----- Original Message -----
From: "Lou Judson" <[log in to unmask]>
> Mmm, so you don't like her. So what. I spent one hour with her in my
> audio prfessor's studio watching her do melancholy baby into a hand
> held 441 and will always wonder if I should have accepted the slug of
> Southern Comfort she offered me (I didn't)...
Well, it isn't so much that I don't like her music (I can take or
leave most of it, though) as it is that I don't like (musically)
all of today's female "blues-singer-wannabes" that try to copy
what they think is her singing style! I actually have some of
her very early work on a CD released by west-coast guitarist
Steve Mann, who had some private recordings of himself
accompanying a not-yet-famous Janis on traditional blues
tunes...and got permission from her estate to release three
of those on his own CD. Very different from the "public
Janis" of the late sixties!
> I never even thought of Bessie in regard to Janis - Janis was unique.
> But I was 17 so who knew what she was tring to do except express
> I'll just bet you think Jimi Hendrix was a poor imitation of some old
> blues guitarist too and if he had lived would be inconsequential.
Nope...Jimi was, first, a competent blues guitarist (when he wanted
to be)...and a true innovator concerning what could be done with
an electric guitar and a full set of effects. As Charlie Christian
and T-Bone Walker showed the world in the late thirties and early
forties, the electric guitar was a completely different instrument
than the acoustic one had been...and Hendrix showed how much further
that idea could be taken when the guitar was augmented by electronic
"effects pedals!" Of course, today we can take our music apart
byte-by-byte (even bit-by-bit?) and reassemble it into sounds that
could never be recreated using actual instruments (and I wonder
what Jimi would have done with THAT?!)...
> If you had touched as many lives as she did it wouldn't matter when you
> died. And by this kind of post you merely invite flaming responses! If
> you don't like her then so what? I don't like Glenn Gould, so what?
Well, with Gould you can argue all the myriad technicalities of
classical piano (about which I know nothing) and thereby prove or
disprove how good/bad he was...at least to some extent.
As well, when someone effectively places a musician on a "pedestal
of sacredness" to the extent that they refuse to discuss anything
that might have been less-than-perfect about their performances,
my innate reaction is to disagree (unless my own experience has
Steven C. Barr
> we were talking about a silly joke I made about the name McGehee...
> sorry I brought it up...
> But this thread died almost as long ago too.
> Lou Judson • Intuitive Audio
> On Apr 20, 2006, at 7:19 PM, steven c wrote:
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Roger and Allison Kulp" <[log in to unmask]>
> >> Screaming can be done well.I have always liked her version of "Ball
> >> and
> > Chain".Both Merle Haggard,and The Grateful Dead did this song up right
> > many
> > times.Ramblin' Jack Elliot is pretty good,too. Roger
> >> Lou Judson <[log in to unmask]> wrote: Not to argue, but Bobby
> >> McGee is
> > one of the few she did not scream
> >> (much anyway!). But Kris Kristofferson wrote it and did it better....
> > Well, I'm regularly flamed on several blues e-mail lists because I
> > refuse to worship at the "holy Janis" shrine that was created when
> > she up and died young (an inevitability for musicians...mebbe I
> > shoulda died around 1990?)...but I have always had the impression
> > that she was trying to make up for not having a voice with Bessie's
> > strength and depth by screaming to try and reach equivalent volume!
> > Worse yet, her popularity led to a whole generation of blues-singer-
> > wannabes that actually thought that was how blues SHOULD be sung
> > (which I had to endure at a few million open stage jams!)...!
> > Of course, at the time she was one of VERY few singers who even
> > thought of attempting a cover of Bessie Smith's style...so there
> > was no one at whom one could point and say "Now THAT'S the way
> > it should be done!"
> > I only saw/heard one female blues vocalist who could do justice
> > to Bessie Smith...a young black woman in Chicago, Valerie
> > Wellington. Sadly, she died WAY too young due to a brain
> > aneurysm (32, IIRC) and recorded only one LP.
> > Steven C. Barr
> > (CMFIC "Steven C and the Red Rockets" 1986-2006...)