Sunday, 26 January 2014

STAR BLUES on 26th January 2014 at 22:00 - continuing the quest 400-CBA

We are a proud part of the initiative to track down the 400+ Current Blues Artists - this time out we include Shelton Powe, Beverly Guitar Watkins, Both still active and with solid connections to the fine Music Maker non-profit organisation which does so much to help the welfare of artists playing music we love. The sharp red-suited Robert Lee Coleman was another.

Of a different generation, though no less potent, are Tutu Jones and the marvellous Quintus McCormick who has made such an impression that Delmark chose him as part of their Diamond Anniversary project celebrating their blues catalogue. Zac Harmon was fluid on his axe while tackling some modern dichotomies - all of whom proved the CBA project is the gift that keeps on giving. Next Sunday we'll have another handful. Adam Gussow was on a couple of weeks back as part of a two-piece outfit called the Blues Doctors. He has a fabulous new solo project where he plays all the instruments in the grand tradition with rack harp and bass drum - its a true virtuoso performance with some brave reinterpretations such as "Sunshine of Your Love" exposed in all its blues glory within.

Jasmine continues its programme of surveys of influential players who formed the bedrock of the classic era: we dipped into the sets on Willie Mabon and Eddie Boyd. Also at those 88s came one of Katie Webster's early outings on Alligator. Our gospel spot had two selections off Mark Lamarr compilations of Screamin Gospel and Holy Rollers. Good news is there's a third set along similar lines: out on VeeTone in March and they'll have a strictly limited vinyl LP edition. You may need to be quick based on the incredible response to their last vinyl anthology of R&B from Motown.

We threw the PC rulebook away with BullMoose Jackson and you also found the real reason I didn't get the job as the Speaking Clock (nothing to do with diction or enunciation, I just played Little Walters "Quarter to Twelve" ten minutes early). Before you knew it I had to gather up my bag of tomfoolery and box of records ready to return this coming Sunday at 10pm (GMT) - until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

The Blues is Here to StayEddie Boyd55Sweet Home ChicagoVarious ArtistsINDIGO
(I Love) LucyAlbert King26The Complete Stax-Volt Singles, Vol. 1: 1959-1968Various ArtistsSTAX
My Baby's So SweetAdam Gussow12KICK AND StompAdam GussowRIGHT Records
Blue Pill ThrillZac Harmon2Music Is MedicineZac HarmonURBAN Eagle
(Do You Love) Steppin' on MeTutu Jones5I'm For RealTutu JonesJSP Records
Diving Duck BluesShelton Powe4Carolina Blues And GospelShelton PoweMUSIC MAKER
Late Bus BluesBeverly 'Guitar' Watkins7The Feelings Of ...Beverly 'Guitar' WatkinsMUSIC MAKER
Shoe is on the Other FoodRobert Lee Coleman2One More MileRobert Lee ColemanMUSIC MAKER
Fifty / FiftyQuintus McCormick Blues Band560th Anniversary : Blues on DelmarkVarious ArtistsDELMARK
In the MorningReverend Gatemouth Moore And His Gospel Singers3Screaming Gospel Holy Rollers Vol. 1Various ArtistsVee-Tone Records
Packin' UpMarion Williams9Screamin' Gospel Holy Rollers Vol. 2Various ArtistsVee-Tone Records
Katie Mae BluesLightnin' Hopkins1Down Home Blues Classics Texas 1946-1954Various ArtistsBOULEVARD ENTERTAINMENT
Hard Lovin' MamaKatie Webster625th Anniversary CollectionVarious ArtistsAlligator
Willie's BluesWillie Mabon9Willie's BluesWillie MabonJasmine
Wish Me WellJunior Parker11The CollectionJunior ParkerSPECTRUM MUSIC
I'm Tore UpBilly Gayles13The Very Best Of BurlesqueVarious ArtistsNot Now Music
Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting DownR. L. Burnside4Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting DownR. L. BurnsideFAT POSSUM
Hard DaysMuddy Waters31The Aristocrat Of The BluesVarious ArtistsMCA/CHESS
Jackson Town GalRobert Nighthawk49The Aristocrat Of The BluesVarious ArtistsMCA/CHESS
NagginJimmy Anderson8Louisiana Swamp BluesVarious ArtistsFLYRIGHT
Quit My JobBobby Marchan13The Ace Story Volume OneVarious ArtistsACE
Real Gone LoverSmiley Lewis26Cosimo Matassa StoryVarious ArtistsProper Box
Quarter to TwelveLittle Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs)16An Introduction ToLittle Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs)PROPER
Hoodoo PartyTabby Thomas18Louisiana Swamp BluesVarious ArtistsFLYRIGHT
(Gotta Go) Upside Your HeadBuddy Johnson27The R'n'b Hits Of 1955Various ArtistsCASTLE
Brown Skin BabyJimmy Liggins7It's Spelt SpecialtyVarious ArtistsSpecialty
Big Fat Mama's are Back In StyleBull Moose Jackson25The Very Best Of BurlesqueVarious ArtistsNot Now Music
Created: 29/01/2014 21:36:25

