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YouTube Gold: Katie Webster Just Kills It

This song may send chills down your spine

Katie Webster 1990
Katie Webster, piano-vocal, performs at Jazz Middelheim on 10th March 1990 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns

American music has many tributaries that form into a mighty river of endless variation. Last weekend we featured a young Jerry Lee Lewis, whose manic energy took a basic blues pattern and just applied electro shock therapy to it.

Everyone knows that blues gave birth to rock and roll. It gave birth to nearly everything in American music: rock, jazz, bluegrass, Western swing, disco, you name it. Everything comes from it.

From here the post-war British kids picked up on it and took rock and roll even further. Blues and its offspring quite literally changed the world.

For a long time though there were concerns about the blues surviving and it’s still a concern. But while it’s not as popular as it has has been, some people never quit playing the blues, and some do it very well indeed.

Take for instance the late Katie Webster.

Webster, who died in 1999, was a tremendously powerful piano player and vocalist and pound for pound, if you will, her song Pussycat Moan is as great a blues song as you’ll find. This woman took no prisoners.

Try to listen somewhere where you can turn it up and not be interrupted. There is nothing like this. It stands alone.