Sunday, July 22, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 229 SONG #260

Day 229: Songs by the Austrian guy that invented the Blues

In today's entry to my recently started sub-series to the 1000 Songs Challenge, entitled "who invented it?" we feature the one man from Vienna's third district that has ultimatively given an answer to the old question "can the white man play the blues?". Al Cook, born Alois Koch in Bad Ischl, Salzkammergut, but of Viennese origin and citizenship, may be the last performer of the true blues in the country style in the whole wide world. On one of his blog entries he even complained about a fellow musician who added some chicago-style-licks to his rendering of a southern-country-style-blues tune. He started out in the early 60ies as a fan of Elvis (up til today his haircut is a reminiscence of that, but he does not like the way in which Elvis' career developed later on), he is a self-taught guitarist and singer (learnt it from listening to records) and he is a blues purist, if there ever has been one. Like me, he is at least suspicious of Eric Clapton, unlike me, he can play the guitar. For those who can read German, here is his homepage, and here is a kind of blog he writes some notes for from time to time on Back in the early nineties, when I was still living in Vienna and, due to my life-style, the only sunday service I could attend regularly was the mass at St. Stephen's Cathedral on sunday evening, I often saw him there. I think he is simply a great guy. Enjoy Al Cook's rendering of Big Fat Mama, the Al Cook Trio doing Sweet Home Chicago and finally, the very best rendering of Silent Night ever recorded:

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