Sunday, 25 May 2014

STAR BLUES on 25th May 2014 at 22:00

Two Kings, one Empress, two BMA winners - our best poker hand.

Freddie was our first royal, he dipped into Elmore's back catalogue for the leading cut on a rare album done for the Cotillion imprint. Albert was King #2; his debut session had john brim on guitar, Johnny Jones on piano with Odie Payne and Willie Dixon in the engine room. there's a fantasy blues league next door to. priceless on that team sheet.

bobby Rush has the 2013 Star Blues album award on his shelf, he's now got the matching gong from the BMA committee. the title track off the album showed why they agreed with our choice.  Our other winner triumphed in the horn category . Eddie Shaw is a redoubtable figure on the Chicago blues scene, just as he has for decades. Delmark is his home, where you'll also find our birthday boy Quintus McCormick: the Hey Jodie project has the track Fifty/Fifty.

John Mayall is  by my count 81 and is like Michael Caine for reliability, if you like him you'll like his new album called Special Life, no surprises. At the other end of the age scale Selwyn Birchwood's debut for Alligator is on just about every other blues jock's radar at the moment, mostly to feature the 9 minute slow blues guitar opus Paper Bag; we favoured the more authentic take of Overwork. We hope he'll resist the axe hero push.
Our blues ladies had Ruth Brown and Faye Adams, the ultra rare and little recorded Cleo Gibson - and the Empress Bessie Smith. Just as we had dream team on offer with Albert K, Bessie had Louis Armstrong on cornet. This collection has some of the cleanest sounding cuts from Smith - this piece was done in 1929 Lonnie Johnson was masterful on Careless Love and Lightnin Hopkins effortlessly proved Texas blues guitar is ohso much more than Joe Bo. Guitar dexterity was there in other guises like Little Hudson, Eddie Kirkland and the peerless Memphis Minnie. We went to the Excello cupboard for our gospel spot and our piano spot from Mercy Dee Walton was remarkable for Sydney Maiden's crisp harp work.

The Chicago Blues Festival is two weeks away and to set the scene our Star Blues on Sunday at 10pm will have the Windy City and all its blues players as a theme. 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
Yonder Wall Freddie King 1 My Feeling For The Blues Freddie King REPERTOIRE
Goodbye Baby Elmore James 18 Lets Cut It Elmore James CLASSIC BLUES
That's All Right John Mayall 1 A Special Life John Mayall
Overworked And Underpaid Selwyn Birchwood 7 Don't Call No Ambulance Selwyn Birchwood Alligator
Take a Chance on Me, Baby Michael Burks 2 Show Of Strength Michael Burks Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.
Go Ahead on Guitar Red 23 Sun Records - Ultimate Blues Collection Various Artists VARESE
Step By Step Eric Bibb 11 Get Onboard Eric Bibb TELARC
Too Many Hungry Mouths Around the Table Denise La Salle 13 Crossroads : Southern Routes Various Artists SMITHSONIAN FOLKWAYS
Down in Louisiana Bobby Rush 1 Down In Louisiana Bobby Rush DEEP Rush
What a Fool I've Been Little Buster 20 Looking For A Home Little Buster SEQUEL
fifty fifty quintus mc cormick 5 60 years of blues various artists delmark
sun is shining eddie shaw 9 it ain't over various artists delmark
You Give Me Nothing But the Blues Snooks Eaglin 1 Baby, You Can Get Your Gun! Snooks Eaglin BLACK TOP
Keep Your Hands Off Her Little Joe Ayers 8 Backatchya Little Joe Ayers DEVIL DOWN
Linin' Track Taj Mahal 10 Giant Steps // De Old Folks At Home Taj Mahal SONY
lonesome dog blues Lightnin hopkins 2-6 Rpm Blues Story Various Artists one day
It's Time For Lovin' To Be Done Little Eddie Kirkland 1-7 Rpm Blues Story Various Artists one day
oh what a dream Ruth Brown 2-3 greatest hits - Teardrops From My Eyes Ruth Brown sequel
Witness to the Crime (Herald 470) Faye Adams 3 R&b Humdingers Volume 11 Various Artists Vee-Tone Records
I've Got Ford Movements in My Hips Cleo Gibson 10 Bedspring Poker - Meat In Motion 1926/1951 Various Artists INDIGO
Didn't it Rain Children Sons Of The South 16 The Best Of Excello Gospel Various Artists ACE
sweet old woman blues goree carter 5 great unsung goree carter collectables
five card hand mercy dee walton 4 in the key of blues various artists bluesville
Kissing in the Dark Memphis Minnie 15 Blues Is Killin' Me Various Artists FLYRIGHT
I Ain't Goin' to Play No Second Fiddle (Feat. Louis Armstrong) Bessie Smith 15 Blues Queen. The Definitive Collection Bessie Smith Phoenix Records
Careless Love Lonnie Johnson 6 The Original Guitar Wizard Lonnie Johnson PROPER
Be on Your Merry Way Albert King 1 Ultimate Collection Albert King RHINO
rough treatment little hudson 11 Blues Is Killin' Me Various Artists FLYRIGHT
boogie in the dark jimmy reed 1-4 anthology jimmy reed not
Dream John Littlejohn 6 Chicago Blues Stars John Littlejohn Arhoolie Records
Created: 25/05/2014 23:51:05 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

STAR BLUES on 18th May 2014 at 22:00

After the Eurovision fuss about Polish milkmaids you'll note STAR BLUES avoided the obvious selection of Wynonie Harris' song about butter churns - we just did the less obvious one out on Savoy by Big Joe Turner.

Some of Luther Allison's mid period work was rock music in a different cardigan but by crikey I miss his brio and attack The project he did twenty years ago which provided our opening salvo was a welcome return to focused energy and it took the distinctive guitar/amp combination of Robert Ward to partner Luther out of the traps. Kenny Neal moved the style onwards with his father Raful during their tribute to the music of Slim Harpo. Last week we had a cut from the sparkling new album by Snooky Pryor's son Rip Lee - and we had no hesitation coming back for more. Then in our vinyl hour Snooky took his own turn; an hour that also featured Willie Mabon, Jimmy Rogers, JB Lenoir, Muddy Waters and the under-appreciated genius of Johnny Young. Over in New York immediately post-war Sonny Terry marked out his turf and was a neat way to show the different strands of our music from those years alongside Jimmy T-99 Nelson and Louis Jordan.

Kent DuChaine is playing at the region's premier live blues venue on Sunday (25th) and the two selections we played are good indications of what you can expect at the Elme Hall, as well as evidence of his considerable pedigree.we don't play nearly enough Mance Lipscomb or Memphis Willie B both of whom benefited from the rediscovery programme prompted by the renewed interest of the Sixties blues boom. Calvin Jackson was a similar example from the blip thirty years later.

Joe Jones and Sugar Boy Crawfiord were down Louisianan way and Bobby Marchan would have been a much bigger star had he lived in slightly more enlightened times. Not sure how we did a STAR BLUES last time with no gospel offering, I trust the two we chose from erstwhile partners Sister Rosetta and Marie Knight were suitable recompense. Our show next week will include music from the BMA winners in 2014, which coincidentally matched our own STAR BLUES choices we picked at Christmas. 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
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is Luther Allison 4 Bad Love Luther Allison Ruf
Yonder Goes My Baby Robert Ward 7 Black Bottom Robert Ward BLACK TOP
Miami Strut A. C. Reed 4 Solos, Sessions & Encores Stevie Ray Vaughan Epic Japan
worry worryin' Kenny Neal + raful neal 9 tribute to slim harpo Kenny Neal + raful neal kingsnake
Pitch a Boogie Woogie Rip Lee Pryor 11 Nobody But Me Rip Lee Pryor
Ride Til I Die John Lee Hooker 18 Original Folk Blues ... Plus John Lee Hooker ACE
cajun queen kent duchaine
mean old world kent duchaine
Round and Round (Montel 1003) Sugar Boy Crawford 1 R&b Humdingers Volume 11 Various Artists Vee-Tone Records
You Talk Too Much Joe Jones 22 You Talk Too Much: The Ric & Ron Story Volume 1 Various Artists ACE
Half a Mind Bobby Marchan 14 Get Down With It The Soul Sides 1963-67 Bobby Marchan Kent
Strange Things Happening Everyday Sister Rosetta Tharpe 11 Gospel - The Ultimate Collection Various Artists RED Box
I Put My Trust in Thee Marie Knight 12 Screaming Gospel Holy Rollers Vol. 1 Various Artists Vee-Tone Records
Milk and Butter Blues Big Joe Turner 20 Have No Fear Big Joe Turner Is Here Big Joe Turner SAVOY
Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens Louis Jordan 4 Good Rockin' Tonight Various Artists CHARLY
T' 99 Blues Jimmie Nelson 9 The R'n'b Years 1951: 100 Hot Rhythm And Blues Tunes From 1951 Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
Waiting And Drinking Calvin Boze 1 Wailin' Daddy Maxwell Davis Fantastic Voyage
Kokomo Calvin Jackson & Mississippi Bound 10 Goin´ Down South Calvin Jackson & Mississippi Bound CROSSCUT
Ride and Roll Sonny Terry 20 Let Me Tell You About The Blues: New York Various Artists Fantastic Voyage
Car Machine Blues Memphis Willie B. 12 Hard Working Man Blues Memphis Willie B. ORIGINAL BLUES CLASSICS
captain captain Mance Lipscomb 2 Captain, Captain: The Texas Songster Mance Lipscomb orbis blues collection
the pony blues Son House 19 Preachin' The Blues Son House CATFISH
money takin' woman johnny young 1-1 Down Home Blues Classics - Chicago (1946-1954) Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
Round About Boogie Jimmy Rogers 1-11 Down Home Blues Classics - Chicago (1946-1954) Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
who's gonna be your sweet man muddy waters 4-10 Down Home Blues Classics - Chicago (1946-1954) Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
crosstown blues snooky pryor 4-13 Down Home Blues Classics - Chicago (1946-1954) Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
Lonely Blues Willie Mabon 14 Willie's Blues - The Greatest Hits 1952 - 1957 Willie Mabon Jasmine Records
I Feel So Good (Take 21) J. B. Lenoir 20 Mojo Boogie - An Essential Collection J. B. Lenoir FUEL 2000
Chicken Shack Boogie Amos Milburn 1 Good Rockin' Tonight Various Artists CHARLY
Created: 18/05/2014 23:35:08

