Celebrate Magic Sam’s birthday by watching this masterful performance of Sam’s Boogie

Sam is absolutely burning it up, and on a guitar borrowed from Earl Hooker! Raw and dirty Blues.


Blank On Blank animates Nina Simone

The most recent animation from the PBS Digital Studios series covers a 1968 Nina Simone interview conducted by Lilian Terry.

She’s got that Go-Go Power: Happy birthday, Sugar Pie Desanto.

These first two clips feature Hubert Sumlin, famous for his work with Howlin’ Wolf and one of my Top Ten guitarists ever, absolutely killing it, PLUS Willie Dixon, Sunnyland Slim and Clifton James! What a band!

A monster dancer, where Sugar Pie shares vocals with Etta James…

She’s gonna be a party poppin’, show stoppin’, wig floppin’ witch for a night!

Still looking and sounding fantastic into the 21st Century…

Watch her get down!

Not sure what the status is on this documentary, but I’m damn glad to see Sugar Pie get the love she deserves.

It’s poet and political activist Amiri Baraka’s birthday

“Wise I” – Amiri Baraka

WHY’s (Nobody Know
The Trouble I Seen)

If you ever find
yourself, some where
lost and surrounded
by enemies
who won’t let you
speak in your own language
who destroy your statues
& instruments, who ban
your oom boom ba boom
then you are in trouble
deep trouble
they ban your
oom boom ba boom
you in deep deep


probably take you several hundred years
to get

Frenetic Free Jazz and verse, from Baraka’s 1972, It’s Nation Time – African Visionary Music, released on Motown subsidiary, Black Forum, and featuring Idris Muhammad, Lonnie Liston Smith, Gary Bartz, James Mtume, Reggie Workman and numerous others.

Baraka’s intensity is really on display here, with a backing band of some of the era’s greatest Jazz innovators; Albert Ayler, Sunny Murray, Don Cherry, Henry Grimes and Louis Worrell. Released on Baraka’s own Jihad Records, as Sunny Murray’s debut LP, Sunny’s Time Now

Back when Baraka was still known as Leroi Jones, he wrote the excellent, Blues People: Negro Music In White America, tracing the African roots of Blues and Jazz, and their eventual incorporation into White American society.

“The artist’s role is to raise the consciousness of the people. To make them understand life, the world and themselves more completely. That’s how I see it. Otherwise, I don’t know why you do it.”

The Rolling Stones in full on Jimmy Reed mode

The Stones started their career off covering Jimmy Reed songs, a practice they have continued (live and in the studio, though not on record) throughout their career. Here’s a handful of Rolling Reed.