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Mississippi Heat, Deitra Farr, Billy Flynn, Allen Kirk , Pierre Lacocque, Bob Stroger, James O. Wheeler - Learned The Hard Way Album

Mississippi Heat, Deitra Farr, Billy Flynn, Allen Kirk , Pierre Lacocque, Bob Stroger, James O. Wheeler - Learned The Hard Way Album

Performer: Mississippi Heat, Deitra Farr, Billy Flynn, Allen Kirk , Pierre Lacocque, Bob Stroger, James O. Wheeler
Title: Learned The Hard Way
Released: 1994
Cat#: VR101
Label: Van der Linden Recordings
Country: USA & Canada
Style: Harmonica Blues, Chicago Blues, Modern Electric Blues
Category: Blues
Size MP3: 2079 mb
Size FLAC: 2778 mb

Tracklist

1I Love My Baby
Composed By – Pierre Lacocque
4:11
2Je Me Souviens (I Remember Too)
Lyrics By – Deitra FarrMusic By – Big Bill Broonzy
5:07
3Lonely Nights No More
Composed By – Pierre Lacocque
4:28
4How Long Can A Man Be Poor
Composed By – Pierre Lacocque
6:39
5Kindhearted Fool
Composed By – Pierre Lacocque
4:00
6Moanin' And Cryin'
Composed By – Pierre Lacocque
6:10
7Got To Change Your Ways
Composed By – Pierre Lacocque
3:10
8He's Not Good For Me
Composed By – Deitra Farr
3:01
9The Wrong Guy
Lyrics By – Pierre LacocqueMusic By – James O. Wheeler
4:31
10Keep Your Hands Off Her
Composed By – Deitra Farr
4:01
11Learned The Hard Way
Lyrics By – Pierre LacocqueMusic By – Billy Flynn
4:46
12Bull Frog Hop
Composed By – Billy Flynn
3:23
13My Woman Is An Old Black Spider
Lyrics By – Pierre LacocqueMusic By – James O. Wheeler
3:54
14Let's Pack Our Bags
Lyrics By – Pierre LacocqueMusic By – James O. Wheeler
3:43
15Mean Old World
Composed By – Walter Jacobs
6:59

Versions

CategoryArtistTitle (Format)LabelCategoryCountryYear
VR101-4Mississippi Heat, Deitra Farr, Billy Flynn, Allen Kirk , Pierre Lacocque, Bob Stroger, James O. Wheeler Mississippi Heat, Deitra Farr, Billy Flynn, Allen Kirk , Pierre Lacocque, Bob Stroger, James O. Wheeler - Learned The Hard Way ‎(Cass)Van der Linden RecordingsVR101-4USA & Canada1994

Notes

“Straight From the Heart” launched Mississippi Heat solidly into the Chicago blues scene in January 1993. Since then we replaced our singer-drummer Robert Covington with singer Deitra Farr and drummer Allen Kirk. Robert, the original Mississippian in our band, simply had too many commitments to be able to play with us on a regular basis. Although he is not with us any longer he and Pierre continue their musical relationship through song-writing for future projects.

The impelling force for this album is to introduce Deitra Farr with Mississippi Heat. Sterling Plumpp, Assistant Professor of Black Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and poet, says it best when he wrote: “…her message is conveyed because she literally brings the tool kit of the church with her; she is deeply immersed in the sacred waters of the gospel and therefore hums, groans and shuffles her voice to both state and insinuate meanings…she might have drowned in her own tears [but] because of the power of her delivery… she has wings and will not let somebody ‘worry her life anymore.’ ” (In At Chicago, Feb. 7, 1990)

For this album Deitra is recording an array of original songs: Two of her own, five of Pierre’s composition, and one very special gift to us and you, her superb rendering of Mean Old World. This song, her theme song, is an arrangement of two of Little Walter’s songs. When, some ten years ago, Billy Branch invited her on stage to sing a song at B.L.U.E.S., Deitra uncharacteristically accepted. Her rendition of Mean Old World and the audience’s response inspired her to launch into Tonight With A Fool. This mixing of these two songs into one particularly encapsulates her power, passion, and extraordinary sensitivity. Her voice and agony resonate as though through a cavernous pit and when she puts the microphone down and “walks the floor” to sing Mean Old World acoustically, the entranced audience opens up and touches her in return. When Mississippi Heat was named Top Blues Band and one of the top three bands overall at the Montreal International Jazz Festival 1993, by Serge Truffault, a reporter at Le Devoir, it was largely because of the mystical power Deitra brings to our performances.

