Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Morning Blues

It's a blues kind of day, I think.  It's warm and rainy right now and the coffee is plenty strong this morning.  I've been listening to a lot of Mississippi John Hurt this weekend and one particular song is perfect for a Monday morning cover mashup.

The story is based on the 19th Century murder of William "Billy" Lyons by "Stagger" Lee Shelton in St. Louis, Missouri and there were several versions of it in the early 20th Century which reported the event with varying degrees of accuracy.  You're probably most familiar with the Lloyd Price version.

Price recorded two versions of this song, the one above that went to number one on Billboard's Hot 100 and a tamer version for Dick Clark's American Bandstand.  Luckily John Sayles isn't as squeamish as Clark.  Keb Mo's version for the Sayles film Honeydripper is a gorgeous acoustic performance.

You'll note that Keb Mo's version is called "Stack O'Lee," one of the four or five alternate titles these songs go by.  Mississippi John's is called "Stackolee" and features his distinctive and deceptively simple picking style.

I think I still need more coffee.  You all have a good day!


  1. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy your blog especially the music posts? Get an education every time. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  2. judiang, I'm not certain how I missed this but thanks so much!


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