Friday, October 24, 2008

Catfish blues

Step 1.Listen to Robert Petway in another window while you read. Right click, "Open Link in new window" or similar. Or listen later if you want.

The Davidson County Library has been a valuable resource (including the location for my early voting). The music collection and the sheer number of interconnected library branches in the county have been great to listen to music. Browse online and pickup a few days later. So, this is my shout out to the library, whatever that means. Word.

That brings me to a book I read about Robert Johnson. Actually about the changing face of blues music in popular culture, it was a good read. The author Elijah Wald is a musician, and thus speaks a certain kind of language. There are a more than a few old blues guys that I haven't got to yet and so I checked out some CDs from the library.

There is a lot going on the world too. I have been looking at a professional realignment for some time and have found clean energy to be very interesting. I have also been looking at water resource issues and the very observable effects of a changing climate system, unbuffered by a cold ocean. At least I think that is the case in the western US. Anyway, much of my extended family out here is experiencing drought conditions in eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio. An interesting paradox since we had all of that flooding and generally shitty weather out here this year. The folks in Morgan county are likely 'out of water' as neighboring Magoffin county. The Licking River is running dry this year. And there's this pesky invasive plant everywhere called kudzu. So right, then this stock market trouble, a record-high unemployment in Tennessee. Things are looking great for me. If I had any wealth, I would have less now. So I am lucky that I don't. Yet if I had any money, I could really drive somewhere with this cheap gas…

I have been turned on my ear listening to Skip James. A masterful guitar player that was unheralded in his time, and refused to join the fray of the 1960's blues/folk revival. The precious recordings heard on this CD are quite simply some of the most interesting music I've heard.


Then I got a compilation CD and stumbled into a track by an even more obscure old blues artist Robert Petway.

Wow.

I keep listening to his Catfish song, over and over and over. I am familiar with this song as played by Hendrix from the Blues compilation, and famously, the Muddy Waters song retitled Rolling Stone. The song that inspired that famous band from England.

So, repeating Step 1. Listen to Robert Petway from 1941. Right click, "Open Link in new window" or similar. "Setting out hooks for me". Read more about the song here.

1 comment:

  1. Step 1: I tried. "This video is not available in your country". Sigh. Let's here it for your local branch or the public library though! And horray for i-tunes, who will sell you too much music no matter where you live :)

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