Sunday, 28 December 2008

STAR BLUES on 28th December 2008 at 22:00

Tonight's show was a look back over notable blues album releases from 2008 - by common consent it's been a year with a more than usual crop of top class product it was difficult paring the list down to the twenty or so I could fit into the two hours. Where possible I chose a track from an artist not recently played which explains why tonight I skipped past the HomeMade Jamz band, TomCat Courtney, Elvin Bishop and Lil'Ed (amongst others).

Ace Records has solved it's distribution issue following the demise of Pinnacle, which is good news for all blues fans - the label is really keeping the music going with superb reissues and anthologies like the "Rock On" and the "Theme Time Radio Hour" sets that got played tonight on Star Blues. The latter double-cd provided the gospel offering from Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

I did mention the forthcoming film "Cadillac Records" and cautioned that it will be entertainment rather than strict factual document (I also wrongly said Beyonce plays Koko Taylor in the movie, she actually plays Etta James).

It's becoming usual (unfortunately) to include an obituary spot and this time I had to mention Robert Ward and Delaney Bramlett - at least we still have some fine music to remember them with.

The show was for all the taxi and coach drivers on duty through the festive season, often overlooked but a necessary part of so many of us not having to worry about getting home. All that was left was to wish everyone a healthy, happy and prosperous 2009.

Don't forget you can listen on the web at and my full playlists are searchable on my website Until next week at ten take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Gary Blue

Monday, 22 December 2008

STAR BLUES on 21st December 2008 at 22:00

22nd December 2008.

Last night’s STAR BLUES featured some seasonal offerings from B. B. King, the Moonglows, Smokey Wilson and the eleven-year old Sugar Chile Robinson. There was also a track from Texas Pete Mayes who’d died on Tuesday aged 70.

I took the opportunity to mention the young men and women from our area doing a difficult job in difficult places away at Christmas when playing ‘Rock A While’ by Cecil Gant in the Piano Blues spot: Gant was known as the Singing GI. For the Gospel spot Eric Bibb demonstrated why the Times says he has the “voice of an angel”.

One of the real gems released this year is the new album by Tomcat Courtney and I played a track last night, there’ll be a full review of the blues releases of 2008 on next week’s live show.

The full playlist will be on my website, so with every good wish for a peaceful and Happy Christmas - until next Sunday take care of yourselves and take care of those that take of you

Gary Blue

STAR BLUES on 14th December 2008 at 22:00

15th December 2008.

Last night's STAR BLUES featured a track from the new anthology looking back over Ry Cooder's career. The 2-cd set has something from each phase of his career except the stuff with Taj Mahal in the Rising Sons and the stuff with Buena Vista Social Club.

To coincide with the forthcoming "This Is Mr. Johnson" album of the original versions on Eric Clapton's "Me and Mr. Johnson", I included Robert Johnson's "Stop Breaking Down". There's more about the original recordings and the new release in the new issue of Juke Blues magazine.

In a trawl through the Blues News, I noted Blues Matters! magazine has mentioned the statement from Jeff Healey's widow on the recent "Legacy" album not being authorised and I closed the show with the title track from Jeff's final album on Ruf Records: "Mess Of Blues".

Along with a handful of Seasonal goodies from Clarence Carter, Big Joe Turner and the Voices, we had a another look at the current Grammy nominees: Marcia Ball and Pinetop Perkins. My Piano Blues feature was a classic from Pete Johnson ("Atomic Boogie") and the gospel offering came courtesy of The Blues Band with a magnificent vocal from Paul Jones on "People Get Ready".

The full playlist will be on my website so until Sunday at ten , take of yourselves and take of those that take of you.

Gary Blue