Sunday, 27 July 2014

STAR BLUES on 27th July 2014 celebrating female blues and birthdays upcoming for Buddy Guy and Robert Cray

Timely issue from Fantastic Voyage helps us make up for not having female blues on recent shows

A mid-morning documentary on the life and work of Billie Holiday was a timely reminder of her sumptuous voice which could convey blues as readily as jazz. I also learned that "Lady Day" was actually the name Lester Young used for Billie's mother before Billie took it for herself. Mickey Champion's skill came from her glamourous and stylish clothes sense at odds with her uncompromising earthy world weary voice - audible right through to that project she did for Cannonball a few years ago. To the best of my research Linda Hayes is still with us, her brother was in the Platters and she had some R&B success in her own right circa 1953.

Vaneese Thomas has the pick of the newest crop with a tribute project to her father, the irrepressible Rufus Thomas. Digital trickery means they can duet on a previously unissued take of a Rufus piece. Sister Carla is also on hand but if you love Betye LaVette's work as much as me you're in for a treat. I had to write myself a note to remember to take the disc out of the car into the studio, it had been a fixture in my system all week. Bob Coritorre came over twice, once on the album he did with John Primer that showed why Chicago Blues is so good at the moment; he was also helping out Dave Specter on a new thing he's done on Delmark.

Lavern Baker's material was sometimes tinged with novelty, at others with fire and one imagines her rivalry with label mate Ruth Brown would have been the stuff of legend. Ruby Glaze was the female voice on a handful of songs put out under Blind Willie McTell, her track on STAR BLUES was in her own name but seemingly had Willie on string support. The much missed Jo Ann Kelly did a version of Louisiana Blues to round out the feature for us.

Birthday boys Cray and Guy couldn't be more different in temperament and approach to playing, both men have been massively influential. When Eric Clapton left the Bluesbreakers he wanted Cream to be a power-trio just like Buddy Guy's West side of Chicago outfit. We had one of Buddy's earliest Chess sides that Eric would have heard then a 1979 live effort Buddy did with Junior Wells at that years Blues Estefayette festival. Both our selections on Young Bob had roots in his soulful side; one from Stax era William Bell, the other a cover of a Bobby Parker classic. Our opening pair of tracks we for Pretty Blue whose birthday it was; since little more than a twinkle in Lady Blue’s eye she has always loved those two songs – it is every parent’s legal duty to ensure the finest music is on hand during a child’s formative years.

Prof. Longhair and Floyd Dixon were in the piano tent in their different forms, those folks are always welcome here. Though we didn't strictly have a gospel number, Marie Knight was on hand doing one of her occasional secular performances.

It was a pretty decent night for blues guitar players all of which prompts me to plug next week's show where the guitar must be unplugged if you're coming in here. Auntie Beeb has a penchant for the guitar riff at the moment with the great and the good voting for the best one (not sure how you measure it). STAR BLUES is pleased to act as antidote because our music has always been about songs and people not about showing off. Gets down off soapbox while other blues radio shows stand and stare open-mouthed.

