After a month celebrating nothing but vinyl issued blues, we're up to date with the blog comments at last and we make a return to celebrate the very best of 2014 projects so far, namely Eddie Cotton, Billy Branch and Johnny Drummer. Billy is the cover feature on the first Living Blues magazine of the year and is right back at the top of his game. (BTW thanks to Camilla fore sorting out the problem with my subscription, one of the unsung folks who help get the word out there).
Birthday boy Adam Gussow is a bone fide professor of harp proficiency and the instrumental "Buford Chapel Breakdown" from his new album "Kick and Stomp" provided us the perfect starter. He plays all the instruments and cracks on a quite a pace. The other harp maestro with a birthday was Walter Horton who'd have been 97 today. Those earliest sides for Sun down in Memphis were fertile fields rich with goodness.
Memphis Gold and Shelton Powe are modern blues players in the old school tradition, we played evidence of their gifts showing the music is thriving. Eddie Cotton is a young guy with a mature style and warm voice, he's signed to Grady Champion's label and will be set fair provided his head isn't turned by fools gold and false promises as others have been. Johnny Drummer's been round the block a few more times than Eddie and that ensures he can write a bakers dozen of new songs and bless them with straight down the line good grace. Billy does a lot of good work for schools and his own work is another reason for the resurgence of Chicago style blues.
Last week's dabble with 45s teed up a return to Canned Heat's hit by way of the panpipes used by Henry Thomas at his original setting. Similarly pre-war, Jim Thompkins was on hand and no amount of digital twiddling could have improved on what he achieved in 1930. We lost harp player Bud Spires at the end of March and like his father Arthur "Big Boy" Spires" he was a stalwart of the Bentonia scene. The "Deep Blues" documentary by Palmer and Mugge captured a two hander he did with Jack Owens on Jack's front porch - we took the piece off the soundtrack. The other death reported on the show was that of guitarist extraordinaire Floyd Murphy (brother of Matt Murphy). Floyd did some top notch sessions for Eddie Snow and Bobby Bland, we played the best example of his craft: the solo on Junior Parker's "Feeling Good". His is the axe on Parker's "Mystery Train" too.
We remembered Whispering Smith and asked for information or memories of the dates he played at Cambridge's Alley club circa 1970. The gospel came from that Mark Lamarr compilation on Vee-tone with a reminder of the bare-out-of-his teens Sam Cooke for the guy I spoke too during the week who knew nothing of Sam's work before "Chain Gang". Professor Longhair's anthology on Jasmine got a good write up in Living Blues and he was joined by Freddie Slack to hold up his end of the piano.
Our STAR BLUES show concluded with a track featuring Lee Brilleaux on slide guitar off their "Malpractice" album. Its exactly 20 years since he died and his passing was over shadowed by that of Kurt Cobain. Arguably his loss was more keenly felt especially by those in Britain who came to this music after seeing him and Wilko tear up the live R&B club scene. We couldn't let those twenty years slip by without remark. Next Sunday at 10pm(BST) we'll be back in the night for some more of the good stuff round your place, until then take care of yourself and take care of those that take care of you.
|buford chapel breakdown||adam gussow||8||kick and stomp||adam gussow||RIGHT RECORDINGS|
|Big Boss Man||Frank Frost||8||Jelly Roll King||Frank Frost||CHARLY|
|Cut You Loose||Eddie Cusic||4||Leland Mississippi Blues||Eddie Cusic||WOLF|
|Bull Doze Blues||Henry Thomas||7||Heavy Hitters Vol. 1||Various Artists||PIGMEAT RECORDS|
|DON'T LET HER RIDE||MEMPHIS GOLD||2||PRODIGAL SON||MEMPHIS GOLD||STACKHOUSE|
|Better Than Good||Johnny Drummer||11||Bad Attitude||Johnny Drummer||EARWIG|
|Rock Me Baby||Otis Redding||15||100 Hits Legends - Otis Reading||Otis Redding||DEMON|
|YOU'LL NEED ANOTHE FAVOUR||W. C. Clark||9||Texas Soul||W. C. Clark||BLACK TOP|
|Baby Let Me Butter Your Corn||Billy Branch||10||Blues Shock||Billy Branch||Blind Pig|
|I'M TIRED OF YOUR JIVE||Sam Myers||1||Coming From The Old School||Sam Myers||Electro-Fi|
|Devil Blues||Jack Owens & Bud Spires||15||Deep Blues||Various Artists||Atlantic|
|Gypsy Woman||Shelton Powe||11||Carolina Blues And Gospel||Shelton Powe||MUSIC MAKER|
|Pay to Play||Eddie Cotton||3||Here I Come||Eddie Cotton||CDBaby|
|Keep A Dollar In Your Pocket||Roy Milton & His Solid Senders||9||Jump Blues Jamaica Way: Jamaican Sound System Classics Vol. 3||Various Artists||Fantastic Voyage|
|Between The Night And Day (In The Wee Wee Hours)||Professor Longhair||9||Mardi Gras In New Orleans: Complete Recordings 1949-1962||Professor Longhair||Jasmine Records (UK)|
|RIB JOINT||Freddie Slack||2-1||Down The Road A-Piece||Freddie Slack||Fantastic Voyage|
|HARD HEARTED WOMAN||WALTER HORTON||3||MOUTH HARP MAESTRO||WALTER HORTON||ACE|
|Dust My Broom||Bobby John||16||Ike Turner Studio Productions||Various Artists||ACE|
|Feelin' Good||Little Junior's Blue Flames||20||Rockin' Memphis||Various Artists||Proper Box|
|Touch the Hem of His Garment||Sam Cooke With The Soul Stirrers||6||Specialty Story||Various Artists||Specialty|
|JOHN THE REVELATOR||ELDER RAY BURGESSS||5||SCREAMIN GOSPEL||VARIOUS ARTISTS||VEE-TONE|
|Dynaflow Blues||Johnny Shines||3||Ramblin' Blues||Johnny Shines||ORBIS BLUES COLLECTION|
|BEDSIDE BLUES||JIM THOMPKINS||2-19||BROKE BLACK AND BLUE||VARIOUS ARTISTS||PROPER|
|Baby Left Me This Morning||Whispering Smith||14||Louisiana Swamp Blues||Various Artists||FLYRIGHT|
|Notoriety Woman||Eddie 'Guitar' Burns||32||Down Home Blues Classics||Various Artists||BOULEVARD VINTAGE|
|K. C. Loving||Little Willie Littlefield||2||The R'n'b Years 1953: 100 Hot Rhythm And Blues Tunes From 1953||Various Artists||BOULEVARD VINTAGE|
|SPINNING ROCK BOOGIE||MICKEY BAKER||1||In The '50S: Hit, Git & Spit||Mickey Baker||Rev-Ola Bandstand|
|EASY WOMAN||LACY GIBSON||2||SWITCHY TWITCHY||LACY GIBSON||N/A|
|bACK IN THE NIGHT||DR FEELGOOD||12||tHE wILKO yEARS||DR FEELGOOD||EMI|