3de Solo CD Jon Meyerjon | The Doggoners Blues Out

11 guys have performed musically in 4 evening sessions in the Bassman Studio.  The musical basis was pre-listened to the internet and during the recording, intuition and routine were the driving and creative forces.
This has resulted in a lively, varied album with contagious grooves.

You can order the CD with the Contacts form. Costs €10,-, includes shipping in Europe.

Nieuwe CD Greyhound Blues Band

Speciale jubileum-CD in een gelimiteerde oplage

DOGGONE LIVE ON RADIO BLUESWORLD
Registratie in Theater Landstede voor het radioprogramma Bluesworld van RTV ZOo Zwolle, het laatste optreden in het kader van onze 25-jarige jubileumtour.

Ruim 60 minuten Live Doggone Blues.
Zang en gitaar, Jon Meyerjon.
Bas, Martin van der Velde.
Drums, George Snijder.
Tijdens de jubileumtour werd de band aangevuld met Michiel Mens op hammondorgel.
Meer info op de website Greyhound Blues Band.

De CD kost € 5,00 (we rekenen € 3,00 voor de verzendkosten).
Bestellen via ons contactformulier..
U kunt ook € 8,00 overmaken op NL 03 INGB 0701 7906 01, tnv M.van der Velde, Rolde.
Onder vermelding van CD en uw adres.

Animals Part3 (37-39)

sayings_kwibus

In this column: Symbolic meaning of animals in blues lyrics, fattening frogs for snakes, monkey, dog, cat, kingsnake, catfish, PART3|
This column is about sayings and words in blues lyrics. For a Dutchman it is sometimes hard to understand, what a singer is singing. In earlier days, we copied lyrics from vinyl records. If we didn't understand, we used "an English sounding word". Now with internet one can find out what was said and what the meaning is.

FATTENING FROGS FOR SNAKES

Fattening frogs for snake, Sonny Boy Williamson

"It took me a long time, to find out my mistakes
Took me a long time, to find out my mistakes
(It sho' did man)
But I bet you my bottom dollar, I'm not fattenin' no more frogs for snakes"

The title ‘Fattening Frogs for Snakes’ refers to an old American proverb about putting loads of energy into something and not reaping the benefits. you spend ages fattening up a frog with lots of delicacies and then a big snake slips into his cage and eats him.
In Sonny Boy's song the frog is a woman and the snake an other man.

Sonny Boy with The Animals

Virginia Liston sang in 1925 "I'm sick of fattening frogs for snakes":

"I dressed him all up, though he was no good,
he played with all the girl's in the neighborhood.
So now I'm tired of fattening frogs for snakes."

Bumble Bee Slim's "Fattenin' frogs for snakes" (1935):

"You got your breakfast in the morning, your dinner on time.
I let you spend my dollar, just like you spend my dime.
I'm gettin' tired, baby, fattening frogs for snakes.
All these many years, baby, I'm just now seen my mistake."

"Fattening frogs for Snakes" was also the title of a book about the old blues musicians by John Sinclair. He compares the years of musical craftsmanship of the Delta blues musicians to fattening frogs for snakes. According to his take on things, these (mostly African American) blues men and women spent years honing their craft, and then suddenly all these white musicians swooped in in the 60s and had huge success by appropriating blues music.

johnsinclair-fatteningfrogsforsnakes

MONKEY

Sell My Monkey, Tampa Red (1942)
Monkey is "Female genitalia".

"It used to be hers, but she gave it to me
Why she wanna sell him, I just can't see

She wanna sell my monkey, but that'll never do
....

I have to hang around, Every day and night
I can't trust the girl, Out of my sight
She wanna sell my monkey, but that'll never do"

BB performing Tampa's "Sell My Monkey"

In an earlier episode I talked about a monkey man. One can say: "It's all about monkey business."
When a man or woman is a "dog", he or she is an unattractive and dull person. On the other hand when he is a "cat", he is cool and interesting to be with. "So you better be a pussycat than a monkey man".

CRAWLING KING SNAKE / CATFISH

The kingsnake is so named because even though it is non-venomous, it can eat poisonous snakes such as rattlesnakes, copperheads, and coral snakes with no ill effect. The kingsnake shows up in blues songs like “Crawling Kingsnake Blues” by John Lee Hooker as a metaphor for virility and domination. Blues musicians like Hooker often bragged about their sexual ability.

"You know I’m a crawling kingsnake, baby, and I rules my den
Well, I’m a crawling kingsnake, baby, and I rules my den
Don’t want you ’round my mate
Gonna use her for myself"

California Kingsnake
California Kingsnake

John Lee Hooker with Ry Cooder in 1992

Robert Petway's Catfish Blues

"What if I were a catfish, mama
I said swimmin’ deep down in, deep blue sea
Have these gals now, sweet mama, settin’ out,
Settin’ out hooks for me, settin’ out hook for me
Settin’ out hook for me, settin’ out hook for me
Settin’ out hook for me, settin’ out hook for me"

Big river catfish

Robert Petway (possibly October 18, 1907 – ?) recorded only 16 songs, but it has been said that he was an influence on many notable blues and rock musicians, including John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix.
There is only one known picture of Petway, a publicity photo from 1941.

Sources: pancocojams.blogspot.nl, americanbluesscene.com, YouTube, Wikipedia, Hudson Motors Compagny, Archive Minneapolis, The Cruel Plains, M.H.Price a.o., truewestmagazine.com, The Austin Chronicle, Cambridge Free English Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary, TheSaurus.com, dragonjazz.com/grablue/blues_travel, Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture, Blues by Paul Breman, Blues by David Harrison, Quora.com, urbandictionary.com, Blogs.loc.gov, The Ballad Hunter by Alan Lomax, Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920th by Daphne Duval Harrison, jopiepopie.blogspot.nl, redhotjazz.com, The Blues Lyrics Formula by Michael Taft, American Ballads and Folk Songs by Alan Lomax and John Avery Lomax, The Past Is Not Dead: Essays from the  Southern Quarterly by Douglas B. Chambers, EarlyBlues.com, railroad-line.com,  Jason Lee Davis' RailFan Pages , centertruthjustice.org, genius.com, Africa-American Proverbs In Context by Sw Anand Prahlad, Görgen Antonsson, Songfacts.com,

Animals Part2 (34-36)

sayings_kwibus

In this column: Symbolic meaning of animals in blues lyrics, chicken, rooster, PART2|
This column is about sayings and words in blues lyrics. For a Dutchman it is sometimes hard to understand, what a singer is singing. In earlier days, we copied lyrics from vinyl records. If we didn't understand, we used "an English sounding word". Now with internet one can find out what was said and what the meaning is.

CHICKENS

In Bessie Tucker's Katy Blues you read the following stanza:

"Well, I ain't no pullet, I'm a real young hen;
If you come by here once, you'll come back again."

A pullet is a female chicken younger than one year of age. On her first birthday, she becomes a hen. The equivalent term for males is a cockerel. He becomes a cock (also known as a rooster) on his first birthday.

