Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 379 #423)

Junior Parker!!!

We're kicking off the new year with an understudied harp player and terrific vocalist, Junior Parker, doing the standard, Sweet Home Chicago!

Parker was popular on the Chitlin' Circuit but never broke out to a larger audience. He recorded on Sun primarily as a vocalist then moved to the Houston area where he recorded with Duke. Tragically, Parker died far too young, but not without impacting Chicago blues by being part of the Sweet Home Chicago lineage.

The tune is in fact credited to Robert Johnson who released in 1938. Due to the Depression, his version did not get wide play until the 60's when it was re-released. In this way, the Parker version is one people tended to hear first. Roosevelt Sykes also recorded a version (which incidentally does not mention California).

In the 60's Magic Sam recorded a version which obviously references the Parker version - complete with a guitar solo that features some unusual triplet playing that seems clearly to be imitating Parker's harp solo.

And as we know, the Blues Brothers paid homage to Magic Sam and the song entered the general conscience.

Announcing The Huffler!!!

Are the dogs howling while you practice?
Is your spouse harping about your harping?
Do you want to practice more after midnight?

Then you need The Huffler!

Brought to you by our own inventor, Harmonica Einstein - "What will he think of next?" - the Huffler is a handy device that muffles and cuts your harmonica volume in half when you practice.

You need it! Get it here!

Class Notes
  • Welcome back and welcome to 2015! All classes are underway and as always, share your goals with Joe so he can help you best stay pointed in the right direction.
Madison Slim CD Release

When we studied Walking By Myself last year we watched footage of Jimmy Rogers himself playing the song on the Conan O'Brien Show. Blowing harp on that appearance was none other than Madison Slim, who also spent four years touring with the Legendary Blues Band.

Having given up the road, Slim settled in Florida where he has connected with our friend Doug Deming. Slim gigs regularly with Doug and the Jewel Tones and now Deming has produced Slim's latest CD release, "Close...But No Cigar". In addition to the amazing talents of the Jewel Tones, the disc also features Barrelhouse Chuck, Billy Flynn and swinging sax from Terry Hanck.

Get your hands on this CD featuring Slim on vocals and some great traditional blues harp!

You can order a copy of the disc by sending a PayPal payment to slimcigar@yahoo.com - $15 plus $2.95 for shipping & handling.

- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew