Reggie Miles | 51 Highway Blues

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United States - Washington

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Blues: Acoustic Blues Blues: Delta Style Moods: Type: Acoustic
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51 Highway Blues

by Reggie Miles

Fusing the influences of Leadbelly, McTell, Charley Patton, all those old blues and ragtime authors, with original songs and those of musical acquaintances. Raw, like the rural Delta Blues that rocked the juke joints of the 20s and 30s.
Genre: Blues: Acoustic Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. 51 Highway Blues
8:02 album only
2. Back Door Man
4:42 album only
3. Blues In My Lap
3:48 album only
4. Broke Down Engine
3:39 album only
5. Last Dime Blues
4:40 album only
6. Blues About Midnight
4:51 album only
7. Mourning Blues
6:03 album only
8. Motherless Children
5:07 album only
9. What Got Wrong?
2:42 album only
10. Stray Dog Blues
2:31 album only
11. Katrina Blues
Reggie Miles
6:51 album only


Album Notes
All songs arranged and performed by REGGIE MILES

Original songs by REGGIE MILES on this recording -
3. Blues In My Lap (Instrumental)
7. Mourning Blues (Original verses)
11. Katrina Blues (Bottleneck blues song)

Guitars used for this recording -

Homemade 'Nobro' resophonic guitar (1, 2 & 10)
Late 1930s Kalamazoo (4, 5, 6, 7 & 9)
1967 Martin D12/20 (8)
Late 1920s Knutsen Hawaiian lap guitar (3 & 11)

Harmonicas used for this recording -

Hohner Special 20 (1, 5, 7 & 10)

Songs (1-10) were recorded, edited and mastered by Thaddeus Spae at Bard's Cathedral Recording (Seattle, WA).

"Katrina Blues" (11) was recorded and mastered by Marc Willet at Falcon Audio (Sultan, WA).

Cover photo: Rick Jacobson / Digital Imagery: Brian Hall


My guitar tunings -

During my appearances I've had many ask about what tuning I use when I open tune my guitar to play bottleneck slide. The tuning used on all of the open tuned guitars on this recording is an open E form, or a modified version of the same. By modified I mean that though the key may change from either tuning the guitar to a higher pitch or down to a lower pitch, I'm still using the same open E form. Except song #11, this was in an open E minor form.

If that sounds a little confusing, think of it like this. If you've tuned your guitar to open E (low-EBEG#BE-high) but desire to play in an open G, you could simply add a capo on the third fret. This then is essentially like creating a barred G major chord and looks like this: (low-GDGBDG-high). From open G you could move this tuning up to Ab by placing a capo on the fourth fret etc.

I don't use a capo when I'm in open tunings and playing bottleneck slide. Instead, I prefer to tune all of my strings up or down to the pitch desired. So, that means that when I play a song in open G my strings are tuned like this (low-GDGBDG-high), if in open D (low-DADF#AD-high), in open E (low-EBEG#BE-high) or open C# minor (low-C#AbC#EAbC#-high) etc.

If this explanation is as clear as mud, try searching for open guitar tunings online. There are many helpful sites.


This CD is dedicated to US Highway 51. For decades it has carried the blues, via those who performed it, from the Deep South to places like the south side of Chicago, where northern kids like me could hear it, get influenced by it and carry on the tradition.

Special thanks to Robert OneMan Johnson, (
for buying me my first guitar,
teaching me my first few chords, and most of all
for introducing me to this wonderful music,
The Blues.


Other Reggie Miles CDs you will enjoy!
Also available from the folks at CD Baby!

"Stray Dog Blues" - 14 Bottleneck Blues Songs
(NEW!) "These Old Shoes" - 12 Original Folk/Blues Songs
(NEW!) "War Mongerin' Man" - 13 Original Political Songs
(NEW!) "Handsful O' Blues - 11 Original Blues and Novelty Songs

NOBRO RECORDS 013 © 2006


"An American Primitive" (JW Weiss)

Fusing the influences of Leadbelly, McTell, Charley Patton, all those old blues and ragtime authors, with original songs and those of musical acquaintances.

Raw, like the rural Delta Blues that rocked the juke joints of the 20s and 30s.

Powerful vocals, a homemade *Nobro resophonic bottleneck slide guitar and the rhythmic moans of harmonica combine while foot stompin' abounds.

"Poster boy for nonconvention" (Rod Backman)

*Nobro: A self-constructed Frankenstein guitar made from pieces of door kick plate, piano soundboard, vegetable steamer, record player, table leg and baseball bat. The 'Nobro' is a unique hybrid of both the National and Dobro acoustically amplified resonator instruments.

National + Dobro = Nobro

Using a sizeable frictionless marine propeller-shaft bearing as a bottleneck slide always seems to attract those who poke fun. I'm quick to remind them.

"It's not the size of your slide. It's the slide of your size."

"Tom Waits meets Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Great music!" (Chris)

Opening act for: John Lee Hooker (with Strangers With Candy), Clifton Chenier (with Washboard Jackson and His Hot Damn Jug Band), Sunnyland Slim, Johnny Rivers (with Washboard Jackson and His Hot Damn Jug Band)....

"I've been to LA. I've been to New York. I've been to San Francisco, Chicago, Memphis, Kansas City and New Orleans and I have never heard anybody like you!" (anon)

Shared stages with: Elizabeth Cotton, Delbert McClinton, Lee Oscar....


TV and radio:

"Absolutely great!" (yoadrian)

Performance Venues: Fairs, Festivals, Schools, Colleges, Clubs, Pubs, Restaurants, House Concerts, Coffeehouses and private events of every description.

"One part Sonny Terry, one part Tiny Tim, and three parts Mister T!" (Amos Jesup)

Guest and collaborative artist on more than a dozen additional recordings.

I know Reggie, and he is a fabulous entertainer, and wonderful musician, very dedicated to the blues..." (Al Bergstein)


"Katrina Blues" is also featured in the 2006 documentary film about the Hurricane Katrina disaster, "Katrina and the 3 Million Dollar Tiger" by New York filmmakers Gustavo Villanueva and Alessandra Zeka.


I was first approached by Honorary Mayor of the Market, Michael Yeager, last year. He wanted to include some footage of me performing on the street in his new film, "Sprezzatura (The Genius of Being), Celebrating the Pike Place Market". This project about the Market was scheduled to coincide with the 2007 100th year anniversary celebration of this Seattle landmark. The film was completed and released earlier this year.

I was happy to oblige. It's not every day that I get invited to be a part of someone's film project. Little did I know how well represented my music would be in his production's soundtrack.

Music from my latest bottleneck slide blues cd "51 Highway Blues" can be heard playing in the soundtrack from the very first scene. The music of six different songs from my cd continues to appear throughout the film, intermingled with the music of many other performers who regularly busk at the Pike Place Market. Then, at the very end of the film, there's a cameo of me playing my homemade Nobro resophonic bottleneck slide guitar while my song "Katrina Blues" is featured in the soundtrack.

I'm thrilled with the way Michael's film featured me and my music.


For more info you can check out these sites


I've been nominated by the Washington Blues Society is the Best Acoustic Blues Guitarist category in 2006 and in the Best Solo/Duo category in 2009.


One of my latest songs, "Wall Street Bail Out Blues", though not yet released, received worldwide attention via an article that made the cover of The Wall Street Journal in early February of 2009. I must be doing something right!



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A must
Cet album est l'un de mes préférés de l'année.
Sensationnel chanteur et virtuose incomparable
Tank you Reggie !