Monday, 26 March 2012

STAR BLUES on 25th March 2012 at 22:00

Humdingers promised? Humdingers we had! A marvelous 22 track anthology compiled by Mark Lamarr on the VEETONE label kept the excitement levels way up against the end stops last night on STAR BLUES. Five tracks from that one made it a featured platter and then we topped up with four more from Percy Milem, Big Joe Turner, Tiny Grimes and Don Covay. Who says blues is just youthful guitar flash? We particularly loved the understated approach of Screamin' Jay Hawkins for his vocal with Tiny Grimes.

Far from youthful, Mr. B B King has a new cd plus dvd package out as a souvenir of his Royal Albert Hall concert in June last year. Much has been made of the guests: Ronnie Wood, Slash, Mick Hucknall and so on - B did his usual job as ringmaster for the turns. Brooks Williams will be in Cambridge a week on Thursday for a project called "State of the Union" with Boo Hewerdine - we found him in the songbook of Son House "Grinning in your Face". I've just reviewed Bessie Smith's Definitive collecion for Blues & Rhythm magazine and the only fault I could find is that they've had to limit themselves to two dozen tracks on a single disk - another selection of 24 would still not adequately showcase the empress of the blues. We were well off for female vocal talent last night, Bessie was there with Ruthie Foster, Janiva Magness, Bettye LaVette and the sadly less well known Bettye Swann. Janiva's latest project has her best singing yet.

Harrison Kennedy made a name in the vocal group Chairman of ther Board; these days he's a solo artist on Electro-Fi - his "Shame the Devil" project is his most blues-worthy yet. Irma Thomas reinvented the classic "Another Man Done Gone" and she's part of the New Orleans bluescene - by way of Edgbaston Birmingham we stayed in Louisiana courtesy of the band known as Tipitina who did a first rate version of some old sheet music dating back to the period before the blues. That was our piano spot and for the sacred feature Marie Knight brought her Dependable Boys on her Gospel Train. Even though the clock through the studio glass still showed an hour to go (on GMT) we had to wrap up on BST after our allotted span.

There's a heck of a lot of new music at present with a blues sticker on it, I'll promise we'll include as much as we can that fits our two hour format - as long as you're magnificent I'll be Gary Blue at ten next Sunday evening. Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you.

Track.Title Track.ArtistSort Index Album.Title Album.ArtistSort Label
Blues Hotel Jordan Patterson 5 Blues Hotel Various Artists EASYDISC
Key To The Highway B.B. King 2 Live At The Royal Albert Hall B.B. King Shout Factory
Blues Headache Nathan James & The Rhythm Scratchers 9 What You Make Of It Nathan James & The Rhythm Scratchers Delta Groove
Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad Bettye Lavette 11 Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook Bettye Lavette Anti
(You Keep Me) Moving on Ruthie Foster 3 Ruthie Foster Live At Antone's Ruthie Foster Blue Corn Music
Blues Get Off My Shoulder Little Milton 16 Stand By Me Little Milton ORBIS BLUES COLLECTION
Isabella (Deluxe 6119) Roy Gaines 21 R&B Humdingers Volume 11 Various Artists Vee-Tone Records
Grinnin' in Your Face Brooks Williams 2 Baby O! Brooks Williams red guitar blue music
Young Woman's Blues Bessie Smith 16 Blues Queen. The Definitive Collection Bessie Smith Phoenix Records
I Don't Want To Do Wrong Janiva Magness 8 Stronger For It Janiva Magness Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.
I Don't Know What You've Got (But It's Got Me) Percy Milem 22 Memphis Boys: The Story Of American Studios Various Artists ACE
Wild Child (Deluxe 6156) Donnie Elbert 22 R&B Humdingers Volume 11 Various Artists Vee-Tone Records
Done Got Old Tail Dragger & Bob Corritore 8 Longtime Friends in the Blues Tail Dragger & Bob Corritore Delta Groove Productions
Shame the Devil Harrison Kennedy 4 Shame the Devil Harrison Kennedy Electro-Fi Records
Rockin at Midnight Roy Brown 63 Gettin' Funky Various Artists PROPER
Round And Round (Montel 1003) Sugar Boy Crawford 1 R&B Humdingers Volume 11 Various Artists Vee-Tone Records
Why Do You Waste My Time Tiny Grimes w. Screaming Jay Hawkins 13 We’re Gonna Rock, We’re Gonna Roll Various Artists PROPER
Sweet Louisiana Tipitina 14 Taking Care of Business Tipitina Big Bear Records
Another Man Done Gone Irma Thomas 7 After The Rain Irma Thomas Rounder
Gospel Train Marie Knight And The Dependable Boys 10 Gospel - The Ultimate Collection Various Artists RED Box
These Arms of Mine Bettye Swann 16 Bettye Swann Bettye Swann Capitol
See About Me Don Covay 3 Definitive Don Covay RAZOR & TIE
Don't You Cry Big Joe Turner with Harry Van Walls and his Orchestra 14 The Very Best Of Burlesque Various Artists Not Now Music
Chop Chop Hole In The Wall (Everest 19316) Boulevards, The 6 R&B Humdingers Volume 11 Various Artists Vee-Tone Records
Ramblin' Man (Deluxe 6123) Larry Darnell 9 R&B Humdingers Volume 11 Various Artists Vee-Tone Records
Created: 26/03/2012 13:24:35

