Sunday, 27 April 2014

STAR BLUES on 27th April 2014 at 22:00

Not sure when Henry Townsend was last played on British FM Blues radio and he along with Jabo Williams marked a return to what STAR BLUES is best known for - celebrating the full heritage of our music. In two hours that whizzed past in a trice, the young Jarekus Singleton brought along his brand new album for Alligator and the nonagenarian Henry Townsend held up the other end of a bluesman's career. Jarekus has been tipped for great things since his debut album and with the profile afforded him by Bruce Iglauer's imprint, his second one may well get him there or thereabouts. His "Blame game isn't typical of the rest of the project but the more stripped back feel around a harp is a little gem in my humble. Henry did a piece for the Smithsonian as part of their celebrations for Robert Johnson, he was known for his piano skills inspired by Sunnyland Slim though he started on guitar copying Lonnie Johnson. LJ was according by many to be the founder of blues guitar and by remarkable coincidence was also in our crowd last night.

Johnnie Marshall, Robert Ealey and Chris Beard surfaced around the same time at the turn of the 90s and - sadly for us - none have recorded anywhere nearly enough. There are a couple of blues artists with pretty serious health worries at the moment and we send them much love and kind thoughts: Finis Tasby had a stroke last year and though paralysed remains in undiminished good spirits, we caught him front and centre singing for the Mannish Boys. Walter Trout had a lengthy spell in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers but these days has life-threatening liver troubles. There'll be a cd, book and DVD project in stores as of 4th June and we got an early look at the album: Mayall wrote and did rippling piano duties on the Boogie track to showcase the good cause.

Robert Cray starts his UK tour on Friday and he'll reach Cambridge on 10th with a follow-on gig in Norwich the day after. Don't have his new album yet but that single is a good taster. Can't believe he's slipped past the 60 mark now, its great to hear him in touch with those soulful roots. With Mr Singleton on the start line for new albums we find both Keb Mo and Kenny Blues Boss Wayne. The female blues voice didn't get much of a fair shake but what there was was pretty darn good: Helen Humes and Big Maybelle who got covered by Aretha Franklin. The new issue of Living Blues has Swamp Dogg on the cover and in th e early guise of Little Jerry Williams we had him on the show. Wynonie Harris, Kip Anderson and Earl Gaines effortlessly upped the vox quotient. The lone instrumental was the single Al Wichard cut for the Bihari brothers in a recording blitz designed to stockpile product ahead of the second Petrillo ban.

Somewhat bleary eyed I was roused by Lady Blue on Saturday morning telling me about Ben Harper on breakfast tv, hence our excursion into the 2004 collaboration he did with the Blind Boys of Alabama in the gospel tent. God willing we'll surface again with trivia, tomfoolery and blues at 10pm next Sunday, until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Gotta Find My BabyChris Beard9Who I Am & What I DoChris BeardELECTRO Glide
you move merobert cray1you move merobert crayprovogue
I Had a DreamRobert Ealey1Rounder RevueVarious ArtistsRounder
On My Way to MemphisJohnnie Marshall2Live For TodayJohnnie MarshallJSP Records
jumpin' the boneDuke Robillard10Stomp! The Blues TonightDuke RobillardStony Plain Music
Take My HandBen HarperBlind Boys Of Alabama, The1There Will Be A LightBen HarperBlind Boys Of Alabama, TheVIRGIN RECORDS
Mean Old WorldMannish Boys, The2Double DynamiteMannish Boys, TheDelta Groove
mayall piano blueswalter trout w. john mayall7blues came a callingwalter troutprovogue
Keep On Rockin'Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne10Rollin' With The Blues BossKenny "Blues Boss" WayneSTONY PLAIN
The Worst Is Yet To ComeKeb Mo1BluesamericanaKeb Mo 
blame gamejarekus singleton11refuse to losejarekus singletonalligator
Lovin' MachineWynonie Harris9Jump Mr BluesWynonie HarrisFantastic Voyage
Let's Go Again (Where We Went Last Night)Hank Ballard & The Midnighters5Doo Wop Revival: The R&b Vocal Group Sound 1961-1962Various ArtistsFantastic Voyage
Cake Jumps (Instrumental)Al 'Cake' Wichard Sextette11Beating The Petrillo Ban. The Late December 1947 Modern SessionsVarious ArtistsACE
Burnt Toast And Black CoffeeMike Pedicin5Get On The Right Track: Mod R&b, Jazz & SkaVarious ArtistsFantastic Voyage
respectotis redding1Respect: Aretha's Influences & Inspirationsvarious artistsace
PitfulBig Maybelle8Respect: Aretha's Influences & InspirationsVarious ArtistsACE
today i sing the blueshelen humes10Respect: Aretha's Influences & InspirationsVarious ArtistsACE
Anytime is the Right TimeArthur 'Big Boy' Crudup4My Baby Left Me The Definitive CollectionArthur 'Big Boy' CrudupFantastic Voyage
Keep What You GotLonnie Johnson6Originator Of Modern Guitar BluesLonnie JohnsonBLUES BOY
Fat Mama BluesJabo Williams25Roll 'Em Pete : 25 Years Of Piano Blues And BoogieVarious ArtistsINDIGO
I'm the Lover ManLittle Jerry Williams4It's All Good - A Singles Collection 1963 - 1989Swamp DoggACE
I Wanna Be The Only OneKip Anderson13Where Southern Soul Began: 2Various ArtistsHISTORY OF SOUL
best of luck babyearl gaines19Where Southern Soul BeganVarious ArtistsHISTORY OF SOUL

