~


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Subject: RE: Favoirte Blues Singer(s)?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 09:20 PM

Ma Rainey is definitely on my list.


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Subject: RE: Favoirte Blues Singer(s)?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 09:50 PM

"Subject: Favoirte Blues Singer(s)?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 04:03 PM

To me this is a tough question. I'd say Sleepy John Estes, Tommy Johnson, Charlie Patton."

I fail to understand. Are you asking if they are your favorite (sic) blues singers or if we agree that they are your favorite (sic) blues singers?

No offense.


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Subject: RE: Favoirte Blues Singer(s)?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 11:02 PM

Sheesh, That post was me.


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Subject: RE: Favoirte Blues Singer(s)?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 12:49 AM

Doc Watson, Little Toby Walker, Mississippi John Hurt.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 01:23 AM

McKinley Morganfield, the Kings B.B. & Albert & Stevie Ray Vaughn are/were good.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Neil D
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 02:09 AM

Charlie Patton is probably my favorite bluesman but since the question is specifically about singers, nothing tingles my spine like Skip James' high mournful wail.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 06:57 AM

Fred McDowell, Fred McDowell and Fred McDowell. There's also Big Joe Williams, Bukka White, Skip James, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Son House, Robert Johnson, Lightnin' Hopkins, Little Brother Montgomery, Sleepy John Estes, Memphis Minnie and a whole lot more.

But Fred McDowell. WOW!


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 07:45 AM

There are so many but Muddy Waters and Albert King are at the top.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 08:11 AM

I have a theory ( I have lots of them!) that blues singers, who developed their style without the use of a microphone, have a different approach than those who were brought up singing into a mic.
I prefer the ones who fall into the former category e.g. Son House and Skip James.
Muddy Waters falls into both categories!
But I much prefer his early recordings rather that the recordings he made using his "microphone voice".


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 08:22 AM

I think you're right. In fact an awful lot of theorising on the so-called classic blues style of EG Bessie Smitth and Ma Rainey falls to bits when you realise these people were sing in virtually unamplified theatres, tents etc. Plus, in the early days of recording, before electric recording, a singer had to yell into the horn in order to make a decent impression on the wax cylinder.

And yes, I would think the same would apply to "country" blues singers, whose amplification would have been even more non-existent. And when you think of the places they used to sing, jook joints, street corners, open air picnics etc. There's even a story that Charley Patton once entertained a white crowd at a picnic, while singing on top of a bridge which adjoined the field. Just think how far anybody's voice would carry under those circumstances.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 02:23 PM

BB, Otis Rush, Little Milton, Charley Patton, Skip James, Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, Willie McTell, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Joan Osbourne....


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Acorn4
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 05:02 PM

Agree with Blind Willie - love this:-


Can't Keep From Crying


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: GUEST,Doc John
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 05:57 PM

Blind Blake (best guitarist?), Bline Willie McTell, Blind Willie Johnson.
Does Macyn Taylor count; her blues guitar work and singing are superb: witness her covers of BW Johnson and Robert Johnson


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 10:07 PM

Yes, Fred McDowell!!!

Father/grandfather of North Mississippi Hill Country blues and my hero of all heroes!!!

B~


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: ollaimh
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 10:29 PM

i'm glad bobert brought up mississippi john hurt, definitely my favourite. but i also had an old cassette tape of fred mcdowell that was great.might still have it in the back room--i'l have to dig it out --i rarely listen to cassettes anymore. with it i got a couple of blind willie mactell who was rough but very real and evocative--and a great guitar player.

and then there's rev gary davis. not a great voice either but lots of umph and loys and lots of great playing and phrasing. death don't have no merci in the land is a fabulous song.

so i have to give honourable mention to mathew ord. the young irish player who did a great cover of "the angels laid hin away" he may have a different accent but he's got the licks.

finally no one mentioned big bill bronzy-he shaped a generation.

