Sunday, 3 November 2013

STAR BLUES on 3rd November 2013 at 22:00

RIP Bobby Parker who we remember with some of his classy early singles and celebrating Birdlegg who is on the cover of both Living Blues and Blues&Rhythm magazines this month. A track from new projects by Toronzo Cannon and Jackson Sloan. The latter has already been described here as quite possibly the coolest man working the live British Blues circuit - he writes and sings in that good old fashioned way, no hanging around, take no prisoners with a voice which reminds me of the great Walter Brown.

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 meMagic Slim & The Teardrops1essentialMagic Slim & The TeardropsBLIND PIG RECORDS
THE THINGS I WANT YOU TO DOA. C. Reed11I'm In The Wrong BusinessA. C. ReedAlligator
Ya YaSonny Rhodes7Disciple Of The BluesSonny RhodesWild Dog
shametoronzo cannon6JOHN the conquer roottoronzo cannondelmark
98c in the BankJohnnie Marshall198 Cents In The BankJohnnie MarshallJSP Records
You Up Set My MindtBirdlegg7BirdleggBirdleggDIALTONE
Blues Get Off My ShoulderBobby Parker145sBobby Parkervarious
Don't Drive Me AWAYBobby parker945sbobby parkervarious
Three Times SevenEarl Gaines624 Hours A DayEarl GainesBLACK MAGIC
why don't you let me knowjackson sloan10shack sessionsjackson sloanSHELLAC
won't be backlourawls and chosen gospel singers2-24gospel celebritiesvarious artistsfantastic voyage
Your LetterB. B. King4B. B. King The Crown Recordings: Disc 5 : Blues In My HeartB. B. KingACE
Blind ManLittle Milton3Stand By MeLittle MiltonORBIS BLUES COLLECTION
There's Something About My BabyBobby Marchan3Get Down With It The Soul Sides 1963-67Bobby MarchanKent
Blinded By LoveEtta James9Etta Is Betta Than Evvah!Etta JamesKent
part time lovesingin' sammy ward1-25soul: detroitvarious artistsfantastic voyage
mary louyoung jessie feat. maxwell davis3-28wailin' daddymaxwell davisfantastic voyage
Number WriterDan Pickett22Shake That Thing!: East Coast Blues 1935-1953,Various ArtistsJSP Records
Sloppy Drunk BluesBumble Bee Slim (Aka Amos Easton)19The EssentialBumble Bee Slim (Aka Amos Easton)CLASSIC BLUES
vicksburg blueslittle brother montgomery2-11history of rhythm and blues vol. 1various artistsrhythm and blues
Steal Your Heart AwayBobby Parker9Uk Sue Label Story, Vol. 4Various ArtistsKent (U.K.)
Watch Your StepBobby Parker25R&b Spotlight '61Various ArtistsFantastic Voyage
Don't Set Down At The TableBirdlegg9BirdleggBirdleggDIALTONE
Your Funeral and My TrialSonny Boy Williamson11Crime And PunishmentVarious ArtistsFantastic Voyage
youy don't love mewillie cobbs145s

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