Probably more blues in two hours than any comparable show anywhere last night. Chicago blues certainly ain't dead when we've got Magic Slim in such commanding form - his only problem is "Cold Women with Warm Hearts" (I used to dream of problems such as that). Eddie Burns and the late Lil Dave Thompson showed two other flavours of modern blues without straying too far from the purist path. Dave was killed on Valentines Day in a van accident and we lost Marva Wright this week, her "Bluesiana Mama" was more than enough proof of her claim as Blues Queen of Louisiana on STAR BLUES yesterday.
When I first heard "Naggin'" I was sure it was a Jimmy Reed piece, similar vocal mannerisms and harp technique pointed me that way - in fact it was a recording on Excello by Jimmy Anderson who was in a studio far less often than his gifts deserved on this showing. Another mystery in the Unknown Male vocalist who brought us a version of Fats Domino's "Every Night About This Time", one can only guess that Johnny Vincent was too busy to make a note of the session men for the outing on his Ace label. BB King was on hand for the Gospel Spot, Thomas Dorsey's "Precious Lord" was opening track on B's fourth album for the Crown imprint but the first with all new material (previously the albums were collections of single hits). On the distaff side we had Esther Phillips, Peggy Scott and the imperious tone of Jo Ann Kelly who was accompanied by genius the British pianist Bob Hall. Amos Milburn and Chuck Berry both did versions of our piano blues choon: "Down the Road Apiece" by the Will Bradley Orchestra. We had all three.
All that wrapped up with T-Bone Walker's "Bobby Sox Blues" where he set the pinnacle of electric guitar playing that few have even come close to, though many still try. The next STAR BLUES will be on Easter Sunday, next week, at 10 pm (GMT) but I'll be back behind the mic on Good Friday for something a little different. I'm swapping t-shirts from white to black and bringing in some rarities and old favourites for "The Dark Side of Gary Blue". I hope you'll be able to be there too at 7 pm on Good Friday. Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you.