Sell My MonkeyB. B. King5Introducing B. B. KingB. B. KingMCA
Little Bitty Pretty OneThurston Harris And The Sharps3Let The Good Times Roll - The Aladdin StoryVarious ArtistsOne Day Music
Share What You Got Keep What You NeedRobert Cray12Bad InfluenceRobert CrayDEMON
Steal Your Heart AwayBobby Parker2Soul City PhiladelphiaVarious ArtistsFantastic Voyage
Southern Central BluesVaneese Thomas1Blues for My FatherVaneese ThomasSegue Records
Bam-A-LamMickey Champion1-26Voodoo Voodoo: Feisty Fifties FemalesVarious ArtistsFantastic Voyage
voodoo voodoolavern baker3-31Voodoo Voodoo: Feisty Fifties FemalesVarious ArtistsFantastic Voyage
'tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Dobillie holiday1-14that old devil called lovebillie holidayretro
Coal MinerNappy Brown11New Breed R&b With Added PopcornVarious ArtistsKent
Slop Around (Chess 1759)Buddy Guy10R&b Humdingers Volume 11Various ArtistsVee-Tone Records
Bad DreamJames Davis21Duke Blues BrothersVarious Artists
Between Midnight And DayProfessor Longhair12Mardi Gras In New OrleansProfessor LonghairSPV Blue
Bad NeighbourhoodFloyd Dixon14Blues TunesVarious ArtistsHIT
man or mouseJohn Primer and bob coritorre9knockin around these bluesJohn Primer and bob coritorredelta groove
Blues Get Off My ShoulderRobert Cray6Nothing But LoveRobert CrayPROVOGUE
One Room Country ShackBuddy Guy4The Story Of Black And Blues :1976-1988Various ArtistsFREMEAUX ET ASSOCIES
Atomic BabyLinda Hayes30Voodoo Voodoo: Feisty Fifties FemalesVarious ArtistsFantastic Voyage
Smooth OperatorRuth Brown13Voodoo Voodoo: Feisty Fifties FemalesVarious ArtistsFantastic Voyage
Grasshopper BabyMarie Knight12Voodoo Voodoo: Feisty Fifties FemalesVarious ArtistsFantastic Voyage
Salt In My CoffeeBetty James16A Greyhound Bus And Ride - Moonshine Blp 117Various Artistsmoonshine
Tell Me, Is There Still A Chance?Goree Carter15Deep FeelingVarious ArtistsFantatsic Voyage
I Can't Help ItGuitar Crusher4Boogie On Broadway ( Moonshine Blp 119 )Various Artistsmoonshine
Bop Cat StompKing Charles feat. Left Hand Charlie16Deep FeelingVarious ArtistsFantatsic Voyage
be careful with the blueshop wilson3-25Deep FeelingVarious ArtistsFantatsic Voyage
too late to changejohnny fuller3-8Deep FeelingVarious ArtistsFantatsic Voyage
Lonesomeday BluesRuby Glaze8The Great Women Blues SingersVarious ArtistsRETRO
Louisiana BluesJo Ann Kelly7Key To The HighwayJo Ann KellySanctuary Records Group Ltd
Why Do Things Happen To MeW. C. Clark4Texas SoulW. C. ClarkBLACK TOP
Don't Take My Kindness For A WeaknessEarl Gaines1Crankshaft BluesEarl GainesBlue Label / SPV
louisiana stompdave specter and bob coritorre10message in bluedave specterdelmark
Created: 27/07/2014 23:43:08

Sunday, 20 July 2014

STAR BLUES on 20th July 2014 at 22:00 - which guitarist links Sonny Terry, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker?

Johnny Winter played guitar with and produced late period projects for Sonny Terry, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. Depending on your viewpoint he was a blues guitarist who played in a rock setting or a rock guitarist who played in a blues setting. When news of his death came through I tried to describe his work to a few folks who asked - I just babbled something about fast and loud but that doesn't get close. Our STAR BLUES show started and ended with tracks from the Indian summer albums he did for Muddy Waters that won armfuls of awards. Winters yelps and cajoles Muddy and a backing band that included James Cotton, Pinetop Perkins, Bob Margolin and Willie Big Eyes Smith. There was a full album with Sonny Terry for Alligator which must have caused a few raised eyebrows during the planning stages, Sonny Terry stayed Sonny Terry throughout. The track with John Lee Hooker was off the iconic piece that made John Lee Hooker into an international brand. To showcase his versatility we put in a cover of an Earl King song and a skilful workout on a Robert Johnson classic. Neil also did a brief tribute on his Rock show to preview ours and despite Johnny's obvious frail health he'll be much missed by fans of both genres.

We also had a track from the new album from James Armstrong and a version of an early hit for Johnnie Taylor newly out on a new survey of Little Milton's Malaco good works. Elvin Bishop tinkered around something by Dave Bartholomew and Fats Domino while keeping true to the spirit and the guilty pleasure on offer fell to the Sons of the Delta. TJ Fowler was suitably rambunctious in Detroit and two of the very finest blues shouters were on hand (Roy Brown and Jimmy Witherspoon) even if one was described as too blues for jazz and too jazz for blues. Ethel Waters was a lone standard bearer for classic blues women but I'm pretty sure we can redress the balance in short order on a show coming to a radio near you pretty soon.

