Monday, December 26, 2005

Xmas in New Orleans

I spent last Christmas in New Orleans. The picture above was taken on Christmas Day. It was the first time in ten years that it had snowed in New Orleans. People were standing out in the street with smiles on their faces while kids threw snowballs and made little snowmen. We spent ten days there eating great food and watching outstanding music every day. Merry Christmas.

Here are two songs by Dr. John taken from a self titled album on Springboard. I couldn't find too much info about the album, but I'm pretty sure it's one of those greatest hits kind of albums you find on weird labels. "Xmas in New Orleans" should be pretty self explanatory. "Zuzu Man" has Dr. John talking his voodoo talk, but he sort of sounds like Santa Clause to me when he wishes everyone peace and happiness.

Xmas in New Orleans by Dr. John
Zuzu Man by Dr. John

Monday, December 19, 2005

Banana Daiquiris and Christmas

Daiquiri is one weird word. It sure doesn't look like it's spelled correctly to me. Now, you're probably asking yourself, "What the hell do banana daiquiris have to do with Christmas?" Good question. You'd have to ask Prince about that one; he's the one who wrote the lyrics to "Another Lonely Christmas." This guitar driven ballad which is found on the b-side of "I Would Die 4 U" also finds Prince talking about swimming naked in pools and "doing it" with the lights on.

Our second Christmas themed song is "Christmas Rappin'" from 1979. This was Kurtis Blow's first single and one of the earliest rap songs ever recorded. The popularity of this record earned Kurtis a contract with Mercury. He doesn't really seem to talk about Christmas too much after the first minute.

Another Lonely Christmas by Prince from I Would Die 4 U Extended Version 12"
Christmas Rappin' by Kurtis Blow from 12" Single

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Family Vibes

Ike Turner's original back up band was called The Kings of Rhythm. In 1971 Ike Turner produced and released an album called "Ike Turner Present's The Family Vibes 'Strange Fruit.'" The liner notes within the gatefold cover declare "Ike and Tina Turner's Band Formerly Known as the 'Kings of Rhythm' has changed it's name to "The Family Vibes". From that album we have a song called "Heap-A-Hole-Lot" that features some crazy ass effects on either a guitar or keyboard--I can't figure it out. It gets nice and noisy and that's what I like about it. The Family Vibes have another album called "Confined to Soul" which gives us the track "La Vamp" which is a cover of a Oliver Sain tune. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out the name of the actual tune being covered. All in all, the Family Vibes have got two pretty good albums full of bluesy instrumentals with a few vocals thrown in. Not quite as mind blowing as "A Black Man's Soul", but good stuff indeed.

Quick shout out to Killing Floor Blues for hooking me up with a link and some traffic.

Heap-A-Hole-Lot by The Family Vibes from Strange Fruit
La Vamp by The Family Vibes from Confined to Soul

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Funky Blues

Back in July I went to Chicago to visit a friend, buy records, and eat red hots. That trip started my quest for funky blues music. There were a few things that started this kick. First of all, I saw Kid Koala spin an awesome set that had some great blues tunes. Then, my friend Matt and I went to a little record sale in some guys basement in Wrigleyville. I picked up this Etta James Cover of "I Got You Babe". I remember once I dropped the needle from some guy's portable onto the record everyone's ears kind of perked up. While trying to avoid knocking my head on the low beams in the basement I was told to ALWAYS pick up Etta James records that are on Cadet. Not bad advice. I also pick up Etta James records when they're on Chess which is why I have the track "All the Way Down Slow" from her 1973 self titled album.

I've also included a track by Little Sonny from his album "New King of the Blues Harmonica." I picked this record up hoping for funky blues and got it. It's on the Enterprise label which is part of Stax records. Isaac Hayes's records are usually on Enterprise. Well, the entire album has got that Memphis feel to it. I also suspect that the backing band on this album is the Bar-Kays, but I can't confirm this because I'm too lazy to do all of the research.

Finally, big ups to Soul Shower for putting up a link to my blog and sending some traffic over here. You suckas just need to start posting some comments and I'll be able to sleep at night.

I Got You Babe by Etta James from Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions
All the Way Down by Etta James from Etta James

Eli's Pork Chop by Little Sonny from The New King of the Blues Harmonica