Saturday, June 9, 2007

You Done Put Your Banana In It Now

Armenter Chatmon (later known as Bo Carter) and his brothers (Sam and Lonnie) learned to play music from their father and mother. Henderson and Eliza Chatmon both played music before marriage. Henderson was an ex-slave fiddler and Eliza could sing and play guitar.

The three brothers eventually began playing in public and even recorded a few 78s under the band name Mississippi Sheiks. Since Bo drank less than his other two brothers, he was placed in charge of finances and the management of the group. As time dragged on, he began performing solo and recorded a lot of material.

Unfortunately, music historians have pegged him into the "risque music" category due to the double entendre of his song titles and the content of a great deal of his lyrics. Song titles such as Banana In Your Fruit Basket, Pin In Your Cushion, Your Biscuits Are Big Enough For Me, and My Pencil Won't Write No More all helped to reinforce this attitude towards his music. As detailed in the album liner notes provided by Yazoo Records, his chord progression and continual change in tuning throughout the entirety of his musical catalog should create enough interest for any musician- young or old- to take a closer look at the body of his work.

Blues archivist and researcher, Paul Oliver, stumbled into Carter one day in Memphis in 1960 (less than five years before Carter's death). A transcription of the interview that ensued can be found in Oliver's tome Conversation With The Blues.

Here's the LP.


wassonii said...

Thank you. El Diablo Tun Tun has a "blue" album from Carter, but it's good to know there's more. The info on your blog is invaluable and greatly appreciated!

b3A7n1k said...

Thanks for the feedback and appreciation! Yazoo Records released three whole volumes of LPs by Bo Carter but I just have this one. At some point, I'm going to post my 78 RPM collection; I have four 78s of Carter's and one by the Mississippi Sheiks that I need to clean so they're suitable for recording. Bear in mind that the quality won't sound as great as that found on the Yazoo collections but there's nothing like the excitement of watching the original record spinning on the turntable while listening to these great olde tunes. I'm hoping to share some of this excitement with everyone else even if they're not privy to the actual witnessing of the turntable. I've checked out your blog as well and it is now linked to mine. The Barrett dubs look pretty amazing. Thanks again!

Sharon said...

I just discovered your blog today. Thank you for all this fantastic music! This link is broken - any chance you could re-up?