Sunday, 11 May 2014

STAR BLUES on 11th May 2014 at 22:00 - two Bob's worth

Robert Johnson would have had a birthday; Robert Cray was in Cambridge last night; two new albums; trivia, tomfoolery, white tee shirt and a plastic duck. I'm having trouble liking Cray at the moment: he sings better than me, he writes better than me, he plays guitar better than me -  and after the gig Lady Blue proclaimed "He's cute". We played his cover of a Porter/Hayes hit for Big Maybelle, starts off with brooding intensity and ends with some genuinely anguished blues playing. Contemporaries like Joe Louis Walker have added an undeniable rock element to his armoury but Cray has headed off in the opposite tack and virtually has this field to himself now.

The Robert Johnson myth is one thing, his playing and writing evolved into a style which popularised a number of themes and motifs already being played in the clubs he did. Three years after his centenary he is still one of the most identifiable of all blues artists.

Regular listeners will have often heard me say "Electric blues guitar gets no better than T-Bone Walker" and his "Hypin' Woman" was another excuse for him to give a master class in not playing too many notes nor too few. Larry Lampkin's name was unknown to me six months ago but his brand new album is a treat for fans of fluid guitar playing, we dipped into that project on STAR BLUES - you can bank on us going back there before we get too much older.

They say apples don't fall too far from the tree and Rip Lee Pryor is proof of that maxim. His dad was Snooky Pryor and his harp style has the same easy flow on the new Electro-Fi album. All being well we will have more next time.

I'm not very good at Facebook but I do shamelessly use it for inspiration on what to put into the show: one of my friends has a dip into his sumptuous collection of 78's at the weekend and inspired me with Chuck Higgins' instrumental "Wet Back Hop". Great sax too on that Bill Doggett selection. Our very own "Brian the Cleaner" is an internet sensation for the show he hijacks here instead of hoovering and dusting - he did the early breakfast show the other day and asked for songs with a train theme. My suggestion for "Honky Tonk Train Blues" got onto the list but not to air. The hidden bonus Mike Sanchez version on STAR BLUES was our nod to Mike now he has an autobiography out which neatly chronicles the live British blues scene - I've never seen him without a broad grin swinging the heck out of guitar or keys.

Bobby Blue Bland did just Part 1 of his single on Duke and the under appreciated vocal gifts of Joe Medwick matched him on a survey labelled as Southern Soul but full of tasty blues and r&b. Carol Fran, Hadda Brooks and Erline Harris stuck up for the blues women with different shades of our music.

