Monday, October 13, 2014

Standard of the Week: Rollin' & Tumblin'

The original 'Rollin' & Tumblin' was recorded in 1929 by Hambone Willie Newbern under the name 'Roll and Tumble Blues'. It's a great Delta blues classic that's been covered by dozens of blues and rock musicians; the most famous version is by Muddy Waters recorded in 1950.

The Original:

The song features a bottleneck slide riff, played in the key of A with open tuning. The later cover versions either feature the riff under a different name (like 'If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day - Robert Johnson) or changing the lyrics with the name song title (Rollin & Tumblin - Bob Dylan). The song is immortalized and is one of the greatest blues standards.

I mean, one the greatest lyrics ever are in this song:

Well, if the river was whiskey, and I was a divin' duck
Well, if the river was whiskey, and I was a divin' duck
Well, I would dive to the bottom, never would I come up

Here are a few versions by various musicians:

Muddy Waters

Memphis Slim with Buddy Guy

Big Joe Williams


Jeff Beck

Cyndi Lauper (great version too!)

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