Young women, girls and gay men are sometimes presented in lyrics like "chickens". "Chick" likely originates from the Spanish word "chica" meaning, of all things, girl. 

"Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" is a 1946 song (Alex Kramer, Joan Whitney). It was recorded by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five.
B.B.King recorded it for his Louis Jordan album.

"Tomorrow is a busy day
We got things to do, we got eggs to lay
We got ground to dig and worms to scratch
It takes a lot of sittin', gettin' chicks to hatch
Oh, there ain't nobody here but us chickens
There ain't nobody here at all
So quiet yourself and stop that fuss
There ain't nobody here but us
Kindly point the gun the other way
And hobble, hobble, hobble, hobble, off and hit the hay."

"Hey, hey bossman, what do you say?
It's easy, pickins, there ain't nobody here but us chickens"

CHICKEN HEAD MAN

T-Model Ford with Chicken Head Man. If you always have chicken in mind.

Mississippi John Hurt's C-H-I-C-K-E-N Blues.

"Oh, Chicken, Chicken, you can't roost too high for me.
Chicken, Chicken, come on outta' that tree.
Chicken, Chicken, Chicken, You can't roost too high for me.
C is the way we begin.
H to make the letter hen.
I am the way.
C when the seasons are grey.
K is to fill him in.
E I'm near the end.

C-H-I-C-K-E-N
That's the way to spell chicken."

ROOSTER

The Red Rooster (Recorded by, amongst others, Griffing Brothers, Howling Wolf, Sam Cooke, Rolling Stones)
Sam Cooke put it very clear in the verse:

"I got a little red rooster, Too lazy to crow for day"
................
"I tell you he keeps all the hens, fighting among themselves...
He don't want no hen in the barnyard latin' eggs for nobody else."

Cooke is the Little Red Rooster and he's the one crowing all night long.
Sam Cooke, Little Red Rooster; listen to the Hammond!

To be continued.

Sources: pancocojams.blogspot.nl, americanbluesscene.com, YouTube, Wikipedia, Hudson Motors Compagny, Archive Minneapolis, The Cruel Plains, M.H.Price a.o., truewestmagazine.com, The Austin Chronicle, Cambridge Free English Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary, TheSaurus.com, dragonjazz.com/grablue/blues_travel, Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture, Blues by Paul Breman, Blues by David Harrison, Quora.com, urbandictionary.com, Blogs.loc.gov, The Ballad Hunter by Alan Lomax, Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920th by Daphne Duval Harrison, jopiepopie.blogspot.nl, redhotjazz.com, The Blues Lyrics Formula by Michael Taft, American Ballads and Folk Songs by Alan Lomax and John Avery Lomax, The Past Is Not Dead: Essays from the  Southern Quarterly by Douglas B. Chambers, EarlyBlues.com, railroad-line.com,  Jason Lee Davis' RailFan Pages , centertruthjustice.org, genius.com, Africa-American Proverbs In Context by Sw Anand Prahlad, Görgen Antonsson,

Animals in Blues Part1 (31-33)

sayings_kwibus

In this column: Symbolic meaning of animals in blues lyrics, pig in a sack, cow and milk, bee's, low down dog, salty dog, PART1|
This column is about sayings and words in blues lyrics. For a Dutchman it is sometimes hard to understand, what a singer is singing. In earlier days, we copied lyrics from vinyl records. If we didn't understand, we used "an English sounding word". Now with internet one can find out what was said and what the meaning is.

SYMBOLIC MEANING | PIG IN A SACK, COW

The images of animals are commonly used with a symbolic meaning and characterize a person in a negative manner.

For instance in "Ups and Down Blues" by Roosevelt Sykes. Roosevelt uses the proverb "buying a pig in a sack".
Outcomes in life can be uncertain and regardless the intentions the outcome can be very disappointing.

"But women are so tricky, they'll try to tell you white is black
To get a woman nowadays, is just like buying a pig in a sack"

To compare a woman with a pig is not nice and very insulting.

A woman can strike back as Sara Martin did in "Mean Tight Mama".

"Now my hair is nappy and I don't wear clothes of silk
But the cow that's black and ugly, has often got the sweetest milk".

Sara uses the term "cow", because it has been applied to women negatively; meaning ugly and slothful.
The image "cow and milk" is also symbolic for sexual relations between partners. "Milk" refers to the sexual juices or the sexual energies of women.

Roosevelt Sykes
Sara Martin
Sara Martin

Sara Martin with Death Sting Me Blues, 1928 (death sting me and take me out of this misery)

THE BEE

Ida Cox sang:
"When I was Down South I wouldn't take no one's advice
But I won't let that same bee sting me twice".

Animal images appeared also in lyrics which are refered to as "dirty" blues; dealing about the relationships between partners. Previously, you could not sing explicitly about sex and animals were used to conceal the meaning (see the episode that talks about "signifying").
Moreover it was fun to write songs that way.

Ida didn't want be stung no more; in the sense of "being taking advantage off". Compare "don't be bitten by a dog twice". The image of a bee is much better; a bee takes you by surprise and is less threathening.
We know also "Honeybee", "Queen Bee" and "King Bee". Bee's with different meanings.

"Sail on, sail on my little honey bee, sail." Muddy Waters.
"You're lying up there like a queen bee on a throne." Junior Parker.
"Well, I'm a king bee, buzzing around your hive." Slim Harpo.

LOW DOWN DOG

The dog in blues lyrics is an animal, that dependents on humans and that uses begging and stealing or other actions for survival.
Further on a dog is used to describe persons that don't follow socially prescribed norms and behavior and decorum.

Low Down Dog Blues - Leroy Carr/Scrapper Blackwell

"I ain't gonna be your lowdown dog no more
Now I ain't gonna be your lowdown dog no more
You don't want me baby, down the road I'll go"

Salty Dog Blues, Mississippi John Hurt, 1963

"Salty dog, Hey, hey, hey, you salty dog
Oh baby, let me be your salty dog
I don't wanna be your man at all
Baby, I want to be your salty dog

Said, the big fish, little fish swimmin' in the water
Come back here, man, gimme my quarter

Says, God made a woman, he made 'em mighty funny
The lips 'round her mouth, just as sweet as any honey
Hey, hey, hey, you salty dog

Said, the scardest I ever was in my life
Uncle Bud like to caught me kissin' his wife
Hey, hey, you salty dog"

A “salty dog” is an old slang term to refer to a man who spends most of his time at sea (where the salt water permeates his skin, clothes, and hair) and who prioritizes dalliances (girl friends) when he does come to shore.
By singing “let me be your salty dog” and “I don’t want to be your man at all,” the song is asking for a casual sexual relationship in which he’s allowed to spend long periods away and be welcomed with open arms (and legs) when he comes back around.

Note: T-Bone Walker sang "Papa ain't salty no more", meaning of "salty" is here is "pissed" / "upset".

To be continued.

