Monday, 31 December 2012

This week's playlist

"Monday Morning Blues" - Mississippi John Hurt
"Party On" - John Pippus
"Tell Me Why" - John Pippus
"Didn't I Say" - The Mustangs
"Hot Tomales And They're Red Hot" - Jake Leg Jug Band
"It's A Sin" - Guitar Mikey
"Whiskey River Blues" - Shameless Rob Band
"All Your Love" - The Deluxe Blues Band
"Captured Me" - Sunday Wilde
"Save Some Mercy For Me" - Sandi Thom
"Walk On" - Cee Cee James
"I'm On The Road Again" - James 'Buddy' Rogers
"Blues Is My Business" - No Refunds Band
"That's What Love Will Do" - Shaun Murphy
"What'd I Say" - Geno Washington
"Holler And Stomp" - The Cash Box Kings

Monday, 24 December 2012

This week's playlist

"Christmas Train" - Carey Bell
"The Christmas Song" - Mark jungers
"Christmas Day Blues" - Cephas and Wiggins
"Please Let Me Be Your Santa Claus" - William Clarke
"Stay A Little Longer Santa" - Shemekia Copeland
"Fattening Up The Turkey" - Dave Hole
"Christmas Iz Coming" - Christmas Jug Band
"Back Door Santa" - The Holmes Brothers
"Christmas Time" - Lil' Ed and The Blues Imperials
"Santa Claus" - Little Charlie & The Nightcats
"Zydeco Christmas" - C.J. Chenier and The Red Hot Louisianna Band
"It's Christmas Time Again" - JD Myers
"X-Mas Blues" - The Preston Shannon Band
"A Bluesman's Christmas" - Coco Montoya
"Christmas Time In The Country" - Kenny Neal
"Santa Claus, Do You Ever Get The Blues" - Roomful Of Blues
"Lonesome Christmas" - Son Seals
"Merry Merry Christmas" - Koko Taylor
"Deck The Halls With Boogie Woogie" - Katie Webster
"Really Been Good This Year" - Saffire: The Uppity Blues Women
"Santa Claus" - Bo Carter

Monday, 17 December 2012

This week's playlist

"Strange Fruit" - Pete 'Snakey Jake' Johnson
"I'm Cryin'" - Stevie Ray Vaughan
"I Ain't Superstitious" - The Jeff Beck Group
"Don't Cry" - Shirley Jackson & The Good Rockin' Daddies
"21 Days In Jail" - Magic Sam
"Mud Bears Park" - Tippy Agogo and Bill Bourne
"Beale Street Breakdown" - Jed Davenport and His Jug Band
"Bring It On Home" - Hawkwind
"Hey Santa Claus" - Jillaine
"Christmastime Blues" - Jaimi Shuey
"Cold Shot" - Stevie Ray Vaughan
"I Wanna Be" - Riot and The Blues Devils
"Lights Out" - Dr. Feelgood
"Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love" - Stevie Ray Vaughan
"Boogie Woogie Santa Claus" - Charles Brown
"Chemistry" - Jack Derwin
"I Won't Be Your Fool" - A Ton Of Blues
"Christmas Snow" - Michael Burks
"Backup Plan" - Mark Robinson
"Chick 4 Christmas" - Chick Willis
"Good Texan" - The Vaughan Brothers
"I Can't Quit You Baby" - Led Zeppelin

Featured Artist: Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stephen "Stevie" Ray Vaughan
                        (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990)
With his astonishingly accomplished guitar playing, Stevie Ray Vaughan ignited the blues revival of the '80s. Vaughan drew equally from bluesmen like Albert King, Otis Rush and Muddy Waters and rock & roll players like Jimi Hendrix and Lonnie Mack, as well as the stray jazz guitarist like Kenny Burrell, developing a uniquely eclectic and fiery style that sounded like no other guitarist, regardless of genre.
Vaughan bridged the gap between blues and rock like no other artist had since the late '60s. For the next seven years, Stevie Ray was the leading light in American blues, consistently selling out concerts while his albums regularly went gold. His tragic death in 1990 only emphasized his influence in blues and American rock & roll.
Born and raised in Dallas, Vaughan began playing guitar as a child, inspired by older brother Jimmie. When he was in junior high school, he began playing in a number of garage bands, which occasionally landed gigs in local nightclubs. By the time he was 17, he had dropped out of high school to concentrate on playing music.
Vaughan's first real band was the Cobras, who played clubs and bars in Austin during the mid-'70s. Following that group's demise, he formed Triple Threat in 1975. Triple Threat also featured bassist Jackie Newhouse, drummer Chris Layton, and vocalist Lou Ann Barton. After a few years of playing Texas bars and clubs, Barton left the band in 1978. The group decided to continue performing under the name Double Trouble, which was inspired by the Otis Rush song of the same name; Vaughan became the band's lead singer.
For the next few years, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble played the Austin area, becoming one of the most popular bands in Texas. In 1982, the band played the Montreux Festival and their performance caught the attention of David Bowie and Jackson Browne.
After Double Trouble's performance, Bowie asked Vaughan to play on his forthcoming album, while Browne offered the group free recording time at his Los Angeles studio, Downtown; both offers were accepted. Stevie Ray laid down the lead guitar tracks for what became Bowie's “Let's Dance” album in late 1982. Shortly afterward, John Hammond Sr. landed Vaughan and Double Trouble a record contract with Epic, and the band recorded its debut album in less than a week at Downtown.
Vaughan's debut album, “Texas Flood”, was released in the summer of 1983, a few months after Bowie's “Let's Dance” appeared. On its own, “Let's Dance” earned Vaughan quite a bit of attention, but “Texas Flood” was a blockbuster blues success; receiving positive reviews in both blues and rock publications, reaching number 38 on the charts, and crossing over to album rock radio stations. Bowie offered Vaughan the lead guitarist role for his 1983 stadium tour, but he turned him down, preferring to play with Double Trouble. Vaughan and Doucle Trouble set off on a successful tour and quickly recorded their second album, “Cou;dn't Stand The Weather”, which was released in May of 1984. The album was more successful than its predecessor, reaching number 31 on the charts; by the end of 1985, the album went gold.
Double Trouble added keyboardist Reese Wynans in 1985, before they recorded their third album, “Soul To Soul”. The record was released in August 1985 and was also quite successful, reaching number 34 on the charts.
Although his professional career was soaring, Vaughan was sinking deep into alcoholism and drug addiction. Despite his declining health, Vaughan continued to push himself, releasing the double live album “Live Alive” in October of 1986 and launching an extensive American tour in early 1987. Following the tour, Vaughan checked into a rehabilitation clinic. The guitarist's time in rehab was kept fairly quiet, and for the next year Srevie Ray and Double Trouble were fairly inactive. Vaughan performed a number of concerts in 1988, including a headlining gig at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and wrote his fourth album. The resulting record, “In Step”, appeared in June of 1989 and became his most successful album, peaking at number 33 on the charts, earning a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Recording, and going gold just over six months after its release.
In the spring of 1990, Stevie Ray recorded an album with his brother Jimmie, which was scheduled for release in the autumn of the year.
In the late summer of 1990, Vaughan and Double Trouble set out on an American headlining tour. On August 26, 1990, their East Troy, WI, gig concluded with an encore jam featuring guitarists Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan and Robert Cray. After the concert, Stevie Ray boarded a helicopter bound for Chicago. Minutes after its 12:30 a.m. takeoff, the helicopter crashed, killing Vaughan and the other four passengers. He was only 35 years old.
"Family Style”, Stevie Ray's duet album with Jimmie, appeared in October and entered the charts at number seven. “Family Style” began a series of posthumous releases that were as popular as the albums Vaughan released during his lifetime.
“The Sky Is Crying”, a collection of studio outtakes compiled by Jimmie, was released in October of 1991; it entered the charts at number ten and went platinum three months after its release.
“In The Beginning”, a recording of a Double Trouble concert in 1980, was released in the autumn of 1992 and the compilation “Greatest Hits” was released in 1995.
In 1999, Vaughan's original albums were remastered and reissued, with “The Real Deal: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2” also appearing that year. 2000 saw the release of the four-disc box “SRV”, which concentrated heavily on outtakes, live performances, and rarities.

Monday, 10 December 2012

This week's playlist

"Blue Railroad Train" - Doc Watson
"A Spoonful Of Blues" - Charlie Patton
"Walk On" - Grant Lyle
"Honky Tonk Girl" - Pete Anderson
"Chained" - Shaun Murphy
"My Babe" - Narvel Felts
"Jug Rag" - The Prairie Ramblers
"Bottle Up And Go" - Hooker 'N' Heat
"Reconsider Baby" - Elvis Presley
"Screamin' And Hollerin' The Blues" - Charlie Patton
"But Anyway" - Blues Traveler
"Monday Morning Blues" - Mississippi John Hurt
"Stone Pony Blues" - Charlie Patton
"ESP" - Eliza Neals
"The Hoodoo Shake" - The Some X 6 Band
"All I Want For Christmas (Is To Be With You)" - Lonnie Brooks
"Up The Line" - Paul Orta and The Kingpins
"Christmas Fais Do Do" - Marcia Ball
"Why Me" - Dellie Hoskie
"Winter Time Blues" - Big Maceo
"34 Blues" - Charlie Patton
"Tollin' Bells" - Lowell Fulson and Willie Dixon

