November 3, 2019 by [email protected]

In the summer of 2011 as I was preparing to launch a new Saturday night Blues show on WYEP, I was trying to decide what the name of the show should be. I was honored to be selected to do the new Saturday night Blues show, and I was even more thrilled to be given the reins to name the show and come up with a concept for the show’s sound and approach.

I took this pretty seriously since I was essentially replacing the great and legendary Bumblebee Slim who was retiring from WYEP after 25+ years of spinning the Blues on Saturday nights.  The show would also air right after Big Town Blues, hosted by Wrett Weatherspoon, another 25+ year blues veteran.

I thought about who the audience might be. The show would air on Saturday nights from 9 to midnight, a time slot when I figured most people were having fun and letting loose. Or perhaps on the move. Maybe out with friends to see a Blues band, partying with friends, or just relaxing at home with a beer or three. Staying up late and enjoying some loud music.

Since it was a fun time to be playing the blues, I decided that the show’s playlist would be mainly fast, up-tempo, gritty electric blues, heavy with guitar solos and intense harmonica with a blend of old- time acoustic blues from the pioneers. I wanted my listeners to enjoy the entire spectrum of blues history, so the show’s name should reflect that feel.

In addition to reflecting the history of the Blues, the name should also convey the movement and energy of the audience.

While kicking around ideas, I attended a local blues show where Eugene And The Nightcrawlers were playing. In the middle of the set, they began a chugging, grungy version of the song Rollin and Tumblin right then I knew I had it. Rollin & Tumblin would be the name of the new Saturday night blues show on WYEP.

Rollin and Tumblin was the first and only real choice for a name I suggested to station management. But before arriving at the final decision on the name, we did mull over some other ideas, just to make sure. Blues Hotel. Blues Café. Red, Hot & Blue and a few other names I can’t even remember.

No other ideas came close as I recall.

Rollin and Tumblin seemed to be the perfect fit. It is one of the first blues songs ever written. The words Rollin and Tumblin themselves are words that describe movement.

The tune has a chugging, train-like tempo that makes it feel like the song itself is actually moving. The words and story are your classic tale of blues sorrow plain and simple, evoking emotions of both sorrow and hope.

Just this year the likes of legends such as Rod Stewart and Billy Gibbons recorded new versions of the song. Even 106 years after being written, it is still being covered by some of the greatest contemporary artists and being recorded regularly by others. It is still a song that is part of the blues repertoire and fabric even today.

So, Rollin and Tumblin was chosen for its name recognition itself, and its nod to and importance to the beginning of recorded blues, its longevity, its ability to convey movement and energy on a Saturday night and for the chugging traditional sound of the song itself. It felt like a great way to describe the feel and them of three hours of blues on a Saturday night.

Rollin & Tumblin is a classic, rich with history, and has a gritty groove and story. A song that was first passed along from town to town by playing it live on a Saturday night in a Blues joint. Later, it would be passed along in the recorded form with the help of radio.

Rollin and Tumblin, to me, captures the spirit, sound and feel of the Blues on the radio in Pittsburgh on a Saturday night. I hope you agree. Thanks for reading!

 

Next topic: 400 Versions Of The Same Song-Some Studs, Some Duds. Or, An Accidental Streak

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October 22, 2019 by [email protected]

Rollin and Tumblin is one of the earliest and most influential blues songs ever written and recorded. The song was written by Hambone Willie Newbern and was first recorded by Newbern in 1929. Nobody knows for sure, but Sleepy John Estes, who was born in Ripley and took guitar lessons from Newbern, recalled hearing Newbern play the song sometime between 1913 and 1917, long before he recorded it, so the song may be over 100 years old.

According to Wikipedia, Rollin and Tumblin is a "great Delta blues classic", it has been interpreted by hundreds of Delta and Chicago blues artists, including well-known recordings by Muddy Waters.[2] "Rollin' and Tumblin'" has also been refashioned by a variety of rock-oriented artists.

Not only has it been recorded hundreds of times, the lyrics have evolved over the years. Some versions stay true to the original lyrics, others take much license with the singer’s particular tale of sorrow. The song itself has an intense, chugging groove that conveys both emotion and motion. Sorrow, but still as with many blues songs, somehow a feeling of hope.

Over the years, and 400 recordings, the title has also varied from Rollin(g) and Tumblin(g) with and without the “g”, to Rolled And Tumbled, Roll And Tumble, I Rolled, And I Tumbled, Roll And Tumble Blues to name a few.

Robert Johnson himself took the song and made a completely new story of it when he wrote and performed “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day”, which in itself became a Blues standard, covered by many over the years.

