Music I’m loving: Slim Harpo

I discovered Slim Harpo quite accidentally when he popped up on the CBC Radio 2 Blues program.

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Originally from Louisiana, he earnt his blues credentials playing in the bars of Baton Rouge in the 1950s with his brother-in-law Lightnin’ Slim.

Known as a master of the blues harmonica, he influenced a great number of mainstream rock’n’roll bands including The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and even Pink Floyd.

Given that I often hover around the more conservative music of the 1940s and 50s, it has been a pleasure to foray into this later more ‘developed’ blues of the 1960s.

In particular, with hit songs like ‘Scratch my back’ and ‘Shake your hips’ I have been enjoying the extra sass in his lyrics.

I’ve started with his album ‘The Best of Slim Harpo’ and it’s a great introduction to his distinctive style of laidback blues.

This ‘homegrown’ video for Slim’s ‘Scratch my Back’ will give you a great sense of his music and hopefully encourage you to check out this talented musician.

 

Music I’m loving: Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Given that I love both blues and older gospel, I was thrilled to discover Sister Rosetta Tharpe recently.

She’s known to many as the first ‘superstar’ of gospel music with her chart topping spiritual recordings in the 1930s and 40s.

Her musical mix of spiritual and blues brought gospel to the masses and she performed throughout her life for both religious and secular audiences.

Known as the ‘original soul sister’ she was criticised by conservative religious circles of the time for being a woman performing with a guitar. (!)

I particularly like her album ‘Best of Sister Rosetta Tharpe’ with it’s pared back Blues sound and here’s a couple of videos for you to enjoy.

 

Music I’m loving: Kimbra’s ‘Plain Gold Ring’

Kimbra is a Kiwi artist that recently caught my attention with her duo on Gotye’s ‘Somebody that I used to know’.  (www.kimbramusic.com)

You could be forgiven for not knowing who she is as she’s brand spanking new to the music scene – with just one album out so far called ‘Vows’.

Even at such a young age (born 1990 folks!), she has received widespread critical acclaim.

Despite that I must admit that I was pretty skeptical when I saw that she had covered the great blues song ‘Plain Gold Ring’.

How could anyone compete with the rich sultry vocals of Nina Simone?

Yet here’s the rub: She hasn’t.

She has taken this song and made it distinctly her own – and I love it.

 

Check out the video here:

Music I’m loving: Little Miss Higgins

I just love the old timey style of Little Miss Higgins. (www.littlemisshiggins.com)

For a retro girl like me this music just gets my feet a-tapping. She’s got talent, attitude, a good dose of the blues, and that voice! (Oh, and did I mention she’s Canadian?)

This is ‘Saturday-afternoon-out-for-a-drive-in-the-sunshine’ music and you can get a little taste of it here:

Music I’m loving: Ray LaMontagne

Ray LaMontagne is one musician I just can’t get enough of  –  (www.www.raylamontagne.com)

I could listen to his raspy voice all day long; this guy is so raw and real I can’t help but feel myself soar and dive as he lays it all out.

He’s known for being a very private person who rarely gives interviews, and doesn’t believe in making music videos of himself (he says they should be left for ‘beautiful people’). This means there aren’t any ‘official’ videos of him, so any music videos you’re going to find are live.

Here’s a taste of Ray LaMontagne with one of my favorite songs – filmed live at the famous Abbey Road studios – I hope you enjoy it!