Toronzo wears a sharp suit and plays a gorgeous powder-blue flying V guitar left-handed; his songs are nicely turned observations showing the currency of bang upto date Chicago blues. His new album on Delmark "John The Conquer Root" is a goodun. If you had any notions of what an artist called "Birdlegg" could be, be glad you checked those ideas at the door - he is a man schooled in the ways of Sonny Boy Williamson and Sonny Terry, dressed in white shirt tie and flat cap he is a cracking live performer and he is now part of the Dialtone outfit profiled in the new B&R magazine. His self-titled project was featured on last night's STAR BLUES - though he has Omar Dykes on guitar there's no room for any single instrument to outshine any other, this is ensemble playing nicely arranged. Label owner Eddie Stout runs a tight ship and his unerring passion for the music has done it again.
Bobby Parker died on Thursday and just about every obituary makes much of his 1961 hit for V-tone called "Watch Your Step" and how both the Beatles and Led Zeppelins riffs wore the influence. Our four selections from the same era proved he was already working at that level of consistency with achingly soulful vocal cut through with caustic guitar. His "Blues Get Off my Shoulder" still tingles my spine. We didn't get chance to dip into his latter period recordings for Black Top and he was gigging right through the summer. it's been especially tough this year after Bobby Bland, Magic Slim and Jimmy Dawkins each man leaves a huge hole.
Maxwell Davis did stuff under his own name and as sax-man, band-leader and arranger he graced dozens of top-notch 50's recordings by the likes of B. B. King. we chose Young Jessie's best known hit from the anthology newly out on Fantastic Voyage. Same outfit has another rummage around the soulful side of Detroit and I never need much excuse to play Singin' Sammy Ward (this time his "Part Time Love"). The selection is complied by soul-expert (and writer and dj) Clive Richardson which is a measure of quality in my book. Another distinctive voice who never delivers less than the best was that of Earl Gaines, we went back to Nashville in 1959 for his session. Little Milton was on Checker for a moving vocal performance, B B King's "Letter" was a single originally, ripe for repicking by the Bihari Brothers for their budget Crown label series of albums. Sonny Boy Williamson popped over, Lou Rawls earliest gospel roots were on show and Little Brother Montgomery owned the piano keys at Vicksburg.
The rule of the show during the Vinyl Hour is for songs which were first cut for 45 or 78 revs; our Etta James track was done for an album and the second Birdlegg track was there too. Talk of rules at the top end of the shop came about Sonny Rhodes (who had a birthday on 3rd November). Until 9/11 he wore a turban and these days its a stetson. When I heard his 3 song session for Paul Jones in Feb, 1992 I thought it was the law to play guitars standing up. The piercing lap steel on Lee Dorsey's "Ya-Ya" blew that theory even though I had no idea what a lap-steel was. From there I found Hop Wilson and the Rev, Lonnie Farrish - the rest is h....
Our STAR BLUES next week (10th Nov) marks the 50th year of President JFK's shooting; Pete Welding's album on Testament forms the basis of the show as it chronicles the African-America experience of the event and it's aftermath. I hope you'll let me round your place for what promises to be a fascinating look back at one of the Century's defining moments and the reaction in the African American community. Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you.
|before you accuse me||Magic Slim & The Teardrops||1||essential||Magic Slim & The Teardrops||BLIND PIG RECORDS|
|THE THINGS I WANT YOU TO DO||A. C. Reed||11||I'm In The Wrong Business||A. C. Reed||Alligator|
|Ya Ya||Sonny Rhodes||7||Disciple Of The Blues||Sonny Rhodes||Wild Dog|
|shame||toronzo cannon||6||JOHN the conquer root||toronzo cannon||delmark|
|98c in the Bank||Johnnie Marshall||1||98 Cents In The Bank||Johnnie Marshall||JSP Records|
|You Up Set My Mindt||Birdlegg||7||Birdlegg||Birdlegg||DIALTONE|
|Blues Get Off My Shoulder||Bobby Parker||1||45s||Bobby Parker||various|
|Don't Drive Me AWAY||Bobby parker||9||45s||bobby parker||various|
|Three Times Seven||Earl Gaines||6||24 Hours A Day||Earl Gaines||BLACK MAGIC|
|why don't you let me know||jackson sloan||10||shack sessions||jackson sloan||SHELLAC|
|won't be back||lourawls and chosen gospel singers||2-24||gospel celebrities||various artists||fantastic voyage|
|Your Letter||B. B. King||4||B. B. King The Crown Recordings: Disc 5 : Blues In My Heart||B. B. King||ACE|
|Blind Man||Little Milton||3||Stand By Me||Little Milton||ORBIS BLUES COLLECTION|
|There's Something About My Baby||Bobby Marchan||3||Get Down With It The Soul Sides 1963-67||Bobby Marchan||Kent|
|Blinded By Love||Etta James||9||Etta Is Betta Than Evvah!||Etta James||Kent|
|part time love||singin' sammy ward||1-25||soul: detroit||various artists||fantastic voyage|
|mary lou||young jessie feat. maxwell davis||3-28||wailin' daddy||maxwell davis||fantastic voyage|
|Number Writer||Dan Pickett||22||Shake That Thing!: East Coast Blues 1935-1953,||Various Artists||JSP Records|
|Sloppy Drunk Blues||Bumble Bee Slim (Aka Amos Easton)||19||The Essential||Bumble Bee Slim (Aka Amos Easton)||CLASSIC BLUES|
|vicksburg blues||little brother montgomery||2-11||history of rhythm and blues vol. 1||various artists||rhythm and blues|
|Steal Your Heart Away||Bobby Parker||9||Uk Sue Label Story, Vol. 4||Various Artists||Kent (U.K.)|
|Watch Your Step||Bobby Parker||25||R&b Spotlight '61||Various Artists||Fantastic Voyage|
|Don't Set Down At The Table||Birdlegg||9||Birdlegg||Birdlegg||DIALTONE|
|Your Funeral and My Trial||Sonny Boy Williamson||11||Crime And Punishment||Various Artists||Fantastic Voyage|
|youy don't love me||willie cobbs||1||45s|