Sources: pancocojams.blogspot.nl, americanbluesscene.com, YouTube, Wikipedia, Hudson Motors Compagny, Archive Minneapolis, The Cruel Plains, M.H.Price a.o., truewestmagazine.com, The Austin Chronicle, Cambridge Free English Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary, TheSaurus.com, dragonjazz.com/grablue/blues_travel, Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture, Blues by Paul Breman, Blues by David Harrison, Quora.com, urbandictionary.com, Blogs.loc.gov, The Ballad Hunter by Alan Lomax, Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920th by Daphne Duval Harrison, jopiepopie.blogspot.nl, redhotjazz.com, The Blues Lyrics Formula by Michael Taft, American Ballads and Folk Songs by Alan Lomax and John Avery Lomax, The Past Is Not Dead: Essays from the  Southern Quarterly by Douglas B. Chambers, EarlyBlues.com, railroad-line.com,  Jason Lee Davis' RailFan Pages , centertruthjustice.org, genius.com, Africa-American Proverbs In Context by Sw Anand Prahlad, Görgen Antonsson,

Trains Part2 (28-30)

sayings_kwibus

In this column: Colorado Central, Narrow Gauge Railways, The Chief, Santa Fe's Fleet Of Famous Trains, Freight Train Blues, Yellow Dog Blues, Smokestack Lightning, Trixie Smith, Louis Armstrong, W.C.Handy, Howling Wolf |
This column is about sayings and words in blues lyrics. For a Dutchman it is sometimes hard to understand, what a singer is singing. In earlier days, we copied lyrics from vinyl records. If we didn't understand, we used "an English sounding word". Now with internet one can find out what was said and what the meaning is.

COLORADO CENTRAL

In the episode about C.C.Rider you can read that C.C. the acronym could be for Colorado Central.

The Colorado Central Railroad operated in Colorado and southeastern Wyoming in the late 19th century. Originally founded in the Colorado Territory in the wake of the Colorado Gold Rush to ship gold from the mountains.
Iit eventually expanded from its initial Golden–Denver line to form a crucial link connecting Colorado with the transcontinental railroad and the national rail network.
Although its historic 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge mountain lines were dismantled by the mid 20th century, a portion of its connecting lines paralleling the Front Range survive as active lines of BNSF Railway.

Many narrow gauge railways were primarily industrial railways rather than general carriers. Some common uses for these industrial narrow gauge railways were mining, logging and the conveying of agricultural products.
Note: the Shorty George Train drove on a narrow gauge track.

The chief train

The Chief was one of the named passenger trains of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Its route ran from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California.
The heavyweight began its first run on November 14, 1926, scheduled 63 hours each way between Chicago and Los Angeles.
In 1954 the Chief reduced its schedule to equal its cousins, the Super Chief and El Capitan.
The Chief's last run was on May 15, 1968.

Santa Fe 3770, The Chief in 1937
Santa Fe 3770, The Chief in 1937

Santa Fe's Fleet Of Famous Trains
El Capitan: (Chicago - Los Angeles)
Grand Canyon: (Chicago - Los Angeles)
San Francisco Chief: (Chicago - Amarillo - San Francisco)
Texas Chief: (Chicago - Houston - Galveston)
San Diegan: (Los Angeles - San Diego)
Super Chief: (Chicago - Los Angeles)
Tulsan: (Kansas City - Tulsa)
Chicagoan/Kansas Cityan: (Dallas - Kansas City - Chicago)
Golden Gate: (Los Angeles - San Francisco)

Santa Fe 3770, 1937

FREIGHT TRAIN BLUES

Freight Train Blues by Trixie Smith (1924)

I hate to hear that freight train blow, boo-hoo
Every time I hear it blowin', I feel like ridin' too

I asked the brake man to let me ride the blind
He said "Little girlie, you know this train ain't mine"
…..

Smokestack Lightning

Howling Wolf had performed "Smokestack Lightning" in the early 1930s, when he was performing with Charley Patton.
Wolf said the song was inspired by watching trains in the night: "We used to sit out in the country and see the trains go by, watch the sparks come out of the smokestack. That was smokestack lightning."

Ah, oh, smokestack lightning
Shinin', just like gold
Why don't ya hear me cryin'?
Ah, who ho, oh
Who

The M-K-T Railroad

A Katy map showing the cities mentioned in the train episodes (click to enlarge)

YELLOW DOG BLUES

"I Wonder Where My Easy Rider's Gone?"
The lyrics tell the story of a Susie Johnson who bets on a horse race using a tip from Jockey Lee, who subsequently runs off with her money.
W.C.Handy wrote an answer to this song "Yellow Dog Blues".

E'er since Miss Susan Johnson lost her Jockey, Lee
There has been much excitement, more to be
You can hear her moaning night and morn
Wonder where my easy rider's gone?

........

Down where the Southern cross' the Dog
Every kitchen there is a cabaret
Down there the Boll Weevil works while the darkies play
This Yellow Dog blues the live long day

........

Easy rider's gotta stay away
So he had to vamp it but the hike ain't far
He's gone where the southern cross' the Yellow Dog

The "Yellow Dog" was the local name for the Yazoo Delta Railroad; the "Southern" is the much larger Southern Railway.

YD alias Yellow Dog. Historian Paul Oliver claims that in Rome, Mississippi, "they declared that it was named after a mongrel hound that noisily greeted every train as it passed through".

a mongrel hound, a yellow dog
a mongrel hound, a yellow dog

The Yazoo-Delta Railroad was a branch line that opened between Moorhead and Ruleville, Mississippi. It was extended to Tutwiler, Mississippi, and Lake Dawson.

The Southern Railway was a US class 1 railroad that was based in the Southern United States.

Louis Armstrong with Yellow Dog Blues (1954)

Sources: pancocojams.blogspot.nl, americanbluesscene.com, YouTube, Wikipedia, Hudson Motors Compagny, Archive Minneapolis, The Cruel Plains, M.H.Price a.o., truewestmagazine.com, The Austin Chronicle, Cambridge Free English Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary, TheSaurus.com, dragonjazz.com/grablue/blues_travel, Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture, Blues by Paul Breman, Blues by David Harrison, Quora.com, urbandictionary.com, Blogs.loc.gov, The Ballad Hunter by Alan Lomax, Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920th by Daphne Duval Harrison, jopiepopie.blogspot.nl, redhotjazz.com, The Blues Lyrics Formula by Michael Taft, American Ballads and Folk Songs by Alan Lomax and John Avery Lomax, The Past Is Not Dead: Essays from the  Southern Quarterly by Douglas B. Chambers, EarlyBlues.com, railroad-line.com,  Jason Lee Davis' RailFan Pages , centertruthjustice.org

Trains (25-27)

sayings_kwibus

In this column: The Katy, The Santa Fe, The Dummy, The Chief, The Midland, The T.P, Mystery Train, Mean Old Train, Midnight Special, The Box Car |
This column is about sayings and words in blues lyrics. For a Dutchman it is sometimes hard to understand, what a singer is singing. In earlier days, we copied lyrics from vinyl records. If we didn't understand, we used "an English sounding word". Now with internet one can find out what was said and what the meaning is.

TRAINS

More background information on trains, on the basis of the song Katy Blues of Bessie Tucker.

