While half a dozen or so folks up and down the land were glued to Hughie Green's swingometer on Opportunity Knocks the rest of us had chance to listen to the artists in with a shout of a Grammy Award for blues. So we had the perfect excuse to go back to the latest albums by James Cotton, Pinetop Perkins, Solomon Burke and Buddy Guy and if I had my way they'd all win just for having made it the hard way in small clubs out in all weathers for less than the petrol money.
As far as many here are concerned, the Carolina Chocolate Drops are a local favourite and they are up for a Grammy in a Folk category. Their version of an Etta Baker tune showed complete mastery of form and content. "Guitarist" magazine has a festive special on Blues Guitarists (its a pretty decent effort actually) but they overlooked Etta, and Memphis Minnie and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The only women in the list were Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi. Mind you it isn't just sexist because Elmore James ain't there, nor is Duane Allman or Ry Cooder.
Unusually for us, the piano pieces closed the show and I did get the back timing spot on to allow Jimmy Yancey his trademark off-key flourish at the close of "Yancey Stomp". The Holmes Brothers romped through "Up Above My Head" for the gospel one and they've set the tone for next week's show: "Shake Rattle and Roll". It has a subtitle: "How I learned to stop worrying about blues, we just call it rock'n'roll instead". White tee-shirt and cat clothes will be the order of the day and we'll expect you to roll back the rug for some jumpin' blues, bop and rock'n'roll. I'm comin' in my slick-a-back limousine and I look forward to your company again this Sunday at 10pm. Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you