Late period Otis Rush saw a return to playing form on the title track of his album from 20 years ago, Guitar Slim and Freddie King at the other end of the show did us proud heading into the midnight hour. Piano duties fell to Jimmy Yancey did his trademark Eb ending while Faber Smith carefully enunciated vocal accompaniment. We dipped out on gospel for some reason but I hope we covered enough bases anyway on STAR BLUES for you to get an idea of what we're about. As always you were magnificent and I plan to be back round your place suitably attired and equipped at 10pm (BST) on Sunday. 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
Ain't Enough Comin' in Otis Rush 9 Ain't Enough Comin' In Otis Rush THIS WAY UP
Your Good Thing Is About To End Robert Cray Band 4 In My Soul Robert Cray Band PROVOGUE
I Cried Joe Medwick 1 Where Southern Soul Began 1954-1962 Various Artists HISTORY OF SOUL
Emmitt Lee Carol Fran 6 Where Southern Soul Began: 2 Various Artists HISTORY OF SOUL
Ain't Doing Too Bad Bobby 'Blue' Bland 14 The Voice : Duke Recordings 1959-69 Bobby 'Blue' Bland ACE
blues is real larry lampkin 1 blues is real larry lampkin kaint kwit
Honky Tonk Train Blues Mike Sanchez And His BandImelda May 15 Almost Grown Mike Sanchez And His BandImelda May DOOPIN
Boozie Boogie Cecil Gant 1 The R'n'b Years 1947: 100 Hot Rhythm And Blues Tunes From 1947 Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
Don't You Want a Good Man Tail Dragger 4 Stop Lyin' Tail Dragger DELMARK
nobody but me rip lee pryor 1 nobody but me rip lee pryor -
Just a Little Bit Rosco Gordon 28 Solid Stroll Various Artists LUCKY Gal
Sweet Lovin' Mama Watson, Johnny "Guitar" 11 Soul City Los Angeles Various Artists Fantastic Voyage
Wet Back Hop Chuck Higgins 9 Jiving Jamboree Various Artists ACE
Afternoon Jump Bill Doggett 3 Complete Recordings: 1954 Bill Doggett CLASSICS
Blue Mood Hadda Brooks 12 Modern Music: 1945 Various Artists ACE
Jump and Shout Erline Harris 12 I'm A Bad Bad Girl Various Artists INDIGO
Hypin' Woman Blues T-Bone Walker 14 1947 : Chronological Recordings T-Bone Walker CLASSICS
R.B. Boogie R.B. Thibadeaux 4 The R'n'b Years 1950: 100 Hot Rhythm And Blues Tunes From 1950 Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
Landlord Blues Ivory Joe Hunter 34 Blues At Sunrise Ivory Joe Hunter INDIGO
East St. Louis Blues Faber SmithJimmy Yancey 1 Broke Black And Blue Various Artists PROPER
Half Ain't Been Told Otis Spann 8 My Home Is In The Delta Otis Spann ORBIS BLUES COLLECTION
Down the Line Robert Nighthawk 2 Black Angel Blues Robert NighthawkForest City Joe CHARLY
Tired Feelin' Blues Two Charlies [Charlie Jordan & Charlie Manson] 65 Roots 'N Blues : Retrospective 1925-1950 Various Artists SONY
Ramblin' on My Mind Robert Johnson 7 Contracted To The Devil Robert Johnson SONY / LEGACY
When There's No Way Out Guitar Slim 7 Atco Sessions Guitar Slim ATCO
Side Tracked Freddie King 11 Texas Sensation Freddie King CHARLY
Created: 11/05/2014 23:17:51

Sunday, 4 May 2014

STAR BLUES on 4th May 2014 at 22:00

Gifted guitarist and gruff-voiced Homesick James' centenary on STAR BLUES; Little Walter's birthday was on the 1st and Brandon Bailey is featured in the newly published issue of Blues & Rhythm magazine. In a masterful combination of trivia and tomfoolery we bathed in the glory of how England's soccer captain amassed a record 105 caps and still found time to put out some robust r&b like "when the wagon comes".

Homesick had a long career, his final sessions for Fedora came out in his 91st year (his debut had been for Chance Records in 1949). He had neither the same attack nor the brio of an Elmore James but he was still an influential slide player: most notably on his version of the Crossroads legend. Our pick included a sweet session he did with Snooky Pryor at Chalk Farm in 1973 following the groundbreaking tour for Big Bear music.

Little Walter was without equal on his instrument and there are few players since his death who don't have at least a passing nod to his crisp sax-styled playing. Eddie C Campbell is in the birthday book as well and we hope his health worries are behind him now. Mighty  Joe Young was on the same album as Eddie and Buddy Guy went back to an acoustic baseline to interpret one of Frankie Lee Sims songs (who was also during our second hour courtesy of something selected  by Bob Dylan and featured on HIS radio doodling).

