Music

Sleepy John Estes: On 80 Highway

There's real magic in the almost telepathic interplay between two first-generation country bluesmen who'd been making music together for well over forty years when these up-to-now unreleased cuts were recorded in 1974.


Sleepy John Estes

On 80 Highway

Contributors: Hammie Nixon
Label: Delmark
US Release Date: 2008-10-21
UK Release Date: Available as import
Amazon
iTunes

By the time Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon stepped into Chicago's Sound Studio to cut these up-to-now unreleased sides for Delmark in 1974, "the Tennessee Blues Poet" and his harmonica-playin' partner had been making music together for well over 40 years. Listen to the two first-generation country bluesmen cutting it up here as they prepare to launch into a playfully intimate version of Estes's 1929 tune "Brownsville Blues" and it's like an old married couple joined at the hip as they "take that right hand road to Brownsville" one more time. The clear crying, singing blues of Estes's '30s and '40s recordings has slipped away into a world-weary, mournful wailing murmur that's no less emotionally powerful. Nevertheless, the real magic is in the almost telepathic interplay between weeping guitar and melancholy harmonica (and occasional fun-lovin' kazoo on a couple of tracks) which charges standards like "T Model Ford" (also known as "Poor Man's Friend") and "Mary Come on Home" with such a vibrant energy.

6

A Musical Chameleon: An Interview with Morcheeba

One year since the release of Morcheeba's Blaze Away, the band unleash a special edition full of remixes, which leads to questions of how their process works, how some songs got remixes and others didn't, and what the next 20 years of Morcheeba look like.

Jose Solis
Music
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.