When we thought we had it all, Allen Kirk stepped in to drum for us. Allen immediately added a spark. For many years he played with The Chicago Diamonds, and, later, with The Fabulous Fishheads. Steve Freund brought him to Sunnyland Slim, Bob Stroger, and Sam Burkhardt (The Big Four), when Robert Covington was out of town. Allen credits his drumming style to these superb veterans. During our tour of Quebec and Ontario in July 1993, Bob Stroger and Allen Kirk worked together and refined a musical bond that is the key to our sound. We marvel at the rich simplicity of Allen and Bob’s work.

Another treat for us, and indeed a special gift, is Bob Stroger’s first vocal recording! Keep Your Hands Off Her is a song Bob arranged from a 1935 Big Bill Broonzy’s song. This song has become a part of Mississippi Heat’s repertoire because it wonderfully reflects a deep feeling we share towards Deitra. Indeed, when Bob touchingly refers to Mississippi Heat aas his family, we intuit that he refers specially to the love and joy Deitra brings to our band. Bob Stroger’s charisma is sung all over. A quieter man has never been more powerfully felt and noticed! As the band’s veteran, Bob is our quiet leader. Bob is “Straight From The Heart.”

Billy Flynn continues to lift us with his quiet and uncanny ability to inspire us and audiences alike. HIs culture, his knowledge of blues repertoire and history, his ability to express musically the depth of his emotions and his extraordinary guitar carry us each night to new heights. (Thank you David Waldman!) As David Whiteis, Critics Choice columnist wrote in the April 2, 1993 edition of the Chicago Reader, “…Flynn is a fiery, emotional player for whom the old blues sounds are as urgent now as the were for the Delta migrants who created them in the late 40’s and early 50’s.” Billy composes and plays every day of his life. Each time we travel, he lets us hear new musical arrangements, new chords, or simply wonderful renditions of this favorite 30’s and 40’s songs. Every night is a great night for Billy Flynn! Passionate with superb form, restrained but always ready to explode, Billy’s artistry and commitment are a continuous reminder of our task.

James Wheeler’s calm and debonair attiude belies his deep emotions when he plays. James, our other veteran, keeps usdown to earth singing the “you-done-me-wrong blues.” James Wheeler’s gentle blues is profoundly felt and conveyed. He has long inspired musicians with his effective guitar licks and with his blues sense.

Wheeler’s genis is particularly displayed on four cuts on this album: How Long Can A Man Be Poor, Let’s Pack Our Bags, My Woman Is An Old Black Spider, and The Wrong Guy. His experience with lyrics helped with some of these songs. We decided to include James as co-author to three of Pierre’s songs because he offered valuable suggestions and therefore became part of the creative process.

Pierre continues to create an original sound while staying faithful tho the traditional Chicago-style harp playing. David Whiteis wrote in the aforementioned article that “Pierre Lacocque is that rare younger-generation harpist who’s absorbed the lessons of subtlety, silence, and solo construction from the masters…as well as their raucous, hawk like tonal power.” Pierre’s thirst for expressing his blues has no bound. The enthusiasm and the reverence he has for his music and his band are at the heart of MIssissppi Heat.

LEARNED THE HARD WAY (Van der Linden recordings – VR101)
Personnel: Pierre Lacocque, Deitra Farr, Billy Flynn, James Wheeler, Bob Stroger, Alan Kirk.
A special thanks to artist Elisabeth Brunner (Pierre’s sister).

Barcodes

  • Other: VR101

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