Wednesday, January 06, 2016

TBT: Sonny Boy Williamson, "Nine Below Zero".

It hasn't quite made it to nine below zero here in New York yet--well, maybe on the Centigrade scale--but it's sure felt like a shock after our mostly balmy December. Still, it's an appropriate time for this blues, led and sung by the greatest of blues harmonicists, Sonny Boy Williamson. Born a sharecropper's son in Mississippi, like many great blues artists he found his way to Chicago and to Leonard Chess, for whose Chess label he recorded.
  The clip above shows him playing and singing "Nine Below Zero", with Otis Spann on piano, Willie Dixon on bass, and Matt "Guitar" Murphy. If one of my blues maven friends can ID the drummer, I'll be grateful.

The photo, by Thomas R Machnitzki, is of Sonny Boy's gravestone, in the Prairie View Cemetery at Tutwiler, Mississippi.