This project was a long time coming! I began it over ten years ago when Jim Dog made the now-famous \'Blues For Dale A\' compilation cassette for me in a small three-floor walk-up in Wrigleyville, Chicago. I was such a pop confectionery aficionado that I had placed my utmost esteem in The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. What a mistake ruling out the real Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon whose music these guys had plundered on their way to pop stardom! As the years passed I began to see the real music. There were guys with guitars long years before Keith and Mick were playing. When I learned that Charlie Patton played behind his back, between his legs and behind his head years before Jimi Hendrix was born I could see there was some magic. And the real magicians were born on plantations in the south and had no money to speak of. Their grandparents were slaves, and the early pioneers of blues guitar themselves were children of sharecroppers. Many of these heroes were tractor-drivers and farmers hoping to find a way out of this existence with a guitar, singin\' and playin\', carousing and staying out late. The chair factory music relates to the songs recorded at the factories that made record player cabinets. Records were cut at built-on \'studios\' and upstairs rooms. People from The Delta region, in Mississippi, like Willie Brown and Son House came here to put down some tracks. Records were sent out with players for sale in The South, homegrown musicians were featured on these. The singers became local stars, traveling throughout Mississippi and sometimes farther. I have only a few of these represented here, but they are good ones. To find \'Future Blues\' by Willie Brown is to find a real gem. Please seek out the original versions and learn where it all came from! …and listen to these, they\'re awesome! -Dale Anderson, January 2006-
1. My Baby Blues - Written on a Zoom PS04 digital hand-held recorder and my Red Regal Rd-3 tuned to open G with a capo on 2nd fret. The Jets recorded this at Steuck\'s Cottage Sounds Recording Studios out along the waters of Green Bay starting summer \'05. This was the first time I\'d recorded on a real 8-track machine. It is overdubbed with a P-Bass, two vocals, and dobro lead track.
2. Santa Fe - I came across this tuning used by Ben Harper, DADDAD. This gives the third string a real slack, loose tuning on a normal set of strings. I played it on my \'65 Silvertone made by Teisco Del Ray in Japan. It\'s the one from the Sears catalog with the speaker in the guitar. Tuned to open E, therefore EBEEBE on this guitar. I play it live on my lap Hawaiian-style, but recorded it standing.
3. Midnight Sun Blues - A blues song that ties the North to the Delta-South. Cairo is at the bottom tip of Illinois, related to the South but in a Midwest state. The Midnight Sun would be somewhere in the cold north. Escape is what the song is about, but escape to what? Where? This song has 5 tracks and includes my Teisco ET200 and the Silvertone. The lead was played through a small Fender Pro Jr.
The vocal sung on my telephone microphone. Homemade with duct tape! Done on the 8-track.
4. Samantha - I wrote this after seeing Bruce Cockburn. Went home and wrote a song like he played. Didn\'t know how to play this when I wrote it. It took years, I think I can play it now. Done on the Silvertone with a chorus pedal and through the Bedrock Royale and Crate acoustic amps. Open E.
5. Crossroads/X-Blues - Crossroads was done on a $60 Radio Shack cassette recorder and copied to digital via a $1000 studio condenser mic. X-Blues I wrote after hearing Ry Cooder. Played on O.M.I. California Girl Dobro. I had no name for it and Balsley came up with the title. X-Files was on TV.
6. Roll With It - Sitting on the sun porch writing songs one day this popped out. Played on the Teisco Del Ray ET200, the Silvertone and a mid-sixties Harmony baritone ukulele! In E, (EBEG#BE).
7. Sylvester\'s Rag - Written in the spirit of Sylvester Weaver\'s \'Guitar Rag\', a.k.a. \'Steel Guitar Rag\'. He recorded his in 1927. If you know \'Guitar Rag\', you will recognize the similarities the songs share.
8. Sitting On Top Of The World - A chair factory song from Paramount Records\' Mississippi Sheiks. A big hit in 1930. Wild young men sing along with this one all the time -- \"now she\'s gone and I don\'t worry \'cause I\'m sittin\' on top of the world!\" Older guys sing it too! Played in open G tuning.
9. Dust My Broom - Believed to be Carl Rafferty\'s \'Mr. Carl\'s Blues\'. Believed to be Robert Johnson\'s
\'Dust My Broom\'. Written by every Delta Bluesman alive? Elmore James\' & J B Hutto\'s versions rule!
10. Big Road Blues - Tommy Johnson told the story about selling his soul to the devil at the crossroads years before Robert Johnson made it up! This was one of the chair factory songs. I played it on a 1992 Washburn R306, a faithful reproduction of an 1892 Lyon & Healy (Washburn Co).
11. Can\'t Be Satisfied - Mckinley \'Muddy Waters\' Morganfield in a 1941 Mississippi field recording with Alan Lomax. Muddy\'s 1948 record was on Chess Records, Chicago, with \'Big\' Crawford on bass.
12. Future Blues - One of the greatest Delta Blues songs ever. Willie Brown\'s name was immortalized by Cream in Eric Clapton\'s, (i.e. Robert Johnson\'s), \'Crossroads\', \"my friend, Willie Brown\". He was really a friend of Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Son House, The Mississippi Sheiks, and others and was featured on many of their recordings. Willie Brown was probably the first \'studio\' guitarist.
13. Jitterbug Swing - Booker T. Washington \'Bukka\' White, B.B. King\'s second cousin\'s, legendary recording of 1940, playing a National resonator guitar and chugging a rhythm like a steam engine. Washboard Sam accompanying. Mark is my washboard player! I\'m the chugging rhythm! …Sing it!
14. American Country - Four tracks done on the PS04 at home. Slide guitar, bass, harmonics, guitar.
(songs not written by d. anderson used with permission, lic. HFA,, NYC, 2006)
This album is dedicated to the many musicians from Mississippi who bravely ventured
far from home in the 1930\'s to record music in Grafton and Port Washington Wisconsin.
Within the walls of the Wisconsin Chair factories, some of the greatest recordings came to life.