So we come to the end of our Sleepy Sundays.
When I started this blog a year ago, I wanted to shine some light on Sleepy LaBeef, national treasure and human jukebox. I’ve seen him play live four times, and each time was terrific.
When Sleepy played here last May, I chatted briefly with him, telling him about these Sleepy Sunday posts.
“Keep it up!” he said in that distinctive baritone.
That we have, for a year.
We’re going out in style today. The best way to appreciate Sleepy is to see and hear him live, so we’re going to serve up two more cuts from Sleepy’s great live album, “Nothin’ But the Truth.”
Recorded live at Harper’s Ferry in Allston, Massachusetts, on Oct. 22, 1985, these two cuts are the bookends on Side 2 of the album.
It’s midway through the show and Sleepy’s starting to crank it up on our first tune, a cover of an Otis Blackwell song. Listen for him to holler for “Piano!” about 2 minutes in.
Sleepy’s in high gear by the time he wraps up the show with a closing medley of “Jambalaya,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Let’s Turn Back the Years,” “Hey, Good Lookin'” and “Folsom Prison Blues.”
“Let’s Talk About Us” and “Medley,” Sleepy LaBeef, from “Nothin’ But the Truth,” 1987. (These rips are from the original vinyl, which leaves a little to be desired on “Medley.” Damn thing skips a couple of times.)
If you have a chance to see Sleepy live, by all means go!
At the moment, his tour schedule shows only two gigs in the United States this year — April 12 at the Americana Roots Ramble in Media, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, and Aug. 15 in Milwaukee at a place to be determined. I know where I’ll be on Aug. 15.
(If you’re wondering, we’re moving on to a new series of posts on another of my faves. And, yes, we’ll still be doing Sleepy posts from time to time.)