Origins

Note to visitors: Now that I have no plans to write new reviews, the home page will feature a different artist, era, genre or special series each week. The old home page can be accessed through the About button on the menu bar.

Maud_Cuney_Hare-154-Louis_Armstrong

This category features artists whose music formed the roots of much of the music we listen to today, particularly in three genres that freely borrowed from one another: rock, folk and country.

Please note that “much of the music we listen to today” does not include 21st-Century pop music. I have no idea where the hell that crap came from.

Everything begins with Louis Armstrong, particularly his earliest work with the Hot Fives and Hot Sevens. Armstrong is a seminal figure in multiple genres (jazz, blues, rock) but what people often overlook is his influence on vocal performance. Prior to Armstrong, you weren’t a singer if you didn’t have a pretty or pleasing melodic voice. Armstrong’s sandpapery, bluesy voice caused quite a sensation to those huddled around the monstrous radio sets of the 1920’s, particularly when he introduced scat on “Heebie Jeebies.” Soon many vocalists started to add touches of grit and smatterings of blue notes to their vocals, a trend that reached full flowering when rockers began to discover the works of Delta and Chicago blues singers. Bottom line: Kurt Cobain would have been an impossibility if it weren’t for Louis Armstrong.

The number of musicians who cite Jimmie Rodgers, Robert Johnson, Billie Holiday, Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams and Muddy Waters as influences is endless, but most common among the musicians who practiced their craft in the 60s. I think the fact that those musicians made an effort to learn from the masters has a lot to do with the superior quality, craftsmanship and diversity of 60s music—which is why this Millennial spent so much time reviewing albums from that decade.

Louis Armstrong – The Best of Louis Armstrong: The Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings

Jimmie Rodgers – The Essential Jimmie Rodgers

Robert Johnson – The Complete Recordings

Billie Holiday – Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday

Woody Guthrie – Woody at 100

Hank Williams – 20 of Hank Williams Greatest Hits

Muddy Waters – The Best of Muddy Waters

Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: