Monday, 13 April 2015

Blues Monday #8: Bad Luck Woman by Memphis Minnie

Lizzie Douglas - a.k.a. Memphis Minnie - was one of the finest and most influential female blues musicians of the pre-WW2 period. Having learnt both banjo and guitar by the age of 11, and playing to audiences since the age of 13, she recorded around 200 sides and toured extensively.

Minnie wrote and recorded When The Levee Breaks in 1929 (famously interpreted by Led Zeppelin more than 40 years later) and Me And My Chaffeur Blues, later covered by Jefferson Airplane. She embraced technology, being one of the first artists to use an electric guitar, and wasn't afraid to experiment with different styles, techniques and tunings. She was also tough, renowned for being more than able to look after herself.

Memphis Minnie passed away in 1973 aged 76 following years of bad health, seeing her days out in a nursing home. While her name may not register with many people today, her work paved the way for the development of blues and she is regarded as an innovator by those who love and admire her work.

I've chosen Bad Luck Woman, recorded in 1936, for today's post, for no other reason than it's one of my personal faves.



  1. I do like a bit of Memphis Minnie. Lucinda Williams does a good version of Me and My Chauffeur on her debut album Ramblin'