[5-Minute Dance Party] Boom Boom and Cuttin’ Out


I nearly fainted when I came across this high-quality rare early footage of one of my favorite John Lee Hooker songs. Nearly, but not quite.

To call in this brand new year, I’m going back to my roots— my musical roots, to be exact: The BLUES.

I like all forms of the blues. I like the call-and-response style that birthed the early blues sound. I like eight-bar and twelve-bar forms of the blues. I like ’em plain, with a tapping foot and a four-track recording system, and I like ’em all hopped up with amps and sliding electric guitars.

To state it and overstate it twice: I loooooooove the blues. Because the blues are a style and a way of being. It’s a type of music that speaks to the soul of experience in a really fundamental way. It’s at the root of what I love most— an honest sound.

So, really, what could be better to bring in 2013 than a nice, sweet dose of the blues?

We’re going to start off with John Lee Hooker, one of my biggest musical heroes, singing straight from the hip on a shortly-lived BBC show. (The BBC has captured some of the best performers of every generation. Thank you, BBC.)

On Monday, we’re going to take a step back in time to something earlier and a little rougher, and then, as a big treat, we’ll do something smooth and purposely blues derivative at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s.

Then Wednesday, we’re going to keep going on the way out with our blues sound, and by Friday, I’ve got some special treats that come from that blues heart, and I’m going to take you to one of the birthplaces of the blues.

Sound good? Let’s start with a good sound.

Sending y’all lots of warm-hearted thoughts and warm-hearted sounds this Sunday morning—

Courtenay Bluebird

5-Minute Dance Party [Cross Road Blues]


Standin’ at the crossroads,

I tried to flag a ride

Standin’ at the crossroads,

I tried to flag a ride

Didn’t nobody seem to know me—

everybody pass me by


This Robert Johnson standard has about umpty-ump interpretations, some of them quite controversial. Take a look at Wikipedia’s synopsis of Cross Road Blues to see what I’m alluding to here.


5-Minute Dance Party [My Father Was A Jockey]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDFk9O2GPI0

My father was a jockey—

he taught me how to ride.

My father was a jockey!

He taught me how to ride.

Once in the middle—

and side-to-side.


Let’s say I’ve got something big coming up. In fact, let’s say that I’m driving to this important engagement—  a poetry performance, maybe.

And let’s say that I need to be in a focused, high-energy headspace.
This is the song I listen to when I need to pull out
Let’s say this song teaches me how to ride.  Once in the middle, and side-to-side.