Friday, December 22, 2006

Sugar Baby

Trouble is a thing called bad
Sometimes seems like trouble's all I've ever had
The weather man he told me, gonna be some wind
Hang on everybody there's a storm comin' in
Hard times comin', everywhere you turn

Can't get away from the pain and the burn
And everybody tellin me 'bout the good times I don't have
Cause I know trouble......
Trouble is a thing called bad.

When the Africans were forced into slavery and sent on ships to America, the first thing their captors did was to take away their drums, the most important instrument in their vibrant music. Without this vital outlet, the slaves turned to their guitars for percussion and from this emerged the unique form of music known as the blues. A strange and beautiful mixture of melody, rhythm, and lyrics that forever changed the face of musical expression in the world.

The original bluesmen and women sang about life in all its sorrow and joy. The most truthful songs I've ever heard.

They also took everything in the barnyard ...washboards, sticks, spoons, jugs, tubs, carved whistles, and fueled by their homemade liquor made some of the most joyous and uproarious sounds ever known. The jug bands from the Mississippi Delta were unmatched in originality and jubilance.

This great creation traveled all over the country and influenced American pop music in its glory days.... The first half of the 20th century. The best music we ever made. Freed from the confines of European structure, these sounds mixed with fantastic lyrics to influence the entire world and get them dancing to the irresistible beat. It's unfortunate that so many Americans cannot know the exhuberance of the bands that came out of Chicago, Memphis, St. Louis, Kansas City, New Orleans, and all over the United States. It's hard to fathom the experience of such music live and in the streets by day and by night.

Love or hate, I'm truly glad that my countrymen today don't know the kind of social and political oppression that spawned this creativity. I hope they never will. I also am in awe of the basic human ability to transcend these horrors and triumph in the spirit.

I love the Blues. As a blues singer, songwriter, and piano player, I will carry on this remarkable tradition forever.

Sugar Baby, oh so sweet

Sugar Babe, I need something to eat
Sugar Baby......I'm feelin' blue
It's such a mean old world through and through.

One minute you're cold, the next minute hot
Lookin' for somewhere put that arrow shot
Sugar Baby, I'm feelin bad
You're the meanest man I ever had.

Sugar Baby, what's that I see
Come a little closer you got something for me
Sugar Baby.....
Yeah, yeah, yeah

You turn to the left, you turn to the right
Then you turn around and I'm nowhere in sight
Sugar baby.....I'm comin' back to you
But if you want me hangin 'round
You better watch what you do.

photo:Son House by David Gahr
Trouble is a Thing Called Bad, Sugar Baby by jm.


Anonymous casey31652 said...

With my broom in my hand, headed out from Jackson Square.
With my broom in my hand, headed out from Jackson Square.
I had to get to East Texas, find that graveyard somewhere.

Well, down Highway 90, I fell on Lafayette.
Well, down Highway 90, I fell on Lafayette.
I had just a dime in my pocket, I was hungry and soakin' wet.

Well, please Mr. Policeman, please put me in your jail.
Well, please Mr. Policeman, please put me in your jail.
I got to get me some rest before I get back on the trail.

I got to find Blind Lemon,
I got to find Blind Lemon.
I got to find Blind Lemon.
See that his grave is kept clean.

Well, early next morning, boys were driving through town.
Well, early next morning, boys were driving through town.
Stopped and passed me some whiskey, said buddy, better turn around.

We went over to the blood bank
Cookies and a two-dollar bill.
We went over to the blood bank
Cookies and a two-dollar bill.
And headed back to Nw'Orlins
Gotta find Blind Lemon someday.

Gotta find Blind Lemon
Gotta find Blind Lemon
Gotta find Blind Lemon
See that his grave is kept clean.

Yeah. I love the blues too.

20/8/06 3:39 PM  
Anonymous casey31652 said...

And one of my favorite lines from an old Vera Hall song:

"Won't kitchen look lonesome when your biscuit roller's gone?"

