Tuesday, 26 April 2011

STAR BLUES on 24th April 2011 at 22:00

Double bubble of St. George's Day and Easter Sunday added up to a special STAR BLUES with a view of our music from these shores and the 60's British Blues Boom. There's a rich seam to mine with plenty of artists emulating and celebrating the blues they'd discovered on record. Typical was Georgie Fame who found a Dave Bartholomew song done by Fats Domino - from singles brought in through our ports on boats from the Caribbean.

Lonnie Donegan got his name in a slip by an on stage announcer when Tony Donegan's Jazz Combo were support to Lonnie Johnson. He helped fashion the skiffle craze from simple implements and Leadbelly's music. With Chris Barber and Alexis Korner the renewed interest here in blues allowed the "originals" a boost in fortunes through tours to Europe. We had tracks from the other usual suspects: John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin.

Bob Hall held down the piano stool for us and Louise Marshall was recorded at Wells Cathedral with Jools Holland for some gospel. She, along with Beth Rowley, brought female blues bang up to date. However we didn't forget the sublime vocal artistry of Christine McVie on her version of a hit for Etta James - nor did we overlook the very demure looking Jo Ann Kelly who sounded as if she came from the Delta.

I had chance to don a black tee shirt on Easter Monday for some non-blues based tomfoolery and I will be back for more in both colours next weekend. Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Gary Blue

Diddy Wah Diddy

Fabulous Thunderbirds, The



Key To The Highway

Jo-Ann Kelly


Hoochie Coochie Men : A History Of British Blues

Watch Out

Bernie Marsden


Green And Blues

Stormy Monday Blues

Little Joe Cook


Hoochie Coochie Men : A History Of British Blues

Death Ray Boogie

Bob Hall


Hoochie Coochie Men : A History Of British Blues

Flatfoot Sam

Blues Band, The


The Official Bootleg Album // Ready

Bernard Jenkins

John MayallEric Clapton


Clapton Is God: The Cream Of Early Eric Clapton

I'd Rather Go Blind

Chicken Shack


Story Of The Blues

Need Your Love So Bad

Fleetwood Mac


Best Of

Harmonica Blues

Chris Barber W. Lonnie Donegan Group


Hoochie Coochie Men : A History Of British Blues

My Time After A While

John Mayall



Nobody's Fault But Mine

Beth Rowley


Little Dreamer

Blue Monday

Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames


The Big Beat: The Dave Bartholomew Songbook

Lost John

Lonnie Donegan


Muleskinner Blues : Best Of

Seven Acts Of Mercy

Jools Holland


The Informer

Country Mile

Rory Gallagher


B. B. C. Sessions

Black Night

Savoy Brown


Shake Down / Getting To The Point

Throw Down A Line

Jeff Beck Group, The



Little Red Rooster

Rolling Stones, The


Rolled Gold Plus: Very Best Of The Rolling Stones

Jumpin' At Shadows

Duster Bennett


Bright Lights Big City

Good Times Bad Times

Led Zeppelin


Led Zeppelin

If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day

Tony McPhee


Hoochie Coochie Men : A History Of British Blues

Mellow Down Easy

Little Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs)


Weak Brain Narrow Mind

Monday, 18 April 2011

STAR BLUES on 17th April 2011 at 22:00

Chicago guitarist Lacy Gibson died last week and we had some of his nimble clean playing on last night's STAR BLUES from some 1970's recordings put out on Black Magic. Recent tornadoes are still raging across several States in American, a major musical casualty being the headquarters of Malaco Records in Jackson Mississippi. They got a marker from the town a year ago to mark their contribution and influence and the marker is now the only thing left. Their sound characterised blues for the African American audience in the 80's and 90's, so we remembered Z Z Hill, Little Milton and James Peterson while co-founder Wolf Stevenson decides what to do next.

Lauren Sheehan is gifted with a beautiful touch on banjo and mandolin, her rich voice is a perfect complement to her music that effortlessly spans blues, folk and Americana. The gap since her previous previous project is about six years and her new one has been worth the wait. Gina Sicilia is on her third album and we were pleased to go back to it again based on the feedback from last weeks show. New offerings on hand from Midnight Shift and the Chris Bergson Band as well as the results of last year's European tour undertaken by the Music Maker Review: Dr Burt is almost seven feet in stature and he mused "What Can An Old Man Do But Play The Blues". His distinctive style comes from the unusual tuning of a 12-string axe, something he only took up after an argument with his wife in 1957.