Monday, 19 March 2012

STAR BLUES on 18th March 2012 at 22:00

With historical content, new blues, St Patrick's Day and some old favourites you'd be forgiven for thinking it's a typical STAR BLUES but that assumes you'd be brave enough to predict what will happen between 10 and midnight on a Sunday night...
Someone asked Jimi Hendrix what is was like to be the world's greatest guitarist; he replied he didn't know and they should ask Rory Gallagher. He was a consummate guitarist taken from us too early by a failed liver damaged with prescription drugs he took to conquer his fear of flying. The film documentary "Ghost Blues" about Rory is sat at home on my iplayer and I wanted to pay tribute with a previously unissued go at "BullFrog Blues": that and a two-handed piece from John Lee Hooker and Van Morrison capped our St Patrick's Day celebration. Of all the albums and guests who attended the Hook's Indian Summer career, Van was the one who understood his friend best.
Pee Wee Crayton crossed my radar during the week through an extensive feature in issue 56 of Living Blues from 1980/81. He learned ukelele and built himself a banjo out of a cigar box before moving to guitar. He used a four finger style that allowed him big chords and he got early chart success with his first singles on Modern.  Disputes over royalties meant he didn't stay long with them though he stopped off at Vee-Jay just long enough to cut a session with our slow blues "Telephone Is Ringing" on last night's STAR BLUES. He was shamefully ignored by most thereafter and even dropped out of music and drove a truck in the early Sixties. Johnny Otis gave him a job in 1970 with the Revue and Crayton found his way back to the studios again. He was under the spotlight in the You,Me & 1001b Blues feature.
The centrepiece of the show was the handful of tracks by Lightnin' Hopkins who would have been 100 on 15th March. Robert Plant's Band of Joy loosely interpreted "Central 209" a couple of years ago, Hopkins did the original for us; he covered both the risque Tampa Red song "Play With Your Poodle" and Big Joe Williams' "Baby Please Don't Go" and he got down dirty and boogied with "Jake Head". I once tried to count all Hopkins compact discs in print - I stopped when I got to 200. He ploughed that furrow that wandered in and out of the standard 12-bar form and had a fascinating life that began at the knee of Blind Lemon Jefferson.
Our new crop included Eddie Taylor Jr, proving that great blues runs in the genes - we were lucky because the album on Wolf just about snuck out with no advance warning in this direction. Bob Corritore is a master harp player, his new project hooks him up with Tail Dragger for top-notch blues playing all round. They first net on 11th Jan 1976, the day after Howlin' Wolf died - a connection kept alive here by Henry Gray who played piano for the Wolf and does sterling stuff here too.
Sunday Wilde hasn't been on STAR BLUES before, but this Ontario blues artist will surely be back if she can ever shake that man. Her third album came our way and we could hear why she's started to win those awards,. She was shaded (just) in the new release stakes by   Janiva Magness with her "Stronger Now" project for Alligator. In my humble opinion this is her best singing yet and there is a very pleasant graininess now to her timbre that has come from taking on life's latest challenge. This has the most soulful vocals I've heard since Bettye LaVette's album from 2010 "Interpretations".

Eddie Cusic and Maurice Jean Vaughan don't get much of an outing on blues radio in theUK, STAR BLUES was pleased to put matters right yesterday. We also squeezed in a new R&B anthology on VeeTone compiled by the redoubtable Mark Lamarr - my only regret is I've missed out on the first ten volumes in the set. Deffo on my list. All too soon it was over and all I can say is watch out next week - I've got more of the same for 10pm next Sunday on Cambridge and Ely's STAR RADIO, until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you.