Featured Artist: Charley Patton

Charley (or Charlie) Patton
1891 (?) - April 28th 1934
Patton was born in Hinds County, Mississippi near the town of Edwards, and lived most of his life in Sunflower County in the Mississippi Delta . Most sources say he was born in 1891, but there is some debate about this, and the years 1887 and 1894 have also been suggested.
Though Patton was considered African-American, because of his light complexion there have been rumors that he was Mexican, or possibly a full-blood Cherokee, a theory endorsed by Howlin' Wolf. In actuality, Patton was a mix of white, black, and Cherokee (one of his grandmothers was a full-blooded Cherokee). Patton himself sang in "Down the Dirt Road Blues" of having gone to "the Nation" and "the Territo'"—meaning the Cherokee Nation portion of the Indian Territory.
If the Delta country blues has a convenient source point, it would probably be Charley Patton, its first great star. His hoarse, impassioned singing style, fluid guitar playing, and unrelenting beat made him the original king of the Delta blues. Much more than your average itinerant musician, Patton was an acknowledged celebrity and a seminal influence on musicians throughout the Delta.
Although Patton was a small man at about 5 foot 5, his gravelly voice was rumored to have been loud enough to carry 500 yards without amplification. Patton's gritty bellowing was a major influence on the singing style of his young friend Chester Burnett, who went on to gain fame in Chicago as Howlin' Wolf.
His guitar playing was no less impressive, fueled with a propulsive beat and a keen rhythmic sense that would later plant seeds in the boogie style of John Lee Hooker.
His slide work -- either played in his lap like a Hawaiian guitar and fretted with a pocket knife, or in the more conventional manner with a brass pipe for a bottleneck -- was no less inspiring, finishing vocal phrases for him and influencing contemporaries like Son House and up-and-coming youngsters like Robert Johnson.
Most of the now-common guitar gymnastics modern audiences have come to associate with the likes of a Jimi Hendrix, in fact, originated with Patton, who gained notoriety for his showmanship, often playing with the guitar down on his knees, behind his head, or behind his back.
He first recorded in 1929 for the Paramount label and, within a year's time, he was not only the largest-selling blues artist but -- in a whirlwind of recording activity -- also the music's most prolific.
No one will never know what Patton's Paramount masters really sounded like. When the company went out of business, the metal masters were sold off as scrap, some of it used to line chicken coops. All that's left are the original 78s -- rumored to have been made out of inferior pressing material commonly used to make bowling balls -- and all of them are scratched and heavily played, making all attempts at sound retrieval by current noise-reduction processing a tall order indeed.
That said, it is still music well worth seeking out and not just for its place in history. Patton's music gives us the first flowering of the Delta blues form, before it became homogenized with turnarounds and 12-bar restrictions, and few humans went at it so aggressively.
He died on the Heathman-Dedham plantation near Indianola on April 28, 1934 and is buried in Holly Ridge. A memorial headstone was erected on Patton's grave, paid for by musician John Fogerty through the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund in July, 1990.

Monday, 3 December 2012

This week's playlist

"Bring It On Home To Me" - The Angel Band
"Unemployment" - J.J. Cale
"Show Me A Man" - Sunday Wilde
"I Can't Shake That Guy" - Sunday Wilde
"I Dreamed About Muddy Waters Last Night" - John Pippus
"Walkin' Cane Stomp" - Kentucky Jug Band
"Black Dog Blues" - The Barrelhouse Brothers
"I'm A Mover" - Free
"Down Hearted Blues" - Bessie Smith
"James Alley Blues" - Richard 'Rabbit' Brown
"Captured Me" - Sunday Wilde
"When The Train Comes Back" - Chicken Shack
"It's Gonna Rain" - Philipp Fankhauser
"I Don't Live Anywhere" - Joe Bonamassa
"I Can't Be Satisfied" - Big Bill Broonzy
"Train Kept A-Rolling" - The Yardbirds
"Holy Water" - Jon Amor Blues Group
"He Thrills Me Up" - Sunday Wilde
"The Hard Way" - Danny Bryant's Redeye Band

Featured artist: Sunday Wilde

Sunday Wilde
Sunday Wilde is from the wilds of a small northern Ontario town, but she has been found singing everywhere from small logging and mining towns at coffee houses, funeral parlours, and blues joints and all the way to large festivals, house concerts and bars in bustling metropolises.
She has won jazz and blues awards with co-writers and her own compositions on garageband and has been ranked as high as 8 on Myspace Canada Gospel music charts.
Beyond her powerful vocal delivery is her equally powerful lyrical delivery which shows us all that she understands the ups and downs one can go through and thoroughly knows how to deliver that message, via her music, and people seem to have started to take notice.
She is influenced by the greats, such as, Ruth Brown, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Bessie Smith, Big Bill Broonzy, Tom Waits, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, to name a few of the more prominent ones. Her delivery of the styles of those greats is probably as good as most anyone else can do in these modern times and it is a delivery that perhaps isn't quite offered nearly enough in todays overly popped up music scene

Monday, 26 November 2012

This week's playlist

"Stop Breakin' Down Blues" - Robert Johnson
"Lovin, Kissin, Huggin'" - James 'Buddy' Rogers
"I'm On The Road Again" - James 'Buddy' Rogers
"Guitar Sue" - James 'Buddy' Rogers
"Long Tall Mama" - Big Bill Broonzy
"Choker" - Eric Clapton
"Rockin' Rollin' Stone" - Grainne Duffy
"Whoa Mule" - Tennessee Mafia Jug Band
"The Sun Is Shining" - Fleetwood Mac
"Colleen" - A Ton Of Blues
"From Four Until Late" - Robert Johnson
"Since I Met You Baby" - B.B. King & Katie Webster
"I'd Rather Go Blind" - Rod Stewart
"When You Got A Good Friend" - Robert Johnson
"Fives And Ones" - Ray Manzarek and Roy Rogers
"If You Were Mine" - Lil' Ed and The Blues Imperials
"Leaving Blues" - Big Maceo
"I Ain't Gonna Be Worried No More" - Sleepy John Estes
"Deeper Side Of Blue" - Walter Trout
"One Track Love" - Jimmy McCracklin
"Oh Papa Blues" - Ma Rainey
"Deep River" - John Oates Band
"Last Fair Deal Gone Down" - Robert Johnson
"Vivienne" - Louisiana Rd

Featured Artist: Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson
May 8, 1911 (?) - August 16, 1938 

50th Featured Artist
Robert Johnson was born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, possibly on May 8, 1911, to Julia Major Dodds and Noah Johnson
If the blues has a truly mythic figure, one whose story hangs over the music the way a Charlie Parker does over jazz or a Hank Williams does over country, it's Robert Johnson, certainly the most celebrated figure in the history of the blues.
Of course, his legend is immensely fortified by the fact that he also left behind a small legacy of recordings that are considered the emotional apex of the music itself. These recordings have not only entered the realm of blues standards ("Love in Vain," "Crossroads," "Sweet Home Chicago," "Stop Breaking Down"), but were adapted by rock & roll artists as diverse as The Rolling Stones, Steve Miller, Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton.
The legend of his life - which by now, even folks who don't know anything about the blues can cite to you chapter and verse - goes something like this: Robert Johnson was a young black man living on a plantation in rural Mississippi. Branded with a burning desire to become great blues musician, he was instructed to take his guitar to a crossroad near Dockery's plantation at midnight. There he was met by a large black man (the Devil) who took the guitar from Johnson, tuned it, and handed it back to him. Within less than a year's time, in exchange for his everlasting soul, Robert Johnson became the king of the Delta blues singers, able to play, sing, and create the greatest blues anyone had ever heard.
Of course, Robert Johnson's influences in the real world were far more disparate than the legend suggests, no matter how many times it's been retold or embellished.
As a teenage plantation worker, Johnson fooled with a harmonica a little bit, but seemingly had no major musical skills to speak of. Every attempt to sit in with local titans of the stature of Son House, Charley Patton, Willie Brown, and others brought howls of derision from the older bluesmen. He idolized the Delta recording star Lonnie Johnson - sometimes introducing himself to newcomers as "Robert Lonnie, one of the Johnson brothers" -- and the music of Scrapper Blackwell, Skip James and Kokomo Arnold were all inspirational elements that he drew his unique style from. His slide style certainly came from hours of watching local stars like Charley Patten and Son House, among others.
Although Robert Johnson never recorded near as much as Lonnie Johnson, Charley Patten, or Blind Lemon Jefferson, he certainly traveled more than all of them put together. After his first recordings came out and "Terraplane Blues" became his signature tune, Johnson hit the road, playing anywhere and everywhere he could.
In Jackson, Mississippi, around 1936, Johnson sought out H.C. Speir, who ran a general store and doubled as a talent scout. Speir put Johnson in touch with Ernie Oertle, who offered to record the young musician in San Antonio, Texas. The recording session was held on November 23, 1936 in room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, which Brunswick Records had set up to be a temporary recording studio. In the ensuing three-day session, Johnson played sixteen selections, and recorded alternate takes for most of these. Johnson reportedly performed facing the wall, which has been cited as evidence he was a shy man and reserved performer.
In 1937, Johnson traveled to Dallas, Texas, for another recording session in a makeshift studio at the Vitagraph (Warner Brothers) Building, 508 Park Avenue, where Brunswick Record Corporation was located on the third floor. Eleven records from this session would be released within the following year. Johnson did two takes of most of these songs and recordings of those takes survived. Because of this, there is more opportunity to compare different performances of a single song by Johnson than for any other blues performer of his time and place.
The end came at a Saturday-night dance at a juke joint in Three Forks, MS, in August of 1938. Playing with Honeyboy Edwards and Sonny Boy Williamson, Johnson was given a jug of moonshine whiskey laced with either poison or lye, presumably by the husband of a woman the singer had made advances toward. He continued playing into the night until he was too sick to continue, then brought back to a boarding house in Greenwood, some 15 miles away. He lay sick for several days, successfully sweating the poison out of his system, but caught pneumonia as a result and died on August 16th.
Research in the 1980s and 1990s strongly suggests Johnson was buried in the graveyard of the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church near Morgan City, not far from Greenwood, in an unmarked grave.
A one-ton cenotaph in the shape of an obelisk, listing all of Johnson's song titles, with a central inscription by Peter Guralnick, was placed at this location in 1990, paid for by Columbia Records and numerous smaller contributions made through the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund.
In 1990 a small marker with the epitaph "Resting in the Blues" was placed in the cemetery of Payne Chapel near Quito, by the cemetery's owner. This alleged burial site, in an apparent attempt to strengthen a claim, happens to be located in the center of Richard Johnson's family plot.
More recent research by Stephen LaVere (including statements from Rosie Eskridge, the wife of the supposed gravedigger) indicates that the actual grave site is under a big pecan tree in the cemetery of the Little Zion Church, north of Greenwood along Money Road. Sony Music has placed a marker at this site.
Since his death Johnson's name and likeness has become a cottage growth merchandising industry. Posters, postcards, t-shirts, guitar picks, strings, straps, and polishing cloths -- all bearing either his likeness or signature (taken from his second marriage certificate) -- have become available, making him the ultimate blues commodity with his image being reproduced for profit far more than any contemporary bluesman, dead or alive. Although the man himself (and his contemporaries) could never have imagined it in a million years, the music and the legend both live on

