Sunday, 10 February 2013

STAR BLUES on 10th February 2013 at 22:00

Birthday bumper bash for Otis Clay, Otis Grand and Mike Sanchez; remembering Little Johnnie Taylor, Big Bad Smitty, Phillip Walker and King Curtis. I was very tempted - given the depth of his canon - to devote the entire Vinyl hour to King Curtis and his sessions and the three offerings we did include barely did the man justice.

We held over a track from Jody Williams from last week: it's astonishing to find out the 2002 "Return of A Legend" album was the first under his own name, given his earliest sides for Howlin' Wolf in 1954. His first two singles were done in the 1963 and both had "Moanin' For Molasses" on the flip side. That instrumental got an outing on his debut album with a small assist to and from the 21 year old Sean Costello. Jody's still with us, though sadly not so Sean. I've made a note to find one or other of those 45s for an upcoming Vinyl Hour.

Last week Cecil Womack died, though best known to the mainstream world (and ham fisted oiks who can't be bothered to sort cds properly on record store racks) as half of Womack and Womack, he was the youngest brother to Bobby Womack and with three other brothers formed the Valentinos. In March 1964 they turned up a SAR studios expecting the full bifta treatment with strings and horn arrangements to record Bobby's newly written song ("Its All Over Now"). They were persuaded by producer Johnnie Morissette that they stripped back band would show then to best advantage. Unbeknownst to them the DJ Murray the K passed the early acetate to the Rolling Stones before the Valentinos single could be mastered for sale. Mick, Keef and the boys beat them to the punch by six weeks and to the top of the charts into pop history. To say Bobby was a tad miffed would be like calling Hurricane Katrina a puff of wind. Sam Cooke calmed him down by pointing out the likely size of writer royalty cheques. We leant back and savoured Cecil and Bobby on their sublime original version.

Other than Annie Raines, I can't name another current blues lady playing harp - until I got sent a neat promo EP from the Dana Dixon Band. Her instrumental "Little Walter" shows she knows her way round that axe. Further new item from the Andy-T Nick Nixon Band has Anson Funderburgh on guitar (though not on the track we played). Jesse Dee was on STAR BLUES with his debut album in 2010 and he is now part of the Alligator roster. This Boston born young man has a lovely smooth voice and a keen writing gift. He's photogenically good looking and we love his project - easily as good as most Grammy winners IMHO.

Etta James' last project for Chess is now on cd for the first time with a whole clutch of mid-Seventies singles and rarities as bonus. The sessions took place in Englewood because All Platinum had just bought the Chess label and were anxious to make their mark on the sound of the old label. The album had a couple of singles to promote it and we chose one for our Vinyl Hour. My earliest forays into discographical research started off following the lineage in Eric Clapton's session work - it quickly came up against a 1969 single for Atco under the name "King Curtis", from there it was a delicious ride through a number of sides graced with the tenor mans considerable skills. (Waylon Jennings, Neil Sedaka, Bobby Darin are just 3 names well outside our purview showing how much hie was in demand). He lived but 31 years and if he did nothing else he did the sax bit for the Coasters' "Yakety Yak".

Josh White would have been 99 today (Monday 11th) and his verrsion of "Strange Fruit" stayed tight to the original intent of the composer (unlike the previous hit version everyone knows by Billie Holiday). She felt he'd blasphemed "her" song (though she did not write it) that Josh was physically attacked on the steps of a NYC club in 1941 when his effort came to her ears. It isn't an easy melody for anyone and this one shows why Josh was held in such high regard. Incidentally it was on 78 in an album (the first strict definition of an album wasn't a 33rpm vinyl record, it was 3 platters at 78 packaged together in a single cover.

I've got two very special projects upcoming which have come about by our support of the vinyl format - I'll tell you more just as soon as I am allowed. You were magnificent, I was just Gary Blue last night. Until the next instalment take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Put The Shoe On The Other FootAlbert Collins5IcemanAlbert CollinsPOINTBLANK
Still A FoolBig Bad Smitty5Mean DisposttionBig Bad SmittyBLACK MAGIC
Moanin' For MolassesJody Williams5Return Of A LegendJody WilliamsEVIDENCE
No End To The BluesAndy T-Nick Nixon BandAnson Funderburgh7Drink Drank DrunkAndy T-Nick Nixon BandAnson FunderburghDelta Groove
Little Walter Comes To TownDana Dixon2Dana Dixon BandDana DixonDana Dixon
movin to the countryValentinos35Sar Records Story 1959-1965Various ArtistsABKCO
It's All Over NowValentinos36Sar Records Story 1959-1965Various ArtistsABKCO
i won't forget about youjesse dee4on my mind in my heartjesse deealligator
my manmike sanchez and imelda may13almost grownmike sanchezdoopin
these days aregoneotis grand12blues 65otis grandmaingate
The Hustle Is OnPhillip Walker9Blues T-Bone StyleVarious ArtistsEASYDISC
My Heart Is Filled With PainLittle Johnny Taylor6The Galaxy YearsLittle Johnny TaylorACE
Mean Red SpiderMuddy Waters9Reborn And RemasteredMuddy WatersROUGH GUIDES
I'm a womanLula Reed17Just A Little Bit: Federal's Queens Of New Breed R&bTiny TopsyLula ReedACE
i've been a fooletta james8etta is betta than evvahetta jameskent
Teasin’King Curtis With Delaney Bramlett, Eric Clapton & Friends13Eric ClaptonEric ClaptonPOLYDOR
Yakety YakCoasters, The6Greatest Hits - Plus!Coasters, TheSEQUEL
peter gunnking curtis1-23wail man wailking curtisfantastic voyage
I Can't Make It AloneOtis Clay8The 45'sOtis ClayHI
Strange FruitJosh White18Presenting Josh WhiteJosh WhiteSIGNATURE
Tough TimesJohn Brim14Whose Muddy ShoesElmore JamesJohn BrimCHESS
Hadacol BounceProfessor Longhair9Gettin' FunkyVarious ArtistsPROPER
fat manfats domino15Gettin' FunkyVarious ArtistsPROPER
boogie in the parkjoe hill louis19Boppin' The Blues : Stars On SunVarious ArtistsCHARLY
i be boundmuddy waters3reborn and remasteredVarious Artistsrough guide
Night TrainJimmy Forrest8The Sound Of The City - ChicagoVarious ArtistsEmi Records Ltd
Created: 11/02/2013 00:03:44

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