September 6, 2016

Smokestack rainbow.

Meade sent me that from out on his campaign (mountain biking).

Made me think of this song that mesmerized me in my youth:


madAsHell said...

Someone once made the comment that "Obama pisses rainbows, and farts unicorns".

EsoxLucius said...

Much better in the original Howlin' Wolf:

Chuck said...

Isn't that Eric Clapton standing in the center of the Yarbirds' album cover?

By comparison, the Howlin' Wolf original was... well, Mark Twain put it best when (talking about language) he said "it was like the difference between "lightning" and "a lightning bug."

Here's Wolf, accompanying himself on harp (as good as Sonny Boy Williamson or Little Walter) and with the incomparable Hubert Sumlin and Willie Dixon:

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Yeah. I have to jump on the bandwagon too. That Yardbirds version is truly horrible. What a difference between a man and (not mannish) boys

Chuck said...

EsoxLucius: great minds think alike, and apparently within seconds of each other too.

Thanks for the YouTube of the live version. That one's extraordinary. The original (my link) is merely classic. Hubert Sumlin is doing good work there in England. Sounds like Otis Spann on piano. And you can see Willie Dixon picking up his bass behind the announcer at the intro.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

...shameful cultural appropriation. Shameful.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

Is there some sort of uber-miniscule stolen valor situation for Meadehouse to refer to bike riding as a campaign?

Wouldn't calling a bike ride a tour be self aggrandizing enough for the Meade-ster.

EsoxLucius said...


Great minds do think alike. I got to pick an ax with Willie Dixon late in his life at a chicago bluesfest and, when he talked about that britsh Howlin' Wolf tour, his eyes would light up and look ten years younger. Chess, the booze, and women had ripped him off so bad that he couldn't afford a place to live, and he took the job just for three squares but, when the english fans knew him and the songs he wrote but didn't own, he got much more that sustenance. Please keep the political comments off this thread and keep the conversation on the great music.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

Glad to see so many strong proponents of the Howlin' Wolf classic. Although I have spent quite a bit of time in Memphis, TN and the Mississippi Delta, I am not a big Blues fan, in general. But I love Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Junior Kimbrough.

Jeff Gee said...

I agree the Yardbirds version is awful but when I was 11 it sounded so dangerous I thought I might get arrested for listening to it. And they got a lot better pretty fast.

Jonathan Graehl said...

This Meade sounds like a lovely fellow. Nice reveal.

Anthony said...

I'd always wondered where that phrase ("smokestack lightning") originated! It's been in two songs I really like: The Cult's Fire Woman:

Smoke, she is a rising fire
Oh, smoke on the horizon, yeah
Smoke, she is a rising fire
Oh, smokestack lightning, baby"

And Bad Company's Rhythm Machine, which hath led me down something of a rabbit hole trying to find the correct lyrics. The Internets have this:

"I'm her cross cut saw before I was four
Smoked-staked lightning had me crawling across the floor
The beach ball didn't get me but that son-in-law did
I'm been keeping time ever since I was a kid"

I think some of those are wrong. I don't know what the first line is, but I'm sure it should read "Smokestack Lightning had me crawling. . ." and the third line should be "The BEach Boys didn't get me but Fats Domino did"

Otherwise it makes no sense. Those were the only ones I found though, so I think someone misheard it(?) and then everyone started copying it.

Will Cate said...

Great track. 60s British Blues Rock is my favorite of all genres --

Yardbirds, early Stones, John Mayall, Ten Years After, Savoy Brown, early Fleetwood Mac, Cream

Coconuss Network said...

Nice Music.

Deja Voodoo said...

@Will Cate:
Agree. I bought the first two Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac albums while livng in Europe, with listening to them first (back then, all record stores let you listen before buying) because I knew the names and knew I would like them. My cousin with whom I was shopping was stunned that I would do that.
For their training grounds, check out Long John Baldry (godfather of the Stones)and Blues Incorporated.

Deja Voodoo said...

without listening... pimf
I had been up by the Arctic Circle for the better part of a year - both records came out while I was away from civilization.

virgil xenophon said...

Riffing on this theme, an interesting cookbook (and read) is one called "Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the heart of Barbecue country" by Lois Eric Elie (a black New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist) and Frank Stewart.

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bozonomous said...

compare opening song to smokestack lighting song