Monday, 19 November 2012

This week's playlist

"Diving Duck Blues" - Sleepy John Estes
"When You Love Me" - Rory Block
"Deep River" - John Oates Band
"Thief In The Night" - Wesley Pruitt Band
"Smoke 'Em All" - Colin Linden
"One Room Country Shack" - Johnny Guitar Watson
"Voodoo Moon" - Anthony Gomes
"Viola Lee Blues" - Cannon's Jug Stompers
"Catfish Blues" - Corey Harris
"Down The Road Alone" - Sunday Wilde
"Good Morning Little School Girl" - Rory Block
"Stomp And Whistle" - Danny Overbea
"Ramblin' On My Mind" - Rory Block
"All By Myself" - Matt 'Guitar' Murphy and Memphis Slim
"Well Allright Then" - Mike Morgan
"Further On Up The Road" - The Powder Blues Band
"You're Gonna Need Me" - Luther Allison
"The End Of The Blues" - Earl Hooker
"Up The Line" - Paul Orta and The Kingpins
"The Spider And The Fly" - The Rolling Stones
"She's Tuff" - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
"Write Me A Few Of Your Lines" - Rory Block
"Dust My Broom" - Elmore James"Little Stevie's Shuffle" - The Elmores

Featured Artist: Rory Block

Rory Block
born November 6, 1949
Aurora “Rory” Block has staked her claim to be one of America's top acoustic blues women, an interpreter of the great Delta blues singers, a slide guitarist par excellence, and also a talented songwriter on her own account. Born and raised in Manhattan by a family that had bohemian leanings, she spent her formative years hanging out with musicians like Peter Rowan, John Sebastian and Geoff Muldaur, who hung out in her father's sandal shop, before picking up the guitar at the age of ten. Her record debut came two years later, backing her father on The Elektra String Band Project, a concept album. She met guitarist Stefan Grossman, who, like her, was in love with the blues. The pair would often travel to the Bronx to visit Reverand Gary Davis, one of the greatest living bluesmen.
At the tender age of 15 Block left home, hitting the road in true '60s fashion and traveling through the South, where she learned her blues trade at the feet of Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt, her greatest influence, before ending up in Berkeley. It was there that she developed her slide technique (she uses a socket wrench as her slide), but she didn't record until 1975, when she released “I'm In Love” (a compilation of earlier material, “The Early Tapes 1975-1976”, appeared later).
After two records for Chrysalis, she recorded the instructional “How To Play Blues Guitar” for Grossman's Kicking Mule label, and later moved to then-fledgling Rounder, with whom she enjoyed an ongoing relationship. She toured constantly, often playing as many as 250 dates in a year, which kept her away from her family -- she'd married and begun having children in the early '70s -- but developed her reputation as a strong, vibrant live performer, and one of the best players of old country blues in America.
In 1987 the best of Block's Rounder cuts were compiled on “Best Blues & Originals”, which, as it said, featured her interpretations of blues classics and some of her own material. Two of the tracks, released as singles in Belgium and Holland, became gold record hits.
In addition to her regular albums, Block made a series of instructional records and videos, as well as a children's record, “Color Me Wild”. Although she had been performing for a long time, the plaudits didn't really begin until 1992, when she won a NAIRD Award for “Ain't I A Woman”, a feat repeated in 1994 and 1997. In 1996 she began winning W.C. Handy Awards, first for Best Traditional Album (“When A Woman Gets The Blues”), and in 1997 and 1998 for Best Traditional Blues Female Artist. In 1997 she was elected to the CAMA Hall of Fame, and in 1999 she received yet another Handy Award, for Best Acoustic Blues Album (“Confessions Of A Blues Singer”).
Block continued to tour, although not as heavily as in earlier times, often accompanied by her grown son Jordon Block, who also plays on her albums. She remained busy in the early part of the 2000s, releasing six albums, including a live recording.
Issued in 2005, “From The Dust” drew rave critical reviews, as did 2006's “The Lady And Mr. Johnson”, an album that saw Block taking on selected songs of her musical hero, idol, and biggest influence, Robert Johnson. A digital video disc, “The Guitar Artistry Of Rory Block”, was released in 2008.”Shake 'Em On Down: A Tribute To Mississippi Fred McDowell”, which honored another of her country blues mentors, appeared in 2011.

Monday, 12 November 2012

This week's playlist

"Let's Call It The Blues" - Texas Alligator Blues Band
"Drinking The Blues" - Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee
"I'm A Man" - Bo Diddley
"Since I Met You Baby" - B.B. King and Katie Webster
"You Got It Coming" - Blues Thang
"Three Midnights" - Linda McRae
"R.F.C. Blues" - Jack Kelly and His Memphis Jug Band
"He's Got Me Going" - Bessie Smith
"I Just Wanna Make Love To You" - Etta James
"Blowin' The Fuses" - Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee
"Forever Truly Bound" - Bill Bourne and The Free Radio Band
"Down By The Riverside" - Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee
"2 Times 360" - The Veldman Brothers
"Barnyard Boogie" - Stone Crazy Blues Band
"Helluva Time" - The Blues Experience with Cash McCall
"Just Over The Hill" - Mahalia Jackson
"Confused" - Latvian Blues Band
"I Don't Like To Travel" - Byther Smith
"Trouble In Mind" - Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee
"Mess Around" - Professor Longhair

Featured Artist: Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee

Saunders Terrell, better known as Sonny Terry
(24 October 1911 - 11 March 1986)
Walter Brown ("Brownie") McGhee
(November 30, 1915 - February 16, 1996)
The joyous whoop that Sonny Terry naturally emitted between raucous harp blasts was as distinctive a signature sound as can possibly be imagined. Only a handful of blues harmonica players wielded as much of a lasting influence on the genre as did the sightless Terry (Buster Brown, for one, copied the whoop and all), who recorded some fine urban blues as a bandleader in addition to serving as guitarist Brownie McGhee's longtime duet partner.
Saunders Terrell's father was a folk-styled harmonica player who performed locally at dances, but blues wasn't part of his repertoire (he blew reels and jigs). Terry wasn't born blind, he lost sight in one eye when he was five, the other at age 18. That left him with extremely limited options for making any sort of feasible living, so he took to the streets armed with his trusty harmonicas. Terry soon joined forces with Piedmont pioneer Blind Boy Fuller, first recording with the guitarist in 1937 for Vocalion.
Terry's unique talents were given an extremely classy airing in 1938 when he was invited to perform at New York's Carnegie Hall at the fabled From Spirituals to Swing concert. He recorded for the Library of Congress that same year and cut his first commercial records in 1940.
Terry had met McGhee in 1939, and upon the death of Fuller, they joined forces, playing together on a 1941 McGhee date for OKeh and settling in New York as a duo in 1942. There they broke into the folk scene, working alongside Leadbelly, Josh White and Woody Guthrie.
While Brownie McGhee was incredibly prolific in the studio during the mid-'40s, Terry was somewhat less so as a leader (perhaps most of his time was occupied by his prominent role in Finian's Rainbow on Broadway for approximately two years beginning in 1946). There were sides for Asch and Savoy in 1944 before three fine sessions for Capitol in 1947 (the first two featuring Stick McGhee rather than Brownie on guitar) and another in 1950.
Terry made some nice sides in an R&B mode for Jax, Jackson, Red Robin, RCA Victor, Groove, Harlem, Old Town, and Ember during the '50s, usually with Brownie close by on guitar. But it was the folk boom of the late '50s and early '60s that made Brownie and Sonny household names (at least among folk aficionados). They toured long and hard as a duo, cutting a horde of endearing acoustic duet LPs along the way, before scuttling their decades-long partnership amidst a fair amount of reported acrimony during the mid-'70s.
Terry died from natural causes at Mineola, New York, in March 1986, the year he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.


One of McGhee's final concert appearances was at the 1995 Chicago Blues Festival.
McGhee died from stomach cancer in February 1996 in Oakland, California at the age of 80

Monday, 5 November 2012

This week's playlist

"Be Careful How You Vote" - Sunnyland Slim
"Boom Boom" - Eric Burdon and The Animals
"Top Side" - The No Refund Band
"Got Whiskey" - The No Refund Band
"7 Days" - Stormcellar
"Blues In The Rain" - Eddie Kelly's Washboard Band
"Steamroller Blues" - The  Reclamators
"Mississippi Man" - Rory Block
"Just To Be Blue" - The No Refund Band
"Holler And Stomp" - The Cash Box Kings
"One More Drink" - The No Refund Band
"Lovin, Kissin, Huggin" - James 'Buddy' Rogers
"Bayou Belle" - Eric Bibb
"Good Thinking" - Status Quo
"Tell Me Why" - John Pippus
"I'm Good" - Johnny Winter
"I Got What I Wanted" - Ted Hawkins
"Willie The Wimp" - The No Refunds Band
"Can't Afford To Do It" - Fleetwood Mac
"Blues All Over" - Eden Brent

Featured Artist: The No Refund Band

No Refund Band
If you would like to know what a mixture of Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King, and Grand Funk Railroad sound like, listen to The No Refund Band and you will get taste of all of these styles mixed into a genre all its own.
The No Refund Band was formed by Mike Crownover in 2007 as the fulfillment of lifelong dream of playing guitar in his own band. As with any new project, the band had a few early successes, but there were many bumps on the road as well including finding steady musicians, the right lead singer, the right gigs, etc… However, Crownover’s passion for music and for finding the right sound kept the band moving forward. While rolling over one of the bumps in the road, Crownover met Ricky Jackson and Rik Robertson who he hired to fill in for a gig in Ft. Worth, Texas. It didn’t take long for the partnership to gel into something more permanent as the trio found common ground in their musical interests.
Jackson would become the front man, with a soulful voice and penetrating guitar licks. Robertson, a studio musician provided the anchor to the band with his innovative bass lines. Both compliment the rock solid rhythms from Crownover. With a horn section featuring Anthony Terry and Jim Brady, the result is a versatile band that can deliver everything from hard driving blues to melodic acoustic tunes that leave you wanting more.
This is the debut recording for the No Refund Band, but don’t confuse that with inexperience. Collectively, the band members have toured and recorded full time for multiple decades.
No Refund Band has evolved into a solid team of songwriters, band mates & friends that seem to personify the stuff successful bands are made of. While staying close to the bluesier side of things, the band has its own definitive style regardless of the genre, from covering “Eleanor Rigby” to the acoustic originals “Come Down Slow” and “Fall Again”, to more classic blues styles like “Just To Be Blue”, “Blues Is My Business” and “One More Drink”. Making a guest appearance on the CD is the totally awesome Tommie Lee Bradley, bringing her sassy & soulful vocals to the mix.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Featured Artist - Screamin' Jay Hawkins

 Screamin' Jay Hawkins

(July 18, 1929-February 12, 2000)

Screamin' Jay Hawkins was an outrageous performer prone to emerging out of coffins on-stage, with a flaming skull named Henry his constant companion, Screamin' Jay was an insanely theatrical figure long before it was even remotely acceptable!
 
