Amoeblog

Women of the Blues Part II

Posted by Billyjam, March 31, 2012 06:31pm | Post a Comment

Etta James "I'd Rather Go Blind" (live 1992)

As part of the ongoing Amoeblog series honoring Women's History Month (Which ends today, March 31st), this blog is the second part of the two celebrating women blues artists. The first, earlier this week, focused on women from the classic blues era (circa 1920s), while this one takes a look/listen at women blues artists spanning the decades since.


Koko Taylor "Blues Never Die" (1975)


Big Mama Thornton "Bumble Bee Blues" (with Muddy Waters Band, 1966)

"When you in trouble blues is a girl's best friend" sings Koko Taylor on her 1975 recording of "Blues Never Die" (audio above). Taylor, like many of the longtime blues women here (including Big Mama Thornton, whose track "Bumble Bee Blues" with Muddy Waters Band is also above) have also been categorized over the years as rhythm and blues, rock & roll, and jazz. The late great Etta James, who we lost just two months ago, is an example of a blues artist who was also classified as jazz, rhythm & blues, rock n roll, and gospel too. A 1992 concert version of her singing "I'd Rather Go Blind" - written by Ellington Jordan and co-credited to Billy Foster but first recorded by Etta James in 1968 - appears above. As we know, the moving song has in the years since become a standard for countless artists to cover.

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I'm a little bit country...

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 29, 2012 06:30pm | Post a Comment
By Kaitlin

Growing up, I was never allowed to fiddle with the radio in the car. I listened to whatever my folks were listening to and that was that. I knew kids who would get in the car and change the music, turn it up, and I was a little jealous. In retrospect, I realize that I received a huge musical education in those car trips that I wouldn’t trade for a pile of gold. Seriously!

In my dad’s car was where I first heard the Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Bob Wills, Jimmie Rodgers, and so on and so on. In honor of Women’s History Month, I’d like to share some of my memories about hearing these legendary, moving, and talented women.Loretta Lynn

I believe I first heard of Loretta Lynn when watching Coal Miner’s Daughter, the film based upon her life starring Sissy Spacek. She grew up dirt poor and skyrocketed to fame with an amazing voice and moving storytelling in her songs. She was a strong woman and sang about issues that real, working women dealt and still deal with such as cheating men, being a single mother, birth control, and divorce, among other themes.

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Saluting Women Artists of the Classic Blues Era

Posted by Billyjam, March 28, 2012 06:39pm | Post a Comment
In observance of the ongoing Amoeblog series honoring Women's History Month, this blog salutes women blues singers from the classic blues era. I will also post a second part celebrating women blues artists from later decades. But for now, I am focusing on the classic blues era of a century ago. It was a time when these women artists were pioneers by being both among the very first black singers and  blues artists to be recorded.

This first wave of recorded female blues was spearheaded by such American music legends as Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Mamie Smith (no relation to Bessie), and of course Ma Rainey.  Born in 1886, Ma Rainey earned the title “Mother of the Blues” for being instrumental in bringing the music to the public first. She is credited with both influencing all other female blues singers that came after her and with being the first to perform the blues on stage as popular entertainment. This she did when, at the turn of the century, she first incorporated blues into her broader vaudeville act that was built around comedy bits and show songs of the time. As legend has it Rainey would close every show with a song about a woman losing her man that she called “The Blues." Rainey, along with her husband Pa Rainey, is credited with discovering Bessie Smith on one of her early tours.

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La Santa Cecilia's El Valor & Selena's Enamorada De Ti

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 26, 2012 07:51am | Post a Comment
La Santa CeciliaIf you couldn’t make it to La Santa Cecilia’s record release party at the La Fonda over the weekend (especially those under 21) you have another chance. La Santa Cecilia will be doing an in-store performance at Amoeba Records Hollywood on Monday, March 26th at 7pm in celebration of their latest release, El Valor.

El Valor finds the band interpreting songs by such artists as Caifanes, U2, Lhasa De Sela, and Soft Cell. Each song is given the La Santa Cecilia treatment: part Cumbia, Mariachi, Bolero, Ranchera, and Latin Pop. Much like one of my favorite cover albums, CafĂ© Tacuba’s classic Avalancha De Exitos, El Valor is sincere without the trappings of being ironic. Each song is an attempt not only at reinterpretation, but a challenge to top the original.

La Santa Cecilia musicianship is sublime, without a doubt. Still, it would be hard not to single out their lead singer, La Marisol. She is often quoted as being the soul of the group. Her sound is unique in that one can hear generations of influences yet she manages not to sound derivative. When I hear her voice, I feel like a cook trying to guess the ingredients of a great dish only to come to the conclusion that the food is great.

Selena Enamorada De Ti On Tuesday, April 3rd, a new collection of reinvented Selena will be released to commemorate what would have been her 40th birthday. The songs that make the Enamorada De Ti album are some of her biggest hits redone with modern pop artists, including Samo from the group Camila, Don Omar, and Selena Gomez. According to the producer, Selena’s brother and main songwriter A.B. Quintanilla III, it was a way to imagine what Selena would be doing musically if she were alive.

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Che-Che-Che-Che-Che-Che-Cherry Bomb: Women Rockers in the Seventies

Posted by Billyjam, March 24, 2012 03:50pm | Post a Comment
          
The Runaways "Cherry Bomb" (Live in Japan 1977)

In honor of Women's History Month I have gone back and dug up some of my all time favorite female rockers from the seventies via the series of music videos above & below. An obviously subjective list; it is based on both quality of artist and availability of corresponding YouTube video clips on said artist. Including both all female bands and female fronted bands these videos are culled from sometime in the decade of the '70's and range from hard rock to punk rock. Topping this list of artists/videos is the pitch perfect Runaways timeless hit "Cherry Bomb" from a show during a 1977 tour of Japan.

Others included below are the late great Poly Styrene with X-Ray Spex performing "On Bondage! Up Yours!" (from 1977 Punk In London documentary), Patti Smith and band doing a spine-tingling version of "Gloria" live in Germany in 1979, American born, British rocker Suzi Quatro's 1973 hit "48 Crash," and the early 70's killer American female rock quartet Fanny (who I saw Job O Brother also highlighted in a recent Amoeblog) doing two songs on the UK TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test. The other female rockers spotlighted below are Penelope Houston with the Avengers live in SF in 1978 care of Target Video, Siouxsie  (Sioux) and the Bansheesin 1978 doing "Hong Kong Garden," and The Slits from their 1979 debut album Cut and their song "Typical Girls" - featuring the late great Ari Up (Ariane Forster) who died of cancer two years ago.


X-Ray Spex feat Poly Styrene "Oh Bondage Up Yours" (1977)

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