Sunday, 19 January 2014

STAR BLUES on 19th January 2014 at 22:00 (Project 400-CBA)

There's an internet project to compile a list of Current Blues Artists; someone believes there are 400 or so still working in the Real Old Fashioned Way. I have a sneakin' suspicion there are more: STAR BLUES starts a quest to find them and play them on Britain's Other Blues Show. In so doing we hope to quell the doubters who regularly gloat over the failing health of the blues - as Ray Charles has it "I Don't Need No Doctor".

As a way of easing gently into the project we were happy to help pianist Henry Gray celebrate his 89th birthday - he is still very active with the Cats combo. The remake of "Gray's Bounce" on his Blind Pig album was a need reminder of his skill. Barbara Lynn had her 72nd birthday on Thursday, though her soulful voice is memorable she is also a very nifty left-handed guitarist. Chris Beard was born in August 1957 (his dad is Joe Beard) and he brought along a track from his Electro Glide offering of a couple of years ago. The final list of Current Blues Artists will have a smattering of players at the fringes of the definition and I'd venture that's where you'd find the name of Harrison Kennedy (though not on the aural evidence of his gritty down home performance off his brand new Soulscape album). Our last entrant was the individualistic Lil Joe Washington; he is nowhere near as well known as he should be and his manic version of "Go Crazy" was like nothing anyone else could do.

The list is being built and tweaked all the time and that's to be expected given the vintage of some names still out there. However you can be sure there'll be a cross-section of generations to include Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton at one end and B. B. King at the other.

The other real treat was to get chance to bring some of my favourite electric guitar slingers round to your place: Goree Carter, Jimmy Nolen, Pete "Guitar" Lewis", Larry Davis and Cal Green. Spice that mix with Blind Blake and Big Bill Broonzy and you'll never want for more. The Rev. Gary Davis did gospel duties warning us away from the Devil and the late Earl Gilliam was at the piano stool. Like Li'l Joe Washington he cut an album for Eddie Stout's Dialtone outfit; the piece celebrated the Sunday afternoon jam sessions he held at his Houston home up until his death in 2011.

Ma Rainey and Lynn Hope are both featured in some depth in the new edition of Blues & Rhythm magazine (now within touching distance of thirty years continuous - and regular - publication). I recently wrote a review of a new anthology of Little Esther's earliest recordings for them and had no hesitation in putting her duetwith Little Willie Littlefield into the show.