Sunday, 20 April 2014

STAR BLUES on 20th April 2014 at 22:00 in a Gatefold Sleeve

Just announced that vinyl sales are at a 15 year high - doubt anyone hereabouts would be very surprised at those numbers. It was Record Store Day yesterday and we wanted to do that extra special thing in our vinyl hour to play items originally issued with a gatefold sleeve. That often meant two 12 inchers collecting previous issues but as the Sixties wore on the blues community started putting out their newest albums that way. Our survey touched a lot of bases.

Our first segment was a chance to catch up with the new bits and bobs we can't normally fit into our regular two hour bundle. Delta Groove has output consistently interesting projects over the past decade or so, Terry Hank is a case in point. Saxman vocalist, with noted guests he brings a fresh arrangement to a tried and tested format. Long time fave Bob Corridors has a very stylish album in genres with blues at its core, the all-instrumental project is a terrific platform to stretch out. Though barely 30, J J Thames sings with authority and control befitting one twice those years, she takes on a version of Ray Charles' I Believe and comes out in front. Grady Champion runs her label and adds guitar to the piece, as does fellow newcomer Eddie Cotton.

Duncan Street is a duo bringing low-key humour to their own song "Sharpest Marble" and Arthur Migliazza artfully interpreted Hershel Thomas' song on upright piano -pretty sure we'll be going back to both albums before we get too much further into 2014.

My ancient battered dictionary has a simple single page definition for the word "swing": voice, fiddle and guitar of Clarence Gatemouth Brown - he'd have been 90 on Friday 18th. He did a nifty take on a TBone Walker piece at one end of STAR BLUES, unknown genius at the other end Gored Carter was similarly blessed with guitar skills.

VeeTone's last two albums are out on 180g vinyl and our trip to the gospel tent found a couple of picks off the Mark Lamar compilation of Screaming Gospel - rather fitting for the Easter theme and for Record Store Day. Our second segment looked back at those glorious long players wearing gatefold garments. My double album of Fleetwood Mac in Chicago was clad in an unfortunate shade of brown but when the protagonists included the likes of Otis Spann and Walter Horton you can forgive the fäshion faux- pas. The combination of Sharkey and Peter Green both at the top of the game was our choice on the show. One of may earliest album purchases was the budget twofer called Best of Chess Blues: in addition to the usual subjects (Muddy, Wolf, SBW, Elmore) it was my introduction to both Etta James and Robert Nighthawk.

Barely three months after those Mac sessions at Teri-Mar studios in Chicago, Muddy Waters was there with Paul Butterfield et al for the "Father and Sons" album in a fold out cover, B B King's "Completely Well" album on Bluesway was in similar attire - I don't have the session play details to hand but its a fair bet the wan-wash guitar effects weren't coming from Lucille. Our last collection was the pairing which accompanied the seminal book by Paul Oliver called "Story of the blues" most folks here already know about both and are the foundation of their collections.

