Without even being in the studio, the lovely Amy had me as a tongue-tied gibbering wreck last night on STAR BLUES, you'd think at my age I should know better. The cause of my confuzzlement was the announcement of the walk to raise funds for the hospice: no matter how I tried it always came out as if it was a walk around Amy for money. To raise a decent sum you'd need to walk a lot further than that, hopefully she will forgive me.
Two fine blues from Albert King marked his birthdate, one a version of Hendrix' "Red House" the other came from the seminal 1967 sessions when he was backed by Booker T and the MG's. His unusual guitar sound came by way of being left-handed playing a guitar strung for a right hander in strange tunings. One of a kind acknowledged by Eric Clapton as being the inspiration for some of his work with Cream. Our other birthdate yesterday was Roxy Perry and her "Back To Bluesville" staked her claim with a robust outing for her and the band - she's a neat harp player too but I'll save that for later.
Top of the shop we went to the soundtrack of "Good Morning Vietnam" for Van Morrison as leader of Them in the songbook of Big Joe Williams for "Baby Please Don't Go". Then bang up to date with the multi-award winning album from Buddy Guy "Skin Deep". The two "Fannie Mae" selections from Buster Brown and the Clovers excited a little flurry of interest from the listeners and I don't propose to comment further other than to note Buster getting a no. 1 hit from it at the venerable age of 50. Big Joe Turner "Bit The Apple" and Ray Charles went down "Lonely Avenue" for more classics from the Fifties and Sam Cooke cut a lovely loping version of "Little Red Rooster" with no resemblance to either Howlin' Wolf or the Rolling Stones.
Memphis Slim's "Best Girl I Ever Had" from 1957 was unissued at the time but Bruce Bastin's Flyright label put things right 30 years after and gave us a fantastic exhibition of solo piano and sonorous voice. In the afternoon I spotted a bargain disc with some rare early recordings by the Blind Boys of Alabama - far too good to pass up the chance to put them front and centre in the gospel spot. We also marked the passings of Clayton Love (a former stalwart of Ike Turners genius band) and Barbara Brown, she of silky voice from Memphis on XL and Stax. Our regular new release feature wasn't forgotten either, we had Rick Taylor in the realm of Elmore James for his debut album (he's Canadian but we'll forgive him).
Next week's show has Rolling Stones theme to preview the reissue of their greatest album "Exile On Main Street". Mick and Keef and co will provide some of the music and some blues artists have a go at covers of the tracks too. All that and another white tee-shirt on Sunday next at 10pm (BST), I hope you'll be able to come along. Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you.