Happy Monday! It’s time for the Monday Morning Blues again, but I’m doing things a bit differently from here on out—the tune is embedded in mp3 form, not as a video. Why this change?
A few reasons. First, I’ve been procrastinating recording a cd, & that’s something I really should get done because it will add at least a little more "mad money" from gigs. While I have a high tolerance, & indeed great enjoyment, for playing & performing, I tend to have a low tolerance for the recording process—while I generally like having done it, I don’t so much like doing it, & it’s always a bit of a problem with anything creative when result is valued over process.
So I’m hoping that the shift to mp3s on the Monday Morning Blues will be a motivating force. In addition, tho, I can get much better quality recordings with our digital workstation than I can with our webcam; & on top of the marginal sound quality on the webcam mic, there’s the problem that the audio & the video are a split second out of sync, which can be a bit “crazy-making” to anyone trying to watch. & at this point, anyone who’s followed the blog for any length of time knows what I look like when I play guitar & sing!
Today’s song is by the great Son House, one of the real masters of the delta blues. Actually, House did two versions of “Levee Camp Moan” that are quite different—this one is based on the first version I heard, on his Delta Blues & Spirituals (Capitol); there’s also an older take of a similar version that I believe was recorded prior to son House’s “re-discovery” in the 1960s. House was certainly important to the history of blues as a mentor to Robert Johnson, but he was a first-rate blues musician in his own right, with a powerful slide style & vocals of amazing power. In addition to serving as a mentor to Robert Johnson, House also mentored Howlin’ Wolf & Muddy Waters, & was close to his Charlie Patton & Willie Brown.
The tune was recorded on our Boss digital workstation. It’s a “live recording”—no overdubs, vocal & guitar performed together. There was some minor tweaking with EQ & reverb, but all fairly minor stuff. I record using an AKG 880D mic for the vocals & a Shure Beta 57a mic for the guitar—same set-up as when I play live. The guitar is my Gold Tone resonator, in open D tuning—&to any purists: yes, I know Son House recorded this in open G.
Hope you enjoy it!