Sunday, 27 May 2012

STAR BLUES on 27th May 2012 at 22:00

Considering our normal emphasis on the song rather than showing off, there was an unusual focus on the six-stringed instrument on STAR BLUES last night. Our excuse - not that we needed one - is that the anniversary of Aaron "T Bone" Walker's birthday happens today (28th May). I have often said that "electric blues guitar doesn't get better than T-Bone Walker" and it was a real treat to amply back up those claims with more than a handful of gems from the first part of his career. Our survey went as far as his debut in 1929 "Wichita Falls Blues"; there have been several theories on that session given Walker's tender years that he was no where to be found - such nonsense clearly ignores the lyric which refers to Mr TBone, the interview TBone gave to Record Collector magazine late in 1947  and the 1988 confirmation by the pianist on the song. If you care to google that interview you'll also learn that he played golf and kept horses!!

Our 1001 blues featured the first recording of "Call It Stormy Monday (and Tuesday's Just As Bad")" from 1947 which TBone cut for the Black and White label and why it has that awkward title. Pretty much anything he did up to and including the 1958 recordings for Atlantic can be safely investigated as models of cool, precise, urbane genius. You won't hear a single note more than needed, nor a single note less. He was immaculately dressed in white suit and tie, yet he played guitar from behind his head while doing the splits. Plenty of photos there for all you googlers.

The real icing on our comestible was the arrival of the new project from LIl Ed and his Blues Imperials, "Jump Start". The expected strong guitar dexterity has this time been matched with top-notch vocals - Bruce Iglauer knows a thing or two, his faith in the boys is repaid here on this their 8th album for him. We jiggled a bit here and tweaked a bit there to squeeze in two tracks to press home our advantage with such an early preview of this major artist release. Our other new offering came from Henrik Freischlader who picked up guitar after hearing Gary Moore. If I told you Joe Bonamassa was on one track, you'd be wrong to categorise the whole project thus (he has a go at several styles).

You could say the whole nine yards of blues axe-wifery was on full display in the rest of STAR BLUES. Rev Robert Wilkins died 25 years ago, he was covered by the Rolling Stones ("Prodigal Son" was on Beggars Banquet) and there's but one cd of his pivotal 1930s recordings available on Yazoo. He was a skilled and graceful player, we caught him live at the Newport Folk Festival for the Vanguard label.  Robert Cray brought something from his overlooked "Twenty" album that was pushed to one side through his criticism of US policy on fighting wars for oil. Treat for guitar fans though. Eugene Hideaway Bridges started out as the lead player for Memphis Big Joe Turners Blues Caravan (who I saw support BBKing in 1995/6), he has a lovely fluid tone that complements his Sam Cooke style vocals. That debut album "Born to Be Blue" is being re promoted and is well worth a listen. Dunno what Deborah Coleman is up to these days, we miss her round these parts so we had to be content with her version of the Johnny Morrisette song "Brick".

As for harp fans we had James Cotton (and cracking support from Charlie Haden and Joe Louis Walker) as well as a brilliantly controlled version of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Bye Bye Bird" from the barely 20 year old Brandon Bailey. Gospel from Marion Williams (who we should really do more of) and piano from Pinetop Smith and we were heading down the home straight at full pelt. There is so much good blues out there at the moment my two hours can hardly even hint at it - ferrgunnesssake I'm getting less time to keep up the tomfoolery quotient every week. I'll bring more of the good stuff next Sunday at ten, until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Track.Title Track.ArtistSort Index Album.Title Album.ArtistSort Label
Little Boy Blues Eugene 'Hideaway' Bridges 2 Born To Be Blue Eugene 'Hideaway' Bridges WESTSIDE
The Hustlen Is On T-Bone Walker 11 Inventor Of The Electric Guitar Blues T-Bone Walker MR. R&B
Fadin' Away Robert Cray 4 Twenty Robert Cray SANCTUARY
Sad Letter James CottonJoe Louis Walker 11 Deep In The Blues James CottonJoe Louis Walker VERVE
Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee Sticks McGhee 1 The Atlantic Story Various Artists Atlantic
Don't You Let Nobody Turn You Round Reverend Robert Wilkins 9 Blues With A Feeling Various Artists VANGUARD
Stormy Monday T-Bone Walker 3 1947 : Chronological Recordings T-Bone Walker CLASSICS
Prospect Lane Seasick Steve 5 I Started Out With Nothin And I've Still Got Most Of It Left Seasick Steve Warner Bros. Records
You Burnt Me Lil Ed & Blues Imperials 4 jump start Lil Ed & Blues Imperials Alligator
Sound The Bell Johnny Winter 1 Genuine House Rockin'Music Various Artists Alligator
Come To Mama Koko Taylor 2 Genuine House Rockin' Music Vols 1-3 Various Artists Alligator
Come On My Love Henrik Freischlader 3 Still Frame Replay Henrik Freischlader Cable Car Records
Brick Deborah Coleman 5 I Can't Lose Deborah Coleman BLIND PIG RECORDS
Glamour Girl T-Bone Walker 11 The Blues T-Bone Walker FREMEAUX ET ASSOCIES
Aint Nobody Here But Us Chickens Louis Jordan 11 Reet Petite And Gone Louis Jordan INDIGO
Race Horse Tiny Davis 17 I'm a Bad Bad Girl Various Artists INDIGO
Packin' Up Marion Williams 9 Screamin' Gospel Holy Rollers Vol. 2 Various Artists Vee-Tone Records
Burnin' Hell John Lee Hooker 8 Boogie Chillen John Lee Hooker INDIGO
Bye Bye Bird Brandon O. Bailey 8 Memphis Grooves Brandon O. Bailey APO
Wichita Falls Blues T-Bone Walker 2 The Blues Various Artists Fremeaux
Pinetop's boogie woogie Pinetop Smith 6 History of Rhythm & Blues Various Artists
Musical mechanical electrical man Lil Ed & Blues Imperials 2 jump start Lil Ed & Blues Imperials Alligator
Free Single and disengaged huey piano Smith 6 Ace Story, vol 4 Various Artists ace
before the next teardrop falls big john hamilton 19 souther soul shake various artists charly
Two Bones And A Pick T-Bone Walker 12 T-Bone Blues T-Bone Walker SEQUEL
Created: 27/05/2012 23:52:15

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