Sunday, 26 August 2012

STAR BLUES on 26th August 2012 at 22:00

Bank Holiday Sunday, Mighty Mark Peters' birthday, twelve years of me sneakin' round your place in a white tee-shirt armed only with trivia and tomfoolery. What a way to celebrate...!

As an alternative to the prevalence of electric blues-rock STAR BLUES celebrated the bedrock of the music we love by playing the acoustic, delta, country and pre-war variants of blues. The sound quality was scratchy at times but better that than cleaned up copies with the guts processed out of em I say.

Booker Washington White was second cousin to BB King, he beat the heck out of his axe on our opener "Bukka's Jitterbug Swing" that set out our stall last night. Quite a few years ago I remember Paul Jones on Radio2 playing a Scrapper Blackwell track  which completely knocked me flat on my bottom. He recorded "Kokomo Blues" in April 1928, a full 8 years before Robert Johnson reworked it as "Sweet Home Chicago", the rest is history.  Napolean Strickland learnt his craft from Otha Turner (becoming adept at diddley-bow as well as fife) - his version of "My Babe" owed more to the gospel original than the composition Willie Dixon wrote down. We kept the uptempo theme going with Blind Boy Fuller and one of the leading advocates Catfish Keith (with a spirited run through of Jimmie Davis' "Hum Dum Dinger").

Indeed there's a very healthy scene of traditional/country-blues players spreading the good word, we made space for Keith and for Toby Walker and Lauren Sheehan. "Stomp Down Rider" was Guy Davis' first cd project (he already had a vinyl album in 1978 and a cassette only piece) - it was a live document of a thriving interest in blues twenty years ago; we had his lovely cover of Robert Johnson's "Dust My Broom". Alvin Youngblood Hart is regarded as Davis' contemporary - he certainly benefited from the reactivated OKEH label with his "Big Mama's Door" album: he set up quite a momentum with his go at Lead Belly's "Gallows Pole". Huddie's own "Linin Track" showed the master had left a great legacy.

I felt honoured to be able to show off John Jackson, Mance Lipscomb, Blind Boy Fuller and Etta Baker who each proved in their own way that you don't need electric guitars to play blues. Twenty two years ago today (27th Aug 1990) we lost Stevie Ray Vaughan who loved the blues but created a sound that so many try to emulate but end up so far away from blues that the genre gets hijacked by rouges, scoundrels and talentless dilettantes. Don't forget Jackson, Fuller, Lipscomb and Baker used just naked fingers to express themselves. Fred McDowell's rediscovery in 1965 brought us a beautiful instrumental treatment of "I Wish I was in Heaven Sittin' Down"

BTW. Thats just the *FIRST* 12 years, you wait to see what mischief I can get up to in the next twelve. Starting next Sunday at ten pm (BST) with some of the last recordings with drummer Wilie Big-Eyes Smith and the brand-new album from Smokin' Joe Kubek on Delta Groove, not bad eh? Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Bukka's Jitterbug Swing Bukka White 2 Broke Black And Blue Various Artists PROPER
my babe napolean strickland fife and drum band 20 TESTAMENT RECORDS SAMPLER VARIOUS ARTISTS TESTAMENT
Shake That Shimmy Blind Boy Fuller 11 1935-1940 Blind Boy Fuller TRAVELIN' MAN
She's A Hum Dum Dinger From Dingersville Catfish Keith 5 The Best Of Kicking Mule - Vol.1 Various Artists LASERLIGHT
Harlem Bound Sleepy John Estes 4 Stone Blind Blues Sleepy John Estes CATFISH
Howling Tom Cat Blues Bo Carter 19 Bo Carter's Advice Bo Carter CATFISH
Long Tall Girl Got Stuck On Me Mance Lipscomb 7 Blues Roots Various Artists TOMATO
Cannon Ball Blues Furry Lewis 6 Beale Street Blues Frank StokesFurry Lewis ORBIS BLUES COLLECTION
Can't Afford To Lose My Man Lauren Sheehan 14 Rose City Ramble Lauren Sheehan INDEPENDENT
Gallows Pole Alvin Youngblood Hart 5 Big Mama's Door Alvin Youngblood Hart OKEH
Lining Trunk Lead Belly 6 Roots Of Taj Mahal Various Artists CATFISH
cool drink of water blues tommy johnson 1-16 20th century blues various artists catfish
(I Believe I'll) Dust My Broom Guy Davis 1 Stomp Down Rider Guy Davis RED HOUSE
Hard Times Killing Floor Little Toby Walker 9 Hand Picked Little Toby Walker CD BABY
Bear Cat Blues John Jackson 12 Blues Roots Various Artists TOMATO
Because I Love My Dady So Lil Green 16 Why Don't You Do Right Lil Green BLUES COLLECTION
Me And My Chauffeur Memphis Minnie 7 The Blues Box Various Artists METRO
Searchin' The Desert For The Blues Blind Willie McTell 14 Statesboro Blues Blind Willie McTell ORBIS BLUES COLLECTION
I Wished I Were In Heaven Sitting Down Fred McDowell 6 Mississippi Blues Mississippi Fred McDowell ORBIS BLUES COLLECTION
Old Jim Canaan's Robert Wilkins 2 Let Me Tell You About The Blues: Memphis Various Artists Fantastic Voyage
Build Myself A Home Hans Theessink & Terry Evans 6 Delta Time Hans Theessink & Terry Evans BLUEGROOVE
Nobody's Fault But Mine Blind Willie Johnson 1-2 HISTORY OF RHYTHM AND BLUES VOL. 1 Various Artists R AND B
Early Morning Blues Blind Blake 2 Essential Blind Blake CLASSIC BLUES
terraplane blues robert johnson 2-3 blues box various artists metro
Created: 27/08/2012 00:03:04

Sunday, 19 August 2012

STAR BLUES on 19th August 2012 at 22:00

Sir Walter Raleigh invented tobacco and said something memorable like "Ducks...I see no ducks", except the small one with the beady eye was hiding on the table behind the speaker. To reign him in I captured the one that looks like Mrs Doubtfire to keep close watch from the turntable lid.

With spanking new albums from Robert Cray and Bettye LaVette the music was more than up to the task. Cray's guitar work has regained that youthful bite that set him out as something special when he first came to the UK. Bettye sang for President Obama and has wowed dozens of celebrities since, her last full album won our Album of the Year a couple of years ago - "Thankful and Thoughtful" due 1st October knocks even that into a cocked hat.. She covers songs by Ewan McColl, Bob Dylan and Neil Young and before now those songs simply didn't exist. We chose a Tom Waits song given a treatment which recalled Bessie Smith accompanied by full New Orleans jazz band. She is the foremost female singer in the world now. Don't take my word for it: ask Robert Plant.

We are now Britain's Other Blues Show" - to prove it we played Bobby Blue Bland, Richard Hacksaw Harney and Michael Burks in a row. That was how we closed the first hour with Eddie Bo and Freddie Slack still to come in the piano blues spot. Eddie Bo is heard almost daily in the tv advert for Boots, we went to his core skill on keys for a version of "Hard Times". I first heard "House of Blue Lights" as the opener for George Thorogood way back in history - no comparison to Slacks 1946 original with clattering piano and gorgeous vocal from Ella Mae Morse. Freddie is the subject of a splendid 2 disc collection on Fantastic Voyage who continue to issue interesting and informative projects which add to the history of our music.

Mark Lamarr was an unwitting agent for the trivia and tomfoolery quotient last night: his "Mule Milk and Fire Water" anthology on Westside did the bizz with H-Bomb Ferguson and the ever reliable VeeTone outfit sent us two tasty morsels from their "Wild Streak" projects. The late hour (almost midnight) couldn't deter us from cutting a rug - hope the Mighty Mark Peters doesn't find out.. I blame those pesky ducks.

Lurrie Bell has a new set of gospel flavoured pieces, recorded acoustically with Joe Louis Walker, their cover of Fred McDowell's "I'll get to Heaven on my Own" was a neat choice for our weekly gospel slot. Big Joe Louis covered John Brim's "Ice Cream Man" which I think was fodder to Aerosmith's cannon some while back? The bounteous haul of new stuff also included Zac Harmon and Barbara Carr - a third hour anyone?

You were magnificent last night, I was Gary Blue - TeamGB - back next Sunday live at 10pm - until then take care of yourselves, take care of those that take care of you

Blue Pill Thrill Zac Harmon 2 Music Is Medicine Zac Harmon URBAN EAGLE
Talk To Me Baby Elmore James 9 Whose Muddy Shoes Elmore James // John Brim CHESS
Ice Cream Man Big Joe Louis & His Blues Kings 15 Big Joe Louis & His Blues Kings // The Stars In The Sky Big Joe Louis & His Blues Kings Tramp
So Close Otis Rush 3 Door To Door Albert KingOtis Rush CHESS
Grinnin' In Your Face Brooks Williams 2 Baby O! Brooks Williams red guitar blue music
Merry Go Round Blues Big Bill Broonzy 19 Good Time Tonight Big Bill Broonzy COLUMBIA
Midnight In The Barrelhouse Johnny Otis and His Orchestra feat. Pete "Guitar" Lewis 15 That's Your Last Boogie! Johnny Otis Fantastic Voyage
one more luther allison 2 hand me down my moonshine luther allison ruf
(Won't Be) Comin Home - album Robert Cray 2 (Won't Be) Comin Home Robert Cray Nozzle
K. C. Bound Lowell Fulson 29 Complete Chess Recordings Lowell Fulson MCA/CHESS
You Got Me (Where You Want Me) Bobby 'Blue' Bland 19 The 3B Blues Boy. The Blues Years : 1952-1958 Bobby 'Blue' Bland ACE
Ragtime Blues Richard 'Hacksaw' Harney 1 Sweet Man Richard 'Hacksaw' Harney EDSEL
Feel Like Going Home Michael Burks 12 Show Of Strength Michael Burks Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.
Jealous Hearted Man Chris O'leary Band, The 7 Waiting For The Phone To Ring Chris O'leary Band, The REDEYE Records
sweet talkin' snake barbara carr 11 keep the fire burning barbara carr catfood
Hard Times Eddie Bo 8 Keep It Rollin' - Blues Piano Collection Various Artists Rounder
house of blue lights freddie slack 1-15 down the road a-piece freddie slack fantastic voyage
Trucking Them Blues Away Baby Tate 11 The Bluesville Years. Vol 6: Sweet Carolina Blues Various Artists PRESTIGE
i'll get to heaven on my own lurrie bell 2 devil aint got no music lurrie bell n/a
Call My Job Detroit Jr. 3 The Way I Feel Various Artists FLYRIGHT
yesterday is here bettye lavette 7 thankful and thoughtful bettye lavette anti
pink cadillac larry dowd 1-8 wild streak vol 1 various artists veetone
wild boy rocky holman 1-2 wild streak vol 2 various artists veetone
Midnight Ramble Tonight H-Bomb Ferguson 21 Mule Milk And Fire Water Various Artists WESTSIDE
never make a move too soon paul garner band 2 3 get ready paul garner band n/a
Created: 20/08/2012 00:03:57 

Monday, 13 August 2012

STAR BLUES on 12th August 2012 at 22:00

Gotcha! The renegade small yellow plastic duck couldn't elude me forever: Rock God Neil Jones distracted it with Abba (the Metallica mix) and I pounced. To keep an eye on it, I put it on top of the turntable during last night's STAR BLUES. Yes we can and do play real vinyl records. To think not a mark on the white tee-shirt either, we are known as Britain's Other Blues Show after all.

Last Sunday Johnnie Bassett (the Gentleman) died, he was nowhere near as well known as his gifts deserved. He first recorded as a sideman in 1954 with Nolan Strong, he went on to cut sides with the Miracles "Get A Job") and many more. He has but five albums under his own name, his final pair coming out through his own Sly Dog label. A few days after his death "I Can Make That Happen" deservedly garnered great reviews in Blues & Rhythm magazine. His obituary in the Detroit Free Press described him as having the "cleanest guitar lines of any guitarist" - no quibble from me. We had three tracks in tribute last night.

Living Blues is the worlds foremost blues magazine and the award winners in its annual polls came out mid-week. We didn't get chance to cover them all but the healthy smattering we could do included Mavis Staples, Robert Cray, Marcia Ball and Bob Corritore. Best debut album came from the sixty-something Little Joe Ayers' "Backatcha", his roots in Holly Springs Ms didn't let him down. The area had already given
Indian Summer success to both RL Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. Our "!001 Blues" feature went back to President Obama's inauguration when Bettye LaVette gave a stunning version of Sam Cooke's "Change Is Gonna Come" and did a duet with with Jon Bon Jovi. Her rehearsals were recorded and subsequently issued as a limited edition EP. Jimmy Reed's "Aint That Lovin You Baby" got reinvented to fantastic effect.

Eric Bibb has a birthday on Thursday and his two hander "Bo weevil" with harp man Grant Dermody seemed a good way to mark it. Derrick Big Walker did that job on previous outings with Eric, he now has an album of his own called "Roots Walkin" which provided our gospel choice. Ace has new anthology on the story of the first year of the Modern Records label, the lovely Hadda Hopgood was a classical pianist playing in a downtown department store until Jules Bihari found her, they practised like crazy for a week and the results "Swinging the Boogie" was her first single and our piano blues choice last night.

