I always liked “Elvira” even though it was so obviously written to be a commercial hit when the Oak Ridge Boys sang it in 1981. Bubble-gum country, you might say. Even though I knew that, I also knew it was–and is–wonderfully catchy. “My heart’s on fire-a . . . for Elvira,” followed by a doo-wop “giddyup” that could have come from the Coasters.
Chris Stapleton and Little Big Town show it has legs. Giddyup.
Chris and Morgane are great in “Might As Well Get Stoned.” How deep is his accent? Well, he rhymes “on” and “stoned”
Bonus: If you want another, here’s a heart-wrenching version of “You Are My Sunshine,” with Morgane Stapleton killing it. It’s a little too slow for my taste but it brings out the pain in the song.
Jimmy Davis, credited with co-writing the song in 1939, rode its success to become governor of Louisiana. Davis didn’t actually write it and never said he did. He bought it from another writer and put his name on it, as many singers did in those days.
“Another Mule Kickin’ in Your Stall,” is supposed to be metaphorical.
In this case, though, it’s all-too-real. Elvin Bishop does a great, laid-back version of this Muddy Waters song. There are several great versions, if you are interested. Junior Wells has a fine rendition, featuring his harmonica. So does the great blues piano player, Otis Spann, here. Bobby “Blue” Bland does a growling version here.
France puts a massive police presence on the streets ahead of Sunday’s elections
Comment: Why would Islamic terrorists strike so close to the election, in such prominent spot? What’s the logic?
They surely know it will increase support for the most hardline anti-Islam candidates. They must calculate that such candidates will strengthen their own radical basic in poor, bitter, poorly-integrated areas in France and across Europe. That is, they want to drive a wedge between French Muslims and the rest of the country, hoping the Muslims will then side with ISIS.
The high-profile attack also signals strength to their supporters around the world. They are saying, in effect, that we may be losing their territorial Caliphate in Iraq/Syria, but we can still cause death and destruction to the Infidels. Of course, all non-Muslims and perhaps even Muslims who are not in ISIS are infidels.
Meanwhile, Europe itself is in the midst of a cultural, political, and organizational crisis, besieged on several fronts with no clear leaders and confusion over what to do about Islamic immigrants, Russia, the EU, and Turkey.
The comments came from Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager (over $5 trillion). Fink stressed how much depends on corporate earning and political action in Washington.
The stock market needs validation that U.S. corporate earnings will stay strong and that the policies of President Donald Trump regarding taxes, regulation and infrastructure will advance in Congress in order to move higher, Fink said.
“If we don’t have earnings validated in these higher P/Es [price/earnings ratios] we could adjust downward 5 or 10 percent from here,” Fink said. “If the administration does succeed on some of these items then the market will then reassert itself going higher.” –Larry Fink, interviewed by Bloomberg News
It comments on the Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood, Doe’s Eat Place in Greenville, and a lifelong favorite of mine, Chamoun’s Rest Haven (Lebanese food) in Clarksdale.
Comment: The omission of Abe’s Bar-B-Q is a serious error of omission that should be corrected immediately by the Clarion-Ledger.
People don’t go to Abe’s for the view or white table cloths. They go for some serious pulled-pork sandwiches.
In other Mississippi news: Gov. Phil Bryant vetoes a budget line-item spending $50,000 on a PR campaign telling people wild hogs are dangerous. His point: they are dangerous, but you should already know that unless you are an idiot. He was more polite.
Langhorne, who died at 78, performed the great guitar lines that accompany–and form a counterpoint to–Bob Dylan’s vocals many of his great early songs. It’s his guitar solo on “Maggie’s Farm,” for instance, and on “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”
◆ Republican House bill on healthcare would allow states to tailor some requirements, including whether to require able-bodied adults to work or engage in some substitute, such as volunteer work or education.
Here is how the Washington Post headlines that news. You be the judge if this is a fair headline:
Many forms of public assistance, including food stamps, require recipients to work, look for work, volunteer or participate in vocational training. The work requirements vary from one program to the next and have varying requirements vary by the program and traits of the recipients, such as their ages and whether they have children.
Yet when it comes to health insurance, such requirements would be nearly impossible to enforce, conservative and independent experts on the Medicaid program said Friday. –Washington Post
Comment: If you wondered what Harry Reid is doing after retirement, he’s writing headlines for the Washington Post
Here is Chuck playing Johnny B. Goode live in 1958, the year he released it–and doing the dances he loved!
LAGNIAPPE: SPECIAL BONUS
Here is Chuck jammin’ with Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Chuck Leavell (of the Rolling Stone and Allman Brothers Band), and Chuck’s longtime pianist, Johnnie Johnson, who is fabulous. You’ll recognize the songs and you’ll love seeing the joy of these greats playing together.
Late in the song, you’ll hear Chuck singing with a blues rhythm that underlay his work. And what a lyric: he’s glad his baby’s back, “it’s been a long, long time since I’ve heard my backbone crack.”
Here is Cotton playing Muddy’s blues standard, Got My Mojo Working (1966, at the height of their powers).
Listen for Cotton’s brief, hard-driving solos.
Muddy had his pick of musicians, and he chose the best: Otis Spann on piano, Jimmy Rogers on guitar, Willie Dixon on bass, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith on drums, and first Little Walter Jacobs and then James Cotton on harmonica.
Born to sharecroppers in Tunica, Mississippi, north of Clarksdale, in 1935, he learned harmonica from his mother, who used it to imitate chickens and trains.
But it was Sonny Boy Williamson II who really taught him the instrument. Williamson, actually named Rice Miller, was one of several harmonica players who named themselves “Sonny Boy” after the great blues harmonica player from the 1930s. Williamson was a star on “King Biscuit Time,” just across the Mississippi River from Tunica, and young James Cotton loved hearing him. Better yet, Williamson began mentoring Cotton.
“I wanted to be just like Sonny Boy,” [Cotton] recalled. “I watched every move he made, every word he said.”
“If he played it tonight,” Mr. Cotton added, “I played it tomorrow.” –James Cotton in the New York Times
By the early 1950s, Cotton was in Memphis, working with Howlin’ Wolf and recording his own songs at Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios.
Later, he would join the great bluesmen in Chicago–most of them, like Muddy, Wolf, and Cotton, natives of the Mississippi Delta, weaned on acoustic blues, now creating the urban form of electric blues.
Cotton would go on to win all the awards blues music had to offer.
James Cotton, Rest in Peace.
To me, the most moving memorial for blues greats we have lost is “Six Strings Down.” Robert Cray wrote it after his lost his friend Stevie Ray Vaughn.
Heaven done called another blues singer back home
The song goes on to name so many of the greats.
Here’s a version led by the great Hubert Sumlin, the guitarist in Howlin’ Wolf’s band. He’s got oxygen tubes in his nose! But he’s laying down the blues for his departed friends. It’s all the more touching knowing that he has now joined them.
Special bonus question: Behind Jimmy Vaughan is Robert Cray (with the black and white guitar). What was his first movie? His role was uncredited but, I guarantee you, you’ve seen it.
If you need a hint, here it is in two words: “My man!”