"Katy's at the station, Santa Fe is in the yard;
Mmmmmmmm, Santa Fe is in the yard.
I would catch that T.P., if this Midland's got me barred."
....

"Now, when I got on the Dummy, didn't have no fare;
The police asked me what I was doin' on there.
I got on the Dummy, mama didn't have no fare;
An' the police asked me, what I was doin' on there."

The Katy (the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Line) and The Santa Fe (the Santa Fe Railway) I explained earlier.

The railroad workers called the Texas-Midland (the T.M.) "the Midland". It ran from Ennis, 30-odd miles south of Dallas, in a north-easterly direction through Terrell, Greenville and on to Paris.
Bessie could catch the T.P., the Texas & Pacific, if the Midland got her barred (blocked). It prevented her from bumming a ride once she got to Terrell.

In the verse where Bessie sings on "The Dummy", she describes riding illegally in a box car and getting caught by the railroad "police" employed to keep hoboes off the trains.

Box Car

Background on the Midland

The Texas Midland started in 1892 and owned by Hetty Green then the richest woman in the U.S. She handed it over to her only son, E.H.R. Green. Becoming a major road for cotton in Texas, he sold the Texas Midland, in 1928. The buyer was the Texas & New Orleans RR.

Cotton Belt/Texas Midland Belt Union Depot (Commerce, Texas)
Cotton Belt/Texas Midland Belt Union Depot (Commerce, Texas)

MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

"Midnight Special". A prison song written by Lead Belly. The song is based on his experience of getting arrested Houston, his stay at the Sugar Land Prison (now the Beauford H. Jester pre-release Center) in 1925, and the legend of the Midnight Special.
The Midnight Special was a train that ran from Houston to San Antonio. The train passed through the middle of the town of Sugar Land, and west of town, through the heart of what used to be known as the Imperial State Prison Farm (Sugar Land Prison), each day at midnight. Its headlight flashed through the bars and into the prison.
The superstition was that if the light shined on you, that meant your woman was on the train with the papers from the Governor to get you out of prison. Thus, the men hoped the light of the Midnight Special would shine it light on them.

(Lead Belly Version)
Yonder come Miss Rosie, how in the world do you know
Well I know by the apron and the dress she wore
Well an umbrella on her shoulder, piece of paper in her hand
Well I’m gonna ask the governor, he turn a-lose a-my man

CHORUS:
Let the midnight special, shine the light on me
Let the midnight special, shine the ever-lovin’ light on me

Harry Belafonte with Bob Dylan on harp (Bob's first time)

Background on Dummy Lines

In the 1920s lumber was still a major force in Southern industry and the railroads had logging interests at that time. Temporary lines were built deep into the piney woods and were known as 'dummy lines'. The term also included the trains that ran on them; some of which eventually carried passengers as well as lumber.
Logging camps were set up at the railhead with a commissary store and often a barrelhouse. The company brought in blues singers to entertain. As well as liquor and gambling.

Railroad track in West Virginia leading to a logging camp (1900s)

 

MORE TRAINS (1)

"Mean Old Train Blues". Leroy Carr recorded "Mean Old Train Blues" about a year prior to the Bessie Tucker recording. It is said that the mean old train refers to the Midland.

Rock Island Line.” Alan Lomax recorded this song on an Arkansas prison farm in 1934. Lomax credited it to Kelly Pace. There are kick-ass versions by Leadbelly and Johnny Cash. The line in question — the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific — never got farther west than the Mississippi.

Johnny Cash

"Mystery Train,” by Junior Parker. Originally a blues song. The words first written down by Howard Odum in 1905.
The mystery train may have been inspired by the Missouri Pacific’s Houstonian, which left Houston around midnight and rolled by the Sugar Land penitentiary, Texas. Or the old Chicago and Alton Railroad’s Midnight Special between Chicago and St. Louis.

Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore and Bill Black

More trains in the next episode.

Sources: pancocojams.blogspot.nl, americanbluesscene.com, YouTube, Wikipedia, Hudson Motors Compagny, Archive Minneapolis, The Cruel Plains, M.H.Price a.o., truewestmagazine.com, The Austin Chronicle, Cambridge Free English Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary, TheSaurus.com, dragonjazz.com/grablue/blues_travel, Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture, Blues by Paul Breman, Blues by David Harrison, Quora.com, urbandictionary.com, Blogs.loc.gov, The Ballad Hunter by Alan Lomax, Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920th by Daphne Duval Harrison, jopiepopie.blogspot.nl, redhotjazz.com, The Blues Lyrics Formula by Michael Taft, American Ballads and Folk Songs by Alan Lomax and John Avery Lomax, The Past Is Not Dead: Essays from the  Southern Quarterly by Douglas B. Chambers, EarlyBlues.com, railroad-line.com,  Jason Lee Davis' RailFan Pages , centertruthjustice.org

Boll Weevil, The Katy, Bessie Tucker (22-24)

sayings_kwibus

In this column: Weevil, Boll Weevil, The Katy, The Santa Fe, The Mule, Bessie Tucker |
This column is about sayings and words in blues lyrics. For a Dutchman it is sometimes hard to understand, what a singer is singing. In earlier days, we copied lyrics from vinyl records. If we didn't understand, we used "an English sounding word". Now with internet one can find out what was said and what the meaning is.

BOLL WEEVIL

Weevil in Can't get no grinding (Muddy Waters) and Boll Weevil (Lead Belly). See an earlier episode.

The wheat weevil / grain weevil  in "Can't get no grinding" (Muddy Water) is a beetle that causes damage to harvested stored grains and may drastically decrease yields. The females lay many eggs and the larvae eat the inside of the grain kernels.

Lead Belly sang about the Boll Weevil; a beetle that migrated from Mexico in the late 19th century and that destroyed cotton.

Boll weevil
Boll weevil

Well the first time that I seen the boll weevil
He was a-sittin' on the square
Well the next time that I seen him
He had his a-family there
Just a-lookin' for a home

Well the farmer took the boll weevil
And he put him on the red hot sand
Well the weevil said this is a-mighty hot
But I take it like a man

And he put him on a keg of ice
Well the weevil said to the farmer
This is mighty cool and nice
...

Background on the Boll Weevil

The song is based on reality. In about 1892 a small snout beetle crossed the Mexican border in Texas and spread rapidly across the cotton growing regions. By the 1920s the boll weevil caused enormous economic damage. The boll weevil does its damage by laying eggs on cotton flower buds, called “squares,” or on the young developing cotton boll.
Cotton buds are surrounded by three or sometimes four bracts that provide the beetle with a platform for its “home” in the song. The infected bud or boll stops developing and often falls off.

Farm boy with sack full of boll weevils he has picked off the cotton plants. He is holding infected cotton “squares” (buds) and young bolls in his hand. Macon Georgia. Photo by Dorothea Lange, 1937

Arsenic and DDT were pesticides used on infested cotton crops, but the boll weevil developed a tolerance for it. Workers, many of them children, were sent to pick off all the infected bolls and buds.
Worse, the heavy application of pesticides killed a wide spectrum of beneficial.
The high level of pesticides formerly used on cotton crops also carried the risks of polluted adjacent food crops, water supplies, and consequent ecological damage.
The economic impact of the damage caused by the boll weevil affected whole regions because much of the wealth of the south depended upon the cotton crops.

