The latest issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine – January 2014, Issue 253, Vol. 24, No. 7 – arrived in today’s mail. The monthly collection of song transcriptions in this issue – “6 Songs To Play” – is an especially good one. It includes “Dublin Blues” by Guy Clark, “Luka” by Suzanne Vega and – I was excited to see – “T-Bone Shuffle” by T-Bone Walker.
“T-Bone Shuffle” is a favorite of mine. Long time readers of this blog will know that. I’ve written about the piece twice: on April 21, 2010 in a post titled On This Day In Music History – “T-Bone Shuffle” and on May 15, 2011, Revisiting The “T-Bone Shuffle.”
So, after lunch, as I set about doing advance preparations for Thanksgiving day dinner, I put my favorite T-Bone Walker CD on the stereo – Low Down Blues – and clicked on the speakers in the kitchen.
Low Down Blues is a 1986 Charly Records compilation of 22 recordings made by T-Bone Walker between late 1946 and early 1948 in Los Angeles, California for the Black & White label. Starting off with “Don’t Leave Me Baby,” the album goes on to offer up such delights as “It’s A Low Down Dirty Deal,” “T-Bone Jumps Again” and “Call It Stormy Monday.” This is music that Alan Balfour accurately describes in the liner notes as: “easy listening of the best sort, all delivered with stylish aplomb and musical brilliance.”
As the afternoon pleasantly progressed, one track really caught my ears: “Too Much Trouble Blues.” The song starts, as many of his songs do, with an introduction featuring one of T-Bone Walker’s brilliant guitar solos. This one in particular is quintessential T-Bone, the kind of electric Blues guitar playing that strongly influenced such equally-influential players as B.B. King and Chuck Berry.
Whatever you’re doing this afternoon or this evening, take a few minutes and check it out for yourself: “Too Much Trouble Blues” by the legendary singer and electric Blues guitarist, Mr. T-Bone Walker.