Thursday, December 02, 2004

I'm The Wolf Baby

The Wolf began playing "folk blues" acoustic music when he got his first guitar in 1928. Influences include Charlie Patton and Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller). Although he began in an acoustic style, he is best known for his loud and boisterous electric blues. This part of his career began flowering in post-war Memphis, Tennessee. He performed on local radio station KWEM and later cut some sides for Sam Phillips of the famous Sun recording studios. By 1953, The Wolf had arrived in Chicago where he became a full time blues musician at Chess Records. Musicians in Wolf's band included blues great Willie Dixon (bass), Willie Johnson (gtr.), and Earl Phillips on drums. Hubert Sumlin later replaced Willie Johnson. It is maintained by some blues writers that Delta Blues artists, of which Wolf is an example, came from a tribe in Africa which communicates microtonally, that is, in harmonic increments that are smaller than those in the European 12 tone scale. In addition to the polyrhythmic playing, it is what sets these blues apart not only from other types of music but also from other types of blues. The feeling produced can often be very eerie and "magical" as if the music somehow escapes time and the harmonic constraints of European music.

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  • Howlin' Wolf - I'm The Wolf

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