I made a blunder on last weeks show that had to be put right yesterday with suitable man size portion of humble pie. My piece on Little Smokey Smothers was finished off with a splendid blues performance - by his brother Otis (Big) Smokey Smothers. So we played something from Little Smokey's debut solo album last night to make amends. Amazingly it was also his first appearance on STAR BLUES too.
There were also rare outings from Angela Brown, Dana Gillespie and Joan Armatrading (who knew in 1972 that the gentle folkie could play electric blues guitar like that and have two number-1 blues albums before 2010). Dana is know to many by her association with David Bowie, for being an Australian swimming champion and her voluptuous charms - she's matured into a smokey voiced blues singer and writer of the very highest order. Like Armatrading, she has a new album that will surprise and delight many.
As a young child I went to Sunday School which was fun but the weekly session with the grown ups in church was cold and impersonal. If only they'd had Mavis Staples doing the sermons and music, my experiences would have been so much better. There is a warmth and stoicism in her singing that touches the listener - her new project with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco is a magnificent effort already written onto the statuettes at next years awards I'm sure.
We found Freddie King in rare acoustic mood in a Dallas radio studio in the early 1970's with a very individual take on "Dust My Broom"; handslapped knees provided rhythm to the Carolina Chocolate Drops version of "Why Don't You Do Right" composed by Kansas Joe McCoy but made into a hit by Lil Green then Peggy Lee. Not much chance of a hit or even airplay for (Benjamin) Bull Moose Jacksons "Big Ten Inch" but it was his shellac he meant wasn't it? That actually brings us back to Dana Gillespie who covered the song back a while.
I'm updating the cover songs section of GARY BLUE'S ALMANAC, so its coming. Please bring your best ears next Sunday at 10pm (GMT), I can't promise to be blemish free but it won't be bland. Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you.