Johnny Winter wasn't the only string wizard on show, check out what Blind Blake was doing on his Rag. It would have been Floyd Jones' birthday and our contingent of windy City players was complete with the Wolf, Junior Wells, Eddie Taylor and Jimmy Reed. Texan Pee wee Crayton was a star on the West Coast and our choice was a previously unissued take of an early hit on Modern records.

The new issue of Record Collector magazine reveals that Bernie Marsden ran a record shop until just recently, the interview also told us he is still looking for a Little Willie John single on King from 1961. Happy to oblige.

I promised a feature on the AFBF tour of 1964, that'll be coming in September. Meanwhile next Sunday celebrates birthdays for Buddy Guy and Robert Cray, 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
mannish boy muddy waters w. johnny winter 1 hard again muddy waters sony legacy
Kind Hearted Woman Blues Johnny Winter 16 Beg Borrow Or Steal Various ArtistsRobert Johnson CATFISH
Out On a Saturday Night Sons Of The Delta 13 Tasty Nuggets Sons Of The Delta rawtone
Bo Weevil Elvin Bishop 9 Can't Even Do Wrong Right Elvin Bishop Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.
Early In The Morning Ray Charles 1 The Genius Sings Blues Ray Charles Atlantic
Blues Ain't Nothin' James Armstrong 9 Guitar Angels James Armstrong Catfood
She Moves Me Jimmy Witherspoon 3 Sings The Blues Sessions Jimmy Witherspoon ACE
Midnight Lover Man Roy Brown 7 Saturday Night! King And Imperial Recordings Roy Brown EL TORO
Trick Bag Johnny Winter 4 Guitar Slinger Johnny Winter Alligator
T.J. Boogie T.J. Fowler 3 Let Me Tell You About The Blues: Detroit Various Artists Fantastic Voyage
blues after hours - alt pee wee crayton 1 texas blues pee wee crayton ace
Hideaway Bernie Marsden 1 Green And Blues Bernie Marsden ESSENTIAL
let them talk Little Willie John 16 The King Sessions 1958-1960 Little Willie John ACE
Can't Trust Your Neighbor Little Milton 4 Sings Big Soul Little Milton Kent
Bad Boy Eddie Taylor 72 100 Blues Gems Various Artists CHESS
You Can't Make Me Doubt My Baby Bunker Hill 4 Jukebox Jam! Various Artists  
Tail Dragger Howlin' Wolf 24 Complete Recordings 1951-1969 Howlin' Wolf CHARLY
Walking Thru' The Park Johnny WinterMuddy Water 9 Nothin' But The Blues Johnny Winter BEAT GOES ON
Susie John Lee Hooker 8 Mr. Lucky John Lee Hooker SPV Blue
Drop Down Mama David 'Honeyboy' Edwards 9 Blues, Blues David 'Honey Boy' Edwards David 'Honeyboy' Edwards DOCUMENT
Dark Road Floyd Jones 16 100 Blues Gems Various Artists CHESS
Southern Rag Blind Blake 11 The Blues Box Various Artists METRO
St. Louis Blues Ethel Waters 6 The Blues Box Various Artists METRO
High And Lonesome Jimmy Reed 212 Let Me Tell You About The Blues; Chicago - The Evolution Of Chicago Blues 1925-1958 Various Artists Fantastic Voyage
Roll Me Baby Sonny Terry 10 Whoopin' Sonny Terry Alligator
Can't Be Satisfied Muddy WatersJohnny WinterJames Cotton 2 Breakin' It Up & Breakin' It Down Muddy WatersJohnny WinterJames Cotton SONY
Created: 20/07/2014 23:33:38

Sunday, 13 July 2014

STAR BLUES on 13th July 2014 at 22:00 - Texas Blues Artists plus DIALTONE label

A very special STAR BLUES this week with Mance Lipscomb, Lil Son Jackson, T-Bone Walker and Freddie King. we're concentrating on the Lone Star state with a dip into the splendid Dial-Tone label.

Texas Blues has a big sound and is best known for the skills of its guitar players. Of those we had several like Albert Collins and Freddie King (still can't decide who's better. Just keep putting the Iceman ahead because of those airplane runway sized collars Freddie wore in the Seventies). A couple of others made names through the West Coast blues scene but birthrights in Texas put them on our list: Lowell Fulson and Charles Brown.

