Blind Lemon Pledge | I Would Rather Go Blind

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Blues: Acoustic Blues Folk: Folk Blues Moods: Type: Acoustic
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I Would Rather Go Blind

by Blind Lemon Pledge

With a unique combination of classic blues, timeless ballads and sparkling originals this album creates an ambiance that echoes good old time blues while reflecting the sound of modern acoustic music. Vocals, guitar, harmonica, keys, bass, mandolin, etc.
Genre: Blues: Acoustic Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Feel Like Goin' Home
5:11 $0.99
2. Livin' My Life With the Blues
3:07 $0.99
3. Hard Heart Honey Bee
2:54 $0.99
4. I Killed the King of the Blues
4:48 $0.99
5. Sugar Rush
3:39 $0.99
6. No Expectations
4:37 $0.99
7. Big Road Blues
2:51 $0.99
8. Sweet Celine
3:03 $0.99
9. Lady Day
3:55 $0.99
10. I Would Rather Go Blind
5:32 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A bowl of old-time country blues, a serving of rock, a dash of New Orleans, and a teaspoon of pop, all flavored with a unique songwriting sensibility, create the tasty gumbo that is Blind Lemon Pledge. Their new album “I Would Rather Go Blind” is a toe-tapping synthesis of the many elements that come together to form the music of this San Francisco-based acoustic blues quartet. With influences from Muddy Waters to 20’s jazz to The Rolling Stones, Blind Lemon Pledge mixes classic standards and sparkling originals to create a bluesy repast that will make you smile.

Featuring vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboard and bass along with the occasional mandolin, banjo, jaw harp, and washboard percussion, “I Would Rather Go Blind” presents six original blues songs in a variety of styles, supported by covers four of songs near and dear to the band.

• “I Feel Like Going Home” – One of the first songs ever recorded by Muddy Waters, this classic opens every Blind Lemon Pledge concert. Says vocalist James Byfield “Muddy is quoted as saying the slow blues is the purest form. I have to agree. I love this song.”
• “Livin’ My Life With The Blues” – Inspired by the classic jazz/blues songs of the 20’s and 30’s this original sounds like cabaret music best listened to over a dry Martini in a smoky bar.
• “Hard Heart Honey Bee” – Originally written and recorded as a hard rocker, “Honey Bee” has been re-invisioned for the album as a fast acoustic number with a great harmonica solo.
• “I Killed the King of the Blues” – Says James “I was reading about the life and death of Robert Johnson and suddenly had an inspiration about the man who supposedly killed him. I pictured him wandering the earth like the Flying Dutchman, haunted by the deed of killing the greatest of the great blues singers.”
• “Sugar Rush” – Inspired by Piedmont blues-picking (ala Mississippi John Hurt) and the Hokum “dirty blues” style, this slightly scandalous ditty is filled with fun double entendres and references. Then again…maybe it’s just about a candy store proprietor.
• “No Expectations” – This classic Rolling Stones chestnut is restyled as a country-tinged blues song with a heavy dose of bottleneck guitar. The heart and soul of the album.
• “Big Road Blues” – Another classic blues, this time from the great Tommy Johnson songbook. A good workout for blues harp and slide guitar, and an audience favorite.
• “Sweet Celine” – An up tempo and decidedly happy blues romp with a country swing attitude. Hey, not all blues songs have to be about misery.
• “Lady Day” – A dark and moody piece with a haunting backing track. “I was thinking about a mysterious woman I used to know and I created a whole song world around her” James reflects.
• “I Would Rather Go Blind” – Originally made famous by Etta James, Blind Lemon Pledge makes this song their own with a radical reworking of the structure and mood. With a full, almost orchestral, backing, this song finishes the album on a thunderous climax.

James Byfield formed Blind Lemon Pledge in 2008, posting on craigslist to audition and finally assemble the current team. Originally conceived as a weekly jam session, what was, at first, a loose amalgam of musicians quickly became a tight quartet of players devoted to the sound and styles of old-time country blues. As the band developed, other styles and influences (including James’ extensive Americana-influenced songbook) soon broadened the sound and eventually resulted in the current band which has a unique sound all their own: part blues, part rock, part New Orleans jazz, part modern folk and all fun.

The current line-up includes:

• James Byfield – lead vocals, guitars / strings, songwriter
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, James has been active in music since childhood. He has been writing songs for many years and has had his compositions featured in films, tv ads, multi-media productions and theater presentations. A multi-instrumentalist, James plays guitar, banjo, mandolin and jaw harp on the current CD. His solo album, “Livin’ My Life With the Blues”, has received international airplay and fan mail from as far away as Europe.
• Susan Sullivan – keyboard, washboard
Susan's interest in home-made music began when she was living in Papua New, Guinea, where the only music available was what people were playing at home. It was there she taught herself how to play the fiddle. When she moved to San Francisco she became part of the old time music community and played in the dance band The Dotgals. In her effort to broaden her musical knowledge, she took up the keyboard eventually continuing her love of blues with Blind Lemon Pledge.
• Keith Mather – harmonica, percussion, vocals
Keith's first sounds were a cry and a moan. Originally from San Bruno CA, Keith developed an early love for music & dance. The emerging 60’s San Francisco music scene influenced his sound from close friends to recording artists like Tony Lenzini, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Moby Grape, and Paul Butterfield. A move to Canada in 1969 provided the opportunity to play drums with several local rock/blues bands in rural British Columbia. He returned to the Bay Area, and now the Harmonica that he carried all those years is finding its way into the light.
• John Freeman – bass, vocals
John was born deep in the suburbs of New Orleans and grew up peeking into the parlors and clubs of the French Quarter. A brass player, drummer and bassist, John's thick, chunky bass lines are deeply rooted in Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, and aspire to emulate the constant dancing of Professor Longhair's left hand.

And for this album a special thanks goes out to:

• Arno Hachaduryan – engineer and co-producer. Visit him at
• Merredyth Messer – photographer. See her work at
• Katherine Rowland, Austin Hastings & Steve Borello – additional vocals

Now you know about the band and the album. What are you waiting for? Order a copy today! For more band information, please visit



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