Thanks for posting about some real music. I just read a really annoying quote on CNN from Justin Timberlake about how Taylor Hicks could stay on tune to save his life and how, in the old days, when people were all coked up, they were hawt, man. It was so sexy."

Shakes head. That child needs a good healthy dosage of reality.

20/8/06 3:45 PM  
Anonymous casey31652 said...

Make that "Won't YOUR kitchen look lonesome"

Interesting discussions, y'all have been having this weekend. I was off in the Sim world. Played 15 hours straight yesterday and went to bed at 3:00 a.m. Haven't done THAT in a while.

20/8/06 3:47 PM  
Anonymous casey31652 said...

Couldn't stay on tune. Geez, I can't type either.

20/8/06 3:48 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Casey!!!! OMG!!!

Thank you so much. I got chills.
"cookies and a two dollar bill".
I think there's something more to the line,"see that his grave is kept clean". It appears so often.

Please post more good ones if you feel like it. I'm in the mood for the blues.
This is wonderful.

20/8/06 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JM! that photo! says it all i love the blues too and jazz. mmmhmmm

Authentic stuff right from the heart/soul.

20/8/06 3:52 PM  
Anonymous tseka said...

see what you do to me all this...
t'was me tseka

20/8/06 3:53 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I love it!!!!!

Won't your kitchen look lonesome when your biscuit roller's gone?".

I can't even begin on the subject of nonmusic that is worshipped in this culture. Your qoute says it all. There's a lot to do.

Remember that tune, "Handyman"? I'll post those lyrics in a bit.

20/8/06 3:54 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I can't believe how this is making me feel. Revealing it is. I'm going to look through my songs and find words for us.

20/8/06 3:56 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I love this one.

Once I lived the life of a millionaire
Spending my money and I didn't care
Taking my friends out for a mighty fine time
Drinking champagne, liqour, high priced beer and wine
And then I began to fall so low
Didn't have a friend I had no place to go
If I ever get my hands on a dollar bill again
Gonna squeeze that dollar bill until the eagle grin. Nobody knows you
When you're down and out
Yes I say it's strange, strange without a doubt
How nobody knows you when you're down and out.

20/8/06 4:06 PM  
Blogger Neith said...

This is an amazing post,jm . . .

I just finished a post on Gemini NN/Sag SN . . . but that was yesterday's discussion!! :-)

Hey jm!!! Go to Pi Chron & notice who got added to Pat's link section!! We're famous . . sorta . .

20/8/06 4:07 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Neith!!!! I saw that. Our names in lights! I've gotta get over there to comment but there is so much happening on our famous blogs it's hard to find a second!

20/8/06 4:25 PM  
Anonymous tseka said...

Jm, i left a little something for you on the last post that may relate to your NN Taurus, and your comment And who knows, maybe one day the public won't attack me!

Back to painting, finished one and on another, good painting day. warm thoughts around all of you - nice post Casey. humming and away she goes

20/8/06 4:27 PM  
Blogger jm said...

HA HA HA HA again!!!!
2025! At least I'll still be alive!

You are so funny, tseka. I never knew how much. I saw that incredible post of yours and you are a genius. I'd like to explore this. So very fascinating.

20/8/06 4:32 PM  
Blogger jm said...

neith! Your post hasn't appeared on my computer yet. It's tomorrow's discussion too. This will go on for some time.

I'll be back shortly and inward, onward, and upward we'll go on the North in Gemini in the 7th.

20/8/06 4:35 PM  
Blogger Neith said...

What I meant to say is that I posted a new post on my blog . . . we all have these wonderful multiple streams of conversations going at once!!! Now that has to be NN in gemini talking . . . when my gemini step-daughters come to visit, they both talk at the same time & expect me to follow both conversations & answer them! gotta love it . . :-)

20/8/06 5:12 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Here's one of mine:

My Mamma said, don't do what I did
My Mamma said, don't do what I did
Don't hurt yourself too much
Let the good things in.

