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

3 comments:

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:

http://www.amazon.com/Real-Folk-Blues-More/dp/B000062Y81/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1274053416&sr=1-9

Tulkinghorn said...

Also this, if you like the hard stuff:

http://www.amazon.com/Howlin-Wolf-Moanin-Moonlight/dp/B000002O3I/ref=tag_dpp_lp_edpp_ttl_in

Generic said...

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