I'm a shameless jackdaw when it comes to ideas for what to play - I nicked the Ray Charles thought that way and similarly stole the reason for playing that rare 1954 side by Otis Hinton. Calvin Boze dealt with the issue of alcohol and Tarheel Slim tarried awhile in a familiar jungle; while Roy Hawkins original reading of his composition "Thrill Is Gone" was truly sublime and with six minutes of Lowell Fulson's "Three O'Clock Blues" via Larry Davis we had to say our farewells for another week. There's more on the 400CBA roster next Sunday at 10pm (GMT) 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
Hop, Skip and Jump Lynn Hope 4 The R'n'b Years 1952: 100 Hot Rhythm And Blues Tunes From 1952 Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
Turn on the Bright Lights Albert Washington W. Lonnie Mack 11 Blues & Soul Man Albert Washington W. Lonnie Mack ACE
Wildcat Tamer Tarheel Slim (Aka Alden Bunn) 33 Rock The Joint Various Artists PULSE
I'M IN THE BIG CITY Juke Boy Bonner 11 Let's Have A Blues Ball! Various Artists ACE
Southern Man Walter Beasley 42 East Coast Blues Various Artists CATFISH
See See Rider Blues Ma Rainey 7 The Mother Of The Blues 1923/1928 Ma Rainey BLUES COLLECTION
Gotta Find My Baby Chris Beard 9 Who I Am & What I Do Chris Beard ELECTRO Glide
crapshooter blues harrison kennedy 4 soulscape harrison kennedy electro-fi
All Right Miss Moore Jimmy Witherspoon 10 Daves Latest Selection Feat. Jimmy Rogers And More.... Various Artists
Come on Let's Boogie Goree Carter 10 Unsung Hero Goree Carter COLLECTABLES
Louisiana Hop Pete "Guitar" Lewis 3 That's Your Last Boogie! Johnny Otis Fantastic Voyage
walking down hill otis hinton 2-1 blackk cat trail various artists sunflower
The Thrill is Gone Roy Hawkins 22 Let Me Tell You About The Blues: West Coast Various Artists Fantastic Voyage
Turn The Lamps Down Low (Featuring Little Willie Littlefield) Little Esther Phillips 20 Am I That Easy To Forget 1950 - 1962 Little Esther Phillips Jasmine Records
Looped Calvin Boze 22 Rhythm And Booze Various Artists EMI
Canned Heat Blues Tommy Johnson 35 Mississippi Blues Various Artists CATFISH
Too Many Drivers Big Bill Broonzy 15 I Feel So Good Big Bill Broonzy INDIGO
Southern Rag Blind Blake 11 The Blues Box Various Artists METRO
say no to the devil rev. gary davis 8 all that blues various artists o b c
Rattlesnake John Brim 10 Whose Muddy Shoes Elmore JamesJohn Brim CHESS
Wipe Your Tears Jimmy Nolen 15 Scratchin'-Federal 52-56 Pete 'Guitar' Lewis-Jimmy Nolen-Cal Green charly R&B
Green's Blues Cal Greeen 16 Scratchin'-Federal 52-56 Pete 'Guitar' Lewis-Jimmy Nolen-Cal Green Charly R&B
three o'clock blues larry davis 1 blues round midnight various artists ace

Created: 19/01/2014 23:41:22

Sunday, 12 January 2014

STAR BLUES on 12th January 2014 at 22:00 which a man wearing a white tee-shirt played music from three of the finest purveyors of electric blues guitar; and although none were related they were all named Walker. We played a few things you'd hear elsewhere and a whole lot more you wouldn't.

We started off in a soulful frame of mind with the still young-sounding Paul Rodgers relishing being in tandem with the finest session players at Royal Studios in South Memphis - and not a guitar solo to be heard. He went to an Otis redding b-side while Robert Cray took on a William Bell song for the closing track on his sophomore album in 1980.

When the list of blues master guitarists is routinely compiled by folks who come to the blues genre, the name of Lowell Fulson is usually either left off or is waaaay down the list. Somewhat unfairly in my humble and we brought the classic "Shattered Dreams" he did for Kent in evidence. Over in Detroit Eddie Burns more than held his end down on the flip side of an early single he did on Harvey.