As the song continues to be passed down from generation to generation, almost every musician covering it honors the original with respect, then moves it along the musical timeline from Hambone Willie Newbern, to Elmore James and Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton, to versions being recorded today by the likes of Samantha Fish, Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers  and the North Mississippi Allstars.

As evidenced by 400 plus recordings of the song, musicians themselves obviously honor this song’s importance over 100 years later as new versions continue to be recorded year after year. If the people making the music still feel compelled to play it, I’m paying attention.

So, there you have it. a quick primer on the song, Rollin & Tumblin. It is rich with a 100 year history, and has a gritty groove and story, and has been played by virtually every Blues legend and pioneer that ever lived.

Which kind of symbolizes what the Blues is about. The Blues has a deep history, the stories are often stark and guitars and harmonicas give it a crunchy, raw, gritty sound. 

For an awesome in-depth look at the background of this song, check out this article:

http://jasobrecht.com/rollin-tumblin-story-song/#comments

That's it for part one. I hope you enjoyed reading about the history.

 

Next: What’s In A (Radio Show) Name? 

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August 25, 2019 by [email protected]

Aug 25, 2019

Programming note for Aug 31, 2019. Rollin and Tumblin will not be on the radio on Saturday August 31, 2019 due to the Labor Day Weekend Countdown.

When we do return on Saturday, Sept 7, 2019 we will celebrate 8 great years of Rollin and Tumblin giving you the Blues on 91.3, WYEP!

And how to celebrate our 8th Anniversary? Play some 8-Tracks! Not the clunky tapes, by 8-Tracks we mean songs that clock in at 8 minutes or more. Tune in next time for a couple of 8 minute long tracks every hour from 9pm to midnight as we celebrate 8 years of Blues.

 

Upcoming shows of interest:

Sunday Aug 25

Houlihans Cranberry: Bobby Thompson

Houlihans Mt Lebanon: Jill West

 

Friday Aug 30

Roxian: G Love & Special Sauce

 

Saturday Aug 31

Thunderbird: Beatles vs Dead—Eleanor Walrus and Fungus

Corbiwoodstock Unplugged

 

Sunday Sept 1

Corbiwoodstock

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August 18, 2019 by [email protected]

Hey! We're pretty excited about our new specialty show blogs and features. As you will see in the coming days and weeks, you'll now have the ability to check out Rollin and Tumblin "On Demand" here at the website. So, if you have to work or just can't stay up that late you can still catch Rollin and Tumblin every Saturday from 9pm to midnight.

Last night we had some fun celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival. Johnny Winter, Paul Butterfield and a track from Santana, who was paid $750 to perform 8 songs. Less than $100 per song!

We're working on getting the Blues calendar updated again so stay tuned for further info there. As always, there's a ton of great live Blues going on in PIttsburgh!

Here's a really cool cut from a Pittsburgh band that's Not Necessarily The Blues, but this cut is a lot of fun. Check out this new one from The Commonheart:

https://open.spotify.com/track/7dtlwWHBESV74FJ1j1Rzrh?si=42ZA34KFQimX8a_azPdyzw

 

See ya next weekend on the radio.

Rob

 

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August 18, 2019 by [email protected]

Hey! We're pretty excited about our new specialty show blogs and features. As you will see in the coming days and weeks, you'll now have the ability to check out Rollin and Tumblin "On Demand" here at the website. So, if you have to work or just can't stay up that late you can still catch Rollin and Tumblin every Saturday from 9pm to midnight.

Last night we had some fun celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival. Johnny Winter, Paul Butterfield and a track from Santana, who was paid $750 to perform 8 songs. Less than $100 per song!

We're working on getting the Blues calendar updated again so stay tuned for further info there. As always, there's a ton of great live Blues going on in PIttsburgh!

Here's a really cool cut from a Pittsburgh band that's Not Necessarily The Blues, but this cut is a lot of fun. Check out this new one from The Commonheart:

https://open.spotify.com/track/7dtlwWHBESV74FJ1j1Rzrh?si=42ZA34KFQimX8a_azPdyzw

 

See ya next weekend on the radio.

Rob

 

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August 18, 2019 by [email protected]

Hey! We're pretty excited about our new specialty show blogs and features. As you will see in the coming days and weeks, you'll now have the ability to check out Rollin and Tumblin "On Demand" here at the website. So, if you have to work or just can't stay up that late you can still catch Rollin and Tumblin every Saturday from 9pm to midnight.

Last night we had some fun celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival. Johnny Winter, Paul Butterfield and a track from Santana, who was paid $750 to perform 8 songs. Less than $100 per song!

