Blast from the past

Big Daddy Blue blues music

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Here it is as promised. More info on my two cassette releases, Big Daddy Blue “His First Recording” from 1993 and Big Daddy Blue “King of the Northeastern Blues” from 1994.

The title of the second may sound a bit hyped to some, but, more than a boast, it was intended as a play on the titles of other traditional blues performers who often attached some similar grandiose description to their names—King of the Delta Blues, King of the Texas Blues, King of the 12-String Guitar, etc.

 

 

I was living in the Poconos in northeastern Pennsylvania at the time, so I figured “King of the Northeastern Blues”

 

Anyway, I had a small psychotically dedicated following, did two live radio spots one for WVIA in Pittston and another for a defunct station that no longer exists, and had the tapes for sale in Tie-Dye Dave’s Hippie Gift Shop (now Dave’s Unique Gifts and Novelties) and a few other regional outlets. 

 

In fact, I think ol’ Dave may still have some of those tapes or may have sold them in the interim since I admit I was not much good at regularly servicing my retail accounts. Wasn’t much of a business man in those days, just a dumb kid barely out of college.

 

So that’s the story. Questions are welcome, and I still have a closet full of inventory since I ordered much more than I needed. There was another recording too by the “Buck Hill Ramblers” a traditional country, cowboy and bluegrass duo of which I was one half. Again, a small dedicated following and some gigs.

 

Once I can figure out how to get some of this stuff on line I most likely will. Perhaps as part of an on-line independent record store, a companion to this site, that I’ve been kicking around. More on that later…

 

Suggestions for that venture and what you’d like to see? E-mail me!

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25 Comments »

  1. my left nut said

    Oh man, that’s it? S-Hess sold casettes at a hippy/drug store? Damn, at least tell me you bagged a few groupies!

  2. wookin' pa nub said

    Whoa! I have some questions!

    1. Do you shave your head? I can’t believe you lost that much hair in less than fifteen years.

    2. Whose hand is that in the picture? If that’s you, you’ve got a tiny hand–and you might want to trim that nail.

    3. Where was this picture taken? It’s looks like someone went out to the highway and stood on it, aren’t those yellow lines on a road?

  3. Hessinger said

    I don’t shave my head. Yeah, it’s my hand. Where was the photo taken? Jeez, talk about minutia. A parking lot. Spend most of my time on the road.

  4. Big Daddy Jew said

    Any chance of seeing the full covers for King of Northeastern Blues and Buck Hill Ramblers? You mention you did some gigs in the Poconos area, I used to attend May Fair in Allentown in the early 90s when I attended Leigh University, any chance you played there? Who knows, I may have already heard you!

  5. Gaga Googoo said

    Now that’s cool!!! I love how the pic is so indie (shot form the road!) Damn, I can’t imagine traveling on the road playing gigs and stuff. What was that like?

    Hey, and I don’t know if you noticed, but by covering the one album, it looks like Big Dad Blue instead of daddy. That name is kinda cool. Ever consider trying that name on the road? It’s got some pop to it, right?

  6. Hessinger said

    Actually, no didn’t play at May Fair, but, of course, I know of it. I pretty much played at a couple of small bars. There was one in Easton, I don’t remember the name of and one in the Poconos. The Buck Hill outfit was more a church social and big picnic sort of thing, which is the kind of venue that suits that music. And Gaga Googoo, just to set the record straight, I spend a lot of time on the road these days because of my job at the newspaper. I don’t do much playing out anymore due to the resposibilities of supporting a family, but am hoping to get back involved in it all, part of the reason for launching this site.

  7. Gaga Googoo said

    Wow…now that’s cool how you had like two styles going. One real down and dirty, bar-scene street-level type and the other was more puritin, church-like…crap, no wonder you’ve been mysterious about everything. I’m guessing your church fans might not like the other music and vice vertsa.

    So now, how did you get inspired? I’d love to do this kind of stuff, but I can’t think of thinks to write about. You did this back in 14 years ago, so you were probably like 30-35, right? So what inspried your blues? Family, friends, life,… i know BB King lived pretty hard and that motivated a lot of his music.

  8. Gaga Googoo said

    And wookin! Guitar players typically have longer nails because it makes picking the strings easier… am I right, Big Daddy?

  9. Hessinger said

    I actually never used a pick and don’t even now. And I am now only 39, so I was in my mid-twenties. I don’t know where I came up with a lot of these ideas. I listened to a lot of that music back then and so just started coming up with my own songs. An idea occurs to me that we could do a post on it at some point.

  10. Gaga Googoo said

    That would be great! See, I think that if I could write the blues, I’d probably be inspired by my crappy high school years, but I don’t think they count. Most bluesmen seem to write about loves lost, deaths, hard times, etc… but hey, that’s all I got in the way of a life that sucks.