The Dixie Hummingbirds sang about Ezekial's Wheel and Henry Gray and Memphis Slim did piano duties. I indulged my favourite harp player (Walter Horton) through a support role to Joe Hill Louis at Sun records. Our "1001" feature told the tale of how Mike Vernon started the Blue Horizon label and the top and tail links both had a Jimmy Reed connection. To find what the chain starts next with you'll need to be with us at ten pm next Sunday, I'll be in a white tee shirt but you can wear anything. Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you




Big Boss Man

Jimmy Reed

[1-12]You Don't Have To Go - Jimmy Reed{- -}

Back In A Cadillac

Coco Montoya

[1-10]Can't Look Back - Coco Montoya{- -}

Can't Control Myself

Gina Sicilia

[1-6]Can't Control Myself - Gina Sicilia{- -}

W.P.A. Rag

Big Bill Broonzy

[1-13]Good Time Tonight - Big Bill Broonzy{- -}

I Need Your Loving

Don Gardner And Dee Dee Ford

[1-24]Birth Of Soul Vol. 3 - Various Artists{- -}

Little Bluebird

Little Milton

[1-8]Greatest Hits - Little Milton{- -}

Across The Board

Hubert Sumlin

[1-1]Blue Horizon Story Vol. 1 - Various Artists{- -}

What Can An Old Man Do

Dr. Burt

Music Maker Revue Live – Various Artists{- -}

Louie's Blues

Lauren Sheehan

[1-13]Rose City Ramble - Lauren Sheehan{- -}

I Ain't Beggin' Nobody

Larry Davis

[1-1]I Ain't Beggin' Nobody - Larry Davis{- -}

The Hustle Is On

James Blood Ulmer

[1-2]No Escape From The Blues - The Electric Lady Sessions - James Blood Ulmer{- -}

Tear It Up

Midnight Shift

[0-4]Rhythm Rockin' Boogie - Midnight Shift{- -}

Goin' Home

Chris Bergson Band

[1-1]Imitate The Sun - Chris Bergson Band{- -}

Take My Love

Lacy Gibson

[1-1]Switchy Titchy - Lacy Gibson{- -}

Don't Let The Devil Ride

James Peterson

[6-2]The Last Soul Company - Various Artists{- -}

Lucky Lucky Man

Henry Gray

Lucky Man – Henry Gray{- -}

Best Gal I Ever Had

Memphis Slim

[1-14]Chicago Piano 1951-1958 - Various Artists{- -}

Hydromatic Woman

Joe Hill Louis

[6-8]Sun Blues Box : 1950-1958 - Various Artists{- -}

Ezekiel Saw The Wheel

Dixie Hummingbirds, The

[3-11]Gospel - The Ultimate Collection - Various Artists{- -}

Louie's Guitar Boogie

Jay McShann

[2-4]The History Of Rhythm And Blues Volume Two 1942-1952 - Various Artists{- -}

Country Rules

Dave RileyBob Corritore

[1-7]Lucky To Be Living - Dave RileyBob Corritore{- -}

Someone Else Is Steppin' In

Z.Z. Hill

[3-15]The Last Soul Company - Various Artists{- -}

Hush Hush

Omar Kent Dykes & Jimmie Vaughan

[1-11]On The Jimmy Reed Highway - Omar Kent Dykes & Jimmie Vaughan{- -}

Monday, 11 April 2011

STAR BLUES on 10th April 2011 at 22:00

"Ex-chippy Chuck chiselled out of cheque by Chess" how about that for a redtop headline. It refers to the 1001 blues feature on "Maybellene" that was the debut record by Chuck Berry for Chess. The sessions were done in May 1955 and the writing credit was given - in part - to Alan Freed, someone Chuck Berry had never met.

We aren't immune from the Wedding Fever of the Royals and the big competition run by the station: Roy Brown turned up with something to say about nuptuals for Louis Jordan's Caldonia and Little Ester did a little boogie for the matimonial celebrations. Posh frock and new hat and shoes purely optional. On the subject of fashion matters, I learned of a positive outbreak of white tee-shirts in Cambridge over the weekend - who'd have though I'd be a dedicated style guru.