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Hawkins studied classical piano as a child and learned guitar in his twenties.His initial goal was to become an opera singer but when his initial ambitions failed he began his career as a conventional blues singer and pianist.
In 1951, Hawkins joined guitarist Tiny Grimes's band, and was subsequently featured on some of Grimes's recordings.When Hawkins became a solo performer, he often performed in a stylish wardrobe of leopard skins, red leather and wild hats.

His most successful recording, "I Put a Spell on You" (1956), was selected as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. According to the AllMusic Guide to the Blues, "Hawkins originally envisioned the tune as a refined ballad." The entire band was intoxicated during a recording session where "Hawkins screamed, grunted, and gurgled his way through the tune with utter drunken abandon." The resulting performance was no ballad but instead a "raw, guttural track" that became his greatest commercial success and reportedly surpassed a million copies in sales. The performance was mesmerizing, although Hawkins himself blacked out and was unable to remember the session. Afterward he had to relearn the song from the recorded version.Soon after the release of "I Put a Spell on You", radio disc jockey Alan Freed offered Hawkins $300 to emerge from a coffin onstage. Hawkins accepted and soon created an outlandish stage persona.

Hawkins died on February 12, 2000 after surgery to treat an aneurysm. He left behind many children by many women; an estimated 55 at the time of his death, and upon investigation, that number "soon became perhaps 75 offspring.

This week's playlist

"Black Cat Bone" - Sam Lightnin' Hopkins
"Please Don't Leave Me" - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
"I Put A Spell On You" - Creedence Clearwater Revival
"Blue Ghost Blues" - Lonnie Johnson
"Evil" - Howlin' Wolf
"Feral Beast" - The Timothy Hay
"Hoodoo Lady" - Memphis Minnie
"Seven Sisters Blues" (parts 1 and 2) - J.T. Smith
"Same Damn Thing" - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
"Raise Hell" - Riot And The Blues Devils
"Somebody Done Hoodooed The Hoodoo Man" - Louis Jordan
"What's Gonna Happen On The 8th" - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
"I've Been Tricked" - Casey Bill Weldon
"Black Night" - Todd Wolfe
"Hoodoo Party" - King Biscuit Boy
"Howling Wolf" - Muddy Waters
"Swamp Monster" - Stormcellar
"Voodoo Moon" - Anthonyh Gomes
"The Supernatural" - John Mayall's Bluesbreakers (with Peter Green)
"Itty Bitty Pretty One" - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
"Ghost Blues" - Rory Gallagher

Monday, 22 October 2012

As we are getting near our 50th Featured Artist, it might be a good idea to open it up to your nominations.
Which blues performer, that we haven't already featured, would you have as our 50th Featured Artist?
If you're a regular listener, you know the score. We play all kinds of blues, so don't feel restricted in your choice. Any era. Any style, as long as it's blues.
Get your nominations in via this blog site, email kev.walker@thisisthecat.com, jen.vc@thisisthecat.com or visit our facebook page.

Today's Playlist

Lazy Poker Blues - Status Quo
The Sky Is Falling Down - Walter Trout
Get It Right - King Biscuit Boy
Prayer Changes Things - Mahalia Jackson
Whiskey and Wimmen - Hooker 'N' Heat
I'm A King Bee - Slim Harpo
Feather Bed - Cannon's Jug Stompers
Midnight In Memphis - J.J. Cale
Diddie Wah Diddie - Blind Blake
Wrapped Up in The Blues - Walter Trout
Minnie The Moocher - The Blues Brothers (feat Cab Calloway)
Highway Blues - Savoy Brown
Playing With A Losin' Hand - Walter Trout
Crazy Blues - Mamie Smith
Never Leave Me At Home - Frank Frost
She's Gone With The Wind - Wynonie Harris
I'd Rather Go Blind - Chicken Shack
Stalkin' - Stringbean and the Stalkers
The Sheik Waltz - Mississippi Sheiks
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean - Blind Lemon Jefferson
I Can't Be Satisfied - Big Bill Broonzy
Deeper Shade Of Blue - Walter Trout
Feel My Love Come Down - Cee Cee James

Featured Artist - Walter Trout

Walter Trout

(born March 6, 1951, Ocean City, New Jersey, United States)

Blues-rocker Walter Trout spent decades as an ace sideman, playing guitar behind the likes of John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton and Joe Tex. In 1981, he was also tapped to replace the late Bob Hite in Canned Heat, remaining with the venerable group through the middle of the decade.
While filling in one night for an ailing John Mayall, Trout (also a Bluesbreaker for some five years) was spotted by a Danish concert promoter who agreed to finance a solo tour. Assembling his own backing band, in 1990 he released his debut LP, “Life In The Jungle”, trailed a year later by “Prisoner Of A Dream”
As a front man the six-string virtuoso developed a conflagrant approach to his instrument and a reputation for tornado-strength live shows that led famed BBC disc jockey Bob Harris to call him "the world's greatest rock guitarist" in his influential book 'The Whispering Years'.
Albums including 1992's “Live (No More Fish Jokes)”, 1994's “Tellin' Stories”, and 1997's “Positively Beale Street” followed. Trout continued a steady release schedule, issuing “Livin' Every Day” in 1999, a live album the following year (recorded at the Tampa Bay Blues Fest), the 2001 studio album “Go The Distance”, 2003's “Relentless” -- which Trout and his band, The Radicals, recorded in front of a live audience -- and 2005's “Deep Trout”, a compilation of early and unreleased recordings.
On the 2006 release “Full Circle”, Trout realized his dream of creating an album with some of his most admired musicians, including John Mayall, Coco Montoya, and Joe Bonamassa, among others.
Talking about his latest release “Blues for the Modern Daze” Trout says "My main inspiration for this album was the country bluesman Blind Willie Johnson".
Johnson was an early blues innovator who recorded such timeless gospel informed blues numbers as 'Soul of a Man' and 'Nobody's Fault But Mine'. "His music is so beautiful, primal, direct and deeply spiritual that I wanted to feel it at my back when we were cutting these songs”.

Monday, 15 October 2012

This week's playlist

"Something Inside Of Me" - Fleetwood Mac
"Bumble Bee Blues" - Memphis Minnie
"Bullfrog Blues" - John Dummer Band
"Baby What You Want Me To Do" - Etta James
"Ain't Nothin' In Ramblin" - Bonnie Raitt
"All Through The City" - Dr. Feelgood
"Greenville Strut" - Mississippi Sarah and Daddy Stovepipe
"No Money Down" - Chuck Berry
"Who Do You Love" - The Super Super Blues Band
"Doctor Doctor Blues" - Memphis Minnie
"Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)" - Little Walter
"Steamroller Blues" - The Reclamators
"Georgia Skin" - Memphis Minnie
"Me And My Chauffeur Blues" - Maria Muldaur, Roy Rogers and Roly Sally
"Big Time Mama" - 'Champion' Jack Dupree
"Catfish" - Billy Boy Arnold and Tony McPhee
"Guilty Of The Blues" - The Outliers
"When You Love Me" - Rory Block
"Choo Choo Boogie" - Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown
 "Keep Your Big Mouth Closed" - Ruthie Foster
"Cold Shot" - Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
"Moaning The Blues" - Memphis Minnie
"Let The Spirit" - International Blues Family

Featured Artist: Memphis Minnie

Memphis Minnie (June 3, 1897 – August 6, 1973)
Born Lizzie Douglas in Algiers, Louisiana, Minnie was one of the most influential and pioneering blues musicians and guitarists of all time. She recorded for forty years, almost unheard of for any woman in show business at the time and not so common in any blues artist. A flamboyant character who wore bracelets made of silver dollars, she was a very popular blues recording artist from the early Depression years through World War II. One of the first generation of blues artists to take up the electric guitar, in 1942, she combined her Louisiana-country roots with Memphis blues to produce her own unique country-blues sound; along with Big Bill Broonzy and Tampa Red she took country blues into electric urban blues, paving the way for Muddy Water, Bo Diddley, Little Walter and Jimmy Rogers to travel from the small towns of the south to the big cities of the north.
According to some reports she was married three times, each time to an accomplished blues guitarist: Kansas Joe McCoy later of the Harlem Hamfats, possibly Casey Bill Weldon (though there is little if any evidence for this), and Ernest “Little Son Joe” Lawlers.
After learning to play guitar and banjo as a child, she ran away from home at the age of thirteen. She travelled to Memphis, Tennessee, playing guitar in nightclubs and on the street as Lizzie "Kid" Douglas.
The next year, she joined the Ringling Brothers circus. Her marriage and recording début came in 1929, to and with Kansas Joe McCoy, when a Columbia Records talent scout heard them playing in a Beale Street barbershop in their distinctive 'Memphis style,' and their song "Bumble Bee" became a hit.
In the 1930s she moved to Chicago, Illinois with McCoy. She and McCoy broke up in 1935, and by 1939 she was with Little Son Joe Lawlers. In the 1940s she formed a touring vaudeville company. Some of her most potent and enduring work was made in the early 1940s, such as "Nothing in Rambling," "In My Girlish Days," "Looking The World Over" and "Me and My Chauffeur Blues"
After her health began to fail in the mid 1950s, Minnie returned to Memphis and retired from performing and recording. She spent her twilight years in a nursing home in Memphis where she died of a stroke in 1973.
She is buried at the New Hope Baptist Church Cemetery in Walls, DeSoto County, Mississippi. A headstone paid for by Bonnie Raitt was erected by the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund on 13 October 1996 with 35 family members in attendance including her sister, numerous nieces and nephews.
Her headstone is marked:
Lizzie "Kid" Douglas Lawlers
aka Memphis Minnie
The inscription on the back of her gravestone reads:
"The hundreds of sides Minnie recorded are the perfect material to teach us about the blues. For the blues are at once general, and particular, speaking for millions, but in a highly singular, individual voice. Listening to Minnie's songs we hear her fantasies, her dreams, her desires, but we will hear them as if they were our own