Track.Title Track.ArtistSort Index Album.Title Album.ArtistSort Label
Bullfrog Blues Rory Gallagher 11 Notes From San Francisco Rory Gallagher Eagle Rock Entertainment
Gloria Van Morrison With John Lee Hooker 1 Gloria Van Morrison POLYDOR
Get it Over Baby Bobby JonesMannish Boys, The 5 Comin' Back Hard Bobby JonesMannish Boys, The DELTAGROOVE
Early in the Morning Charlie Musselwhite 10 Stand Back! Here Comes Charlie Musselwhite VANGUARD
Give Me Central 209 Lightnin' Hopkins 19 His Blues Lightnin' Hopkins ACE
Telephone is Ringing Pee Wee Crayton 22 The Best Of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour Various Artists CHROME
I Didn't Take Your Woman (You Gave Her to Me) Lou Pride 13 Twisting The Knife Lou Pride ICHIBAN
I Been Mistreated Raful Neal 1 I Been Mistreated Raful Neal ICHIBAN
I Wonder Why Debbie DaviesAlbert Collins 7 25th Anniversary Collection Various Artists BLIND PIG RECORDS
I Wonder Why Lightnin' Hopkins 16 (1946-1960) Lightnin' Hopkins STORY OF THE BLUES
Use What You Got Eddie Taylor Jr. 6 So Called Friends Eddie Taylor Jr.
Cut You Loose Eddie Cusic 4 Leland Mississippi Blues Eddie Cusic WOLF
Slop Around Buddy Guy 10 R & B Humdingers Various Artists veetone
I Can't Shake That Guy Sunday Wilde 10 What Man!?? Oh That Man!! Sunday Wilde INDEPENDENT
Cold Outdoors Tail DraggerBob Corritore 5 Longtime Friends in the Blues Tail DraggerBob Corritore Delta Groove Productions
Jake Head Boogie Lightnin' Hopkins 2 His Blues Lightnin' Hopkins ACE
Let Me Play With Your Poodle Lightnin' Hopkins 7 The History Of Rhythm And Blues Volume Two 1942-1952 Various Artists Rhythm and Blues Records
Back to New Orleans Lightnin' Hopkins 1 The Best Of Lightnin' Hopkins Lightnin' Hopkins PRESTIGE
Up Above My Head (I Hear Music in the Air) Sister Rosetta Tharpe & Marie Knight 15 Gospel - The Ultimate Collection Various Artists RED Box
You Got What You Wanted Janiva Magness 7 Stronger For It Janiva Magness Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.
I Want to Be Your Spy Maurice John Vaughan 8 25th Anniversary Collection Various Artists Alligator
Telephone Song Stevie Ray Vaughan 14 The Real Deal! Greatest Hits Volume 2 Stevie Ray Vaughan SONY
Created: 19/03/2012 08:39:33

Monday, 12 March 2012

STAR BLUES on 11th March 2012 at 22:00

oh dear... The wise Buddhas who sit in the place marked Health and Safety are worried - they've heard folks enjoying STAR BLUES and they now wish to act to mitigate claims in the event of a further outbreak of unconfined jollity. Hence last night's audit and stern edict thus:

You must not perpetrate, perpetuate, participate or encourage tomfoolery on your STAR BLUES show. You may not facilitate or encourage good time behaviour in any fashion, manner or degree. Gay wild abandon is strictly forbidden and we will monitor your output to ensure you comply. There will be a three stage traffic light system to indicate transgressions in your transmission - you must ensure the green light is lit throughout. Instances where tomfoolery is hinted at will illuminate the amber bulb. Sanctions will follow if the red light shows.

Well I think we got away with it - there were murmurings of jitterbugging and frivolity when I played Ronnie Earl but the orange light just flickered. Don't tell anyone I took the lamp out of the red. Ryan may have noticed this morning because I left a nasty mark on his Love Shack when I stood on the desk to reach over when I did it.

Nor did it stop me from getting the very best out of BB King, Etta James, James Cotton and Bobby Bland - if anyone has any doubts on why these are judged as the greats, rush home now and listen to the tracks we chose last night. I probably upset a few Whitney Houston fans in my assertion of the greater influence from Etta James but I don't care. Ol B always thought Hendrix to be a master blues player and the 1966 go at "Red House" provided ample evidence. I also got drawn into a Facebook discussion during the week on the best blues piano player - too hard to call I said but don't forget Leroy Carr. Living Blues magazine proposed him as best of all time on any instrument a few years ago (more influential than Robert Johnson et al). Who was I to argue?

