Bank Holiday STAR BLUES meant the continuation of our survey of Blues in Britain, this time from 1969 to date. The show was a lot of fun to prepare and present - it showed the ever-present quality and longevity of the music on this side of the pond.
The oldest contributions came from Rory Gallagher and Maggie Bell, two performance of power sounding as fresh now as then. The energy of punk owed much to the tough R&B to be found in the London pubrock circuit and we had Dr. Feelgood and Nine Below Zero in evidence - not forgetting the Blues Band gigging in the same venues without troubling the blues purists. Old school stalwarts Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Chris Farlowe and the Rolling Stones never strayed too far from their roots and appeared again last night just as they did in the first part of the special that we did at Easter. Flying in the face of financial common-sense, Otis Grand and Jools Holland regularly take big bands into the concert halls of Britain, ensuring the jump-style R&B lives on. Gary Moore got commercial success from his early-90s return to the blues, his outing with BB King got into the lower reaches of the charts - as did Paul Lamb in the guise of "Bravado" for Pete Waterman who took time out from playing with Kylie and trains.
Maestro Bob Hall and newcomer Paddy Milner both romped through some boogie woogie on a couple of pieces written sixty years apart. They added a party flavour emphasising how blues can be thought of as good-time party music and our spiritual well-being was taken care of by the much-underrated Ruby Turner's rousing go at the Sister Rosetta Tharpe classic "This Train". If there's any justice her single will be number 1 for 19 weeks. The show ended with a nod to the future with tracks from young guitar turks Oli Brown and Danny Bryant. In amongst it all there was a chance to win a pair of tickets to Maximum R&B in Cambridge next month and congrats are due to Ian in Sutton for his win.
I'd like to spend some more time with you next Sunday at ten with more blues on the Commercial Radio Station of the year (2009) on FM and on-line, until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you.