Monday, June 7, 2010

Song of the Week: Blind Willie McTell - God Don't Like It


Man, I love this song. It is by Georgia born, itinerant bluesman, Blind Willie McTell and features the vocal stylings of Mr. McTell's wife, Kate McTell (formerly Ruthy Day). God Don't Like It was recorded by the two abstainers in the city of Chicago in 1935.

The youthful voiced Blind Willie McTell is perhaps most famous for his original composition Statesboro Blues which was covered/rewritten and made famous by fellow Georgians, The Allman Brothers. McTell recorded under many different names and in any number of locations, and with any variety of different instrument. The only thing consistent about his recordings, is the innate quality to his craftsmanship. God Don't Like It was certainly part of Blind Willie McTell's traveling minstrel show repertoire. It tells the very clear story of abstinence from all liquor and for all people (you hear me you lecherous preacher?). Why? Because God don't like it like that, and Kate and Willie don't either.
Then some of our children are naked, and the mothers never go. But the fathers make the mighty bitey row for the women of the shine and the shows. God don't like it, and I don't either. It's them that's gonna change.
Now I could swear I've heard the White Stripes, whom have been featured on these pages in recent months, cover this song. But I can't seem to find it anywhere. If they didn't cover it, they certainly should. This would be perfect for Meg and Jack to riff back and forth. I know they covered Blind Willie McTell's extremely great song, Your Southern Can Is Mine.

If you have a recording of The White Stripes doing God Don't Like It, please let us know in the comments section below.

9 comments:

  1. Real nice one. What a wicked riff. In both pics he's on a 12 string and it sounds like one on the recording. Do you know whether that's his guitar of choice?

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  2. I would call it the Guitar of choice. I've also noticed a six string steel but most of it the 12.

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  3. My favorite version of God Don't Like It is by Rev. Anderson Johnson, issued on Glory out of Miami in the mid-50's.

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  4. Blind Lime JeffersonOctober 10, 2010 at 11:39 PM

    I just heard a local duo (in Asheville, NC) called Broken Lilacs do a solid cover of "God Don't Like It". They played another one of McTell's songs earlier in the show too. I have no idea what they have as far as a website or albums are concerned, but they are definitely worth checking out.. They started by both playing guitars and singing, but halfway into the show the chick switched over to drums. The sound switched from some sort of acoustic blues/rockabilly to garage rock/punk in an instant. It sounded reminiscent of the White Stripes (maybe because of the guy's voice and distorted guitar) but the girl could sing her ass off, and they definitely had their own unique sound. I had never heard anyone play that before, so I was ecstatic!

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  5. I don't know of any cover of God Don't Like It by the White Stripes. But you are right. It would be great. Maybe you should email them and suggest it. Their version of Can is kick ass.

    Nice blog. I'm glad I found it.

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  6. Damn good thing Willie was blind, because Kate's not looking like she was hosting too many of them sighted suitors. Is it me, or does she have a adams apple?

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  7. Broken Lilacs mentioned above:

    http://youtu.be/BDx5DvClkuo

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  8. And here is The Rev. Anderson Johnson, also mentioned in comments above. Warning, the vid over the music is of dead peeps.

    http://youtu.be/QMCV-QXpQAs

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  9. I hear Gallow's Pole all over this tune, its vocals at least. I think the call and response in this song where the response confirms the call but in the first person is pretty unique. Not sure I've heard it elsewhere and that's a scandalous goddam shame.

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