Saturday, 28 May 2016

I Guess A Man's Got To Do What He's Best At

A couple of posts ago I noted that I had some hot wargaming action to report on, but I can't for the life of me imagine to what I was referring, so we're back to music again. I have been to see Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus play some acoustic blues. I've seen the former before when he was backed by the Mississippi Mudbloods featuring the rather excellent Cody and Luther Dickinson, but not on that occasion Alvin Youngblood Hart. It was only three years ago or so but I don't seem to have written it up in this blog at the time. For the record: the band were excellent; I was accompanied by a rather delightful French lady that I used to knock about with (inexplicably only now making her first appearance in the blog); and the council/police closed the venue down almost immediately afterwards. It was through the Dickinson brothers that Siegal met Mathus, himself from Mississippi and a man with strong connections to the history of the blues. Indeed his childhood nanny was Rosetta Patton, daughter of Charley Patton, the man who taught Robert Johnson to play and Chester Burnett to sing. Siegal, who does a nice Howlin' Wolf type vocal tribute, comes from the deep south of Hampshire rather than the delta and tells the story of how the locals in the Mississippi hill country, having trouble pronouncing his first name, gave him a nickname based on his place of origin: 'Overseas' Siegal. Knowledge of the rest of the world has never been a strength among Americans in my experience.

Musically, they covered a wider range than strictly the blues, indeed they equaled Tom Russell's record of playing two songs referencing Pancho Villa in the lyrics; these being Russell's own 'Gallo del Cielo' and Steve Earle's 'Mercenary Song'. From the folk canon they gave us 'Casey Jones' and, of all things, 'Dirty Old Town'.

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