The 1937 Flood Watch
The 1937 Flood Watch Podcast
"Good as I Been to You (You Gonna Quit Me Blues")

"Good as I Been to You (You Gonna Quit Me Blues")

#284 / Dec. 1 Podcast

Eighty-nine years ago today, one of America’s greatest — though least-known — blues artists died after months of illness.

Gaunt and frail, Arthur Blake — known to blues aficionados by his stage name, “Blind Blake” — must have looked much older at the end than his 38 years.

It had been a wild and sometimes wonderful decade for him. Starting in mid-1920s, he was celebrated as Paramount Records’ sensational guitarist, whose distinctive playing often was compared to the sound and style of a ragtime piano.


His intricate finger-picking was to inspire generations of guitarists, from Rev. Gary Davis to Ralph McTell, from Leon Redbone to Ry Cooder and John Fahey.

Famously, blues great Big Bill Broonzy, who heard Blake in person in the early 1920s, said Arthur made his guitar “sound like every instrument in the band — saxophone, trombone, clarinets, bass fiddles, pianos, everything. I never had seen then and I haven't to this day yet seen no one that could take his natural fingers and pick as much guitar as Blind Blake."

The Crash

Blake recorded about 80 tracks between 1926 and 1932. His future looked bright. With his records selling well, he felt he could settle down, so he married Beatrice McGee around 1931.

But then the next year it all went bad. Paramount went bankrupt in 1932 under the weight of the Great Depression. In the remaining two years of his life, Arthur Blake was plagued by poverty and by illness.

A coroner’s autopsy confirmed that his Dec. 1, 1934, death came because of complications from tuberculosis.

The Song

Today Blind Blake’s legacy lives on in his recordings and through their impact on nearly a century of blues, folk and jazz musicians who travel in his shadow.

In 1992, for instance, Bob Dylan honored Blake in the title of his Good as I Been to You album, on which he performed a cover of "You Gonna Quit Me Blues.”

Our Take on the Tune

And that’s where The Flood comes in. We started doing the song in the mid-’90s, right after hearing Dylan’s version on that album.

We were looking for an easy, happy tune that we could warm up with, one that would let everybody in the room just stretch out a little. Nowadays it is just as likely to turn up as a last song of the night — as it does here — putting a bow on a great evening of music. Enjoy.

Meanwhile, in Other News…

By the way, we’re now one month away from our big “Flood at 50” birthday bash on New Year’s Eve, and the good folks at Alchemy Theatre who are hosting it have created a Facebook Event page for the do, with all kinds of additional goodies. Click the graphic below to reach it on Facebook:

In addition, our dear friend Shane Ward at Eve.NET has helped us get a dedicated website for the event up and running. Visit us there at!

The 1937 Flood Watch
The 1937 Flood Watch Podcast
Each week The 1937 Flood, West Virginia's most eclectic string band, offers a free tune from a recent rehearsal, show or jam session. Music styles range from blues and jazz to folk, hokum, ballad and old-time. All the podcasts, dating back to 2008, are archived on our website; you and use the archive for free at: