How did I miss this sensationally weird and edgy video? Johnny Childs is a blues guitarist who apparently got pissed off at having his CD snubbed by the Blues Music Awards when Tommy Castro got six nominations. So he decided to call him out, big-time and nasty, in a video. This rarely happens in the contemporary blues world. What I'm intrigued by is the mix of blackface minstrelsy--the classic form, involving costuming, hair, dance forms, masking--and real hip-hop creativity, all in the service of saying "Tommy Castrato, you and your music blow! I'm the real show!" in two dozen different ways. I don't know if Johnny Childs has any talent as a blues guitarist, but he's got a heck of a lot of audacity and big-a** balls. Check it out and discuss. Watch it all the way through. He keeps upping the ante, and some of the "I can't believe he SAID that!' lines come late:
Here's another video. Young blues guitarist Samantha Fish has left three aggrieved comments on the vid within the last day. And I'll say this for Childs: for better or worse, he is trying something new. He's not making nice. He's not glad-handing. He's trying a flanking move. Actually, more like a frontal attack. Like it or not, he's responding creatively to the situation in which he finds himself. This sort of beef happens all the time in the hip hop world, but the blues world has been amazingly friendly--until now. But of course it's all in fun, sort of:
Theo, after viewing the video you've posted, I'll agree with you: it doesn't do much for me. He actually falls out of time with his band a few times, and that's surprising.
By the same token, I love his "Walk the Floor" video. There I think he creates an absolutely singular combination of deep old grooves and weird, impossible-to-copy spider-fingered stuff; he hits a lot of notes, like Buddy Guy (although at a much lower intensity level) that aren't on the guitar; weird microtone stuff. Great combination, one that excites me.
But yes: the live video ain't no way in Danny Gatton's class, or Little Charlie Baty.
Johnny Shines is someone that merits watching because I agree with yoiu about "Walk the Floor"; it is sort of the blues guitar version of William Burroughs "shotgun painting" technique. Burroughs would place different color cans of paint against a thick old board and then would blast away at them with a 12 gauge; it was violent and beautiful. At his best Shines is likely a guitarist who could convince you that someone has just walked over the plot of land where you'll be buried; those microtonal fillips and twilightish shadings are ghostly, for sure, and wrenching. At his less interesting, he is at times a ham handed technician. I suspect strong material makes the difference.
Iv'e seen Tommy numerous times and always left feelin like I seen a KICK ASS show and the ladies are happy too! The "yo tommy" vid is hilarious...I always liked this james brown type tune here he does...The whole CD is good...
Ah.......no. Not on this website. All of us have strong feelings about specific things, including genres of music, but--as per the creed--we try to tone down the hatred + profanity a little for the sake of getting along. This ain't a high-toned joint, but it's a public forum. Please respect it. Thanks.
FYI, I just removed the word "sh#tload" from my OP. I happen to believe that occasional profanity in the service of a positive comment is more acceptable than occasional profanity in the service of trashing something--it's the difference between "F#ck yeah!" and "F#ck you!"; enthusiasm vs. fighting words--but I see how my enthusiasm might have licensed your hatred and thus I'm willing to tone it back.
Last Edited by on Aug 20, 2012 3:26 AM
I should have qualified my initial point: It's sensationally weird and edgy for a blues video.
But hey, I could be wrong. Maybe there are lots of other blues videos out there that are more sensationally weird and edgy. Please post them here! I want to know what I'm missing.
My experience has been that blues videos tend to be extremely conservative, working over the same set of tired tropes: gunslinging cocksmanship w/a grimace, dusty back porches, the occasional graveyard, chickens scratching in the front yard, etc. Relative to them, Childs's willingness to engage in lame rapping while wearing a lame wig, and to showcase himself f--king up guitar licks in frustration, struck me as innovative--and, yes, weird.
I also can't remember a single blues video in which a player on the contemporary scene repeatedly calls out a current star by name. That strikes me as an edgy thing to do. Some might say it's a deliberate act of self-sabotage, since the contemporary blues world--the administered blues world of Foundations, Cruises, and the like--is a pretty clubby place. Again: edgy.
Samantha Fish agrees heartily with you, though.
Last Edited by on Aug 20, 2012 10:06 AM
@kudzurunner: I can't think of a single blues video that features baton twirling or synchronized swimming, either, but I don't think that would make a baton-twirlling, synchronized-swimming blues singer edgy (though, I have to admit, it would qualify as weird).
As for white men playing the fool in nappy wigs, that's been old hat for almost two centuries.
Last Edited by on Aug 20, 2012 1:59 PM
"But hey, I could be wrong. Maybe there are lots of other blues videos out there that are more sensationally weird and edgy. Please post them here! I want to know what I'm missing."
Here's a sensationally edgy video in which a harp player on the contemporary scene calls out a galaxy of current stars by name. It also features "has music, drama, romance, violence, celebrity appearances, you name it!!"
Could Johnny Childs be the reincarnation of Andy Kaufman? This kinda reminds me of the pro wrestling he did with Kevin Lawler. ? -Bob ---------- http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/pages/Bourbon-Bleach/161722307208585