Monday, 8 October 2012

This week's playlist

"Blues Is My Business" - No Refunds Band
"Nine Below Zero" - Nine Below Zero
"Shake Rattle And Roll" - Big Daddy O
"Trick Bag" - Johnny Winter
"Storm Warning" - Michael 'Iron Man' Burks
"Sweet Potato Blues" - King David's Jug Band
"Is It Love" - Norton Buffalo and The Knockouts
"Mama Talk To Your Daughter" - Nine Below Zero
"Black Rat Swing" - Koko Taylor
"Feed The Hand" - The McCarthys
"Pack Fair And Square" - Nine Below Zero
"Whiskey River Blues" - Shameless Rob Band
"Drink And Play The Blues" - Woody and The Woodtones
"Blues Make Me Feel So Good" - Albert Cummings
"Hard Going Up (Twice As Hard Coming Down)" - Nine Below Zero
"Early Roman Kings" - Bob Dylan

Featured Artist: Nine Below Zero

Nine Below Zero started life in South London during 1977, in the midst of the punk rock boom in England -- but their sound and inspiration were so totally contradictory to what was going on in punk rock that they scarcely seemed to be part of that movement, apart from their extremely energetic attack on their instruments. Rather than noise for its own sake or auto-destruction, their inspiration lay in classic Chicago blues. Dennis Greaves (lead vocals, guitar), Peter Clark (bass), and Kenny Bradley (drums) -- soon joined by Mark Feltham on vocals and harmonica -- were schoolmates and friends who shared a love of blues.
Originally billed as Stan's Blues Band, they made a name for themselves locally in South London, sounding a lot like The Who from their "maximum R&B" days and The Kinks from their early days, and arrived as younger rivals to Dr. Feelgood. A couple of years later, they acquired a manager and a new name, taken from a song by Sonny Boy Williamson II, and cut a debut record on their own label.
By 1980, they'd been signed to A&M Records' British division and took the bold step of making their major-label debut a live album from the Marquee Club in London -- to judge from the results, one heartily wished that some of the earlier bands that inspired them had displayed similar daring. “Live At The Marquee”, recorded on June 16, 1980 -- by which time Stix Burkey had replaced Bradley on the drums -- was a success. By the end of that year they were one of the most popular club attractions in London, pulling in audiences from other genres, attracted by their high-energy fast tempo sound. They headlined at the Hammersmith Odeon and featured respected bluesman Alexis Korner, a long-time champion of new electric blues talent.
The band performed "11+11" on the first episode ("Demolition") of the BBC Television comedy series, The Young Ones.
Their second album,“Don't Point Your Finger” climbed to number 56 on the UK Album Chart.
Their third album, Third Degree, contained "11+11" written by Greaves and Modern, however the album was poorly received causing the band to argue, and they split soon after.
In 1990 Modern persuaded Feltham and Greaves to reunite for a tenth anniversary gig. Modern also persuaded Arnold who now worked at Harvey Goldsmith Ents to promote the band at the Town and Country Club, which they did to a sell-out success. Suitably encouraged, they decided to stay together, with Gerry McAvoy and Brendan O'Neill (ex-Rory Gallagher's band) added on bass and drums.
The band have continued to tour and record, still popular in part, due to having developed a cult following.
In 2007, Nine Below Zero performed two acoustic concerts, producing the DVD Bring It On Home, including a live CD. Legendary blues guitarist Gary Moore joined the band on stage to promote the DVD.
In 2009, the band started working towards a show to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of their debut album, Live At the Marquee.
A chance meeting with Glen Tilbrook from Squeeze resulted in an offer to record a new album that Greaves and Feltham had been writing all year. The offer was gladly accepted and the band went into 45 RPM studios in London to record the highly acclaimed and self-penned “It's Never Too Late” - their first collection of new songs since Refrigerator.
The end of 2011 saw Gerry McAvoy play his last show for Nine Below Zero and pursue a new solo career.
2012 saw the return of Brian Bethell who played on Third Degree and who was a natural replacement. The new line up started performing in January with shows in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, as the band entered their 35th year

Monday, 24 September 2012

This Week's playlist

"Party Right Here" - Albert Cummings
"Stormy Monday Blues" - Bobby Blue Bland
"The Blues Had A Baby And They Named It Rock 'N' Roll" - Dr. Feelgood
"Whiskey River Blues" - Shameless Rob Band
"In My Arms" - Grainne Duffy
"Gonna Die Twice" - The McCarthy's
"Walkin' Cane Stomp" - Kentucky Jug Band
"Blue Again Today" - Woody & The WoodTones
"The Long War Shuffle" - Elbow
"How Does A Cheatin' Woman Feel" - Bobby Blue Bland
"Everything's All Right" - Frank Frost
"Pretty Mama Blues" - Ivory Joe Hunter
"I Pity The Fool" - Bobby Blue Bland
"Right Around The Corner" - Steve Cropper (featuring Delbert McClinton)
"Harpoon Man" - Paul DeLay Band
"Rocky Mountain" - Clarence Edwards
"Draggin' My Tail" - Clapton and Page
"Pony Blues" - Charley Patton
"New Car" - Troyce Key and J.J. Malone
"All I Could Do Was Cry" - Etta James
"You Burnt Me" - Lil' Ed and The Blues Imperials
"Blues In The Night" - Bobby Blue Bland
"Sittin' On Top Of The World" - John Oates Band

Featured Artist: Bobby Blue Bland

Bobby “Blue” Bland
Born January 27 1930
Bobby "Blue" Bland was born in the small town of Rosemark, Tennessee. Later moving to Memphis with his mother, Bland started singing with local gospel groups there, including amongst others The Miniatures. Eager to expand his interests, he began frequenting the city's famous Beale Street where he became associated with an ad hoc circle of aspiring musicians named, not unnaturally, the Beale Streeters.
Bland's recordings from the early 1950s was halted by a spell in the U.S. Army. When the singer returned to Memphis in 1954 he found several of his former associates, including Johnny Ace, enjoying considerable success, while Bland's recording label, Duke, had been sold to Houston entrepreneur Don Robey. In 1956 Bland began touring with Little Junior Parker. Initially he doubled as valet and driver, a role he reportedly fulfilled for B.B. King.
Melodic big-band blues singles, including “Farther On Up The Road” (1957) and "Little Boy Blue" (1958) reached the US R&B Top 10, but Bobby's craft was most clearly heard on a series of early 1960s releases including "Cry Cry Cry" “I Pity The Fool”, and the sparkling “Turn On Your Love Light”, which became a much-covered standard
Financial pressures forced the singer to cut his touring band and in 1968 the group broke up. He suffered from depresssion and became increasingly dependent on alcohol. He stopped drinking in 1971; his record company Duke was sold by owner Don Robey to the larger ABC Records group. This resulted in several successful and critically acclaimed contemporary blues/soul albums including “His California Album” and “Dreamer”. The albums, including the later "follow-up" in 1977 “Reflections in Blue”, were all recorded in Los Angeles and featured many of the city's top sessionmen at the time.
The first single released from “His California Album” was "This Time I'm Gone For Good", and took Bland back into the pop Top 50 for the first time since 1964, and made the R&B top 10 in late 1973. The lead-off track from “Dreamer”, “Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City”, was a strong R&B hit. Later it would surface again in 1978 by the hard rock band Whitesnake featuring singer David Coverdale. The follow-up, "I Wouldn't Treat A Dog" was his biggest R&B hit for some years, but as usual his strength was never the pop chart. A return to his roots in 1980 for a tribute album to his mentor Joe Scott, produced by music veterans Monk Higgins and Al Bell, resulted in a fine album “Sweet Vibrations”, but it failed to sell well outside of his traditional “chitlin circuit” base.
In 1985, Bland was signed by Malaco Records, specialists in traditional Southern black music for whom he made a series of albums while continuing to tour and appear at concerts with fellow blues singer B.B. King. The two had collaborated for two albums in the 1970s. Despite occasional age-related ill-health, Bland continues to record new albums for Malaco, perform occasional tours alone, with guitarist/producer Angelo Earl and also with B.B. King, plus appearances at blues and soul festivals worldwide.

Monday, 17 September 2012

This week's playlist

"Earthquake And Hurricane" - Zydeco Party Band
"Back To You" - Guitar Mikey and The Real Thing
"I Wanna Be" - Riot and The Blue Devils
"Out Of The Box" - Guitar Mikey and The Real Thing
"Hound Dog" - John Dummer
"I'm A Woman" - Koko Taylor
"Viola Lee Blues" - Cannon's Jug Stompers
"After Midnight" - J.J. Cale
"Bye Bye Baby" - Blind Boy Fuller
"It's A Sin" - Guitar Mikey and The Real Thing
"Need All The Help I Can Get" - Ana Popovic
"Just Like A Man" - 6th Street Rhythm And Blues Revue
"That's No Way" - Guitar Mikey and The Real Thing
"Further On Up The Road" - Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks
"Flip Flop" - Big Twist and The Mellow Fellows
"Maggies Farm" - Bill Bourne and The Free Radio Band
"I Will Move On Up A Little Higher" - Mahalia Jackson
"Crossroads" - Johnny Boots
"I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water" - Cats and A Fiddler
"I Can't Be Satisfied" - Muddy Waters
"It's Going Down" - Guitar Mikey and The Real Thing
"Airplane Woman" - John Pippus