    And holy crap! You were that young when you wrote your own music. OK, so now I’m really impressed. So did you just mimic songs or were the ideas/insopirations fresh from your own blues (and I guess that applies to the spiritual music too…sounds like you are religious too.)

    This is so cool!

  11. Hessinger said

    I guess religious in a very basic sense of simple faith. I’m not a fan of religious extremism or of the politicizing of religion, something that’s become quite common today. Though I must admit in recent years I’ve become much more attracted to the idea of using religious music for social commentary which I guess is politicizing in a way. That would make me kind of hypocritical, I guess, so maybe I should say I disagree with the way religion is being politicized. Anyway, I did a lot of mimicing themes that I heard when I started writing and then I think gradually they became more and more original. I’m not sure that someone’s crappy high school experiences couldn’t be translated into blues. The results might be interesting…and unique. Chuck Berry used a combination of blues and lyrics romanicizing youthful rebellion to create very original music. Something to think about.

  12. Gaga Googoo said

    That’s some good food for thought. Maybe I could make that happen… I just can’t write music. I could write about high school being the worst experience of my life and please, how many of us can relate to that. Did you have a bad high school experience too?

    This is so cool and interesting about your use of using religious music like that. Do you think your past religious music could have been used, or used today, for social commentary?

  13. Hessinger said

    Probably not. Pretty cut and dry. High school wasn’t that great. Could have been worse. I went to a private school and got, I think, a pretty good education. I’ve never been very good at conforming to expectations.

  14. Baba Gooey said

    Whoa… now this is the kind of blogging I’m talking about!

    Hey, whoever had a GOOD high school experience probably isn’t into any good music, am I right? Most popular high school jerks always seemed to like the crap music that the masses like.

    Private school? Damn… and we were accusing S-Hess of being poor!!! I’m beginning to think he’s really rich but super humble. Man, that would make us all a bunch of idiots with all our guesses, wouldn’t it?

  15. Hessinger said

    Not rich. Just middle class. It wasn’t an “exclusive” private school, but my parents sacrificed to get me there. I’m doing the same with my son. The public schools, at least here in PA, have become too big and institutionized. It’s partly that you can be picky when selecting a private school instead of just having to deal with the district you happen to live in. But partly, also I think it’s the size of the schools. Some are pretty small and can give more individual attention to every student and more flexibility with individual students’ needs. It’s just a different dynamic and I don’t know if public schools are as much of an issue this way in other states. I just know it seems to be that way at many of the schools in PA I’m aware of. On the music subject, yeah, it seems to me that people who are a little “different” are often attracted to music, and maybe unusual music other than what the masses listen to. It might have something to do with the fact that they’ve personally already been rejected by the mainstream. I suspect the deeper reason is that they are simply more individual and tend to go their own way instead of following the crowd which is why they are not popular in the first place. This gives them the ability to make their own choices earlier than other people might be able to. Some people,of course, never learn to make their own choices at all. The interesting thing about all of this is that eventually what these misfit individuals discover for themselves and slowly “turn on” others to in a small but growing underground often later becomes the mass taste though sometimes in a considerably watered down form. Popular music from jazz to blues to even disco, punk, grunge and hip-hop all began as music forms of the dispossessed spending years sometimes even decades in obscurity until they became the popular fashion.

  16. my left nut said

    Man, a few days ago everyone was bitching that S-Hess never posts, and now you can’t shut the man up! Just funnin’ ya there, it’s good to see you on more often!

    All this talk of high school reminds me of my high school garage band: Scab Workers Union. We never perfomed any gigs, but we made tapes of the stuff we did. It was pretty bad, but we had a good time! We also made some videos that are pretty lame today, but everytime I visit my hometown and see of those guys we always talk about that stuff! Weird, how that stays with you!

  17. Helen of Troy said

    Wow, every few days here at n10ah seems to bring a new direction! Now Chippy’s gone, Shawn’s posting every few hours, and my left nut is playing nice! Just go with the flow I guess.

    First let me thank Shawn for posting some of this information. I, like many others here, have been waiting to hear about your background as a musician so it was nice of you to follow through with your story.

    I have to say I’m a little impressed that you tried to make a career out being a blues singer at that age. When I think of myself and my friends just out of college, most of us still listened to pop music then. Musical tastes seem to evolve over time, but yours seem to have moved much faster. Where you always a fan of these styles, or were you raised to hear this music at home? I’m just curious. Did you try other projects before these? I’m thinking of my left nut’s band in high school…did you have any early failures like that?

