The great Bo Diddley has died. Bo Diddley was always one of my favourite rock 'n' rollers. His music was so much more raw and deep and hard than that of his contemporaries like Chuck Berry or Little Richard. I think I first came across him when reading David Toop's amazing history of hip hop, Rap Attack, which rightly claims Diddley as one of the fathers of rap. I then took one of his albums out of my local library and it blew me away. As a teenager, I also loved the Jesus and Mary Chain covers of his stuff, and treasured a Quicksilver Messenger Service album I bought in a charity shop that had one or two of his songs on it. (Whatever happened to that record?) Listening to his stuff today, it sounds so fresh and funky. What a man.
Read (and listen to mp3): Passion of the Weiss, Post-rockist, Fufu Stew, Moistworks, Diddy Wah, Boogie-Woogie Flu, Spread the Good Word.
Less well-known, but also a legend, was Utah Phillips, who died on May 21st. He was a union organiser, Wobbly, folk singer, songwriter, hobo, Korean war veteran and angry soul.
Read (and listen to mp3s): The Utah Phillips website, Molly's Blog, Cover Lay Down, Old Blue Bus, Anyone's Guess, Songs Illinois, Late Greats.