Art, Music

Listen: Diving Duck Blues

Sleepy John Estes
Sleepy John Estes (Illustration by Aileen Torres-Bennett)


I’ve started playing around with a USB microphone and Audacity. So much fun. Here’s my first recording with this setup. There’s audible hiss and a bit of echo, but I like the rawness of the sound. Reminds me of old recordings.

This is a cover of “Diving Duck Blues” (1929), a song by the blues legend Sleepy John Estes. I borrowed some lyrically from TajMo’s version (Taj Majal and Keb Mo collaboration).

If you’re a Grateful Dead fan, you’ll notice the lines: “The sun’s gonna shine on my back door someday.”

That’s what I love about the folk tradition: it embodies the sense of a continuum in music. It drops hints of history, and if you pay attention, you’ll find the golden threads.