It always saddens me that it takes the death of an artist to remind me to look for their work in the Southern Folklife Collection holdings, but then I find something like this excellent 78 from Bobby Blue Bland, call number 78-7247, and the bad feelings fade away. Bland passed on June 23, 2013 at his home outside Memphis, TN, but left behind a remarkable discography of some of the best R&B ever recorded. “Army Blues” features a beautifully woozy and cracked arrangement of “Taps” and Bland’s raw vocals offer a moving critique of the dismay that he and many others felt about the draft in 1952.
“No Blow, No Show” picks things up and the tape echo sound awesome to our ears. Take a listen and have a great weekend.