Our flurry oif activity on 5th January meant we inadvertently overlooked what would have been the 70th birthday of Jo Ann Kelly, one of the few genuinely innovative British Blues artists. To address our failing we put in two of her performances (one of which with Woody Mann was pretty darn rare).The only voice to follow her was that of Sister Rosetta Tharpe with a gospel piece.

Earl Palmer was a great drummer and his autobiography called "Backbeat" is a fascinating read of a working musician of the highest calibre - the same year Ace Records compiled a collection of singles where he sat in the traps; we chose the little known Little Eddy Lang and the sublimely supple Roy Montrell.

There's an ancient statute in Olde Anglishe Lawe which decrees that playing a song from Bo Diddley must always be coupled with one from Chuck Berry. It must be true because Mark Lamarr said it's in the Magna Carta. My serf, goods and chattels were safe for a while longer because we complied with due diligence.

Our three Walkers were Joe Louis who burst through at the same time as Cray but wasn't as pretty (allegedly); Phillip was always kitted out in sharp immaculate suit and imbued with sharp immaculate guitar lines, then there's T-Bone who set the bar for everyone. Electric blues guitar never got better. Period.

Rarely heard Professor Longhair, Johnny Fuller, TV Slim and Jesse Fortune were a privilege to play on British commercial radio. With Big Maceo at the piano, Big Maybelle and Jesse Fuller it was time to turn in for the night. You were fabulous company and I was Gary Blue. Until we get back together round your place on Sunday at 10pm (GMT) take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

track.title track.artistsort index album.title album.artistsort label
any ole way paul rodgers 7 royal sessions paul rodgers 429 records
Share What You Got Keep What You Need Robert Cray 12 Bad Influence Robert Cray DEMON
Shattered Dreams Lowell Fulson 8 Blues Around Midnight Various Artists ACE
I believe Elmore James 1-1 The Complete Meteor: Blues, R&b, & Gospel Recordings Various Artists ACE
Mean and Evil Eddie Burns 4 The Harvey Singles Eddie Burns HARVEY
I'm Beggin' With Tears Little Eddy Lang 11 Backbeat Earl Palmer ACE
Since You've Been Gone Joe Louis Walker 5 Blue Soul Joe Louis Walker DEMON
One Monkey Don't Stop No Show Stick McGhee 19 The R'n'b Years 1951: 100 Hot Rhythm And Blues Tunes From 1951 Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
(Ev'ry Time I Hear) That Mellow Saxophone Roy Montrell 3 Backbeat Earl Palmer ACE
Who Do You Love Bo Diddley 2 The R&b Years - 1956 (Vol. 2) Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
Confessin' the Blues Chuck Berry 9 His Best Volume 2 Chuck Berry MCA/CHESS
soul fixin' man Luther Allison 10 Bad Love Luther Allison Ruf
get your business straight Magic Slim & The Teardrops 3 blue magic Magic Slim & The Teardrops BLIND PIG RECORDS
rollin' log Jo ann Kelly w. Woody Mann 16 been here and gone various artists catfish
walkin' blues jo ann kelly 7 blues and gospel - rare and unreleased jo ann kelly blues matters!
i can hear the angels sister rosetta tharpe 1-20 gospel celebrities various artists fantastic voyage
someday you'll have these blues phillip walker 11 best of phillip walker phillip walker hightone
Please Come Back Pee Wee Crayton 15 Essential Pee Wee Crayton INDIGO
blues won't let me take my rest henry gray 14 let's have a blues ball various artists ace
Curly Haired Baby Professor Longhair 2 Mardi Gras In New Orleans: Complete Recordings 1949-1962 Professor Longhair Jasmine Records (UK)
Texas Stomp Big Maceo 9 The Best Of Boogie Woogie Various Artists DOCUMENTS
Vacation Blues T-Bone Walker 22 The Complete Capitol/Black And White Recordings T-Bone Walker Capitol
Rootin' Ground Hog Big Joe Williams 9 Throw A Boogie Woogie Sonny Boy Williamson (Aka John Lee Williamson) BLUEBIRD
One More Mile to Go James Cotton 4 The Bluesville Years. Vol 2: Feeling Down On Various Artists PRESTIGE
Have A Good Time Shakey Horton 2 Double Trouble The Cobra Records Story Various Artists One Day Music
hard times johnny fuller 2-9 dust my rhythm and blues various artists ace
Good Things Jesse Fortune 5 The Way I Feel Various Artists FLYRIGHT
Blues, Early Early Big Maybelle 28 Wail Man Wail! King Curtis Fantastic Voyage
You Can't Love Me T. V. Slim 11 The Way I Feel Various Artists FLYRIGHT
Bad Luck Lightnin' Slim 2 Rollin' Stone Lightnin' Slim FLYRIGHT
You Can't Keep a Good Man Down Jesse Fuller 19 All That Blues Various Artists ORIGINAL BLUES CLASSICS
Created: 12/01/2014 23:39:13 

