Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Vala Cupp: Cold, Cold Feeling

Today, I’ve decided to revamp the Tuesday feature to Bluesday Tuesday. For our first selection in this new category, I’ve decided on a singer who was not very well known during her lifetime, and who unfortunately ended her own life on Halloween 2005 at the age of 51. Her name was Vala Cupp and she cut her blues teeth by touring with the legendary bluesman John Lee Hooker for 15 years.

When Hooker retired from touring, Cupp set out on her own using Austin, Texas as her new home base. Like many other struggling, but talented musicians, she supplemented her income with a variety of day jobs. Unfortunately, I never heard of her during her lifetime and only recently discovered her by accident. It was a pleasant find.

For the first selection in this new category, I have a live recording of Vala Cupp doing a live version of Albert Collins’ “Cold, Cold Feeling.” Recorded on June 10, 1990, Cupp sang this rendition during John Lee Hooker’s set of the Chicago Blues Festival. Backed by the King Snakes, this is a great recording that showcases her unbelievable talent. It’s too bad she never gained the fame that was equal to her incredible voice.


  1. It is unfortunate that so many blues artist feel compelled to live the life of the lyrics they sing. Blues are a direct growth of American Jazz, met to be a "release" of life's troubles. It gives the listener and the crafter a chance to escape.

    Another important aspect is the spiritual nature of the blues. Many known blues compositions have been direct adaptations of southern gospel. Hence, the uplifting nature of "the blues".

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  3. She was a good person. Gentle but with a powerful voice. Glad I had her in my life as I learned much from her. She struggled with life sometimes. I miss her.