Barbara Carr has a new album due out on Catfood and we had chance to include recent albums by Albert Bashor and Lil Ronnie. Liz Mandeville's "Clarksdale" has been on before but it neatly  shows she is still doing the biz (don't have such a long hiatus next time please). On May 7th Michael Burks was in transit back from Italy and had a fatal heart attack at the airport - he'd just finished tracks for "Show of Strength" on Alligator. There was more than a little sadness in playing the autobiographical song "Little Juke Joint" from the album at the top of our second hour.

Though there's sadness in reporting the deaths of great players like Burks and Bassett, I feel incredibly privileged to be able to pay tribute through their music. I'm anxious to see if the duck is still giving me the evil eye and I have some stuff I'm bursting  to tell you about, if we get another two hours together Sunday at 10pm (BST) I'll see what I can do. until then take care of yourselves and take care of those who take care of you

Buzz Me Li'l Ronnie And The Grand Dukes 7 'gotta Strange Feeling' Li'l Ronnie And The Grand Dukes eller soul
crossroads b. b. king 4 100 years of robert johnson big head todd project
He Don't Know Robert Cray 2 Back To The Streets : Music Of Don Covay Various Artists SHANACHIE
Big Boss Woman Johnnie Bassett 1 Party My Blues Away Johnnie Bassett CANNONBALL
Ain't That Lovin' You Baby Bettye Lavette 6 Change is Gonna Come Sessions Bettye Lavette
Put Me On Like You Do Albert Bashor 5 Cotton Field Of Dreams Albert Bashor Earwig Music
Got My Eyes On You Little Joe Ayers 9 Backatchya Little Joe Ayers DEVIL DOWN
Cold Outdoors Tail DraggerBob Corritore 5 Longtime Friends In The Blues Tail DraggerBob Corritore Delta Groove Productions
boll weevil Eric Bibb 5 Deeper In The Well Eric Bibb Dixiefrog
bye bye bird Brandon O. Bailey 8 Memphis Grooves Brandon O. Bailey APO
Big City Blues Wynanie Harris 8 Blues Tunes Various Artists HIT
Slow Down Daddy Jimmy Wright & Orchestra (Vocal By Merry Dee) 24 The Complete Meteor: Blues, R&b, & Gospel Recordings Various Artists ACE
swiningin the boogie hadda brooks 1 MODERN RECORDS the first year: 1945 Various Artists ACE
Roadside Attractions Marcia Ball 2 Roadside Attractions Marcia Ball Alligator
Clarksdale/Riverside Hotel Blues Liz Mandeville 6 Clarksdale Liz Mandeville blue kitty
dyin' man's plea Mavis Staples 5 Have A Little Faith Mavis Staples Alligator
You Got A Home In That Rock Big Walker 8 Root Walking Big Walker bigwalker
keep your hands off my baby Johnnie Bassett 2 The Gentleman Is Back Johnnie Bassett Sly Dog Records
lets get hammered Johnnie Bassett 11 I Can Make That Happen Johnnie Bassett Sly Dog Recods
Created: 13/08/2012 19:29:23

Monday, 6 August 2012

STAR BLUES on 5th August 2012 at 22:00

According to an unknown source close to STAR BLUES, they are secretly chuffed to ninepence and back to be known as "Britain's Other Blues Show". With more than our fair share of top-notch competing jocks working the desks on this side of the pond, it means STAR BLUES is just different.

I mean take the playlist on last night's show: a veritable cornucopia of blues in most shades and ages. Mighty Mo' Rodgers cut a couple of rare soul gems in a past life, his forays into blues in the last fifteen years have steadily added to a growing reputation as a blues innovator. His most recent project rides a Cadillac across America on a journey that starts with the Sixties. Then there's the Homemade Jamz family trio, all still in their teens, showing the blues still has relevance to their generation.

We're heading for the thirty-fifth anniversary of Elvis Preley's death and we wanted to show the impact he made with those first five singles he did for Sam Phillips' Sun label. Though each one was a cover of a blues classic, Presley invested them all with salacious brio. Beautiful man, beautiful voice. Another King - Al - cut a number of top class sides now available on a remarkable collection of his work and that of Albert Adams (who last recorded splendidly for Delta Groove a little while back).

