Tuesday, 27 December 2011

This Week's Featured Artist....

Muddy Waters was born McKinley Morganfield on April 4th 1913 in Jug's Corner in Issaquena County, Mississippi. His grandmother Della Grant raised him after his mother died shortly after his birth. His fondness for playing in mud earned him the nickname "Muddy" at an early age. He then changed it to "Muddy Water" and finally "Muddy Waters. He started out on harmonica but by age seventeen he was playing the guitar at parties emulating two blues artists who were extremely popular in the south, Son House and Robert Johnson.

In 1940, Muddy moved to Chicago for the first time.He switched from acoustic to electric guitar in order to be heard over the din of patrons at the clubs he played on Chicago’s South Side. He recorded songs written for him by Willie Dixon ("I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man,” “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” “I’m Ready") and by Waters himself ("Got My Mojo Working,” “Mannish Boy,” “Rollin’ and Tumblin’").

Waters served to launch many prominent blues musicians, many of whom went on to careers in their own right. The list of notable musicians who passed through Waters’ band includes harmonica players “Little Walter” Jacobs, “Big Walter” Horton, Junior Wells and James Cotton; guitarists Jimmy Rogers, Pat Hare, Luther Tucker and Earl Hooker; pianists Memphis Slim, Otis Spann and Pinetop Perkins; and drummers Elgin Evans, Fred Below and Francis Clay.

Waters’ greatest studio recordings were released as singles during the Fifties, and his first album - a collection of singles entitled The Best of Muddy Waters - didn’t appear until 1958. The Sixties found Waters performing to an ever-widening and appreciative audience as the younger generation acquired an insight into the blues. Muddy headed to England in 1958 and shocked audiences (whose only previous exposure to blues had come via the acoustic folk/blues sounds of acts such as Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and Big Bill Broonzy with his loud, amplified electric guitar and thunderous beat. In 1960, Waters performed a set at the Newport Folk Festival, released in the same year as Muddy Waters at Newport.

By 1972 Waters accompanied by rock musicians such as Mike Bloomfield and Eric Clapton in The London Muddy Waters Sessions.

Muddy Waters died of a heart attack in 1983. He was 68 years old. His influence is tremendous, over a variety of music genres: blues, rhythm and blues, rock 'n' roll, hard rock, folk, jazz, and country. He influenced such greats as The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Canned Heat, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Paul Rodgers.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Featured Artist Of The Week...

Bertha "Chippie" Hill was one of the better classic blues singers of the 1920s, and was one of the few singers of her generation to make a full-fledged comeback in the 1940s. One of 16 children, she started working in 1916 as a dancer before she became better known as a singer. She was given the nickname "Chippie" because of her young age and her small size early in her career. She toured with Ma Rainey's Rabbit Foot Minstrels and went on to become a solo performer on vaudeville for a long period. She first recorded in November 1925 for Okeh Records, backed by the cornet player Louis Armstrong . After working steadily in the Chicago area until 1930 (including touring with Lovie Austin), she eventually left music to raise seven children.Hill occasionally sang during the next 15 years (including with Jimmie Noone) but mostly worked outside of music. She was rediscovered by writer Rudi Blesh in 1946, working in a bakery. She was back again in 1950, but was run over by a car and killed in New York at the age of 45.

This Weeks Playlist...

This week we are mostly playing...Lowell Fulson - Lonesome Christmas, Joe Kubeck & Benois King - Poor Man's Christmas, Charles Brown & Johnny Otis - Christmas Comes But Once A Year, Butterbeans & Susie - Papa Ain't No Santa Claus (Mama Ain't No Christmas Tree), Christmas Jug Band - Christmas Iz Coming, The Preston Shannon Band - X-Mas Blues, Bertha "Chippie" Hill - Christmas Man Blues, Felix Gross & His Orchestra - Love For Christmas, Sons Of Heaven - When Was Jesus Born?, Southside Johnny - Please Come Home For Christmas, and J.B. Summers with Doc Bagby's Orchestra - I Want A Present For Christmas.

Tune it at 11am this Wednesday HERE
Or as always, if you miss it, the show will be on Listen Again from when it ends until the next week.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

This Week....

This week we played.....
Little Jimmy King and The Memphis Horns - Happy Christmas Tears, Ray Charles - I've Got A Woman, Big Mama Thornton - Hound Dog, Pete 'Snakey Jake' Johnson - Satisfied, Billy 'Curley' Barrix - Cool Off Baby, Bo Carter - Santa Claus, Willie Mabon - I'm Mad, Muddy Waters - Got My Mojo Workin', Black Ace - Christmas Time (Beggin' Santa Claus), Howlin' Wolf - Smoke Stack Lightning, Lowell Fulson - Lonesome Christmas, Led Zeppelin - You Shook Me.

As always if you missed it, you'll be able to catch it on The Cat's Listen Again facility for one week, by clicking on Listen Again and selecting Wednesday 11am.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

This Week's Featured Artist...

Howlin' Wolf - Born Chester Arthur Burnett (June 10, 1910 – January 10, 1976), Howlin’ Wolf ranks among the most electrifying performers in blues history, as well as one of its greatest characters. He was a ferocious, full-bodied singer whose vocals embodied the blues at its most unbridled. A large man who stood more than six feet tall and weighed nearly 300 pounds, Howlin’ Wolf cut an imposing figure, which he utilized to maximum effect when performing. He wrote classics as “Killing Floor,” “Smokestack Lightning” and “Moanin’ at Midnight.”Wolf derived his trademark howl from the “blue yodel” of country singer Jimmie Rodgers, whom he admired. He moved to West Memphis in 1948 where he put together a full-time band. Howlin’ Wolf influenced such blues-based rock musicians as the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, and he recorded the albums - The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions and London Revisited - with his British followers in the early Seventies. Howlin’ Wolf gave his last performance in Chicago in November 1975 with B.B. King. He died of kidney failure two months later, aged 65. A life-size statue of him was erected shortly after in a Chicago park.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Providence Jug Band Special!!

Genre: Jug Band Music
Members: Winston Baldwin - Harp/Vocals, Phil Brightman - Guitar and piano, Stephen green - Mandolin, Keith Haines - Tea Chest Bass and Guitar.
Description: A gigging band playing blues, ragtime, jazz, and jug band music.
Bio: Surfaced during the 1970's when the folk music revival was at its height. Played for a number of years regionally, but split to have families. Reformed 30 years later, and currently play clubs and festivals. They have two CD's - "Back In Town" and "Red Street Rendezvous"

Today's Show is a two hour special featuring the amazing Providence Jug Band. The Midweek Blues team went down to The Bank Corner in Alsager to interview them and record them playing live. We also got some great photos. Tune in today between 11am and 1pm www.thisisthecat.com.


As always if you miss it, you'll be able to catch it on The Cat's Listen Again facility for one week, by clicking on Listen Again and selecting Wednesday 11am (and for this week, noon too).
Providence Jug Band will be playing at The Narrowboat in Middlewich, this Friday, the 9th at around 8.30pm.

Friday, 2 December 2011


The Midweek Blues team have been busily editing, researching and planning this week's TWO HOUR Midweek Blues Special, all about Providence Jug Band. Tune in on Wednesday 7th December at 11am.