Friday, December 11, 2009

The Greats Of The Blues: J.B. Lenoir

J.B. Lenoir is another Blues performer who died too young. He was 38 years old having died as the result of complications from a motor vehicle accident.

Lenoir was born in Mississippi and like many Blues performers, he made his way to Chicago in the late 1940's and early 1950's. He had gain some notoriety having recorded for the Chess and Checker labels, but he had to support himself with menial jobs until the mid 1960's when he was re-discovered by Willie Dixon, the influential Chicago musician and songwriter. He performed in Europe as part of the American Blues Festival.

To read more about the life and times of J.B. Lenoir go to this link at Wikipedia.

Lenoir had a distinctive voice, and he will probably be remembered most for his songwriting abilities, which had a socially conscious flair. He wrote songs about life in the South ("Alabama Blues", "Alabama March","Down in Mississippi"), about the wars in Korea and Vietnam ("Korea Blues", "Vietnam Blues" ) and about the signs of the times ("Eisenhower Blues" which later became the "Tax Paying Blues").

This video is with drummer Freddy Below, and it is from 1965. The song is "The Whale Has Swallowed Me". The singing is classic J.B. Lenoir, and the use of the guitar as a percussive instrument is priceless. Enjoy!


static age said...

The real deal, thanks for sharing.

Guy M. Lerner said...

static: I am glad you like it!!

A nice diversion from the markets.