Friday, February 10, 2012

I Been Living the Blues

by Brendan Cavnagh

I apologize for not creating my regular Thursday post, but I've been so bogged down on an insurmountable amount of homework. I had to read three novels in around one week! I wasn't able to keep upon my reading assignments because of a combination of genuinely reluctant apathy and lack of time. While I've struggled to keep my head above water (I thought one of my many resolutions for 2012 was to avoid using cliches in my writing), what's gotten me through a plethora of admittedly good books- Jane Eyre for British Literature, The Rise of Silas Lapham for American Literature and The World to Come for my privileged Midrash class.- has been my recently renewed interest what I've quickly dubbed through multiple explanations as "primitive, African-American, finger-pickin' blues," played by the likes of Robert Johnson, Leadbellly, Mississippi John Hurt and the like. I only name-drop the latter three because they're pretty much all I know about right now, though I'm steadily enhancing my repertoire. To be fair, my interest in the genre has extensive, close ties to other musical tastes of mine- namely. Norman Blake, the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack and even Bob Dylan or Joan Baez.

Seeing as I'm posting my Thursday post on a Friday night / Saturday morning (depending on how you look at it), I'll save the time of writing brief, informative biographies of the aforementioned three blues guitarists and simply post a link to my current favorite song from each (and I mean current).

Mississippi John Hurt - "Pay Day" (1964?)

Leadbelly- "Pick A Bale Of Cotton " (1940)

Robert Johnson- "Kindhearted Woman Blues" (1936)

(Honorable mention, hailing from the Gangs of New York soundtrack) Sidney Stripling "Breakaway" (1941)

(Another honorable mention, revealed unto me through the movie Sounder) Lightnin' Hopkins - "Needed Time" (1950)

Follow the links. Educate yourselves.

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