Happy Hump Day Biscuiteers! Valentine’s Day is coming up so I hope you have plenty of bawdy Blues ready for Hallmark’s annual Hump Day Blow Out (#thatsoundsdirty). One way to warm up for this winter holiday of love is to check out the sultry side of songstress Shemekia Copeland.
Shemekia will be appearing at F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, PA next Friday, February 20, 2015 and it got me thinking about her catalog of songs. She never gets raunchy, but it gets pretty steamy when this “Wild, Wild Woman” starts to “Turn Up The Heat.” Shemekia actually has a song called “Happy Valentine’s Day” but it’s a depressing tale of a cheating man making her cry on Valentine’s Day. Now, that is no way to treat a lady. Certainly not the new Queen of the Blues!
If you want to know how to treat her, go no further than “Your Mama’s Talking.” For some reason, ladies referring to themselves as Mama in bawdy songs doesn’t seem as creepy as the guys calling themselves Daddy, but it’s still disturbing. This mama will take your mind off that conundrum for sure.
We hope you have a happy Hump Day, a Happy V-day (naughty!), and if you’re in the area, please join us at Shemekia’s show at the F.M. Kirby Center next Friday.
Damn it’s cold out there! Especially if you’re anywhere from Sweet Home Chicago eastward. It’s Hump Day and we all need a little warmth in our lives this wintery week to get us through. Thankfully, plenty of blues men and women have some suggestions for us.
Howlin’ Wolf offers his “300 Pounds Of Joy” to keep you warm. I’m guessing he’s not talking about slow cooking a side of beef, but meat is definitely being offered, if you know what I mean…
Alexis P. Suter has a few ideas to warm you up this winter. She explores them in her song “Big Mama.” “Big mama gonna play with you, big mama gonna see you through.” She cares. She wants to warm you up – up being the operative word. Candye Kane has similar thoughts. She knows you need a “Great Big Woman” this Hump Day to show you how to love. Your temperature is rising already isn’t it? At least, I think it’s your temperature.
Big Twist & The Mellow Fellows are looking for some heat, and ladies they want to you to keep your hot box burning. “Don’t Turn Your Heater Down” please, they need your heat all around them. Finally we have Joe Louis Walker agreeing with the ladies of the blues as he looks for a “Big Fine Woman” to warm his heart and other organs. That sounds dirty.
No matter what you’ve got, shake it, roll it, bump it, and hump it. It’s hump day after all!
Howlin’ Wolf Three Hundred Pounds of Joy
Alexis P. Suter Band Big Mama
Candye Kane Great Big Woman
Big Twist & The Mellow Fellows Don’t Turn Your Heater Down
I looked at my watch and it was quarter past two, time for a little hump day fun with you and we’ll reel… Reelin’ and Rockin’ with Chuck Berry. Was Chuck a blues man? His path to fame followed in the footsteps of the great blues men. He came from a southern city, moved north, made his name playing electric guitar and singing energized versions of down home songs, and wound up at the home of Chicago Blues – Chess Records. Modern blues players certainly recognize Chuck’s Blues. Sure his blues was faster and had an undeniable swing but it was blues nonetheless. The father of Rock & Roll was a Blues man. Hey, if Willie Dixon played on your records, you’re a blues man.
I’ve been digging some Chuck Berry grooves lately and I’ve been particularly smitten with an album called The London Chuck Berry Sessions. Chess had several of its big acts record with some of their British fans who just happened to be some of the most popular musicians in the world in the late 60s and early 70s. Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Rory Gallagher, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Mitch Mitchell and several others from the British music scene sat in to record with their heroes like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Chuck Berry. The live half of The London Chuck Berry Sessions is my favorite however.
