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Hump Day Is Tax Day!

It’s Hump Day Biscuiteers but this week it happens to fall on Tax Day. We’re dedicating this week’s edition to tax time blues.

Naturally we have some Hump Day related good humor in two of these songs. The Dixon Brothers speculated what might happen if the government put “Sales Tax On The Women” and Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson decries paying luxury tax on his dates with ladies. 

Here are a pair of stanzas from “Sales Tax On The Women”

“That’s the way it goes, Uncle Sam knows
He’s just torturin’ me and my pals
We would die with the blues without any shoes
If you put the sales tax on the gals

Well, I don’t mean any harm when I step out at night
Happy times with the ladies I’ve spent
Sales taxes on the kisses just wouldn’t be right
In my pockets I would never have a cent”

Vinson took the approach of comparing women to meat, which were apparently two luxuries he could not do without:

“No I don’t wanna bite, that meat’s too hot for me
No I don’t wanna bite, that meat’s too hot for me
I used to get it for two dollars, way back in nineteen fifty three

Well I went to see my baby, she said daddy just relax
I went to see my baby, she said daddy just relax
But that night when I was leavin’, I paid ten dollars luxury tax”

Something tells me his baby got the ten dollars and not his Uncle Sam.

We haven’t always paid income tax to the Federal Government. In 1913, Congress added federal income taxes to the constitution by passing the 16th Amendment. In 1862, Congress created the first income tax in order to pay for the Civil War. That law was repealed in 1872. In 1894, Congress created a flat income tax which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. It was gone within a year. In the early days of the Blues, sales tax was also a new concept. The Great Depression spurred state governments to add sales taxes to bring in revenue. Two dozen states started collecting sales tax in the 1930s. “Sales Tax” by Mississippi Sheiks explores this new concept. At the beginning of the song, there’s a little dialogue which sets up the song. It may not be that clear on the recording so here it is:

‘Hey Walter, we need some cigarettes
Lets go ahead and get a pack’
‘Okay’

Storekeeper Spoken:
‘Hello boys, what can I do for you?’

‘I’ll have a pack of cigarettes’

‘Alright, here you are’

‘Be 3 cents more, though’

(both spoken)
‘What’s that for?’

‘Sales tax, haven’t you ever heard of sales tax?’

‘I sho’ haven’t’
‘What’s gonna happen next, man?’
‘You know they gotta law here they call ‘sale tax’.

‘Sale tax, what is that for?’

‘that’s 3 cent tax on ev’ra thing that’s sold
They say that’s the government rule’

‘The governments rule?’
‘Well, there’s a-lotsa things sold that the government
Knows anything about.’

‘An I’ll just sing a little song about these sales tax.’

We’d be remiss if we did a Tax Day feature without Robert Cray’s “1040 Blues” and we have a rare live version of Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble doing The Beatles’ “Taxman.” And when you’re done paying all those taxes, you just might end up like Albert Collins: “Broke.” Let’s all just hope they don’t put sales tax on the women!

JB Lenoir Tax Paying Blues

Mississippi Sheiks Sales Tax

Dixon Brothers Sales Tax On The Women

Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson Luxury Tax Blues

Robert Cray 1040 Blues

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble Taxman

Albert Collins Broke

Hump Day! Risque Tunes For Your Midweek Blues 2/18/15

Ah, Hump Day. Hump Day this week falls on Ash Wednesday, the official beginning of Lent for Christians. Of course, that means giving up something near and dear to your heart for 40 days or so. Some things are easier to give up than others. Usually on Hump Day we focus on the sexual nature of the blues but other vices have played a large role in the Blues as well. So this week we are expanding our illicit horizons to a few things you might not want to give up until Good Friday.

Since Fat Tuesday was yesterday and we’re celebrating excess this Ash Wednesday Hump Day, we have six tunes for your enjoyment. Billy Boy Arnold will start us off with a song about a woman hopelessly in love with “Whiskey, Beer And Reefer.” She was probably a fun girl for a while. It sounds like he’s not ready to give her up yet. We know Otis Rush isn’t ready to give up his woman yet. Otis is hooked! He works through his struggle with “I Can’t Quit You, Baby.” Jimmy Rogers has a liquid solution for the broken heart; any heart, really. He’d rather be “Sloppy Drunk” and I don’t see him giving it up for forty minutes let a lone forty days. 

George Thorogood relates a tale of woe regarding his woman and a bit of cocaine. If only he’d fasted on the cocaine and stuck to bourbon, scotch, and beer he would have avoided prison and his lady friend might still be alive – especially if she gave up nagging for Lent. Sometimes you just have to step away from the situation and get tall. Moreland & Arbuckle are getting taller by the hour. Cruisin’ the back roads and getting high have a history as old as the automobile itself. Drive carefully boys and girls, Moreland & Arbuckle could be out there driving Tall just when you least expect it.

