Nile, Danube. Blues Are The Rivers

From ‘Goin’ to Sit Down on the Banks of the River’ to ‘Watching The River Flow’, we have mixed 19 ‘Mostly Blues‘ tunes around the theme of ‘Rivers‘. It has Louis Armstrong, Roscoe Holcomb, Bo Diddley, Blind Gary Davis and many more.

IMAGE : Horseshoe bend Photo by Wolfgang Staudt

Songfacts: An interesting experiment: Listen to Robert Johnson’s original recording of “Traveling Riverside Blues”. Then listen to Led Zeppelin‘s version. Led Zep’s is far, far away from the original and includes lines from so many Delta blues song as to leave yer head spinning.

Delta-Slider : Ragtime Ralph has always shared his music freely. Strictly oldtime blues, mostly fingerpicking and a little bit of very primitive stuff. He doesn’t do much singing but when he does it is a low, growl.

Carlos Del Junco : Born in Havana, Cuba, del Junco (loosely translated “of the reeds”) immigrated with his family at the age of one. He bent his first note on a harmonica when he was fourteen, making his debut with his high school math teacher at a student talent night.

YouTube : Mattie Doyle, (who probably married a man with the surname of Delaney in her youth), was born in the community of Tchula, MS. on the Northern side of the Delta.

Charlie Musselwhite : “Blues is tough,” Charlie Musselwhite explains. He could just as easily be talking about himself. Described by the San Jose Mercury News as, “the second coming of Led Zeppelin, with Tom Waits on vocals,” Charlie and his band embody the direct and timeless power of the blues.

allmusic : Mickey Baker originally aspired to be a jazz musician, but turned to calypso, mambo, and then R&B, where the most work could be found.

The Magazine for Traditional Music throughout the world : Body ravaged through years of work in the coal mines, farming, and such, Holcomb would sit on his porch, pick his guitar or pluck a banjo, singing the songs of his surroundings in such a fashion that totally clashed with the coming tide of modernism.

Doctor Boom : In the spoken introduction to the Capital Blues Collection I Don’t Play No Rock ‘N’ Roll Mississippi Fred Mc Dowell says, ” My type of blues, I play it with a bottleneck, you understand, see – rib what come out of a steak.” Mississippi Fred later switched to a glass bottleneck because “it get’s more clear sound out of it.”

PLAYLIST : Blind Gary Davis – Goin’ to Sit Down on the Banks of the River (2.58) . Ragtime Ralph – Fraser River Delta Blues (3.20) . Carlos Del Junco – Movin’ Down The River Rhine (3.58) . Mattie Delaney – Tallahatchie River Blues (2.45) . Freddie King – Woman Across The River (3.46) . Charlie Musselwhite – Blues Up The River (2.34) . Dinah Washington – Cry Me A River (2.29) . Louis Armstrong – Up A Lazy River (3.10) . Jazz Crusaders – Moon River (4.40) . Taj Mahal & Ry Cooder – If The River Was Whiskey (2.42) . Bo Diddley – Old Man River (2.24) . Mickey Baker – River Boat (2.33) . Ray Charles – I’m Going Down to the River (3.03) . Roscoe Holcomb – Boat’s up the River (3.49) . Blind Willie McTell – I Got to Cross the River Jordan (4.36) . Leon Russell – Watching The River Flow (3.40) . Aretha Franklin – River’s Invitation (2.38) . Janis Joplin – River Jordan (3.51) . Fred McDowell – Goin’ Down To The River (8.21) . Robert Johnson – Traveling Riverside Blues (2.43) .


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