Songs about the boll weevil often take the form of an interaction between the insect and the farmer. No matter what the farmer does to try to discourage the boll weevil, the weevil always adapts. As shown her by Brook Benton.
Brook Benton (Benjamin Franklin Peay, popular during the late 1950s and early 1960s). Here with "The Boll Weevil Song" (1961).

 

BABY CAUGHT THE KATY, I CAUGHT THE SANTA FE

Well my baby caught the Katy, I caught the Santa Fe
A line from Lead Belly's song "Shorty George"; see an earlier episode.

The Katy is a train; the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Line train. The M-K-T was often called "The K-T" or "The Katy" for short.
The Santa Fe refers to the Santa Fe Railway. Santa Fe whose own Texas main line ran down through Dallas to Galveston on the Gulf of Mexico.

M-K-T 312, The Katy
M-K-T 312, "A" Katy in the 1930s

In 1929 Bessie Tucker recorded her song "Katy Blues" dealing with all sorts of problems with and around trains. More about trains in a next episode.

"Well, he caught the Katy, I caught that Santa Fe;
Mmmmmmmmm, I caught the Santa Fe.
All you women can say: "Your good man left town with me"."
Spoken: "Lord, these women so evil."

It means, when someone caught The Katy, he or she was going places. Bessie's man caught the Katy, which connected big towns in the North while she picked up the Santa Fe, which did not.

Taj Mahal sang in 1968 "My baby took the katy and left me a mule to ride".
Mule refers to a slower moving local train. A mule is also the offspring of a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare).

Big Joe Williams sang an other version in this 1966 video.

"My baby done gone and left me a mule to ride
When the train left the station, the mule lay down an died".

Both songs are about women who are sorely missed by their men. Taj's woman is "long, great god she's mighty, she's tall", Joe's woman can cook very well.

Taj Mahal

Big Joe Williams with Willie Dixon on bass

BESSIE TUCKER

Bessie Tucker (ca. 1906 – January 6, 1933)
Bessie Tucker (ca. 1906 – January 6, 1933)

This is the only known photo of Bessie Tucker. Tucker possessed a powerful voice, a kind of female equivalent to Charlie Patton. She lived near Dallas, Texas, probably  Greenville or Fort Worth. Little is known about Bessie Tucker. I assume she had must a hard life, witness also her song "Penitentiary" (1928). She died young at the age of 27!

 

Sources: pancocojams.blogspot.nl, americanbluesscene.com, YouTube, Wikipedia, Hudson Motors Compagny, Archive Minneapolis, The Cruel Plains, M.H.Price a.o., truewestmagazine.com, The Austin Chronicle, Cambridge Free English Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary, TheSaurus.com, dragonjazz.com/grablue/blues_travel, Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture, Blues by Paul Breman, Blues by David Harrison, Quora.com, urbandictionary.com, Blogs.loc.gov, The Ballad Hunter by Alan Lomax, Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920th by Daphne Duval Harrison, jopiepopie.blogspot.nl, redhotjazz.com, The Blues Lyrics Formula by Michael Taft, American Ballads and Folk Songs by Alan Lomax and John Avery Lomax, The Past Is Not Dead: Essays from the  Southern Quarterly by Douglas B. Chambers, EarlyBlues.com, railroad-line.com, 

Shorty George, Sippy Wallace, Lead Belly (19-21)

sayings_kwibus

In this column: Shorty George Blues, Shorty George, Sippie Wallace, Lead Belly, Shorty George Snowden, Mailed in the air, Monkey Man |
This column is about sayings and words in blues lyrics. For a Dutchman it is sometimes hard to understand, what a singer is singing. In earlier days, we copied lyrics from vinyl records. If we didn't understand, we used "an English sounding word". Now with internet one can find out what was said and what the meaning is.

SIPPIE WALLACE, SHORTY GEORGE BLUES

Shorty George Blues
Beulah "Sippie" Wallace recorded "Shorty George Blues" in 1923. It is like "Fore Day Creep" and "Empty Bed Blues" about men who leave their women.

Sippie Wallace in 1970s
Sippie Wallace in 1970s

Some background on Sippie Wallace

If Sippie wrote the song with her older brother George Thomas or George wrote it with his daughter Hociel, I don't know. The label states George and Hociel Thomas.

img_0707
In the early 20s Sippie formed a trio with George and her kid brother Hersal.
Sippie had assumed the name of her second husband Matthew Wallace. Her maiden name was Beulah Belle Thomas. Beulah got her nickname because she had almost no teeth until she was 3 and had to sip everything she ate.
Around the age of thirty and some years afterwards Sippie had a lot of misfortune: her brother Hersal Thomas died at the age of sixteen to food poisoning, George died in a car accident, her husband Matt proved to be a notorious gambler and died at a young age.
For some 40 years Wallace was a singer and organist at the Leland Baptist Church in Detroit. She did little in the blues until she launched a comeback in 1966, after her longtime friend Victoria Spivey coaxed her out of retirement, and toured on the folk and blues festival circuit. But, just as things were looking up, Sippie suffered a massive stroke in 1969. She was still in a wheelchair in 1972 when popular singer-guitarist Bonnie Raitt heard of her idol’s recovery and urged that she be invited to perform at the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival.
The video, that is shown here, was taken during The 1982 Reunion Concert by British Bluesman John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers.

SHORTY GEORGE BLUES

The lyrics are transcripted from the 1923-recording and the video:
"I wrote a letter and mailed it in the air
You can tell by that I've got a friend somewhere

But soon one morning, lord by the break of day
Some low down woman stole my man away

I lay down last night, trying to take my rest
My mind starts to rambling like the wild goose in the west

I went upon the mountain, looked far as could see
The women had my man, lord and the blues got me

I want all you women to strickly understand
That if a man wears overalls he sure is no monkey man

Shorty George is the only man that I chose
He treated me good now I've got the Shorty George Blues".

"Mailed in the air" she had a special friend, a very special friend, somewhere far away. Airmail was a new thing and it was a big deal. It cost over ten times much.

Shorty George. People called a train, that took convicts to prison The Shorty George. When Shorty George took the men, he left the women behind. Although not specifically stated, the train is comparable to a man called Shorty George.
"The Shorty George, travellin' trough the land
Always looking to pick some woman's poor man"

More about Shorty George in the column to the right.
Monkey man. When a woman is in a marriage or committed relationship with a good man, but she keeps fooling around with someone else, that someone else is called her monkey man.

SHORTY GEORGE

Shorty George, Lead Belly, 1935

Well-a Shorty George, he ain't no friend of mine
He's taken all the women and left the men behind

Well-a Shorty George, he done been here and gone
Lord he left many a poor man a great long way from home

Well my baby caught the Katy, I caught the Santa Fee
Well, you can't quit me, baby, can't you see
Well I went to Galveston, work on the Mallory Line
......