We had barely enough time to fit in the two voices of Johnnie Morrisette before having to wrap things up with as much pip proficiency as one blues jock could muster and planning more mischief for 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
strollin with bones clarence gatemouth brown 4 his ten best clarence gatemouth brown rounder
Don't Mistake Kindness for Weakness Albert Collins 3 Iceman Albert Collins POINTBLANK
i believe j j thames 8 tell you what i knopw j j thames dechamp
Gotta Bring It On Home To You Terry Hanck Band 9 Gotta Bring It On Home To You Terry Hanck Band Delta Groove
Slow Down marcus malone 6 stand or fall marcus malone red line
Come on in My Kitchen Chris Thomas KingJames Cotton 10 Hellhound On My Trail Various Artists TELARC
T-Town Ramble Bob Corritore 11 Taboo Bob Corritore Delta Groove
suitcase blues arthur migliazza 10 lay it down arthur migliazza hobeman records
burying ground nightingales 9 screamin' gospel holy rollers various artists vee-tone
go tell him what you want voices of jordan 10 screamin' gospel holy rollers various artists vee-tone
sharpest marble in the drawer duncan street 4 baptized by the blues duncan street 15 south records
tanya earl hooker 16 Slidin' Various Artists CHARLY
Last Night Fleetwood MacWalter Horton 5 Blues Jam In Chicago Fleetwood Mac COLUMBIA
Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had Muddy Waters 4 Chicago - London Muddy Waters ROOTS
sweet black angel robert nighthawk 16 chess blues various artists mca/chess
Tell Mama Etta James 10 The Fame Studio Story 1961-1973 Home Of The Muscle Shoals Sound Various Artists Kent
So Excited B. B. King 16 King Of The Blues B. B. King MCA
Me and My Chauffeur Blues Memphis Minnie 24 Story Of The Blues Various Artists Columbia Legacy
All By Myself Big Bill Broonzy 4 Story Of The Blues Various Artists Columbia Legacy
Travelin' Blues Blind Willie McTell 3 Story Of The Blues Various Artists Columbia Legacy
Roll 'em Pete Big Joe Turner 5 Story Of The Blues Various Artists Columbia Legacy
The Twelve Year Old Boy Elmore James 6 Complete Chess Chief Fire Recs. Elmore James CHARLY
Damper Johnnie Morisette 11 Soul City Los Angeles Various Artists Fantastic Voyage
Back Home Blues Goree Carter 4 Unsung Hero Goree Carter COLLECTABLES
Created: 20/04/2014 23:52:54

Sunday, 13 April 2014

STAR BLUES on 13th April 2014 at 22:00

With customary regularity there's been a tall dark slim chap at your place at 10pm on a Sunday night. He'll always have a hip flask of tomfoolery, a pocket full of trivia and an armful of blues music. With any luck you'll have liked most of it and there's a good chance some of it you won't have heard before.

Larry Garner hails from Louisiana and remains a potent player who deserves more chances to record; his debut for JSP provided our driving opener on STAR BLUES. Mr. Drummer has made a new album for Earwig with old-fashioned sensibilities and could well be in contention for our annual album gong. We kept the pace up with two Gaines boys and Clarence Holliman. Otis Clay was on hand to help johnny Rawls on the project celebrating the life and work of O V Wright - there is no such thing as a bad performance from ace singer, guitarist, writer and producer Rawls. After successful stints with both Sun and Chess, Little Milton alighted upon the Stax label and he brought us the definitive interpretation of Bettye Crutcher's song "Woman Across the River" - high praise considering the cover Freddie King did.

Robert Lockwood was a graceful guitarist with neat jazz tinges, his early version of Johhny Otis' "Take a Little Walk" explained why he's so highly rated. In this centenary year of John  Lee Williamson, we got a two-for-one bargain with our STAR BLUES artist of 2013, Billy Boy Arnold. The Joe Carter piece was done for Ralph Bass in 1977 and bundled by Delmark with similar vintage Magic Slim. There's some fabulous vocal offerings out at the moment on reissues by Ace and History of Soul. The Jimmy Hughes piece was a favourite in the R&B clubs, as were the Five Royales. I had shamefully forgotten how good that Joe Medwick single was.

Our dalliance with Sam Cooke last week was prompted by a listener question, the same person needed some convincing on James Browns work before the Sixties. What must it have been like to be a horn player in that orchestra trying to keep up with James' power for the cover of Roy Brown's song. The Swan Silvertones were majestic in the gospel tent and Champion Jack Dupree and Amos Milburn were romping round those 88s.  Johnnie Temple reached out across the years and we went to the very start of Syl Johnson's canon. There was just enough time to remind ourselves of Mr. Walker's guitar supremacy before it was time to gather up the platters and collect our thoughts ready for next Sundays extravaganza. Until then take care of yourself and take care of those that take care of you

