It’s amazing how certain songs find their way to us. You can look at it any number of different ways. You like this style of music, these bands, but it still seems pretty random to me. The first song I’ll mention is called “Messin’ with the Kid.” I’ll give some credit to The Blues Brothers for recording this one and helping to keep it alive and well over the years. It was originally recorded by Junior Wells in 1960, and was produced and written by Mel London. I came across a version by Junior Wells and Buddy Guy about ten years ago from a friend who’s into the blues.
It’s a got a funky feel to it, some great harmonica, and that guitar riff really hooks me into it — especially, the way Wells drops the lyrics out. “Messin’ with the…(insert 8 note guitar riff)”. It’s been recorded by lots of blues bands/artitsts: Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, Sugar Blue, and more. While researching this blog entry, I found a version featuring Buddy Guy and Kid Rock. There’s even a rehearsal version by AC/DC out there. (It sounds like singer Brian Johnson smoked a case of Marlboro, then gargled with a pint of Jack Daniels for good measure. Give him credit, that’s his sound.)
The second song, ironically, came my way via The Rolling Stones’ second American album called “12 x 5.” Honestly, I’ve never owned this album so I probably heard it on public radio or found it on YouTube. “Confessin’ the Blues” is another great blues song which often features the harmonica.
I’m assuming the Stones were inspired by harmonica great Little Walter’s version. Someone in the band does a good job of duplicating one of the guitar riffs note for note. Little Walter (Jacobs) didn’t write the tune ( but his version is worth a listen). That credit goes to bandleader Jay McShann and singer Walter Brown. The original is a lot jazzier and mellower to my ears.
Other artists to record this song include Wynonie Harris, Chuck Berry, and B.B. King, It’s hard to believe this song was originally released in 1941, but there it is. I wonder how it will find its way to others in the future?
Till next time, keep your Mojo on the Horizon!