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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Prime Time's House of Blues

    I honestly don't care if no one else even bothers to click on the link. The blues is the first, most enduring love I've ever had in music and I'm starting a thread for it. It might just be me writing pseudo-columns on various aspects of the style of music that kicked off most other popular styles, but if anyone does feel like spending a bit of time talking about blues - or blues-rock, rock and roll, soul, or jazz, or anything that conceivably be related - then this is a good place to do it.


    Right, so it's not the best known name in the history of the genre but I've been listening to a bit of Skip James lately. The thing that really gets me is that a lot of his stuff was written in the 1930s and basically forgotten about until he was brought back by the rock n'roll boom and the increased interest of the early 1960s, when he started recording music again. It's a great story just in that regard. But what strikes me is how modern the 1930s stuff sounded. The shift in Blues to blues rock that you get in the late 1960s suddenly makes a lot more sense listening to Skip.

    Here's a song first recorded in 1931 for anyone curious. I really do think you can pick out a lot of later influences and I'd bet a lot of people writing in that great creative burst had had James on their turntables at some point. Sound quality of the recording aside, I genuinely can't get over the fact that this is recorded so early.



    If you're interested in some of the technical points, James often played guitar with an open D minor tuning, which I think is what gives it that heavier, deeper soulful tone that you don't always get. He's also using a lot of fingerpicking which plays in well to the bit of slide that you can hear.


    Anyway, hope someone enjoyed that. If not... well, I'll probably do it again anyway.

  2. #2
    Southern Discomfort The Dude's Avatar
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    Really good. The vocals on this recording seem a little too loud compared to the guitar though.

    I have mad respect for some of those blues guys, BB King, Howling Wolf, Leadbelly etc

    I don't know much else, but if you wanna post more vids/links that would be cool!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I'm sure I'll do just that.

    In the meantime, I think you're right about the levels but remember just how much recording music was in its infancy. In Blues in particular, a lot of it was point a microphone at someone and not a lot more. But he did re-record it in the 1960s when the audience came back, and in many ways this is a higher quality recording.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNftrsCMiQs

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