The recording captures Chuck in a playful mood as he rips through “Johnny B. Goode,” guides the audience through the ins and outs of “My-Ding-A-Ling,” and best of all, he offers a down and dirty version of “Reelin’ And Rockin’.” You may recall that Rock & Roll was a southern term used by the blacks to refer to sexual intercourse. Naturally Chuck ran with that euphemism and created a one-eyed monster all his own. In the lyrics of “Reelin’ And Rockin'” he definitely blurred the lines between sock-hop dance moves and the backseat after-party. The original lyrics were innocent enough to get radio play in the ultra-conservative 1950s, but were filled with double-entendres for those in the know. Chuck was the master of the double-entendre. Sometimes it seems like all the double-entendres currently in use are on loan from the collection of Charles Edward Anderson Berry.
So, for Hump Day this week I’m dedicating this feature to “Reelin’ And Rockin'” and it’s many variations. First is the version from The London Chuck Berry Sessions, then there’s a live appearance, also in London recorded around the same time. you’ll notice some of Chuck’s schtick is the same but his facial expressions are priceless. Next up we have a powerful houserockin’ version from one of Chuck’s biggest followers, George Thorogood. George and the band leave the Hampton crowd exhausted. After that we have a slightly laid back version courtesy of the Sam Lay Band. From there we head to the outer perimeter of the Blues World to one of my favorite roots rock bands – Tommy Conwell & The Young Rumblers. In the synth pop 80’s, Tommy and the band had the audacity to sneak blues tinged tunes like “I’m Not your Man” and “Love’s On Fire” into the top 40. Deeper album cuts like “Workout” and concert staples like Freddie King’s “Hideaway” gave away Tommy’s love of blues. Unfortunately they are a largely over-looked band and we’ll give them a glance right here and now. Also from the Rock and Rockabilly portion of our Venn Diagram of Blues comes a band called The Head Cat. The Head Cat features Slim Jim Phanton from the Stray Cats, Danny B. Harvey from Lonesome Spurs, and Lemmy from Motorhead. Yes, that Lemmy. Seriously, how many Lemmys do you think there are? Give it chance. Maybe you’ll hate it, er, like it. Yeah, maybe you’ll like it. I love it.
If you stick with us, Reelin’ and Rockin’ your way from Chuck Berry to Lemmy, you get a special Hump Day treat at the end. No, not that kind of treat! Play with your own Ding-A-Ling!
Chuck Berry Reelin’ And Rockin’
Chuck Berry Reelin’ And Rockin’ – BBC Theatre, London 1972
George Thorogood Reelin’ And Rockin’
The Sam Lay Blues Band Reelin’ And Rockin’
Tommy Conwell & The Young Rumblers Reelin’ And Rockin’
You know, sometimes Hump Day doesn’t go as planned. Not everyone gets to enjoy the Hump Day activities. Every blues musician knows you don’t always get what you want. Unrequited desire has been the basis of many songs, in all genres, ever since the first note was sung. However, there’s something about the way a blues singer puts it into words that separates them from the rest of the pack. Sometimes those words work out so well, they’ve got extra humps lined up for the following week.
This week we’re dedicating Hump Day to those who want the attention of their lover but they just aren’t getting any. For Harpdog Brown, his woman is too busy with her online friends. He’d love to poke his “Facebook Woman” but he can’t get his login, if you know what I mean…
Poor Lil’ Ed Williams is having similar issues with his “Computer Girl.” Her idea of digital input doesn’t quite match Lil’ Ed’s. No Nybbles and Bytes for Ed tonight, looks like his dongle will be left dangling even though none of the female ports are in use. Maybe he should look into some hot swappable plug and play action.
Finally, we have a more traditional dilemma. Booze and Blues go hand in hand and Moreland & Arbuckle know it well. Dustin Arbuckle is getting wound up by his “Teasin’ Doney” whose favorite licker comes in a bottle. That sounds dirty. It probably is. It’s Hump Day after all!
P.S. Anyone who knows what in the name of Sam Hill a teasin’ “doney” is gets a shiny new dime. We’ll FAX it to you. We’ll FAX you real good.
Welcome back for more Hump Day fun. It’s 2015 and we have a whole new round of filth lined up for you this year! We’ll ease in slowly to 2015 with a fairly tame set of tunes that aren’t particularly blunt but they get the point across. The International Blues Challenge is happening next week so if you’ll be on the road to Memphis you might think about a whole other kind of joyride while you’re cruising down the highway.
