Deep Ellum Blues

Deep Ellum Blues

The second novelette in the Deep Ellum Stories Series, set in historic Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX can be read as a standalone, but its meaning deepens if you’ve read Deep Ellum Pawn first. Now part of a new volume in wide release as both ebook and paperback, Deep Ellum Duet.

“People have the right to make their own hideous, life-altering mistakes.” — Ms. Eddy

Next to a picture of the "Deep Ellum Blues" cover, on a blue background and a larger picture of Mudcat playing his tobacco-burst Strat, the words say, "Will Ms. Eddy intervene when an old adversary threatens a young musician in Deep Ellum?"

Free will is a rule she doesn’t break.

As the genius loci of Deep Ellum, Ms. Eddy Weeks is a hands-off goddess who won’t micro-manage human affairs. She’d rather sit on the sidelines and enjoy the show. Her motto? “People have the right to make their own hideous, life-altering mistakes.”

But there’s something different about the young blues musician Mudcat Randall.

Maybe if her old friend Waylon hadn’t called him to her attention, she’d have let things be. Maybe if she hadn’t glimpsed something special in his music . . . But Mudcat is flirting with disaster. Eddy’s old adversary wants him to sign a tempting management contract, and there are deadly strings attached.

When a third force enters the fray, everything Mudcat has ever prayed for is suddenly on the line, and Eddy knows the game is rigged against him.  Can Eddy break through to the headstrong musician? Or will an old and tragic story make Deep Ellum sing a new kind of blues?

Buy this story on Amazon!

This novelette is available on Kindle in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia!

Or buy it as part of a book!

Or buy it in wide release as either ebook or paperback, as part of Deep Ellum Duet!

Still to come . . .

Author G. S. Norwood is hard at work on a third story in the series, Death in Deep Ellum.

Enjoy Mudcat’s Set Lists while you read!

Here’s your perfect “listener’s guide” to the music in the story Deep Ellum Blues

“Liner notes” by G. S. Norwood.

Here's the developmental image of Mudcat doing what he does best on the tobacco-burst Strat from Eddy's Deep Ellum Pawn shop.
Developmental image of Mudcat doing what he does best on the tobacco-burst Strat from Miz Eddy’s Deep Ellum Pawn shop. Artwork © 2020 by Chaz Kemp.

NOTE: in case the embedded YouTube videos below are slow to load, you can click the links on the song titles.

Friday Night’s Set List

Here’s Mudcat’s concert (or as close as we can come) from the scene in Deep Ellum Blues.

Pride and Joy (Stevie Ray Vaughan)

This is a Little Walter song, but most folks know it from the recording with B. B. King and Eric Clapton, which is what I have included here. Freddy King recorded it. Sonny Landreth recorded it. Just about any blues guy worth his salt has played it. You’ve got to figure Mudcat knows all the versions out there.

If you’re curious about what a resonator guitar sounds like, check out Sonny Landreth’s version.

Hideaway (Freddy King)

Stevie Ray Vaughan also has a killer version of this on his Couldn’t Stand the Weather recording, and Eric Clapton has his own version out there, too.  for Stevie Ray Vaughan. for Eric Clapton with John Mayall.

Born Under a Bad Sign (Albert King)

Wild About You Baby (Hound Dog Taylor)

Black Snake Moan (Blind Lemon Jefferson)

Blind Lemon Jefferson was one of the early influencers of the musical style we now call the blues. He played in Deep Ellum and around Texas as “the blues” was coming into focus. This recording is the raw and real deal, recorded during the days when Jefferson was playing in the clubs and street corners of Deep Ellum. Somewhat improbably, Jimmie Dale Gilmore recorded a version on his Braver, Newer World record. Check it out and see how he preserves some of Jefferson’s guitar licks.

They Call It Stormy Monday (T-Bone Walker)

T-Bone Walker was a pioneer in using an electronic pickup to amplify his guitar. Although he is generally associated with the Chicago blues sound, he was born in Linden, Texas, and spent his early years gigging in and around Dallas. His parents played in the kind of string band Henry and Rosalie Wilson, from Deep Ellum Pawn, would have played in, and were familiar figures in the emerging blues scene in Deep Ellum in the 1920s. It is said that Blind Lemon Jefferson used to drop by for Sunday dinner at Walker’s home. T-Bone himself played in a number of bands in and around the Deep Ellum and Oak Cliff neighborhoods of Dallas, honing his chops before he headed out to Los Angeles, then Chicago, for a recording contract and wider recognition of his talents.

Hellhound on My Trail (Robert Johnson)

Miz Eddy has some experience with Hellhounds, herself. And you might be interested in some background on Robert Johnson that we published as a blog post not long after Deep Ellum Pawn was published (the song features in the story).

Stone Crazy (Buddy Guy)

City Boy (Keb’ Mo)

Somebody’s Gotta Make a Move (Sonny Landreth)

This song was written by Steve Conn, a frequent collaborator of Sonny’s. I pretty much figure we’ve all been there.

Saturday Night’s Set List

Here’s Mudcat’s concert (or as close as we can come) from the scene in Deep Ellum Blues.

Pride and Joy (Stevie Ray Vaughan)

Four unidentified songs—so pick your four favorites from Friday night!

Original Song, which has no name and certainly no video.

She Just Wants to Dance (Keb’ Mo’)

Cold Shot (Stevie Ray Vaughan)

You can find Hound Dog Taylor’s version of this song on YouTube, but I selected Sonny Landreth’s version because a) it’s a little cleaner and b) it’s Sonny. He’s my own personal guitar god, although not in any way akin to the way Miz Eddy might mean it.

Deep Ellum Blues (Jimmie Dale Gilmore and the Wronglers)

There are a jillion covers of this traditional blues song, from Doc Watson to the Grateful Dead to Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Some take it slow. Doc Watson takes it almost fast enough to be a fiddle tune. I’ve picked the Jimmie Dale Gilmore version because a) I like Jimmie Dale Gilmore, b) I like his chosen tempo, and c) the audio is clear. But, by all means, go out there and search for more versions. Doc Watson’s is a classic; the Dead made it famous even if they can’t spell; and the Blackberry Smoke version with Billy Gibbons is pretty cool, too.

G. S. Norwood also has blogged about this song, if you’d like a little more information about its history.