say clave is an important element of African and Diasporic music.
Diddley played up this seemingly exotic sound by having a maracas player (Jerome Green) take a prominent role both in studio and on stage. Many Bo Diddley songs didn't change chords. This was similar to people like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf. But Diddley was playing faster than they were with more "drive" for lack of a better word. He tended to use straight eighth rhythms instead of triplets. He once claimed he couldn't really play blues.
As with older blues players it could occasionally be difficult for someone unfamiliar with Diddley's music to detect where the "one" was. This could be very rhythmically intoxicating. Bo Diddley was extremely aware of his own skills and originality. He often verbally fenced with interviewers determined to get him to list his influences. He always said that he got his own sound and thought other musicians should as well.
f having walked 47 miles of barbed wire, used a cobra snake for a necktie, lived in a brand new house on the roadside that was made from rattlesnake hide with a brand new chimney made out of human skulls. But Bo Diddley could. His music had a large sense of humor to go along with the often surreal lyrics such as "You should have have heard what I just seen". He wrote the song "Love is Strange" which became a hit for Mickey and Sylvia.
a young woman's wish and an old woman's dream.." Although Bo Diddley's songs often included outlandish mannish boasting (check out his rewrite of Muddy Waters' "Hoochie Koochie Man" as "I'm a Man" which was a pretty revolutionary song for a Black man to be singing in 1950s America), he was an equal opportunity employer and often had women lead guitarists. That was very unusual for the times. It's actually The Duchess playing lead on "Aztec". "Aztec" sounds like a missing cut from a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. Bo Diddley was a big sartorial and musical influence on later guitarists-most obviously Jimi Hendrix, Billy Gibbons and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Check out Bo Diddley's hats and jackets and then look at Jimi or SRV. Bo Diddley was one of the first guitarists to consciously seek out and use such "bad" sounds as pick scratches, fret noise, harmonics, distortion, and feedback squeals. This was most apparent in "Please Mr. Engineer" and "Roadrunner".
Diddley's techniques would lay the groundwork for hard rock and heavy metal later on. He also was a big fan of tremolo and vibrato. There may be a few recordings floating around with him using a wah-wah pedal though it could be judicious use of tone controls. Bo Diddley designed, customized and occasionally built his own amps and guitars. He was most closely associated with the Gretsch Guitar company, who built him odd custom instruments of unusual shapes, colors and sizes-some were even fur lined. Billy Gibbons was the presenter for Bo Diddley's induction into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame. Gibbons credited Diddley not only as a primal influence but also with turning him on to fur covered guitars. Go figure.
Bo Diddley, the original sharp dressed man, is gone now but his music will last forever. If you're not hip to him well you ought to be. As he said "You've got your radio turned down too low. Turn it up!!!"
Who Do You Love Bo Diddley Pretty Thing I'm a Man Mona 500% More Man Rock-n-Roll Hong Kong Mississippi
Say Man Bo's a Lumberjack Cops and Robbers The Clock Strikes Twelve
Before You Accuse Me Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry together live No More Loving
Please Mr. Engineer Aztec I don't like you Shut Up Woman Roadrunner
Bo Diddley live at Shindig with The Duchess You can't judge a book by looking at the cover Crackin up
However in the past few decades there has been something of a modest klezmer revival as people gain interest in the music of their forebears. One of the musicians leading the charge in this is Alicia Svigals, who also happens to be one of the finest violinists I've ever heard. She was a founding member of the klezmer revivalist group The Klezmatics and also has enjoyed a vibrant solo career. She's also performed with (and tutored) Itzhak Perlman. Svigals is probably the best klezmer violinist performing today and has eagerly shared her knowledge with many other students of the violin or fidl. In an interesting echo of past cross-fertilizations, adventurous jazz musicians like Don Cherry have worked in klezmer styles while some klezmer musicians have included jazz or other world music in what they're doing.
Her solo album Fidl is probably the best introduction to klezmer music and her very individualistic style. Like a lot of the best musicians who straddle the gulf between old styles and new, she knows all of the traditionalist rules and styles and also knows when to break them. This music is an acquired taste of course but if you are open to hearing something different, klezmer music may hit the spot.
Gasn Nign Manhattan Concert Bessarabian Medley Romanian Fantasy Kallarash
100 Proof(Aged in Soul)
100 Proof (Aged in Soul) was initially made up of Eddie Holiday, Steve Mancha, and Joe Stubbs (brother of Four Tops vocalist Levi Stubbs and former member of The Falcons and The Contours).
I really like the song "Everything Good is Bad". I don't think a lot of people really sing like that any more. The vocals are soulful, masculine and pleading without falling into either ridiculous melismas or wimpish whines which seem to make up a lot of what passes for modern R&B. I also like how the bass drops out. This reminds me of dub/reggae. Music like this was really updated modernized blues. Much of the lyrics are concerned with unrequited love, passionate love, adultery and hard times, just like many classic blues songs.
Everything good is bad Don't you wake me Somebody's been sleeping in my bed I don't care if I never get over you If I could see the light in the window 90 day freeze
Nothing sweeter than love
Sweet Honey in The Rock
Their songs run the gamut of various personal issues of course but they are best known for reinterpretations of traditional tunes or original music which is concerned with struggling for justice in a variety of contexts, gender, racial, environmental, economic, etc. Sometimes when people who have strong political beliefs make music, the music suffers. Sweet Honey in the Rock is the exception to that rule. Sometimes I think that the most beautiful and most versatile instrument is the human voice. This group may make you think so as well. "When I Rise" is really incredible work.
When I Rise Doing Things Together Ballad of Harry Moore Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round Testimony More than a paycheck Ella's Song