We're working on getting the Blues calendar updated again so stay tuned for further info there. As always, there's a ton of great live Blues going on in PIttsburgh!

Here's a really cool cut from a Pittsburgh band that's Not Necessarily The Blues, but this cut is a lot of fun. Check out this new one from The Commonheart:

https://open.spotify.com/track/7dtlwWHBESV74FJ1j1Rzrh?si=42ZA34KFQimX8a_azPdyzw

 

See ya next weekend on the radio.

Rob

 

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August 16, 2019 by [email protected]

Brownout

I've been playing Grupo Fantasma on The Soul Show for a couple of years, but only recently became aware of their latin funk derivative Brownout. Brownout reimagined Public Enemy's work with their own "Fear Of A Brown Planet," and prior to that released two volumes of horn-laden Black Sabbath covers. They very recently played "Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath" at Flood City Music Festival 2019. Judging from overheard murmurings of festival attendees, it was clear that many didn't know what to expect. I did :)

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ij506pp6tOM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Here's a good NPR article on the Chicano soul movement, including mention of Greg and Beto of Brownout: https://www.npr.org/2019/07/25/744949593/the-many-threads-and-generations-of-chicano-soul-all-in-one-place?fbclid=IwAR3FgLfC6n-ReD9TIEuZgtrAectzoZhW8vJOvWtpH5JciVVsRqQi1-Oiw-E

 

Maceo

I hadn't seen Maceo play Pittsburgh since TRAF about a decade ago. Ardmore Music Hall is just this side of Philly, so the trek was made to see him there. (Note: this is a piece I've been holding onto for a few months.) The Ernest Stuart Trio opened, and you can hear a piece of their "Smells Like Teen Spirit" Nirvana cover. Robert Glasper has permanently affected everyone, and that is a positive statement.

Maceo was tight as always, and he gave nods to co- and departed Funkateers. Also, he presented his daughter as a vocalist. When I saw her, it reminded me of Joya Wesley, who manages dad Fred's affairs with the care of a family member. This has to be a great formula.

 

 

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August 16, 2019 by [email protected]

Brownout

I've been playing Grupo Fantasma on The Soul Show for a couple of years, but only recently became aware of their Latin funk derivative Brownout. Brownout reimagined Public Enemy's work with their own "Fear Of A Brown Planet," and prior to that released two volumes of horn-laden Black Sabbath covers. They very recently played "Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath" at Flood City Music Festival 2019. Judging from overheard murmurings of festival attendees, it was clear that many didn't know what to expect. I did :)

Here's a good NPR article on the Chicano soul movement, including mention of Greg and Beto of Brownout: https://www.npr.org/2019/07/25/744949593/the-many-threads-and-generations-of-chicano-soul-all-in-one-place?fbclid=IwAR3FgLfC6n-ReD9TIEuZgtrAectzoZhW8vJOvWtpH5JciVVsRqQi1-Oiw-E

 

Maceo

I hadn't seen Maceo play Pittsburgh since TRAF about a decade ago. Ardmore Music Hall is just this side of Philly, so the trek was made to see him there. (Note: this is a piece I've been holding onto for a few months.) The Ernest Stuart Trio opened, and you can hear a piece of their "Smells Like Teen Spirit" Nirvana cover. Robert Glasper has permanently affected everyone, and that is a positive statement.

Maceo was tight as always, and he gave nods to co- and departed Funkateers. Also, he presented his daughter as a vocalist. When I saw her, it reminded me of Joya Wesley, who manages dad Fred's affairs with the care of a family member. This has to be a great formula.

 

 

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August 16, 2019 by [email protected]

Brownout

I've been playing Grupo Fantasma on The Soul Show for a couple of years, but only recently became aware of their latin funk derivative Brownout. Brownout reimagined Public Enemy's work with their own "Fear Of A Brown Planet," and prior to that released two volumes of horn-laden Black Sabbath covers. They very recently played "Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath" at Flood City Music Festival 2019. Judging from overheard murmurings of festival attendees, it was clear that many didn't know what to expect. I did :)

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ij506pp6tOM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Here's a good NPR article on the Chicano soul movement, including mention of Greg and Beto of Brownout: https://www.npr.org/2019/07/25/744949593/the-many-threads-and-generations-of-chicano-soul-all-in-one-place?fbclid=IwAR3FgLfC6n-ReD9TIEuZgtrAectzoZhW8vJOvWtpH5JciVVsRqQi1-Oiw-E

 

Maceo

I hadn't seen Maceo play Pittsburgh since TRAF about a decade ago. Ardmore Music Hall is just this side of Philly, so the trek was made to see him there. (Note: this is a piece I've been holding onto for a few months.) The Ernest Stuart Trio opened, and you can hear a piece of their "Smells Like Teen Spirit" Nirvana cover. Robert Glasper has permanently affected everyone, and that is a positive statement.