so those are my favs. although i like everybody named

oh yeah , al mccready! from truro nova scotia, where i grew up. unknown but he was a great singer when i was growing up!on the local stuff. linda cavery has a cbc album that's right up there. hard to find if you don't get cbc recordings. she's from saint john new brunswick.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 11:09 PM

I'd also vote for Big Bill Broonzy.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Elmore
Date: 05 Jul 12 - 10:21 AM

Rev. Gary Davis helped me understand the Blues despite the fact that a lot of his repertoire was religious. His voice may not have been great, but it certainly was effective. Forty years after his death there are performers paying tribute to Rev. Davis by playing his music, and copying his guitar style. Not so well remembered, but still a true artist was Texas songster Mance Lipscomb.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: blinddrunkal
Date: 05 Jul 12 - 11:21 AM

can't belive nobody has mentioned Blind Lemon Jefferson! Such a shame he recorded for those Paramount cheap-skates.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: ollaimh
Date: 05 Jul 12 - 10:45 PM

yes mance liscomb! i haven't listened to him for years but he was on my old cassette collection and one of the best!

i found about twenty cassettes of old blues players in a bargin bin for twenty five cents each. still have them. i'll have to dig them out now and look for my cassette player.

there were a lot of unique guitar players. these were really old recordings, reissued. there were country influences, rag time influences(on twelve string guitar!) and jazz influences in many artists works.

however my all time fav remains john hurt


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 12:48 AM

John Hurt or Mississippi john Hurt, O?

IMO, JH wern't blues.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 08:52 AM

Mississippi John Hurt was more a Piedmont picker...

His daughter went to Howard University in Washington, D.C. and lived for a time with D.C.'s own barberand fantastic bluesman, Archie Edwards...

Then Mississippi John Hurt moved to the D.C. area and he and Archie not only performed together in the Mid Atlantic but also in Europe...

BTW, after Archie's death a non-profit was established and the famed Saturday barbershop blues continue to this very day... I was a regular fir many years and it was where I learned to play the blues...

B~


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: blinddrunkal
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 11:42 AM

based only on first hand experience of them playing live, Robert Pete Williams gave the most spine-tingling performance I've ever witnessed! J.B.Lenoir singing "Alabama Blues" and "I Sing 'Um the Way I Feel", Fred McDowell had me tingling from start to finish, B.B.King and Bobby Bland together - what a combination!,Big Joe Williams played 2 numbers and stomped off in a bad mood (but was still wonderful!), as for Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin' Wolf, Skip James, Sister Rosetta Tharpe (not strictly blues I know - but oh that guitar sound!).....I could go on....but won't!


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 01:25 PM

how do you define blues?, mance lipscomb and john hurt, may have been piedmont pickers as was etta baker, but they sang blues songs, but not exclusively, neither did broonzy or leadbelly or gary davis sing blues songs exclusively


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: blinddrunkal
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 01:56 PM

good point soldier! the players would play what they were requested to play - even Robert Johnson would do a Bing Crosby number if asked - it was the markets and producers who insisting on only recording their blues repertoire. This has left us with a distorted view of these entertainers I think.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 02:14 PM

Piedmont is quieter with more chording and cleaner picking... Mississippi is rowdier with much heavier and thumping bass and a slashing (mostly claw-hammer) picking style... Both employ 1-4-5 a lot but Mississippi players play alot more one chord or 2 chord (4-1 or 4-1,4-1-5-4-1 as in "Catfish Blues"... Also, you rarely find Piedmont players using slides or open tunings as opposed to Mississippi style blues...

Chicago and New Orleans blues employs more brass with a twist of jazz...

I'm sure that someone will jump on me for over simplification but, hey, I play both Piedmont and Mississippi blues and those are my observations...

