Blues is a genre and musical form originated by African Americans in the Deep South of the United States around the end of the 19th century. The genre developed from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, spirituals, Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. Blue notes, usually thirds or fifths flattened in pitch, are also a part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove, Blues as a genre is also characterized by its lyrics, bass lines, and instrumentation. Early traditional blues verses consisted of a single line repeated four times, Early blues frequently took the form of a loose narrative, often relating the troubles experienced in African-American society. Many elements, such as the format and the use of blue notes. The origins of the blues are closely related to the religious music of the Afro-American community. The first appearance of the blues is often dated to after the ending of slavery and, later and it is associated with the newly acquired freedom of the former slaves. Chroniclers began to report about blues music at the dawn of the 20th century, the first publication of blues sheet music was in 1908. Blues has since evolved from unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of slaves into a variety of styles and subgenres. Blues subgenres include country blues, such as Delta blues and Piedmont blues, as well as urban blues styles such as Chicago blues, World War II marked the transition from acoustic to electric blues and the progressive opening of blues music to a wider audience, especially white listeners. In the 1960s and 1970s, a form called blues rock evolved. The term blues may have come from blue devils, meaning melancholy and sadness, the phrase blue devils may also have been derived from Britain in the 1600s, when the term referred to the intense visual hallucinations that can accompany severe alcohol withdrawal. As time went on, the phrase lost the reference to devils, by the 1800s in the United States, the term blues was associated with drinking alcohol, a meaning which survives in the phrase blue law, which prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sunday. Though the use of the phrase in African-American music may be older, it has been attested to in print since 1912, in lyrics the phrase is often used to describe a depressed mood. The lyrics of traditional blues verses probably often consisted of a single line repeated four times. Two of the first published songs, Dallas Blues and Saint Louis Blues, were 12-bar blues with the AAB lyric structure. Handy wrote that he adopted this convention to avoid the monotony of lines repeated three times, the lines are often sung following a pattern closer to rhythmic talk than to a melody
Martina Gillian Topley-Bird is an English vocalist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who first gained fame as the featured female vocalist on trip hop pioneer Trickys debut album, Maxinquaye. She also worked with him on his subsequent albums Nearly God, in 2003, Topley-Bird released her debut solo album, Quixotic, which was critically praised and earned her a Mercury Prize nomination. This was followed by Anything, The Blue God, and Some Place Simple. She has also collaborated with Gorillaz, appearing on their album Demon Days, as well as with Mark Lanegan, Diplo, and Massive Attack on Heligoland and her work has been sampled by such artists as Stephen Marley, Berry Weight, and The Weeknd. Martina Topley-Bird was born in London, England to Charlette Conlon, and Martin Geoffrey Topley and her stepfather is British direct marketing specialist Drayton Bird, whose surname she adopted in addition to her fathers. Her mother is of Salvadoran and Seminole Indian descent, while her father was of untraceable African American descent, Topley-Bird grew up in a large family, with five siblings and three step-siblings. Her family later relocated from London to Bristol and we moved about a bit when I was a child, which wasnt a problem for me, she recalled. If youre not white and middle-class, then slightly different. I thrived, and survived, on those situations and she attended Clifton College, where she was a member of the school choir and took piano lessons. Topley-Bird grew up listening to R&B, opera, and soul music throughout her childhood, as a teenager, she began listening to alternative rock, and became a fan of The Sugarcubes, Faith No More, and Janes Addiction. In 1993, as a teenager at Clifton College, Topley-Bird was discovered by trip hop pioneer Tricky when he saw her sitting on a wall near his house, thats really how it happened, she recalled. Its one of things people are always surprised to find out is true. I remember the graveyard behind the wall, a few weeks later, I went around to his house with some friends. Wed been drinking cider after our GCSEs and we were banging on his door, but he wasnt in. Then Mark Stewart, who lived there, came up to us and said, Yeah, so I jumped through, opened the door and we got mashed. She and Tricky formed a partnership, and Topley-Bird collaborated with Tricky as a featured vocalist on his debut album Maxinquaye. Almost all of her vocals on the album were recorded in a single take, in describing the recording sessions, she recalled, It was totally instinctive. There was no time to drum up an alter ego, I liked the idea that the information people needed about me was what they would hear when they put the record on
Cross Road Blues
Cross Road Blues is a blues song written and recorded by American blues artist Robert Johnson in 1936. Johnson performed it as a piece with his vocal and acoustic slide guitar in the Delta blues-style. Bluesman Elmore James revived the song recordings in 1954 and 1960–1961. English guitarist Eric Clapton with Cream popularized the song as Crossroads in the late 1960s and their blues rock interpretation inspired many cover versions and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included it as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. Rolling Stone placed it at three on the magazines list of the Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time in recognition of Claptons guitar work. Little is known about Johnsons life and musical career, although his recordings are well documented, in October 1936, Johnson auditioned for music store owner and sometime talent scout H. C. Speir in Jackson, Mississippi, Speir passed on Johnsons contact information to Ernie Oertle, after a second audition, Oertle arranged for Johnson to travel to San Antonio, Texas, for a recording session. Johnson recorded 22 songs for ARC over three days from November 23 