‘Back Door Man’ – good blues is rarely about behaving yourself

Written by John Kessler Willie Dixon didn’t make his career writing songs about people who behaved themselves, and “Back Door Man” is no exception — it’s about a guy who cheats and then brags about it. Songs like this were well suited to the larger-than-life Howlin’ Wolf, who was already

‘Walkin’ Blues’ still has legs

It’s one of the defining songs of the Blues, written by one of its formative figures, Son House. The opening lyric “Woke up this morning…” would be considered trite today, but its 1930 recording date makes it more iconic than anything. With its simple but insistent guitar rhythm and mournful

‘Early in the Morning’ – samba, rumba and history

Louis Jordan is one of the pioneers of American music, and an important force in the transition from the Jazz Era to Rock and Roll. He was one of the first to down-size the big band format to a combo of five or six players, pounding out high energy jump,