Chris Thomas King was on hand with another piece at the outer envelope of blues and Jimmy Nolen came along with some raw guitar playing not often heard on blues radio. We've played versions of Tom Waits' "Down in the Hole" before but I don't think we've had the one used by Hans Theesink on his project Jederman,.

They haven't said anything about my white tee shirt so I'm going XXL next week to smuggle in as many dirty deeds as you can do on the cheap (ref: AC/DC). I hope you'll want to be there to hear how it turns out, until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Track.Title Track.ArtistSort Index Album.Title Album.ArtistSort Label
Johnny Got a Boom Boom Imelda May 15 More Mayhem Imelda May DECCA
(Ain't That) Just Like a Woman B. B. King 10 B. B. King The Crown Recordings: Disc 7 : More B. B.. King B. B. King ACE
Red House Jimi Hendrix 3 :Blues Jimi Hendrix MCA
Limetown (fragment) Guy Davis 1 Chocolate To The Bone Guy Davis RED HOUSE
I Believe I'll Lose My Mind Guy Davis 4 Chocolate To The Bone Guy Davis RED HOUSE
Baghdad Blues Beverly 'Guitar' Watkins 2 The Feelings Of ... Beverly 'Guitar' Watkins MUSIC MAKER
Sad Hours Little Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs) 4 His Best Little Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs) MCA/CHESS
I Pity the Fool Bobby 'Blue' Bland 4 Deep Soul Treasures - Vol. 4 Various Artists Kent (U.K.)
I'd Rather Go Blind Etta James 16 Her Best Etta James MCA/CHESS
Way Down in the Hole Hans Theessink 1 Jedermann Remixed - The Soundtrack Hans Theessink BLUE GROOVE
Half a Mind Bobby Marchan 14 Get Down With It The Soul Sides 1963-67 Bobby Marchan Kent
Fever Little Willie John 24 The History Of Rhythm & Blues, Volume 3 - The Rocknroll Years Various Artists Rhythm and Blues Records
The Way You Do Jimmy Nolen 7 Scratchin'-Federal 52-56 Pete "Guitar" Lewis-Jimmy Nolen-Cal Green charly R&B
Pack it Up Freddie King 16 Ultimate Collection Freddie King HIP-O
T-Bone Boogie Ronnie Earl 2 Blues T-Bone Style Various Artists EASYDISC
I've Got Love if You Want it John Hammond 1 Got Love If You Want It John Hammond POINTBLANK
Two Trains Runnin' James CottonJoe Louis Walker 9 Deep In The Blues James CottonJoe Louis Walker VERVE
Cairo Blues Melvin 'Lil Son' Jackson 4 American Masters Vol. 1 : Country Blues Various Artists Arhoolie Records
Mojo Hand Lightnin' Hopkins 1 His Blues Lightnin' Hopkins ACE
Naptown Blues Leroy Carr 7 Naptown Blues Leroy Carr ORBIS BLUES COLLECTION
I Asked for Water Howlin' Wolf 3 Howlin' Wolf / The Wolf Is At Your Door: The Singles 1951-1960 Howlin' Wolf Jasmine
O Brother Where Art Thou? Chris Thomas King 1 Legend Of Tommy Johnson Chris Thomas King 21ST CENTURY
Bad Feeling Blues Lightnin' Slim 11 Tuff Enough - Ace (Ms.) Blues Masters Vol.3 Various Artists WESTSIDE
Fannie Mae Holmes Brothers, The 4 Righteous! Rounder Heritage Essential Collectio Holmes Brothers, The Rounder
Little Sister Ry Cooder 9 Why Don't You Try Me Ry Cooder WEA
Created: 12/03/2012 12:49:11

Monday, 5 March 2012

STAR BLUES on 4th March 2012 at 22:00

Plenty of new music from folks making a first appearance on STAR BLUES - and on this evidence it won't be their last. In that set, I'm chuffed to be able to include the soulful Jackie Johnson, a vibrant Hip Shakin' Mama and the fast upcoming star Cherry Lee Mewis. Jackie is a new name to me with a beautiful tone to her voice, she simp;ly oozes class and she neatly lead us toward our gospel spot with her "Keep The Faith". Shelley Lynne Hardinge is an ex-pat Brit based in Ontario and her "I Been Lovin' You Too Long" was written for her husband who plays bass in her band. She really admires Willie Dixon and she has that same line in wry observation. Young Cherry Lee Mewis mines the same vein as Imelda May but I hear both Ruth Brown and Brenda Lee in her voice that will set her apart in the long run. Volker Strifler doesn't sound like a name for a blues artist, thankfully we subscribe to the Bo Diddley dictum about books, covers and names to allow us to give airtime to this fine project on Vizztone.

