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Jesse Fuller composed San Francisco Bay Blues, but of all the artists who have covered it over the years, it was Richie Havens who actually brought the blues to the song for me. Fuller was an amazing guy, performing as a one man band with his own creation, the fotdella. But his original version of this particular song is a just little too chipper, in my mind, to be considered the blues. Fuller makes me feel way too perky when I listen to his version. I much prefer the rich, mellow sound that Richie Havens brings to the song.
Kudos to both artists, though, for bringing this fabulous work of art to life. So, what do you think? Here's the YouTube link for Fuller's original version, since embedding was disabled: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKumuirtwbo.