Monday, November 23, 2009

Peavine Blues

Today’s song is not about gardening! It’s Charlie Patton’s song about a branch line off the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad—the branch ran from Dockery Plantation to Boyle, while the mainline ran from Memphis to New Orleans. A number of famous bluesmen have been associated with the Dockery Plantation, not only Patton, but also Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker & Howlin’ Wolf. The Clarksdale, Mississippi depot on this line has been converted to a blues museum, & the Peavine has its own marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail (see pic at top). In addition to Patton’s song, the line is celebrated in Robert Johnson’s “Travelling Riverside Blues.” Charlie Patton was one of the early bluesmen—he was born in 1891 & died at age 42 in 1934. Along the way, he left quite an impressive legacy: 56 songs recorded at four recording sessions from 1929 thru 1934, & some of these, like “Pony Blues,” “Moon Goin’ Down,” “Peavine Blues” & “Screamin’ & Hollerin’ the Blues” (to name just a few) are standards of the Mississippi Delta style. His own playing & singing are very memorable—a growling baritone voice & amazing drive on the guitar.

In other news: don’t forget to stop by Eberle’s brand new blog,
Platypuss-in-Boots, which is celebrating its kick-off at 8:00 a.m. Mountain Time today; her wonderful stories will be enjoyed by “kids from one to 92” as the old song goes—maybe even older than 92! & hope you enjoy the song.


  1. Interesting song John,well played, I enjoyed it and I'm still lovin that shiny steel guitar.These are all pretty old songs, John, apart from your good self do many people sing them /keep them alive /pass them on?

  2. We really enjoyed that John (Harry and I). He's sitting on the desk with his face glued to the screen, watching every letter I type.
    We're going to have another listen. (He's pawing the screen for an encore. Really!)

  3. Hi TFE & Kat

    TFE: Thanks! There are some folks out there performing this old-time blues. My favorite is Rory Block, but there are others as well, not to mention lots of folks like me--you can find a lot of these songs being covered on YouTube. Maybe not quite so much Charlie Patton songs as some others--Patton's own style was pretty unique & hard to duplicate (for those who like to duplicate things). Me, I just try to capture some spirit of the song & do it my own way!

    Kat: Harry is a blues cat! Thanks.

  4. A great way to start the week. We seem to have both been thinking about railways this weekend.

  5. Hi Alan: Glad you liked it--& that's true about the trains!

  6. Good morning, John. I like that RR-rhythm. Thanks for my early-morning wake-up song.

  7. Hi Sandra: So glad you liked it. The blues does have a RR rhythm for sure.


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