Larry Birdsong covered an Earl Gaines hit and label mates the Fairfield Four were a couple of examples off Ted Jarrett's Champion stable. Both Rudy Greene and Willie Tee made their debuts on our playlist though the smart money says they'll be back before long. Billy Gayles lovely powerful pipes have graced our airwaves before and is another bit of evidence to support those who say Ike Turner invented rock'n'roll.

Billy Boy Arnold is the incumbent STAR BLUES artist of the year and he was on hand to satisfy our mod contingent with a song i first heard done by the Yardbirds with Keith Relf on harp.The Bank holiday scheduling made room for more music than normal, so we reminded folks why blues is again flavour of the month when it comes to backing music on TV adverts (we'll leave the Google tickling to you to match Little Richard and Etta James to products).

The expected arrivals of Robert Cray and James Armstrong didn't make it through for the show, but we will certainly have a track from Snooky's son Rip Lee Pryor on next week's running order as well as a dip into the sparkling album from Larry Lampkin. 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
Peter Gunn King Curtis 23 Wail Man Wail! King Curtis Fantastic Voyage
Boom, Boom Out Go the Lights Little Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs) 16 His Best Little Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs) MCA/CHESS
confessin' the blues Little Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs) 17 His Best Little Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs) MCA/CHESS
Look What You Done Eddie C. Campbell 62 Sweet Home Chicago Various Artists INDIGO
Lucy Mae Blues Buddy Guy 3 Blues Singer Buddy Guy SILVERTONE
Bad Luck and Trouble Lightnin' Hopkins 6 From L.A.To N.Y.C.Via Nashville Various Artists Blue Label / SPV
I Just Want to Make Love to You Etta James 1 Something's Got A Hold On Me Etta James CHARLY
Slippin' And Slidin' Little Richard And His Band 3 Just About As Good As It Gets Little Richard SMITH & CO
I Done Did That Already Johnny Jones 10 I Was Raised On The Blues Johnny Jones BLACK MAGIC
One Step Closer to the Blues Charles Walker 4 Soul Stirring Thing Charles Walker SPV
Bye Bye Bird Brandon O. Bailey 8 Memphis Grooves Brandon O. Bailey APO
Crawlin' Homesick James 11 Blues On The South Side Homesick James ORIGINAL BLUES CLASSICS
Crossroads Homesick James 2 Uk Sue Label Story, Vol. 2: Sue's Rock 'N' Blues Various Artists ACE
the woman i love Homesick James 7 homesick james and Snooky Pryor Various Artists BIG BEAR
got to move Homesick James 11 got to move homesick james 32 blues
good morning blues Brownie McGhee 1 The Last Great Blues Hero Brownie McGhee WESTSIDE
Every Night in the Week Larry Birdsong 2-20 champion records - singles collection Various Artists spv
No Good Woman Blues Rudy Greene 14 From New Orleans To Chicago Via Memphis Various Artists SPV Blue
In the Beginning Willie Tee 17 Keep It Rollin' - Blues Piano Collection Various Artists Rounder
hadacol bounce prof. longhair 2 From New Orleans To Chicago Via Memphis Various Artists SPV Blue
let your will be done fairfield four 2-2 champion records - singles collection Various Artists spv
No Use to Worry Lonesome Sundown 18 Genuine Excello R'n'b Various Artists ACE
Walkin' With Frankie Frankie Lee Sims 7 Theme Time Radio Hour - Series 2 Various Artists ACE
Just One More Time Billy Gayles 23 Theme Time Radio Hour - Series 2 Various Artists ACE
when the wagon comes billy wright 2-3 jump blues the jamaica way various artists fantastic voyage
i found that woman jimmy mccracklin 2-4 jump blues the jamaica way various artists fantastic voyage
got to find my baby willie mabon 25 willie's blues willie mabon jasmine
Greyhound Blues D A Hunt 3-2 Let Me Tell You About The Blues: Memphis Various Artists Fantastic Voyage
saddle my pony howlin' wolf 2-18 Let Me Tell You About The Blues: Memphis Various Artists Fantastic Voyage
ramblin' woman big moose 16 The Way I Feel Various Artists FLYRIGHT
i wish you would billy boy arnold 1-3 get on the right track various artists fantastic voyage
Hard Times Mighty Joe Young 19 The Way I Feel Various Artists FLYRIGHT
The Toddle Little Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs) 24 Blues With A Feeling Little Walter (Aka Marion Walter Jacobs) ROOTS
Created: 04/05/2014 23:52:48