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Elizabeth Cotten (January 5, 1895 – June 29, 1987)
06/29/2012, 8:28 PM
Filed under: Random | Tags: ,

“Oh Babe It Ain’t No Lie” by Elizabeth Cotten [Folkways Recordings, 1957]

Admittedly I’m not much of a bluesman nor do I know much about the great Elizabeth Cotten. But I recently came across this gem of hers and found out today just so happens to be the 25th anniversary of her death.

Born in North Carolina, it’s said that she started playing banjo at age 8 before switching to guitar. Left-handed, she taught herself to play the guitar backwards (or upside down) and performed until she was in her late 80s. Not only that but her style, a plucking technique that sounds like multiple guitarists playing at once, was later dubbed “Cotten Picking”. Most of her work, bare-bones folky blues stuff, was recorded on reel-to-reel in her home and released on Folkways Recordings. “Oh Babe It Ain’t No Lie” is the tune that turned me onto her; a striking, somber love song written and performed by Ms. Cotten 55 years ago that speaks to me more now than any modern love track ever could.

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Bo Diddley: The Black Gladiator
06/26/2012, 4:13 PM
Filed under: Random, Tunes | Tags: , ,

Selections from Bo Diddley: The Black Gladiator [Future Days Recordings/Light In The Attic, 2012]

“I Don’t Like You”

“Funky Fly”

“Power House”

“You, Bo Diddley”

Though I consider myself a big Bo Diddley fan, I apparently knew very little about his extended catalogue. I always dug his earlier songs and probably regulated myself to them (which I tend to do). But this, The Black Gladiator, is a bizarre and awesome period in Bo’s career equally great as his early work. I was stoked to review this recently for Soul-Sides.com which you can read HERE.



Matthew’s Mail: Monthly Kool Keith Visits
06/24/2012, 8:19 PM
Filed under: Random | Tags: ,

(Editor’s note: We’re delighted to have KOOL KEITH drop us guest posts! Yes, Black Elvis himself– who just quit rap— will be hitting us with monthly musings, running the gamut from answering reader mail, listing his favorite pornos, touching on classic Keith moments, or just random of-the-cuff posts. Who knows! Tune in for these monthly critical beatdowns! And here’s the first: a timely post on the recent NBA Finals. Read Keith’s thoughts and peep the rare, All-Star promo vid from ’89 featuring hilarious Ultramag raps!- DM)

Keith on this year’s NBA Finals:

“Lebron wanted a championship and he was real hungry. He’s also real sensitive, you can tell. Like if you say something mean to him he’ll have to try not to cry right away. He left the Cavs to gain a title and no one wants to play in the league for years and be an old man and not get a ring. Dirk waited forever and kept smelling it but Dirk already looks mad old. Lebron can smelled the ring and I think it was a lot for his head. It was a real good matchup and OKC was real nice. They’re young, aggressive cats and they have an old dude like Fisher on there to keep ’em balanced. A lot of these NBA dudes are old and have ugly faces, but some dudes like Fisher still run things. Plus Durant and Westbrook are young and so fast but I think Miami was just a bit wiser. It’s like rap. Everyone always likes the young rappers but the old ones are wiser.”



“Your rhymes are like an empty prison, a waste of bars” — Lord Finesse
06/23/2012, 4:31 PM
Filed under: Interviews, Random, Tunes | Tags: , ,

“Check The Method (Remix)” by Lord Finesse [Exclusive WPJ Flexi-Disc]

I recently wrote the upcoming cover story for Wax Poetics Japan on an all-time favorite, Lord Finesse. Though it’s in Japanese it does however offer an abundance of awesome pics from Finesse’s own archives. So many dope shots; from Finesse with Dr. Dre in the studio, to him and Biggie, and even him and Grace Jones chillin’ in a hotel. 

Our buds at Ego Trip are slowly unveiling some of the pictures with article excerpts. Peep everything HERE and check the exclusive remix that’s gonna lace said issue of WPJ in the form of an exclusive flexi-disc via Slice-of-Spice Records.