I learned this from a book a zillion years ago and then had to reconstruct it without the book from memory.  I thought it was Lowell Fulsom’s “Reconsider Baby,” but it doesn’t seem to be so I am just reconsidering what it is altogether.  Everything is guitar and guitar synth.  The horns (including a tuba for a bass!) don’t sound too cheesy as long as I keep it simple.

99 Percent Blues live at (de)Occupy Honolulu

Here we are holding down the Sunday jam at Thomas Square for (de)Occupy Honolulu: Michael, Laulani, Dave and Laulani, who is trying to video while singing backups and playing ukulele, and myself on slide and singing.  Michael plays upside down and backwards, Jimi Hendrix style, and David has an endless stream of classic folk songs and his own originals.  Michael and Laulani took turns laying down the Hawaiian songs beautifully, some of their own, some classics.  We are there at Thomas Square, corner of Beretania and Ward, just like in the song, every Sunday, along with Food not Bombs, at 3 PM until dark.  I won’t be able to make it this coming week, so I hope five more will take my place!  I’ll be back the following week though, after taking a break to Molokai.

Thomas Square Blues

Extension of “99 percent blues,” acoustic with slide guitar and my sweet new Gibson acoustic on rhythm.  The new verses reflect the 8 raids on the Thomas Square Occupy Honolulu encampment.  Still there though!  Come down Sunday afternoon for Food Not Bombs and a jam with Laulani Teale and myself.  Bring yer instruments if ya gottem and some munchies.

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99 percent blues

OK, so what’s a blues song without some words? I finished my tribute to Jimi Hendrix’s “Red House” by cutting some vocals dedicated to the Occupy movement, and the ninety-nine percent struggling to wake up from the nightmare the one percent is inflicting on us every day with corruption, oppression, and greed.  Oh, and if you want a blues song without some words, here is the instrumental version.

The directions to the camp are in the song. Beretania and Ward is the location of the Occupy Honolulu camp at Thomas Square. Thomas Square was the site where on July 26, 1843, Admiral Richard Darton Thomas returned the Kingdom of Hawai?i to the Hawaiians after the first illegal takeover, by the British. King Kamehameha III said “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ??ina i ka Pono” (meaning “the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness”) in his speech at the ceremony marking his restoration. The sentence has become the state motto of Hawaii, incorporated into its seal. The second illegal overthrow was of course the one under which Hawai?i eventually became part of the United States. That is why we cross out “occupy” in our name, to show solidarity with the already occupied kingdom, otherwise known as the most heavily militarized state in the Union.

Come down and show some love for Occupy Honolulu if you are in town!

(de)Occupy Honolulu
(de)Occupy Honolulu

Here are the lyrics:

99 Percent Blues

Copyright 2011, Rich Rath

Creative Commons Commons Share and Share Alike type 3 license

(based on Jimi Hendrix’s Red House and a couple hundred other blues songs)

There’s a red house over yonder
Bank’ll get me one of those

There’s a red house over yonder

Bank they got me one of those

But I couldn’t get no bailout money

And the bank, well it foreclosed

I was standing on the corner

of Beretania and Ward

Holding signs there on the corner

of Beretania and Ward

I got the 99 blues

And that’s all I can afford

That’s ok I still got my guitar if they don’t take that away.

Police say get off the corner

You can’t occupy this space

Police say get off the corner

You can’t occupy this space

But i f they haul me off calling for justice

Five more will take my place

Extra Verses

I got three jobs

I can barely pay my rent

I got three jobs

I can barely pay my rent

I got those 99 blues

It ain’t like the one percent.

Corporations banks and lobbies

Bought the laws beyond a doubt

Corporations banks and lobbies

Bought the laws beyond a doubt

But when we raise our voice in protest

Its a crime to point it out

Rogue Guitar, Adios Sierra Madre

Here is the last installment of my slide guitar recording from Sierra Madre.  I think it is the best sounding one yet.


adios sierra madre

Rogue Slide Guitar, Installment 2

Here is the second installment of the Rogue guitar, this one called telephone blues, cuz of the ending.  And the pic is me serenading my nephew, Kieran (in the car seat) with Monisha driving.

Rich, Kieran, and Monisha
Rich, Kieran, and Monisha

Rogue Guitar, installment 1

Here is the project for the next few weeks: slide guitar fest installment 1.

I will be learning how to record resonator guitar, play it, and pick up the ins and outs of my new digital field recorder, a Marantz PMD 671 with the basic preamp mod by Oade Bros. More on that another time.

rogue guitar
Rogue Resonator

I just got a new guitar, a Rogue cheapo resonator model, made in Korea.  The neat thing about resonator guitars is that most of the tone is in the tin pan that sits under the strings, so I (actually Ty at Guitar Works) replaced the one that came with it with a spun aluminum jobbie from Beard Guitars and put in an ebony/maple bridge and it sounds awesome.

The recording is through two matched Oktava mics set in an X about level with the twelfth fret from about three feet away to get a little of the room. I am going to try some different positions, maybe putting one mic on the resonator and the second a ways back to pick up the room ambiance next.

Update: I had the good fortune of playing a 1936 Dobro today and have come to appreciate that a vintage Dobro has certain advantages over the Rogue! Sweet guitar, so thanks to the folks at Pasadena Guitars for letting me try it, along with some nice acoustics and some sweet amps, especially the Matchless Independence 35.  A steal at $3395, but I left it there, can you believe it?

rrecent rreplay rrecordings

The last three rreplay sessions are online in the rrepository, for April 14, April 25, and April 28.  Let’s see, from the April 14 session, I kinda like cello panetta for its faux strings (all mangled guitar, btw), steel driver for its beat, and round the perimeter for the synth line following the guitar around.  From the 25th, aoomph takes a while to get started but then closes out with some sicko guitar-following synth stuff.  This one will probably turn up again in edited fashion.  There is also convolution blues, which tries to go straight, but ends up, ummm, convoluted.  A couple more blues, this time with slide, start off the April 28 session. Here’s one, and here is the other.  The rest I need to listen to a little more before making a recommendation, but you can check ’em out in the rrepository, along with most everything else we’ve recorded.  WHy so much blues?  Maybe just got back from Chicago….


Eric and I are putting together a demo cd to get gigs, and we will sort out what we think are the best cuts from our recordings here. If anyone is out there, we would love to know what you think of the songs. We have decided to call the band rreplay. We had been initialing all the songs rrep for Eric (EP) and me (RR), and Karen came up with a whole bunch of song titles punning on words beginning with “rep.” We thought rreplay sort of captures what we’re doing then, no? Anyway, on to the music.

My favorite thing we’ve done as of right now is a very loose cover of a chicha song by Los Mirlos — “Sonido Amazonico.” Ours is going by the name of “Amazonia Dub” right now. Chica is hybrid pyschedelic surf twang cumbia music played by hard partying Peruvians who had come to the oil boom cities of Amazonian Peru in the 1960s. Great stuff. You can find out more at Los Mirlos’s website and at Barbes Records, where you can hear a whole collection of Chicha songs. Once I heard it I had to get the album!

My second favorite song that clocks in under ten minutes is this one, which for now is called “cool keep” (We have to figure out what to do with the longer stuff, like this trip-hoppy kind of thing). I also like this little slide blues from last week. This is its rowdier sister. We’ll probably put one blues thing on just to mix it up.

Well, that’s all for now. As always check out all the free music on if you like what you’ve found here.