One night Mamma said, look at the shape I'm in
One night Mamma said, look at the shape I'm in
One hand on a cigarette, the other round a bottle of gin.

Bad luck. Comes to everyone
It comes but it does not stay
You got to learn to roll with it Baby
And love this life anyway.

Enjoy the good times, don't cry too much when it gets bad
Enjoy the good times, don't cry too much when it gets bad
Don't miss me too long
Don't let it make you too sad.

There's a big thing comin, and now my Mamma's gone
There's s big thing comin, and now my Mamma's gone
I'm gonna do what Mamma said, let this good things in.

20/8/06 7:22 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Let 'the' good things in.

20/8/06 7:23 PM  
Anonymous casey31652 said...

Played to the sound of an ol' lazy 5-bar piano:

Your picture has faded
It hangs up on the wall
Your picture has faded
It hangs up on the wall
It's been hanging there so long
I can't see your face at all.

My ol' house seems haunted
And there ain't nobody 'round
My ol' house seems haunted
And there ain't nobody 'round
In the middle of the night
Seems my whole house is fallin' down.

Well, I hear my back door slammin'
I think I hear a little baby cry
Well, I hear my back door slammin'
I think I hear my little baby cry
I want you to tell me, mama,
Do you still have me on your mind?

Your picture has faded
It hangs up on the wall
Your picture has faded
It hangs up on the wall
You've been gone so long
I can't see your face at all.

Can't tell you who wrote that, the CD's back at the office, but it is mighty fine playin'.

And here's a link to a great blues site, talkin' about one of our great blues guys who was still playin' around town when I was young. I saw him back in the mid-70s on stage with Townes Van Zandt who was a Texas cult songwriter. If you're interested, I blogged about it back in February (or January?)

20/8/06 9:30 PM  
Anonymous casey31652 said...

And, oh yeah, both Lightnin' and Townes were Pisces, Lightnin' born on March 15, just a day (and 40 years) earlier than me.

20/8/06 9:32 PM  
Blogger Neith said...

Music seems to be integral to life for Pisces born. This one Pisces sun conjunct Venus man I spent time with lived & breathed music. He played guitar & taught others to play too. After we went our separate ways, he met & married a high school music teacher (a Scorpio). He loved all music but classic jazz was his favorite to listen to & to play.

That Scorpio music teacher really gave me evil looks whenever I ran into them . . . figured that was just about the right reaction!!

20/8/06 9:40 PM  
Anonymous casey31652 said...

"See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" is Lemon's signature tune (the words adorn his grave monument)" from the review of "The Best of Blind Lemon Jefferson."

The CD I was listening to (and can't recommend highly enough, it's so good) was "The Secret Handshake" by Geoff Muldaur who can REALLY sing and pick those old blue even if he is from Massachusetts. I don't know;40 years in music has to give you some soul bonus points. I used to like to listen to the blues station on XM radio when I still had my sweetie. But lately, it makes me sad. Love those oldies from 30s through the 50s. Bob Dylan plays them a lot on his Themes, Dreams, and Schemes Radio Hour which I listen to religiously.

20/8/06 9:43 PM  
Anonymous casey31652 said...

Well, Neith, you know how possessive and jealous Scorpios are!

I had a piano teacher who, whenever I hadn't practiced hard enough, would play the old jazz pianists like Mose Allison for me. A good healthy dose of inspiration.

You know, all the people I know that are REALLY into music were exposed to a huge variety of music when young. I'm tryin' with Pookie. I bought a CD storytelling from Africa that had Ladysmith Black Mombasa on it. He could care less about the story about the turtle but everytime they start to sing, he just stops, entranced. Tauruses. Another truly musical sign.

20/8/06 9:48 PM  
Blogger Neith said...

Tauruses. Another truly musical sign.