Since the dawn of the automobile, it has not only been used as a sexual metaphor in song, it’s also been used as a rolling hotel room for young lovers everywhere. Some musicians have worked their exploits into songs. Some have sung about the woe of seeing their lover in the car of another. You just can’t trust a woman who will spend the day riding around town while you’re hard at work! Still others have written songs about the desire to go for midnight rides. Naturally, these songs are about making sure the young ladies are safe and not walking late at night along dangerous roadways. Their safety is your primary concern, right fellas? And if there happen to be some submarine races happening, you’ll be more than happy to give the ladies a ride, if you know what I mean.
So, this week we’ll look at the evolution of a relationship as it moves from one car-related stage to the last. First, when the romance is new you want to take your young lover for a ride in your car under the romantic moonlit sky. Howlin’ Wolf knew this long before he left Memphis. He tells us all about it in “Baby, Ride With Me.”
Next, the romance has waned. You’re working hard all day long and you get the feeling your woman isn’t hanging around the house just waiting for you to come home. She’s having fun joyriding in some other guy’s car. Lightnin’ Hopkins had it happen to him and he shares his misery in “Automobile Blues.”
Eventually, everything comes to an end. Relationships are a lot like cars. They’re exciting and powerful when new, but they take some hits – a few bumps in the road, somebody in a parking lot slams into them a few times, the bumper gets out of shape, the paint job fades, things start to leak… Sure you can fix it up a little, give it a good jump to get it going but in the end it’s time to part ways. It might be a difficult split. Jimmy Thackery has some great advice for handling the break up.
Zat you Santy Claus? Creeping around after midnight, jiggling your sack, checking out our stockings, and delivering your loads? If you’re going to be playing Santa this year, you’ve come to the right place to pick up some pointers on what the adults might be expecting. That’s right, it’s another Holiday Hump Day installment. There’s no Blue Christmas here and with a little luck and persuasion, no blue Christmas balls either. That sounds dirty!
Lots of Christmas songs are about Santa delivering his presents, and this week we look at some songs suggesting that whoever is playing Santa at their house might have a little extra work to do. Now you might think it’s just the guys looking for a little extra Christmas good will, but the ladies are waiting with the mistletoe hung high and low.
First up we have Lil’ Ed And The Blues Imperials with “I’m Your Santa.” So if you are looking for a man in red to bring you that special gift, Ed’s your man. If Ed’s busy making house calls, William Clarke offers his services in “Please Let Me Be Your Santa Claus.” He’s looking forward to your red hot kisses under the Christmas tree. I hope you like pine needles in your stockings.
If you’re looking for someone to deck your halls, Jimmy Butler is offering his services. Jimmy wants to trim your tree for you and he seems pretty sure you’ll be happy with his work. He should definitely make sure he stops at Shakura S’Aida’s house this year. She’s looking for a man to “Be My Santa” and she’s encouraging her Santa to bring that bag of toys. Do the girls on the naughty list get different toys?
You better make sure you get back in a flash from your midnight ride, or Victoria Spivey ain’t gonna let your see her Santa Claus. I’m pretty sure she’s not talking about her collection of Hallmark Santa ornaments.
Happy Hump Day, everybody! Now get out there and spread that Christmas cheer.
Lil’ Ed And The Blues Imperials I’m Your Santa
William Clarke – Please Let Me Be Your Santa Claus
Jimmy Butler Trim Your Tree
Shakura S’Aida Be My Santa
Victoria Spivey I Ain’t Gonna Let You See My Santa Claus
Ho ho ho! What’d you call me? Hey! It must be Hump Day again. Christmas is coming and it occurred to me that the man with the bag sees a lot of action this time of year, if you know what I mean…
Santa Claus apparently gets a Hall Pass from Mrs. Claus every December. If the songs are to be believed, Kris Kringle is spreading more than joy at Christmas. I’m not sure if he’s a jolly old elf or a dirty old man. He certainly has an eye for the ladies and the ladies are more than willing to wait for Santa under the mistletoe to barter for bigger and better presents.
