Last night’s STAR BLUES show included a couple of short musical tributes to bluesmen that died a week ago: Dale Hawkins and Lil Dave Thompson, the first after battling cancer the second in a van accident returning after a gig. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Hawkins’ timeless “Suzie Q” and he was making great rockabilly and blues through his life: we had his versions of “Caldonia” and “Number Nine Train” in evidence. Thompson was very much a star on the rise with albums on Fat Possum, JSP and Electro-Fi under his belt. I understand a third for Electro-Fi was to be started next month. Both samples I chose yesterday showed his clean unfussy guitar style and he will be missed. Smokey Wilson brought his slide guitar along while Eric Bibb’s instrument was once owned by Booker White.
Missy Anderson is a fairly new name to me but I’ve been impressed with her album so we had a good excuse –not that one was needed – to feature a selection last night as part of her birthday on Friday last. The equally lovely Imelda May was on hand with her “Big Bad Handsome Man”, the theme song of the Mighty Mark Peters’ Legion of Fans.
The gospel offering from Michael Roach done a capella found him in great voice from his latest album “Innocent Child”, Albert Ammons reached across the years with his “Boogie Woogie Stomp” confirming irrefutably a new law of Physics: “It is impossible to fail to enjoy the music of Albert Ammons” – now there’s a GCSE I could have passed! It’s a rare treat to go to the music of Lightnin’ Slim and Eddie C. Campbell, so both on one show was sweet indeed. We had a rare track from Johnny Winter at the close and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s go at George Harrison’s “Taxman” at the start. Shawn Holt wrote “Young Man Blues” and helped his dad Magic Slim perform it and finally move the band status into the big league on the “Black Tornado” album. Add in the very first record Mike Vernon ever issued – done by Hubert Sumlin in a pressing run of 98 to avoid purchase tax – and you’ve reached the weeks quota of news, blues, reviews and tomfoolery in a white t-shirt. I hope we can spend another two hours together next Sunday at 10pm (GMT) for some more of the same (except different). Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you