Category Archives: Boles Blues

When Sunny Gets Blue and Sunshine Blows Through the Blues

“When Sunny Gets Blue” is one of the greatest Blues/Jazz songs ever written. You can sing it slow and creeping with an oozing loss, or you can snap it up and make the song fast and raspy.  The lyric is especially keen — you can take it as a comment on a personality, or a conundrum of living in the sunshine when the world is dark around you:

When Sunny gets blue, her eyes get gray and cloudy,
Then the rain begins to fall, pitter-patter, pitter-patter,
Love is gone, so what can matter,
Ain’t no new lover man come to call.

Many of us probably have a Sunny or two in our lives — some versions gloomier than others, but today, I want to share a 10-second memory of a ray of sun.  Her friends and co-workers call her “Sunshine” and the name fits her without a fog.

Read more

R.I.P Pete Seeger: So Much More than a Musician

The passing of Pete Seeger at the remarkable age of 94 is one that will be felt deeply by many of my generation across the world.

I was born in the late 1950’s, a year after “If I had a Hammer” was first released, I learnt nursery rhymes and Christmas carols as a child.

My first “grown up” songs were “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” shortly followed by “We Shall Overcome” — the words of which I still know by heart.

These, of course, became part and parcel of any and all peace marches, Vietnam Protests and civil resistance.

Read more

J’attendrai: Melodic Beauty and Grace in Performance

J’attendrai is one of those songs that, when you first hear it, you want to play it on the guitar and sing it in performance.  The melody is perfect.  I have yet to see a performance of the song that didn’t glide with a gracious humanity.

Translated from French as — “I Will Wait” — J’attendrai was first made popular in 1938 by Rina Ketty and was written by Dino Olivier and Nino Rastelli.  J’attendrai is the hallmark song for the start of World War II as people all over the world prepared for an uncertain and dramatic future:

I will wait night and day,
I will wait forever,
For you to come back, I will wait, [I will wait]
For the bird flying away
Comes to seek oblivion in its nest.
Time flies and runs,
Beating sadly in my oh so heavy heart
And yet I will wait for you to come back

The most resonant, historic, performance of J’attendrai belongs to magnificent Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and expert violinist Stéphane Grappelli.

Read more

« Older Entries