The Rhyme Report 26th April 2017
If you’re feeling washed-out, tired, listless, unwell, under the weather, or just plain sick – then, you’ve come to the right place. Yes, Nothin’ But The Blues is good for what ail’s you – and in this edition, we’re off to the Doctor’s surgery to fill our prescription for the Blues. ‘Doctor’ Alexa Reason will be consulting, with a shot of Rhythm and Blues – and all the pills to cure your ills. (I promise, this won’t hurt a bit.)
You only have to think of Billie Holiday’s classic, “God Bless The Child” to know how prevalent the subject of family has been in the history of the Blues.
And in this edition of Nothin’ But The Blues, we’re looking into just one tiny corner of family matters, with our focus set squarely on the In-Laws. And with plenty of opportunity for tongue-in-cheek humour to come into play it’s no surprise that it does, especially with Rick Estrin And The Nightcats’ contribution, “I’m Takin’ Out My In-Laws”. (His conviction is firm until the tables are turned.)
In an earlier edition of Nothin’ But The Blues we looked at the relationship between man and his religion. Now, it’s time to square the balance sheet. After all, the Blues has often been (disparagingly) referred to as, “The Devil’s Music”. Whilst holding a rather contrary opinion to that notion, I’ll freely admit, that a man beset with the Blues, might easily feel he is dogged by demons. Possibly, with a ‘Hellhound’ on his trail. Or, believing he can hear Satan at his front door, saying, “It’s time to go”.
Legend has it, that the King of The Delta Blues himself, Robert Johnson, entered into a Faustian pact with the Devil, meeting with him at a lonely crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi, just before midnight. In exchange for the supernatural ability to play his guitar, the young Robert agreed to surrender to the Devil, his mortal soul. Great story. And you’ll be hearing from Mr. Johnson in this edition, as well.
And is that all? Hell, no. What kind of Cultural Detective would leave his believers basking by the burning brimstone of Beelzebub’s back forty?
(Extreme alliteration: 1 – Good taste: 0)
Okay, movin’ right along.. Also in Nothin’ But The Blues, we have some Blues about, well, movin’ right along..
And there’s history too. You’ll hear a scratchy sample from one of the earliest commercial recordings which is still in existence. Featuring a vocal group from Chicago known as The Standard Quartette, the song, “Keep Movin’” was recorded in early 1894. (Yeah, really.)
There’s also other songs about movin’, including a rousing live performance by English Bluesman, John Mayall, at the very peak of his harmonica playing powers.
And yeah, I get it… How can we possibly fit all those syringes, sutures ’n’ stethoscopes, In-Laws – and and a weekend exorcist – into a single hour of spiritually uplifting Blues radio?
Bring your list of maladies to the Blues Clinic at noon (CST) this Saturday – and Dr. Alexa Reason will offer plausible answers to all of these questions.
Alternatively (for the Mothers In-Law), there’s this other cat, who works late, down at the crossroads. (Garlic necklace bling is recommended – but optional.)
However, if you’re unable to join us then, check-in for the special ‘Encore Edition’, during it’s re-transmission through the Blues Clinic’s P.A. system, on Wednesday evening at 7pm (CST).
And as always, thanks for listening.
Gideon Rhyme – Cultural Detective
“I Don’t Need No Doctor” – Joan Osborne
“Prescription For The Blues” – Little Brother Montgomery
“Doctor Blues” – Otis Spann
“Doctor, Doctor” – Artie ‘Bluesboy’ White
“Yo Family (Don’t Like Me)” – James Harman
“Mother In-Law Blues” – Buddy Guy
“I’m Takin’ Out My In-Laws” – Rick Estrin And The Nightcats
“Me And The Devil Blues” – Robert Johnson
“Devil In My Closet” – John Campbell
“Shakin’ Hands With The Devil” – Roy Rogers
“Keep Movin’” (excerpt) – The Standard Quartette
“You Got To Move” – Boyd Rivers
“Got To Move” – Elmore James
“Room To Move” – John Mayall