Tales from the Trail

Obama sings again, this time blues with B.B. King, Mick Jagger

President Barack Obama gave what appeared to be an impromptu performance of “Sweet Home Chicago” during a blues concert Tuesday night at the White House in celebration of Black History Month.

At the end of an evening of performances from the likes of B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, Derek Trucks, Shemekia Copeland and others, Obama grabbed a mic from the stage and crooned, “Come on, baby don’t you wanna go,” part of the popular blues standard.

A month ago, Obama sang a little Al Green — a moment captured on video and viewed thousands of times over. It was seen as having added cool points to the president. Afterwards First Lady Michelle said Obama sings to her all the time.

Whether Tuesday’s performance was really impromptu, or staged as another way to help the president’s image during an election year, we may never know. One thing we do know is that Republican candidates like Mitt Romney have not had the same success in musical performance.

Obama called the blues “music with humble beginnings,” with roots in slavery and segregation in the United States.

Dylan at the White House: how much have the times changed?

The announcement that music icon Bob Dylan was coming to the White House next month for “A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement” sent us scrambling to listen to his famous song “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”

The lyrics from 45 years ago, eerily echo today.

Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt,  will be he who has stalled
The battle outside is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows, and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

JAZZ FESTIt was a year ago that President Barack Obama entered the White House on a platform of  change – “Yes, we can.”