Lest you think its about the six stringed axe, Big Walter Price joined Brown on the ivory ticklers team. Frank Frost flew a lone flag for the harp men. Sax genius Grady Gaines did what he did best and brother Roy was back in his Rock'n'Roll routes for "Isabella". I was asked beforehand not to forget Johnny Winter and he was very forceful in his two hander with fellow label star Lonnie Brooks from his Alligator days. Tutu Jones is a more modern player with tinges of soul in both voice and guitar; ZuZu Bollin was much under-rated and under-recorded (I've made a note to track down more of his stuff).

Rare and alternate versions of Pee Wee Crayton's early pieces he did for Modern are newly available through Ace and It was a treat to bring you something never previously issued. You could just about get a fag paper between his solo on the track and the finest T-Bone Walker tone, though I doubt you'd get two.

The pre-war giants were represented by Blind Lemon Jefferson (of course) and Texas Alexander; country blues from Black Ace and Lightnin' Hopkins (ofcourse), rounded out with the iconic "Cairo Blues" by Lil Son Jackson (who I think had a deceptive and memorable singing style as well as player).

The conundrum on the fierce guitar solo on Scremin' Jays "Whammee" from last week was answered by a listener as Mickey Baker (ofcourse).

The centrepiece for the show went down to Houston for a rich sample of items currently in the Dialtone catalogue. Eddie Stout has gradually built a formidable body of artist who still play blues in the good old fashioned way. Last years project from Milton Hopkins and Jewel Brown is perhaps best known but the Birdlegg album is a little gen which has excited many in the know - expect more good things from both acts pretty soon. Ervin Charles plays keyboards and he boogied steadfastly for us. Hosea Hargrove's album has been sympathetically put together and it is good to see Ray reed with product on the shelves. His brother-in-law was guitarist Clarence Pierce who is featured in the new edition of Blues & Rhythm magazine (other blues magazines are available, a couple are worthwhile, most can usefully plug a draught under the bath at best). Clarence was part of the loose aggregation that recorded as the Texas Eastside Kings and there was some lovely understated soulful playing to remember him.

We did cheat with Big Mama Thornton who wasn't born in Texas; she did some great sides for Peacock out of Houston so we had no problem with her credentials.

Next Sunday STAR BLUES will remember the 1964 AFBF tour that reached Britain that week so you can be sure of Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin' Wolf and Sleepy John Estes between 10 and midnight (BST). Until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