Sunday, 5 January 2014

STAR BLUES on 5th January 2014 at 22:00

On what would have been his 85th birthday we mark the passing of Rockin' Tabby Thomas; he made some fine singles for Excello and for many years ran the "Tabby's Blues Box" club in Baton Rouge La. He won a talent contest after his discharge from the forces in 1951 and cut a handful of singles on different labels over the next couple of years. In 1959 local students had a project to discover local players which lead to his signing by Jay Miller and the label debut "HooDoo Party" and its followup "Popeye Train". He stayed a while with Excello and its offshoots and his singles are prized by soul collectors (There's a fascinating bio and discography on the SirShambling web site). In 1980 he founded the Blues Box club and ran that for around 20 years in his home town where he hosted touring artists of the stature of B. B. King when they queued three times round the block. He had to stop playing after a car crash and subsequent stroke in 2004 but he carried on singing. Judging by the number and warmth of words I've read and heard, he was well-loved and will leave a huge hole in our music.

New Years Day 30 years ago was similarly remembered for the death of Alexis Korner (he was Radio 2's Paul Jones R&B Show before Paul Jones. I believe he was another denizen of late Sunday nights (not sure if was as into his white tee-shirts though)). We played a rare track from 1964 which was done in session for the BBC with the fruity voiced Herbie Goins and grainy sax of Dick Heckstall Smith in accompaniment. Alexis' radio show was often graced with the harp demonstration piece done by Charlie Musselwhite for Stefan Grossman's Kicking Mule - Charlie has a new live album cut last August at the Juke Joint Chapel on Highway 49 out of Clarksdale and he's lost none of his sparkle. He'll be 70 on January 31st.

Another 70th birthday we should have marked ws that of Jo Ann Kelly (5th January 1944) who both sang and played guitar as if she came from the Delta and nothing like she looked.

We also had the first offering from two guys calling themselves "the Blues Doctors"; they're both professors from the University of Mississippi in Oxford. They hustled a gig at a local bar, of which this album is a good blend of covers with a quartet of originals from harp nan Adam Gussow. You will know his name as half of the long running Satan and Adam pairing. We chose the instrumental working of a song written by the Crusaders' Joe Sample.

I got the latest issue of Living Blues a tad before New Year and it has (among other things) a remarkable piece of research by Jim O'Neil - he's been looking at the story of Casey Bill Weldon and at evidence of the relationship Bill was thought to have had with Memphis Minnie. Some research books say they were married. However Jim puts forward a case for mistaken identity (by accident or design) - he posits Memphis Minnie being married to Will Weldon from Arkansas who played with the Memphis Jug Band. We played tracks from each of the three and there's do doubt there are distinctive characteristics in guitar style between both men. Jim presents a pretty convincing case, the full piece is in Living Blues #228 (Dec 2013 edition)

The timing of the arrival of the magazine made for a last minute update to my annual GARY BLUES ALMANAC publication (we like to show a list of projects reviewed in LB and in Blues&Rhythm magazine). If you've not got your copy of the ALMANAC, please contact me via the radio station email address. Its an e-publication in PDF form and this one is volume 5. It gives us a chance to unveil the annual STAR BLUES award winners. (See last blog). Another great excuse to play tracks by Bobby Rush, Billy Boy Arnold and from the Delmark stable.

