The fourth show in the series looking at notable blues albums chosen by Living Blues magazine gave us the widest range of styles so far. The Noughties has been a decade that has allowed our music to take note of its heritage in country-blues and jazz and then bring in elements of world music. It still retains the edge of electric guitar based Chicago blues.
B B King is still doing the biz, his "One Kind Favour" album is on the list and he brought a new version of a Howlin' Wolf song. We had chances to celebrate less well known artists like Johnny B. Moore, Andrew Jr. Boy Jones and Barbara Lynn as well as core show stalwarts like Phillip Walker and Robert Ward who never made a bad album. Moore's "Rockin In The Same Boat" from 2003 is his most recent project because of health worries and Koko Taylor died after her "Old School" album that did exactly what it said on the tin with a fierce slide guitar display from "Steady Rollin" Bob Margolin. Barabara Lynn is an amazing left-handed guitarist and singer whose work was sampled by Moby on his "18" album.
Last week we talked about some comments from blues-bored rock-based guitarists wanting to change the music, I hope the selections from Otis Taylor, Corey Harris and Alvin Youngblood Hart were enough to demonstrate that the future is in safe hands. One of the heavyweight Sundays proclaimed R. L. Burnside as "the last living bluesman" though his "Wish I Was In Heave Sitting Down" won him few friends with the purists when it came out in 2000. They objected to his use of samples, overdubs and seven producers and they bemoaned the lack of interaction with other players. Obviously there's been a re-evaluation to see the album in this list. Bettye Lavette and Joe Louis Walker came along with excellent contributions that back up their achievements with brand new albums we've featured on STAR BLUES.
I haven't felt the four shows have had enough of the full flavour of 40 years change in blues so I've added a fifth show to the quartet to look at how the music has been bucked up by folks like Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Gary Moore; at the effect of john Lee Hooker's "Healer", at the use of blues music in adverts and in tv series, and at how box-sets and public-domain recordings have added to the sustained popularity of blues. All that - and a white tee-shirt - next Sunday at ten. Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you.