Featured Artist: Guitar Mikey



Mike McMillan AKA Guitar Mikey (born 1965)
At the age of 11 he started The Young Canadian Blues Band. He made several appearances with the 3 member band on a local cable show performing some 50's rock'n'roll classics as well as Johnny Winter's "Mean Town Blues".
He attended a Muddy Waters concert by himself. His father returns at the end of the show to pick him up. He is nowhere to be found. Eventually as Mike's dad continues to circle the auditorium he finds Mike exiting the stage door where he had been hanging out with the man himself, Muddy Waters.
Mike had just turned 12 when he joined his first working band "Phoenix". They played local high school dances. He continued performing as a guitar player playing in rock bands while all the time really wanting to play blues.
In 1980 Mike realized that if he was going to play blues, he would have to front a band as the singer. So he began to sing blues imitating his childhood idol Johnny Winter. The familiar growling style would work for the time being. However Mike's singing would eventually grow into something all his own. He started The Steel City Blues Band.
The Steel City Blues Band continued to play club dates but then something changed. Richard Newell AKA King Biscuit Boy joined The Steel City Blues Band as a featured artist. This would begin a musical relationship that would continue on and off over the years to follow.
In 1984 they tour to promote Rich's new album “Mouthy Of Steel”.
Shortly after the "Mouth of Steel" tour, Mike decided he wanted to be back on his own. He had a couple of bands "Soul Survivor", named after the James Cotton tune and "The Electric Groove". During this time he got his stage name. For some time Mikey had been performing the Johnny "Guitar" Watson classic "Gangster of Love". In the song the is a line "Sheriff says Is you Guitar Watson....". Mikey changed to "Guitar Mikey" simply to make it fit in the song. It stuck, and Guitar Mikey is born.
In 1985 Mike formed his new band The Real Thing.
At the end of 1997 Guitar Mikey made Chicago his long awaited home. Mikey folded his Canadian band and now has formed a Chicago based band. While putting together his new line-up Mikey made a special appearance at the House of Blues as a guest member of the Shirley King Band (daughter of B.B.).
In 2003 Guitar Mikey and Keyboardist Mark Yacovonne tour the Memphis, and Clarksdale areas to soak up the music, history and BBQ and do a little playing. They are accompanied by Mikey's wife Pamela and Mark's girlfriend Bethany and all four are taken in by the friendly south, and in particular Clarksdale itself. This trip plants the seed of possible relocation.
Finally after three years of talking about it, Mikey and wife Pamela take the plunge. They are eager to say goodbye to Boston and move to Clarksdale. Ironically, the music and history that Mikey grows up only reading about as a kid, is not the thing that brings him and his wife to Clarksdale, but purely the people - and a new way of life.
In 2008 “Jam Zero I” is released. It's the first album in 17 year for Guitar Mikey, and features live jams that took place in the course of the first year of Mikey's regular appearances at the world famous Ground Zero Blues Club.
In 2012 Guitar Mikey releases his first studio album in over 20 years with Chicago Blues Label Earwig Music. “Out Of The Box” has a great supporting cast including world renown harmonica player Billy Gibson, Bob Margolin (Muddy Waters) on guitar, David Maxwell on keyboards, Peter Nunn (Gowan, The Jitters, Honeymoon Suite) on keyboards, Marty Richards (Joe Perry Project, J Geils) on drums, Nellie "Tiger" Travis on vocals and some great Clarkdale area folks including Terry "Big T" Williams on Bass, Lee Williams on drums, Alphonso Sanders on sax and Super Chikan on Guitar.

Monday, 10 September 2012

This week's playlist

"Baby Girl" - Kathy Frank
"Kansas City" - Geno Washington
"Daddy Played The Banjo" - Steve Martin
"Dust My Broom" - Geno Washington
"Screamin' And Hollerin' The Blues" - Charlie Patton
"Burnin' Hell" - The Bootleggers featuring Nick Cave
"Jug Band Boogie" - Louis Innis
"Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" - Chris Thomas King
"Sad Hours" - Little Walter
"High Heel Sneakers" - Geno Washington
"Georgia Rag" - Simon Prager
"Stormy Monday Blues" - Bobby Blue Bland
"Talk To Me" - Little Willie John
"Pea Vine Blues" - Rory Block
"Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover" - The Harpoonist And The Axe Murderer
"Finest Lovin' Man" - Bonnie Raitt
"Last Bluesman Gone" - Anthony Gomes
"I Don't Like To Travel" - Byther Smith
"Minnie The Moocher" - The Blues Brothers Band (featuring Cab Calloway)
"Don't Know Where I'm Going" - Rory Gallagher
"What'd I Say" - Geno Washington
"I Can't Quit You Baby" - Otis Rush

Featured artist: Geno Washington

Geno Washington
Born December 1943
Washington was stationed in England with the United States Air Force during the early 1960s. While stationed in East Anglia, Washington became known as a frequent stand-in at gigs around London. When guitarist Pete Gage saw him at a nightclub in 1965, he asked Washington to join his new group, that was to become Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band.
They had two of the biggest selling UK albums of the 1960s, both of which were live albums. Their most commercially successful album, Hand Clappin, Foot Stompin, Funky-Butt ... Live! was in the UK Albums Chart for 38 weeks in 1966. The other album was Hipster Flipsters Finger Poppin' Daddies.
They had a number of moderate UK Singles Chart hits during 1966-1967 on the Pye label: "Water" (which reached no.39), "Hi Hi Hazel" (no.45), “Que Sera Sera” (no.43) and "Michael (The Lover)" (no.39). They managed to build up a strong following with the crowds due to their touring and energetic performances. Like their Pye label mates and rivals, Jimmy James and the Vagabonds, they became popular with the mod scene. The band broke up in the autumn of 1969 and the band members went their own ways while Geno Washington continued as a solo artist.
In the 1970's Washington left the UK to return to the United States and disappeared from the music industry for a length of time. He studied hypnosis and meditation, made acquaintance with the Beach Boys and recorded some music with them that was never released. He later recorded three albums for the DJM label, Geno's Back (1976), Live (1976), That's Why Hollywood Loves Me (1979).
He was encouraged to make a comeback in 1980 due to the rekindled interest in him resulting from the Dexys Midnight Runners hit single “Geno”, but he initially declined, as he was completing his degree in hypnotism. But soon he was back in the UK touring extensively and playing many gigs particularly in South East London.
Washington has been active on stage, recording and releasing new music on various labels, with titles such as "Change Your Thoughts You Change Your Life", "Live Sideways", "Loose Lips", "Put Out the Cat", "The Return of the G", "Take This Job and Stuff It" and "What's In the Pot?".
As of 2007, Washington and his band could be regularly seen touring in the UK.
In January 2009 he released a single "I'm Doing 99 Years" and the proceeds from the single's sales will go to the victims of gun crime and child abuse.
In July 2009 he headlined the Kelvedon Free Music Festival.
At the time of this posting he can still be seen touring with his blues band.

Monday, 3 September 2012

This week's playlist

"Boss Man Cut My Chains" - Chris Rea
"Love Changing Blues" - Blind Willie McTell
"Dirty Water" - Janiva Magness
"Steppin' Out" - Pat Travers
"Didn't I Say" - The Mustangs
"I Woke Up This Morning" - Ten Years After
"You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back" - Memphis Jug Band
"Black Dog Blues" - The Barrelhouse Brothers
"Outside Woman Blues" - Cream
"Writin' Paper Blues" - Blind Willie McTell
"The One In The Middle" - Manfred Mann
"Nehi Mama Blues" - Fury Lewis and Frank Stokes
"Mr. McTell Got The Blues" - Blind Willie McTell
"Fine Furred Momma" - Corey Luek and The Smoke Wagon Blues Band
"Stormy Weather" - Pete 'Snakey Jake' Johnson
"It's Gonna Rain" - Philipp Fankhauser
"Seven Eleven" - Geno Washington
"Holy Water" - Jon Amor Blues Group
"Can Blue Men Sing The Whites" - The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
"Ro Ro Rosey" - Van Morrison
"It's All About Money" - Deborah Magone
"Searching The Desert For The Blues" - Blind Willie McTell
"Six Cold Feet" - Hugh Laurie

Featured Artist: Blind Willie McTell



Blind Willie McTell
May 5 1898 – August 19 1959
William Samuel McTell was one of the blues' greatest guitarists, and also one of the finest singers ever to work in blues. A major figure with a local following in Atlanta from the 1920s onward, he recorded dozens of songs throughout the '30s under a multitude of names -- all the better to juggle "exclusive" relationships with many different record labels at once – including Blind Willie, Blind Sammie, Hot Shot Willie and Georgia Bill, and as a backup musician to Ruth Mary Willis. And those may not have been all of his pseudonyms -- we don't even know what he chose to call himself, although “Blind Willie” was his preferred choice among friends.
Much of what we do know about him was learned only years after his death, from family members and acquaintances. His family name was, so far as we know, McTier or McTear, and the origins of the "McTell" name are unclear. What is clear is that he was born into a family filled with musicians -- his mother and his father both played guitar, as did one of his uncles, and he was also related to Georgia Tom Dorsey, who later became the Rev. Thomas Dorsey.
McTell was probably born blind, although early in his life he could perceive light in one eye. His blindness never became a major impediment, however, and it was said that his sense of hearing and touch were extraordinary.
His first instruments were the harmonica and the accordion, but as soon as he was big enough he took up the guitar and showed immediate aptitude on the new instrument. He played a standard six-string acoustic until the mid-'20s, and never entirely abandoned the instrument, but from the beginning of his recording career, he used a 12-string acoustic in the studio almost exclusively.
McTell's technique on the 12-string instrument was unique. Unlike virtually every other bluesman who used one, he relied not on its resonances as a rhythm instrument, but, instead, displayed a nimble, elegant slide and finger-picking style that made it sound like more than one guitar at any given moment.
McTell's recording career began in late 1927 with two sessions for Victor records, including "Statesboro Blues." McTell's earliest songs were superb examples of storytelling in music, coupled with dazzling guitar work.
McTell worked under a variety of names, and with a multitude of partners, including his one-time wife Ruthy Kate Williams (who recorded with him under the name Ruby Glaze), and also Buddy Moss and Curley Weaver. McTell cut some of his best songs more than once in his career.
His recording career never gave McTell quite as much success as he had hoped, partly due to the fact that some of his best work appeared during the depths of the Depression.
Mctell was well-known enough that Library of Congress archivist John Lomax felt compelled to record him in 1940, although during the war, like many other acoustic country bluesmen, his recording career came to a halt. Luckily for McTell and generations of listeners after him, however, there was a brief revival of interest in acoustic country-blues after World War II that brought him back into the studio. Amazingly enough, the newly founded Atlantic Records -- which was more noted for its recordings of jazz and R&B -- took an interest in McTell and cut 15 songs with him in Atlanta during 1949. The one single released from these sessions, however, didn't sell, and most of those recordings remained unheard for more than 20 years after they were made. A year later, however, he was back in the studio, this time with his longtime partner Curley Weaver, cutting songs for the Regal label. None of these records sold especially well, however, and while McTell kept playing for anyone who would listen, the bitter realities of life had finally overtaken him, and he began drinking on a regular basis. He was rediscovered in 1956, just in time to get one more historic session down on tape. He left music soon after, to become a pastor of a local church, and he died of a brain hemorrhage in 1959, his passing so unnoticed at the time that certain reissues in the '70s referred to McTell as still being alive in the '60s.
Blind Willie McTell was one of the giants of the blues, as a guitarist and as a singer and recording artist. Hardly any of his work as passed down to us on record is less than first-rate, and this makes most any collection of his music worthwhile. A studious and highly skilled musician whose skills transcended the blues, he was equally adept at ragtime, spirituals, story-songs, hillbilly numbers, and popular tunes, excelling in all of these genres. He could read and write music in braille, which gave him an edge on many of his sighted contemporaries, and was also a brilliant improvisor on the guitar, as is evident from his records. McTell always gave an excellent account of himself, even in his final years of performing and recording.

