Noble Sissle & Eubie Blake were both born in the North. However like other black musicians in the 1920s, they faced obstacles while trying to perform in white-owned theaters. “Waitin’ For The Evening Mail,” recorded in 1923, is a catchy, ragtime-y song written from the perspective of a jailbird. The inmate is howling innocence, and the piece of mail he is waiting for is notice of bail. Spoiler: He never makes bail.
“Watin For The Evening Mail“ (play/download mp3)
Kokomo Arnold’s left-handed slide guitar playing and his vocals, delivered with the intensity and conviction as a sermon from a Sunday preacher, made his records sound 20-years ahead of their time. Recorded in 1934, “Sissy Man Blues” has a place in gay-music history, with the famous, and perhaps the most lucidly sung phrase on the record, “Lord if you can’t send me no woman/please send me some sissy man.”
“Sissy Man Blues“ (play/download mp3)
Sounds from the harmonica to the gentle strumming of the guitar gives Ashley and Foster’s ” Sideline Blues” its unique sound. Gwen Foster’s talents with the harmonica is beautifully executed in this number. You can hear the harmonica whistling in the background, while Foster strums away on his guitar while singing. There are even segments throughout the song that consist of his harmonica solo. Clarence Ashley’s notable gift¬† remains unquestioned when hearing his vocals and strumming capability in “Sideline Blues”.¬† His consistent melody from his guitar gives listeners a catchy beat and continues to resonate after listening. enjoy 🙂
Ashley and Foster – “Sideline Blues” (download/play mp3)