  18. Hessinger said

    Hey, I ‘d like to hear some of those tapes Left Nut! I made a lot of tapes throughout high school and college (kind of answering Helen’s question). Don’t know where most of them are now. And they were of various different styles. The blues stuff was just the first attempt I made at a commercial release. As for the posting, well, it’s been rough. I wouldn’t say I’ve disgarded other blogs so much as I’ve tried to figure out what works and tried to integrate the time into my already hectic schedule with varying degress of success. My hope still is that n10ah will be a success. Helen, my parents were pretty eclectic musically, I think because even though we don’t think of it this way today, they grew up in the early 50’s when despite the later emergence of rock ‘n roll music just hadn’t become that homogenized yet. My Dad listened to an AM station from Wheeling, West Virginia, a station that played traditional country and honky tonk and that you could only receive in northeastern Pennsylvania late at night. Popular culture was a wild frontier in those days. My mother enjoyed Broadway show music, folk music and classical music and had vinyl records (remember them) of all of it. My dad, in addition to his back woods country interests also enjoyed rock ‘a billy and had records by Buddy Holly and Ray Charles. He also had some bebop and more mainstream jazz stuff that I think was a little too out of the mainstream at the time for my mom’s tastes. When I think of the old records I have from those days including recordings made on air from the stations my dad used to listen to late at night, I think of the democracy that was involved in popular music back then. But I’m not overly nostalgic. Instead, I tend to look at the Internet and it’s possibilities for the future. Some of those live local performers my dad has records of were better than others, but even the biggest, like Elvis, were able to start from humble beginnings. Why not something similar with modern technology. Why not a place where Left Nut or anyone else could post their music and people could just respond honestly positively or negatively. That’s already happened to some extent with sites like mp3.com and those that came after, but the possibilities are endless. I see n10ah as just one method of charting the way.

  19. Peter Guzinya said

    Ain’t it the truth (about S-Hess’s earlier posts about who listens to indie music) And yo! I can’t believe how prolific S-Hess is either. I feel like a dummy doubting him and feel even more silly that I pretended to be black. But that goes to show that as an artist, sometimes people won’t accept what you love to do strictly based on who you are, right S-Hess? I mean, blues is tradionally rooted in black culture, yet it sounds like your other band (The Buck Hills) was more hillbilly style which is generally rooted in white culture. Did you find it difficult for listeners to accpet that yuo could sing both?

    Peace out!

  20. Hessinger said

    Well, we interacted with totally different groups of listeners. What I think can be more difficult is the Internet as folks around here have observed. Because, of course, I blog in one place as an entrepreneur and another as an editor of this blog. More will be coming soon as I become more involved in Internet writing and in business stuff both on and offline. There are fewer barriers between what you do in different areas on the web and it can sometimes lead to trouble and misunderstandings because it’s seen as somehow deceptive to do more than one thing when people are clearly aware of everything you do simply by Googling your name. I think it would be more deceptive and more counterproductive to do everything under a different name, but I have blogged under aliases and alteregos in the past and probably will again when it suits the purpose of what I’m doing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a persona if its a harmless tool to present another aspect of what you do and if you’re upfront about it. After all, I performed under the name of Big Daddy Blue and entrepreneurs incorporate and file for ficticious name liscenses to increase branding and trade under a name that is more descriptive of what they do. I think for you performing hip hop under an alias is practically expected. It’s part of a performing persona and part of the art of what you are doing. It doesn’t mean you would lie about you’re real name or background in another situation. It’s like playing a role and as long as the audience is accepting of that it enhances the experience for everyone.

  21. Peter Guzinya said

    Yeaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh bbbbooooooyyy! Now that’s wha’ I’m talkin’ ’bout! I’m tellin’ ya, yo…

    S-Hess truly IS the big man with the plan
    Leaving no doubts no more, THAT’S for sure.
    I’m jus’ breaking down things that we all be feelin’
    Pullin’ down beats that be on the ceilin’

    OK, it’s rough, but I only just thought of it. But see, your point’s made. I’m a white guy that lives with my folks, but if I tried to rap about that, I’d have my ass handed to me. Man, this site’s really cooking now with useful info!

  22. Baba Googoo said

    You know, S-Hess makes an interesting point. I actually took the Google test on myself and I have to say, what showed up startled me. Some old party pics popped up of me with my shirt off at an all-night kegger I don’t even remember…but some douche from my college put them up on his Myspace and labeled them! I also found my name attached to a Cosplay website from a few cons I went to a few years back. I found THREE pics of me dressed up as Goku from Dragonball Z!!!

    And I have a unique name that no one has… so I’m pretty much screwed I guess when I apply for a job after I graduate.

    We Googled S-Hess and learned what we thought was the truth. I dely all of yuo out there to Google yourselves and discover what the world will think of you at first glance. I…for one…was stunned.

  23. my left nut said

    I challange all of you to google me! Just type my left nut in the search engine and see what you get! In fact, for added fun do a google image search on my username, you won’t be disappointed! You’ll see my left nut has been very busy over the years!

  24. Hessinger said

    O.K. You got me Left Nut. Funny. Funny. I wonder how many other people will catch on before doing the search. Hey, I’ve got a friend named Web Site. Google his name and see what you get.

  25. chil3 mik3 said

    i dont get dis chit i bet da seventys had funier chit den dis :/

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