Jazz & Blues
12:00 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Just a 'Spoonful' of blues ... and the rest is history

The Blues Time Machine

It’s a modern blues standard with roots in the 1920’s, one of Willie Dixon’s many great compositions, and it can trace its origin in part to a Charlie Patton song from 1929: “A Spoonful Blues."

In 1960 Howlin’ Wolf recorded "Spoonful," a track many consider one of the defining songs of modern blues.  By the mid-60’s, many rock musicians started taking blues in different directions. Cream is considered the grand-daddy of rock trios, combining virtuosity with the ability to improvise. Here’s a great example, a rare up-close video of Cream live:

Literally hundreds of artists have recorded the song, but the group Slo Leak came close to re-inventing it in their “trance blues” version from 2008. Over 80 years after Charlie Patton, we’re still talking about a spoonful.

Here are the full versions of “Spoonful” tracked through time:

Charlie Patton: “A Spoonful Blues”  1929

Howlin’ Wolf: “Spoonful”  1960

Cream: “Spoonful”  1966

Slo Leak: “Spoonful” 2008