Don't tell anyone but it looks like Blues Is Back, though many would say it's never been away. The download providers' now offer decent selections of the genre, including the recent addition of many items from the leading imprint for modern blues: Alligator. There can now be little excuse for not acquainting yourself with Koko Taylor, Albert Collins or Kenny Neal (to name but three) - and I had some examples on last night's STAR BLUES.
Nestling just inside the top-20 album charts is also "Ultimate Blues" a double-cd set with decent tracks from the usual suspects and a few more - I particularly note the inclusion of Homesick James and I went to his Prestige sessions in 1964 for Sam Charters to demonstrate why he deserves to be there. Imelda May also has a song on that album and I played it to mark her appearance at this year's Glastonbury and upcoming Cambridge Folk festivals. Next week I'll feature a track from another artist due at Cherry Hinton on 30th July onwards.
The gospel offering came courtesy of the marvellous vocal tone of Ollie Haskins and the Dixie Nightingales, their "I Don't Know" was originally out on the Chalice label (a susidiary of Stax) and is now on a cd "Memphis 60" with rare cuts from the city that shaped music at the turn of Sixties/Seventies. George Thorogood and Eric Clapton got outings for Fathers' Day and Carl 'sonny' Leyland paid tribute to the boogie and barrelhouse styles of Chicago with "Southside Stuff".
STAR BLUES is the only blues show in the UK to report to Living Blues magazine as part of their monthly radio charts and we're proud to be listed as a contributor to the current issue (#201 with Magic Slim on the cover) and to their web-site version. There are other blues magazines: LB is regarded as the benchmark worldwide and helps spread the good word on STAR BLUES that bit further. Don't forget all the playlists are at http://www.garyblue.co.uk/ and they are time-coded and searchable. God willing I'll be back on FM and online at http://www.star107.co.uk/ at ten pm next Sunday, I look forward to your company. Until then take care of yourselves and take take of those that take care of you