Blues men and women of all eras have fallen under Santa’s spell. Some have even gone so far as to impersonate Santa for the nefarious purposes of re-gifting beef logs, unwrapping presents, and removing stockings.
Albert King is playing Santa this year and he makes one thing clear: “Santa Claus Wants Some Loving.” He’s been working all year and needs to cut loose a little. C’mon ladies, Santa loves your cookies and he likes his milk straight from the tap!
B.B. King takes a slightly different approach. Skip the chimney, Santa’s coming in the back door. Either way, that sounds dirty. I get the feeling B.B.’s Santa is spreading love and joy the whole year. Swiss Colony was made for this Santa. They’ve got beef logs, meat sticks, and summer sausages, and Back Door Santa’s giving it to everybody he can. As B.B. King sings, old St. Nick don’t come but once a year. No wonder he makes it last all night…
Shemekia Copeland has the cure for Santa’s Christmas Blues but she can’t get him to stick around to sample her goodies. She wants to get her jollies straight from Mr. Kringle. Her tree is trimmed and she’ll deck his halls real good, wink wink nudge nudge. Christmas Eve is on Hump Day this year so maybe she’ll get her wish this time around.
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
Have you got the Hump Day blues? Feeling down? Feeling low? A little sluggish? Need to put a little spring in your step? Forget the Snake Oil salesmen. It’s time to call on your doctor – your special doctor who loves to make house calls and give you a thorough exam. He’s got the cure for all your ills and guarantees to make you feel good. Real good.
That’s right. Even in Blues playing doctor is a popular game. Today we have Muddy Waters with “I’m Your Doctor.” The tune is the B-side of Muddy’s 1960 Chess single “Read Way Back.” Muddy has his mojo working overtime on this one and Little Walter is writing harmonica euphoria prescriptions. Muddy knows he can cure your headache with a double dose of love so please strip down and get ready to be probed. Who’s ready for the rectal exam?
Next we have George Thorogood & The Destroyers performing “Love Doctor” from their album The Hard Stuff (that sounds dirty). He proudly declares “the doctor is IN!” after offering to operate on you and kiss it where it hurts. Now that’s bedside manner!
Finally we have Johnny Winter and “Medicine Man” from his album Let Me In (that also sounds dirty). This is low down and grooving with guitar licks to soothe your aches and pains but this medicine man has other ideas about how to maintain your happiness and well-being. He’d also like to remind you that “your g.p.’s got cold hands” and “Dr. Quincy’s much too old” just in case you were thinking maybe Quincy was available for the evening’s examinations. Don’t suffer alone, let Johnny Winter in – he’s the warm-handed medicine man.
Hump Day baby! Hump that bump! Bump that Booty. It’s Booty time, booty time across the USA! Like that classic Blues band the Spin Doctors once said “Gotta love it, it’s my duty, she got a big fat funky booty.” Tongue in cheek right? Right!
I don’t know how or why but this week is Booty week. Let’s blame Linsey Alexander who just put out a new disc called Come Back Baby (reviewed here) and he has a tune called “Booty Call” that’s catchy, naughty, and bawdy. The blues men have a long history of loving a big woman with a big back side. From Leadbelly’s “Big Fat Woman Blues” to Big Joe Turner’s “TV Mama” – the one with the big wide screen – the blues loves a booty. Whether they’re calling it, bumping it, humping it or just looking at up close and personal, they love it.
Freddie King was a fan of the shakin’ booty, and as you’ll see in the Bobby Rush video, so is he! There’s plenty of gratuitous booty shakin’ when Bobby Rush is on stage with Mizz Lowe and the other dancers. Watching Mizz Lowe work it might not be safe for work so keep it on the down low.
Last, we have Son Seals. Poor Son was so depressed by the skinny women in the big city he declared he was “Goin’ Home” where women got meat on their bones – and a big fat ass (we added that part but he was thinking it!). Somebody shoot thang! Happy Hump Day friends. Enjoy!