Lurrie Bell got Blues Artist (Male) and Guitarist awards, reflecting his hard-won stature at the front of Chicago Blues. This new album on Delmark is - mark my words - a candidate for the prize in 2013. Lil Ed won in both Critic and Reader poll for his live performances and everything he does has high energy content. Billy Boy Arnold has scooped the Harmonica prize when the inside strait said it would go to James Cotton, no arguments from me because he is front and centre on a lovely project celebrating the work of Walter Davis on Electro-Fi. Barbara Carr has long been a favourite of ours and she records for Catfood Records these days which means she hooks up with classy producer/writer/guitarist Johnny Rawls. Ruth Foster has a lovely full voice and took the Female award; we showed her work on the Memphis Minnie album which Maria Muldaur put together last year.
Jerron Paxton records as Blind Boy Paxton and we were early in the queue to showcase him last year after his feature in Living Blues magazine. He's barely into his twenties and now has an internationally recognised award to his name. If you get told blues has no future and it is only relevant to a load of old dead men, go find Paxton's work. Ironing Board Sam has been around a fair while with a somewhat eccentric reputation as a show-off keyboard player (his earliest dates were in Gary, Indiana at the same venues where the embryo Jackson Five learned their craft). Sam has a warm voice and is overdue for this type of attention. Thanks to those splendid folks at Music Maker his genius hasn't been lost. He got the Keyboard gong.
The biggest winner on the night was Buddy Guy; he got Artist, Guitarist, Album and Book awards from the readers. We went to his brand new double-disc project called "Rhythm and Blues" on Silvertone. He has help from folk’s way outside the purview of STAR BLUES and still has the capacity to irritate the heck out of me by playing too fast and too loud. Thankfully this album has those tendencies in check, especially when in duet with Beth Hart who adds some gravitas through her singing. Buddy is 76 and very much his own man, there's no-one else like him - if you're a recent fan you can ease yourself nicely between the folds of this one without any problems.
We closed our survey with a dip into the Delmark back catalogue of Eddie Shaw who is rewarded for his sax work. That lead nicely into our Vinyl Hour and we actually cheated with Otis Rush: because his "Right Place Wrong Time" album was made in L.A. in 1971 for Atlantic but it never saw any sort of release until the 1976 issue on Bullfrog. Granted the arrangements were of the time but I can't think of much done by Otis Rush that isn't worthwhile. The sleeve to "The Jungle" album on Crown put out for B B King used a reclining Arthur Adams in a hammock as the photo but the voice was unmistakeably BB King (even if Lucille was quieter than usual). Pat Hare only did a single under his own name for Sun Records in 1954; we've heard the top side before on STAR BLUES but the flip "Bonus Pay" got its first play for us last night. Around ten years ago the Acrobat label were doing a bang up job for collectors and enthusiasts but gradually they fell off my radar. To mark the fact they have a new clutch of discs in the wings we dipped back into the sets on Buddy Johnson and Cleanhead Vinson. I'll also promise to keep you posted on the goodies nearly due. Johnny Taylor was a mellifluous replacement for Sam Cooke in the Soul Stirrers with a tad more grit in the throat: he did gospel duties alongside the Fairfield Four whose peerless vocals sent a shiver up the spine.
Otis Spann did up proud on piano and was featured a few months ago in "Rays Rudiments" a splendid monthly article in Blues & Rhythm magazine. Ray has done 31 so far and this set of reviews has become an invaluable resource for blues fans wanting to look beyond the more obvious names. He's done Albert King already and this month his subject is the strangely less appreciated Snooky Pryor. In a trice we were done, with so much more left to say, so much more left to play. There are lots of good things happening release-wise (both new and reissue) for blues fans at the moment and STAR BLUES will do the darnedest to bring you as many as possible within our format.
Who's up for some more at 10pm (BST) next Sunday right here on Star107 - I hope the answer from your place is a heck-yes and until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you
|Cherry Red Wine||Luther Allison & Friends||7||Pay It Forward||Luther Allison||Ruf|
|Blues In My Soul||Lurrie Bell||2||Blues In My Soul||Lurrie Bell||DELMARK|
|Feel so good||Lurrie Bell||3||Blues In My Soul||Lurrie Bell||DELMARK|
|Jump Right in||Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials||7||Jump Start||Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials||Alligator|
|Back Together Again||Barbara Carr||7||Keep The Fire Buming||Barbara Carr||Catfood|
|talk it over||Billy Boy Arnold||5||The Walter Davis Project||Various Artists||Electro-Fi|
|dirtiest little girl||Blind Boy Paxton||1||Dirtiest Little Darling / Railroad Bill||Blind Boy Paxton||EVANGELIst|
|Keep Your Big Mouth Closed||Ruthie Foster||13||... First There Was Memphis Minnie||Various Artists||STONY PLAIN|
|Cherry Pie||Ironing Board Sam||1||Ninth Wonder Of The World Of Music||Ironing Board Sam||MUSIC MAKER|
|what you gonna do about me||buddy guy w. beth hart||8||blues and rhythm||buddy guy||silvertone|
|greedy man||eddie shaw||1||can't stop now||eddie shaw||DELMARK|
|I CAN'T STOP NOW||eddie shaw||2||can't stop now||eddie shaw||DELMARK|
|THREE TIMES A FOOL||Otis Rush||4||Right Place Wrong Time||Otis Rush||EDSEL|
|Bonus Pay||Pat Hare||2||Sun Blues Box : 1950-1958||Various Artists||CHARLY|
|Blues Stay Away From Me||B. B. King||8||The Jungle||B. B. King||ACE|
|I Ain't Mad With You||Buddy Johnson||5||Jukebox Hits 1940-1951||Buddy Johnson||ACROBAT|
|Cherry Red||Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson||5||Cleanhead Blues 1945-1947||Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson||ACROBAT|
|don't let nobody turn you||fairfield four||11||sampler||various artists||no=label|
|I Dreamed That Heaven Was Like This||Johnnie Taylor||1||Lifetime||Johnnie Taylor||STAX|
|Five Card Hand||Mercy DeeSydney Maiden||4||The Bluesville Years. Vol 4: In The Key Of Blues||Various Artists||PRESTIGE|
|BLUES NEVEER DIE||OTIS SPANN||2||the Bluesville years vol. 2||various artists||original blues classics|
|one more mile||james cotton||3-14||sweet home chicago||various artists||indigo|
|Cryin' Shame||Snooky Pryor||5||Chicago Blues Harmonicas||Various Artists||FLYRIGHT|
|Laundromat blues||Albert King||1||King Of The Blues Guitar||Albert King||Atlantic|