Saturday, March 08, 2008


Here are two old ladies who could teach us a thing or two about performance and motivation. First clip was sent to me by a friend (thanks Eddy) after a conversation over a game of snooker. Sister Rosetta Tharpe and choir singing 'Up Above My Head'. Look at this girl go, cranking up her Gibson SG for a guitar solo that'd stand up in any rockin' blues club on today's circuits. And if you're thinking 'wow, she plays like Chuck Berry, or even early Hendrix!', then just remember who came first...


Second clip is the great Mahalia Jackson, mother of all soul singers, with a wonderful rendition of 'Just A Closer Walk With Thee'. She sings this at a tribute concert for Louis Armstrong. I love this woman. The way she builds her performance is so uplifting, her stagecraft so effective. She walks away from the mic at the end, and leaves the stage still hollering and singing her heart out. I can't watch it with dry eyes.

They help old Louis up onto the stage at the end, and he's very obviously knocked out by Mahalia's performance. I guess she'd have to be a few years older than him, too, but still capable of belting it out like a twenty year old. Fantastic. It's enough to give you religion, if you don't already have it.

Oh, and look out for the pianist. A great bluesy player, and another woman.

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