Sunday, 26 May 2013

STAR BLUES on 26th May 2013 at 22:00

If your name was Steve you found a home in the first hour of last night's STAR BLUES, but if you were a female Smith of the Mamie persuasion you were an effective winner of Hide & Seek in the second one. Messrs Freund and Hooker both have nice new projects, one with John Primer showing off Chicago blues at its best with a great version of a Detroit Junior song; the other with Dee Shine-Eye who overcame the nerves at an early studio date with a confident vocal that recalled Ronnie Spector. Our third Stephen has a long track record and impeccable credentials, his recent project gathered a few famous names around him to celebrate the music of the 5 Royales (John Popper was featured singer with Cropper on our choice).

Steve Freund is also on those previously unissued Al Miller sessions now out on the Delmark label which sees Bob Koesters imprint off to a fine start to their second sixty years. Of the top ten essential Blues Albums you must have in your collection, at least three of them came out on Delmark. You wont go far wrong if you make space for one or two more...   Fiona Boyes comes from Australia but we wont hold that against her and we showed why with her cover of a JB Lenoir track he'd done in 1965. Marshall Lawrence loves blues and he has a marvellous knack for combining his own songs with less-than-well-worn covers. He is an artist whose albums are looked forward to hereabouts.  Alligator has a couple of discs this year with Tom Hambridge in writing and drumming roles: Joe Louis Walker's "Hell-Fire" has some pretty aggressive playing and James Cotton's imperious harp is as good as its ever been on the new "Cotton Mouth Man".

Pinetop Perkins and Willie Big-Eye Smith both wore hats in the photographs in the booklet to their multi-award winning "Joined At The Hip" album. Sharp-dressed men indeed and confirmation on my old mum's advice that you need a hat to get ahead. Everytime I've tried it I just look like a failed reject understudy to one or other Blues Brother - an image  I absolutely detest as it says nothing about the music I love.

We used the vinyl hour to mark fifty years since the death of Elmore James: can there ever have been a more influential first recording session than "Dust My Broom"? Imitated to the point of irritation by lesser mortals over the years, Elmore's slide playing changed music thereafter. The three songs we put in last night barely did him justice - if you want more I'd urge you to seek out Steve Franz' "Secret History of Elmore James" biography it's a well written thoughtful piece of research which really gets to the nub of Elmore's genius. Big Boy Henry was an imposing figure but a gentle soul by all accounts - we marked his birthday with a song he cut for the Music Maker organisation.

The other birthday we wanted to talk about was that of Mamie Smith. In 1920 she cut the first known blues song by an African American Woman when she recorded Perry Bradford's "Crazy Blues". She was then known as "Queen of the Blues" but she didn't get the success as a singer she clearly deserved; she went on to make a handful of movies instead. There was a session from 1929 which included "Sporting Man Blues" - I duly took the box set from the shelf and put it in my box of goodies I bring on a Sunday to STAR towers. However in a filing malfunction equal in size to Janet Jackson's front part, the wrong disc was in the jewel case and the disc I did have still didn't contain the silver platter I needed. Am I allowed to say boob? I've found it now as three cds had all swapped places.

There's been a lot of excited discussion in some of the dingy recesses of the internet lately on how much you should try to cleanup pre-war material, whatever your view we put in Charlie Patton's "Banty Rooster" because we can.It is part of a collection called "Essential Charlie Patton", is there any other kind of C P? Lowell Fulson and Jimmy Rogers were on Chess and at the outset of our vinyl hour, we also included Guitar Frank from a 1980 session put out by the German L&R label - it was done at his mothers house as there wasn't enough room round his place for the recording equipment. Jimmy Ricks had a voice anyone would love, he was with the Ravens and along with those 5 Royales brought lovely vocal skills to the party.

Our gospel tent was where we tarried last night with the a capella delights of the truly amazing Como Mamas. Their "Ninety Nine and A Half Won't Do" was a rousing interpretation which will linger a long time in everyonme who heard it. I'm pretty sure STAR BLUES airplay is their first on any blues show in this country. Don't forget we are different for a reason: Britain's Other Blues Show.

If I promise not to lose any more blues artists on the anniversary of their birth, can we get together again at 10pm (BST) next Sunday on Star107.9/1FM and from You were magnificent last night I was Gary Blue, until next week take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you


Track.Title Track.ArtistSort Index Album.Title Album.ArtistSort Label
Sell My Monkey B. B. King 5 Introducing B. B. King B. B. King MCA
Tighten' Up On It Al Miller, John Primer, Billy Flynn, Dave Specter 9 In Between Time Al Miller, John Primer, Billy Flynn, Dave Specter DELMARK
Call My Job Steve Freund 4 Come On in This House Steve Freund 9below
grandma's advice Fiona Boyes 14 Blues For Hard Times Fiona Boyes Vizztone
i got to ramble marshall lawrence 2 house call marshall lawrence  
Bird Nest On The Ground James Cotton 10 Cotton Mouth Man James Cotton Alligator
i'm on to you Joe Louis Walker 4 Hellfire Joe Louis Walker Alligator
Mocking Bird Steve Hooker w. Dee Shine Eye 3 Smokin' Guitar Steve Hooker PUmphouse Records
Cut That Out Pinetop Perkins & Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith 2 Joined At The Hip Pinetop Perkins & Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith TELARC
ninety-nine and a half wont do como mamas 8 get an understanding como mamas dap tone
My Sugar Sugar Steve Cropper 5 Dedicated: A Salute To The 5 Royales Steve Cropper 429 Records
Goin' Away Baby Jimmy Rogers 3 Complete Chess Recordings Jimmy Rogers MCA/CHESS
K. C. Bound Lowell Fulson 29 Complete Chess Recordings Lowell Fulson MCA/CHESS
The Invitation Johnny Copeland 2 It's Me Johnny Copeland Kent
1839 blues Elmore James And His Broomdusters 2-27 The Classic Early Recordings 1951-1956 Elmore James And His Broomdusters ACE
dust my broom Elmore James And His Broomdusters 1-1 Complete Chess Chief Fire Recs. Elmore James And His Broomdusters charly
hawaiian boogie Elmore James And His Broomdusters 1-3 The Classic Early Recordings 1951-1956 Elmore James And His Broomdusters ACE
The Hunch Paul Gayten 13 The Golden Age Of American Rock 'N' Roll - Volume 10 Various Artists ACE
Send For Me If You Need Me Ravens, The 9 The R'n'b Years 1948: 100 Hot Rhythm And Blues Tunes From 1948 Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
Baby Don't Do It '5' Royales, The 1 Real Thing '5' Royales, The MR. R & B
My Sportin' Man Mamie Smith 27 Roots 'N Blues : Retrospective 1925-1950 Various Artists SONY
Going Back To Arkansas Big Bill Broonzy 14 Good Time Tonight Big Bill Broonzy COLUMBIA
Banty Rooster Blues Charlie Patton 5 The Definitive Charlie Patton CATFISH
Chimney Hill Breakdown Guitar Frank 5 Living Country Blues Usa Vol. 8 - Lonesome Home Blues Guitar Frank / Guitar Slim [aka James Stephens] L & R
nina mae big boy henry 3 music makers various artists music maker
Take Out Insurance Etta James 1 Losers Weepers With Bonus Trucks Etta James Kent
Created: 26/05/2013 23:52:18


  1. Jimmy Cotton - CDOM in B&R!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. The remarkable thing about James Cotton is the consistency he's achieved across the years, a couple of tracks on his latest project would play just as sweetly on Neil Jones' STAR ROCK show but the lead player still shines.