Monday, 26 October 2009

STAR BLUES on 25th October 2009 at 22:00

News of new projects a-plenty on last night's STAR BLUES. Both Duke Robillard and Memphis Gold chosen to open proceedings will have new projects before we get too much older: Duke's will be a lovely project to showcase the late Les Paul's mastery over guitar and overdub technology and I urge you to investigate the web to find out more. The other characteristic of the first hour was for soulful singing backed with passionate guitar, Bobby Bland and Robert Cray being two cases in point. The premier exponent of electric blues guitar - T-Bone Walker - was on hand with a 1949 recording from his Capitol days and Roscoe Robinson showed off his fine vocals from twenty years after (done for Atlantic Records) and why he has a feature in the new issue of Living Blues magazine (others are available).
While on air, I learned of "Six Generations of Blues" put together by the Earwig label featuring the veteran HoneyBoy Edwards and Big Jack Johnson. It'll be screened Stateside in November and as soon as I find out the date for our side of the pond, I'll let you know. Steve Winwood used a pseudonym for a duet with John Mayall, we tracked down the 1960's rarity on Deram for the show.
Our oldest recording was done in 1930 and reproduced with pretty decent fidelity, showing why JT "Funny Papa" Smith was known as the Original Howlin' Wolf. The Pilgrim Travellers turned up with some gospel and Henry Gray and Otis Spann served us well on the piano blues front. The latter had superb harp from James Cotton, who was on duty 35 years after helping our his friend Joe Louis Walker. Elvin Bishop and George Thorogood completed the stylistic mix with a raucous run through of "Going Back To Georgia". I doubt any other radio station in the world had as much variety in two hours as we had last night. You provided me with great company, I hope you can make it again next Sunday at 10pm on FM from the Home of the 9-5 no-repeat workday and on the net streaming from Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you.

Gary Blue

Monday, 19 October 2009

STAR BLUES on 18th October 2009 at 22:00

A few changes to the playlist were in order last night on STAR BLUES, with a number of classic Chicago style blues now in the first hour of the show. Hence we had the second Sonny Boy Williamson and Buddy Guy, both at their imperious best. Though actually a Motown recording (yes you read that right - Motown), Luther Allison had already set the tone and standard right from the off with his version of "Little Red Rooster", followed not long after with Wynonie Harris' "Good Rockin Tonight" (not the original but the best in my book). That one had one listener boogie-ing while making up the kids lunch boxes for school and then cutting a rug with piano frolics courtesy of Jerry Lee Lewis and Lloyd Price.

The back-to-back featured a rare performance on "County Jail" by Eric Clapton (an out-take from one of his Albert Hall concerts) and its original from 1941 by Big Maceo on piano and the elegant Tampa Red on guitar. Birthday girl Olga got an outing as did veteran rock'n'roller Chuck Berry and Johnnie Temple - all born on 18th October. The gospel tent held the Golden Gate Quartet with a sublime version of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and - even though the sport is different - I dedicated it to Jensen Button a World Champion (at last). Brenda Boykin will be in Castor this coming Saturday and Bill Wyman and his Rhythm Kings will be at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on Halloween - congrats to Stephen who won the pair of tix in our competition.

Next week I'll have some more rarities and the usual classics and new releases - I hope to have your company next Sunday at 10pm on FM from the Commercial Radio Station of the Year 2009 and on-line at Until then, take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Gary Blue

Monday, 12 October 2009

STAR BLUES on 11th October 2009 at 22:00

The second of two special STAR BLUES shows last night took another glimpse at blues classics for new listeners. There was an emphasis in the first hour on the Chess-label stars and some superb performances from Koko Taylor and Muddy Waters in particular.

By coincidence I'd just watched the DVD of "Cadillac Records", the story of Chess Records - though I remain somewhat annoyed at the missed opportunity to document a fascinating tale of such influential music and musicians. Hollywood rarely takes subjects such as this, so why - when the Chess label was run by two brothers - did the film not even mention Phil Chess? The sequence of events was wrong and there were several errors that even Wikipedia spotted. In mitigation the film does have a caption at the start that says "Based on true events" but there are captions at the end to bring the stories up to date (and those ignored Phil Chess as well). I'm only on my soapbox because films are proven to be how history is "remembered" by younger generations. The actor that played Howlin' Wolf was however quite magnificent, capturing the essence of a giant of a man - a true bluesman.

There'll be a competition this upcoming Sunday on STAR BLUES to win tix to see Bill Wyman, that plus a whole basketload of new goodies. I'll be pleased to have your company, until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Gary Blue

Monday, 5 October 2009

STAR BLUES on 4th October 2009 at 22:00

With more new listeners finding the station and the STAR BLUES show, we took the opportunity last night to revisit some familiar blues tracks. It was a double pleasure to let some hear this great music for the first time and reacquaint others with why it made such a powerful connection originally. It's sometimes easy to take blues classics for granted and last night we all got chance to hear them afresh.

The second part of the survey will be on at ten next Sunday evening on FM for Cambridge and Ely, streaming live online from for the world courtesy of the Commercial Radio Station of the Year 2009. Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Gary Blue