Monday, June 28, 2010

“Banty Rooster Blues”

Hi folks—yes, you’re in the right spot: this is Robert Frost’s Banjo.  I’d never tinkered with the blog’s overall look since starting it up in 2008—added a gadget here or there & re-arranged things, but had kept the same background & layout.  Hope you like the new look; I’d be interested in getting feedback.

This is Monday, of course, which means music, & because I have a plan for next Monday’s musical offering, I’m doing something a bit unusual in posting the Monday Morning Blues two week’s running. 

Today’s song, “Banty Rooster Blues,” is associated with, & probably composed by the now-famous Delta blues musician, Charley (or Charlie) Patton.  I’m a huge fan of Patton’s work, & I perform several of his songs.  Patton lived in the Clarksdale, Mississippi area, around the large Dockery Plantation.  He was born sometime between 1887 & 1891, & died in 1931, & is generally considered to be a seminal figure in the development of the blues form, especially in the style that music critic Robert Palmer called “the Deep Blues.”  Palmer uses this term to describe the blues as performed in the Delta region by Patton, Son House, Robert Johnson & others, which later transformed into the electric Chicago blues typified by Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Otis Rush, etc.  Although some have questioned Palmer’s assessment of Patton’s historical importance, no one questions that he was an extraordinary musician, with a powerful voice, a vigorous guitar style, & an ability to incorporate complex polyrhythmic textures in his songs.

In other news: I’ll be heading to northern Montana on Wednesday morning to see Rory Block  play!  Looks like Eberle will be coming with me, & we’re both looking forward to it.  I do plan on having scheduled posts for both those days.

& now—hope you enjoy my humble version of this great song!


  1. Cool! I notice that it's not the usual three-chord blues but a sort of modal, centered on a drone, style. I like that.

    BTW, I'm so late commenting because for some reason the new update to Firevox knocked out my ability to view embedded Flash files. Oddly enough, uploading a post to my own blog brought it back again. Weird!

  2. Hi Roy: More of those old Delta tunes than folks realize were essentially modal songs--a number by Patton & Son House, & even some by Robert Johnson--for instance, his "Preachin' Blues," which is pretty closely modeled on Son House's song "Preachin' the Blues." I've had a devil of a time w/Flash since the update--still not sure I have it fixed on this machine. Have been using Chrome some.

  3. I love the new decor of your blog! The shades of green and gold and brown are so lovely and homey.

    I can just see a proud 'banty' rooster strutting as you sang your song.

  4. Love it, John!! Hey, enjoy your little trip to hear Rory Block!!

    (I've been using Chrome since I switched templates)

  5. Hi Nana Jo & Willow: In general, I'd say that I'm so far behind it looks like I'm in first place! The 15-hour power outage didn't help!

    Nana Jo: Thanks! It's great to get feedback on the new look. I quite like it myself. We used to have a banty rooster--he was mean thru & thru!

    Willow: So glad you liked it, & thanks for the well-wishes! I've been going back & forth between FireFox & Chrome--having problems with Shockwave on both however.


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