James was one of three very different but unique guitar players on STAR BLUES. His technique and odd tuning made him sound far in advance of his contemporaries; we also wished birthday greetings to 85 years old Cedell Davis who had polio as a child forcing his use of a metal kitchen knife as fretting device; and Wild Jimmy Spruill who crossed Atilla The Hun with Errol Flynn by way of Pete Townshend on dozens of sessions for Bobby Robinson and rarely as band leader for named singles.
We had new projects by Liz Mandeville - with the swagger of Memphis Minnie -as well as the new album from the ever youthful Lil ed and his Blues Imperials, and the joyous rippling r&B album by Mike Sanchez . I also gave space to a preview of Sandi Thom's album due on 27th August. She includes a cover of Sonny Boy Wiliamson's "Help Me".
I do worry long and hard about projects like this one (also Cindy Lauper and Hugh Laurie) that we are actually the wrong audience, because we are already converts to our music: they should be heard on mainstream shows so their passion for this powerful genre can be aired to the as-yet-unbelievers..?? On STAR BLUES we want to be sure Sonny Boy Williamson gets his props when Sandi Thom does "Help Me", she needs to be heard on a platform that isn't sure who Sonny Boy is....
I don't have an answer, STAR BLUES is proud to celebrate the authentic original vintage blue players (the fabulous response to our 1952 show is testament to our approach), we are also lucky enough to show there is a still healthy interest in the genre.
Some years ago I was interviewed for a "Desert Island Discs" type show - if asked again today I'd have to reserve space for the canon of work undertaken by Johnny Rawls - just listen to his "Soul Survivor" new out on Catfood records. He is the consummate singer and player who does not know how to make a bad record. Another fabulous performer known for his consistency was Lou Pride who died this week. He'd not been well for a while but the outlook seemed good with a new project for Severn Records due in the autumn. we are really looking forward to that one but with some regret that Lou Pride won't be here with us to get his due. He did stuff for Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label, Ichiban and Severn records, dip into any of those you wont be disappointed.
Rory Block isn't loved by the purists, they don't like her mannerisms and fanciful style, she's now in the songbook of Rev. Gary Davis for a heartfelt tribute on Stony Plain. She was in the gospel tent and our own Ace label survey of Johnny Vincent's Ace label out of Mississippi yielded Huey Piano Smith's "Yokomo" celebration of those 88s with Crescent city backbeat.
In a trice we were done. Before next Sunday's STAR BLUES I'm off to the land of vinyl memories and previously-owned compact discs to top up supplies. Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you
|Don't Let The Devil Ride||James Peterson||2||The Last Soul Company||Various Artists||Malaco Records|
|D.J. Play My Blues||Buddy Guy||18||Can't Quit The Blues||Buddy Guy||SONY|
|Payin' For My Sins||Grady Champion||10||Shanachie Days||Grady Champion||SHANACHIE|
|Born Loser||Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials||6||Jump Start||Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials||Alligator|
|Hard Grind||Jimmy Spruill||9||The Fire And Fury Of Bobby Robinson||Various Artists||RPM|
|Moanin' At Midnight||Howlin' Wolf||22||Chess Blues||Various Artists||CHESS|
|Livin' A Lie||Lou Pride||9||Words Of Caution||Lou Pride||SEVERN|
|Soul Survivor||Johnny Rawls||1||Soul Survivor||Johnny Rawls||Catfood|
|I Need You Bad||Cedell Davis||16||Broadcasting The Blues!||Various Artists||Southwest Musical Arts|
|red rooster||howlin' wolf||7||chess blues||Various Artists||chess|
|help me||sandi thom||1||flesh and blood||sandi thom||guardian angels records|
|Don't Lose Your Cool||Albert Collins||5||Collins Mix : The Best Of||Albert Collins||POINTBLANK|
|roadside produce stand||Liz Mandeville w. willie big-eyes smith||1||Clarksdale||Liz Mandeville||blue kitty|
|Cypress Grove||Michael Roach||8||Cypress Grove||Michael Roach||STELLA|
|I'm So Glad||Skip James||3||Reborn And Remastered||Robert Johnson||ROUGH GUIDES|
|Bottle It Up And Go||Mike Sanchez||15||You Better Dig It!||Mike Sanchez||DOOPIN|
|yokomo||huey piano smith||24||The Ace (Ms) Story Volume 4||Various Artists||ACE|
|Smokestack Lightnin'||Howlin' Wolf||7||Chess Blues||Various Artists||CHESS|
|Goin' To Sit Down On The Banks Of The River||Rory Block||2||I Belong To The Band||Rory Block||STONY PLAIN|
|City Born Country Gal||Fiona Boyes||13||Blues Woman||Fiona Boyes||Yellow Dog Records|
|Falling Rain Blues||Little Willie Foster||2||Down Home Blues Classics - Chicago (1946-1954)||Various Artists||BOULEVARD VINTAGE|
|lonesome old train||homesick james||25||Down Home Blues Classics - Chicago (1946-1954)||Various Artists||BOULEVARD VINTAGE|
|Goin' Down Slow||Howlin' Wolf||9||Chess Blues||Various Artists||CHESS|
|not good enough to marry||peggy scott adams||1||not good enough to mary||peggy scott adams||desert blues|