Muddy Waters would have been 98 and Al Green will be 65 this week, what better excuse to play tracks on STAR BLUES last night. Green covered Sister Rosetta Tharpe for a cut that was one of seven previously unissued before the Hi-retrospective from a few years ago. We also had another track from Tracy Nelson's fine new effort on Delta Groove - an old-fashioned sounding song by Earl Thomas that is brand new. She was joined on the distaff side by the upcoming Gina Sicilia whose third album has some mature sounding vocals in several blues styles. Her striking good looks also give the lie to the myth that blues is only done by portly, balding men of a certain age.

The Golden Gate Quartet and Naomi Shelton did gospel with Al Green while Little Willie Littlefield and Fats Domino were responsible for the piano spot. Neither Jimmy Johnson nor Fenton Robinson get enough airplay these days, I hope our selections yesterday did them justice. Saturday is world Record Store Day but I don't know of any participating stores in Cambridge. Those that do will have some rare stuff on offer and even if you don't buy, the real joy is in looking and listening to fabulous music that you wouldn't otherwise try. Speaking of which: Two non blues specials on the way on Easter Monday and the May Bank Holiday just bursting with fresh goodies. Till then there'll be the normal diet of blues, tomfoolery, mayhem and white upper body garments on Sundays at 10pm (BST) so take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you.




Will The Circle Be Unbroken

Mavis Staples

[1-12]Have A Little Faith - Mavis Staples{- -}

Blind Man

Gregg Allman

[1-5]Low Country Blues - Gregg Allman{- -}

Blind Man

Little Milton

[1-3]Stand By Me - Little Milton{- -}

Hellz Bellz

Matt Hill

[1-2]On The Floor - Matt Hill{- -}

Baby Please Don't Go

Fenton Robinson

[1-5]Special Road - Fenton Robinson{- -}

Mama's Got A Girlfriend Now

Ben Harper

[1-6]Welcome To The Cruel World - Ben Harper{- -}


Chuck Berry

[2-22]The History Of Rhythm & Blues, Volume 3 - The Rocknroll Years - Various Artists{- -}

Members Only

Gina Sicilia

[1-3]Can't Control Myself - Gina Sicilia{- -}

Mellow Down Easy

Little Hatch

[1-10]Rock With Me Baby - Little Hatch{- -}

Long Distance Call

Muddy Waters

[2-8]Rollin' Stone - Muddy Waters{- -}

Poor Boy, Long Ways From Home

Banjo Joe [aka Gus Cannon]

[1-2]Let Me Tell You About The Blues: Memphis - Various Artists{- -}

Take Five

Jimmy Johnson

[1-9]Chicago Blues Bash - Various Artists{- -}

Wedding Boogie

Little Esther

[2-17]Jump 'N' Jive - Various Artists{- -}

Caldonia's Wedding Day

Roy Brown

[1-9]Saturday Night! King And Imperial Recordings - Roy Brown{- -}

Lead a Horse to Water

Tracy Nelson

[1-2]Victim Of The Blues - Tracy Nelson{- -}

You Messed Up My Mind

Clay Hammond

[1-2]Slow 'N' Moody, Black & Bluesy - Various Artists{- -}

Up Above My Head

Al Green

[1-49]A Deeper Shade Of Green - Al Green{- -}

Lift My Burdens

Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens

[1-11]What Have You Done, My Brother? - Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens{- -}

Walk In Jerusalem Just Like John

Golden Gate Quartet, The

[1-14]The Golden Gate Quartet - Our Story - Golden Gate Quartet, The{- -}

Poor Me

Fats Domino

[1-25]Imperial Singles Vol. 2 1953-1958 - Fats Domino{- -}

Love You All Night Long

Little Willie Littlefield

[1-124]The Music City Story (3Cd) - Various Artists{- -}

Cry Baby

Percy Mayfield

[2-19]Specialty Story - Various Artists{- -}

Baby What You want Me To Do

Steve CropperAlbert KingPops Staples

[4]Jammed Together - Various Artists{- -}

Monday, 4 April 2011

STAR BLUES on 3rd April 2011 at 22:00

Our playlist on last night's STAR BLUES gave us a chance to congratulate two independent record labels on remarkable anniversaries - I only hope we did them justice, with all the tracks being alternately from Alligator (now 40 years in the business) and Arhoolie (with an additional ten years).