Traditionally the Shorty George was the train that took convicts (and visitors) to and from the prison.
In 1934 Alan Lomax recorded James Baker (Iron Head) with a version of "Shorty George", at Central State Farm, Sugarland, Texas.
"Along that prison runned a narrow-gauge track and down that track about sunset came whistling a little gasoline motor car. It was on this train that the women who had come out for a Sunday with their men-folks leave the prison. "Because it's such a runty little train," the convicts had named it Shorty George, but they sang about it as if it were one of those favored men, like John Henry, who could get a woman by a crook of the finger".

I'll write about The Katy and The Santa Fee in a next episode.

Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island and Pelican Island in the U.S. state of Texas.
During the 1920s and 1930s Galvestonians accepted and supported illegal activities, often referring to their island as the "Free State of Galveston".

Mallory Line / Clyde-Mallory Line
Mallory Line, New York (1866-1932), was one of the old family-owned passenger lines in the coastwise trade. The line connected New York with Galveston, Texas, and later expanded with routes to New Orleans, Havana, and Mobile. In 1932 it combined the lines with those of the old Clyde Line under the name of the Clyde-Mallory Line. Clyde-Mallory Line was sold in 1949 to the Bull Line and the company name disappeared.

Shorty George Snowden

Shorty George and Suzie-Q
The Suzie Q and The Shorty George were populair dance steps in the 30s and 40s.
Shorty George Snowden was a top dancer in the early 30's. Although he was barely five feet tall, Snowden made his height an asset rather than a liability. With comic genius, he parodied himself in his signature "Shorty George" step, in which his bent his knees, swinging from side to side, exaggerating his closeness to the ground. He is also known for the "Lindy Hop".

Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire show the "Shorty George" step
Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire show the "Shorty George" step

Fred Astaire sang a song about Shorty George:
....
Watch him go! - and he can -
Like a real- nach'-l man
High Stepper is Shorty George
Black pepper is Shorty George
He dances to pay the rent
And to see that you're solid sent
Mister can you spare a penny?
Lady can you spare a dime?
.....

Sources: pancocojams.blogspot.nl, americanbluesscene.com, YouTube, Wikipedia, Hudson Motors Compagny, Archive Minneapolis, The Cruel Plains, M.H.Price a.o., truewestmagazine.com, The Austin Chronicle, Cambridge Free English Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary, TheSaurus.com, dragonjazz.com/grablue/blues_travel, Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture, Blues by Paul Breman, Blues by David Harrison, Quora.com, urbandictionary.com, Blogs.loc.gov, The Ballad Hunter by Alan Lomax, Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920th by Daphne Duval Harrison, jopiepopie.blogspot.nl, redhotjazz.com, The Blues Lyrics Formula by Michael Taft, American Ballads and Folk Songs by Alan Lomax and John Avery Lomax, The Past Is Not Dead: Essays from the  Southern Quarterly by Douglas B. Chambers

Fore Day Creep, Grinding, Axe to grind (16-18)

sayings_kwibus

In this column: Fore Day Creep, Creepers, Don't advertise your man, Grinding, Can't get no grinding, Axe to grind, Bushel and a peck |
This column is about sayings and words in blues lyrics. For a Dutchman it is sometimes hard to understand, what a singer is singing. In earlier days, we copied lyrics from vinyl records. If we didn't understand, we used "an English sounding word". Now with internet one can find out what was said and what the meaning is.

FORE DAY CREEP

Ida Cox recorded "Fore Day Creep". The song describes the situation when a man early in the morning sneaks out of a woman's bedroom.
In 1927, the song had the correct title. Later incorrectly spelled "Four Day Creep". And that is wrong, because it is no such thing as the "four-day binge" of the drunkard.
There exists a whole series of "creepers" at the time of their activities "midnight", "day-before" and "all-night" creepers.

In the early 1900s they wrote in Alabama;
"The fore day blues is not nothing but a woman wants a man" and
"Some folks say the fore day blues is not bad - but the fore Day Blues are the worst I ever had."
Ida knew that her man was not to be trusted, therefore;
"I'm gonna buy me a bulldog to watch my husband while we sleep
They are so doggone crooked, I'm afraid he might make a 'fo'-day creep ".

In 1928 Bessie Smith recorded "Empty Bed Blues". The song is about the great things that her man can do in bed. She was of course very happy, but there was always the danger that another woman seduced her husband and that she would end up with them "Empty Bed Blues".
"When you get good loving, never go and spread the news,
Else he'll double-cross you and leave you with them empty bed blues".

Sippie Wallace sang "Women be wise, Don't advertise your man". In the next episode I will use Sippie's "Shorty George Blues" to tell a story related to blues.

CAN'T GET NO GRINDING

Bessie Smith pampered her man with all sorts of things (Empty Bed Blues) to keep him happy: a coffee grinder, a blanket, a pillow, a mattress.
"Bought me a coffee-grinder, got the best one I could find
So he could grind my coffee 'cause he had a brand-new grind".
In slang "to grind" is a verb of sexual intercourse. It also is dancing while the bodies are rubbed against each other.
Coffee is an indication of skin color.

What's the matter with the Mill, Can't get no grinding (Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe, Muddy Waters).
Well, I had a little corn, I put it in a sack
Brought it to the mill and come right back
What's the matter with the mill?
I can't get no grinding
Tell me what's the matter with the mill
It done broke down, It done broke down

Where the mill is the economic center, that provides jobs and puts food on the table. The mill done broke down, and the townsfolk are wondering what to do. And above all, they want to know what did the mill break.
Grinding in the song refers to the grinding stones of a mill.
Where Minnie stayed with:
Now listen here folks, I want you to bear this in mind
If you're going to the mill, you're just losing time
What's the matter with the mill?

Muddy Waters went a step further when he sang about the wierd weevils he caught in his corn field.
You don't know the way I feel
I got some more weevil in my corn field
What's the matter with the mill
Done broke down

Some people said that a preacher won't steal
I caught one down in my corn field
....
One had a bushel and one had a peck
The other had the cornfield 'round his neck
What's the matter with the mill

A weevil is a snout beetle (more about weevils in the next episode).
A cornfield 'round his neck is funny way of saying, that he took a lot of corn.

Note; I love you a bushel and peck and a hug around the neck (nursery rhymes)
Both are a dry volume measure of quarts. A bushel is equal to 32 quarts, while a peck is equal to 8 quarts, or a quarter of a bushel.

AN AXE TO GRIND

Sayings with grind:
I better start the wheels grinding = Start with your work
An axe to grind = To have a grievance with someone, the phrase probably originates from the act of sharpening an axe with a grinding wheel, with the intent (in this definition) to get revenge on someone by harming them.