Classic Blues is a label with good distribution (their "Roots of Adele" collection has found its way into the lower reaches of my local supermarket charts). The attractive price and track selection may have something to do with it? They've just put out a collection Howlin' Wolf sides from mid-Fifties to early-Sixties and one on Muddy Waters covering the same period. Old lags will have this stuff but as starting point, its your duty to spread the news with sets like these.

Sonny Boy Williamson, Koko Taylor and Chuck Berry were label mates of Muddy and Wolf and co-habitees on our show yesterday. We went to the new project by Rory Block as our gospel spot tribute to the genius of Rev. Gary Davis- and to an early Vee-Jay outing by the Original Blind Boys of Alabama.

Otis Span was thought of by many as half-brother to Muddy Waters so close were they musically - his is the deft graceful piano you'll hear on Muddy's best works. Luther Johnson did duties for Muddy in the early Seventies, we found him (like Koko Taylor) in France and on the Blues Reference label. The Fantastic Voyage imprint has collected a number of great tracks from 1961 and so we let Jimmy Rick magnificent basso profundo vox close the proceedings.

The Time Monkey is always on my back but we'll still have some more at the same time next Sunday at ten pm BST if I can smuggle the right stuff past the every vigilant Mighty Mark Peters. until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Boogie To My BabyMighty Mo Rodgers3Cadillac JackMighty Mo RodgersTIN DRUM MUSIC
Time For ChangeHomemade Jamz Blues Band, The7Pay Me No MindHomemade Jamz Blues Band, TheNorthern Blues
That's All I NeedLavern Baker4Soul On FireLavern BakerRHINO
Madison BluesElmore James5-18100 blues gemsvarious artistsgreenline
She Drives Me Out Of My Mind (Unedited Version)Arthur K. Adams13TogetherAl KingArthur K. AdamsACE
Every Dog Has His Day'5' Royales, The7It's Hard But It's Fair'5' Royales, TheACE
I Love A Lover Like YouKoko Taylor10Southside LadyKoko TaylorBLUES REFERENCE
Smokestack LightninHowlin Wolf.Vol.2Howlin' WolfCLASSIC BLUES
I'm ReadyMuddy Waters .Vol. 2Muddy watersCLASSIC BLUES
 You Know I Love YouB. B. King8B. B. King The Crown Recordings: Disc 8 : Singin' The BluesB. B. KingACE
That's AlrightElvis Presley2King Of Rock'n'roll : Complete 50's MastersElvis PresleyRCA
Good Rockin' TonightElvis Presley11King Of Rock'n'roll : Complete 50's MastersElvis PresleyRCA
Baby Let's Play HouseElvis Presley14King Of Rock'n'roll : Complete 50's MastersElvis PresleyRCA
Milkcow Blue BoogieElvis Presley12King Of Rock'n'roll : Complete 50's MastersElvis PresleyRCA
Mystery TrainElvis Presley16King Of Rock'n'roll : Complete 50's MastersElvis PresleyRCA
Things I Used To DoLuther 'Georgia Boy'/'Snakeboy' Johnson4On The Road AgainLuther 'Georgia Boy'/'Snakeboy' JohnsonBLUES REFERENCE
Bad LuckPhillip Walker4Working Girl BluesPhillip WalkerBLACK TOP
Walkin' By MyselfJimmy Rogers41100 Blues GemsVarious ArtistsCHESS
Driving WheelLittle Junior Parker15R&B Spotlight '61Various ArtistsFantastic Voyage
I Found My Peace Of MindPee Wee Cayton8The Story Of Vee-JayVarious ArtistsMETRO
Still A FoolBig Bad Smitty5Mean DisposttionBig Bad SmittyBLACK MAGIC
My Name Is MiseryAl King1TogetherAl KingArthur K. AdamsACE
Last Fair Deal Gone DownCephas & Wiggins3Somebody Told The TruthJohn CephasPhil WigginsAlligator
Nine Below ZeroSonny Boy Williamson (Aka Rice Miller)21100 Blues GemsVarious ArtistsCHESS
Confessin' The BluesChuck Berry64100 Blues GemsVarious ArtistsCHESS
Precious LordOriginal Blind Boys Of Alabama12The Story Of Vee-JayVarious ArtistsMETRO
I'm Leaving YouOtis Spann6100 Blues GemsVarious ArtistsCHESS
You're The BossLaVern Baker & Jimmy Ricks13R&B Spotlight '61Various ArtistsFantastic Voyage

Created: 15/07/2012 15:38:47