Spider Blues

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Spider Blues
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 1965
LabelElektra EKL-290 (mono) EKS-7290 (stereo)
"Spider" John Koerner chronology
Spider Blues
Running, Jumping, Standing Still

Spider Blues is the debut solo album by blues artist "Spider" John Koerner, released in 1965. He was a member of the loose-knit blues trio Koerner, Ray & Glover at the time of its release.


As a member of the blues trio Koerner, Ray & Glover, Koerner was recording on the Elektra label. While recording the trio's albums Lots More Blues, Rags and Hollers and The Return of Koerner, Ray & Glover, he recorded a number of solo tracks. These tracks were assembled into Koerner's debut solo album. He also appeared at the Newport Folk Festival that same year, accompanied by trio member Tony Glover.[1]

In his subsequent releases, his style changed as he turned from the blues to traditional folk music. In a 2000 interview, Koerner said, "I finally decided I was not a blues guy. How could I be? I was too young and too white, all that shit. So I took a year off and when I started playing again, I treated the subject in general as folk music. It's a new culture; it's not music being made on a back porch anymore."[2]

Spider Blues was reissued on CD in 2010 by Wounded Bird Records.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Jazz Monthly(no rating)[3]

In his 1965 Jazz Monthly review, music critic Albert McCarthy excoriated the album and wrote, "This is, without any doubt, one of the worst records I have had to review for many a long day. In a sleeve note notable for the inane quotes from Koerner himself, Paul Nelson of The Little Sandy Review, which I understand is one of the better folk publications, makes the remarkable claim that 'Koerner's art is like Chaplin's, as great and lasting as it is entertaining'. I nominate this as the most absurd remark of the year in the sleeve note field. In fact, Koerner is a passably competent guitarist, a poor harmonica player and a quite dreadful singer. "[3]

On the other hand, in the mid-late 1960s radio station WBCN in Boston used to regularly play "Rent Party Rag" on the first of every month.

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "Good Luck Child" – 2:07
  2. "I Want to Be Your Partner" – 3:07
  3. "Nice Legs" – 2:27
  4. "Spider Blues" – 2:17
  5. "Corrina" – 3:15
  6. "Shortnin' Bread" – 2:08
  7. "Ramblin' and Tumblin'" – 3:12
  8. "Delia Holmes" – 2:54

Side two[edit]

  1. "Need a Woman" – 2:05
  2. "I Want to Do Something" – 3:35
  3. "Baby, Don't Come Back" – 2:39
  4. "Hal C. Blake" – 1:42
  5. "Things Ain't Right" – 3:30
  6. "Rent Party Rag" – 9:29


  • "Spider" John Koerner – guitar, harmonica, kazoo, vocals
  • Tony "Little Sun" Glover – harmonica on "Good Luck Child", "Spider Blues", "Things Ain't Right"
  • Paul Nelson – liner notes


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Allmusic biography of John Koerner". Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  2. ^ Sokol, Brett (January 28, 2000). "Ensnared in Spider's Blues". Miami NewTimes. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  3. ^ a b McCarthy, Albert (1965). "Spider Blues > Review". Jazz Monthly.

External links[edit]