Song Backstory: Please Don’t Make Me Late

The second song on The Blues Keeps You Alive album, “Please Don’t Make Me Late”, was actually the first song Juwana wrote in 2010 for her brand new project, Juwana Jenkins and the Mojo Band.

In March of 2010, the band was created at the request of the program director, Ondřej Bezr, for the international Šumperk Blues Alive Festival that November. Knowing that we wanted to bring an authentic sound but our own original work, I knew I had to write songs for the event but about what???

One morning about 8:45, I was still getting ready for work when the doorbell rang twice.

I have a pretty flexible schedule, but not this morning, so my answer was: “No, sorry, I can’t right now… As much as I would really, really like to start the day off right…. but I just can’t. Don’t. Stop! DON’T. STOP! DON’T STOP!
Oh, alright I’ll meet you for lunch :-)” I promised with a gleam in my eye.

At lunch I grabbed his laptop –what were you thinking?!?!?!– and pounded out the words to this song.

I like to write songs like some people like to do crossword puzzles or sudoku.

I love double entendres and the good old days when things were left to the imagination. I’d been listening to a lot of Willie Dixon, who is the king of this style of lyrics for blues music. I played with the original truth of what really happened “I was late to work/I was late to school”, then expanded to when I definitely don’t want to be late “Auntie, honey I must not miss”, which reminded me of other family members “Late for my Pa/Late for my kin/ Can’t be late no more again!”

So there’s being late for places and events and people… But then there’s the truth again… “But Baby, Baby, Please don’t make me wait!”

This song features a West Coast jump/swing sound because that was the first “groove” band leader Charlie Slavik brought me that we could both agree upon and really enjoy.

So listen to “Please Don’t Make Me Late” and add comments or questions to your favorite riffs and lyrics. ;)

- Juwana

PS: If you want to hear this song live  tomorrow, come on down to Reduta Jazz Club where Juwana and Her All-Star Mojo Band will be performing.


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The Blues Keeps You Alive

For people who want to have fun when the day is done, The Blues Keeps You Alive album is a rough and raw journey through America to the tune of original songs, highlighting different shades of the blues, including West Coast Swing, Mississippi Delta, Memphis Soul, Chicago Blues, Detroit Motown, gospel and early funk.

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