Mar 23 2012

#328 Music Month (23)

 From Ol’ Bird in St. Louis, Missouri

Today’s Song/Video: “Werewolf Blues” by Guana Batz

May 3 2011

#3 “Lupine Blues”


From Craig via WBS email

While examining this piece, please feel free to check out the Lightnin’ Hopkins’ version of “Katie Mae” below. I feel that this song is the perfect accompaniment for this fine work of art.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been an enthusiast of the blues genre. Some of the artists that I value most include Arthur “Big Boy” Grudup, Big Bill Broonzy, Hound Dog Taylor, John Lee Hooker, T-Model Ford, Lonnie Johnson, and (of course) the famously mysterious Robert Johnson.

The blues have always appealed to me for primarily two reasons: (1) I love the relatively simple but beautiful construction of the songs and (2) the emotive quality of the lyrics and tone of the blues singers’ voice often allows the listener to accompany the singer on a unique emotional journey.

In my mind, this wolf is an artistic representation of everything I love about the blues. The poignant facial expression of the wolf, with its eyes closed and mouth curled into a somber tunnel ready to produce a mournful cry, is reminiscent of Robert Johnson’s wailing in “Phonograph Blues,” and yet something about the facial posturing is also comparable to the refined and dignified poise of B.B. King. The disheveled appearance of the wolf’s fur, created by the unique color combinations and somewhat scratchy markings of the crayons, are comparable to the appearance of Sonny Boy Williams on the cover of his 1959 album “Down and Out Blues.” And finally the sun shining in the background of the illustration can draw out comparisons between this piece and Leadbelly’s version of the old spiritual song “Outshine the Sun.”

Congratulations , Craig, on creating a truly soul-stirring piece. I know that this work of art has found fertile ground in at least one soul. Please allow me to say in closing that I wish I had more insight to offer about this fantastically bluesy wolf, but right now I believe it’s time I dust my broom.