Category Archives: music

More Meek

Until I ran down the Joe Meek tribute on Mt. Holly Mayor’s Office, I didn’t know that he was the producer of one of my all-time favorite 1960s songs, or that he sped up the tape in the mastering process (which explains why the lead vocalist seems to be halfway to the Chipmunks).

Fabby video.

You just can’t beat the Web for smarts!


Just Because

Joe Meek from 1963. I think a piece of my childhood is missing. Via BoingBoing.

Going Down to the River

In 1970 and 1971 I sat and listened to “Mississippi” Fred McDowell after concerts at Joe’s Place in Cambridge, a combination of hero-worship and a desperate attempt to learn some licks.

Fred would sit as long as the group continued to provide a passed bottle of apricot brandy. He was patient, I was clueless. This video reminds me of a lesson that focused on this song, Going Down to the River .

This great piece is an excerpt from a 1969 documentary called “Blues Maker.” Originally, Fred played slide guitar using a beef bone; here he’s using his trademark bottleneck. The driving bass line is characteristically Fred, something he passed on to Bonnie Raitt.


Hendrix backing Wilson Pickett:
…and in 1970 fronting at the Isle of Wight Festival. Singing and picking and chewing gum, all at the same time.

Thanks to Frango for the research.

Eddie ‘Son’ House

One of the elder generation who came north to Cambridge Massachusetts with Perls, Spiro, and Waterman. I met Son House a couple of times in the early 70s. He was still a vital force, a link to Willie Brown and ‘Little’ Robert Johnson.

I found this video while looking for Gary Davis material and had a nostalgic moment. What the open-tuning ‘holler’ style lacks in subtlety it gains in power, especially as Son House always claimed to play ‘sanctified’ music, not blues.

Rev. Gary Davis

Everyone stole his songs and his licks. In New York City, he gave guitar lessons for $5, which included dinner (home cooked). You watched, you listened, you got your money’s worth. And maybe you learned a lick or two. But nobody since was the whole package like Rev. Gary Davis.


1969Stones concert 1969 via Frango.