Saturday, December 5, 2009

"A Left Hand Like God": Recommended Boogie Woogie Website

The Prof loves barrelhouse piano and has been fascinated with its culture ever since reading Peter J. Silvestri's book on the subject years ago. Want to find out where his evocative title phrase came from and what it has to do with boogie woogie? Then bring that mouse-like object to this link to the Boogie Woogie Foundation' site run by Nonjohn (scholar John Tennison). Marvel at John's mastery of the minutiae of train lore. Thrill to his crusade to get boogie brothers George and Hersal Thomas admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Deepen your understanding of the wonder that is Meade Lux Lewis' "Honky Tonk Train" by clicking on the link to a PDF of an academic paper on its sources and meaning. In short, beat me daddy eight to the bar, cats and kittenheads.

Recommended soundtrack to boogie browsing:
The French Fremeaux label is a good place to start exploring the sounds born on the rail and turpentine camps of the Piney Woods. Their first volume rumbles around the Prof's den on a regular basis. (Amazon UK has the better deal). Seventy years ago, Alfred Lion started Blue Note Records by recording his boogie faves Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons. That session is still out in a bargain cd "The First Day." Jasmine records has compiled a swell anthology of big band numbers that trace the boogie craze, "Bands That Can Boogie." The generically titled "Boogie Woogie" is an awesome ten disc box that has no documentation but plenty of rolling thunder and is a steal at under $20.

The Prof leaves the final word to John Lee Hooker in ?Boogie Chillen":

"One night I was layin´ down, I heard Mama and Papa talkin´,
I heard Papa tell Mama: Let that boy boogie woogie,
´cause it´s in him and it got to come out!
Well, I felt so good, and I went on boogie-woogie´n´ just the same..."

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