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The drinking song list continues….

Listen to Sloppy Drunk Blues by Sonny Boy Williamson (Drinking Song #17).

There were two Sonny Boy Williamsons. This is the first one, who is generally known in the blues world as Sonny Boy I. He was an excellent performer and harmonica player who made a number of recordings with Big Joe Williams, a fellow who created a 9-string guitar by doubling up three of the strings for a more percussive effect. Mr. Williamson was tragically murdered back in 1948. I first heard Sloppy Drunk Blues back in the early 80s when I was in University. York U had a really fine collection of blues on vinyl and I used to go up to the listening room where they had turntables and headphones and I’d sign out all these old blues records and listen to them while I studied. This left me with a head full of obscure blues music, which I developed a strong affection for.

The second Sonny Boy Willamson, Sonny Boy II, claimed he was the original and so sometimes he is ironically known as the original Sonny Boy Williamson, but clearly, the second guy copped the first guy’s name and tried to take advantage of his popularity. While this seems like a nasty thing to do, I should note that the second Sonny Boy was at least as good as the first guy. In fact, not only was the second guy one of the best ever blues harmonica players, he was also one of the best blues song-writers. Just so you have a taste, here’s Sonny Boy II performing Your Funeral My Trial. This isn’t a drinking song. It might fit if I were putting together a murder song list though. It may not fit here, but it’s a great song so I’m going to post it anyway.

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