I'd like to think STAR BLUES did something to show how vibrant and relevant our type of music is last night.
The boy from the valleys stands tall in the UK album charts with what all the critics say is the best thing he's ever done - not easily swayed by what the papers say, we talked about Tom Jones' "Praise and Blame" project. We also had a first play of Mellow-D with one of her singles "Half of Love", a gorgeous reinvention of classic soul produced by Syl Johnson. He's reopened his classic Twilight label for her album due any day now, she has the potential to be a big star, provided she doesn't discover pop music like the erst-while last big thing from Devon. We played "Run On" from Tom's album and he settles nicely into a John Lee Hooker Groove with some heartfelt vocals. There's a couple of things that he sounds less comfortable with and the playing time is less than an old-fashioned vinyl album but it is an important marker in the resurgence in interest in blues and gospel.
Two major monthly magazines have cover-mount cds with blues themes and we played Son House's "Death Letter" from one of them. The blurb says here are the influences of Robert Plant and many more - I'd say there's not much in my collection that WASN'T influenced by House. Buddy Guy had a birthday and Ann Rabson has just done a solo spot with him on the day, she reported a great time had by all and we look forward to what she does next. Buddy's go at "Let Me Love You" marked his birthday and "You Got To Choose" was in to send similar good wishes to Deitra Farr.
Otis Taylors newest project has an angry parent taking on the sadly too-frequent dug dealer in the playground problem and he pushes blues just that little bit further by making his stories and subjects bang up to date. There was some long overdue catching up with releases on Delta Groove: the last studio project from Sean Costello and Kirk Fletchers new album showed that the younger generation can still make decent blues music. There is a poignancy to the early loss of Sean when he promised so much. The Phantom Blues Band were dependably enjoyable in the songbook of Freddie King and two very different piano blues vyed for attention last night: Bobby Troup and Henry Butler. Sister Rosetta Tharpe brought her original 1942 version of "Strange Things" that Tom has covered for his first single off the album.
Other new stuff came from Walter Trout and Wilson T. King; Stephen in Wisbech won the Steve Earle competition by knowing that Earle has been married 7 times (twice to same woman). Next week we'll have a whole show of back-to-back originals and covers, I hope you can come along next Sunday at 10pm. Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you.