Turns out my Otis Rush disc was mispressed and we didn't get his version of Little Red Roster, but those Cobra sides are little gems so you can't go too far wrong. Distinctive guitar from Robert Ward and the lascivious Wynonie Harris vox were two other highlights, the latter as a mark of respect to a batch of persisssstent rain we can't shake off. Amos Milburn and Ernest Lane did piano bits for us and the Zion travelers were in the gospel tent.

I'm aiming to be back with more next Sunday at 10pm (BST) until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Down in LouisianaRaful Neal2I Been MistreatedRaful NealICHIBAN
Master ChargeAlbert Collins6Ice Pickin'Albert CollinsAlligator
Red BeansLuther 'Guitar Junior' Johnson1I Want To Groove With YouLuther 'Guitar Junior' JohnsonRounder Records Manufactured and Distributed By Co
White FoxRobert Ward5Twiggs County Soul ManRobert WardBLACK TOP
A Real Good TimeEddie Clearwater21Mark Lamarr's Roc-King Up A StormVarious ArtistsWESTSIDE
i ain't the onebobby rush3dopwn in louisianabobby rushdeep rush
put it where you want itblues doctors1roosters happy hourblues doctorsharmonica blues
The Blues Overtook MeCharlie Musselwhite7juke joint chapelcharlie musselwhitehenrietta
RobertaAlexis Korner's Blues Incorporated17At The CavernAlexis Korner's Blues IncorporatedCASTLE
Blue and LonesomeErnest Lane1The Blues Is Back!Ernest LaneACOUSTIC MUSIC
Empty Arms BluesAmos Milburn36Blues Barrelhouse And Boogie - The Best OfAmos MilburnCapitol
beautiful cityzion travellers2-5gospel celebritiesvarious artistsfantastic voyage
Red Headed WomanBaby Face Leroy Trio40King Of Chicago Blues - EsssentialMuddy WatersINDIGO
Little Red RoosterOtis Rush18Good'uns : The Classic Cobra SidesOtis RushBLUESIDE
Hoodoo PartyTabby Thomas18Louisiana Swamp BluesVarious ArtistsFLYRIGHT
Popeye TrainTabby Thomas2It's Your Voodoo Working: The Best Of ExcelloVarious Artistsuniversal music operations
Roll on Ole MuleTabby Thomas3Genuine Excello R'n'bVarious ArtistsACE
Outskirts of TownCasey Bill Weldon8Roots Of Van MorrisonVarious ArtistsCATFISH
Goin’ Back to TexasMemphis Minnie17History Of Rhythm And Blues Part OneVarious ArtistsRhythm and Blues Records
Turpentine BluesWill Weldon10Let Me Tell You About The Blues: AtlantaVarious ArtistsFantastic Voyage
Lost Lover BluesBlind Boy Fuller16Messed Up In Love And Other Tales Of WoeVarious ArtistsBlue Label / SPV
John HenryPop Staples22Ultimate Staple Singers: A Family AffairStaple Singers, TheKent (U.K.)
move back to the woodsbilly boy arnold13walter davis projectvarious artistselectro-fi
hey hey babylurrie bell1blues in my soullurrie bellDELMARK
Messed Up (Cobra 5012)Harold Burrage14R&b Humdingers Volume 14Various ArtistsVee-Tone Records
Take Me Out of the RainWynonie Harris22Mr. BluesWynonie HarrisPROPER
Take Me in Your ArmsLazy Lester23I'm A Lover Not A FighterLazy LesterACE
Real Lovin' MamaFloyd Dixon2Wailin' DaddyMaxwell DavisFantastic Voyage
Created: 05/01/2014 23:41:11