The definition of STAR BLUES = Johnny Winter to start and Johnny Shines to finish by way of Robert Plant and Count Basie. Add to those a handful of new tracks and something from what is likely to be the album of the year and you have a normal days fare from the show.
We took two bites at Johnny Shines but it was well worth it for a classic Chicago style performance, both Johnny Winter and Katie Webster were coaxed to give of their best by Bruce Iglauer for Alligator and the quality looks set to continue with eagerly awaited sets off James Cotton and Charlie Musselwhite any time soon. I think Plant's new album "Band of Joy" has been featured elsewhere, we had his covers of songs by Los Lobos and Lightnin' Hopkins - the latter has him on washboard (if you're thinking Deryck Guyler, think again). He's continued in that mid-west Americana treatment of his muse that started with "Raisin' Sand" so don't expect any Zep bombast these days. We like it a lot here and I was surprised to get it before our very own rock god Neil Jones.
He will probably get shaded out in the album stakes this year by a project that is so achingly wonderful you just want to tell everyone about it - Bettye LaVette's "Interpretations" has her doing bold covers of songs by Zeppelin, Derek & Dominoes and the Who. She's never heard the originals and that gives here the freedom to find new meanings in the lyrics winning high praise from Robert Plant and Pete Townshend. Tiny in stature, her voice has a thousand years of life's knocks and she is a unique talent whose time has come at last.
Jimmy Rushing was on hand with Count Basie for "Good Morning Blues", Earl Gaines had a song written by Mary Ann Brandon bemoaning the girth of his woman's seating arrangements and Saffire had the perfect answer (or should that be re-butt-al) saying you can't have too much. Who says you can't have fun with the blues? Next Sunday at 10pm we'll try to prove it again, I hope you can make it along - until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you. Remember Bank Holiday Monday 7pm JOURNEYMAN is coming ...