Monday, 19 December 2011

STAR BLUES on 18th December 2011 at 22:00

2011 was an eventful year for blues with the Robert Johnson Centenary in May and the passing on of so many influential blues artists - we marked as many as we could during our Awards night show. Now in a third year we recognise an artist and album of the year as well as a label and a reissue label. For a second time you've picked an artist too.

The choices weren't easy and you'll have you own; here's how it worked out last night on STAR BLUES with a few words on each.

ALBUM: "Let the Blues Speak for Itself" by Chick Willis (Benevolent Records)

There is a down-home relaxed feeling to the album, especially on the cuts he does with Travis Haddix. Songs are front and centre not instrumental dexterity, the project shows Chick in a fresh light given his reputation as the Stoop Down Man.

ARTIST: Willie Big-Eyes Smith

Almost a joint prize with Pinetop Perkins I have to say. They both won a Grammy together on their "Joined At The Hip" album but the revelation for many was the return to his first instrument - the harp - by Smith. He defined the rules for blues drummers everywhere and it must have given him immense pride to have his son Kenny in the traps on that album. Big grin on the cover photo and a gentle gentleman universally loved by everyone.

LABEL: Delmark

By far and away the label every artist wants to be discovered by at the moment with a real set of quality albums put out by folks doing their first or second projects: Sharon Lewis, Quintus McCormick, Toronzo Cannon and so on. Add to that a top notch reissue programme that includes things like Junior Wells' "Hoodoo Man Blues" with bonus unissued cuts. Hearty congrats to a worthy winner showing that our music has a solid future.


For the 3rd year running the compilers have come up trumps time and time again with sumptuous packaging stuffed with photos and memorabilia. The 3 disc set on Fame Studios is but a recent example as is the first anthology of an under-appreciated player: Barbara Lynn. Ace also put out a tasty issue of Lazy Lester and the list goes on. The reissue market is as ever crowded with folks looking at recordings over fifty years old but Ace soldiers on focusing on the music and going that bit further to ensure artists and families get their dues.


Huge reactions at the festivals this Summer - including guesting John Paul Jones - made him a favourite with you in 2011. Its amazing to think of a down-to-earth guy with a homemade three string guitar drawing crowds in the tens of thousands and playing them raw blues. No argument from me when Steve topped your list.

Next week on STAR BLUES, my guest is rival blues-dj Paul Jones. We sat down together in conversation and left the tape recorder on. He talks about the Blues Band, his radio show and some hair raising tales of the Sixties. I hope you can come along, we';ll be pleased to have your company. Until then - from my family to yours - please have a safe, happy and healthy Christmas and 2012. Take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Christmas Date Boogie Big Joe Turner 81 All The Classic Hits Big Joe Turner JSP Records
Please Come Home For Christmas Johnny Winter 4 Hey Where's Your Brother? Johnny Winter POINTBLANK
Stay A Little Longer, Santa Shemekia Copeland 13 Deluxe Edition Shemekia Copeland Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.
Put On A Buzz Catfish Keith 6 Put On A Buzz Catfish Keith FISH TAIL
Frisco Blues Bayless Rose 23 Broke Black And Blue Various Artists PROPER
Sweet Home Chicago Honeyboy Edwards 23 Let Me Tell You About The Blues: Memphis Various Artists Fantastic Voyage
Love That Burns Gary Moore 10 Blues For Greeny Gary Moore VIRGIN
Foggy Monday Eddie Kirkland 6 Movin' On Eddie Kirkland JSP Records
Red, Black On Blues Pura Fe 2 A Blues Night In North Carolina Pura Fe Dixiefrog
All My Love's In Vain Big Head Blues Club Featuring Big Head Todd & The Monsters 9 100 Years Of Robert Johnson Big Head Blues Club Featuring Big Head Todd & The Monsters
We're Gonna Boogie Chick WillisTravis Haddix 9 Let The Blues Speak For Itself Chick WillisTravis Haddix Benevolent Blues
Two Trains Running Marquise Knox 12 Here I Am Marquise Knox APO Records
Sadie Quintus McCormick Blues Band 11 Put It On Me! Quintus McCormick Blues Band DELMARK
Leaving Mood Toronzo Cannon 8 Leaving Mood Toronzo Cannon DELMARK
I Ain't Stranded - Buddy Guy Buddy Guy 1 Hoodoo Man Blues Junior Wells' Chicago Blues Band DELMARK
Christmas Boogie Sugar Chile Robinson 18 Mark Lamarr's Rhythm And Blues Christmas Various Artists ACROBAT
Merry Xmas Little Willie Littlefield 12 Rhythm & Blues Christmas Various Artists ACE
Dig That Crazy Santa Claus Oscar McLollie & His Honey Jumpers 19 Rhythm & Blues Christmas Various Artists ACE
Without A Woman Kip Anderson 4 The Fame Studio Story 1961-1973 Home Of The Muscle Shoals Sound Various Artists Kent
Eyesight To The Blind Pinetop Perkins & Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith 13 Joined At The Hip Pinetop Perkins & Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith TELARC
Plow My Mule Memphis Gold 10 Pickin In High Cotton Memphis Gold
You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks Seasick Steve 2 You Can´t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks Seasick Steve Play It Again Sam
Woman Loves A Man That Can Play The Slide Drink Small 5 Hallelujah Boogaloo Drink Small MUSIC MAKER
Can't Be Satisified Toby Walker 11 Shake Shake Mama Toby Walker ltw
People Get Ready Hans Theessink 16 Jedermann Remixed - The Soundtrack Hans Theessink BLUE GROOVE

Created: 19/12/2011 08:29:01

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