Charley Hicks… Reviving the Delta Blues

Today, I was inspired by the sound of a steel guitar.  I was first exposed to this sound listening to Doyle Bramhall II play with Eric Clapton on Sessions for Robert J, a DVD that was put out in 2004.  Since then, I’ve heard that same sound listening to “Henry” by Keb’ Mo and “Diving Duck Blues” by Taj Mahal.

Sometimes you’re in the right place at the right time and this weekend, something led me to find this video by Charley Hicks, a London based blues musician, influenced by Charley Patton and my favorite, Robert Johnson.  He sings and plays a song written by Charley Patton in 1929, Tom Rushen Blues.  Take a moment to watch the video, I think Charley had a unique voice and a fantastic sound.  Below is a video from Mule Resonator Guitars (the guitar that Charley Hicks plays in the video above).  They’re handmade by Matt Eich out of Saginaw, Michigan (the town where my mother’s family is from).

Charley’s debut album is available on iTunes.  If you liked the video, check it out on iTunes, you won’t be disappointed!

Tom Rushen Blues

Charley Patton, Recorded in Richmond, Indiana, June 14, 1929

Laid down last night, hopin’ I would have my peace, eee
I laid down last night, hopin’ I would have my peace, eee
But when I woke up, Tom Rushen1 was shakin’ me

When you get in trouble, it’s no use to screamin’ and cryin’, hmm
When you get in trouble, it’s no use to screamin’ and cryin’, hmm
Tom Rushen will take you, back to the prison house flyin’

It were late one night, Halloway was gone to bed, hmm
It were late one night, Halloway was gone to bed, hmm
Mister Day2 brought whiskey taken from under Halloway’s head

An’ it’s boozy booze, now, Lord, to cure these blues
It takes boozy boo’, Lord, to cure these blues
But each day seems like years in the jailhouse where there is no boo’

I got up this mornin’, Tom Day was standin’ around
I got up this mornin’, Tom Day was standin’ around
If he lose his office now, he’s runnin’ from town to town

Let me tell you folksies just how he treated me
Let me tell you folksies just how he treated me
Aw, he caught me yellin’, I was drunk as I could be

__________

Matt Becker

Live from Matt’s House

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