Fake I.D.Albert Collins3Blues Guitar BoxVarious ArtistsSEQUEL
daylightTutu Jones1Staying PowerTutu JonesBULLSEYE BLUES
Why Don't You Eat Where You Slept Last NightZuzu Bollin17Let Me Tell You About The Blues: TexasVarious ArtistsFantastic Voyage
Some Other Day, Some Other TimeFreddy King23King New Breed R'n'bVarious ArtistsKent (U.K.)
Talkin' WomanLowell Fulson18Uk Sue Label Story, Vol. 3: The Soul Of SueVarious ArtistsKent (U.K.)
austin boogiepee wee crayton6jumpin in los angelespee wee craytonace
Wound Up TightLonnie Brooks3Blues Guitar Box 2Various ArtistsSEQUEL
G. G. ShuffleGrady Gaines & Texas Upsetters8Blues Sax GreatsVarious ArtistsEASYDISC
Pack Fair And Square (Peacock 1666)Big Walter PriceThunderbirds1Rhythm Rockin' BluesVarious ArtistsGroove SOURCE
Just Like A Dog (Barking Up The Wrong Tree)Big Mama Thornton10Voodoo Voodoo: Feisty Fifties FemalesVarious ArtistsFantastic Voyage
5. Lucy Mae BluesRay Reed4Where The Trinity Runs FreeRay ReedDIALTONE
I'm In Love With You BabyHosea Hargrove12Tex Golden NuggetHosea HargroveDIALTONE
you hurt metexas eastside kings w. charles pierce5texas eastside kingstexas eastside kingsdialtone
Back To The ShimmyJewel Brown9Milton Hopkins & Jewel BrownMilton HopkinsJewel BrownDIALTONE
Jumpin' With ErvinErvin Charles5Greyhound BluesErvin CharlesDIALTONE
You Up Set My MindtBirdlegg7BirdleggBirdleggDIALTONE
You Better Heed My Warning (With Mickey Baker's Orchestra)Larry Dale9Groove Records StoryVarious Artistsone day
Isabella (Deluxe 6119)Roy Gaines21R&b Humdingers Volume 11Various ArtistsVee-Tone Records
Cairo BluesLil’ Son Jackson2Down Home Blues Classics Texas 1946-1954Various ArtistsBOULEVARD ENTERTAINMENT
Black Cat BluesLightnin' Hopkins1Texas BluesLightnin' HopkinsORBIS BLUES COLLECTION
Trifling WomanBlack Ace9Texas BluesVarious ArtistsCATFISH
Long Tall Girl Got Stuck On MeMance Lipscomb7Blues RootsVarious ArtistsTOMATO
Penitentiary Moan BluesTexas Alexander14Crime And PunishmentVarious ArtistsFantastic Voyage
prison cell bluesblind lemon jefferson2-16crime and punishmentvarious artistsfantastic voyage
Feel Good BabeFrank Frost18Jelly Roll KingFrank FrostCHARLY
Worry BluesWillie Mabon2Willie's Blues - The Greatest Hits 1952 - 1957Willie MabonJasmine Records
Love's Like A RiverCharles Brown13The Ace Story - Volume 5Various ArtistsACE
Little Mae BelleWest Texas Slim25Down Home Blues Classics Texas 1946-1954Various ArtistsBOULEVARD ENTERTAINMENT
Mojo In My HandL. C. 'Good Rockin'' Robinson20Let's Have A Blues Ball!Various ArtistsACE
When The Rain Starts Fallin'Johnny Copeland8Texas PartyJohnny CopelandORBIS BLUES COLLECTION
T-Bone ShuffleT-Bone Walker1You're My Best Poker Hand: The Definitive CollectionT-Bone WalkerFantastic Voyage
Created: 13/07/2014 23:30:17

Sunday, 6 July 2014

STAR BLUES on 6th July 2014 at 22:00

Humdingers. Slabs of 'em straight from Mark Lamarr's endless collection of treasures via those splendid folks at Vee-Tone. Crank up the juice to the speakers would be my advice for any of the Seventeen Greasy Groovers on offer. Probably best known of the names is that of King Curtis and his sax exquisitely slid into the Midnight hour. I wasn't familiar with the Billy Miranda offering on Checker with its rural country harp but that's the real joy of what Mark does: he serves up plenty of new and rare names.Ditto Boots Brown.

We started a show with a track originally taken from the only truly essential blues album - the sessions had Albert King backed by Booker T and the MGs, sparse guitar lines and immaculate understated drumming from Al Jackson; fluid organ from Jones and rock solid bass from Duck Dunn. Non-pareil playing and arrangements.

Our birthday book had space for Larry Garner, Louis Jordan and James Cotton. The last named upset more than a few folks in blues by posing in dungarees on the porch of a run down shack for the artwork of his Verve project. The music was something special however, with Joe Louis Walker on earthy down-home guitar and Charlie Haden on "proper" standup acoustic bass.

Same instrument plus Sue Palmer on piano and Kid Ramos bringing unpretentious playing to Candye Kane's go at "Fine Brown Frame". She is constantly working, often for charitable causes, and I've never heard her bitter or complaining about her lot in life, she still sings well and gave the song a nice interpretation. I used the title as a subtle introduction to a pair of bicycle songs marking the Tour de France stage starting in the morning. Bob Gaddy rippled through his one and Fats Domino updated the "Bicycle Built for Two" theme on the b-side of a 1961 single on Imperial.

It's become our custom to be first out of the traps with a Christmas song and we took no chances by ensuring no-one could say we were just late for last year. Despite putting it into my FB status I'm sure there were some first time visitors who thought I wouldn't press play on Clarence Carter.

