More “Almost Blueses”

What is the Blues? How does one define the “Blues Genre”? And why does one (or even two) have to define things all the time? What’s this with all these definitions? And what’s this with all these “genres”? For instance, San Francisco Bay Blues has too many chords to be called a blues, and, in my humble opinion, San Francisco Bay Blues is not really … Continue reading More “Almost Blueses”

December Magazine

Contents: TWO POEMS, A SALUTE TO DECEMBER AND TO THE NUMBER TWELVE, plus some Duogesimal Meanderings   A SCIENCE POEM E=mc2 Nothing is faster than light I conceptualized the race (It was a thought experiment) And, well, Nothing won… ******************************      A CHILD’S POEM Fat and Skinny had a race All around the pillow case Fat fell down and broke his face Skinny won the … Continue reading December Magazine

Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out

Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out, was written in 1923 by Jimmy Cox. The great Bessie Smith recorded it in 1929 and had a big hit with the song. Not surprisingly, the song soon became associated with the great Wall St. crash of ’29, as it tells of a riches to rags reversal of fortune. That’s how it goes on the stock market, … Continue reading Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out

More on Getting Better

  We’ve discussed this before. This business about “getting better”. I was discussing the music I work on with Maybank: how we think we are getting better at it, how we feel encouraged by our “improvement”. I was saying that it’s a noble goal to get better. And I think it’s hard to argue with the proposition that generally it’s a good thing to get … Continue reading More on Getting Better

Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out

Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out, was written in 1923 by Jimmy Cox. The great Bessie Smith recorded it in 1929 and had a big hit. Not surprisingly, the song soon became associated with the great Wall St. crash of ’29. It tells of a “riches to rags” reversal of fortune. So goes life, so goes the stock market. Things go up and down. … Continue reading Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out

Fighting a Losing Battle But Having a Lot of Fun Trying to Win

One of my favorite songs of all time, this blues classic by Brownie McGee exemplifies something indominable about the human spirit. As we continue to fight (peacefully) for justice, as we navigate our way through the “constitutional crisis” (which is what we are entering into, so we better see a lot of people (like you) marching and demonstrating), we keep on fighting on no matter … Continue reading Fighting a Losing Battle But Having a Lot of Fun Trying to Win

Key to the Highway

One of my favorite songs to play is Key to the Highway by Big Bill Broonzy. An eight-bar blues. A very comfortable progression. Bill Broonzy is certainly one of the greats of the Blues. I first heard Key to the Highway from Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, who were friends of Big Bill, and they always played the song when they performed. If you’ve never … Continue reading Key to the Highway

Leadbelly

Together with Woody Guthrie, Hudie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly, is considered a founding father of the American folk music movement. The “king of the 12-string guitar” was born in Shreveport, Louisiana in the year of 1888. By age 12 he was playing “professionally” in the Shreveport red light district. By age 20 he had already served several terms in prison. Legend has it that the folklorists … Continue reading Leadbelly