Maceo was tight as always, and he gave nods to co- and departed Funkateers. Also, he presented his daughter as a vocalist. When I saw her, it reminded me of Joya Wesley, who manages dad Fred's affairs with the care of a family member. This has to be a great formula.

 

 

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July 31, 2019 by [email protected]
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July 19, 2019 by [email protected]
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July 19, 2019 by [email protected]

<a href="//localendar.com/public/soulshowmike">calendar link</a>

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July 9, 2019 by [email protected]

Not Necessarily The Blues. But if you are a fan of Rollin And Tumblin, you might enjoy the Wood Brothers.

 

 

Rob

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July 7, 2019 by [email protected]

July 7

Love Pittsburgh Music Month continues in July on Rollin & Tumblin, each week we’ll feature a Pittsburgh Blues artist with a deeper look at their work with one song each hour.

Tune in from 9pm to midnight on July 13 when we feature the work of Jill West & Blues Attack!

They describe their own style as “hard edged blues with a guitar blast, in the tradition of the Vaughn brothers, B. B. King, and Muddy Waters”. But Jill and the band have certainly infused Pittsburgh into their work and influenced a new generation of women to play the Blues in Pittsburgh.

To learn more about how you can take part in Love Pittsburgh Music Month, click the link below:

https://www.lovepghmusic.com/

 

Thanks again to Ron Esser from Band Together Pittsburgh for stopping in last night to give us a preview of the upcoming 3rd Annual Pittsburgh Blues & Roots Festival!

https://www.pghbluesrootsfest.com/

 

Thanks for listening!

 

Rob

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July 4, 2019 by kerem

Lots of new music to get to. Here's a quick look at what you can expect to hear on the show this week...

  • Soul-drenched goodness showcasing Lady Alma, produced by renegade jazz and club music maverick Mark de Clive-Lowe

  • LA’s finest Delroy Edwards returns for his 2nd release on Apron but this time a solo project “Dubonnet” of real honest raw house music

  • Auntie Flo takes us to Brazil, a country that is dealing with having a bona fide fascist president, with an EP recorded in Rio De Janeiro

  • XOA, led by London based producer and musician Nick Tyson, recently release his debut album ‘Way West’ on Five Easy Pieces

  • Lance Ferguson's Rare Groove Spectrum collection of newly recorded versions of classic funk, soul, jazz and latin vinyl rarities

  • Taking its name from such a formidable weather force, ‘Atlantic Oscillations’ marks the return of world-renowned British producer Quantic with his most cohesive and intricate album to date

  • Written and recorded at The Docks Studios (nestled in the Total Refreshment Centre), William Florelle contributes his own vocals, along with Swedish vocalist Bahia

  • Faze Action return with a brand new 12", teaming up with Zimbabwean born Zeke Manyika to create "Mangwana". Sung in Zeke's native Shona, and taking influences from Mory Kante, South African Kwaito to early house, Faze Action manage to create a record that harks back yet still has a modern and contemporary feel and is set to be the soundtrack to countless festivals and outdoor parties this summer

  • LA-based artist Dylan Moon is the latest to join the ever-ambitious RVNG family. Take your first taste of Only the Blues, the album itself due at the end of the August

  • Italian producer and musician DJ Rocca (AKA Luca Roccatagliati) is back on Nang with his debut solo artist album, Isole

  • Their first offering on the La Struttura Della Magia imprint is a delicious 4-tracker that pays tribute to Maestro Gurdjieff and his musical alter ego Prince Ozay

  • Soulful, intimate and expansive all at once, Jordan Rakei is back with his third album, Origin

  • DEGO is no stranger on Neroli. This time he comes back solo with a fierce funky double A sider

  • Released by Mello Music Group, VWETO II, is this kind of exploratory turn. It’s the sequel to her 2011 album by the same name. Like its predecessor, VWETO II is an all-instrumental affair, reestablishing Muldrow as one of the most reliable crafters of sturdy, funky, spaced-out hip-hop working today

  • Recorded between his own studio and the world famous Abbey Road, ‘Home Cooking’ is the new, mature sound of London's DJ Yoda

  • The first single from Neue Grafik Ensemble's brand new mini-LP entitled Foulden Road

  • The second single taken from ‘Seven Metal Mountains’, the second album from Norfolk (UK) based musician John Johanna

  • Nottingham's Cyclonix also contributes a live "producer mix" of his catalog

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