to 27,1936, during the first session, he recorded his most commercially appealing songs. They mostly represented his original pieces and reflected current, piano-influenced musical trends, the songs include Terraplane Blues along with Sweet Home Chicago and I Believe Ill Dust My Broom, which became blues standards after others recorded them. A second and third recording date took place in San Antonio after a two-day break, Johnson reached back into his long-standing repertoire for songs to record. The material reflects the styles of blues performers Charley Patton and Son House. Evokes the themes of damnation and redemption, darkness and light, glimpses into the musicians inner life, and all its attendant turmoils. Cross Road Blues was recorded during Johnsons third session in San Antonio, the sessions continued at an improvised studio in Room 414 at the Gunter Hotel. ARC producers Art Satherley and Don Law supervised the recording and used a portable disc cutting machine and it is unknown what input, if any, they had into Johnsons selection of material to record or how to present it. Two similar takes of the song were recorded, a crossroads or an intersection of rural roads is one of the few landmarks in the Mississippi Delta, a flat featureless plain between the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers. It is part of the iconography and various businesses use the name, such as gas stations, banks. A crossroads is also where cars are likely to slow down or stop. In the simplest reading, Johnson describes his grief at being unable to catch a ride at an intersection before the sun sets, however, many see different levels of meaning and some have attached a supernatural significance to the song
Rollin' and Tumblin'
Rollin and Tumblin is a blues song first recorded by American singer/guitarist Hambone Willie Newbern in 1929. Called a great Delta blues classic, it has been interpreted by hundreds of Delta and Chicago blues artists, Rollin and Tumblin has also been refashioned by a variety of rock-oriented artists. Hambone Willie Newbern recorded Roll and Tumble Blues on March 14,1929 in Atlanta and it shares several elements of Minglewood Blues, first recorded in 1928 by Gus Cannons Jug Stompers. Newberns Roll and Tumble Blues is a piece with his vocal. The song is performed in the key of A using an open tuning, the tempo varies from an initial 140 beats per minute to a final 158 bpm. A key feature of the song is that the first verse begins on the IV chord, after the first two measures the IV chord resolves to the I chord. Often the IV chord moves to IV♭7 on the measure or the last two beats of the second measure. The lyrics follow a standard blues AAB pattern and relate a failed relationship, Roll and it was released before the advent of race records charts, however, it soon became an oft-covered standard and Newberns best-known song. The best-known version is Muddy Waters Rollin and Tumblin, with Ernest Big Crawford on bass, leonard Chess insisted that Waters record the song less than a month after Waters had recorded a version for the rival Parkway label, featuring his bandmates Little Walter and Baby Face Leroy Foster. The Parkway label credits the Baby Face Leroy Trio, with vocals by Leroy, elmore James recorded a different arrangement of the song in 1960, with himself credited as author. In 1961, Howlin Wolf recorded Down in the Bottom, which employed a new set of lyrics and is credited to Willie Dixon, Delta bluesman Johnny Shines recorded a version called Red Sun, with the traditional music but different, prison-themed lyrics. R. L. Burnside recorded what he titled Rollin Tumblin on several occasions, in 2010, Cyndi Lauper recorded Rollin and Tumblin with Ann Peebles for her blues album Memphis Blues. HowellDevine recorded a version for their album, Jumps, Boogies. Johnson, by Jeff Beck in 2000 on You Had It Coming, the song was recorded by Bob Dylan for his 2006 album Modern Times. Dylan claims authorship of the song on most versions of his record, while musically the arrangement is very similar to the Muddy Waters version, Dylans introduces all new verses, though retaining the two opening lines. A version of the song can be seen on Dr. Feelgoods Going Back Home show from 1975 which was released on DVD back in 2005, Dr. Feelgood also covered the song on their second album Malpractise from 1975. Despite the similarity in title New Minglewood Blues was a different song, the album credits Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty, Jimmy Page and Keith Relf as the songwriters. The same year, Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band recorded Sure Nuff n Yes I Do as the song on their debut album, Safe As Milk
Mannish Boy is a blues standard by Muddy Waters. First recorded in 1955, the song is both an arrangement of and a song to Bo Diddleys Im a Man, which was in turn inspired by Waters. Mannish Boy features a repeating stop-time figure on one chord throughout the song and is credited to Waters, Mel London, the original version of Mannish Boy was recorded in Chicago on May 24,1955, under the title Manish Boy. Accompanying Muddy Waters were Jimmy Rogers on guitar, Junior Wells on harmonica, Fred Below on drums, Muddy Waters recorded several versions of Mannish Boy during his career. In 1968, he recorded it for the Electric Mud album in Marshall Chess attempt to attract the rock market, after he left Chess, he recorded it for the 1977 Hard Again album which was produced by Johnny Winter. The song also was included on the live album Muddy Mississippi Waters - Live and he also performed it at The Bands farewell concert The Last Waltz, and the performance was included in the documentary film of the concert as well as on the films soundtrack of the same title. The song reached number five during a stay of six weeks in the Billboard R&B chart, the song was Muddy Waters only chart appearance on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 51 in 1988. In 1986, Muddy Waters original Mannish Boy was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame Classics of Blues Recordings category and it was also included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fames list of the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Mannish Boy is ranked number 230 in Rolling Stone magazines list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, a jam recording by Jimi Hendrix appears on the compilation album Blues. Paul Butterfield recorded it in 1986 for his album The Legendary Paul Butterfield Rides Again, hindu Love Gods for their self-titled album The Bocephus Box, a three-CD box set by Hank Williams, Jr