Monday, 27 August 2012

This Week's playlist

"Trouble Everywhere I Go" - David 'Honeyboy' Edwards
"World In A Jug" - Canned Heat
"Bring It With You When You Come" - Jake Leg Jug Band
"Eatin' At Lulu's" - J. Edwards
"Bucket's Got A Hole In" - Washboard Sam
"When The Sun Goes Down" - Leroy Carr
"Hot Tamales And They're Red Hot" - Jake Leg Jug Band
"Short Legs Shuffle" - The Roundhouse Jug Four
"Lights Out" - Dr. Feelgood
"Project Blues" - Canned Heat
"Once Upon A Time" - Michael Harrison
"Lady Quit Her Husband Onexpectadly" - Tub Jug And Washboard Band
"I'm So Tired" - Canned Heat
"Jake Leg Blues" - Jake Leg Jug Band
"You Don't Love Me" - Jillaine
"Hell Ain't Going Home" - Wooden Horse
"I'm A Big Girl" - Kathy Frank
"Let Me Hold You" - Gravelroad
"Blues Attack" - Guitar Mikey
"Saturday Blues" - Canned Heat
"Every Day In The Week" - The Providence Jug Band

Featured Artist: Canned Heat

Canned Heat
Hard-luck blues band of the '60s, Canned Heat was founded by blues historians and record collectors Alan Wilson and Bob Hite. They took the name from Tommy Johnson's 1928 "Canned Heat Blues", a song about an alcoholic who had desperately turned to drinking 'Sterno', generically called "canned heat". They seemed to be on the right track and played all the right festivals (including Monterey and Woodstock, making it very prominently into the documentaries about both) but somehow never found a lasting audience.
Certainly their hearts were in the right place. Canned Heat's debut album -- released shortly after their appearance at Monterey -- was every bit as deep into the roots of the blues as any other combo of the time mining similar turf, with the exception of the original Paul Butterfield band. Hite was nicknamed "The Bear" and stalked the stage in the time-honored tradition of Howlin Wolf and other large-proportioned bluesmen. Wilson was an extraordinary harmonica player, with a fat tone and great vibrato. His work on guitar, especially in open tunings (he played on Son House's rediscovery recordings of the mid-'60s, incidentally) gave the band a depth and texture that most other rhythm players could only aspire to. Henry Vestine -- another dyed-in-the-wool record collector -- was the West Coast's answer to Michael Bloomfield and capable of fretboard fireworks at a moment's notice.
Canned Heat's breakthrough moment occurred with the release of their second album, establishing them with hippie ballroom audiences as the "kings of the boogie." As a way of paying homage to the musician they got the idea from in the first place, they later collaborated on an album with John Lee Hooker that was one of the elder bluesman's most successful outings with a young white (or black, for that matter) combo backing him up. After two big chart hits with "Goin' Up the Country" and an explosive version of Wilbert Harrison's "Let's Work Together," Wilson died under mysterious (probably drug-related) circumstances in 1970, and Hite carried on with various reconstituted versions of the band until his death just before a show in 1981, from a heart seizure.
"Going Up the Country" was a remake of the Henry Thomas song "Bulldoze Blues" recorded in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1927. "On the Road Again" was a cover version/re-working of the 1953 Floyd Jones song of the same name, which is reportedly based on the Tommy Johnson song "Big Road Blues" recorded in 1928.
The surviving members -- led by drummer Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra -- continued touring and recording, recruiting new vocalist Walter Trout; he was replaced in 1985 by James Thornbury, who fronted the band for the next decade. After Thornbury exited in 1995,Canned Heat tapped Robert Lucas to assume lead vocal duties; they soon recorded “The Canned Heat Blues Band”, which sadly was Vestne's last recording with the group -- he died in Paris in October 1997 in the wake of the band's recent tour. “Boogie 2000” followed two years later.

Monday, 20 August 2012

This week's playlist

"Banjo Blues" - Todd Taylor
"I Want To Do Something For You" - Mance Lipscomb
"What Did I Do?" - Jillaine
"Just Don't Look Good Naked Any More" - Paula Harris
"Depression Blues" - Michael Packer Blues Group
"Muskrat" - Doc Watson
"What Man Have Done" - Corey Harris
"German Blues" - Birmingham Jug Band
"Done Sold Everything" - Debbie Davies
"Captain, Captain" - Mance Lipscomb
"Bring It On Home" - Led Zeppelin
"Save Some Mercy For Me" - Sandi Thom
"Texas Blues" - Mance Lipscomb
"Devil In The Wood Pile" - Noah Lewis
"Oh Papa Blues" - Ma Rainey
"Give It Up Daddy" - Kathy Frank
"Statesboro' Blues" - Blind Willie McTell
"Test Of Time" - Grainne Duffy
"When I Was A Cowboy (Western Plain)" - Jim Kweskin and The Jug Band
"Farewell" - Mance Lipscomb
"She's Tuff" - The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Featured artist: Mance Lipscomb

Mance Lipscomb
April 9th 1895 – January 30th 1976
Like Leadbelly and Mississippi John Hurt, the designation as strictly a blues singer dwarfs the musical breadth of Mance Lipscomb.
Lipscomb was born April 9, 1895 to an ex-slave father from Alabama and a half Native American (Choctaw) mother. Lipscomb spent most of his life working as a tenant farmer in Texas and was "discovered" and recorded by Mack McCormick and Chris Strachwitz in 1960 during the country blues revival.
He began playing guitar early on and played regularly for years at local gatherings, mostly what he called "Saturday Night Suppers" hosted by someone in the area. These gatherings were hosted regularly for a while by himself and his wife. The majority of his musical activity took place within what he called his "precinct", meaning the local area around Navasota, until around 1960.
His debut release was “Texas Songster” (1960). Lipscomb performed old songs like "Sugar Babe," the first song he ever learned, to pop numbers like “Shine On Harvest Moon” and “It's A Long Way To Tipperary”.
A proud, yet unboastful man, Lipscomb would point out that he was an educated musician, his ability to play everything from classic blues, ballads, pop songs to spirituals in a multitude of styles and keys being his particular mark of originality. “Trouble in Mind” was recorded in 1961, and released on a major label, Reprise.
In May 1963, Lipscomb appeared at the first Monterey Folk Festival in California.
He released many albums of blues, ragtime, Tin Pan Alley and folk music (most of them on Strachwitz' Arhoolie label), singing and accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. He had a "dead-thumb" finger-picking guitar technique, and an expressive voice. Lipscomb often honed his skills by playing in nearby Brenham, Texas, with a blind musician, Sam Rogers.
He went on to appear at numerous blues and folk festivals throughout the '60s.
Unlike many of his contemporaries, he did not record in the early blues era, but his life is well documented thanks to his autobiography, “I Say Me for a Parable: The Oral Autobiography of Mance Lipscomb, Texas Bluesman”, narrated to Glen Alyn, which was published posthumously and also a short 1971 documentary by Les Blank, “ A Well Spent Life”.
In 1974 he retired from the festival circuit and passed away on January 30, 1976 in his hometown of Navasota, Texas. He was 81.
With a wide-ranging repertoire of over 90 songs, Lipscomb may have had a belated start in recording, but left a remarkable legacy to be enjoyed.

Monday, 13 August 2012

This week's playlist

"Cakewalk Into Town" - Simon Prager
"Morning Tea" - Champion Jack Dupree
"It'll Turn You Around" - Nick Moss
"Dust Bowl" - Joe Bonamassa
"Just You Just Blues" - Charlie Musslewhite
"Renaissance Blues" - Chris Rea
"Smackin' The Sax" - Phillips Louisville Jug Band
"Wake Up Your Neighbourhood" - Barrelhouse Jukes
"All Alone Blues" - Champion Jack Dupree
"Hide Away" - Freddie King
"Muddy Water Blues (Acoustic)" - Paul Rodgers
"Mean Ole 'Frisco" - Champion Jack Dupree
"Blue Midnight" - Little Walter
"Smotherin' Me" - Imelda May
"When The Levee Breaks" - Buckwheat Zydeco
"In My Time Of Dying" - Soulstack
"Deep River" - John Oates Band
"He's Got Me Going" - Bessie Smith
"My Old Lady" - Brewers Droop with Mark Knopfler
"Up The Line" - Paul Orta and The Kingpins
"Bus Station Blues" - Champion Jack Dupree
"Don't Know Where I'm Going" - Rory Gallagher

