Guest programmer Matthew Berg, AKA @wnyconservative, has gifted us all with a wonderful overview of West Coast Blues, to invoke a short-form description of the genre–and one that doesn’t really do it justice.
As Matthew put it:
I think the over-arching theme is of Los Angeles as a key epicenter of urban blues, and of the development of R&B and rock. There are a number of clear influences in the music–the adaption of swing to smaller, tighter arrangements; the incorporation of jazz influence (especially w/the bass lines and afro-cuban strains); and the heavy Texas influence, including both boogie woogie piano and the heavier guitar-driven blues.
Very well said.
Perhaps the most amazing part of the West Coast Sound – aside from the glorious music, of course – is that it was overwhelmingly driven by musicians who were born elsewhere, as is amply demonstrated by the song selections. A truly magical genre of American music.
Hope you can stop by, listen to the show, and join us in chat!
Oh, and the show will be followed by a repeat of my Mystery DJ Show, rather that by the usual musical response by Generalissimo.
Spoiler set list:
Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers: Driftin’ Blues
Floyd Dixon: Hey Bartender
Ivory Joe Hunter: Yes I Want You
The Robins w/Johnny Otis Orchestra: Turkey Hop
Duke Henderson w/ Shifty Henry’s All Stars: Don’t Slam the Door
Helen Humes: They Raided the Joint
Roy Hawkins: The Thrill Is Gone
Cecil Gant: Another Day – Another Dollar
T-Bone Walker: Mean Old World
Lightnin’ Hopkins: Play With Your Poodle
Guitar Shorty: Pumpkin Pie
Johnny “Guitar” Watson: Three Hours Past Midnight
Pee Wee Crayton: Blues After Hours
Percy Mayfield: The River’s Invitation
Jimmy Nolen: The Way You Do
King Perry & His Pied Pipers: Natural Born Lover
Little Willie Littlefield: Drinkin’ Hadacol
Jimmy Witherspoon: Drinkin’ Beer
Amos Milburn: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
Peppermint Harris: I Got Loaded
Wynonie Harris: All She Wants to Do Is Rock
Big Joe Turner: Around the Clock
Lowell Fulson: Blue Shadows
Lloyd Glenn: Chica Boo
Joe Liggins: The Honeydripper
Jimmy Liggins: I Ain’t Drunk
Nellie Lutcher: Fine Brown Frame
Joe Lutcher and his Society Cats: Rockin’ Boogie
Roy Milton: Milton’s Boogie
Camille Howard: Losing Your Mind
Calvin Boze: Safronia B
Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five: Saturday Night Fish Fry
Jimmy McCracklin and His Blues Blasters: Beer Tavern Girl
Lafayette Thomas: The Thing
Saunders King and His Rhythm: Swingin’
Gladys Bentley: Before Midnight
Banner photo is of Lowell Fulson from a promotional glossy.