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Canned Heat Blues - Mississippi Delta blues - Tommy Johnson

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Uploaded on Mar 22, 2008

TAB is part of my "Lesson Pack Tabs" Volume 1
Only €10 for 10 tabs, with videolessons
http://www.daddystovepipe.com/guitar-...

Tommy Johnson recorded this song in 1928.
The words must be understood in the context of the Prohibition. With the sale of liquor outlawed, many men like Johnson, who were accustomed to drinking, turned to cheap and still legal substitutes - more or less anything that contained alcohol. Sterno, a cooking fuel called "canned heat", was one of the most common of these substances. How many people it killed or crippled with the 'jake leg' we may never know, but these unexpected side effects of the 'Great Experiment' were felt most severely by blacks, who clould not affordto buy the more expensive bootleg liquor, particularly during the Depression when there was mass unemployment. Although the Prohibition amendment was repealed not long after Johnson's song was recorded, its effects continued to be felt in Mississippi. Archaic members of that state's legislature voted to keep Mississippi dry. Thus Tommy Johnson and many others were faced with the problem of ruined health throughout their lives (source : "Tommy Johnson" by David Evans - Studio Vista Books 1971)
His brother Mager told writer David Evans :
He believed in drinking. He loved that canned heat. He's the first fellow I ever heard tell of drinking canned heat. And he drank so much of it, he said he was going to put him out a record about the canned heat. That canned heat, you know, it was red. It was in those little okd cans. When you open it, take the top off the can. He'd strike hem a match and burn it, burn the top of it. And he'd put it in a rag and strain it. It's got juice in it. Squeeze the juice out of it into a glass. Ant then get him some sugar and put it i there. And then some water. And there he'd go...

The lp with orange cover called 'The Legacy of Tommy Johnson' illustrates above mentioned book. It features songs by Mager Johnson, Tommy's brother and many friends who were influenced by his style of playing and singing.

I'm playing a 1927 Handkraft Supertone in dropped D tuning

I did a four part lesson on this song; here's the link to the first lesson :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ageQJ2...

I also did an elaborate instrumental version here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1crvaH...
Check out my new cd available at Youtune Records
http://www.youtunerecords.com/daddyst...

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