track.title track.artistsort index album.title album.artistsort label
Scared of You Larry Garner 1 Double Dues Larry Garner JSP
Better Than Good Johnny Drummer 11 Bad Attitude Johnny Drummer EARWIG
Full Gain Grady GainesRoy GainesClarence Hollimon 7 Blues Guitar Duels Various Artists EASYDISC
Don't Let My Baby Ride Johnnie Rawls 7 Remembering O. V. Johnny Rawls Catfood
Woman Across the River Little Milton 21 Nobody Wins Stax Southern Soul 1968-1975 V A Various Artists Kent
Take a Little Walk With Me Robert Lockwood, Jr. 7 Reborn And Remastered Robert Johnson ROUGH GUIDES
Rub-A-Dub Billy Boy Arnold 12 Billy Boy Sings Sonny Boy Billy Boy Arnold Electro-Fi
neighbour neighbour jimmy hughes 1-25 complete fame singles vol. 1 Various Artists KENT
Vicksburg Blues Chris James & Patrick Rynn, feat Jody Williams and Eddie Shaw 9 Barrelhouse Stomp Chris James & Patrick Rynn EARWIG
Joe's Boogie Joe Carter 11 That Ain't Right Magic Slim & The TeardropsJoe Carter DELMARK
Walkin' With Frankie Frankie Lee Sims 3 Mark Lamarr's Ace Is Wild Various Artists WESTSIDE
Good Rockin Tonight James Brown 6 Messing With The Blues James Brown POLYDOR
i cried joe medwick 2-1 where southern soul began vol. 1 various artists history of soul
i got to know five royales 1-11 where southern soul began vol. 1 various artists history of soul
Jock-A-Mo Sugar Boy & His Cane Cutters 4 Cosimo Matassa Story Various Artists Proper Box
House Rent Party Champion Jack Dupree 17 Blues For Everybody Champion Jack Dupree CHARLY
one scotch one bourbon one beer amos milburn 19 down the road apiece amos milburn aladdin
Chain 'em Down Blind Leroy Garnett 14 Roll 'Em Pete : 25 Years Of Piano Blues And Boogie Various Artists INDIGO
Nappy Head Blues Bobby Grant 10 Roll And Tumble Blues : History Of Slide Guitar Various Artists INDIGO
Lead Pencil Blues Johnnie Temple 12 Highlights From: The History Of Rhythm And Blues 1925-1942 Various Artists RHYTHM & BLUES
mary don't you weep swan silvertones 1-20 sound of the city: chicago various artists emi
My Name is Misery Al King 1 Together Al KingArthur K. Adams ACE
i've got love syl johnson 2-19 i'll go crazy - federal recoprds story various artists one day music
don't lie to me mercy baby 5 ric and ron story vol. 1 various artists ace
Naggin Jimmy Anderson 8 Louisiana Swamp Blues Various Artists FLYRIGHT
Walkin' Talkin' Blues Joe Hill Louis 5 Boogie In The Park Joe Hill Louis ACE
mean old world t-bone walker 25 history of rhythm and blues various artists rhythm and blues
Created: 13/04/2014 23:52:24

Sunday, 6 April 2014

STAR BLUES on 6th April 2014 at 22:00

After a month celebrating nothing but vinyl issued blues, we're up to date with the blog comments at last and we make a return to celebrate the very best of 2014 projects so far, namely Eddie Cotton, Billy Branch and Johnny Drummer. Billy is the cover feature on the first Living Blues magazine of the year and is right back at the top of his game. (BTW thanks to Camilla fore sorting out the problem with my subscription, one of the unsung folks who help get the word out there).

Birthday boy Adam Gussow is a bone fide professor of harp proficiency and the instrumental "Buford Chapel Breakdown" from his new album "Kick and Stomp" provided us the perfect starter. He plays all the instruments and cracks on a quite a pace. The other harp maestro with a birthday was Walter Horton who'd have been 97 today. Those earliest sides for Sun down in Memphis were fertile fields rich with goodness.

Memphis Gold and Shelton Powe are modern blues players in the old school tradition, we played evidence of their gifts showing the music is thriving. Eddie Cotton is a young guy with a mature style and warm voice, he's signed to Grady Champion's label and will be set fair provided his head isn't turned by fools gold and false promises as others have been. Johnny Drummer's been round the block a few more times than Eddie and that ensures he can write a bakers dozen of new songs and bless them with straight down the line good grace. Billy does a lot of good work for schools and his own work is another reason for the resurgence of Chicago style blues.