Last but definitely not least, we have Albert Collins and his crowd pleasing exercise in denial “I Ain’t Drunk.” Since we’re celebrating sins of all kinds this week, I feel I should mention the sin committed in this video: excessive synthesizer. I’m pretty sure I see the keyboard player stroking the wheel (that sounds dirty) to bend the keyboard notes. He’s one drink away from whipping out the keytar and there would be no forgiveness, from God or anyone else, for that indiscretion! And shame on Debbie Davies who appears to be enjoying this extravagant synth shower of notes. I blame the 80’s and the drinkin’.

Alright, Biscuiteers, enjoy Hump Day and leave that cocaine be.

 

SPECIAL NOTE: If you enjoy Moreland & Arbuckle, please consider supporting their Kickstarter campaign. The band has produced a brand new record and are looking for supporters to help them get it distributed. Please click HERE to support the band.

 

Billy Boy Arnold Whiskey, Beer And Reefer

Otis Rush I Can’t Quit You Baby

Jimmy Rogers Sloppy Drunk

George Thorogood & The Destroyers Cocaine Blues

Moreland & Arbuckle Tall Boogie

Albert Collins I Ain’t Drunk

 

Hump Day! Risque Tunes For Your Midweek Blues 11/26/14

Welcome back for Hump Day! Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States and I am from the United States, I’m dedicating Hump Day to food and eating! Eating what? That’s for you to decide. Whatever it is, Memphis Minnie wants you to “Keep On Eating.” I’m guessing she’s talking about her hot buttered biscuits but you never know…

While you’re feasting on Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, remember your manner! Take T.V. Slim’s advice: “Don’t Reach Across My Plate.” I first heard this song as done by Albert Collins on his Frostbite album. I couldn’t find a clip with Albert’s version but the original certainly gets the point across. If you can find Albert’s version check it out. His keen sense of humor really shines.

Later on after the football games and a tryptophan and carbohydrate induced nap, maybe you’ll be looking for a light snack. Lonnie Mack and Stevie Ray Vaughan know exactly how you feel. They’ve got the “Oreo Cookie Blues.” If you’re looking for something else to snack on, A.C. Reed and Albert Collins can offer you some “Junk Food.” I know most of these tunes aren’t particularly risque but A.C. Reed does keep talking about a footlong…

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you enjoy a day of food, family, friends, and blues. I’m off to whip up some Blues Biscuits…

 

T.V. Slim Don’t Reach Across My Plate

 

Memphis Minnie Keep On Eating

 

Lonnie Mack & Stevie Ray Vaughan Oreo Cookie Blues

 

A.C. Reed Junk Food

Hump Day! Risque Tunes For Your Midweek Blues 8/13/14

BuddyGuySlippinInHump day, hump day, hump day! Step right up folks, but keep quiet and low down. We’re waitin’ til your man is gone, sneaking around back, and making a special delivery. I’d say we’ll be your back door man but I wouldn’t want you to get the wrong idea, if you know what I mean.

This week the tunes aren’t as naughty as usual but the characters involved certainly are. What we have are some tunes about sneaking around, covering multiple perspectives. Poor Albert Collins wondering who ate the steak attached to bones left on the dirty dishes, Buddy Guy letting his woman know that her sneaking around back fired, and Mr. Rick Estrin realizing he’s just another conquest of a woman sneaking around on her fiancee during the Blues Cruise. Oh, how wicked the women are in the world of blues. They’re as fickle as can be. The whole lot of them are immoral tarts and we love them. And so does everyone else apparently…

 
Albert Collins – Too Many Dirty Dishes (Montreux 1992)

Buddy Guy – Someone Else Is Steppin’ In (Slippin’ In)

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats – (I Met Her On The) Blues Cruise

 

Friday The 13th Hoodoo Moon Playlist Re-cap

This past Friday the 13th, with the Honey Moon about to loom large in the night sky, we hosted a Facebook Blues Jam. We jammed your news feed with thirteen songs of superstition, bad luck, and trouble. 

What blues songs had you moaning in the moonlight? 

Here’s a quick recap of ours:

1. Albert King – Born Under A Bad Sign

2. Albert Collins – The Moon is Full 

3. Beck, Bogert & Appice – Black Cat Moan

4. R.L Burnside – Bad Luck and Trouble

5. Samantha Fish – I Put A Spell On You

6. Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child

7. Willie Dixon – Seventh Son. I just realized “Seventh Son” was the seventh song.

8. Matt Hill – Hellz Bellz. Matt now plays in his wife Nikki Hill‘s band.

9. Moreland & Arbuckle – The Devil And Me

http://vimeo.com/68025058

10. Robert Johnson – Me And The Devil Blues (Take 1)

11. Gov’t Mule with Derek Trucks & Oteil Burbridge – Superstition

12. Muddy Waters & Junior Wells – My Mojo Working 

13. Howlin’ Wolf – Evil