Featured artist: Champion Jack Dupree

Champion Jack Dupree
Born: July 4th, 10th or 23rd 1908, 1909 or 1910
Died: January 21st 1992
A formidable contender in the ring before he shifted his focus to pounding the piano instead, Champion Jack Dupree often injected his lyrics with a rowdy sense of down-home humor. But there was nothing lighthearted about his rock-solid way with a boogie; when he shouted "Shake Baby Shake," the entire room had no choice but to acquiesce. Dupree was notoriously vague about his beginnings, claiming in some interviews that his parents died in a fire set by the Ku Klux Klan, at other times saying that the blaze was accidental. Whatever the circumstances of the tragic conflagration, Dupree grew up in New Orleans' Colored Waifs' Home for Boys (Louis Armstrong also spent his formative years there).
Learning his trade from barrelhouse 88's ace Willie “Drive 'em Down” Hall, Dupree left the Crescent City in 1930 for Chicago and then Detroit. By 1935, he was boxing professionally in Indianapolis, battling in an estimated 107 bouts.
In 1940, Dupree made his recording debut for Chicago A&R man extraordinaire Lester Melrose and OKeh Records. Dupree's 1940-1941 output for the Columbia subsidiary exhibited a strong New Orleans tinge despite the Chicago surroundings.
After a stretch in the Navy during World War II (he was a Japanese P.O.W. for two years), Dupree decided tickling the 88's beat pugilism any old day. He spent most of his time in New York and quickly became a prolific recording artist, cutting for Continental, Joe Davis, Alert, Apollo, and Red Robin (where he cut a blasting "Shim Sham Shimmy" in 1953), often in the company of Brownie McGhee.
Contracts meant little; Dupree masqueraded as Brother Blues on Abbey, Lightnin' Jr. on Empire, and the truly imaginative Meat Head Johnson for Gotham and Apex.
King Records corralled Dupree in 1953 and held onto him through 1955 (the year he enjoyed his only R&B chart hit, the relaxed "Walking the Blues.") Dupree's King output rates with his very best; the romping "Mail Order Woman," "Let the Doorbell Ring," and "Big Leg Emma's" contrasting with the rural "Me and My Mule" (Dupree's vocal on the latter emphasizing a harelip speech impediment for politically incorrect pseudo-comic effect).
After a year on RCA's Groove and Vik subsidiaries, Dupree made a masterpiece LP for Atlantic. 1958's “Blues From The Gutter” is a magnificent testament to Dupree's barrelhouse background, boasting marvelous readings of "Stack-O-Lee," "Junker's Blues," and "Frankie & Johnny" beside the risqué "Nasty Boogie."
Dupree was one of the first bluesmen to leave his native country for a less racially polarized European existence in 1959. He lived in a variety of countries overseas, continuing to record prolifically for Storyville, British Decca (with John Mayall and Eric Clapton lending a hand at a 1966 date), and many other firms.
Perhaps sensing his own mortality, Dupree returned to New Orleans in 1990 for his first visit in 36 years. While there, he played the Jazz & Heritage Festival and laid down a zesty album for Bullseye Blues, “Back Home In New Orleans”. Two more albums of new material were captured by the company the next year prior to the pianist's death in January of 1992.
Jack Dupree was a champ to the very end.

Monday, 6 August 2012

This week's playlist

"My Wallet" - The Some X 6 Band
"On A Monday" - Ry Cooder
"Sticky Fingers" - Irene Torres And The Sugar Devils
"On Your Way Down" - Little Feat
"Blues Got Me Again" - Charlie Musslewhite
"Caretaker" - Danny Marks
"New Minglewood Blues" - Geoff Muldaur, Jim Kweskin and John Sebastian
"Little Steve's Shuffle" - The Elmores
"13 Question Method" - Ry Cooder
"In The Wee Hours" - Chuck Berry
"Midnight Special" - Leadbelly
"The Bourgeois Blues" - Ry Cooder
"Learn How To Love You" - Tedeschi Trucks Band
"Graffiti" - Michael Powers
"Catfish Blues" - Corey Harris
"I Can't Be Satisfied" - Richard Staines and Satinder Grewal
"Blue Railroad Train" - Doc Watson
"Train Kept A-Rolling" - The Yardbirds
"I'm Drinking Again" - Ry Cooder
"Truckin' Angel Blues" - Nerak Roth Patterson

Featured Artist: Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder (Born March 14th 1947)
Cooder made his debut as a solo artist in 1970 with a self-titled album featuring songs by Leadbelly, Blind Willie Johnson, Sleepy John Estes, and Woody Guthrie.
The follow-up, “Into Te Purple Valley” introduced longtime cohorts Jim Keltner on drums and Jim Dickinson on bass, and it and “Boomer's Story” largely repeated and refined the syncopated style and mood of the first.
In 1974, Cooder produced what is generally regarded as his best album, “Paradise And Lunch” and its follow-up, “Chicken Skin Music”, showcased a potent blend of Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, gospel, and soul, and featured contributions from Flaco Jimenez and Gabby Pahinui.
In 1979, “Bop Till You Drop”was the first major-label album to be recorded digitally.
In the early '80s, Cooder began to augment his solo output with soundtrack work on such films as 'Blue Collar', 'The Long Riders', and 'The Border'; he has gone on to compose music for 'Southern Comfort', 'Goin' South', 'Paris, Texas', 'Streets of Fire', 'Alamo Bay', 'Blue City', 'Crossroads', 'Cocktail', 'Johnny Handsome', 'Steel Magnolias', and 'Geronimo'.
“Music By Ry Cooder” (1995) compiled two discs' worth of highlights from Cooder's film work.
In 1992, Cooder joined Keltner, John Hiatt, and renowned British tunesmith Nick Lowe, all of whom had played on Hiatt's “Bring The Family” to form Little Village, which toured and recorded one album.
Cooder turned his attention to world music, recording the album “A Meeting By The River” with Indian musician V.M. Bhatt. Cooder's next project, a duet album with renowned African guitarist Ali Farke Toure titled “Talking Timbuktu”, won the 1994 Grammy for Best World Music Recording.
His next world crossover would become one of the most popular musical rediscoveries of the 20th century. In 1997, Cooder traveled to Cuba to produce and play with a group of son musicians who had little exposure outside of their homeland. The resulting album, Buena Vista Social Club, was a platinum-selling international success that made stars of Company Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Ruben Gonzalez and earned Cooder another Grammy.
In 2005, Cooder released “Chvez Ravine”, his first solo album since 1987's “Get Rhythm”; the album was the first entry in a trilogy of recordings about the disappearance of Los Angeles' cultural history as a result of gentrification. “Chavez Ravine” was followed by “My Name Is Buddy” in 2007, and the final chapter in the saga “I, Flathead” in 2009.
In 2010, Cooder was approached by Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains to produce an album. Moloney had been obsessed with an historical account of the San Patricios, a band of immigrant Irish soldiers who deserted the American Army during the Mexican-American War in 1846 to fight for the other side, against the Manifest Destiny ideology of James Polk's America. Cooder agreed and the end result was San Patricio, which brings this fascinatingly complex tale to life.
In early 2011, Cooder was taken by a headline about bankers and other moneyed citizens who'd actually profited from the bank bailouts and resulting mortgage and economic crisis, and wrote the song "No Banker Left Behind," which became the first song on 2011's “Pull Up Some Dirt And Sit Down”, an album that reached all the way back to his earliest recordings for musical inspiration while telling topical stories about corruption (political and social) the erasure and the rewriting of American history, and an emerging class war. A month after its release, Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti's fabled City Lights publishing house issued Cooder's first collection of short fiction entitled Los Angeles Stories.
He continued to follow his socio-political muse with “Election Special”, released in the summer of 2012.

Monday, 30 July 2012

This week's playlist

"Dust My Broom" - Pete 'Snakey Jake' Johnson
"Sad Hours" - Little Walter
"Take A Walk With Me" - The Aces
"Rock Island Line" - Leadbelly
"Crossroad Friend" - Wendy Biscuit
"The Hoodoo Shake" - The Some X 6 Band
"All Through The City" - Dr. Feelgood
"Jug Band Special" - Whistler and His Jug Band
"Boone's Farm Boogie" - The Kentucky Headhunters
"Obnox Stomp" - John Fairhurst
"You're So Fine" - Little Walter
"St. Louis Blues" - Kay Starr
"All Night Long" - Willie And The Poor Boys
"Hate To See You Go" - Little Walter
"You Upset Me" - Luther Allison
"I Wish I Was A Single Girl Again" - Eva Cassidy
"Mess Around" - Professor Longhair
"Big Time Mama" - 'Champion' Jack Dupree
"Cuttin' Out" - John Lee Hooker
"Little Bit Worried" - Todd Sharpville
"W-O-M-A-N" - Etta James
"It Ain't Right" - Little Walter
"I Miss You" - Chrissie O'Dell

Featured Artist: Little Walter

Little Walter (May 1st 1930 – February 15th 1968)
Who's the king of all post-war blues harpists, Chicago division or otherwise? It has to be Little Walter without a solitary doubt. The fiery harmonica wizard took the humble mouth organ in dazzling amplified directions that were unimaginable prior to his ascendancy.
Marion Walter Jacobs was by most accounts an unruly but vastly talented youth who abandoned his rural Louisiana home for the bright lights of New Orleans at age 12. Walter gradually journeyed north from there, pausing in Helena (where he hung out with the wizened Sonny Boy Williamson), Memphis, and St. Louis before arriving in Chicago in 1946.
He fell in with local royalty – Tampa Red and Big Bill Broonzy- and debuted on wax that same year for the tiny Ora-Nelle logo.
Walter joined forces with Muddy Waters in 1948; the resulting stylistic tremors of that coupling are still being felt today. Along with Jimmy Rogers and Baby Face Leroy Foster, this super-confident young aggregation became informally known as The Headhunters. They would saunter into Southside clubs, mount the stage, and proceed to calmly "cut the heads" of whomever was booked there that evening.
By 1950, Walter was firmly entrenched as Waters' studio harpist at Chess as well. That's how Walter came to record his breakthrough 1952 R&B chart-topper "Juke" -- the romping instrumental was laid down at the tail-end of a Waters session.
Suddenly, Walter was a star on his own, combining his stunning talents with those of The Aces (guitarists Louis and David Myers and drummerFred Below) and advancing the concept of blues harmonica another few light years with every session he made for Checker Records.
From 1952 to 1958, Walter notched 14 Top Ten R&B hits, including "Sad Hours," "Mean Old World," "Tell Me Mama," "Off the Wall," "Blues with a Feeling," "You're So Fine," a threatening "You Better Watch Yourself," the mournful "Last Night," and a rocking "My Babe" . Throughout his Checker tenure, Walter alternated spine-chilling instrumentals with gritty vocals.
Walter utilized the chromatic harp in ways never before envisioned, but 1959's determined "Everything Gonna Be Alright" was his last trip to the hit lists; Chicago blues had faded to a commercial non-entity by then unless your name was Jimmy Reed.
Tragically, the '60s saw the harp genius slide steadily into an alcohol-hastened state of unreliability, his once-handsome face becoming a road map of scars. In 1964, he toured Great Britain with The Rolling Stones, who clearly had their priorities in order, but his once-prodigious skills were faltering badly.
Walter's eternally vicious temper led to his violent undoing in 1968. He was involved in a street fight (apparently on the losing end, judging from the outcome) and died from the incident's after-effects at age 37.
His influence remains inescapable to this day - it's unlikely that a blues harpist exists on the face of this earth who doesn't worship Little Walter.