Blues Lyrics of the Week: Keep on Playin’ the Blues

It’s been just over two and a half years now since blues guitarist, harmonica player, and singer Louisiana Red passed away, but our friends at Wolf Records are helping to ensure that Red’s legacy continues to live on with The Sky is Crying, a new release of live material compiled from shows Red performed throughout Greece during the decade prior to his death.

Louisiana_Red_Sky_is_CryingIn addition to covers of classic blues tunes such as the Elmore James title track, Muddy Waters’ “Champagne and Reefer” and “What is That She Got”, the standard “Early in the Morning”, and Willie Dixon’s “Same Thing”, the album also includes plenty of great original tracks, from the solo “Too Poor to Die” with its quiet “Hoochie Coochie Man”-style riffs on electric guitar to the shuffling closer “I Done Woke Up” that finds Red joined by the Backbone Blues Band as well as Johnny Nicholas on piano as Red wails away on Mississippi saxophone in homage to harp mentors Big Walter Horton and Little Walter, and this track, a slow country blues number that features some fine playing from Red alongside fellow National steel guitarists Bob Brozman and George Pilali, making these lyrics just one of the factors that help to establish this song as such a gem.

“When you’re lonely,
Lord, and blue –
and you ain’t got nobody
care about you –
you just keep on playin’,
keep on playin’ the blues.

You know sometimes,
I get to thinkin’,
thinkin’ ’bout how
trouble’s been
And I grab my old National steel and I
start to playin’ the blues again…

Sometime I get so,
Bob, I get so disgusted,
how them record companies
ripped me off.
That’s when I got to go get that old
1926 National
and play the blues once more.”
– “Keep on Playin’ the Blues”, Louisiana Red

Related posts:
Blues Lyrics of the Week: Pittsburgh Blues
Louisiana Red gets Memphis Mojo working on latest CD
Blues Lyrics of the Week: September 11th Blues
Louisiana’s Pittsburgh roots

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