So are lots of Capricorns. I'm going to seriously date myself here but I loved Joan Baez. Her album "Diamonds & Rust" was a favorite. Have no idea why but we watched a movie about Elvis Presley's life sometime in the last year or so. He was profoundly influenced by those black blues singers too. And in that movie, there was lots of wonderful music. Also watched that movie about Ray Charles w/Jamie Foxx...there was some powerful music in that one too.

20/8/06 9:59 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Geoff Muldaur was behind the Kweskin Jug band, one of the most outrageous in the 60's and they did all the old crazy Delta tunes.

Several astro factors are involved in music. Capricorn is good at composition and conducting. They also know good music and have the finest stereo systems. Some Pisces have music nonstop, but some aren't that interested. Can't quite put my finger on it.

But playing musicians are heavily represented by Cancer, since it is a thing of feeling. And the most predictable of music lovers, is probably Taurus.

The Blues I think is cancer primarily. All the personal problems, the soul, the heart, the longing, the range of emotion, and a lot of emphasis on Mamma and Daddy. Basic day to day struggles.

20/8/06 10:50 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I do have to go back a sec and mention the Kweskin Jug Band's washtub bass player Fritz. He was a riot! At the Newport festival one year he wore royal blue granny glasses, was tall, skinny, and wild, and so much fun to watch. But I fell in love with his washtub as much as him. What an instrument!

20/8/06 10:54 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Mose Allison is one of my favs. In fact, I am compared to him, although I don't play fast. But that jazz rap thing is all me. He's a heavy.

Your mind is on vacation but your mouth is working overtime

Everybody's Crying Mercy is an all time classic. I love love love it.

20/8/06 11:12 PM  
Blogger Pamela Leavey said...

Sing it girl! Great post - what a treat to happen upon.

Geoff Muldaur's ex is one of my fav's - has been for over 30 years. When I was 16 a date took to me Sandy's in Beverly, MA to see her perform for the first time. Years later I had the opportunity to meet her and have dinner with her band.

There's a magic in the blues that has invested music as we know it, but so many don't understand or recognize that.

There's nothing blue about the blues - it soul soaring, uplifting, transformative stuff that takes your breath away.

20/8/06 11:14 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Pamela, how beautiful. You are on a roll.

Maria Muldaur was also one of my loved ones. I'm a Woman is in my repertoire inspired by her.

I'm praying for good music to come back to us, especially after the destruction of NOLA. It's all the more important to soar with the blues now.

20/8/06 11:20 PM  
Blogger jm said...

How Much Truth
By Mose Allison

How much truth can a man stand
Sittin by the ocean
Nothin but perpetual motion
Finger paintin
In the sand
How much truth can a man stand

How much truth can a woman stand
Looking at her teenage daughter
Just another lamb for the slaughter
15 years
With a lyin man
How much truth can a woman stand

How much truth can a world stand
Life without its daydreams
One of a million so it seems
Wonderin how it all began
Threatened by the works of man
Destined for the fryin pan
How much truth can a world stand
How much truth can this world stand.

21/8/06 12:40 AM  
Anonymous casey31652 said...

"How much truth can a world stand
Life without its daydreams"

ooooh, goosebump moment. Cuz lately I've been feeling that's how I've been living. No daydreams. Nuthin' to daydream about. Just staring into the stark face of reality.

But when I can't stand facing the real anymore, then I start mentally building houses and furnishing them. And start painting walls in real life.

Funny, my life seems to have been organized into daydream decades. The 80s was my Mozart decade. I absolutely was blown away by "Amadeus" and I would mentally transport myself back to 1780s Vienna. Then I would try to construct it from the most authentic small details I could imagine. Now it's houses. Funny, the one consistent thing I can remember ever wishing for was a house of my own. Must be the Taurus rising.

21/8/06 4:54 AM  
Blogger jm said...

I don't think I know the stark face of reality. I'm always jiggling with it. Put a mustache or something on it. Anything.
I can't tell the difference, anyway. My imagination never shuts down. It's all reality to me.

Even when I got a root canal, my dentist was singing whole the time.

21/8/06 5:44 AM  

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