Clifton Chenier – Black Snake Blues (1967)


FrontCover1As with the blues, my favorite zydeco is the early stuff. As one of Clifton Chenier’s earliest albums, “Black Snake Blues” falls within the classic era. While sources conflict, we know that it came out in either 1966 or ’67. Released through Arhoolie Records, the album opens with the fantastic title track. It appears on a few Chenier compilations and for good reason. As the title suggests, ‘Black Snake Blues’ and the entire album is very bluesy. That said, ‘Let’s Talk It Over’ is straight-up zydeco. ‘Walking To Louisiana’ is a great tune featuring Chenier’s glorious accordion work. ‘Things Ain’t What They Used To Be’ is a slow blues tune. In contrast, ‘Wrap It Up’ is an upbeat shuffle. As would be hoped, there are a few songs like ‘I Love My Baby,’ that are sung in French. Much of the album plays zydeco with a strong infusion of country blues. As a notable exception, ‘I Got A Little Girl’ channels Chicago blues. Near the end of the song, it even sounds like the King of Zydeco lyrically references Robert Johnson’s ‘Sweet Home Chicago.’ Featuring bass and smokin’ electric guitar work, the tune makes for one of the album’s highlights. Along similar lines, “Black Snake Blues” makes for a strong Clifton Chenier album. (by Delite Rancher)

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Personnel:
Felix James Benoit (guitar)
Cleveland Chenier (rub)
Clifton Chenier (accordion, vocals)
Robert St. Julien (drums)
Joe Morris (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Black Snake Blues (Chenier) 4.19
02. Let’s Talk It Over (Chenier) 2.58
03  Walking To Louisiana (Chenier) 3.23
04. Key To The Highway (Broonzy) 2.52
05. Things Ain’t What They Used To Be (Chenier)  3:05
06. I Got A Little Girl (Chenier) 2.55
07. Monifique (Chenier) 4.25
08. Johnny Can’t Dance (Chenier) 2.21
09. I Lost My Baby (in French) (Chenier) 3.20
10. Can’t Go Home No More (Chenier) 3.10
11. Wrap It Up (Chenier) 3.05

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Various Artists – American Folk Blues Festival 69 (1969)

frontcover1The American Folk Blues Festival was a music festival that toured Europe as an annual event for several years beginning in 1962. It introduced audiences in Europe, including the UK, to leading blues performers of the day such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker and Sonny Boy Williamson, most of whom had never previously performed outside the US. The tours attracted substantial media coverage, including TV shows, and contributed to the growth of the audience for blues music in Europe.

German jazz publicist Joachim-Ernst Berendt first had the idea of bringing original African-American blues performers to Europe. Jazz had become very popular, and rock and roll was just gaining a foothold, and both genres drew influences directly back to the blues. Berendt thought that European audiences would flock to concert halls to see them in person.

Promoters Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau brought this idea to reality. By contacting Willie Dixon, an influential blues composer and bassist from Chicago, they were given access to the blues culture of the southern United States. The first festival was held in 1962, and they continued almost annually until 1972, after an eight-year hiatus reviving the festival in 1980 until its final performance in 1985. (by wikipedia)

And this is rare live recording from the 1969 show, recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall (October 3, 1969) and this album include rare recordings by more or less unknown blues artists like Juke Boy Bonner. John Jackson and Whistling Alex Moore but although well known artists like Earl Hooker and Carey Bell.

And not to fortget, the pioneer of Zydeco, the one and only Clifton Chenier !

Enjoy this mixture of American tradtional music !

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Personnel:

Juke Boy Bonner:
Juke Boy Bonner (vocals, guitar, harmonica)

Earl Hooker Band + Carey Bell Band: :
Carey Bell (harmonica)
Earl Hooker (guitar, vocals)
Robert St. Julien (drums)
Mack Thompson (bass)

Clifton Chenier Band:
Cleveland Chenier (washboard)
Clifton Chenier (accordeon, vocals)
Robert St. Julien (drums)

John Jackson:
John Jackson (guitar, vocals)

Magic Sam Band:
Robert St. Julien (drums)
Magic Sam (guitar, vocals)
Mack Thompson (bass)

Whistling Alex Moore:
Whistling Alex Moore (piano, vocals, whistling)

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Tracklist:
01. Juke Boy Bonner: Jumpin’ With Juke Boy (Bonner) 1.40
02. Earl Hooker: Going Up And Down (Hooker) 5.07
03. Carey Bell: Rocking With Chromanica/I Feel Bad, Bad, Bad (Bell) 7.00
04. Juke Boy Bonner: Running Shoes (Bonner) 2.25
05. John Jackson: Poor Boy (Jackson) 3.02
06. Clifton Chenier:  Zydeco Et Pas Sale (Traditional) 2.50
07. Earl Hooker: Blue Shadows Fall (Hooker) 5.12
08. Clifton Chenier: Wrap It Up (Traditional) 3.08
09. Magic Sam: Easy Baby (Maghett) 3.24
10. Magic Sam: Looking Good (Maghett) 2.06
11. Whistling Alex Moore: Across The Atlantic Ocean (Moore) 6.34
12. John Jackson: John Jackson Breakdown (Jackson) 1.43

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