B~


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Elmore
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 02:28 PM

I understand the distinction between Piedmont pickers and delta blues, but would, nevertheless classify John Hurt, Gary Davis, Mance Lipscomb, Jim Brewer, John Jackson etc., at least in the broad sense of the term, as blues players . I bet this topic has been discussed on Mudcat previously.Also, there are lots of people who are experts on the blues, who might disagree with me.Off topic, no matter how my musical taste changes, I love Rev. Davis, and listen to his recordings frequently.

g


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: GUEST,sturgeon
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 02:40 PM

Cassandra Wilson.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4Tu2IiZ3to


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Elmore
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 03:07 PM

Yes!


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 04:19 PM

Oh yeah, Elmore... All those folks are definitely blues players... BTW, I had the pleasure of spending two one week workshops with John Jackson before his death... He was fun to jam with... I also got to do some jamming with the "other, other John", John Cephas of Cephas & Wiggins before he died...

I'm sorry to say that John Hurt had passed before I started playing the Saturday jam at Archie Edwards Barbershop but there was (and still is) a nice pic of him at the barbershop...

B~


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: alanabit
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 05:19 PM

I would call MJH a bluesman, but I would readily concede that he was much more eclectic than say Son House or Lightnin' Hopkins. He was not a bad slide player either. I rate his version of Casey Jones, which absolutely lives from the slide. He did have a more ragtime feel to his playing and there was always that warm, compassionate laugh just behind his music.
I really admire Robert Johnson snd Skip James.Like a previous poster, I love the eerie wail of his voice and his open tuning minor key blues. For the electric players, I always loved that full, warm slide guitar of Elmore James. "Sho Nuff I Do" and "Quarter Past Nine" were favourites years ago when I had the album. Blind Blake was a tremendous guitarist, of course, but I like his world weary voice on "Police Dog Blues" too.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 07:32 PM

Yeah, Elmore James, alanabit...

I've done "It Hurts Me Too, for years but love everything about Elmore's music...

B~


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: GUEST,Dave Illingworth
Date: 07 Jul 12 - 01:11 PM

It's not easy. I love so many of the different singers that have been mentioned. In the end I looked at my record collection and did some counting. The great Big Joe Turner came out top - I have 23 of his LPs and 11 CDs, plus a few cassettes.
Over 45 years plus of recording, he covered classic blues, rhythm & blues and jazz and was comfortable in all contexts.
I was lucky enough to meet him after he had just done a sound-check for one of the blues package shows at the Royal Albert Hall in the late 1960s.   He was complaining of a sore throat. The only remedy i knew of in those days was Meggozones, so I dashed down to a chemist in Kensington High Street and bought a tin. Upon receipt of the lozenges he opened the lid and poured over half the contents down his throat.
I was worried that this could do some serious damage, but he sang like a dream at the evening concert.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Jul 12 - 06:57 PM

How the heck could I have left out Johnny Shines???

He's in my Top Ten!!!

His "Jim Strings" is in my Top Five Best blues songs...

B~


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: GUEST,Dave Illingworth
Date: 08 Jul 12 - 03:44 AM

Johnny Shines indeed. My favourite is his "Mr. Cover Shaker" album
(1974), which was apparently one of his favourites too.
Has anyone mentioned Freddy King ? Sometimes more known for his guitar playing and often dismissed for his later flirtations with funk and rock. But listen to his singing on earlier stuff like    "I Love The Woman" (1960) and "The Welfare Turns Its Back On You" (1962).
Then there are the great piano playing singers Champion Jack Dupree and Cousin Joe Pleasant. Both grew up in New Orleans, and it showed.
Both could move the listener, but they also had a lot of humour. This
"entertainer" side of the blues is often dismissed, sadly.
Then for me the daddy of the singer-pianists Leroy Carr. It was not just the voice and the songs but that wonderful combination of his piano and the magical guitar playing of Scrapper Blackwell.
Oh dear   - well I said Big Joe Turner earlier, so I had better stick with it........


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Subject: RE: Favorite Blues Singer(s)?
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Jul 12 - 09:45 AM

Going way back now, Dave...

Love those ol' blues players...

B~


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