Picture of a man grinding an Ax (Federal Highway Administration - Department of Transportation)
Picture of a man grinding an Ax (Federal Highway Administration - Department of Transportation)

Sources: pancocojams.blogspot.nl, americanbluesscene.com, YouTube, Wikipedia, Hudson Motors Compagny, Archive Minneapolis, The Cruel Plains, M.H.Price a.o., truewestmagazine.com, The Austin Chronicle, Cambridge Free English Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary, TheSaurus.com, dragonjazz.com/grablue/blues_travel, Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture, Blues by Paul Breman, Blues by David Harrison, Quora.com, urbandictionary.com, Blogs.loc.gov, The Ballad Hunter by Alan Lomax, Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920th by Daphne Duval Harrison, jopiepopie.blogspot.nl, 

Rider Story 2 (13-15)

sayings_kwibus

In this column: Easy Rider, Pimp Walk, Rider, Day Rider, Ghost Rider |
This column is about sayings and words in blues lyrics. For a Dutchman it is sometimes hard to understand, what a singer is singing. In earlier days, we copied lyrics from vinyl records. If we didn't understand, we used "an English sounding word". Now with internet one can find out the meaning.

EASY RIDER

When "easy rider" is used for a sexual partner, the word "easy" for a woman and a man has a different meaning. For a woman it is an expression of admiration, for a man the significance is lightly or faithless.

When you see me coming, hoist your window high
When you see me leaving, hang your head and cry
(C.C.Rider, Leadbelly, 1935)  

Blind Lemon Jefferson sang a variation with "Corinna Blues", 1926.
A great tall engine: and a little small engineer
Carried the woman away Lord: and left me standing here
.....
If you see Corinna : tell her to hurry home
I ain't had no true love: since Corinna been gone

But in the end "the blues ain't nothing but a good woman on your mind" (Leadbelly and Jefferson).

EASY RIDER / FREE RIDER / FREELOADER

An easy rider in the sense of a free rider / freeloader is a person who is independent and moves on the next day.
In the movie "Easy Rider" the man on the bike and the bike are easy riders.

Dennis Hopper's movie "Easy Rider".
Dennis Hopper's movie "Easy Rider".

Some easy riders had a distinctive gait "the pimp walk". The term arose as a slang expression in the mid-1900s to describe the strut of the succesful pimp. It is a kind of limping; a distinctive style of slow strutting or swagger-walking associated with street culture and black style. A demonstration of cool masculinity.
It has been said that this way of walking might have started after someone drank methanol poisoned moonshine. Moonshine with toxic methanol, that affected the brains which caused a limp.

DAY RIDER, DAY TRIPPER, GHOST RIDER

A Dayrider is a ticket that allows you to make as many journeys as you like for one day in your chosen zone.

Lennon/McCartney wrote:
Got a good reason for taking the easy way out
Got a good reason for taking the easy way out now
She was a day tripper, a one way ticket yeah
It took me so long to find out, and I found out

A rider is also a document that states the special things a band wants: a list of requests for the comfort of the artist and a technical rider, which specifies the types of equipment to be used, the staff to be provided, and various business arrangements.

Jim Morrison (The Doors) sang "Riders on the storm". The song was inspired by the song "Ghost Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy legend" written in 1948 by American songwriter Stan Jones.
A folk tale of a cowboy (a rider on horseback) who has a vision of red-eyed, steel-hooved cattle thundering across the sky, being chased by the spirits of damned cowboys. One warns him that if he does not change his ways, he will be doomed to join them.

Sources: pancocojams.blogspot.nl, americanbluesscene.com, YouTube, Wikipedia, Hudson Motors Compagny, Archive Minneapolis, The Cruel Plains, M.H.Price a.o., truewestmagazine.com, The Austin Chronicle, Cambridge Free English Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary, TheSaurus.com, dragonjazz.com/grablue/blues_travel, Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture, Blues by Paul Breman, Blues by David Harrison,

Rider story (10-12)

sayings_kwibus

In this column: See See Rider, Rider, Fore Day Rider |
This column is about sayings and words in blues lyrics. For a Dutchman it is sometimes hard to understand, what a singer is singing. In earlier days, we copied lyrics from vinyl records. If we didn't understand, we used "an English sounding word". Now with internet one can find out the meaning.

SEE SEE RIDER/C.C.RIDER

See See Rider / C.C. Rider / See See Rider Blues or Easy Rider is a 12-bar blues song. Gertrude "Ma" Rainey recorded it in 1924 followed by many other musicians over the years. The song tells the story of an unfaithful lover, commonly called an easy rider: "See see rider, see what you have done," making a play on the word see and the sound of easy.

The term see see rider/easy rider refers to a woman or a man who has liberal sexual views or is skilled at sex.
A man without a steady job who lives by gambling or sponging; a male lover who lives off a woman's earnings.

C.C.Rider
Some say that C.C.’s a freeloader. The term refers to a train "The Colorado Central" and someone who hitches a ride on those rails.

Other sources indicate that C.C. Rider refers to early "church circuit" traveling preachers who did not have established churches and held church services in cabins, in barrooms, or outdoors. A circuit rider was a young Methodist assistant of a preacher, who could preach and was willing to ride a horse for weeks over wild country.

In one of Alan Lomax’s collection of poems it says that C.C. means Calvary Corporal and that in the poem a woman writes to her soldier lover.
In Ma Rainey's "See See Rider" the woman in the song writes a letter to her cheating lover.

Ma Rainey with Louis Armstrong in 1924.

A RIDER

I'm going down to Rosedale, take my rider by my side.
You can still barrelhouse, baby, on the riverside (from Crossroads)

For the blues singer, the most valuable instrument was the guitar and as his "easy rider". The guitar could be slung across his back when he wished to travel.

Traveling blues man in Atlanta, 1930
Traveling blues man in Atlanta, 1930

 

FORE-DAY RIDER/FOUR DAY RIDER

I'm a 'fore-day rider mama : riding all night
Anywhere I come mama : I sing my worried song (Four Day Rider, Leroy Carr, 1934)

I'm a 'fore-day rider mama, baby, you oughta see me ride
Once in your saddle mama you won't want me from your side (Fore Day rider, Jay McShann/Walter Brown, 1968)

Fore-day is a part of the day: the wee hours, before the break of day, before cockcrow. Is it "four" or "fore". It is fore. The label wrote in the title of the song "Four" instead of "fore", because that could be mistaken for a dirty blues song. Compare also Ida cox's song "Four Day Creep". It is fore day creep. Meaning, before day. To cheat and sneak around in the night. 

To be continued.

Sources: pancocojams.blogspot.nl, americanbluesscene.com, YouTube, Wikipedia, Hudson Motors Compagny, Archive Minneapolis, The Cruel Plains, M.H.Price a.o., truewestmagazine.com, The Austin Chronicle, Cambridge Free English Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary, TheSaurus.com, dragonjazz.com/grablue/blues_travel,

Sayings and blues related words (7-9)

sayings_kwibus

In this column: Signifying, Match box hold my clothes, Baby bought a ticket |
This column is about sayings and words in blues lyrics. For a Dutchman it is sometimes hard to understand, what a singer is singing. In earlier days, we copied lyrics from vinyl records. If we didn't understand, we used "an English sounding word". Now with internet one can find out the meaning.

