24 February 2015


Lucille Bogan
One thing that appeals to me about Tricks Ain't Walking No More is that is feels like a standard 12-bar blues and yet it is actually 16 bars (there's a kind of 4-bar tag). Here's how it sounds to me:

This blues was first recorded in 1930 by Lucille Bogan (better known later as Bessie Jackson) and it seems that she was also the composer.

As with so many tunes I have tried to learn recently, I first heard it on one of the CDs made by that stunningly-good young band Tuba Skinny.

You can see them performing it at:

Erika Lewis's wonderful soulful voice is just right for the song.

It was written during the Great Depression and its slang terms would have been immediately understood, heartfelt and meaningful. I'll leave you to work out what kind of people 'tricks' were.