Both Luther Allison and Fenton Robinson brought wares from their Alligator cupboards, and Screamin' Jay rode close to the edge with a guitarist that I've not yet identified. Jesse Fuller showed his gifts in a different way. James Phelps had a decent secular career after following Johnnie Taylor in the Soul Stirrers. Before that he'd been lead voice for the Calvary Clefs who did gospel duties for us. Victoria Spivey had Lonnie Johnson along for support with deft fingers and urbane voice. That mood often suited Arthur Prysock but we found an uptempo treatment of "Good Rockin Tonight" he did for Old Town.

Next week we've a mind to go down Texas way at 10pm(BST) on Sunday night for more of Britain's Other Blues Show - 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
Laundromat Blues Albert King 1 King Of The Blues Guitar Albert King Atlantic
If You Come To Louisiana Larry Garner 8 Blues For Sale Larry Garner Dixiefrog
low down and dirty luther allison 1 Crucial Chicago Blues Various Artists Alligator
I Hear Some Blues Downstairs Fenton Robinson 12 Crucial Chicago Blues Various Artists Alligator
(She Put The) Whamee On Me Screamin' Jay Hawkins 21 The R'n'b Hits Of 1955 Various Artists CASTLE
linda lu Robert 'Bilbo' Walker 4 Rock The Night Robert 'Bilbo' Walker ROOSTER BLUES
Run Rose (Checker 957) billy miranda 1 Slabs Of Humdingers, Vol. 1 Various Artists Vee-Tone Records
Shine On Lillian Offitt 8 Chief Records Story Various Artists one day
Fine Brown Frame Candye KaneKid Ramos 8 Guitar'd And Feathered Candye Kane Ruf
Bicycle Blues Bob Gaddy & His Alleycats 7 Bluestream Various Artists MAINSTREAM
Rockin' Bicycle Fats Domino 26 The Imperial Singles Vol. 4, 1959-1961 Fats Domino ACE
Dealin' With The Devil James CottonJoe Louis Walker 4 Deep In The Blues James CottonJoe Louis Walker VERVE
Guitar Blues Jesse Fuller 5 The Lone Cat Jesse Fuller ORIGINAL BLUES CLASSICS
So Sweet Drink Small 2 Hallelujah Boogaloo Drink Small MUSIC MAKER
It Ain't Nothin' But The Truth Johnny Rawls 5 Put Your Trust In Me Johnny Rawls JSP Records
Ain't That Just Like A Woman Louis Jordan 18 The History Of Rhythm And Blues Volume Two 1942-1952 Various Artists Rhythm and Blues Records
Pinetop's Boogie-Woogie Pinetop Perkins 24 Sun Blues Box : 1950-1958 Various Artists CHARLY
Dynamite (Groove Ep Egb 1000) boots brown 5 Slabs Of Humdingers, Vol. 1 Various Artists Vee-Tone Records
Boot 'Em Up Du Droppers, The 7 Groove Records Story Various Artists one day
goin' crazy pete guitar lewis 1-25 boogie uproar various artists one day
Quinsella Sonny Boy Johnson 3 Alley Special Various Artists COLLECTABLES
going down to the river clefs of calvary feat. james phelps 2-28 get your soul right various artists fantastic voyage
Idle Hours Victoria Spivey & Lonnie Johnson 9 The Bluesville Years. Vol 8: Roll Over, Ms. Beethoven Various Artists PRESTIGE
good rockin' tonight arthur prysock 4 too late baby arthur prysock ace
Back Door Santa Clarence Carter 1 The Original Soul Christmas Various Artists RHINO
Nine Below Zero Sonny Boy Williamson 9 King Biscuit Time Sonny Boy Williamson ARHOOLIE
Worried Man Blues Johnny Williams 5 Down Home Blues Classics - Chicago (1946-1954) Various Artists BOULEVARD VINTAGE
lie to me john and sylvia embry 3 troubles john and sylvia embry delmark
Goin Away Baby (Round Like An Apple) Smokey Wilson 6 Round Like An Apple: Big Town Sessions 1977-1978 Smokey Wilson ACE
Dynamite At Midnite (Apollo 507) king curtis 13 Slabs Of Humdingers, Vol. 1 Various Artists Vee-Tone Records
Created: 06/07/2014 23:44:37