Blues Guitar History Lesson - Stormy Monday - T-Bone Walker, Allman Brothers, and Buddy Guy

Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 5:21pm
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FULL LESSON, TAB, JAM TRACKS: There used to be a blues club on the upper East side of Manhattan called "Manny's Carwash," which the New Yorker magazine routinely dismissed as "an adman's idea of a nightclub." And there was a kind of manufactured vibe to the place, as a friend of mine once theorized over a round of tall and frosty ones: "It's like some guy woke up one day and said, 'Yeah, I know, I'll start a club! In Manhattan! That's it! And we'll have, you know, those neon Bud signs in the window! Yeah! And a brick wall behind the bar! And, live bands, that play - what's that funky music they always have bands playing in the movies? Blues! That's it! We'll get some of those funky blues bands to come play!" To be fair, they did have their share of good bands, although it seemed at times that their audience was cut from the same cloth as the club's hypothetical, brick-addled owner. I found myself standing one night behind a particularly inebriated dude who kept bellowing for the band to play "Stormy Monday," then turning to his girlfriend to grandly explain, "It's an Allman Brothers song." Which would have been o.k., because the Allmans did do a pretty damn definitive version of the song on the pretty damn definitive At Fillmore East. Would have been o.k., except that *on* the Fillmore East record Duane Allman *introduces* the song by saying "Actually, it's an old T-Bone Walker song." So - I mean, come on. The thing is, though, that if you go dig up the original T-Bone Walker version of "Stormy Monday," it doesn't sound anything like what Duane and company played that night in 1971.
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