Tuesday Bluesday

Category:  Music
Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 at 9:00 AM
Tuesday Bluesday by Cory Vaillancourt

I love this guy, because I love BBQ and I love people named Bob - especially my uncle Bob, who recently met Alice Cooper and Vince Neil on the golf course.

Regardless, Robert "Barbecue Bob" Hicks was born in Walnut Grove, Georgia, joining the ranks of Jimmy Carter, Martin Luther King, Otis Redding, Little Richard, and Blind Willie McTell as best things to happen to Georgia since Sherman's March to the Sea.

Especially for the Blues - I mean, it is the deep south, but the "Atlanta school" in the 1920s never really impacted the mainstream Blues scene the way the Delta style did; however, the important players in this scene weren't overlooked by their musical descendants. And Bob was one of them.

For example, here's a neat video of Bob posing with his 12-string while wearing his chef's hat and apron (that's right, he really was a BBQ pitmaster) and playing one of his best-known songs, "Motherless Child Blues."

Now, check out a pretty decent cover of "Motherless Child Blues," by that big fat vulture of the Blues, Eric Clapton. He doesn't cheese it up too badly, but he does capture Bob's jangly strums perfectly, because he's Eric Freakin' Clapton.


Here's another one - Bob's seminal track, "Mississippi Heavy Water Blues." Check it out, and then scroll down to the next video to hear the track done by two stalwarts of a completely different genre.


That's right, it's them Watson Boys!


While the name Robert "Barbecue Bob" Hicks may not be on the lips of most Blues aficionados, it should be; like a finely-pulled pork sandwich from his old place of employ - Tidwell's Barbeque Place in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia - it's hand-crafted, deeply satisfying, and stays with you.


Tuesday Bluesday appears in the Erie Reader every Tuesday and is about the Blues, which is lucky, because if it didn't and/or it wasn't, the title would be all wrong. But it does and it is, so check in each week for words, moving pictures, and sounds intended to remind you of the rich legacy of this unique, ubiquitous, American, African, ancient, contemporary musical art form that has somehow managed to influence, well, every musician for the past 100 years. Slip your thoughts into the suggestion box by emailing cVaillancourt@ErieReader.com, or find Cory Vaillancourt on Twitter @VLNCRT

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