Monday, March 5, 2012

Goodbye: Goodbye Bessie Mae

Lonnie Youngblood: Goodbye Bessie Mae

In the mid 60s, Lonnie Youngblood had his own band under various names, including Lonnie Youngblood and the Bloodhounds and Lonnie Youngblood and the Red Jackets. It appears that Dartmouth College was on to him as a "great" since he was called back more than once (there is a story that his repeat appearances there are a part of the legend of the Animal House film). At about this time, he also sat in with Sam and Dave, Ben E. King and James Brown among others. If you've ever heard of him, you are most likely to have run across him on account of the guitarist he hired to play and record with him in New York in 1966 (apparently at about $25 per session) , a musician calling himself Jimmy James (or perhaps Maurice James, but still known as "Jimmy"). A few months after these sessions, this guitarist moved to London and started the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

My selection this week  comes across as a rather standard blues recording produced in a small studio in NYC. The historical notes about this recording are somewhat uncertain - various claims are made about who did what, but it does seem clear that Lonnie Youngblood did the vocals (and probably some of the sax) and Jimi Hendrix did the guitar parts. It sounds like a rather standard blues song in the mid 60s style, but I urge you to listen carefully to the intro guitar and the short guitar solo (at about 1:20) that - to me - certify that this is indeed Hendrix working his way toward the style we acknowledge as his.

Again, because the historical record is a bit fuzzy, in addition to the vocals that are credited to Lonnie Youngblood, I want to assume that at least some of the backing brass is Lonnie Youngbloood - being that his instrument was the saxophone. However, there is little doubt in my mind that the short guitar riffs you hear at the beginning, in the solo and throughout are %100 Hendrix.

blog comments powered by Disqus