I’M GONNA BREAK UP THIS SIGNIFYING

Signifying in the blues refers to the use of doubletalk that is understood by members of one’s community.

Blues lyrics use metaphor to allow the singer to brag about physical attributes and sexual ability. Bessie Smith sang “I need a little hot dog on my roll” or “I Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl” (1931). She meant something different.

Signifying allowed African Americans to express bold opinions or feelings without fear of repercussion. How does one speak to one’s “master” and retain any shred of dignity? By insulting or manipulating “the man” to his face without him realizing it.
Blues songs about murdering a “no-good woman” who is keeping the singer “in chains” couched rage against plantation owners in seemingly innocent love songs.

In “Don’t Start Me to Talkin’,” Sonny Boy Williamson (a.k.a. Aleck “Rice” Miller) expresses his distaste for some shit-stirring going on in his neighborhood:
Don’t start me to talkin’, I’ll tell everything I know
 I’m gonna break up this signifying
’cause somebody’s got to go

IM SITTIN' HERE WONDERIN', WILL A MATCHBOX HOLD MY CLOTHES?

A line composed long before cardboard matchbooks were used. Early on stick matches came in small thin-walled wooden boxes that fit in the palm of the hand.
When you wonder if your clothes fit into a little box, you not only are very poor, you don’t even have a bag for your stuff - and you had nowhere to go. You'd have to make up your destination as you went along.
Blind Lemon Jefferson was the first to record the matchbox verse, in the late 1920s. In the early Forties a variation showed up in a Billie Holiday song about a man who had the nerve to put a matchbox on my clothes. That was his way of throwing her out.

Carl Perkins sang the matchbox verse in 1957. I ain't got no matches but I got a long way to go. A long way to go and a lot of heart were just about all these people had. In that period Sam Cooke used it in Somebody have mercey.
When The Beatles recorded Carl Perkins song, there was some confusion about "matchbox hole in my clothes" in stead of "hold  my clothes".

Stevie Ray Vaughn & Albert King Sessions - Matchbox Blues

MY BABY BOUGHT THE TICKET, LONG AS HER RIGHT ARM

She wants the ticket so much that she would give her right arm for it. She wants to leave so badly, they she would do anything to obtain the ticket.

My baby bought the ticket, long as her right arm
My baby bought the ticket, long as my right arm
She says she's gonna ride, long as I been from home
Who's been talkin' - Howling Wolf

Version of Lucky Peterson

Sources: pancocojams.blogspot.nl, americanbluesscene.com, YouTube, Wikipedia, Hudson Motors Compagny, Archive Minneapolis, The Cruel Plains, M.H.Price a.o., truewestmagazine.com, The Austin Chronicle, Cambridge Free English Dictionary,

Wie wonnen de Blues Challenge in 2016?

TheBluesFoundation

Blues Challenge

De jaarlijkse Blues Challenge is een initiatief van de Amerikaanse Blues Foundation. Dit jaar voor de 32ste keer georganiseerd in Memphis. Het vindt plaats in het laatste weekend van januari. Bands, duo's en solisten vanuit de hele wereld nemen deel.
Bluesorganisaties in eigen land laten zich vertegenwoordigen door hun winnaars in de categorieën Blues Band en Solo/Duo Blues. In Nederland is dat de Dutch Blues Foundation.

De Dutch Blues Foundation is in 2011 begonnen met deelname aan de Challenge. In de laatste jaren is de belangstelling gegroeid; 3 voorrondes voor bands en 1 voor duo- / soloacts monden nu uit in een finale op 9 oktober in Nieuw Vennep (het "Memphis" van Nederland).
Elke act laat gedurende 20 minuten zien en horen wat ze in hun mars hebben. De jury beoordeelt op muzikaliteit, presentatie en bluesinhoud. Winnaars verplichten zich tot deelname aan de Challenge in Memphis. De band doet ook nog mee aan de Europese Challenge (in 2017 in Denemarken). Deelname is voor rekening van de acts zelf. Wel streeft DBF ernaar om vanuit de revenuen een aanmerkelijk bedrag bij te dragen.
Bands en duo's / solisten hebben zich na deelname stevig kunnen nestelen in het bluescircuit en we vinden hun namen vaak terug op posters van belangrijke bluesfestivals.

In 2016 won Big Bo Brocken de soloact

Big Bo Brocken kreeg op het Roepaen Blues Festival in Ottersum de Dutch Blues CD Award 2015 voor zijn CD Traveling Riverside uitgereikt (links Janny van Doorn, rechts Dirk de Hen)

Big Bo @ The Lane

Phil Bee's Freedom no 1 in NL no 2 in EU

Carlo van Belleghem (bas) ,Berland Rours (gitaar) ,Phil Bee (zang), John F. Klaver (gitaar), Pascal Lanslots (Hammond), Marcus Weymaere (drums)

Phil Bee @ EBC Italië

De European Blues Challenge 2016 was op 8-9 April in Torrita di Siena, Italië. Er namen 21 bands deel(er zijn 30 landen aangesloten).

Winnende band was Eric "Slim" Zahl & the South West Swingers (Noorwegen).

Phil Bee's Freedom was runner up.

The South West Swingers (Noorwegen, Stavanger, 2006): Atle Helland Strøm (drums, zang), Eric 'Slim' Zahl (zang, gitaar), Øystein 'Boogieman' Undem - keyboards, Roald Brekke (bas)

International Blues Challenge

Elk jaar in het laatste weekend van januari strijden bands en duo/solo's uit alle delen van de wereld om de International Blues Challenge. De Amerikaanse Blues Foundation organiseert deze gebeurtenis in samenwerking met vele bluesliefhebbende vrijwilligers in allerlei landen. In Nederland is dat de Dutch Blues Foundation in Nieuw Vennep.
In Down Town  Memphis komt alles samen. In 2016 deden 120 bands en 95 duo- / soloacts uit 13 landen mee (het merendeel uit de USA). De kwartfinale (n.b.: voor de IBC zijn de voorrondes in eigen land en eigen state - geldt voor USA en Canada) verdeelt de acts over cafés en clubs; de backline is aanwezig, 10 minuten installeren en 20 minuten spelen. De halve finale is rond Beale Street. Uiteindelijk zijn er 10 finalisten uit beide categorieën, die het event afsluiten in het Orpheum Theater op Beale Street.

Big Bo Brocken en Phil Bee's Freedom bereikten de halve finale; een hele goede prestatie gezien het overgewicht aan Amerikaanse acts.

 

The Delgado Brothers Band no1

Joey Delgado (gitaar, zang), David “B” Kelley (Hammond), Bob Delgado (bas), Steve Delgado (zang, drums). Los Angeles, 1987

Delgado Brothers; final IBC 2016

Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons No1 duo blues act

Ben Hunter was born in Lesotho, a tiny nation in South Africa, and was largely raised in Phoenix, Arizona.

Hunter & Seamons, duo since 2012

Joe Seamons was raised in the backwoods of Northwestern Oregon.

Final IBC 2016