Giles Robson has a track on the Blues cd given away with Classic Rock magazine (other rock mags are available), the rock god Neil Jones passed the disc over to us for inclusion in our playlist last night. Memphis Gold celebrated his birthday yesterday and he brought his wonderfully fluid guitar to our party and we pushed our purist needle hard up against the endstops on the dial with another track from his "Contraband" album. We lost John Cephas exactly three years ago and his partnership with Phil Wiggins gave us a reminder of a gentle man and skillful guitarist. Sean Taylor is a nice player who writes and sings well, sadly for us he sits on the outer edge of what I can get away with on STAR BLUES - his version of "Sixteen Tons" more than did the job for us and he deserves to get wider recognition.

Champion Jack Dupree's "Blues from the Gutter" album was recorded in 1958 for Atlantic, its been reissued now with a second album and a whole cd full of singles he did inn the early Fifties appearing on cd for the first time. Every self respecting blues fan will already have the vinyl album but the budget price on the current package and bonus stuff means a re-purchase is more than justified. Joe Liggins paired with Jack for the piano spot and the teenage Sam Cooke did splendid service in the gospel tent.

World Book Day was my chance to go back to Steve Franz' great biography of Elmore James, so it gave us an excuse to go to Elmore's first session for Trumpet - and the very different reading by Robert Lockwood - on Dust My Broom. Add in two women who arrived a day early looking for BB King and Willie Mabon - I had to look after them as best i could. Honestly two hours is just not enough to keep it all in, we'll do our best next Sunday at 10pm until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Track.Title Track.ArtistSort Index Album.Title Album.ArtistSort Label
T-Bone Intentions Long John Hunter 13 25th Anniversary Collection Various Artists Alligator
Tell Me What's the Reason T-Bone Walker 1 Blues Guitar Box Various Artists SEQUEL
Monday Woman B. B. King 5 Makin' Love Is Good For You B. B. King MCA
Monday Woman Willie Mabon 6 The Seventh Son Willie Mabon charly blues masterworks
Key to the Highway Cephas & Wiggins 11 Richmond Blues Cephas & Wiggins SMITHSONIAN
Sixteen Tons Sean Taylor 6 Love Against Death Sean Taylor SGO Records
Lay On My Delta Bed Otis Taylor 9 Contraband Blues Otis Taylor TELARC
The Mighty Incinerator Giles Robson 1 Giles Robson & Dirty Aces Giles Robson
I Found Out Mickey Murray 11 People Are Together Mickey Murray SECREt Stash
You're Gonna Make Me Cry Chuck Roberson 1 I'll Take Care of You Chuck Roberson DESERT SOUNDS
Memphis Still Got Soul Johnny Rawls 1 Memphis Still Got Soul Johnny Rawls Catfood
Country Girl Johnny Otis Show 5 Shattered Dreams - Funky Blues 1967-1978 Various Artists BGP
Don't Throw Your Love on Me So Strong Sherman Robertson 6 Going Back Home Sherman Robertson AUDIOQUEST
Whole Lotta Woman Memphis Gold 10 Memphis Gold - From Radiosubmit Memphis Gold Chet Chandler
I've Been Loving You Too Long Hip Shakin Mama And The Leg Men 7 Reclaim Your Land Hip Shakin Mama And The Leg Men hipshakin music
Man Overboard Cherry Lee Mewis 1 Heard It Here First Cherry Lee Mewis CLM
Keep The Faith Jackie Johnson 11 Memphis Jewel Jackie Johnson Catfood
Peace in the Valley Soul Stirrers Feat. Sam Cooke, The 1 Gospel - The Ultimate Collection Various Artists RED Box
The Honeydripper Joe Liggins & His Honeydrippers 12 The History Of Rhythm And Blues Volume Two 1942-1952 Various Artists Rhythm and Blues Records
Evil Woman Champion Jack Dupree 4 Two Classic Albums Plus Singles Champion Jack Dupree AVID
Dust My Broom Elmore James 17 The History Of Rhythm And Blues Volume Two 1942-1952 Various Artists Rhythm and Blues Records
Dust My Broom Robert Lockwood Jr. 8 Down Home Blues Classics - Chicago (1946-1954) Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
Wait A Minute Volker Strifler Band 5 Let The Music Rise Volker Strifler Band Vizztone
Created: 05/03/2012 20:32:17