The link back to last week's "Fake ID" took us to one of the biggest selling blues albums of them all: "Showdown!" by Robert Cray, Johnny Copeland and Albert Collins. The Hop Wilson composition "Black Cat Bone was something Collins and Copeland laid down on the first night before Cray showed up". Our closing link featured Shemekia Copeland, Johnny's daughter and the end of the chain so far...

The "You Me & 1001 Blues" piece we did at half past ten told the tale of Bruce Iglauer's passion to record Hound Dog Taylor that lead to Alligator's birth. It was fitting we had another piece at half past eleven looking into Chris Strachwitz' quest to record Lightnin' Hopkins in a juke joint that took a diversion by way of some lovely playing from Mance Lipscomb. In addition to sharing a hard won independence, both labels have strong communal spirit with small staff rosters and big family spirit. Mavis Staples and Fred McDowell held down the gospel tent and Professor Longhair and Robert Shaw showed off fabulous keyboard skills for the piano feature. Longhair's album proved to be his last while R L Burnside was on hand with one of his earliest pieces gathered on an anthology of 1960's Mississippi Blues. Chris couldn't spell the French name of Clifton Chenier's song so they settled simply for "Louisiana Blues" and Alligator was happy to act as the American outlet for a French album recorded by the old sparring partners Buddy Guy and Junior Wells.

There were folks I'd ear marked to play (Koko Taylor, John Jackson etc) that will have to await a catchup selection - both labels had fascinating stories to tell. Our music is immeasurably richer for their contributions and I hope last night's STAR BLUES gave a small taster. I've another white tee-shirt for next Sunday's show, until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you.

Black Cat BoneAlbert Collins&Johnny Copeland[1-3]The 20th Anniversary Collection - Various Artists{- -}
Pontiac BluesSonny Boy Williamson (Aka Rice Miller)[1-1]American Masters Vol. 2 : Urban Blues - Various Artists{- -}
Been Gone Too LongBilly Boy Arnold[1-16]25th Anniversary Collection - Various Artists{- -}
Anna LeeEarl Hooker[1-4]American Masters Vol. 2 : Urban Blues - Various Artists{- -}
Going HomeSon Seals[1-11]Alligator Records 40th Anniversary (2Xcd) - Various Artists{- -}
Poor Black MattieR. L. Burnside[1-14]American Masters Vol. 1 : Country Blues - Various Artists{- -}
Ain't Got NobodyHound Dog Taylor[1-1]Deluxe Edition - Hound Dog Taylor{- -}
Wild, Wild WomanJohnny Young[1-1]Chicago Blues - Johnny Young{- -}
Burn Your BridgesCephas & Wiggins[1-7]Crucial Harmonica Blues - Various Artists{- -}
Mercury BluesK. C. Douglas[1-2]Journey Of Chris Strachwitz (40 Years Of Arhoolie Records) - Various Artists{- -}
When A Guitar Plays The BluesRoy Buchanan[1-10]The Alligator Blues Sampler - Various Artists{- -}
Louisiana BluesClifton Chenier[1-25]Journey Of Chris Strachwitz (40 Years Of Arhoolie Records) - Various Artists{- -}
Red Beans aka I Got My Mojo WorkingProfessor Longhair[2-8]Alligator Records 40th Anniversary (2Xcd) - Various Artists{- -}
The Ma GrinderRobert Shaw[1-7]Arhoolie Presents American Masters, Vol. 8: 15 Piano Blues & Boogie Classics - Various Artists{- -}
Step Into The LightMavis Staples[2-11]Alligator Records 40th Anniversary (2Xcd) - Various Artists{- -}
'bout A SpoonfulMance Lipscomb[1-5]American Masters Vol. 1 : Country Blues - Various Artists{- -}
Give Me My Coat And ShoesBuddy Guy & Junior Wells[1-12]Alligator Records 40th Anniversary (2Xcd) - Various Artists{- -}
Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And BurningFred McDowell & Johnny Woods[1-13]15 Down Home Gospel Classics - Various Artists{- -}
Better Not TouchShemekia Copeland[1-6]Deluxe Edition - Shemekia Copeland{- -}