Yesterday I was listening to a CD “Love Addict” I picked up in Sweden sometime in the beginning of the 90’s. An album I have revisited quite often when beer bottles or wine are emptied on long summer day and nights like right now.
Never really did check out the artist “Ardis”, doing a pop/rock/reggae kinda thing with a strong accent, I assumed it was an African popstar.
This turns out to be wrong, Ardis originated from Dominica Island in the Caribbeans born in 1971, relocating to Sweden age 13, made two successful albums in Sweeden early 90’s and then disappeared from music.
The album also contains a version of one of the earliest blues standards, originally known as “Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness if I Do” first recorded in 1922 by Anna Meyers with the Original Memphis Five. It was soon to be recorded by a number of other artist.
Bessie Smith (1894–1937) known as the “The Empress of the Blues”, was the blues star of the 1920’s and the highest-paid black entertainer of her time, her voice so beautiful and strong that it sounds good today, even from those old recordings. Her version was “cut” in 1923.
In 1949 jump blues singer James Witherspoon revisited the tune and changed its name to “Ain’t Nobody’s Business”, he transformed the song into a more modern blues version, the foundation for most later versions like this one by Otis Spann
Now back to Ardis, Except “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” she wrote all the tracks on “Love Addict” and those creative skills are also very evident on her version of “Ain’t Nobody’s Business”, she turns the blues standart upside down to make it completely her own: