Sunday, May 16, 2010

"The music in my head" (The Jack Reacher Playlist)

To calm down, I ran music through my head. The chorus to "Smokestack Lightning." The Howling Wolf version puts a wonderful strangled cry at the end of the first line. They say you need to ride the rails for a while to understand the traveling blues. They're wrong. To understand the traveling blues you need to be locked down somewhere. In a cell. Or in the army. Someplace where you're caged. Someplace where smokestack lightning looks like a faraway beacon of impossible freedom. I lay there with my coat as a pillow and listened to the music in my head. At the end of the third chorus, I fell asleep.'

-- Jack Reacher, in Lee Child's Killing Floor, 1997.

Killing FloorHowling Wolf

Bobby Bland

Wild Child Butler

Blind Blake

Robert Johnson

John Lee Hooker


Tulkinghorn said...

Hoy, Hoy I'm the boy
300 pounds of heavenly joy....

Howlin' Wolf had a sense of humor, too.

Best writing I know of w/r/t Chester (you'd change your name, too.) is "Deep Blues" by the later Robert Palmer...

Any random Chess compilation is better than none, but this is one that mattered first:

Tulkinghorn said...

Also this, if you like the hard stuff:

Generic said...

Was digging around this week for my old copy of "Deep Blues." It's done gone.