Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dishonesty and Lies => Honesty and Truth: Confessin’ the Blues

Jay McShann: Confessin‘ the Blues


I’ll get to the main body of this post in a moment, but first, I have a confession to make. I’m sure many of you noticed that last week’s posts were… odd. There was a secret theme that became less secret as the week went on: each post had to contain at least one lie in honor of April Fool’s Day. So now, those who wish to can go on a scavenger hunt. Find the lie in each post. Beware, some posts had more than one, and the lie isn’t always the one identified in the comments. To start you off, my last post of the week was a sort of existential lie. Everything I said about Would I Lie To You was true, but, of course, that wasn’t the song I posted. Can you find the other lies? Have fun with it, and good luck.

Confessin’ the Blues seemed to me to be the perfect transition song, going from lies to truth. The narrator here is promising his honesty in the name of love. Jay McShann leaves it at that, but some versions have additional lyrics that imply that he used to be a liar, and that the woman he sings this to has lied to him. So, he is at a turning point, and he hopes she can love him back and join him there. Like many others, I first heard Confessin’ the Blues as performed by the Rolling Stones. The Stones were a fine blues band in their early days, and they always tried to get their fans to seek out the great blues masters they covered. In the case of Confessin’, the Stones probably based their version on the one by Little Walter, but the song is older than that. There is a fine version from the big band era, by Joe Williams with the Count Basie Band. McShann slims that version down a bit, and creates a wonderful jump blues version.

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