Last week's dabble with 45s teed up a return to Canned Heat's hit by way of the panpipes used by Henry Thomas at his original setting. Similarly pre-war, Jim Thompkins was on hand and no amount of digital twiddling could have improved on what he achieved in 1930. We lost harp player Bud Spires at the end of March and like his father Arthur "Big Boy" Spires" he was a stalwart of the Bentonia scene. The "Deep Blues" documentary by Palmer and Mugge captured a two hander he did with Jack Owens on Jack's front porch - we took the piece off the soundtrack.  The other death reported on the show was that of guitarist extraordinaire Floyd Murphy (brother of Matt Murphy). Floyd did some top notch sessions for Eddie Snow and Bobby Bland, we played the best example of his craft: the solo on Junior Parker's "Feeling Good". His is the axe on Parker's "Mystery Train" too.

We remembered Whispering Smith and asked for information or memories of the dates he played at Cambridge's Alley club circa 1970. The gospel came from that Mark Lamarr compilation on Vee-tone with a reminder of the bare-out-of-his teens Sam Cooke for the guy I spoke too during the week who knew nothing of Sam's work before "Chain Gang". Professor Longhair's anthology on Jasmine got a good write up in Living Blues and he was joined by Freddie Slack to hold up his end of the piano.

Our STAR BLUES show concluded with a track featuring Lee Brilleaux on slide guitar off their "Malpractice" album. Its exactly 20 years since he died and his passing was over shadowed by that of Kurt Cobain. Arguably his loss was more keenly felt especially by those in Britain who came to this music after seeing him and Wilko tear up the live R&B club scene. We couldn't let those twenty years slip by without remark. Next Sunday at 10pm(BST) we'll be back in the night for some more of the good stuff round your place, until then take care of yourself and take care of those that take care of you.

track.title track.artistsort index album.title album.artistsort label
buford chapel breakdown adam gussow 8 kick and stomp adam gussow RIGHT RECORDINGS
Big Boss Man Frank Frost 8 Jelly Roll King Frank Frost CHARLY
Cut You Loose Eddie Cusic 4 Leland Mississippi Blues Eddie Cusic WOLF
Bull Doze Blues Henry Thomas 7 Heavy Hitters Vol. 1 Various Artists PIGMEAT RECORDS
Better Than Good Johnny Drummer 11 Bad Attitude Johnny Drummer EARWIG
Rock Me Baby Otis Redding 15 100 Hits Legends - Otis Reading Otis Redding DEMON
Baby Let Me Butter Your Corn Billy Branch 10 Blues Shock Billy Branch Blind Pig
I'M TIRED OF YOUR JIVE Sam Myers 1 Coming From The Old School Sam Myers Electro-Fi
Devil Blues Jack Owens & Bud Spires 15 Deep Blues Various Artists Atlantic
Gypsy Woman Shelton Powe 11 Carolina Blues And Gospel Shelton Powe MUSIC MAKER
Pay to Play Eddie Cotton 3 Here I Come Eddie Cotton CDBaby
Keep A Dollar In Your Pocket Roy Milton & His Solid Senders 9 Jump Blues Jamaica Way: Jamaican Sound System Classics Vol. 3 Various Artists Fantastic Voyage
Between The Night And Day (In The Wee Wee Hours) Professor Longhair 9 Mardi Gras In New Orleans: Complete Recordings 1949-1962 Professor Longhair Jasmine Records (UK)
RIB JOINT Freddie Slack 2-1 Down The Road A-Piece Freddie Slack Fantastic Voyage
Dust My Broom Bobby John 16 Ike Turner Studio Productions Various Artists ACE
Feelin' Good Little Junior's Blue Flames 20 Rockin' Memphis Various Artists Proper Box
Touch the Hem of His Garment Sam Cooke With The Soul Stirrers 6 Specialty Story Various Artists Specialty
Dynaflow Blues Johnny Shines 3 Ramblin' Blues Johnny Shines ORBIS BLUES COLLECTION
Baby Left Me This Morning Whispering Smith 14 Louisiana Swamp Blues Various Artists FLYRIGHT
Notoriety Woman Eddie 'Guitar' Burns 32 Down Home Blues Classics Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
K. C. Loving Little Willie Littlefield 2 The R'n'b Years 1953: 100 Hot Rhythm And Blues Tunes From 1953 Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
SPINNING ROCK BOOGIE MICKEY BAKER 1 In The '50S: Hit, Git & Spit Mickey Baker Rev-Ola Bandstand
Created: 06/04/2014 23:42:45